A New Home

Words can’t describe how much of a shock I am in the fact that I’m in Costa Rica. The journey was long but the destination is worth it. For anyone who knows me they understand my fear of airports and flights. You can ask anyone in my family about my panic attacks. They find them to be funny, I’d rather just not talk about it. This is a big experience for me and I’ve been having people pray for me all the time. Needless to say, God always follows through. He answered all the prayers about flights going smoothly and me finding comfort in the Lord. Literally It was nice traveling with Him. As we took off from Minneapolis I could see the cell phone towers from over by  Bethel. They’re the same towers I would stare at from my window in my dorm room last semester. I don’t know why but seeing those lights gave me some sort of comfort. It brought my thoughts back to a year ago from now when this journey really began, I offered myself to God and told Him to send me. Well, I’ve been delivered. Fortunately there were people along the way that I got to have great conversations with. As I was charging my phone at the Denver Airport, desperately wanting to be as far away from that airport as possible, there was a girl who came over to charge her phone too who looked as though she was crying. I asked if I could sit by her and we ended up talking for two hours. It was almost too good to be true. On my flight to San José I sat next to a young boy and his mom. It was cute how he slept the whole plane ride. Not gonna lie I was jealous. Meanwhile I was struggling to fall asleep and when I finally had I woke up with a nosebleed. Once the nosebleed was done the plane was about to land. I was so proud of myself at this point for not freaking out. As soon as I got my carry on down I vomited. SO embarrassing. the flight attendant handed me a garbage bag to carry and I didn’t know what to do with it so I brought it with me through immigration. Yeah, I brought a bag of vomit through customs… I couldn’t find a garbage and was too embarrassed to ask. Thank God that no one on that flight was from my program. Anyway, that was probably TMI but it’s the story of my life. So once I landed in San Jose and got through customs I didn’t know where to go. I had no cell service or wifi, there were no pay phone to use to call home and the airport was nothing like the map that I saw online the night before. Thankfully I found someone who was sitting alone and sat next to him. It was great to have someone to talk to. His luggage was late and for some odd reason he couldn’t get it back. There was another guy wandering around the area as well and he joined us after a long clueless walk. He had just been to New Zealand and Thailand and Costa Rica is next for him. We sat there for over two hours talking. Honestly that was a huge prayer of mine being answered because those were the hours I dreaded the most. In the end, I made a few friends. The director from veritas showed up and picked me up. From that moment on, I have only been in contact with one person who somewhat knows english. That’s right, my host family speaks spanish. They don’t speak any english. Mama Tica picked me up at the university and she showed me my new home. I had no idea what she was saying at all whatsoever. Those classes I’ve spent in spanish the past few yeas have all disappeared from my mind. I feel like a normal person would be nervous about not being able to understand a thing but for some odd reason I absolutely love it. I am completely foreign. The first thing I asked when we got home was about wifi because at this point I needed to contact home so they’d stop worrying. After calling home, Mama Tica fed me some rice, beans, eggs and yogurt with garlic bread. Not gonna lie, it was a really weird combination of food. I wasn’t that hungry anyway. After eating we unpacked  my bags. She’s the sweetest lady ever and has a lot of patience. While going through my clothes I was folding them but then as soon as I’d put it down she’d undo it and refold it. I know I suck at folding but I mean I didn’t think I was THAT bad. It was funny. Later we went to visit her daughter. She has two daughters, Ingrid and Kimberly. They’re both married and live near home. Ingrid came with us to go somewhere because she grabbed her purse and I had to follow them out the door. I had no idea where we were going when we got on a bus. there were no seats left so we stood up. We arrived at the mall and It was actually a pretty nice mall. We stopped at some cell phone kiosk and for no more than twenty dollars I got a phone. Now I have two phones to keep track of… great. It took way to long to get that figured out. Once we got back home I met more family. I met Kimberly and her husband. They’re very young parents but that must be normal for around here. It took me awhile to figure out how everyone is related and I still might not have it right. Anyway, the sisters and I were sitting around the kitchen table tryset up the new phones while sharing pictures with each other. Meanwhile I was confused as mama tica brought over some nice garlic bread with coffee. I asked her if it was dinner or something and they all think i’m crazy now. “pan para cena? no…” It was funny. We actually had pizza for dinner. I was surrounded by so much spanish at the dinner table that I started getting a headache. it’s hard to keep up with them but I’m determined to master this language. My hope is to go from understudying 5 percent of what they’re saying to at least 75 percent. I love it though. I love the laughs and struggles and that accomplishing feeling you get when you realize that you’re on the same page. Obviously there will be more challenges and frustrations to come but today was a great first day with the family. I feel very comfortable with them all and this place feels like a good home based on this first impression. For the next four months, this is home. Orientation is tomorrow and I’ll be meeting some of the others students. I’m looking forward to it! God has blessed me more than I deserve. Seriously for all who have been praying for me, thank you!

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