Oh how three days can take you into a new world so quickly. This is my third night that I am laying my head down on a new pillow, in my new house, in my new room, with my new family. What an adventure this is, all I can do is give thanks to the Lord moment by moment as He continues to heap favor onto my experience here in Costa Rica. Down every street I walk and in every moment I look around and see all the land surrounding me I can’t help but be in awe of God’s creation. It appears as though it has been untouched.
So pure, so green, so much life.
There is a lot of wind and rain at any moment and the unpredictability of the weather makes most moments even more dream like. I would hope for everyone to experience an environment so beautiful and rich as this.
It is the end of my second day of classes and already my head is swimming in a mix of Spanish and English. When I open my mouth to speak there are many times in which my brain can’t choose which language to use... I hope this is a good sign as Spanish begins to become more and more part of my normal speech. I feel like my mind is going through so much work as I continue to be immersed in this beautiful language. I am so thankful to have such a passion for it because there are many times that have been difficult for me to even begin to comprehend material or how to use certain grammar but it is so worth it to try and understand mucho.
In my program there are around 20 students and it is apparent that we love to be together. Jumping into this with peers that have the same desire to understand and learn as I do is a huge blessing in this kind of environment. We are encouraging, excited, and very adventurous!!! We all study different subjects in the states but all with a minor or concentration in Spanish. I have felt very behind my peers because I haven’t taken a Spanish class since High School (in over three years!!!!) so my confidence is low (but growing) when I speak with Americanas, however, when I speak with my host family I am not afraid to make mistakes or try new words and grammar because they are so helpful and it is necessary to use Spanish to communicate.
Oh…My host family…I can’t tell you how much I adore them already. They truly are an answer to prayer…Their simplicity is so rich, their lives are so beautiful to me. My host mom, Margot, and I are such sweet friends already. She is a mother to three boys ages 6, 8, and 13… They are my host brothers and every time I walk in the door and see my family I say, “hola mi familia!!” They look at me, smile, talk with me and give me the sweetest hugs. This littlest one hid and tried to scare me this morning after I returned from a day of school and homework… We laughed so much when he jumped out and I began tickling him and got to hear him squeel with excitement it was such a sweet time. I love their playfulness because I know it means they are getting comfortable and as I call them “mi hermanos” they are learning that I consider them important to me.
My host dad, Roberto, is very hard working and I can tell he loves and protects his family by every action. I admire him because he leaves before I get up and comes home after we all return from school and eat dinner. He calls his wife and children his “loves” and is very gentle with them, holding his sons in his arms while they watch television together. It is a beautiful life with these individuals and I keep telling Margot how fortunate I am to know them. My house conditions are very good I have my own room and share a very clean and functional bathroom with my family. My mom makes me INCREDIBLE food! She understands my allergies and knows exactly how to work around them..! I am so impressed by her! She is very calm, very sweet, and is very good at talking to a confused and learning Americana!
Today Margot and I went on an adventure together up many hills so that we could fix the water pressure in the house. Before we left she told me what we would be doing and asked if I wanted to join her. I said yes, understanding that we were going to fix the water flow, but as we were walking out the door she grabbed a machete from the back. I started to question... Was that really what she asked? It was a very funny moment because Margot is a tender and sweet woman and seeing a machete in her hands seemed out of the ordinary.
When we left to fix the water we began walking up one hill…then another…then another…Then we arrived at a fence and behind it were more hills and a lot of land with many cows. We opened the fence and began walking through the land…I looked behind me soon after we entered the land and following us were two young cows, three dogs, and one cat! We were like a little army venturing through the forest! We walked for a while and the land became more and more dense with brush. We arrived at another fence, then another and then finally I began seeing the pipes that we were going to fix.
I was so impressed with Margot. Not only does she do everything in the house for her family but here she is trekking up many hills in order to fix the water pressure. Once we arrived at the final pipe that we needed to fix, Margot used all her strength to fix the pipe and we began to head back down the many hills. I loved our adventure and I told her that any time she needs to fix the pipes again, I will join her and we will do it together. Margot told me family is very important to her, and I can see that so clearly in her actions. I can tell she is loving me as her own as I continue to experience life in her home. It is such a joy, such an experience, such a privilege.
In my days, I am constantly returning to my God for endurance and companionship. He is behind me, beside me, and all around me. As I watch the strong, constant wind interact with my surroundings I can’t help but see the Holy Spirit’s movement. There are many metaphors in the Bible and descriptions of the Holy Spirit, comparing it with the wind, and I see myself as the trees here in Costa Rica being swept up and engulfed by His constant movement and presence. His power is evident in my life, in my experience, in my every moment. I have realized that there are many aspects of this time that I could accomplish on my own… Growing in my Spanish, building relationships, going on adventures… But I have decided that I want to do it all with the Lord. There is nothing I want to encounter on my own.
It has been such a sweet time of partnership, of trust, of overall relationship with my King and I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is here with me always, so sufficient, my Constant One. There is nothing left to strive for, nothing left to feel worried or sad about when I choose to yield myself ever closer to Him. I am so grateful that He has continued to give me above and beyond what my heart and mind could ever fathom.
This is my life thus far in Costa Rica. Two days in San Jose, three days in Monteverde, and already I am in a new world.