Sunday, October 7, 2012

CR language training, week 1

Tuesday, after we each had a 2-hour class, then lunch, then my second 2-hour class, we were planning to walk to the Pali grocery store by ourselves to fill in some gaps in our pantry supplies, but our teacher Gaby was going that way and was willing to drive us to the store and we’d walk home. I had finished the shawl I had spent the last few weeks knitting for her and decided this was the time to give it to her.  I had taken some photos of it earlier, to document the project… Gaby brought her car over from the classroom parking and we asked her in for a minute and gave her the shawl. Her reaction was predictable, as she’s always muy enthusiastic, but I was thrilled that she appreciated the fancy pattern and the hours it had taken to complete! Dan took a photo of us together before she drove us to the store. And thankfully, it didn’t rain on us on the walk home!

The missionary ladies were re-starting their weekly aerobics class on Tuesday evening and I’d been invited, so I joined 4 other ladies and our teacher Roxana (who looks about 35 but I hear that she actually may be close to 60!) for an hour of using every single muscle in my body!  It felt terrific, actually, but I knew that in about 48 hours all those muscles would be sorely evident to me.  Back across campus, it was time to finish making dinner and get a shower!

On Wednesday, we each had a morning lesson and, in the afternoon, Dan prepared for a meeting of the NYI leaders here. They are anxious to re-kindle Bible Quizzing and Dan made a presentation in the campus library to 3 enthusiastic and dedicated young ladies from the 2 Districts of Costa Rica.  A training meeting is scheduled for local and district quiz coaches from both district in a couple of weeks.

National Museum
Thursday, we’d been excited, anticipating our first field trip – taking a bus to downtown San Jose!  With Gaby as our guide, we took the correct bus for about 30 minutes to a bus stop by a beautiful park. In the middle of the park is a statue of a man who was instrumental in the independence of Costa Rica from Nicaragua. We walked through that park and past the congressional buildings and the yellow-painted National Museum of Costa Rica. We walked around the museum to the entrance where a guard told Gaby about the new exhibits there.

With Gaby our teacher
Catholic Cathedral
Next week’s field trip will include this museum! (I was glad to hear about the new things; there will be something different and interesting for Gaby too.) There’s an attractive metal and glass sculpture there too – one of the guards was happy to snap a photo of us standing inside it!  We walked to a grocery deli for lunch – delicious food and maracuya (passion fruit) juice!  And after that, we walked all around downtown across plazas full of pigeons and saw people eating their lunch. There’s a large Catholic cathedral that we investigated for a few minutes, quite ornate with fancy stained-glass windows.  We found the National Theatre and stepped into the lobby for a look – lots of marble and gold and paintings on the ceiling… and found that they have midday concerts on Tuesdays! Guess where we’ll be going for our field trip the week after next! On the 16th there will be a guitar student concert, so Gaby was sure that we can adjust our class schedule to move our regular field trip time. We’re excited!!  The downtown, like many cities south of the U.S., is quite a mixture of department stores, little stores, restaurants, governmental offices, banks, and other businesses – some several stories tall and some very modest little places.

Friday evening, there was a teen-girl birthday-party-sleepover at the Tooleys and Joel was needing some time away from that, so he invited us and Darrin and Tonya Kucey (Canadian Nazarene missionaries here) to join him at a coffee shop for dessert. It wasn’t far – a nice little shop with a beautiful case of desserts. The menu offers lots of coffee and fruit drinks (but no decaf), so we ordered a mora (blackberry) smoothie for me and a cas (a green citrus-y fruit) smoothie for Dan. What a great time we had, just talking and enjoying Joel’s stories and getting to know the Kuceys better! For a while, there was a yellow-striped, very pregnant cat that kept walking in and making herself at home. Joel is allergic so he wasn’t crazy about the situation. The cat even proceeded to find a table and give herself a bath on top of it! The shop girl had a guard take the cat outside but it knew about the other entry door – that was left open! Anyway, it was a comical situation that kept us laughing.

Market Day
Saturday morning, it was wonderful to join Pam again to buy fresh produce at the Saturday farmers’ market, lots of booths under a huge tent. Now that we know our way around and feel a little more confident with Spanish and with the money here (500 colones = $1 US), we navigated the aisles and the produce pretty well.

Since we’re still doing work for the SAM (South America) Region, we regularly check our SAM e-mail and respond as we can. I needed to complete my monthly project reports. I had started them Saturday afternoon when the Kuceys stopped by and said they were going into San Jose on the bus for just a couple of hours, so I went with them!  It was nice to recognize some of the places we’d just seen a couple of days earlier, as well as spend a little time with their son and daughter too.  Yes, I got back to those reports later and sent them off by email to the leaders in Argentina!

Shelley Webb invited us to join her and her daughter Kayley at the Iglesia del Nazareno Los Angeles; it’s a house that has been re-purposed. We understood a good bit of the Sunday School lesson and Shelley translated too.  After the church service that included some great contemporary songs, we were treated to a tour of the property! The land behind the church is growing coffee and bananas and corn! They’re planning to build a sanctuary toward the back where it’s more level.  This congregation is a hard-working bunch!

Every day, someone drops in the see how we’re doing – Shelley and Pam have showed up most often, stopping to see how our classes are going and to ask if we need anything. These missionaries are VERY caring people; we feel quite spoiled by God’s provision here! 

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