We have officially been in Costa Rica for a month - and what a month it's been!
Since we've been here we have tried to take advantage of every opportunity to get involved and learn more about the language and the culture. We are really enjoying the church that we are attending with our Tica Family, and this past Sunday they held a Walk/Run to increase their presence in the community. We were hesitant to commit to running the 5k, but we eagerly signed up to walk the 2k with our Tica sister. There was a great turnout and it was a ton of fun. Once everyone arrived at the finish line, we had a church service at the local park and heard the testimony of a former professional soccer player. At the end of the event, Josh claimed the prize for the second fastest gringo in the race, but I didn't have the heart to tell him there were only two of us ;-).
I am thrilled to say that I have been able to combine my love of dance with my language learning! In July, the school celebrates Costa Rican Culture Day and every Monday a group of girls meets with one of the Spanish professors to learn traditional Costa Rican dances to perform for the school. It has been so much fun getting to merge my passions and I can't wait to perform!
On Thursday, Josh and I visited a local Nicaraguan community called La Carpio. This is an extremely poor area and the Spanish Language Institute has set up a ministry providing computer classes for the men, jewelry-making classes for the women, and childcare for the kids. It was a very moving experience taking part in this ministry and is one of the poorest areas I've ever seen. Our host family has explained to us that the government tries to help this area continually but there are huge problems with alcoholism and crime so it hasn't done much good. They told us that ambulances can't even go into the area because while the paramedics are helping the victim, people steal things from the vehicle. We are praying that God will show us if and how we can help with this ministry.
We are looking forward to jumping into June with enthusiasm and continuing to learn more of the language. We will keep you updated!
Love and God Bless,