We started the eventful day off bright and early at 7:00 AM. We headed to the kitchen to eat our breakfast, gallo pinto. It was a delicious mixture of beans, rice, and eggs with a slice of bread on the side. After we washed our dishes, we grabbed our Bibles and water bottles and lathered on some bug spray. Next, we piled into the van and headed to a beautiful area to have our devotions. The area had a tranquil lake surrounded by trees, cattle, oxen, horses, and huge rocks with petroglyphs carved into them. As we arrived, a wild horse approached us and followed us as we made our way through the terrain. We split up and read The Creation Story while engulfed in a perfect example of God's glory. After discussing what we learned, we went on a tour through the land and ate fresh oranges right off of a tree. We learned about the indigenous people who lived there hundreds of years ago. We visited their cemeteries and learned that some of the petroglyphs were carvings of the sun, alligators, and deer. They often used these as warnings, signs, or directions of the land. Just as we were turning to leave the scene, we discovered that we were locked out of the van! Oops! This took no time at all to remedy because the people here are so helpful and resourceful. Our translators, Yikson and Toly, and our guide, Alfredo, unlocked the van using a wire and a shoelace!
We continued on our journey to a woman named Albia's home, where we learned about coffee. Albia grows coffee beans, dries them out, mashes them to remove the shells, roasts them, grinds them up, and finally brews the coffee. The group tasted the fresh coffee, fresh honey, fresh water apples (a rare Costa Rican fruit), and fresh oranges while on Albia's property. The team lounged under the canopy of tropical trees for an hour or two and then headed out. Right as we were leaving, we saw an iguana scurry through the overhead trees. We loaded up the van and made our way back to the church for lunch. We had salad, torta de carne (wonderfully seasoned meat patties), pineapple, and green tea to drink.
After lunch, it was time to get to work! We sprayed the outside of the church office building and scrubbed it clean with brooms. Next, the group began sanding rust off of the metal bars on the windows and scraping chipped paint off of the walls. We labored vigorously for a few hours, then had a quick snack break with Costa Rican cookies, chips, and Pepsi. During our break, we picked some fresh starfruit from a nearby tree to sample. After the break, we continued working. The team finished preparing the office for tomorrow's paint job, and went to the hammocks for some relaxation. We enjoyed the down time by singing countless Disney songs together as locals passed by giving us big smiles (probably laughing at our terrible singing skills!). Well that's it for now! We're headed to join the other girls at the hammocks, then off to a dinner of fish, vegetables, and mashed potatoes! :) - Kim & Jess
"In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2:5 (NCB)
"Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God's children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world. You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and won." - Philippians 2:14-16 (NCB)
This is my fourth time being here, but this place still completely surprises me everytime I come! It's absolutely beautiful here and all the people are so friendly and caring. I like to think of Costa Rica as my home away from home! I love and miss everyone back in the States, but I feel like I have family here also! Honestly, I didn't know what to expect coming into this trip with this particular group, but it has been so much fun so far! I love seeing these girls come out of their comfort zones and interact with the locals and work so hard. I cannot wait to see what the rest of this week holds! :) ~Jess
Unlike my good friend Jessica:), this is my first trip to Costa Rica. I am awestruck by the culture and beauty. I was expecting it to be trashy and dirty, but the environment is truly amazing. The people are super friendly and loving. It is much different than it is back in the States... Everything here is relaxed, easy-going, and care free. Nothing is rushed, much different than it is at home! Patience is definitely a priority here. I already love so many of the locals and hope to visit again in the future! :) ~Kimmy.... or Kimma ;)
The team is having a great day today! We had devos at the lake to spend time with God in his creation. The girls all had some amazing insights today as they read from Genesis 1. It's something I love to have the teams do in this location. It always brings new light and perspective to the verses found in this chapter. I'm amazed God was so creative with all the things he created including various shades of colors, trees, animals and people! He's definitely not boring, he created things for us to enjoy, explore and discover! I love it! After devos Alfredo took us on a little tour of petroglyphs in the area! The girls really enjoyed themselves! I even heard one or two say this was the best experience ever!