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Hello from Costa Rica!

June.18.2010

It is Friday, June 18th, and Costa Rica, thus far, has been amazing!  We arrived late Monday in San Jose, the capital, and were greeted by the Students International team then bussed to our host families in Desamparados.  We split up into teams of 2 or 3 and given a host family for the two weeks we are here.  They feed us, give us a bedroom and bathroom and are our little “Families” while we are away from home.  Our host mothers greeted us Monday night with food and pastries and have been feeding us (lots of food) ever since!  

We started at 7am the next day and met as a group to go over some cultural awareness type stuff and then jumped into ministry.  Our typical day starts out by eating with our host families, then meeting with SI and our group at 7am for devotionals. We then split up into different ministry sites for the day.  Each site is a little different but very fitting for our team.

The construction site is in a little town called Los Guido.  This team of 3-4 works with kids of all ages to teach them different skills and how to use various tools to construct different items. Each week they work on a different project.  Their long term goal is to teach these kids how to use their skills to provide for their families.  SI has found a way to acquire free wood materials (wood pallets) that can be constructed into a multitude of different things.  Kids pour in all day long to learn how use a hand saw and all different types of tools to construct an array of projects. It’s amazing to see how God has put together this specific ministry site and how He continues to provide and amaze each and every one of us!

There is a Media/Construction site that is working within an old house to create a dark room for photography.  They literally just started this site and its now in full construction mode. Yesterday, this team spent all day cutting bricks, cutting doors, putting up metal bars on windows, etc. Their long term goal is to teach the kids of the city how to use photography as a sustainable income. Its amazing to see how much can be done when 4-5 people put some muscle into hard labor knowing the Lord is going to use this site to help teach these kids that they can provide for their families and, in the process, teach them about the Lord!

There are two other main sites:  Social Work and Education.  These sites range from day to day but this team works with kids and the elderly.  They teach aerobics and work within the community to give them an outlet.  We have seen people of all ages show up for some good fun interaction.  We spent and hour and half this morning teaching a group of ladies aerobics and healthy living.  The Lord is definitely using these sites to grow a connection and relationship within the community.  Its fun to see our team (which is primarily made up of teachers) use their skills from back home to teach kids/people in Costa Rica (and really, they too are learning a ton each day).  Some of the ladies from our team are coming with lesson plans for the kids as we speak… so they are very creative as well!  

We have a fun story… everyone knows the children’s game “Duck, Duck, Goose”? 

(A group of players sit in a circle, facing inward, while another player, the ‘picker’ (a.k.a. the ‘fox’), walks around tapping or pointing to each player in turn, calling each a ‘duck until finally picking one to be a ‘goose’.  The ‘goose’ then rises and chases and tries to tag the ‘picker’, while the ‘picker’ tries to return to and sit where the ‘goose’ had been sitting. If the picker succeeds, the ‘goose’ is now the new picker and the process begins again. If the ‘goose’ succeeds in tagging the picker, the ‘goose’ may return to sit in the previous spot and the ‘picker’ resumes the process). 

Well, remember now, we have a language barrier.  We asked around for the best translation for the words: duck and goose.  We were told that “plato” and “baco” work.  Great!  We taught the kids to play: “plato, plato, baco”!  We had a great time!  The children laughed and played and we thoroughly enjoyed teaching them this new game.  Only after we all collapsed in exhaustion… we learned that we taught the kids to play “plate, plate, cow”!!!  You should have seen the children’s perplexed expressions when we all fell down in complete hysterics!  You just had to be there!

There’s a park called the “play” where we take the kids.  There are no swings there, so they tie a rope onto some bars and make their own swing!  We also get to try to new foods, such as copos. It’s like shaved ice with sweetened condensed milk and comes in different flavors. It’s delicious!

It’s been amazing to see how beautiful this culture is.

An interesting experience has been learning to communicate with the kids. They teach us a lot of words in Spanish. We’ve had the opportunity to meet some local people and have them tell us about what God has been doing in Costa Rica which has been very interesting. We also attended a Spanish Bible study. It was great to see how God communicates in all languages. 

We’ve gotten a kick out of seeing how different the cities/cultures are as well.  For example, the pluming for the toilets was made too small (in the entire city) so we can’t flush toilet paper, (etc); we have to throw it in the trash.  One real oddity is that there are no street names or addresses! So, when you want to write someone a letter, you would put “from the Desamparados shopping market, go 100 meters north, 250 meters south, 100 meets east and its the 6th house down with 2 black doors.” The sidewalks are lined with beautiful tile (not just boring cement) and each house is lined in bars.  

There is so much more we would love to share but we are out of internet time!  We’ll update more as soon as we can.   Everyone here sends their love and asks that you please keep us in your prayers that we continue to please the Lord with our work here in Costa Rica.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Patty Cottington permalink
    June.18.2010 8.46.pm

    Thank you so much for updating us 🙂 It sounds absolutely wonderful and filled with the love and joy of our Lord. God Bless you all and thank you 🙂

  2. Wendy Garton permalink
    June.18.2010 9.10.pm

    Bre & Kris and company… I am beyond proud of ALL of you and the work you are doing in the name of the Lord! God bless the whole lot!

  3. Janice Walters permalink
    June.19.2010 12.51.pm

    Breann, Kris and all you wonderful people, Hats off to you.. Your the best. May god bless you all..

  4. Sarah Pacheco permalink
    June.21.2010 1.09.am

    Praying for you guys each day. So glad to see updates. Can’t wait to hear all the details when you guys get back home. Much love

  5. Marlene Cadieux permalink
    June.23.2010 7.13.pm

    Kris, Breann and the whole gang…I’m very proud of you all. Thank you for the updates, it sounds awsome, can’t hardly wait to hear more. I’m praying every day for you all. Sending lots of LOVE. GOD BLESS.

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