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Costa Rica according to Webster

July.2.2011

Pura Vida! What another wonderful day here in Costa Rica. My name is Webster and I hope to give you a little glimpse of how life has been here so far.
It’s winter time which means humidity and rain. Sometimes only a little, and sometimes it comes down in a deluge. The color here is almost universally green. I like to call it effortlessly green because tropical plants like banana and coffee abound.
Driving through the streets I noticed some of the American influences that have been imported here. Fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, and even Taco Bell dot the city of San Jose. There are even stores that you wouldn’t normally think of finding outside of the states such as Payless and Walmart.
One thing I learned early on is that pedestrians do not have the right of way. Cars buses and motorcycles all swerve and turn in whatever fashion enables them to reach their destination the quickest. Walking to your destination requires that you pay attention not just for cars but places you might trip on the unevenly paved roads and sidewalks.
Buildings are arranged in a very tight and efficient manner nestled right next to each other with no space in between. Every house is secured by way of iron bars sometimes topped by barbed wire. The mentality is that if your house isn’t protected like a fort, don’t be surprised if some one takes what isn’t theirs. Along most corners you can find little shops such as convenience stores, restaurants and bakeries.
We are living in a town called Desamperados. The community of Los Guidos within Desamperados is notorious for being one of the poorest places in San Jose. Most people avoid it and it has a misplaced reputation for being very dangerous. Many of the children living here grow up in homes with a single mother taking care of multiple siblings.
The photography work site that I have been assigned to was started to be a poften for such children. Often times the only attention they can get is through causing trouble at home and in the community. It has been an amazing experience being able to witness the work that SI has been doing at this photography site. Contrary to it’s name the main goal is to build relationships with these kids. It’s a place where kids like Mono and Yerman can have a positive male role model in their life. Here they learn structure and consistency. They get the chance to be creative and experience positive reinforcement. The activities of photographing and developing come second to all of these things.
Hopefully I did not lose you in all of these paragraphs. I truthfully did not intend to write this much but I guess there is just so much to write about this experience. So far in my short stay here i have learned that God is the God of all. He calls us to help the weak and outcast. He literally tells us to pull the poor out of the mud. The Bible makes it very clear that He cares for his people and expects us to do the same. Please pray for me and the team that God will continue to open our eyes and open our hearts to his will for us.

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