It’s no secret that we are all working hard right now. The kids are busy with school. Eliana is enjoying the challenge of 6th grade, but isn’t crazy about the official feel of tests and report cards. Elijah was promoted to 4th because he had already mastered the material scheduled for the 3rd grade (his age appropriate class). He loves it, and never missed a beat academically. Matt just spent the evening working on a science project with him, and I spent the day untangling dollars and colones in our Quicken records. Before the bell rings for class in the morning, we have a date with the Spanish indicative past tense verb conjugations–the three regular varieties and the 7 categories of irregulars. Every week we learn more about how to navigate the culture, the language, and the city of San Jose. All of this is building our family’s ability to do life here well and serve at the Home of Life come June.
But in the midst of the effort, we have been having some fun, too. Our sloped driveway has proven to be a huge blessing for the E’s to romp in and chase balls around. Sometimes we even borrow the neighbor’s beagle. Matt recently got some new rope to rehang a hammock-swing that was left here by a previous family. The kids delight in being pendulums. I am thankful for the ample space to dry clothes and my game of racing-the-weather—I play hard to win that one, but it’s nice to have a dryer on my defensive line. We have taken some walks around the neighborhood to enjoy the little front gardens and the feel of the tight-packed houses. I’ve laughed my way through three Junie B. Jones books in Spanish and am going to try La Telaraña de Carlota (Charlotte’s Web) next. Our Dominion cards are back into circulation and we even got in a round of Settlers of Catan this weekend at a language student family game night. Balancing the work with some play is necessary to avoid burn out. There is never a shortage of things needing our attention, but we can tackle them better with some joy tucked in between the layers.
A while back we were able to visit La Paz Waterfall Gardens, the Costa Rican equivalent of the Henry Doorly Zoo. While the animals on display were significantly fewer, the rain forest exhibit was out of this world. We thought after hearing about many of the challenges involved in living abroad, you might like to see some of the fun things, too.
Sometimes love looks like an abandoned child nestled in your arms, or a mission team hearing the Lord’s voice in a new timbre. Sometimes love looks like a list of conjugated verbs and definite articles to help bridge the gap between hearts. Our family is on the ascent to those vistas, but our first 10 days here in Costa Rica were colored by some of love’s other hues: lots of elbow grease applied to clean spaces and organize our things, a heavy duty extension cord delivered in the rain after some of the house’s wiring self-destructed, meals from scratch, and laughter with new friends. Click on a photo in the gallery below to take a tour of our Tico beginning.
Our rental house’s dinner-table-sized garden is home to two palm trees. The larger one decorates the master bedroom view.
Looking through the bars of our small balcony, we spend time with Lord, the mountains, and the rooftops each morning.
Theft is serious business in Central America. Razor wire, wrought iron, concrete walls, and big locks help to keep our home safe.
Electricity is expensive here in Costa Rica. Whenever weather permits, we will hang our laundry out to dry. Embellishing the window grating with skivvies was fun, but didn’t prove very effective. Matt restrung the current lines to make better use of the space inside our laundry room, and installed another 50 meters of line outside to catch the breezes. Now to find enough wooden clothes pins. . .
Rental houses here don’t always receive the most attention to detail. Razor blade, putty knife, and scrub brush are working their way around the house to bring out it’s beauty.
My true love bought me flowers at the Feria (Farmer’s Market). Inexpensive bouquets are a wonderful perk to living in the tropics.
The kitchen windows look into the laundry room. A detached dryer vent tube coated this space in gray fluff. Three days of battle have liberated it into a sight that makes me happy.
Command central is located upstairs between the kids’ room and ours. We are blessed to have a second story to catch the breezes, the sunshine, and the view.
Matt worked hard to organized the three E’s clothes and toys into a functional system. Elijah tried Ezekiel’s wardrobe space on for size.
The small pantry off of the kitchen now sports a bunch of onions hanging by their braided tops, courtesy of the feria. I feel so Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Grandma’s bluebird made the migration with us as a reminder of the ones we love back on the prairie.
Discovering what local shops carry which items is both exercise and an adventure. Matt is returning up our driveway with the spoils from a visit to the hardware store. Our gate is in the background–always waiting to be unlocked for friends.
Palm Fronds wither and drop off as the tree grows. Seeing them on the ground helps you to appreciate how grand they are. Fun to play with, too.