Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A day in the life

We've finally settled into our daily routine here in Costa Rica. On Monday through Friday, mornings are occupied with language classes. My first two classroom hours are spent in a classroom with a beautiful view of the mountains that surround us here in Costa Rica's central valley. It's nice that they remind me of the view of the mountains from our old house in Roanoke. And I am thankful that God has allowed us this year here to learn Spanish while living in such a beautiful place. Micah is usually wiped out in the early afternoon so he takes a nap. Since it is culturally acceptable to take an afternoon siesta, Ryan and I also participate on occassion! (We want to take in as much of the culture as we can, right!?!) When not taking a siesta, we use the uninterupted time to study and do homework. The afternoons are my favorite part of the day. We usually take some sort of outing. Since we live within walking distance of quite a few parks, we enjoy meeting other students and thier families and our Tico neighbors at the nearby playgrounds. Other afternoons are spent walking to the grocery store, local bakery or taking a taxi to nearby shopping. (We've discovered that Micah's stroller doubles as a shopping cart for the walk home. If it's a long walk home, Micah gets to ride on Daddy's shoulders.) We haven't ventured downtown yet but look forward to the many museums and other local attractions the downtown area has to offer.
Micah and Ryan walking to church It's a humble life. Our life in Costa Rica is at a much slower pace than that which we knew in the US. Our life now allows most afternoons to include a little boy to play game of soccer with his daddy. Our life now allows family trips to the grocery store. Our life now allows time for reading and reflection. I am thankful to God that this is my life. I am glad that this is where are am right now, learning what He is teaching me and doing what He would have me to do. It's the coolest feeling to be right in the middle of where God wants you to be. I am praying that you are experiencing that in your life, and if you are not, I pray that you will seek God and discover where He would have you to be and what He would have you to do. Whether it's in Virginia, Siberia, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica, it's the best place in the world.
Here are some pictures of some of our everyday outings and adventures.
My handyman and his little helper fixing the bed Micah's discovery of the tiniest gecko I've ever seen.
Playing at the nearby park.
Ryan, Micah and our neighbor's little girl having a snack. A game of basketball after church. The biggest one and the littlest one belong to me.
The playground at Micah's preschool

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One week down. . . lots more to go

This week we completed our first entire week of classes at ILE. It has been at least 10 years since I attended school five days a week so the schedule was the biggest adjustment for me. Ryan teased me that naps were as much part of my day as they were Micah's! Ryan and I tested at different levels so we are not in the same classes. Ryan's more advanced placement required his language learning to begin with total language immersion (no English). Since I am just a beginner, my teachers try to speak only Spanish until they see vacant eyes returning their glances and then offer enough English to return us back to the same planet they are teaching from. I might be accused of being a nerd for saying this, but I have really enjoyed the classes. It is just enough of a struggle to be challenging but not so much as to feel overwhelmed. Through the ILE staff, God is blessing us in meeting us right where we are in preparing us to speak Spanish. Praise God for that! Language learning was my greatest concern, and God is alleviating my fears.
Today is Saturday and we are not in classes today. Today our language study will not occur within the walls of a hill top campus, but rather while visiting with our neighbors. We have plans to visit the local market and to see a little more of what life is like in our little area of Costa Rica. So. . . Adios. . . for now.
In His love and service,

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A serious note. . .please pray

I first want to apologize for not having posted anything since Thursday's earthquake. We are fine as well as all the others attending the Spanish Language Institute or ILE. Micah and I rode out the earthquake while in the bathroom, which actually turned out to be a very safe place to be. Ryan was nearby and since he was standing actually rode out the waves while the tremors endured. Though kinda shook up, no pun intended, it was not until later that evening that we became aware of the magnitude of the earthquake and the devastation it caused in nearby areas. Praise God for keeping us safe. I want to take a moment to ask you all to please pray for those that were not as fortunate as us. Parts of Costa Rica, close enough to be visible from our hill top campus, were devastated by the earthquake. Last I heard 14 bodies have been recovered with still 23 people reported missing. Today they have scaled back the recovery with the unsettling reality that those still missing are probably dead. Please pray for those that are trying to rebuild what they may have lost during the earthquake and even more so for those that are mourning the loss of a family member or friend.

Monday, January 5, 2009

We made it!

We arrived in Costa Rica on Saturday and spent the weekend getting settled in . We've had the opportunity to meet a few new friends already and are looking forward to our time spent here. Our neighbors, Alison and Justin and our big brother and sister, Jason and Lindsey have been great in helping with our transition. Our house is more than we expected and we are settling in to make it a home. We are located in a safe neighborhood located near the school. Micah and Ryan have enjoyed scouting out the neighborhood with their walking adventures. We attended an orientation for Micah's preschool today. He had a chance to meet a few friends and he was excited to see the playground and toys. Our orientation for classes begins tomorrow. We are excited to begin classes but a bit nervous too. We have already began to miss our friends and family and are sure they are missing us too. We are thankful for the Internet so we have been able to communicate with them even though we are not close by. I am amazed at how small the world can be made to see with air travel and the Internet. God continues to provide for us and we are blessed to be able to serve him in Costa Rica. Please continue to pray for our family as we look forward to what God has in store for us.