Costa Rica in January is like a royal wedding. It begins beautifully with much fanfare and seem to get better each day. Most of us wonder if it's too good to be true. But in this case it is. Today, our first day in San Antonio de Belen was typical. We awoke at 6:30 am with a slight chill in the air. The exotic birds were chirping and singing and some even seemed to laugh. The day warmed quickly and we got in our car and made a mad dash for the nearby Apartotel Obelisco, our home in January 2011. We were greeted warmly and ushered upstairs where Britt Dark Roast Coffee, pina, sandia, huevos con tomate y cebolla, gallo pinto, jugo de melocoton y naranja awaited us like an old friend, a very kind and lovely old friend. After indulging, we navigated the light, holiday traffic to La Palabra de Vida and spent a relaxing day with the Befus family.
A friend from of Matt's, Brad, arrived yesterday, armed with a dizzying array of building trade expertise.
Brad and Matt worked out plans and purchased materials to build 21 lecterns to update the classrooms at the school. They will be working out an assembly line style of production to involve the other teams of short term missionaries arriving soon from Colorado and Wheaton.
Our children schemed for hours on how to spend their time through the New Year's holiday most effectively. Today was tree climbing day, which is no easy feat on this former fruit farm turned school. I've included a snapshot of most of the kids in a large tree right by the house. The Befus kids are at
the top of the list when we consider the reasons we enjoy Costa Rica. Yes, I know tree climbing can be dangerous but hey, I did it all the time, and survived with only a few noticeable defects.
While the kids worked their way around the property climbing trees, Vickie and I took the opportunity to do a little grocery shopping. We were informed that WalMart Corporation had opened a smallish, but ever so nice grocery store just up the road, named Mas Por Menos. Yes, you guessed it, more for less. Since I'm a huge WalMart fan, in fact I still shed a tear every time I attend a new store opening (just kidding, Target lovers and WalMart haters, hold those posts), we straightway headed for Mas Por Menos. Nice joint, all the necessities, and oh by the way, you've never tasted an avocado until you've been south of Mexico. Here's a photo of a Costa Rican original. See if you'd like to
try it. Not one of my favorites, but popular with Tico kids, or so I'm told.
After shopping, we headed back to the condo, to drop most of the groceries off, and then back to the school where we enjoyed an afternoon lunch, along with some swimming and relaxation.
I've got to warn you, that if you ever decide to join us on one of our litttle mission trips to Costa Rica, you must prepare yourself. The dogs in this country are alert, ferocious, and unyielding. You must never let your guard down. And if you do, they will tear you up like a losing Powerball ticket. Fair warning. Just to let you know I'm serious, I've included a couple of pictures taken as close as I could get to these beasts.
All in all, a great way to start out our adventure. A couple of final notes. We are loving the YouVersion devotionals. Today we looked at John 16:33 and talked about the difficulties we would face in this world. They could overwhelm us at any time, if we're not reminded in the same verse, that Jesus, the hero, has already conquered the world on our behalf. Amen!
Finally, in case you were wondering, we will eventually get to work. It starts soon, but we might just celebrate New Year's first.
We are so proud of our children. Many things have changed since our last trip, and they have super, mature attitudes. I can see the Lord working in their lives, and I know that one day, they will do great things for Him. Hey, maybe that day is already here!
Thanks everyone, and have a great day tomorrow!