Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sculpture in the park

We lived in the little town of Barva when Robin was born. Barva prides itself on its park, which is still ringed with thick-walled houses built of the traditional clay and straw bricks, and topped with red roof tiles. Actually, few if any of them are still houses anymore. The local clinic, police station and municipal buildings occupy several of them, and the rest are given over to bakeries, ice cream shops, pet supply stores, etc. But the structures have been kept up and/or restored.

Barva also enthusiastically maintains traditional Costa Rican holiday celebrations, such as small-scale fireworks displays, yearly fairs and the running of the "clowns," which are local young men and children wearing oversized, grotesque paper maché masks and the ugliest polyester dresses they can lay hands on, and chasing everyone else down the street, trying to hit them with what used to be inflated animal bladders tied onto a string. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure they now use socks with a ball stuffed down into the toe. Those bladders were pretty nasty.

Anyway, while we were living there, Barva also renovated its town square, which used to be nothing more than an open field in front of the church. They paved parts of it, put in numerous benches and two small basketball courts, and planted grass and trees in the unpaved areas.

In recent years, they have held a yearly Sculpture in the Park event, where selected sculptors set up their projects right there in the park, and people can come and watch them work. The girls' school took the students over en masse to see and talk to the artists a couple of weeks ago.

Today, the girls and I went out to lunch with Alex's parents (Alex himself has been out of town for over a week now), and after lunch José said we should go over to Barva to have some coffee and see the sculptures, so we did.

The works are installed semi-permanently; I imagine that they will be moved to new locations before next year's event, but for now they are an ongoing part of the park.


Julie March 12, 2007 11:03 AM  

Were there sculptures in those photos? I was too busy staring at the cute jeans skirt-over-pants-with-boots combo and those sweet smiley faces.

Jennifer March 12, 2007 11:05 AM  

Oh. Yeah, that.

I'm one of those mothers that lets the kids choose their own outfits, and let's just leave it at that!

Julie March 13, 2007 12:00 PM  

No, seriously, they are very trendy! And good for you for giving them the freedom to choose their own outfits.

Jennifer March 13, 2007 12:05 PM  

Yeah, sure, it's all fun & games until someone gets to school with two left shoes...

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