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The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center is hosting an informational meeting on a unique travel idea: volunteer vacationing. Learn about it July 18.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Travelers from the LOACC could enjoy views like this of the valley of Orosi in Costa Rica. A preliminary meeting of those interested in traveling the region will be held July 18.

Yearning to travel and avoid the tourist spots? Would you like to experience life as the locals do? The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center might have the ideal vacation for you: a volunteer vacation in Costa Rica.

The center is planning a work-and-play trip to Costa Rica's Orosi Valley. Travelers on this trip will spend some of the day working at a local senior center and then spend the rest of the day at their leisure. Participants will enjoy the flora and fauna of the area, such as the fabulous views and birding tropical birds. There's an opportunity to learn to speak Spanish, or hand make tortillas with a local family.

The trip is intended to give participants a deeper appreciation of other cultures, while working to better the lives of local seniors.

We are organizing a trip to take place during the "dryer" season, December through April. Estimates at this time are that the trip will cost $2,350 per person. People interested in learning more about the trip should attend a preliminary meeting taking place at 10 a.m. July 18. Call Maria Bigelow at 503-534-5748 to learn more and have your name added to the list of people planning to attend the preliminary meeting.

The center extends a big thank-you to Tualatin Valley Elks Lodge No. 2780, for a $2,500 check to purchase gardening equipment, produce and flowering plants for the center's new garden beds. The garden will be used for gardening classes and the enjoyment of the members and guests. The produce harvested will be used by the kitchen staff in preparing the lunches served at the center.

The lunch menu this week features African sweet potato stew on Friday, June 30; celebrate the Fourth of July with grilled hamburgers and chicken on Monday, July 3; and then enjoy chicken Caesar salad on Wednesday, July 5. Cost is a suggested donation of $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for everyone else.

The LOACC is located at 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego. A list of activities and support groups can be found on our website, loacc.info, under the Calendar banner. Click on "View the Adult Community Center Calendar" and then the activity for more details. Call 503-635-3758 to register for classes, events, make lunch reservations or schedule a massage.

Maria Bigelow is a program supervisor at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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