Invested interests – Chris Norris, Costa Rica ’09-11

Costa Rica

Chris Norris’s Peace Corps Story

Where and when did you serve? What did you do?

Costa Rica, 2009-2011, Youth and Economic Development – taught business classes to teens and adults, taught English, did multi-use court infrastructure project, soccer tournament, wrote grant to build computer lab and get computers in high school.

What is one of your favorite Peace Corps memories?

My community partnered with Courts for Kids to get a multi-use court built in the high school. It took 9 months and 50 local volunteers and 20 volunteers from the U.S. to build. A few months after we built it the school hosted their first ever home 5v5 soccer game on it. Another volunteer I served with put on a Survivor Camp on an uninhabited island and I helped with that. We played hide and seek in the untouched jungle with the adults/volunteers hiding from the kids and they had an hour to find us. It’s kind of insane that we did that and didn’t all get fired.

What is one of your least favorite Peace Corps memories?

One of my first nights in site I woke up with a snake in my bed. Snakes are my super least favorite thing in the world.

What do you miss about Peace Corps?

I miss the high school where I did most of my work and the people I worked with there. I also miss my fellow volunteers.

What is something you learned in the Peace Corps?

Just… figure it out. And don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

Do you have a favorite quote or local saying?

“Provecho” it’s like bon appetit; my wife and I still say it to each other before every meal (we met in PC Costa Rica); most volunteers from Costa Rica would probably say, “Pura Vida, Mae” which directly translates to pure life, dude and is kind of no worries or all good.

 

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