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Monday, May 26, 2008

All things "empleada"

Having a new 4G Ipod Nano: $148
Downloading your first album from itunes: $10
Having a maid clean your house 3x/week: $30
Having said maid wash your new Ipod in your pants pocket: Priceless

True story!

I keep telling myself, "It's just stuff!" I'm sure that will help, eventually (i.e. when I buy another Ipod). Our empleada (maid) is awesome. She works for 5hrs on Mon, Wed, & Fri. We have her cook traditional Tico food and we are loving it. She also does the laundry, washes dishes and cleans the bathroom and floors. It is a good fit for us because it is super cheap and it allows us (and by us I mean Jenn) to have more time to study.

Costa Rica has a social security system. Every month we pay our empleada's social security which covers her insurance also. She doesn't make that much each week (by US standards) but we pay for her benefits as well. It is a set up that was in place long before we arrived and will be around long after we leave. We are just grateful for all Lisbeth does for our family. She constantly thanks us for employing her as well.

In my next post I will put some pics of our house, street, traditional Tico food, and other daily things.

Hasta luego.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daily Life & Stuff

All is well in the "Rich Coast." Classes are moving along and so is life. We've been blessed in that we have not had a lot of culture shock (yet). We're getting used to walking everywhere or taking a taxi/bus if our destination is too far away. Next time you're leaving Wal-Mart or Kroger with a trunk full of sacks, be thankful for that trunk. Everytime we walk home, loaded down with sacks, I think about that trunk that I always took for granted:) The boys are always a big help on grocery trips. They have to carry a bag or two home each time. It's pretty cute.

We have been attending a church in the neighborhood called "El Lugar" (The Place). It is comical because 1/2 the people in the church are "gringos" from the language school and the other 1/2 are "Ticos" (locals). I can usually understand about 75% of what is being said. Jenn came here with no spanish background so it is more difficult for her. However, this Sunday she said she understood quite a bit of the sermon. That was really encouraging to her.

Last Saturday we started the boys in a "futbol camp." Every Saturday from 8-11am they go to the camp and learn soccer skills and play games. They are excited because this coming Saturday they are scrimmaging another local team. The crazy thing is it only cost $4 per child each month. When I was talking to the coach/director (in Spanish) I misunderstood and thought it was going to cost $4 per child each week. In the States, that would be a cheap price to pay for 3 hours of instruction. When I restated what I thought I heard, he looked at me like I was crazy. He said, "No, $4 per month!" I was thinking, "Sweet, I would've paid 4 times that much!"

Pura Vida!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things that have made us laugh

When you're living in a different culture you're bound to come across funny stuff. We run into oddities everyday in Costa Rica. I'll give you a few examples (several of which have come out of my own mouth).

  1. I was trying to greet the little girl nextdoor as Jordan and I were entering our house. I offered a kind "Hello." Then that little lightbulb appeared above my head as I remembered she speaks Spanish. Quickly correcting my mistake I blurted out, "I mean, Hi!" Jordan looked at me as if to say, "Dad, you're jacked." When I finally said "Hola" Jordan and I stepped through the front door and started cracking up.

  2. We begin every class with a student led prayer in Spanish. Therein lies the problem. Lucky me got to be the guinea pig on the second day of class. I was rollin' along asking God to help us in our studies, etc. Then I wanted to express thanks for our teacher so I said, "Gracias por nuestra muestra." But instead of thanking God for our 'maestra' (teacher) I thanked him for our 'sample.'

  3. It is the beginning of rainy season and umbrellas are a necessity. Another necessity is knowing that in this culture men only carry solid black umbrellas. Striped, printed, and bright colored umbrellas are reserved for women and "homosexuales" (their word, not mine). I found out this valuable info after sporting an umbrella straight out of Mary Poppins for a good week and a half. Thanks Costa Rica!

  4. In CR, you can have McDonalds delivered to your house by a dude on a motorcycle. That's random. So are the toys that come in the cajita feliz (Happy Meal). Hence the creepy little dudes in the picture.

We laugh a lot (mostly at ourselves and other gringos). But hey, as they say in Costa Rica, "Pura Vida." (loosely translated: It's all good!)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sorry Miriam

I've been reprimanded for not updating the blog. I'll try to do better but face it, I'm a slacker!

This is what we "have" to look at when we step out of the classroom... EVERYDAY!

This is a picture of 2 gringos at the language school where we will be studying. All they have to do is turn around and they will have seen more mountains than most Texans will see in a lifetime. All that while leaning on a palm tree:)
This is just a taste of our new ministry setting. Now that I know how to post pictures I'll try to put them on regularly.
Thanks for noticing.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We're still alive

We're finally in Costa Rica after 3 1/2 weeks of travelling the US. We visited most of our family on the way home from VA. We made stops in WV, KY, LA, and TX before boarding the plane on Sunday April 27. We threw in one last stop in GA and saw one of our old friends Tyler. His church was such a blessing to us and another family that flew to Costa Rica with us. Westhills Church paid for our stay in Atlanta at the Airport Hilton and treated us to one last meal at Chili's. God uses his people to minister to eachother for sure.

Our new house is really cool. We have two palm trees and two banana trees in the backyard. The boys have caught 2-3 geckos in the yard already. We have an old rusty machete in the backyard as well. Every boy needs a "lucky machete." So far it has rained every afternoon but the temperature has been very nice overall. From our front yard we can see the mountains which are very pretty. As the day progresses you can see the clouds roll in and the mountaintops become difficult to see. Its really cool looking. It reminds us of Hawaii.

We are in language school orientation through Tuesday. Classes will officially begin next Wednesday. We are ready to get going on the Spanish. We have been brave little soldiers since we arrived, making several trips by bus, taxi, and mostly on foot. We will not have a car until we get to Peru in another year. Maybe that will help me lose the 10 lbs. I gained at orientation in VA.

I'll post some pictures of our new life, house, etc. as soon as I can get to it. Until then just use your imagination:)

P.S. We have a new phone # with an (817) area code. It is a free call for most of you back home, especially if you call from your cell. IF you want the # e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

music llamas listen to :)