Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mother's Day in Costa Rica

Last week we were able to experience Mother's Day here in Costa Rica. August 15 is always Mother's Day here, it doesn't matter what day it falls on. We were invited by our neighbors across the street to have lunch and spend the afternoon with them. The lady that lives across the street has 6 adult children and most of them live close by here in Potrero. She and her husband have been having a new home built next door to the house they are currently in. We were able to enjoy lunch with her in her new home! This was a special time for Dave and I because we have been reaching out to this family since we have been here in Costa Rica and this is the first time they invited us to be a part of a family event with them.

I would like to share with you a little of our experience having lunch with them. We knew that they had been raising a pig for a special occasion and found out that it would be for Mother's Day. We enjoyed a huge lunch of two different types of pork, rice, salad, potato salad (provided by yours truly) and a tradional drink made from rice, milk and sugar. I have learned that many times I do not really want to ask about what I am eating. To me it is just better not to ask because whether I know what it is or not, I know I will need to eat what is provided for me so as not to offend our guests. So everyone of us enjoyed our lunch without any question of what we were having. Sometime later, after our lunch had already been consumed, I find out that we were eating pig tongue! If I had known this little bit of information before I sat down to eat, I am afraid I would have had trouble getting it down! So now you can see why motto is...if I don't need to know...I will not ask! I have to say though, that the way it was prepared and the spices used, it did not taste all that bad. Of course, it tasted much better to me BEFORE I knew it was pig tongue! LOL!

After lunch, there was a surprise for our neighbor. Her children had hired a Mariachi band to come to her new home and play for her. She had no idea about this until they walked in the door and began singing to her. It was so cute to see her come in the house from out back and dance her way through the kitchen as the band played and sang. The band performed for about 3 hours. It was a great experience to be a part of.

Later that evening there was a competition to see who would be crowned Queen Mother of Potrero. The votes were based on donations given to the local Catholic church in the name of the mother you want to honor. The winner was our neighbor, Casimira. She was crowned Queen and was able to share a special dance with one of her sons. We have noticed that Mother's Day here is a huge event and it was a blessing for us to be able to experience it here in Costa Rica.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

July/August update

We reached another end to our 90 day visas and had to leave the country once again to renew. We are believing this will be the last time we will have to leave the country to renew our visas for being in Costa Rica. We are in the process of working with a lawyer friend on getting a 6 month visa that does not require us to have to leave to renew it. All we have to do is renew our paperwork every 6 months. This will be a huge blessing to us and will be so much better.

We spent another 10 days in Jinotega, Nicaragua when we had to leave in July. It was a good trip. While we were there, Dave was asked to preach at the Wednesday night service. The following Sunday there was a large group of Americans that came to visit the church, so Dave was asked to translate Pastor Serafin's sermon into English during the service. This was a first for Dave and he did an excellent job.

Trying to get home from Nicaragua on this trip was a real adventure! We left Jinotega on Monday to go to the capital city of Managua and spend the night. This always allows us to be able to take the first bus out of Nicaragua to Costa Rica. Tuesday morning we woke at 4 am to prepare to take the 6 am bus. Our bus left Managua at 6 am and it took us right at 3 hours to get to the border. This is always where the adventure really begins! We spent an hour and a half on the Nicaragua side exiting the country and another hour and a half on the Costa Rica side entering! The bus stop that we need is one hour from the border in the city of Liberia. We exited the bus and arrived at the next bus station just in time to get on the bus we needed to head home. I have to tell you that the "bus system" in Costa Rica has been an adventure in itself to try to learn! In our town of Potrero, we are the LAST stop on our bus route. The buses that go to our town only run 5-6 times a day. So catching the bus at the right time is very crucial. Missing the bus means waiting hours for the next one to come through! So we knew we needed to be in Liberia by a certain time so we could catch the bus we needed to get us to the NEXT bus stop to get us home. We were very excited to see we had made it to Liberia "just in time"! We knew it would be at least an hour to get to our next stop and we should just make it! Everything was going great...until about 30 minutes into the trip the bus starts smoking and you could smell something burning! All there was to do was wait for another bus to come by to take us further on. The buses here are always jam packed with people. You not only have all the seats full...but every area of the aisle is usually full of people standing. So waiting for another bus...we knew the ones coming by would most likely be full! After waiting about 45 min. or so we heard the driver say a bus was coming. Our driver knew we needed to get to our next stop, and he knew that everyone that was on his bus would be fighting to try to get on this one. He told the driver we needed to get to the next he allowed us to get on first. There was no room to get in the front door of the bus so we had to enter the back side door. I get on with Rachel, Levi and Hannah. It was so full that we had to squeeze into a corner of the bus where the handicapped area was. I turned and looked behind me just in time to see my husband step in and put the suitcase in with one hand....and the bus driver SHUT THE DOOR! Dave had one arm and one leg in the bus and Jeremiah was still outside waiting to get on with his suitcase! Everyone in the back of the bus was yelling at the driver to open the door. He finally opens husband and Jeremiah get on...and we were off again! We got to the bus stop and realized we had missed our bus to get home. It began to pour down raining while we were waiting, so we proceeded to get soaked along with our bags! We ended up waiting for about an hour before a bus came through that would take us close to our town...but was not going to Potrero. An hour and a half later we exited the bus and took a taxi the rest of the way home. We arrived home 12 hours after we started our journey! Anyone else want to join us on the next trip? LOL! Now you can see why a 6 month visa will be such a blessing to us!

We also ask you to continue to pray with us about the crusade coming up in January. We are very excited about this and we are praying for God to open all the correct doors for us to be able to secure the soccer field in the town of Brasilito for the crusade. We know that God will provide and meet the needs of this event!

We have not moved into our new home yet. We are still waiting either for a renter to come for the house we are in presently or for the end of September which is when our contract is up.