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Week 1

July.17.2011

Hey everyone, Austin here today, Thursday morning of our first week in the beautiful country of Costa Rica! For those of you who don’t know, I write my own blog entitled “The Call” so I encourage you to try to follow along with my different blogging style. Disclaimer out of the way, welcome to my attempt at trying to explain the events of the day!

6:07am, an hour most often not thought of by my peers, I find myself waking up to an alarm blaring as loud as it can be. Sitting up I keep trying to remember the words that the head of SI Costa Rica says during orientation “It’s not better or worse, it’s just different.” Well this hour is different, for sure. This is the only part of the day I find difficult, attempting to get out of bed takes a good three minutes, maybe more.

However once out of my bed, I miraculously find a burst of energy that lasts me the whole day! Or was it the four cups of coffee consumed before breakfast?

Today Jeremy and Mark came over for our morning devotions and together as a team we worshiped and studied the wonders and knowledge that small book of 1 John holds. Today I found myself looking at the differences of Love as an emotion or an action.

After our devotion and breakfast Jeremy, our Intern Charlie (He’s from Tennessee) Sean and I drove over the bumpy roads of Desamparados heading to the woodshop. While driving I kept in mind how much money we spend in taxes every year to fix roads in California and paralleled it to how content Ticos are with the roads given them. It’s a pretty cool thing to think about.

The woodshop! Oh how I love spending time with Jeremy and Juan (Sean) in the shop! Today was a pretty fun day, despite the fact that kids from the area are on their winter break(it’s the winter/rainy season here, it’s also rained every day so far, and we are talking raining hard!!!) we hung out at the shop, Sean being himself just worked on what he likes to do, which is cut names out of the wood and then sand them to perfection(kudos to how awesome he is at it).

For me, it was quite a lazy and relaxing day and almost disappointing day. I enjoyed an awesome pinball tournament(DUDE! Jeremy, Charlie and Dustin Woida made a pinball machine out of wood, screws, and rubber bands!!!) I sat down in a chair and read for a couple hours. After enjoying some momonchinos the most legit awesome spikey fruit, and tacoschinos which translated is Chinese tacos, basically giant egg rolls I longed for kids to come into the class and learn. Thankfully we have the advanced class.

The advanced class Jeremy offers consists of three guys, Mono(Elvis), Daniel, and Eduardo. Mono who remembered myself and Sean from last years team picked up his relationship with us right where he left off. And Despite the fact that Sean and I speak absolutely no Spanish, we laugh and joke with him when he tries his hand at English and vice versa when we try our hand at Spanish.

Today I got the privilege of hearing Monos story, and it was a heart breakers. Mono grew up in the same house he lives in currently, a ten foot by ten foot shack made of metal sheets, Mono is the oldest of seven children, and unfortunately for him, and his brothers and sisters, five of them have different fathers. Mono has probably experienced life like I would never imagine yet somehow he also seems happy.

Then I think about my own life. I think about how much I am blessed to be from the States, I think about how easy I’ve had life and how I complain when the smallest thing doesn’t go my way. Discontent with what I have. I think about the verse in Nehemiah 8, “do not grieve, for your joy in the Lord is your strength!” and I think about mono, he has such joy, and it’s awesome.

My mission for my next two weeks. Have the joy mono has.

-Austin

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