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Costa Rican Culture Shock: Cover Your Ears

Everyone’s stereo has its own groove. Culture is the same way. From headbanger to salsa, enjoy sound bites of daily life as heard by a prairie girl in small town Costa Rica. Some like it loud. Toucans and macaws fly the friendly skies here in the tropics.  Their unique calls sound for miles, but they’ve … Continue reading

Costa Rican Culture Shock: Talking Trash

Culture quirks. Everyone has some, whether on a personal or national scale. Do you squeeze the toothpaste in the middle or from the bottom? Does the roll go in front or behind the end of the bath tissue? Talking today about some local flavor we experience as expats living in small town Costa Rica. Bathroom … Continue reading

Costa Rican Culture Shock: Up Close and Personal

Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.” She’s right, but each nest has its own charm. Mission life is an opportunity to get cozy in many places. As we hug friends back in the prairie over the next few days, it’s a great time to share some cultural quirks of living in small town Costa … Continue reading

Eliana’s View: Learning Love Through Spanish Slip-Ups

Spanish–one of the heartbeats of Costa Rica. I joke with kids, give instructions, and connect with people, all in a second language. A knack for accents gives me some native flair, but I know grammar goofs aren’t hidden by trilling my r’s. Teams marvel at my conversations with the staff, but they don’t notice my … Continue reading

Light: How We Need It, How to Shine

Light. It does something good inside us. Our first year in Costa Rica was lit with cold, white CFLs. In language school fashion, we chose a house to rent over email from back in the states. A handful of snapshots was all we had to determine the best of our three options. We didn’t love … Continue reading

Nose Chicken: Dealing with the Battles You Can’t Win

Sometimes you just can’t help but play along. When our middle child was a toddler, his blue eyes could trump my reason. Each bedtime snuggle he declared, “Nose Chicken!” The golden boy pressed his face into mine, nose to nose, until my grown up smeller yielded, whimpering. His laughter rang out in big, belly peals. … Continue reading

Of Ministry and Mom Guilt: Getting Over What Others Think

She strode up to our prayer gathering, her gray curls beautiful. The group stopped for greetings and her update on the situation across the border. Backpacking alone across Central America, helping out at missions along the way, Nicaragua’s political unrest had sent her doubling back to the children’s home where our family serves. We hadn’t … Continue reading