New Places and Faces

It has officially be a month since I’ve arrived here in Costa Rica. I am finished with my spanish class which is nice because now I don’t have a 4 hour morning class every morning. I’m excited to have mornings open and am hoping to be able to go to the YWAM base for DTS classes. For anyone who isn’t familiar with DTS it stands for discipleship training school and it’s basically a tool used by YWAM to train their missionaries and educate them on different topics. At least that’s how I interpreted it based on what I’ve been told. We haven’t started working with YWAM yet, it’s taking awhile for things to get organized here however I know that that’s part of the Costa Rican culture. They’re so laid back to the point where it seems as though nothing is a priority when it comes to work. It comes across as lazy at times, but it’s a cultural thing. It’s the opposite of how I am because I usually am the one to arrive early whereas Costa Ricans typically show up 30 minutes to an hour late. They call it “Tico Time.” I’ve been so eager to work with YWAM, but patience is a virtue. I’m just excited that my new roommates are here and so we’ll get to hopefully start serving soon! Last week a group of us did get to go to an orphanage and volunteer. We sorted through a pile of random donations that the orphanage had received. There was so much to sort through and a lot of really horrible things to leave at an orphanage, it was mostly just trash and couldn’t be used. The kids were very crazy at the beginning and the environment they’re living in is very dangerous. There were rusty rakes and nails everywhere. Pieces of tin lying around with broken glass lying around for the kids to step on. They were climbing ladders and jumping on the roof. We didn’t get to spend too much time with them at first, but then when we finished sorting through the large pile we had lunch and got to wash toys with the kids. They calmed down and were pleasant to be around. There was one girl who was very violent and hard to be around. We got her involved in the cleaning and it didn’t take long for me and my friend Leslie to take her energy and gear it towards cleaning. We got her excited about the project. We’d shout “Más agua más jabón!” (more soap more water) and somehow it turned into a song/ chant. She was loving it. After cleaning most of the toys and equipment, we had been there for 4 hours and so it was time to leave. The kids there are adorable and if there’s another opportunity to return I’ll for sure go back. It’s crazy that this is place is home for these kids. They don’t know any different. Although this place seems very dangerous, it’s still more safe than the streets, which is where these kids would be if there wasn’t an orphanage here for them to stay. It breaks my heart. 

I’m really sad that my two roommates Alex and Qili are gone because they’ve been great to live with and great to get to know. One month with them went by way too fast. When they were leaving and saying their goodbyes it gave me a weird feeling because I realized that I have three more months here until I get to go home to my family. No way am I ready to go home, but when they were talking about going home and all the things they were excited to do when they got there it just gave me a weird feeling. It was nice because while they were leaving I had an excursion to Panama to look forward to. I was blessed to have some great roommates who I got to know pretty well over the course of our excursion, Candice and Carolyn. Candice has been here for three months and for the entire 3 months she’s been in Costa Rica she has challenged herself to speak only in spanish. She broke her spanish streak when we went to Panama, but hey she wasn’t in Costa Rica anymore. She’s a great and admirable person and I’m inspired by her discipline. Even when people would speak to her in english she would reply in spanish. She really secluded herself from the other students but at the same time, she’s improved more than anyone else. Carolyn has been here for two months now and she and I went to Irazu one weekend. I’ve spent a good amount of time with her and she’s a pretty laid back person. She just likes exploring and trying new things so it was fun going to a volcano by ourselves that day. In Panama we had a great weekend soaking up sun (maybe too much sun). The first day we went out early in the morning and watched dolphins from our boat. We then got dropped off at this gorgeous island and no one else was there and so it was just our large group on this deserted island. It was really cloudy that day but as soon as we got to the beach, we had so much sun. It was as if our island was the only one that had the sun shining on it. We then went snorkeling in the crystal clear waters and finished it off by seeing a sloth. Honestly though, I don’t know if I believe in the sloth because they knew exactly where it would be. how the heck did they know that sloth would be there? I’m suspicious. I was more interested in the mangrove trees anyway. The next day we went to starfish beach for the day. The water was so calm that there were no waves. we saw starfish and swam around and enjoyed another beautiful day. We ate at a restaurant that had fire dancers and it was super sweet. I was never allowed to play with fire growing up because it’s dangerous but maybe someone forgot to tell these people. There was a woman hula-hooping with fire! How is that even possible? Someone please explain this to me. We got back the other day and it’s a good thing we left when we did because there are earthquakes right on the border of Costa Rica and Panama. The Earthquakes and Tsunami in chile are pretty bad but we’re not having too much of an effect here. We have had a few earthquakes the past two days but not strong enough to do any damage at all.

After being in Panama I was very excited to get back because over the weekend, after Alex and Qili moved out, two new roommates moved in. Their names are Abby and Diamond. I’ve been praying for some more down to earth people and literally that’s exactly what God gave me. I just met them the other night but I have some great first impressions and I’m excited to get to know them and to see how God uses us. Yesterday we went to the store and picked up some groceries. We wandered into a really sketchy bank and were too terrified to try and take out money. None of us had our passports anyway and so we just bolted out of there. I have a feeling we’ve got a great three months to look forward to. Last night Ingrid and Camille came over and we were laughing so hard at some language barriers.  Mama tica was in a really goofy mood. Muñeca got a haircut and he’s half bald now. Diamond is allergic to dogs and so muneca can’t come into the house anymore so he’s stuck outside staring at us through the window. Pobre Muñeca.

This upcoming weekend we’re going to Arenal. It’s an active volcano here in Costa Rica. I believe we’re staying at a five star hotel, I’m not going to complain about that. I really can’t think if I’ve ever even stayed at a five star hotel. Apparently there’s going to be hot spirngs, a pool, all you can eat buffets, a spa and not to mention we’re staying in the mountains. (sorry to all my friends and family in Minnesota, I’m not trying to brag). I am looking forward to it. For those of you who are wondering, yes I am studying and yes I do go to class. Yesterday was my first day of Tropical Ecology. Today is my first day of  my other two classes, International Economics and International Relations. My documentary appreciation course will be starting next week along with our partnership with YWAM (hopefully). 



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