Saturday, April 11, 2015

Costa Rica: Day 1 {Saturday: Arrival}

We have arrived in Costa Rica!  We arrived today around 1:15pm (so 2:15 US time) and we were greeted by our driver, Javier.  We had an uneventful flight (thankfully!), well except for the fly in my $8 sandwich.


He loaded up our luggage, all 11 suitcases and we piled into the van with our carry ons & backpacks.  We were tight and cozy!

Javier took us to an authentic Costa Rican restaurant where we stuffed ourselves silly.  We asked Javier and our waitress what they recommended.  We got 2 big as Texas platters to share family style.  We also ordered tamales!!  And we had the most delicious drinks!  I had a soursop with milk and Michele and Elias tried a drink called a cas.  Both 2 fruit type drinks.

The restaurant was an open air restaurant, basically at the edge of the a tree line.  At one point the electricity went out but no one was alarmed or panic, just went on as if nothing ever happened.  The restaurant is also owned by a Pastor so all throughout the bathrooms was prophecy type scripture signs.

After a late lunch, we headed to the Wesley House where we will call home for the week.  The photos below were taken just right around the corner from the Wesley House. 

We made our way through towards San Jose and just took in the sights.  We all agreed to ride with the windows open to help Javier save gas.  I think we all enjoyed the breeze and fresh air.  It also allowed for us to really see the little shops, those walking their dogs, walking from the mall, and see all the trash that litters the roads.  Almost every thing (homes included) is beyond bars, locks, and fencing.  There are fresh fruit stands on corners with the biggest mangoes I've ever seen!  We saw little pizza shops, Subway, Hooters, GNC, and even a Wal-Mart!  We also saw gorgeous flowers and trees (lots of coffee bean trees) as we drove around the city.  Below is a photo of a HUGE rubber tree, the kind in the US you find in people's offices or homes.  Okay, but only MUCH smaller!!

Lidia greeted us at the gate and was beyond gracious with her hospitality.  We all found our rooms and got somewhat settled before it was time to eat again.  We're in a 3 story type building.  The bottom level is where Maruja, our adorable cook makes our delicious meals and where we will dine for breakfast and dinner.  We sleep above the "dining hall" and then there is a 3rd level that no one has been brave enough to explore.  We have a common area with a big room with couches and then the rooms surround the common area.

Michele is lucky enough that she gets to bunk in the room with myself and Becky.  She is so excited! ;)

A volcano.  There are over 100 volcanoes in Costa Rica.

For dinner tonight, Maruja fixed us rice, beans, chicken breast with "aromatics" (onions & bell peppers), black beans, a fresh salad topped with tomatoes, avocados & lemon juice, served with fresh papaya.  She also had iced tea for us.  It was really yummy!!

After dinner, she offered to make us "cafe" aka coffee and I am here to tell you, it was beyond heavenly!  She offered us leche too.  She served us our cafe in fine china coffee cups.  It was the perfect treat to end our first day.

Tomorrow will be Sunday so we will have breakfast then head down to the local Methodist church for worship.  After worship, we'll head out for brunch and then to zip line.  I can't wait!  It's been a long day of traveling, but we have been so blessed with laughs, amazing food, a safe flight, and great fellowship.  Tonight, we go to bed with full hearts and anticipation of what the week will bring.  The air has a chill in it and we hear the sounds of cars/motorcycles buzzing by, honking, and dogs barking.  From the front door, we can see the lights of the city and the steam/ash from the volcano in the distance and we know God is good.  Faithful to this call.

Our amazing team!  
Praying for God to move mighty this week as we love on the kids at the home and work for the goodness of God.  Pray this week forever changes us and those we come in contact with!!

MUCHO AMOR from Costa Rica!!!!

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