Costa Rica Update #1
Well, we have been in Costa Rica for a 3 full days now! It has been an amazing start to the trip. Here is a breakdown day by day so far!
Monday: All the flights went smoothly. We were delayed in ATL for about an hour, but when we arrived our driver was waiting on us and ready to go! We drove to our lodging for the trip at Cincel Language School. This is where all the AG missionaries to Latin America come for about a year to learn Spanish and study missiology. They have built a little dorm here that is really nice. It has 7 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, and 2 kitchens! We are loving it!
Tuesday: We got up fairly early and went with missionary Josh Amiot to the University of Costa Rica or UCR. Josh and April Amiot are missionaries to Costa Rica who work with college students. At the University we had the opportunity to work with a children’s program as well as meet and build relationships with college kids. About 30,000 students attend UCR, and it is a beautiful campus. We met one student who was working with a group to promote a healthy lifestyle on campus. This girl and Sarah really hit it off since Sarah’s major was basically the same as this girl’s! As we talked with this girl, we found out that she attends a church in Heredia (a suburb of San Jose) and is the leader of their young adult ministry there. She said that she has been feeling really alone on campus, like there aren’t any other Christians around. We had the opportunity to connect her with the Amiot’s ministry and have been praying she’ll get plugged into “Proyecto U.” After some prayer, we had a great lunch at a nearby soda (a soda is a little restaurant in Costa Rica that serves typical Costa Rican food) and got to meet another missionary who has been working with college students at UCR for 19 years. He asked us to return that evening to teach a bible study at his house. We returned and shared about Esther and “being called for such a time as this.” I feel like it went really well. After the bible time we had the opportunity to connect with each student and made some great new friends who we’ll get to see again on Friday!
Wednesday: We had the opportunity to spend the day at Los Cuadros, one of the LACC schools in San Jose. For the morning portion we began by helping them dig a new playing field for the students. I wish I could say we had a before and after photo, but then again I’m not sure you would see any difference between them! We were supposed to level out a 12 meter by 6 meter field by digging down 1 foot from the lowest point and getting it all to the same level. Obstacles included: 3 foot tall grass with approximately 10 million roots, the field was on a hillside, half of our shovels had no point, and we had 2.5 hours or so. It was certainly an adventure. After the time I think we had outlined about a 3 meter by 3 meter portion. The school fed us a terrific lunch of pork chops, rice, beans, and steamed veggies. After lunch we did a chapel for the children. Overall it went well and the kids really seemed to learn the memory verse. I think they’ll remember it for at least a little while! For dinner we cooked ourselves burritos and quesadillas.
Thursday: Today we got to bless our missionary, Mary Mahon. We went over to her house and painted her living room, kitchen, and bedroom. You can see some of our handy work in an awesome 360 degree view here: http://360.io/ASztgy. We clearly are not professional painters, but we did it all to the best of our ability. It allowed Mary to save a lot of time, money, and effort! She fed us some Pizza Hut for lunch and McDonald’s for dinner, so as far as food goes it wasn’t a very “Costa Rican day.”
So far we have all had a great time. Sarah and my Spanish is about back up to par, and we are understanding people better than ever. Andrew has been doing a terrific job at speaking Spanish as well. He has also enjoyed playing with the children and spinning his basketball for the programs. Danielle has really enjoy playing with the kids, also, and brings a lot of fun and joy to our team. Daniel is, as always, a hard worker and helps to keep us focus on the goal. We are all looking forward to the rest of the trip and hope all is well at home!