Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bittersweet...emphasis on the sa-weet!

Today is spring break. By that i do not mean that it is the first official day of spring break, i mean that it is ALL of spring break. My one day of true relaxation and time to chillax. and you know what? I do not regret that one bit. I would not trade my 10 days in Costa Rica for anything...

Three Words: A. Maze. Ing.

That mostly sums it up, but in case you worry about me a little more than that, i'll give a quick update on what went down.
We spent most all of our time working very closely with the C&MA church in Horquetas.
Sunday was our first real day at the church. We attended the morning service, and spent the afternoon swimming in the river and hanging out with the youth group.
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all work days. Our group of ten girls, with the help of Rodrigo and Joaquin. was doing the very beginning work on the new church building (as in they got the plans from the architect the day we got there). We cleared a lot of brush, took down a couple old barbed wire fences, but mostly we were playing in the dirt. Digging ditches and leveling the ground. The first day we dug a ditch in the morning, then in the afternoon found out it was in the wrong place! So we ended up filling that one in and finishing a total of two and a half of the four ditches that will be the beginning of the foundation. (there was concrete where we were supposed to dig the last ditch and a half, so we couldnt do that)
Tuesday morning was English class where we were conversation partners with the students. Some of them were from the church, and others were not, so this is a great outreach tool that the church has. In the afternoon we trekked to the nearby village of Montero (across a river in a basket) to do an afternoon of VBS with the kids there. That was probably my favorite time - seeing how many kids showed up, playing soccer with them (yeah, my mad skillz probably got complimented by a CostaRican) laughing together, and even meeting their most basic needs like water to drink. It was such a powerful time.
Thursday night came a challenge: one of our hotel rooms was broken into and robbed, and one girl's passport was taken. Luckily, we had come back early from dinner that night, the manager was still there, and people were still awake in the States so the girls could call home, and everything got taken care of. It was really neat to see how that even in the midst of such a crazy trial for us, God was there too helping us.
Friday we left bright and early to spend some time in the Caribbean. (which is absolutely gorgeous) It was a lot of driving, but a nice relaxing treat after spending so much time in the ditches.
Saturday was packed full, because it was our last full day at the church and they wanted to make sure we got as much in as we could. We visited a butterfly garden, spent time in people's homes for lunch, went ziplining through the rainforest canopy(it bit me), had a movie night with the youth, AND went out to dinner.
Sunday was church again, and then goodbyes as we headed to San Jose for an evening with the missionaries before our early Monday flight.

There are so many stories i could tell, but maybe i'll save them for another day when you're not already so tired of reading my ramblings. Just know that we all made it back to the states; happy, healthy, knowing that we have been encouraged and changed, and really hoping that we brought some of that sunshine back with us.

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