We have officially been in classes for a week today! And what a week . . .
Josh and I are in different classes (which is probably a good thing!) and we are both learning a ton. The classes typically only have 4-6 people in them which means we get a lot of one-on-one attention, and with our Tica family at home, we are getting plenty of practice speaking. In the morning, we each have a language (conversation) class mixed with some phonetics. Then, we have two hours of grammar class. We come home and eat lunch and then do our homework and practice with our Tica family. The school does a great job of encouraging us to get out into the community to learn. For example, each week I have to come up with at least 4 questions on a topic of my choice and then find 2-4 people out the community and ask them the questions. Today Josh and I went to a local park and talked to a woman watching her grandchild for about 30 minutes. It's definitely nerve-wracking to just walk up to some one and start asking questions in a foreign language, but it is really good practice and she was SO nice! She even gave me two mangos to take home :). We are treating this as our full-time job right now and so we tend to spend about 8 hours per day working on our Spanish. We can already tell a difference - even if it's a small difference - in the way we communicate!
We are eager to learn more about the Latin culture as this will be very important when we get to Ecuador. Our Tica mom was nice enough to volunteer to take us to see the inauguration (or "la toma de posecion") of the new Costa Rican president who also happens to be the first female president of Costa Rica. It was an inspiring experience and a real celebration of Costa Rican culture. The heads of state from countries all over the world were there - Georgia, Colombia, Honduras, Spain, Panama, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and lots more. Plus, there were performances of traditional dances and songs and every one was more than willing to help the "gringos" understand what was going on. It was another great opportunity to practice our Spanish. Here are a few pictures:
The new president
Josh and I taking it all in
It was great to see the national pride
A true patriot
Once again, we are so grateful for all of your prayers and support - please pass our website on to anyone who might be interested in our ministry. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep you updated!
Love and God Bless!