Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lo siento! I am so sorry for not posting sooner...however, I have finally posted pictures!!! I am now in San Jose with Wayne and Kathi Seller. I will be staying with them in their home and they have been so welcoming and kind. This week, a work group from Roseburg and Cottage Grove Oregon are working on building a retreat center for the National church. They are a fun group from 16 to 76! I have been working in the kitchen and am loving it for two reasons! First, the ladies in the kitchen have been most gracious with my Spanish and I've been continuing to practice and learn with Virginia (pronounced Beer-hin-ia) and others! Second, I am trying to learn how to make the cuisine I have been enjoying! I plan on being here for most of the remainder of my time with possible days at the beach with the group and with Eloisa. I know I have to go back to the beach before I return home! The Lord continues to bless my days and time here, especially those times of reflection. I have been flipping through a great book Kathi gave me after chatting over dinner. I wish I would have read it my senior year of high school, "Decision Making and the Will of God!" It is good and insightful for this time of my life. Liberating. This adventure has had so many folds and turns and pieces to it that it seems I have been away for longer than a month. Thanks, so very much, for following me and keeping me in your prayers! I'll post again soon!:)

Selfportrait at sunrise in Samara! I really love being up for the sunrise. Everything is still quiet and there are only a few other people out and about. "In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation."-Psalm 5:3 This was my last morning in Samara and time to pack up for San Jose.
This was the view from the front porch of the cabina Leah and I shared with two Canadian gals!
Eloisa, Leah (my neighbor from Vancouver), and Steph!!! Leah and I traveled back to Samara after some time in Tamarindo. I love Samara! And I am glad Leah wanted to see it. I really think it is one of those places in C.R. that is still quite mellow and beautiful. Touristy, yes, but not like many other places. Eloisa arrived in Samara a week after I did to study at the Intercultura beach campus. It was great to meet up with her again. This was Leah's last night so we were snapping lots of pictures on the beach. Unfortunately, I can't show you how calm and peaceful the evening was and the stars were AMAMZING! Like Powers, not alot of street lights etc. so you can really see the stars.

Here I am with Eloisa (Quebec) and Anita (Switzerland). This was our second week of school and yes, we have sweatshirts on! It is chilly here in the central valley in the evenings and that particular day it rained hard. The girls were such a blessing to have those first few weeks and being a solo traveler. Eloisa is spending two months in C.R. and Anita is traveling with her sister for five months in both Central and South America. I found it common to find people who are traveling in several countries on their trips. Maybe next time!!! ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!!! I am well here in Playa Tamarindo. Leah arrived Thursday in Liberia. She says hello! We went back south to Nicoya for a night to see a festival and bull fighting. The bull fighting was very different. 100 or more guys out in the pin with the bull running in front of it. A couple of guys got knocked down pretty hard and one in particular was seriously injured...he went limp and the bull went down and kept butting the guy. An ambulance came and off he went. It was hard to watch and I don't know why they get out there! We traveled from Nicoya to Playa Tamarindo thinking we would only be here for a night, but the bus trip out here was so draining we didn't want to get back on a bus. So, we have been enjoying the beach at Tamarindo and a little cheap shack of a restaurant, Pedro's, with the best Seafead soup! I'll be heading back to San Jose on Saturday and plan to spend the rest of my time there with the church. I need to get back to a place where they don't speak English. I haven't used much Spanish this week, and I'm afraid to loose it! I hope not to make any of you jealous, really, but we have had wonderful weather...of course. Sunny, 95-100, cooling off enough in the evenings. The water is refreshing and we have found our morning coffee shop, Olga's! I am basking in this because, believe me, I know it will be over soon and hi ho hi ho off to work I'll go! Hope you are all well and I am already anxious to see all of you. I love to travel and these expereinces are priceless, but I also like home and having a place to work from. Carrying everything on my back has been interesting! Blessings to all and I hope you find a little romance in your day today...especially the touch of God who can love you like no other!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hola again,
Lo siento, (sorry) this will be short por que it is muy caro to use the internet cafe here. Expensive! I am done with class today and take my test this afternoon so I can leave on an early bus and travel during the day time! That's for all you worriers, especially Mom and Nicole Tylene! I could write so much, but will save that for a cheaper San Jose internet cafe! No particulars, just all my little daily joys. Every morning here I wake up before my alarm, usually around 5:30 because nature is screaming...the birds and critters and best of all the monkeys are screaming with the chickens! LOL It is so noisy and such a nice way to wake up. :) I feel so spoiled and blessed to be here and have this opportunity. Tonight is graduation from the school for those of us who are finished. I hear we have to make a speech in Spanish...sure wish you could do it for me LeeAnn! Off to take my test so I can go enjoy the sunshine! Beth Bradford, you are awesome chica! Thanks for checking in on me daily! I saw you posted a message even before I finished last time! Love and blessings to all... "I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God..."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Okay, sorry, but I have to leave a "shout out" to some of the comments on the blog. Jen, Miranda, Melinda, and my Tuesday night gals... thanks for the encouragement and prayers. I absolutely miss our time and am still going through Captivating. Romance! Nik, for your continued support and prayers as well. LG, tell Ben and Jorge and Nancy hello and I look forward to practicing Spanish instead of English! And all of you commenting, I can't see all of your names at this moment, but I am so grateful...thanks!!!
The computers are very slow here in Samara, so I apologize for yet again, no photos! I had a great weekend, but had to say goodbye to my pals and keep going. We saw alot this weekend and I even felt like I was back home! Monteverde was our stop for the second night and the weather was very windy, wet, and cool. I had jeans and three layers on top! Not so now! Samara is HOT and HUMID, but the school is air-conditioned! I finally made it to la playa after class this evening and it was warm. I have yet to actually swim. Time seems so short here. Not especially busy, but more relaxed and an ïf I do if I don't" lifestyle. My neighbor from Vancouver, Leah, is joining me this Friday for more travel on the Pacific Coast. It will be nice to see a familiar face and see more of Costa Rica. It is beautiful here, but I can also say that about my home, especially Powers. (I know you Powersonians are so proud right now!) My Tica mom took me to a waterfall this morning and they were so excited, as was I, but (and I didn't tell them this) it didn't even compare to Coquille River Falls and swimming under the falls! My dear Grandpa always says, "We live in God's country down here." True Gramp, very true. Any how, my point is that everywhere there are beautiful places, but I am finding that searching out those places isn't necessary for being content. I asked myself, "what or where is it that you just love to be." I am realizing, it isn't a physical location, but quite honestly spiritual. I can be in Costa Rica or Vancouver or Powers and the most lovely place is being in connection with God, through Jesus. That is truth. It is satisfying for my soul. Thanks for your continuos prayers. I miss you all!
Hasta Luego

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Good to hear from you all in the "comments" section! My friend Alisa is testing me in Español already!!!:) I leave on Friday for Samara, the beach location, and have mixed feelings. I am excited to see the beach, very beautiful I am told, but am sad to be leaving Anita and Eloisa behind in Heredia. We have been together everyday since my arrival...they have been a "crutch" in adjusting to unfamiliar territory.
On Friday, I will travel with the school on a two night tour and end in Samara. We will see Arenal and Monteverde. Going with the school is much easier and more safe than catching public bus transportation from San Jose. Anita and another amigo will go on the same tour, but on Sunday they will return to Heredia.
I spent $10 on a very small bottle of sunscreen today in preparation for the hot sun in Samara! I couldn´t believe how much it was and they say it is even more expensive in Samara!
A prayer request, my head is swimming in language, which is fine right now, but I am asking the Lord to "fine tune" some of the stuff I have been mulling over. This morning, I read in John Jesus asking the man "Do you want to be healed?" He didn´t just act, but He asked. I wonder if He also asks us a similar question, "What is it you want?" Can be a difficult question for me to answer for fear of asking too much or the wrong thing. Maybe that is what I need to do! Just random thoughts tonight!:)
Bless you all for your supportive prayers...I need them and appreciate them so much.
Again, I will try with the pictures, but I honestly don´t have too many yet. Heredia isn´t exactly photographic!!!