Monday, December 14, 2009

There, and "almost" back again

Looking back on the 3 and a half months that I have spent in Costa Rica I am overwhelmed by the journey God has led me on. There have been times that I have wanted nothing more than to never hear Spanish again in my life and stay inside the US forever. However, there have been times of the opposite. Where I couldn't get enough spanish and every conversation in my new language was the most exciting adventure life could bring. Ups and Downs, thats life for you I guess, keeping perspective. This past week has been one of the most packed weeks that I have had in Costa Rica. It all started last sunday with a surprise invitation to a soccer match, which happened to be one of the most historic games in Costa Rican history, so I am told. There were fights, riot police and small explosives going off. All on the other side of the field from me, luckily, but on my side we were singing and chanting for the underdog team (in spanish :) ). As you can guess the underdogs won and I watched as hundreds of people flooded the field and old men tore off their shirts to run around the field with tears pouring out their eyes. As the week went along I found myself saying good bye to a lot of the new friends that I had made, some to the US and many all over the spanish speaking world. I spent a lot of time studying for my final grammar test, which I ended up failing. Which is really odd that I made the mistakes that I did, because I can actually speak the material I just have a hard time when its in writing, I am just weird like that. Then it was on to searching for the right christmas gifts for ever one, once again using my spanish all along the way. I spent some time with the missionaries that I help, we went to the biggest mall in Costa Rica and experienced reverse culture shock. Everything, except signs, look exactly like a mall in the states. It was very strange to experience. However, the other night I did something that made me so excited, I went roller skating with a bunch of friends. I HAD A BLAST. Now, I grew up roller skating with my Aunt, so this was a special treat to be able to go, but the fact that I was rolling skating in a foreign country was super exciting. Then the next day I had two conversations in spanish ON THE PHONE!!! Which is a very hard task and Lord helped me through. Church yesterday, lunch with the missionary family and a youth group party that afternoon. Seeing all that God has brought me in this week is just an example of His faithfulness over the past 3 and half months. The weeks after my grandpa's death were difficult and lonely, but God supplied strength and comforted. The weeks that I hated spanish, He spoke soft and clearly to guide me through. And the weeks were I was so wrapped up in my own selfishness, He was still there waiting for me to see that is was all about HIM.

Now, as I sit on my bed with packed bags lying on the floor, I can't wait to be back in my home country tonight. But I know that come January 11th, I won't be able to wait to come back to Costa Rica to see what another 8 months has in store. I once again petition you for prayer as I travel back to the states today. I arrive into chicago at 12:50 am and then leave on a bus to Indianapolis a few hours later at 8am Tuesday. So, I have a lot of traveling and I am in need of prayer during that time. I look forward to seeing many of you while I am home, please come and talk to me. It would be a privilege to put the faces behind these words. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Time, Another Place

My time with Mom and Dad was wonderful. We had such a fun time being together and enjoying the beauty of God's handy work in Costa Rica. We crammed in as much as we could and made the most of our time. You can see a slide show of pictures on the right side bar or on facebook. If you see several shots of a valley, that is actually the view out of our hotel window. Being a shutterbug at heart I made sure to get the photo at sunrise, night time, day time and when the clouds moved in and out. This entire valley is filled with coffee plantations. Also, make sure you see the photos that prove Mom did the zip-line. She was a bit nervous at times but she did make her way through a serious of 11 platforms above the Costa Rican Rainforest. They made it safely back to the US with all the souvenirs. I now have 9 days till I head back to the states and only 4 days of classes left. With one test left in Grammar, which is going to be a big one, my classes are wrapping up. The last month has been a lot of fun and difficulty wrapped together. We have moved into the sections of the spanish language that do not translate into english, literally. They are ideas that are said differently than how we would think about it or say it in english. So as you can imagine you get a little baffled when you say, "me caes" "you fall to me" (rough english translation) but it is communicating that you like them, they are a good friend to you. Please pray for me that I would finish strong and please mark december 14th and 15th as I will be traveling at night and the early morning of those days. Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season, please enjoy a bit of cold weather for me and I enjoy the warmth for you.