After 7.5 miles and 45 flights of stairs our first week of orientation is finished. Our walk to school begins at about 7 in the morning and is about half a mile. If your thinking this does not seem far then you have never walked it with two children. Really they did ok but definitely are in the Costa Rica time zone (very slow). This is something God has been teaching us, to slow down and look around at his Glory. When we walk slower we enjoy people’s company more, notice things around you and see God’s creation in the little things. For example, Tyler was most excited at the end of the school day to show me a lemon tree he had found. I however, just wanted to continue the trek home. God is teaching me to slow down and smell the roses (or lemon trees in our case) and to see the little things as a gift from Him. We picked a lemon and tasted it at supper that night. The kids loved finding fruit in a random tree.
In the past week there have been many things we have observed that are funny to us. For example, we may be walking along and come to a “gringo trap” or a huge hole in the ground that is uncovered. McDonald’s offers corn instead of apple slices, and at one park you can rent pieces of plastic to “snow” sled down a hill. One of the oddest things to me is there are no street signs here, everything is in proximity of the nearest park. For example, we would tell a taxi driver the community we live in, then near which park and then how many meters and blocks from the park. Today, after a week of being here, we were able to tell the taxi driver which area we lived in. Our Texas accents have made it previously impossible to say our park name but a taxi driver last night took pity on us and worked with us until we now have it down. This has been humbling in some regards, to not be able to give our address correctly.
There have also been practical lessons we have learned. We have now mastered how to get to the grocery store although shopping is still pretty hard. Emma needed tennis shoes for gym, so she and I looked for them today. As if shopping for anything with my daughter was easy to begin with I now have to figure out the exchange rate from mil to dollars and the shoes are sized differently as well.
I have seen lots of little praises. Our house is a huge praise for me. Our landlady, Cecilia, has made sure everything in our house is working well. It has taken over a week but we have a dryer, Internet, a brand new refrigerator and our stove is getting fixed. She is really sweet and wants us to be happy. Right across the street from us is an orange cat that follows Emma. This may not seem like much but it means a lot to Emma to have a pet (especially one we don’t have to feed). Also, the mission friends brought money all semester to help with uniforms for our kids. They raised $50 which is not only a lot for 3, 4, and 5 year olds but was the exact amount we needed for the uniforms.
School starts officially for the kids on Monday. Please pray that they make friends quickly and adjust to the Spanish classes. Continue to pray for all of us as we learn to adapt to the new culture and begin the frustrating and slow process of learning a new language. Please also pray for encouragement for us and that we will continue to see God working.