What in the world am I doing here?
No, I’m not actually asking myself that question (at this moment at least). I’ve asked myself that question many times though! I’m anticipating that you might be wondering what it is that we’re actually doing, right?
Well… the days seem rather long. The sun comes up between 5am and 5:30am. They do not do Daylight Savings here. So, we’re up pretty early (this is very different for me).
Nope, I’m not just sitting around drinking coffee, but that is quite a pleasant thought. However, it seems that the two big girls are finding more time to hang out together.
The days are far more full than expected. I am filling my days with several things…
Doing all I can to get the house fully functional and comfortable. It’s really quite a nice home. There are many differences between this house and our previous houses, but we really like our new home. It’s a little tight with 6 people in 2 bedrooms, but my Beauty is quite creative with organizing.
This is our new friend and carpenter, Fabian. Bud took a special interest in Fabian, and Fabian showed such gentleness and kindness to Bud. I think it reminded Elliott of our special friend (and carpenter), Mr. Michael from Ohio.
I am making and repairing things that I never would have attempted in the US with tools no intelligent human would use for the job. I’ll admit this has often caused the “angry face” to surface… however, I am learning ingenuity and resourcefulness. They seem to have those things mastered here.
I have yet to take a warm shower, and that has actually become a norm that I don’t mind at all!
I am trying not to rush into anything. Being sensitive to the hearts of my family is a high priority right now. This transition is going to take much longer than I had expected. Hearts are rather fragile. Friends and family (and our church) are very much missed.
We are working to learn the language and the culture. There is a language school, but at the moment it feels rather expensive. We are using some online tools, and we’ve made a few friends who are offering some Spanish lessons.
Part of learning the culture is how things operate. So far everything is actually more expensive here…
except for property tax, water bills, bananas and avocados.
The good news is that we love bananas and avocados.
Another part of learning the culture… is understanding the unspoken law that it is illegal to be in a rush. Twice in one trip we were stopped in the road by herds of cattle. (By the way, it was an 18 mile drive, but it is an hour of driving time because of the rough roads!)
Even figuring out what to eat here is a chore. Options are extremely limited. We enjoy beans and rice every day… often twice a day. It’s both affordable and quite filling. Fortunate for us, the Smalls enjoy it too. The guy at the our favorite open air market (Alvino) likes to give me “gifts” when I make a purchase. Here is the most recent one.
I’ve learned that a motorcycle is a family vehicle here. It is not uncommon to see 4 people on one motorcycle.
I’ve also learned that, “mañana,” which is usually translated, “morning” or “tomorrow,” can often mean, “I’ll be there whenever I decide to show up in the next week.”
There are quite a few creepy crawlies in these parts. I have probably killed at least 8 or 9 of these guys inside my house.
People here are very friendly… they seem very happy to give a lost gringo some directions.
Relationships continue to be (and always will be) a priority for us. We are in the birthing stages of many new relationships, and we are very grateful for that. Even as you read this, you could pray for God’s blessings over a few of our new friends:
Ron and Julie, Jeff and Robin, Wilmer, Jireh, Melvin, Sarah, Francisco, Marian, Harley, Liam, Daña, Annie, Fabian, Laura, Carlos, Charlie…
As these relationships develop, we are seizing opportunities to pray for, encourage and bless our new friends. More than ever we want to see ministry to be integrated into every aspect of how we do life as a family… we want it simply to be a complete overflow of who we are.
We are very curious about the specific assignments that the Lord will be giving us here. This is a key prayer focus. I sense that we are going to have several opportunities to provide training to pastors and ministry leaders in Costa Rica. It appears that the Lord is already opening up some opportunities for this. That was one thing I sensed before we arrived. Based on what I have observed, I do not think that there will ever be a shortage of opportunities to minister here.
As we pause to reflect, it is with deep gratitude that we see how the Lord has orchestrated so much blessing in the specifics of both the town we are in and the home that we choose. We are blown away by His kindness to us. Our love for this town was born instantaneously,
But we remain in wonder at all He has done and all He continues to do.
Thank you for walking with us.