A Weekly Journal Chronicling My Life
As It Intersects With The Garbage Dump Community Near La Ceiba, Honduras

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Where Has the Time Gone?

Hello again dear friends, as the weeks slip by and Christmas rapidly approaches I can’t help but step back and take stock of the fact that I have lived in Costa Rica now for over three months. That’s incredible – the time here has flown by; I can vividly remember my first few days here as if they were only last week. The other day I was walking down one of the main streets in my neighborhood and I harkened back to the first time that I ventured out onto that particular street – it seemed so huge and confusing and just a little bit frightening – I remember telling myself that I would avoid this thoroughfare as much as possible. Now Quesada Duran and San Francisco (my neighborhoods) feel so small and familiar, I know the best vendors, the quickest shortcuts, many of my neighbors and the best pizza joint; funny how 3 months can change things. Even more amazingly, Language School is coming to a rapid close for the semester, 6 days of classes left – !Gracias a Dios! I’m thankful for my time there and I am indebted to my teachers for bringing me this far along but I don’t know that my head can take much more of it right now. The rules, the repetition, the frustration, it’s starting to get to me and so I am eagerly anticipating the 3 week break that we’re going to have in the middle of December. I’m not yet sure how I plan on using my vacation time but I’m told that San Jose is going to turn into one giant festival the week before Christmas – light festivals, parades, street fairs and bull fighting, schools close for a month and people celebrate; it should be an exciting time.
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Speaking of Christmas, I got a little taste of home the other night. No, it wasn’t hot chocolate and cookies, although the thought of that makes me very hungry – it was the decking of the halls. What made it seem so familiar, so much like home, was that it progressed in exactly the same manner that it does with my family back in PA. My Mam`a lugged three large boxes of decorations up from the basement, shot us a look of grim determination and announced that it was time to decorate the house. The men in her life, her husband, two sons and myself, looked at each other in muted horror and then fled to our separate rooms as if our lives depended on it. Amazingly enough, Flora offered no word of protest; obviously this is part of the Mora Family Christmas tradition. As I hid under my bed hoping not to be noticed, I chuckled to myself at the thought of my own family and our decorating traditions. I envisioned my mother perched on a wicker chair in our living room stringing lights on the tree and possessing all the patience of a house-fly. Her patience of course worn thin by her four squawking children, all of them fighting over which ornaments they would be privileged to hang on the tree that year – some declaring that departed relatives had bequeathed them certain ornaments and as such if anyone else so much as looked at them, they would be sorry. I then panned to father, who, ever the encourager was sacked out in his favorite chair, watching football and beseeching my mother to hang his antique ornaments almost on-level with the Star so that his simian children wouldn’t mistake them for candy. These are the Christmas memories we hold on to.
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I had my first experience in the jungle the other weekend – I was nearly eaten alive…by mosquitoes not jaguars. A small group of students from the language school trekked out to the rainforest in Talamanca to visit a Tico and his Gringa wife, both of whom were raised in Costa Rica and studied medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Upon leaving Med School they committed themselves to building a clinic on reservation land and ministering to and serving the Quebecker people group. The Quebeckers are an indigenous group that clings to an older way of living by hacking out an existence in the jungle and secluding themselves from much of the outside world. They mainly live on reservation land and while their lives, appearance and traditions are certainly distinct from Ticos, it’s not as though they have been untouched by time. Many have cars; they hang out in bars, grow coffee for a living and dress in a quasi-Western style. We met only one family of Quebeckers and they hardly acknowledged our presence, my Mam`a tells me they’re a shy and timid group of people. They were staying at the clinic because the mother was over her due-date and looked like she was ready to explode. The clinic itself is beautiful, made entirely of wood, something rare in a country of tile and poured concrete and it’s situated in a steep little valley beside the confluence of two rushing creeks. The wildlife, the pristine nature, the sparkling creeks, it was absolutely breathtaking to behold. The clinic was and continues to be constructed mainly by outside groups of workers – thus our weekend was not one of relaxation – we cleared walking paths, chopped firewood, sealed wood, built furniture, dug a drainage ditch and lined it with river rock. It felt good to be doing manual labor for the first time in ages. In the late afternoons we halted work and swam in the creek – in spite of its flood-stage waters. There was no electricity so in the evenings we played cards by lantern-light, as always I won at all costs, and then we retired by 8 or 9 – we got a lot of sleep. During my quiet time one morning I sat on a rock by the creek and reflected on the amazing story I was wrapped up in; I could hardly believe that I was in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica, helping two brilliant doctors construct a clinic for a group of people that I had never heard of. I give the praise to God because never in my life would I have imagined that I would spend a weekend working in Talamanca and have the privilege to witness the beauty of that place. One other quick tidbit about our adventure there; the only bridge into the reservation land is falling apart and quite dangerous to cross, so we had to unload from our Land Rover, cross over on foot and then hope and pray as the good doctor drove ever so delicately across the rickety bridge. It was a little hairy but the pictures were pretty cool.
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So it turns out that cockroaches are not the only bane that I have to contend with now…I saw my first rat the other night. I was watching an old, old movie about the life of Lady Jane Grey – she was Queen of England for nine days until her cousin, Bloody Mary, locked her in London Tower and then had her killed. Ok, I know, I have way too much time on my hands if I’m watching the life and times of Lady J. – but I assure you it was fascinating. Anyway, I was enraptured in the film when all of the sudden a rat – and I mean a RAT – leapt over my feet and bounded down the basement steps. I about wet myself. I can hear the chuckling taking place, I know you think I’m a wimp, but honestly this thing was huge, it could have passed for a large rabbit and it came out of nowhere. I sat there motionless for a little bit and then quickly scampered off to bed.
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Boy oh boy, it has been a week of firsts – saw my first rat, visited my first jungle and I experienced my first earthquake. I was lying in bed the other day, attempting my ritual siesta when all of the sudden my bed began to shake, the whole house began to shake actually; not violently though, it was more of a gentle rolling – kind of fun actually. It didn’t last but more than 10 seconds and when it was finished I rolled over and went back to sleep; kind of an anticlimactic first in my opinion.
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I felt a little homesick the other night. I went out to a very nice restaurant with two other friends, it was up in the mountains and overlooked all of San Jose – the view was beautiful. The restaurant was very fancy but surprisingly cheap, it came complete with an accompanist who played all the hits from 1955. During coffee and dessert the accompanist started to play “Misty” and I was immediately transported back to my friend’s house in Williamsport – our group of friends used to sit around her mother’s player piano and belt out oldies from the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, with “Misty” being one of our favorites. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we started this tradition sometime during our college years. Needless to say, whilst belting out the song in the restaurant I started to get a little misty myself; I think that in that moment I was more homesick than I have been at any other time in these past three months. Fortunately, the accompanist took mercy on my broken heart and chose the “Can-Can” for his next selection – my friend’s mother didn’t own the player piano roll for that one.
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Last week I mentioned that I was going to talk about the end of AMCA – remember that I teach ESL classes at the AMCA mission house. I’m not sure why I felt the need to let you know about the end of it – it’s not as though the house blew up or anything. Classes simply ended for the semester and will resume again in January. There, that’s it – not much to talk about eh? I suppose I could mention my experience there – ok I will. I enjoyed it thoroughly, I taught the advanced class and we spent much of our time simply conversing in English. It was through these conversations that I feel like I made 10 good friends – we shared about our lives and our dreams, we laughed at our mistakes and encouraged each other along the way (they laughed at and encouraged my Spanish not my English). I also feel as though I learned so much in the way of teaching ESL, it’s very different from teaching a regular English class; perhaps this time in Costa Rica is about preparing more than just my Spanish-speaking abilities…posiblemente.
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La Carpio photos for the week:
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Serious face...










...brotherly love...




...happy face...






...Antony with his prize.


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A quick note about La Carpio: I have had the hardest time conversing with the kids there. I know grammar rules and conjugations but I haven’t been able to get them out of my head and into my mouth quick enough to really have a meaningful conversation with anyone there. However, last week for the first time I was able to freely communicate, whatever I wanted to say came out of my mouth in a more or less coherent way. I was so happy – it was like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one, Praise God!
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Ok, that does it for this week – I apologize for the randomness of my more recent posts, there’s a just a lot of little experiences that I want to share about. If you return next week you will find snippets about, Christmas in La Carpio, the end of school and lesson in Phonetics, that was supposed to be for this week but I ran out of room, my apologies. Blessings to you this week, Peace!

- Matt

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Holidays: Parte Tres

Greetings once again from Nepal! Remember how last week I shared with you that an ice-age had suddenly descended upon us so that now when I step out of my house I am bundled up like Nanook of the North? Well, winter is still here and will be for the next two months but a curious thought struck me the other day: In wintertime many Gringos head to Central American beaches to escape snow, ice and pending FBI investigations – here I am hiding out in San Jose, Costa Rica freezing my tail off…maybe I should go to the beach as well. As luck would have it our school saw fit to give us Friday off last week (they seem to give us a lot of Fridays off, not that I’m complaining). Anyways, some friends and I took advantage and gallivanted off to Jaco for a 2-day frolic on the beach. What a difference a little elevation makes! As our bus descended from the mountains the air got that unmistakable beach feel to it, salty, sticky and warm, and I began to wonder why the founders of my school didn’t have the foresight to locate our institution on the beach-front. Poor planning I suspect…or perhaps the media duped them as well. I’m sure we would learn Spanish at much quicker pace if we could hear the breakers pounding the sand all day long. I don’t want to go into too much detail lest I become a stumbling block and cause you all to sin with fits of jealousy, but I will say that the weekend was wonderful. We enjoyed the sun and warm temperatures, two things we haven’t experienced too much of in San Jose, and we stayed in a nice little hostel for $12.00 a night. I couldn’t have asked for more. One quick note of interest before I move on; I am repeatedly impressed with the openness of Latins. A businessman from Chile stayed in the same hostel and decided to befriend us; he chatted with us most of the night and the next day surfed with us at the beach. What really left an impression on me was the interaction that he and Alejandra, my Tica friend, shared. They had no sooner exchanged greetings and they began to banter like old friends – this went on for two days. Their familiarity with each other seemed a little strange but at the same time appealing to a Gringo that’s used to exchanging quiet pleasantries but nothing more with total strangers. When it came time to leave, Ricardo the Chilean businessman had his hired van drive us back into town so that we wouldn’t have to pay for a taxi. For some reason I get the feeling that this type of thing occurs a lot in Latin America – I like it.
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!Feliz Accion de Gracias!...that’s Happy Thanksgiving in Tico talk. I hope you all had a lovely holiday – I know I did, you cannot begin to fathom the thanksgiving I felt whilst sitting in Grammar Class and learning the Imperfect Past Tense. This year I’m thankful I didn’t shoot myself trying to learn the difference between perfect and imperfect past action. My Grandmother inquired the other day if Ticos celebrate Thanksgiving; while I wish that were true, it turns out that the scope and force of Abraham Lincoln’s edicts ended at the Texas border. Thus I spent my Thanksgiving morning sitting in school wishing the Puritans had had the wisdom to steer their ship a little farther south – I’ll bet the Narragansett Indians felt the same way. Not to worry though, The Brubakers (the other Mennonite family here at my school), and a few other families invited me over to have a turkey dinner in the afternoon. It couldn’t be beat…we did have a minor mishap when we attempted to dispose of the holiday trash at the bottom of a cliff, but that was quickly cleared up by a seeing-eye dog and Officer Obie….oh wait, that’s Arlo’s story. Seriously though, the food was absolutely delicious; with my steady diet of rice and beans I had forgotten how much I loved turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie. As all good Americans did, we gorged ourselves, watched the Cowboys/Jets game and played cards over coffee and more pie. It felt strange to be engaging in a tradition that up until now I’ve only ever shared with my family, almost a little forced. At the same time though it felt very natural; we all wanted to be with our families but couldn’t, thus this was an attempt to keep each other company and make the passage of the holiday a little easier. All in all, I must say it was a good first holiday away from home, even if I wasn’t able to listen to Alice’s Restaurant on the radio.
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3 quick stories about mi Mam`a:
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Florita gave me the finger the other day…it was all I could do to keep from falling out my chair in a fit of laughter. She didn’t intend the finger or its implied message for me, rather she was telling a story and in that my Spanish hasn’t progressed to the level of understanding cuss words, she felt obliged to act out her thoughts – a sort of cursing charade. Try to imagine your grandmother giving you the finger over lunch; that’s what this looked like – very out of place, but very funny.
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She also mentioned at lunch the other day that Fidel Castro is now 92 years old…no she wasn’t using the finger in reference to him – although she might like to. I could tell from the way she was trilling her “r’s” extra-long that she feels very strongly about our friend from Cuba. She does not like that man and I think if ever the two were to meet she would give him a piece of her mind and then fix him some arroz con pollo and cafĂ©. Incidentally, she thinks Hugo Chavez is insane and was quite proud of the King of Spain when he put Chavez in his place.
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It seems that the complaints of a wife know no cultural boundaries. My Pap`a had a day off of work the other day and as all good husbands do, he spent the whole day tinkering on his car and touching up the paint job. We were sitting at breakfast and she whispered to me as he walked past, eager to get to work on his ride, that if they could, Costa Rican men would spend all day rubbing their cars down with a cloth. “They just stand there every Saturday morning rubbing away at their cars.”, The look of disgust on her face could have stopped traffic. I tried to lift her spirits a little by assuring her that it isn’t just Ticos that are obsessed with their cars but Gringos too. I told her that for many men in the U.S. their car is like their girlfriend – she pointed out the window at Orlando and said “for him it’s like his 1st wife…wife number 2 does all the work but when was the last he wiped me down with a cloth?” ……I don’t know.
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For three months I have been blessed. While people around me at school have been dropping like flies, I haven’t even had a hint of illness. Nada! I’m not sure what I can attribute this to, except for that fact that perhaps Flora’s putting a little something extra in her rice and beans. Who knows? Unfortunately though, I think my OCD and proclivity for self-diagnosis got the better of me the other week – I was convinced I had scabies. I went to bed one Friday night and it felt as though my skin was crawling, I itched all over my body and I barely slept at all that night. I woke up that Saturday without feeling any relief and so I began to consider the possibilities of what might be afflicting me. After contemplating for a good hour I happened upon a memory where a friend mentioned that she got scabies once in Costa Rica and that she itched like crazy. Thus, over the course of the next few days I convinced myself that tiny bugs were burrowing into my skin and delighting themselves in torturing me – never mind the fact that I had none of the tell-tale signs of scabies other than some serious itching. My OCD tendencies didn’t help the situation, I dwelt on it, tried to place where they might have come from, examined my body on an hourly basis to check for burrows and imagined what life might be like for a mite – it basically consumed my weekend. It wasn’t until Tuesday that I was finally able to see our school’s doctor, by which time I had worked myself into a veritable frenzy. He took one look at me and told me that I had a mild allergic reaction to something, nothing more and with a dismissive wave of his hand he told me to stop self-diagnosing….done. Of course I then began to peruse the origins of my allergic reaction; perhaps it was whatever Flora has been adding to her rice and beans to keep me healthy. I walked out of the doctor’s in high spirits; it felt good to know that hundreds of little pets hadn’t found a home in my skin – and that my friends could now stop avoiding me.
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Flora lives to serve, she waits on me hand and foot and I feel very undeserving of it all… but not so much so that I’m going to do anything to stop it. However, on Sundays she takes a much needed break and leaves the task of finding and preparing food to us 4 men. It’s kind of an “every person for themselves” situation so I’ve made McDonald’s my Sunday supper tradition. It may strike you as strange that I would be blogging about McDonald’s but I find it to be a very different experience here in Costa Rica. The building itself is a two-story affair and it’s very nicely furnished, nicer than most Mc Donald’s you find in the States. The menu is essentially the same although there are certain items like platanos and The McNifica that aren’t available back home. The clientele though are what fascinate me the most. In the U.S. fast-food is the great leveler, everyone eats there; young, old, rich, poor, the village idiot and Bill Gates. Here however, McDonald’s is dining for the upper crust – meals are a little pricey so only wealthy Ticos can afford to eat a number 2 super-sized. On Sunday nights especially, McDonald’s becomes a hangout for young lovers; they swamp the place, take all the seats and sit there for hours staring into each other’s eyes and feeding the each other fries. I think most kids in the U.S., except for those that live in the boonies of Western PA, would never make McDonalds their restaurant of choice for a hot date. I know this isn’t the hardest hitting of news pieces but I thought you might find it interesting how different an icon like the “Golden Arches” can be when transplanted to a different culture.
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La Carpio photos for the week:
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Lapiz feigning danger...







...not a candid shot...








...Maycol cooling off...







...the cutest girl in La Carpio!
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That about does it for this week, I hope you’re finding this weekly exercise interesting – I know I am. If you think I breeze over certain topics, or if you think I’m not covering something that you’d like to know about, drop me a line and give suggestions. I’d love to have more ideas for blog topics. Come back next week to read about my trip to Talamanca, the end of AMCA and a lesson in Spanish Phonetics. Peace!
- Matt

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"It's always Winter and never Christmas..."

Hello friends, welcome back. November has arrived and I feel as though a cruel trick has been played upon me. Ask your typical, uncultured Gringo what they think the climate of Costa Rica might be at any given moment and they’ll probably respond with some paradisiacal forecast in the neighborhood of sunny, breezy and warm with a chance of laziness. Basically, most North Americans assume that Costa Rica is a year-round tropical Elysian Fields; something from the pages of Swiss Family Robinson – of course without the tree-house and ostrich races. I must admit that I was living under this same delusion prior to my arrival here, but in that I have never been accused of being self-critical, I blame the media. It’s the Medias’ fault that I packed too few sweaters and wool socks! That’s right I said sweaters and wool – it’s downright cold here. I realize that nothing is ever good enough for me (wait is that self-criticism?) but honestly, no sooner were the monsoons shut-off then the North Wind came howling out of Siberia and blasted us with an almost icy chill. Most mornings my Mam`a and I hover over our oatmeal and coffee and fondly recall the halcyon days of October when we were blessed with warm weather and flooding. I tried to explain all of this to my father, I told him we had begun burning the furniture to heat the house but he just laughed and called me a dirty liar – the Media have obviously gotten to him as well. Anyway, I want to talk to the joker who duped me into studying language in Narnia – I’m expecting Mr. Tumnus to clip clop down the street any day now – ok maybe it’s not exactly Narnia, we at least are allowed to celebrate Christmas here…
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…in all seriousness it just got a little chilly here, it’s winter after all – but when you’re used to sun and warm temperatures, a 10 degree drop in the mercury feels downright cold-frontish. Thankfully the rain has all but ceased, what we do get seems to be a very fine drizzle that Ticos call pelo de gatto (cat hair).
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I mentioned in a previous post that my Mam`a shared a Tico maxim with me the other week when she mentioned that on Mondays, the chickens are so tired that they refuse to lay eggs. I can’t help but think that the local fowl might have a tad more energy if they didn’t insist on waking up at 3 a.m. and announcing to the world what early risers they are. I know I have a slight penchant for embellishment but I am not exaggerating when I say that there have been nights when as I was going to bed the local roosters were crowing their little hearts out – proud as peacocks that were up while the rest of the world was trying to sleep. My favorite of course is when I am trying to catch an afternoon siesta and two or more roosters decide to have a crowing competition; as if dueling for 3 hours each morning isn’t good enough. Someone had better teach them the German maxim of “pride goeth before a fall” because if they keep it up they’re gonna lose their lives. What strikes me as so funny about all of this is that it’s not as though I reside in Green Acres. I live in a very vibrant, very crowded city – yet people still insist on raising chickens, turkeys and goats in their tiny yards. As recently as 20 years ago many families in San Jose kept Oxen for heavy transportation and a very few still do. Can you imagine raising a horse in West Philadelphia? I guess I’m not in PA anymore.
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So I don’t mind telling you that if you happen to get Telemundo in your cable package you might just see me on the Latin American version of Dancing with the Stars (I realize I am not yet a “star” in any sort of capacity but I’m working on that). Ok, so maybe after 3 weeks my dancing hasn’t progressed that much but I have learned a lot. There’s a group of us Gringos from the language school that go together every Tuesday night to this tiny dance studio in Desamparados. The place is always packed and always roasting (even in wintertime) – at the end of 2 hours we are usually soaked with sweat. Our teacher is a very nice girl who knows a lot about dancing and not a lot about English, so we Gringos are usually a little behind the rest of the class – that and we don’t have the natural rhythm that Ticos and Nicaraguans do. Thus far we’ve learned the basic steps to the Bolero, Salsa, Meringue and Cumbia which is the Colombian version of Swing. I apologize that I don’t have any pictures to accompany this paragraph but it’s awfully difficult to get a good shot off whilst I’m twirling my partner like a top. My mother (the U.S. version), informed me that when I return to the States I am obligated to teach her and my Aunt the dance moves I’ve learned. I am touched by her eagerness to learn and her confidence in my ability to Salsa like a Latin but I do not think she realizes that there is no way I would ever dance these types of dances with my mother. I cannot begin to fathom shaking my hips with Kathy the way I do with Maria. My Tico Mam`a on the other hand gave me a word of caution about this whole dancing business – she’s a Baptist and thus has a natural aversion to all things rhythmic – funny, the same could be said about most Mennonites. She said that dancing can be a beautiful thing but that it can sometimes be too trashy – she looked at me and said “Make sure you dance beautifully”...point taken.
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I realize that the content of my more recent posts might lead some to believe that my sole purpose for residing in Costa Rica has been to observe life here and respond with pithy, half-witted blog entries. While that is indeed an enviable life I doubt my friends and family back home would be very pleased to learn that they were supporting me so that I could sit around and write about Benny Hinn, Rain and Chickens. No, no, I am here after all to attend language school… and boy do I have some witty observations and pithy remarks about that place. I’ll start with my grammar teacher, Francisco – this man is a riot. Spanish grammar is no easy affair, the rules can be very confusing and learning them is often very stressful. We were warned during our orientation in August that some students might cry during class, that we might cry during class – ugh, feelings. Anyways, Fran manages his class in such a way that the stress level is almost nonexistent. He has a gift for using humor to convey the meaning of even the most confusing of rules. The other week we were studying intransitive verbs, one of which means that there is an excessive amount of something. Ex. “A Bill Gates le sobra dinero” or “Me sobran las novias” (Bill Gates has an overabundance of money/I have an overabundance of girlfriends…one of those statements is false). The class wasn’t quite getting the concept so he drew a hand with six fingers on it, used the verb in a phrase and drove the concept home. This week we’ve been learning how to conjugate verbs in the past tense, by watching “Merry Christmas Mr. Bean”; very unorthodox I know, but it keeps things light. Actually, I think Francisco was just in the Christmas mood and wanted to watch his favorite movie de Navidad.
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Last week was “Spiritual Emphasis Week” at our school. Normally chapel is held twice a week but during our spiritual marathon we had chapel twice a day, every day. Our speakers were a husband and wife team from Doylestown, PA so right away I liked them…then I found out they were Presbyterians so right away I didn’t like them. Just kidding, it was actually a very good series of sermons – it focused on our need for repentance and an ability to experience grace (imagine that, a Calvinist preaching about repentance and grace). Both topics were refreshing though, grace is something that I always need more of. The speakers also gave me new insights into the way I so often ask forgiveness from those that I’ve wronged. Too often I want the situation resolved, so I apologize, admit my responsibility and promise to not repeat the action; I essentially gloss over the feelings of others and the sin in the situation to make myself feel better and to restore relationship between myself and the person I’ve wronged. Rarely do I go to the person and really inquire as to how I harmed them and then try to work with them to discern the root causes of my sin – the latter obviously takes a lot more work and self-examination. I appreciated the speakers’ ability to open my eyes to my method of seeking forgiveness and to point to a more Godly, Christ-centered way. Thank the Lord for Calvinists…did I just say that?
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I have one more little tidbit from language school before I wrap this up. Two Fridays ago our school hosted “Culture Day”; no, this was not the same as “Encounter of Cultures Day”. Rather, Culture Day was a chance for the teachers to take a break from listening to our horrendous pronunciation of Spanish and instead teach us about Costa Rican customs. All of the students that didn’t skip out on school were divided into teams and each team had to race from classroom to classroom, listen to brief explanations about the different aspects of Tico culture and then decipher a clue as to the location of their next room. It was a competition of sorts, and I was paired with the only other Mennonite couple at our school. For those of you who know little about Mennonites, know this: if ever you are given the option of playing a game with or against a Menno, choose to play with. By and large we are a kind, passive bunch but when we play games the gloves come off and we can be some of the most competitive and heartless people you’ve ever encountered - games and competitions are for winning. Needless to say, once the whistle blew to start our race the quiet little Mennonites were transformed. The wife was like a house-afire, she barely listened to the cultural presentations. She just found the clue, deciphered it and then gave it to me and made me run with it to the next room so as to secure our team’s place in line. It was a very stressful hour but my team took third place – not entirely satisfactory to the little Mennonite lady, but I was too tired to care. My prize was a very famous, Spanish children’s book – which I cannot yet entirely understand. It was a very fun and much needed diversion from the monotony of school-life.
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As mentioned last week, I’m going to start posting a montage of photos from La Carpio in each entry. If you’re clueless as to the significance of La Carpio scroll down and read my prior post. Obviously I won’t always just post photos; hopefully as my Spanish improves I’ll be able to bring you stories from the children as well. Anyways, as promised here are this week’s shots:
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Alright, that’s it for this entry – more to come next week. If you return you can be sure to read about my experiences with Public Transportation, my need to flee the country and the Costa Rican gourmet dining that is McDonald’s. Blessings to you. Peace!
- Matt