Sunday, October 21, 2012

CR language training, week 3

Monday was a holiday, so our lessons this week were a little mixed up. No problem, we’re flexible!  And along with our lessons, we got to do a few other fun things too!

Tuesday was our field trip day this week, changed so we could attend a midday concert at the National Theater of San Jose, Costa Rica.  We hurried to the front gate of the campus and to the bus stop, riding to a bus stop farther than our usual park, so we would be closer to the theater. Gaby was concerned that we might be late or that the tickets might be gone; after exiting the bus, we had a hard time keeping up with her!  But we arrived before the start, bought tickets ($2 each!) and took our seats; the theater was full!  The stage was set with 16 chairs and several short music stands.  In a few
minutes, out came 16 young men with their acoustic guitars, all students at the University of Costa Rica. One student stood and plucked some notes for tuning… their conductor came onstage. They became silent… and the concert began! The group performed 5 numbers (and later, an encore), all quite complex with 2 or 3 men playing each part, like an orchestra!  If you closed your eyes, you’d have been sure that there were several more instruments there as well – a drum, a harp, a viola… extraordinary! We thoroughly enjoyed this 30 minutes or so of spellbinding music, totally professional quality!  Dan recorded it on his cell phone, so we can experience it more than once! It was worth so much more than the ticket price!   You can download and listen also, follow this link to all 6 tunes + a video he created - Guitar Concert link.

Shelley had spoken to us about a field trip option she wanted to check out and, since we were out of class mid-morning on Wednesday, we were glad to “be the guinea pigs” to help her check it out!  She drove across San Jose to Zoo Ave (say “zoo AH-vay”) and, I think, we were the only visitors on this week day!  It’s a lovely zoo park and would be as interesting to horticulture or botany students as to families with small children. After being greeted by a peacock strolling around, there was a path with huge, brightly colored parrots, followed by well-labeled cages of many other types of birds. We also enjoyed seeing a pond populated with swans and with turtles all parked in a row on a branch! There were crocodiles, wild pigs, numerous types of monkeys, and a few big cats.  All three of us took lots of photos, even of flowers and the biggest bamboo trees ever, because there was so much to see!   What a fun couple of hours!  I’d say this place will soon be added to the field trip agendas options!  After, we went to a mall and had lunch at a Spoon restaurant, thoroughly enjoying our wraps and chicken lasagna – yum!  Then, we made a quick stop for a few groceries at MegaSuper (the name cracks me up!) and headed back to the Seminary… a day well spent! 

We knew that another Bible Quiz training was scheduled for Saturday, but didn’t know much about transportation to the Alajuela Church of the Nazarene, so we talked with Gaby Bustos, in the library, but the details were still being worked out. No problem, we’re flexible!

Friday, Dan was finished with his only class by 10 a.m., so we got to travel to the work-site for our Work and Witness trip that will start on November 2.  He went with Steve Sickel, the WW Coordinator for this area and they checked out the site and the proposed work for our team. Dan took a video too and posted it for others from the Missouri District and our church to see! 
You can see it here - 
Saturday was SO busy, but SO fun!  I went with Pam a little early to the produce market for some fresh eggs and fruits and vegetables, arriving home before the rain started JUST as Gaby Mata, our Spanish teacher, came to the back gate of the Seminary to take us to her home for lunch with her family! Arriving at her home, we left our umbrellas at the front door and were introduced to Gaby’s husband, Carlos. A handsome and well-learned man, Carlos took us out to their huge back yard and showed us their banana palms, tangerine tree, and lots of other trees and plants. Since we’re garden enthusiasts, too, we really admired the large property and variety of plants! Gaby spent her time between the kitchen and the yard, as she was busy with lunch preparations. She also showed us the room where she Skyped with us before we were able to come to Costa Rica to study in person!  Soon her children came out of their rooms to join us for lunch – Luis and Fernanda are adult students and just as good-looking as their parents!  We sat at their dining table and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of salad, ravioli with tomato sauce, and a mix of vegetables – how delicious! Gaby had also made a cheese cake with a shortbread crust and decorated with sliced strawberries!  Gaby says that she is not especially fond of cooking, unless the recipe is uncomplicated and needs few ingredients, but she surely does a great job!  Much too soon, it was time to get back to the Seminary for other obligations – Dan was leading a Bible Quiz training for local youth leaders!  

We quickly got ourselves ready and hiked up to the front of the Seminary to wait for our ride to the Alajuela church. A youth leader named Mitzi and her boyfriend David picked us up, along with Hellen (part of the NYI/JNI leadership team here) and we set off to find the location. Finding places in Costa Rica can be a challenge (or a comedy of errors), as there are usually no numbers on houses and seldom are there signs for street names; directions are usually given with references to gas stations, restaurants, or other landmarks along the way! So we arrived only about 15 minutes late, but soon Dan was set to share his passion for Bible Quizzing, with Erika Chavez translating.  The training obviously excited the leaders, as they asked lots of pertinent questions before one young woman said that she knew this was an excellent ministry, but had not fully realized all its benefits that were available to her youth! How gratifying to see God working through us!

Our driver David took us back across town to the Wal-Mart, where the Tooleys were waiting to take us the rest of the way, but we would first detour past the Coronado Nazarene Church to drop off Allison and a couple of other girls for a youth group event. There, we were “handed off” (sort of) to Shelley, who was going past the grocery store on her way back home. Since I always have a short list of needed groceries, we were glad to go too.  It was raining again and dark, but not late, when we finally arrived home in time to prepare dinner and get to bed early after a day packed with activity!

Always ready to experience another worship service, we’d been invited to go with Shelley to the El Bosque (“the woods” neighborhood) Nazarene Church because the Sickels’ baby Micah (now about 8 weeks old) is being dedicated while Anne’s mother is here visiting her new grandson. After several worship songs that we knew, the baby dedication was next in the service! Micah was so good during all the instructions to the parents about raising their son to love the Lord; he yawned occasionally, keeping us entertained! This pastor adores children and prayed long and hard over this darling little boy!  Following that was communion where the children came forward first, then the adults, to get their grape juice and tiny, pinched-dough-bits of baked bread!  There was a guest speaker, a member of the congregation who’s learning to be a pastor, who preached about relationships between parents and children. And afterwards, 16 of us went to Huaraches, a Mexican restaurant – good stuff!

Back at the Seminary, we had to take care of a couple of loads of laundry, watched the Cardinals game on the Internet (they lost), and had a light supper before a time of prayer at Tooleys, accompanied by Joel’s cinnamon roll bread!  What a sweet and prayerful way to end this week and start a new one!  

God is providing everything we need and much more! What a rich life He has given us!

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