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

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Buenas ____ (fill in the blank)! I have to admit that this past week wasn’t one of astounding accomplishment - not much out of the ordinary happened. It was just your typical week in a tropical paradise, hanging out with the macaws, howler monkeys and rice. I had anticipated regaling you with tales from my SCUBA adventures but alas, that trip was postponed due to foul weather so you’ll have to wait. Don’t worry though, I’ve been saving some topics for a rainy day and as it turns out, it’s raining, so here goes another demonstration in verbosity.
-
Upon arriving home from school the other day my mam’a took one look at me and said “Los Lunes ni las gallinas ponen”. I could only make out ‘Mondays’, ‘chickens’ and ‘put’ so I had no idea what she was talking about until she pointed to a basket of eggs and then pointed to me. It suddenly became perfectly clear: on Mondays I am now expected to lay eggs because the chickens take the day off; I didn’t even know we had chickens at the house. I think she saw the confusion gathering on my face (I was willing to give it the old college try but was doubtful of the outcome), because she swooped into the rescue and clarified: on Mondays everyone is tired, even the chickens, to the point that they don’t lay, you need a nap. ….but first go lay some eggs. Ok, so I added that last bit of infantile humor, but she was absolutely right; I was exhausted. I am finding that as I settle in here, my days continually consist of more than just school, siestas, running and Little House on the Prairie; each week there seems to be yet another activity that I add to my daily schedule. This is a good thing because it points to the fact that I am adjusting to life here and that I am being social with more than just the local cockroaches. I am now involved in teaching ESL classes, SCUBA lessons, Volleyball, a ministry in La Carpio which I will tell you about in my next post and Salsa/Meringue lessons (I realize that I am taking dance classes, but down here everyone knows how to dance so I consider it cultural bonding…and I like to shake it). I am thankful that these opportunities have presented themselves and I have been so blessed by the relationships that have been formed as a result, but I do miss my daily siesta time. !Primero Dios!
-
I seem to write about rain a lot – probably because it rains so much. It also seems to be the topic of conversation around here as of late, especially with my mam`a. You may think that my musings are merely the complaints of a maladjusted Gringo, but I assure you the rain here is a very serious matter. We have had far too much these past two months and it’s beginning to take its toll. Whole communities in the north and along the Pacific coast have been under water for a week. Desamparados, the town next to mine and Cartago, the town with the beautiful church that I visited, have seen whole sections of their cities destroyed by mudslides. In the farming communities’ people have lost their crops and as such, can’t make payments on their land – banks have already started foreclosing. News reports say that this is the worst rainy season the country has experienced in 30 years and that in the beginning of October we received more rain in a single week than what we normally get all month. It really is a bad situation for a lot of people and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. We are counting the days until November when the rainy season should end. In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers; a lot of people have lost their homes, their livelihoods and the total of their worldly possessions, if it doesn’t stop raining soon a lot more people will experience the same. On a lighter note - in the midst of one of our many lunchtime dialogues, my mam`a mentioned that recent news reports are blaming the terrible weather on astronauts. That’s right; astronauts and space exploration in general, while having produced no discernable benefits for the past 20 years, have managed to alter Central American weather patterns. Congratulations NASA. I was obviously a tad skeptical about her claim, but my mam`a seemed to be thoroughly convinced of this logic and no matter what I said she stood by her position that astronauts and their silly jaunts to the moon have been the cause of the excessive rain in Costa Rica. Who knows, maybe she’s on to something.
-
I have been meaning to write about the local fauna for quite some time, but I have found that other topics always seem to take precedence. Well, in that I am hard up for topics this week I figured I would issue the first of many installments on the animal life that I have encountered whilst living here. The first, as previously promised, is dedicated to the local canines that I do battle with on a daily basis, and is entitled:
-
“The sole reason that I wish I could carry a gun in Costa Rica”
-
I cannot begin to describe for you the contempt I feel for the dogs that accompany me to school every day, I loathe them. Lest you begin to think me a cruel Neanderthal, let me assure you that I love animals, probably to a fault – good grief I raised ducks in my bedroom…twice. However, these dogs are not animals, these creatures did not issue forth from Eden when man fell. These fiendish little brutes live to torture me whenever possible and I in turn, have taken it upon myself to thwart what little joy they find in their worthless existence. I suppose I harbor a slight prejudice in that I have never truly loved little rat-dogs to begin with – I’ve always considered anything smaller than a terrier to be of no other earthy good than target practice. As such, in that nearly all canines here are tiny, yippy and ugly; I find it incredibly difficult to evince anything but animosity towards them. This partisan aversion to small dogs is only compounded by the fact that every home on my way to school has at least one, and each one loves to bark at me. They bark non-stop; they keep me up at night, they bark when I walk down the street, when I look at them, when I don’t pay attention to them, even when I try to be nice to them, which is admittedly rare. I am convinced they have an inferiority complex; every time I move toward them in an effort to confront their unprovoked racket, they stop and slink away with a snarl. However, once I am at a safe distance, they begin barking at me again as if they are the ones that won the showdown. That really bothers me; if you’re gonna have such a big mouth and let the whole neighborhood know that you don’t like me, then when confronted you should be able to back it up – fight like a real dog. They get me in other ways too; most dogs here are allowed to roam the streets and they just love to leave little surprises for me to step in, on my way to or from school – I’m considering leaving chocolate bars lying about the street in retaliation. There are two dogs that particularly disgust me; the first is a slinky little rat that hangs out near my house. Unlike others I encounter, this one seems to take particular delight in chasing me and nipping at my heels when I walk through its territory – I in turn have taken to arming myself with rocks. I have to give it credit though, in spite of its diminutive size it has managed to form and lead a small pack of dogs in terrorizing the neighborhood – they particularly love trash day, it’s a veritable smorgasbord. The other dog that has won my hatred, shares my house. Its name is Bo-bi and it is the foulest smelling creature that I have ever encountered – on a nice breezy day, if Bo-bi happens to cross in front of the open front door, its smell wafts all throughout the house. I don’t feel bad telling you this because even my mam`a hates it. She told me at lunch the other day that Bo-bi is 19 years old and refuses to die. She says that for Christmas each year, all that she asks for is that he dies – but he won’t. I think the only thing that keeps her from killing it, is that it’s her son’s; he has had it since he was 10 and he loves it dearly. I know some of you now think me heartless and cruel, perhaps even insensitive – but I assure you, if you lived with these things you would take a similar stance.
-
My head is a jumble of languages and grammar rules. When I started school back in September I found the acquisition process to be fairly easy, I had an extremely limited knowledge of Spanish so I was able to keep the rules I was learning straight; no longer. I have been bombarded with verb conjugations, pronouns, and prepositional phrases – it’s nearly impossible to keep all of my ducks in a row, which really runs counter to my OCD nature. One of the hardest rules to incorporate is for the verb ‘to be’. It has 5 different forms – Ser/Estar/Tener/Hace/Hay – using the correct one depends on whether I want to say I am ‘a characteristic’ I am ‘a condition’ or I am ‘25’. The rules are fairly easy; there are just a lot of them so it has taken a while for me to correctly incorporate them into my conversation. I’m also having trouble speaking one language at a time. The other day we cut classes short to throw a surprise party for the school’s gardener, Don Carlo. He was thoroughly surprised; he turned the corner with his machete in-hand and was stopped short by “Happy Birthday” en Espanol. My rendition however, didn’t exactly mesh with everyone else’s. I began fine with, ‘Feliz Cumpleanos’ but instead of saying ‘a ti’ I said ‘zu dir’ – which is German. I noticed the mistake and in the next verse tried to fix it but instead sang ‘Froelichen Geburstag a ti’. I sang English the next verse and finally got it right on the final verse. It’s as though I no longer have control of what comes out of mouth – my brain isn’t quite sure which language I want to use. Needless to say, this makes for very interesting conversations with my Tico friends.
-
Before I go I wanted to let you know that my prayer request regarding church has been answered. Sundays have been the hardest day for me here because that is the day that I feel the most foreign to the culture. I can’t understand the sermons, so I have a good hour to think about church back home, about favorite hymns and about all the people there. Anyway, last week my favorite teacher Francisco, walked up to me and invited me to his church. I went, loved it and I think I have found my congregation. I still can’t understand the entire sermon but the pastor speaks very clearly so it’s easier to pick up what he’s saying. The other thing that drew me is that it is small – very small, thus I am able to really get to know people. Estoy muy feliz – I am very happy. Thank you to those of you who kept me in prayer about this – God is faithful.
-
Well, that about does it for this week. Tune in next week and you’ll hopefully get to read about SCUBA adventures in the Pacific Ocean, cars that I covet and 501 recipes for rice. Blessings to you. Peace!



- Matt

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Holidays

You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry, you’d better not pout I’m telling you why…. Christopher Columbus and his merry band of pillagers are coming to town with a boatload of Small Pox and alcohol. That’s right everyone, it’s your favorite holiday and mine, Columbus Day! Unfortunately here in Costa Rica, that no longer exists; down here October 12th is now celebrated as “The Encounter of Cultures Day”. Furthermore, lest anyone begins to wax poetic about Columbus, Spain or the Santa Maria at one of the many autumnal cultural encounter parties that will invariably occur this holiday season, the government has wisely moved the observance date of this most oppressive of public holidays to Monday the 15th, thereby severing all ties of Columbus from the autumn shopping season. The cultural elite have done their very best to inoculate us from any painful memories we might still be harboring from 1492 – and for that I give thanks….oh wait, wrong holiday. To be sure, I’ve never been a fan of Cristobal or his conquests, but let’s be honest – Columbus Day was never about pondering the virtues of that wayward Italian mariner or about thanking God that he bumped into America on his way to India, and in turn facilitated the obliteration of 5 centuries worth of civilization. It was about having a day off school or work, sipping coffee at a street-side café and enjoying the many sales at the local mall. I tend to think that these showy and empty attempts at political correctness are silly and fruitless – but I tend to be in the minority. !Que Lastima! Anyways, our Language School, being the bulwark of free-thought and tradition that it is, chose not to budge when faced with Orwellian oppression and celebrated “Encounter of Cultures Day” on Friday the 12th – I’m brimming with pride. What this means of course is that we had off on Friday, whilst our Tico friends and family had to work – so much for cultural bonding.
-
(I apologize for the previous paragraph, it is dripping with sarcasm and historical revisionism, but I just couldn’t resist.)
-
I spent my holiday weekend guarding a house. Here in Costa Rica, it’s not a wise idea to leave your house unattended for days at a time. The wrong people will eventually notice that no one is home and when you return from your 3-day mini-vacation, you will find your house completely devoid of material possessions – sometimes they’ll be nice and leave the cockroaches. Thus, when 4 of my friends discovered that I was a loser and had no plans for the holiday, they asked me to guard their house while they were at the beach; they lured me with promises of free phone and internet. I readily agreed, but neglected to mention that I’m a Mennonite, so that in the event of a break-in I would likely stand by and do nothing; strike that, I would probably be a good host and set out some shoo-fly pie and coffee. Lucky for my friends, the weekend was theft-free……except for that vacuum I lifted. It was actually very relaxing, a few other friends helped out and kept me company. We thoroughly enjoyed the internet and Vonage phone, drinking coffee at a nearby café, and watching old episodes of The Office. That Friday night, in the middle of watching Season 1, I heard these strange and alluring sounds floating up the street from a neighbor’s house. I roused myself up, went to investigate and captured this: (click play)
-
I thougt it was pretty cool.
It rained much of the weekend – imagine that; but during the morning it was partly sunny so I did a lot of walking around and photographing interesting sights in the neighborhood. I couldn’t have looked like more of a tourist but I didn’t care. All in all, a lovely little holiday, Happy Encounter of Cultures to me!
-
Speaking of Mennonites, at our daily gab session over lunch the other day, my mam`a discovered that I was a Mennonite, and almost fell out of her chair. Once she regained her composure she examined me from head to toe and then nodded her approval, almost as though she was making sure I measured up to her standards of Mennonitism. It probably didn’t hurt that I have begun wearing a plain-coat and straw hat around the house. Anyway, as is her nature, she immediately launched into a discourse about the virtues of Mennonites and Amish, how beautiful their lifestyle is, how cute their children are, and how she has always wanted to visit Lancaster County. She also mentioned that in her mind, Mennonites are on par with the characters and lifestyles from Little House on the Prairie; believe me my fellow Anabaptists, coming from her that is quite the compliment – she is in love with the Ingalls Family. She also mentioned that a few years ago she hosted a young Mennonite couple from Lancaster – she loved having them and thought they were some of the sweetest and dearest people she had ever met. I asked their names thinking I might know them; she looked at me kind of funny and said Kendall and Erin. I asked their last name and she said it started with an H, but that she couldn’t pronounce it. That’s right dear readers; here I was playing the Mennonite Game with my Tico mother who can’t speak English. She thought I was thoroughly out-to-lunch for thinking I might know them, and I found it difficult to explain that in the Mennonite world, discovering familial ties and degrees of separation is what we do for fun on the weekends. In the end I figured out their last name – it was Hochstettler (no wonder she couldn’t pronounce it)…and no I didn’t know them. -
-
So it happened again, I was picked out for a Gringo in less than a minute. The other day I hailed a taxi, something I’ve become very good at. I got in, said I wanted to go to Quesada Duran por favor, and didn’t say another word. The taxi driver looked at me, looked at the radio that was pumping some hot Latin beats that I was really enjoying, and then reached down and turned the radio station to the first English channel that he could find. He was trying to be very hospitable and make me feel right at home in his taxi. I appreciate that, but the station he found was airing an English soap opera that kept repeating the same chapter over and over again – I must of listened to Michael and Harold’s adventure in The Louvre about 5 different times. Honestly, I am being very serious – how was he able to peg me for a Gringo in under a minute, do I look and sound that ridiculous?
-
In my last post I mentioned that the country voted on TLC this past Sunday the 7th, and that the results were already in. I know that you have all been stricken sick with anticipation; how you got through the week without knowledge of the results is beyond me…next time though, just Google the answer and save yourself the headache. Anyways, despite my valiant efforts to the contrary, Costa Rica passed TLC by the narrowest of margins. I have to admit that I’m a tad shocked; I was convinced that if Ticos saw me wearing a No TLC t-shirt the No vote would win by a landslide. Apparently I don’t have the clout down here that I thought I did. In all seriousness though, I want to reiterate that I think this is bad for Costa Rica. The next phase of the process is going to make the referendum stage that we just finished look like a lesson in togetherness. The referendum didn’t actually put the treaty into effect – its sole purpose was to tell the legislature whether or not it could proceed with enacting TLC provisions. Now with the Yes vote, the government has been charged with enacting 12 separate projects or provisions, all of them stipulations mandated by the United States. Each project must be voted on by the legislature separately, which means that there will be 12 separate public campaigns to either accept or reject the project. If the government fails to enact even one of them, they cannot join CAFTA; this then means that the U.S. will demand repayment of the outstanding debt that Costa Rica owes. If all 12 projects pass, Costa Rica will join CAFTA and thus fully open itself to competition from U.S. companies. Many Ticos, are frightened by the process that awaits them, they’re convinced the political rancor is going to get much worse and that the country will be split for years to come. Furthermore, many fear the competition from U.S. companies; they rightly believe that more U.S. companies will open businesses here. More U.S. fast-food joints will mean fewer neighborhood sodas (tiny restaurants), larger U.S.-style super markets will spell the extinction of neighborhood pulperias (corner markets), more U.S. style malls filled with American fashions will mean fewer Costa Rican specialty clothing stores filled with Latin fashion. In short, Ticos see their way of life slipping away; it’s been happening for years but they’ve managed to hang on to much of what makes them unique in large part because the government has kept a tight rein on the U.S. companies. Now however, the floodgates are 12 projects away from being opened and many Ticos are frightened of what may be coming. Please pray for them.
-
David Beckham I am not. I was walking down the street the other day when some neighborhood kids stopped me and asked in English if I would like to play soccer with them – that’s right they even translated futbol into soccer thinking I was some stupid American that didn’t understand Spanish – they weren’t too far off the mark. I stood there transfixed for a minute, not knowing which verbs to conjugate and then realized that Brando and Andre could understand English; so I said yes. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I will tell you that these 12 year-olds thoroughly whipped me. As if that wasn’t enough, a small boy about the age of 7 scored on me twice and laughed at me in a very mocking tone every time I made a mistake - he was laughing a lot. I felt like a real winner that day. I noticed though that most kids don’t have full fields to practice on – instead they play on cement basketball courts, which means their ball-handling skills are unbelievable. Mine are not.
-
Well, with that last little piece of self-deprecation out of the way I think I will end this entry. I do realize that I didn’t get to talk about the local rat-dogs or the verb Estar, don’t worry though neither are going anywhere…much to my chagrin. Come back next week and we’ll talk about all that plus my scuba trip to the beach. Peace!

- Matt

Monday, October 8, 2007

Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast?

Greetings and salutations my dear readers, it seems an eternity since last we chatted but the calendar says that it’s been just 9 days; what a busy little beaver I have been. This past week was spent exploring points beyond San Jose and attending to the obligations of daily life – as much as possible I attempted to document all of this with my camera. This has however left me with a plethora of pictures and topics from which to write about; you cannot begin to imagine the mental anguish I have endured as a result. Another jewel in my Heavenly crown I am sure. Anyway, I attempted to glean from my list the most interesting and noteworthy of topics, hold on tight boys and girls ‘cuz this little entry is gonna jump around.
-
On the last Saturday of September I and a group of friends set out for a hidden little farming community called Orosi Valley. A Tico friend of ours has a friend whose grandfather owns an orange plantation there. In very Latin fashion however, there was some miscommunication, lateness and a change of plans. We never actually got to see the plantation; the grandfather forgot we were coming, and our new friend Laura forgot her keys to the place. Instead we trudged around Orosi village in the rain – it was wonderful. The architecture, the tight-knit community feel, and the beauty of the landscape made the three hour journey there completely worthwhile. We visited a 400 year old Catholic Church, in which there are works of art, religious articles and very frightening life-size statues of Jesus, Mary and the Saints that were all brought over from Spain in the early 1600’s. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to photograph the inside of the church but I assure you it was other-worldly. The architecture was ancient and all handcrafted from wood and gold, there was no electricity so it was very dark inside, and the statues were some of the most terrifying things that I have ever seen in my life; some of them donned real human hair and Jesus was clothed in a red velvet dress. After leaving the Church we walked around the village awhile just taking in the beauty, we stopped at a market and the owner knew instantly that we were Gringos. It must be a gift these people have, because I really feel like as long as I don’t open my mouth I am indistinguishable from many, many Ticos. I guess I am wrong – which would be a first. We ended our time in Orosi with lunch at an open air soda (a very tiny, local restaurant). The place was essentially a large wooden structure with no doors, and windows where the walls should be, with a kitchen and a bar attached to it. I was a little wary at first, the menu was but one page and my only options were fish, fish and fish – I hate fish. I got the Sea Bass and it was unbelievable, the best fish I have ever eaten. On our way home we changed buses in Cartago, the oldest city in the country, and I got a picture of a very beautiful Catholic Church. It was a very long day, 14 hours in all, but very worth it.
-
I think I’ve mentioned before that it rains here – a lot. All through September weather patterns consisted of sun in the morning, with a light breeze and cool temperatures, and rain through part of the afternoon. It was actually very nice, the rain usually would start around 1:00 or 2:00 and end around 6:00. I therefore never really felt guilty for lying down and taking a long siesta after lunch – rain justifies sleep as we all know. Furthermore, I could go out in the late evening and not worry about having to wear my Jenny (a massive poncho). It was a nice little arrangement that God and I had. Unfortunately, those halcyon days of mindless bliss are over. We’re now in the thick of the rainy season and you can never really tell when it will rain – it might be on your way to school, it might be all morning, it could rain all day, or it could just threaten to rain all day and then clear up by evening. While writing this, it has down poured 3 separate times. I take my Jenny and my umbrella everywhere – I am counting the days until mid-November when all of this will pass. Pray that I don’t use the October weather as an excuse to sleep all day.
-
My mam’a informed me the other day that I am a piece of bread. I cocked my head sideways and gave her a look that said “you’ve been drinking”. She however persisted and very calmly told me a second time that I was a piece of bread. I didn’t know what to make of this new found discovery and so I avoided butter and all forms of marmalade until a Tico friend informed me that in Costa Rica, to be referred to as bread is very complimentary; the English equivalent of dumpling or sugarplum. I like that – I fancy myself rather tasty, something along the lines of banana or potato. You have my permission to incorporate this little term of endearment into your lexicon – just don’t get carried away and begin referring to people as loafs of bread, they might not appreciate that.
-
In my last entry I wrote a bit about CAFTA/TLC and mentioned that the country would be voting on a referendum in early October. Well, early October arrived much quicker than I expected and the country is voting today (Sunday the 7th). Earlier this week a teacher of mine informed me that this was the third biggest political event in the history of the country; it ranks right behind their independence and civil war. I was a tad incredulous but she assured me that she has never seen this country so politically active; not even presidential elections are as important as this. She’s not lying about the political activity; posters, graffiti, bumper stickers, and community debates are everywhere. Little children sport TLC t-shirts, homes fly NO TLC flags, ads run on television non-stop and communities hold rallies on the weekends. It’s overwhelming but you can tell it’s authentic, not like our staged, made-for-TV events hosted by Republicans and Democrats. A classmate of mine asked our teacher, Francisco, how he would be voting, he said that he and his friends believe TLC is bad for Costa Rica but they will all probably vote for it because they don’t want the U.S. to be upset with them. My mam’a mentioned the same thing over lunch a week ago – she was worried that if the country rejected TLC, the U.S. would be upset and not as friendly to them. I have to admit that I can’t understand this line of thinking, probably because I’m a citizen of the United States; it’s amazing though that people take into consideration the desires of the U.S. before casting their vote.
-
Elections here are held on Sundays because that is the only day most people don’t work. The polling places are at the local schools – I stopped by one this afternoon hoping to vote but they took one look at me and said no Gringos allowed. In the U.S. polling places are very quiet, campaigners are only allowed within a certain distance of the entrance; the whole ordeal is a very private affair. In Costa Rica it’s a party, everyone’s mixed together, the campaigners are right in the middle of the activity. There are no lines, just a large, shuffling sea of people, there are food vendors and arts and crafts; it’s a real community event. It’s actually a lot of fun. The U.S. should look into to something similar to increase voter turnout – a balloon animal and a hotdog for showing up to vote – people would turn out in droves. The election results should be announced tonight so I’ll fill you in on the aftermath in my next post.
-
I wanted to briefly mention that Benny Hinn and I have breakfast together every morning. I stumble out of my room each day and there is my mam’a fixing me a glorious meal and on the tele in the kitchen is Benny Hinn preaching to an audience of thousands – in Spanish of course. My mam’a thinks he’s wonderful and gets a little upset if he’s not on. Now that I’ve watched his show for 35 days straight, I can’t help but ask a few questions. First of all, who are those thousands of people that pack out his events? I’ve never met anyone that’s gone to one but he’s been doing this for 30 years and they seem to be very well-attended. Second question, why does he only wear pajama-like suits that are completely white or completely black? It’s kind of a creepy look. Lastly, who are those 8 large men that are always seated behind him off to his left? Are they there for moral support? Are they his handlers? Do they actually do anything? As young men did they aspire to grow up some day and sit off and to the left of Benny Hinn? These are the queries I ponder at 6 in the morning.
-
It turns out my mam’a is quite the little Chatty Cathy, which is funny because my real mother’s name is Kathy too. Coincidence? Yes. This woman can talk for hours, and she usually does, she just looks for conversation. Sometimes, if I’m in my room and no one else is around she just starts talking to herself or just randomly thanks God. One day during breakfast there was an awkward silence so she just filled it with a “!Gracias a Dios!”. She gets me at lunch each day – we no sooner bless the food and she’s out of the gate like a thoroughbred. She talks about the weather, the neighbors, TLC, snow, Christmas, bread, trampy women on the television, God, politicians and fruit – anything that pops into her head really. It’s good though, because it forces me to really use Spanish – she can’t speak any English. The funniest though is when she gets on the phone, she says “Hallo” and then shouts into the phone talking a mile a minute without pausing and doesn’t stop until she hangs up. I can only assume that the person on the other end is either, deaf, doing the same thing, or does not speak the entire length of the call.
-
I wanted to take a moment and mention a few prayer requests that I have. Please pray for a family that lives across the street from us. Their son was playing soccer last weekend and died from a heart attack – he was just 17 and in excellent health. Pray for comfort and healing for the family. Pray too for TLC, regardless of the outcome, Costa Rica will have a tough road ahead of it – pray for wisdom for the country’s leaders. Pray for the relationships that I am forming with Latins here – it is so easy for miscommunication and hurt feelings to occur, pray that God bridges the language barrier. Lastly, pray that I connect with a church somewhere; I have visited many places and need to find a community to become a part of. Thank you.
-
Well that about does it for this week; before I go I should like mention that Notre Dame won their first game this past weekend by beating UCLA. The Fight is Back…..oh were that true. Come back next week and read about my SCUBA adventures, the election results for TLC, the local rat-dogs that I loathe and how to conjugate the verb Estar. Peace.
-
P.S. – This is what my mailbox at school looks like, this is how you can fill it.
-
Instituto de Lengua Espanola
Matt Keiser
Apartado 100-2350
San Jose, Costa Rica
America Central

- Matt