(Tuesday August 23rd, 2011)
I usually wake up early because it is light out about 5:30am. The sun goes down each day at the same time around 7:00pm and it has been down-pouring rain every day about 1:30 so if you don't get up early then you can't get much done. After I study I have been taking a walk or run around town to try and figure out where different stores that we can buy what we need are as well as meet people in the neighborhood so I can practice my Spanish and share the gospel.
I am starting to get a feel for a mile or so around our house. I met a man named Victor yesterday who has a daughter in the States. He said that if I stopped by each day, he would help me with my Spanish. This is a great way to learn the language and share the gospel. Everything is very expensive here so finding the best places to buy things is key. I found a hardware store and to buy a standard shop vac it was anywhere from $160-$400. We don't need one but it gives you and idea of how highly priced things are.
After lunch I went over to Killillay's with Emmy. They arrived last night late. Jason Maynard, who a student at the school and has been here for about 8 months, took us shopping for supplies. I found Kim liquid creamer for her coffee, which you normally can't find anywhere in the city, so she was very happy.
Kim is getting the house cleaned up and turning it into a home and she is doing a great job at it. She is adjusting very well to the culture and conditions. The kids are also adjusting well. For some reason we have free cable TV, which is mostly Spanish speaking channels but there are a few English channels. Guess which one's the kids pick. Although I think Emmy watched Strawberry shortcake in Spanish the other day.
We walk everywhere, which I like a lot. You can take a taxi or bus but I haven't figured out the bus system yet and my Spanish is too shaky to direct a taxi to our house with no address. It takes a lot of time to get things done here. Here is a comparison with life in Costa Rica vs. the States as far as something simple like getting supplies.
Leave the house in your car to run your errands. Stop by a store and load up your supplies. Drive to the next store and do the same for the next 6 stores. Stop at a convenient drive through coffee shop to get a coffee to sustain you. Complain about the little traffic and the cost of your many options of stores and supplies. Drive home in peace as you look at the beautiful scenery of Montana where there are more cows than people.
Leave the house early by foot before the torrential down-pours come in the afternoon. Go to the grocery store where you can only get food and usually in a brand that you never heard of. Only buy what you can carry back to your house. Try to calculate how much you would be paying in dollars rather than colones to see if you are getting ripped off. When you realize that you just paid $7 for a small bag of potato chips, you learn that you did actually get ripped off. Walk back to your house while dodging fast cars who don't mind if they run you over, open man-hole covers to the sewers, people, and many other obstacles. Get through your bolted security gate with two locks and razor wire with your few bags of groceries. It's about time for lunch now so you stop and eat. After lunch you must walk to the bank to get more cash from the ATM and then on to the next store. Walk a mile to the hardware store or the store where you can buy a shower curtain (which is not easy to find one), buy your supplies and then walk back to your house. As you are walking home the 1:30 torrential down-pour hits and you realize you forgot the umbrella so you seek shelter. You then realize that the rain is not going to stop for a while so you just run through the rain to your house. Get through the security gate and you arrive home just in time for dinner at sundown. You wonder where the day went.
That is just a funny example but despite the many adjustments to life, we love it here because we are in the center of God's will and are very privileged to be serving Him for His glory and the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. I did get to share the gospel with a guy selling lottery tickets on the street and the girl who was billing us for the internet we are supposed to be getting.
All is going great. Thank you all for your prayers and support. If anyone would like to come visit us just let us know and we can arrange it.
Para la fama de Su nombre