It is been a few months since our last post. Our last post was about our emergency room visit with Tyler’s broken arm in late February. A lot has happened since then. First of all Tyler’s arm healed perfectly and he was back to climbing trees in no time. The month of March was great in language school. We really began to make some good relationships with our classmates and with some of the local Costa Ricans. One of our good friends we made was a man named Andres and his family. We met in the park in early February because he had a dog just like ours. We had a few short conversations in English and eventually we were able to have some conversations in Spanish. Andres was always in the park with his dog and his house was on our way to school, so we say each other often. In mid March Kristi’s parents came to visit. We had a great time taking LaNell downtown and at the Feria. We also got a chance to go to a waterfall garden called La Paz. The gardens had a wide variety of animals and the waterfalls were roaring in the middle of the rainforest, some 90 feet high. Before Kristi’s parents left, Andres invited all of us over for “breakfast in Spansh”. He was very hospitable to our family and we really enjoyed visiting with him. When we left I went to tell him goodbye and he told us that his home was our home any time we were in Costa Rica.
Towards the end of March we recieved news that Kristi’s grandmother was not doing well. She has been struggling for quite some time with health issues. We soon recieved news that hospice had been called in and that her health was continuing to decline. On April 7th we finished school for the day and was looking forward to a four day weekend. We decided to call the airlines and see what is was going to cost for us to come home early if we needed to. As Kristi talked to the airlines the prices were outrages. Although the airlines were willing to wave the change fee for our tickets, we were still responsible for paying the difference between our orginal ticket and the new tickets. We checked on flights for the upcoming week incase we needed to return quickly. Kristi was about to hang up with the airlines when the airline representative gave us the option of leaving the next day at 12:45am, for a $0.80 diffrence in price. We disscussed it for a few moments and looked at the remaining time we had in Costa Rica at the school. We had 18 days leftin Costa Rica before we were scheduled to return and out of those 18 days there were only 6 class days left. We decided that this was the best time to go. So we booked a flight and began packing up our home. We were up until 2am packing and woke up at 5:30am to finish. We had nothing packed yet and we had not taken the kids out of school yet. We rushed all through the morning and at 9am a cab arrived to take us to the airport. We finished just in time.
On our way to the airport we were sitting in traffic when all of a sudden I heard tires screeching. A van hit a transit policeman on a motorcyle, who then hit us. I looked out my window and saw the officer laying on the ground in tremendous pain. We got out to check on the office and the man who hit him was already on the phone calling for an ambulance. Our cab driver talked to the police office and then the man who hit him, and then turned to me and said, “Lets go!” We hoped back in the cab and continued on our way to the airport. I asked the cab driver if he needed to stay and he tried to explain the situtation to me, but neither of us understood each other. He finally said that if we wanted to make our flight then we needed to leave.
We made it through the airport just fine and at 12:45pm were on the plane headed to Houston. As we finished going through security Kristi said that she could tell we had been in Costa Rica for a while. When we first arrived and for the first few months we lived in a daze. We were never really able to relax comfortably in our new environment becasue everything was so new and foreign to us. But as we left Kristi pointed out that we had begun to relax and that we were feeling more comfortable because we noticed all the new peole arriving and leaving Costa Rica. We could tell who lived in Costa Rica and who was visiting. This was a very encouraging thought, because I felt like we had assimulated well into the culture and if we can do it in Costa Rica, then we can do it in Honduras.
We arrive in Houston around 5pm and were greeted by Kristi’s family. We drove that night to Bluff Dale, finally arriving around 1am. It is great to be back in the States were things are a little more familiar. Our time in Costa Rica was great. We grew together a lot as a family and we learned some important lessons. Our biggest lesson that we learned is to slow down. Life in Costa Rica is lived at a different pace. When we left in December we were living life at 90 mph. However, when we got to Costa Rica we had to ajust to life at 2.5 mph. That was a real challenge for me personally, because I like to move and do things. It took quite a while for me to learn that it is ok to slow down and enjoy life. In our orientation we learned that Costa Ricans always say, “What is the hurry, there is always life”. Back home I used to always say, “there is not enough hours in the day”. In Costa Rica I found myself saying, “there are too many hours in the day”. They were real focused on relationships and saw no need to be in a hurry. Before we left we attended a birthday party for our landlord’s daughter. When they invited us to come we asked what time the party started. They told us around coffee time, to which I asked what time is coffee time? They said you know about 2 or 3. We arrived at 3:30 and for 2 hours were the only guests. Around 5:30 we had dinner, a Spanish tourte, which was probably my favorite meal during our stay. Finally around 7pm another family arrived and we talked for another hour or so. They really did not seem to be affected by the time, they really just enjoyed the company, as did we. After three moths there, I decided that I kinda like that view of life. I am not near as stressed or irritable and I see as well as hear so much more from those who are around me.
Another lesson we learned is how to survive without talking so much. I love to talk, a lot. It was very challenging to not be able to have conversations with everyone. For a while all I could day was, “Hi, my name is Shannon, I am from the United States. Ok see you later”. There were many days when Kristi and I would talk about every possible subject in great depth and detail and when we were finished it would only be 10am. It really challenged me to go out and speak Spanish as often as possible. When Kristi’s parent’s came I had a major breakthrough when I was able to talk to the taxi driver on our way to and from La Paz for several hours all in Spanish.
Finally, I believe we grew close to God during this time. I have preached many times about living by faith everyday, but I was never forced to do it. During our time in Costa Rica we had to live by faith. For those first months we had only each other and Christ. We spend time together in the Word with the kids, and time each time listening for his guidance on what we were to do and how we were to do it. We have no guarantee that there would be money in the bank or that we would safely get to our destinations. All we had was faith, and while at times it was hard, it is one of the best things that had happened to us.
Being back in the States in great! We have enjoyed seeing all our family and friends. It did not take long to put miles on the car or readjust. It felt so good to see our parents and hug them. It was great to see our family in Teague. We missed them so much and it was so nice to be in their company once again. It has been great to see our friends and visit churches. We have been in some amazing churches already. We have a little over two months remaining here in the States before we go to Honduras. We will be leaving on July 7th. Please continue to pray for us as we pack our things for Honduras and travel to see family and friends. Pray that God will open doors for us to share His vision for Honduras with those closest to us and those we have not yet met. Thank you for your prayers, love, and support.