Friday, March 23, 2012

Last post from Costa Rica!

I leave for home on earrrly Monday morning.... planning on spending Sunday night in the airport to save money.... should be exciting! 


Things I want to eat when I get home:
Pancakes with peanut butter & Mrs. Butterworth's. 
Cheese, Crackers, & Deer Bologna
Biscuits & Gravy
Mashed potatoes & Gravy
Toast.  The real kind that starts out as soft bread and you put it in the toaster and it comes out TOAST.  
Homemade bread
MEAT, in large portions larger than 2 inches in diameter.
Ice cream
Nickles Bakery donuts
Food I'll miss most from Costa Rica::
Gallo Pinto
Picadillo de Chayote
Having scrambled eggs cooked in with my green beans to make them easier to get down.  :-P
Girasoles' carrot cake. :-)
SAMUELITOS!!  (a bakery chain with the TASTIEST bread.)  Our favorite "fast food."
Coffee Coffee Coffee!  ...the smooth kind, that you drink because it tastes good. NOT that bitter, nasty, caffeine-laden stuff we have in the States!

I'm not looking forward to re-learning to flush my toilet paper.  It takes a solid month to train yourself NOT to do this.  ...and at least that long to un-train yourself.  lol 

Something I'm not sure I'll ever get used to: 
Losing electricty but still having water. 
Or losing water but still having electricity.
...when you live in the country, you always lose both at the same time! 
When the electricity went off this morning, I resisted the impulse to conserve water by not flushing the toilet.
The other week when we were without water, I sat in my room in the dark until I realized the lights still worked!

After an intense last week of school, I told my teacher my brain felt like an Etch-A-Sketch::  everything I learned felt organized and understandable, but I was afraid if I shook my head or laid down it would all be erased! ....and I'm pretty sure that's what happened, because the next day I tried to do my homework, and nothing made sense.  :-/

Fun plans this weekend with my bestestest Language School friend Lindy.... going to enjoy every minute! 
So excited about what God has been doing in my life, and what He's going to do... Had such a sweet time with Him this morning without all the electronic distractions. :-)
God is ALWAYS good!  Don't ever forget that!

For now I'm off to town to do some last souvenir shopping and pick up bus tickets to LA PLAYA tomorrow!  :-D   For those of you at home, **4 DAYS!!!!!**

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Okay, so I know I've done really badly with my blog - updating this time... Sorry 'bout that!
I've been jotting little tidbits down here and there, so here's a scattered version of the past several weeks:

We stayed in the SHADIEST hostel ever in Punta Uva:

Nicolas (owner of the Hostel):  (grabs the nearest piece of scrap paper)  “Hey – all of you write your full names on this piece of paper just in case anything happens to you and people come looking for you guys. “
::we look at each other skeptically::
Nicolas: “Hey, one time a guy disappeared from here and they found him three days later, floating in the ocean!  I just wanna know who you guys are in case something happens.” 
In case something happens? Like what?  Like you selling us into the slave trade? 

My widowmaker (in-line water heater for the shower) burned up last month.  Scared me to DEATH.  Flash of light, electrical POP, and here I am, standing in water.  :::shakes head:::  Good thing I was wearing rubber flip flops.  :-P 
I went 2.5 weeks without hot water in my shower, and it was TORTURE.  The water isn't just cold here, it's FRIGID!  ...pretty sure I shaved all the goosebumps off my legs. 

The worst part about going to the beach is having to leave my 501 Spanish Verbs book behind because it’s too heavy. 

I find it strange that the only news from the USA on TV the other week was of Michelle Obama doing pushups on the Ellen show. 

Guy at the airport:  So you must be, like 21?
Me: Try 8.
Guy:  What?
Me:  *28.*
Guy:  WOW!!  You look so young!!!  You must use a lot of sunscreen! 
Why yes, I do, thankyou!

I'm still getting rich off of Costa Rica........  I've stopped counting how many colonnes I find on the ground. :-P

High Praise:  The inlaws of my host family think I speak “Just like a tica!”   YES!!  They say I don’t have an accent, so WOOT for that!   …apparently the last girl they hosted was an Israeli/American/something, and none of them could understand her. LOL 
...and I've always been worried about being one of those people who speaks Spanish the way foreigners speak English unintelligibly.   I've worked really hard not to speak with an accent so it's encouraging to hear that it's paid off. 
God gets the glory for any ability I have with this language, though.... there are days when I just want to scream and then give up.  I think that I just can't do this, and I'll never be able to speak well. 
And I know that *I* can't do this. 
All good things come from God, and His power working in and through us!
I've also discovered that "fluent" is a very fluid term.  I've heard people who have lived here for YEARS use poor grammar.  That is so not encouraging.  :-P 

I'm currently taking 3 hours of tutoring a week, and doing some volunteer work at my church and hopefully in LaCarpio beginning next week. 
I have lots of free time right now, so pray that I use it wisely!
I've been battling some discouragement and my biggest temptation right now is just to accept that I'm as good as I'm gonna get and quit.  I want to give up, but I know I can't!   Pray that I'll have the grace to continue and not be overwhelmed. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The end of the world?

So, I’m in Costa Rica otra vez, for more language study.  I love it, but I’m missing my family & friends back home and especially my friends from last year.  It’s weird to be in a place I connect in all of my memories with certain people, and those people are not here with me. 
I suppose I’d have the same feeling if I visited Gator Camp now. 
I have settled back in with my host family very well, and it’s like I never left, except the boys are a year older. 
  I love them, and couldn’t ask for a better family! 

This kind of situation brings out my introverted side.  I know, I know, some of you are thinking “WHAT introverted side??”  But it’s true!  I do have one!   Being in a country where understanding people beyond normal everyday conversation topics takes a lot of concentration, and not having close friends nearby makes me do a lot more thinking, and spend more time alone.   Which, I suppose is good for me.  I’m not used to that, living with my big family in our smallish house!

Anyway.  I feel sort of pensive tonight, and probably shouldn’t be blogging, but hey.
Just a warning:  I don’t promise that this will be all that entertaining.    

 So, I’ve been hearing a lot about how WWIII is going to start this year, Obama is going to enact martial law, Jesus is coming back REALLY soon and such, and I honestly can’t figure out how that knowledge (if it were true) is supposed to change my life.   
For instance:  if the world is going to end this year or next, why am I in language school?  Why do I have a boyfriend?  Why do we bother to make our farm payments? Or planting a crop?   Why are you in college/going to school/working at your job, buying that car, buying those shoes, etc., etc., etc.  

If I really believe that there is life after death, then whether the world ends next year or 200 years from now shouldn’t affect me greatly, because every single day could be my last. 
I could die crossing the street on my way to class tomorrow (and in San Jose, the chances of that are pretty good).  I could die in a plane crash on my way home next month.  In any case, I KNOW that inside of 70 years – let’s be generous and give it 80 – I WILL meet God.  

Does that then mean that everything I’m doing right now is for nothing?  That school is a waste of time?  Work is pointless?  Everyone considering marriage should give up on the idea?  People should stop having kids? 

My point is that I can’t know the future.  God has given me His Holy Spirit, and all I can do is walk as far as He leads me.  Right now, He has me studying Spanish.   If the world really does end this year, and I never get to use so much as a “Hola” of my Spanish, even then, I know that what I’m doing right now is NOT a waste of time, because it is done in obedience to my Father.  
Wasting time would be sitting around bemoaning the state of the world, worrying about the future and wondering if I’m wasting my time.    That kind of mentality can only put you in a holding pattern.  Nowhere in the Bible do I read that Christians should enter a holding pattern because the world is going to end.    Or that everyone who isn’t witnessing on the street corner every day is wasting their life.
If you’re preaching on the street corner, who is going to witness to that man or woman you work next to every day?  Has it ever occurred to you that God has placed you where you are for a purpose? 

If God has led you to go overseas, GO.  If He has convicted you to talk to your neighbor, or the girl at the grocery store, DO IT.  If God has led you to get married, by all means do so.  If God has led you into your current job, work at it with all your strength until He closes that door.   Has God given you a relationship?  Continue in obedience as far as He leads you. Grow where He has planted you!

All the while, do what you do to the glory of God.  Live your faith out loud.  Walk in obedience.   
Everything ELSE is a waste of time. 

“He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. “  -Micah 6:8