Fila Guinea is one of several ridgeline communities surrounding San Vito. San Vito is about 3200 feet above sea level, and the ridgeline communities are somewhat higher up. The temperatures are mild, and it rains pretty much every day. \When Italian settlers arrived here late in the Industrial Revolution, they carved this town out of the woods and established the coffee plantations that still comprise most of its economy. After clearing one of the area’s defining landmarks—a massive, 180 foot ceibo tree that they feared would cause damage if it fell on its own—they planned their new town around its remains. Today, there is a cultural center on the tree’s roots and the town’s most upscale hotel is named in its memory.
This morning we were up at sunrise, greeted by Darien and the smell of Costa Rican coffee brewing. It was going to be a quiet day for me, I had to finish my policy paper and then get it sent in. After receiving visitors in the morning who dropped off a kitchen table, several of the local school children stopped by, and Darien entertained them. We wound up doing some re-arranging of her casa, and then Wayne and Darien went out walking while I worked on finishing up my paper.
Success was upon us! Darien and Wayne came back from their walking tour, where Wayne met many of the people in the neighborhood, and I was nearly finished with the paper. Lunch was had by all, and then as Darien and Wayne napped, I finished things up. From there, we went and stopped in on friends of Darien’s en route to attempting to send out my paper and set up Darien’s iPhone. Along the way, both Wayne and I agreed that Darien’s community really had the feel of Micronesia, Pohnpei in particular. The disparate economic status of families just seemed to reinforce that impression.
We met with success in sending out the paper, but not with activating the jail-broken iPhone. =[ C’est la vie. Afterwards, we went with Darien to her upper school, where the teachers were having a small celebration involving lots of pork and alcohol, among which was Manischewitz kosher wine! The staff was very, very friendly, and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. As the night crept in, we faded, and headed home.