Monday, April 13, 2015

Costa Rica: Day 3 {Monday}

Day 3 has come and gone in Costa Rica!  Our day started really early this morning.  The sun rises here at 5AM and the birds (parrots) are nature's alarm clock. Breakfast was served at 6AM. This morning we had pancakes, sausage, delicious cantaloupe, rice & beans, and fresh pan (bread) that Elias went out and picked up for us.   Another delicious meal & Michele provided us some morning entertainment.

Michele got little sleep last night due to homework so she was ready for the amazing cafe Costa Rica offers.  She fixed up her coffee with cream & sugar, then stirred her coffee with her fork.  She took a drink and made the ugliest face.  Turns out what she thought was sugar was actually SALT.  Of course, we all laughed at her-- I mean with her. :)  We are so thankful for her sense of humor and poor eye sight ;)

Today was our first day of work.  We loaded up at 7:15 to head to Coronado to the children's home.  Coronado is about 40 minutes from where we are staying.  We picked up our cook, Monica on the way to the home.  As we got further away from the city the lot sizes became larger and we started to see homes with actual grass/yards.  Our driver explained that there aren't many building regulations in Costa Rica which is why you see all kinds of whatever goes housing, but in Coronado they are a little stricter.  We saw much bigger homes, homes with big front yards, yet all still gated.

We arrived at the children's home to a gated entrance with a beautiful wall mural.  Ray was there to greet us as we pulled up to the administration building.  He took some time explaining the history of the children's home, all about the kids, and their hope and vision for their ministry.  There were sad stories, but also stories of hope and restoration.

The site we are working on is the children's multi-purpose building.  It will have a large pantry, a commercial size kitchen, large bathrooms with showers, 3 classrooms, and a large open area.

At the children's home, there are 2 homes.  A boys home and a girls home.  The boy's house has 12 boys and the girl's has 11 (room for one more).  Some of the children attend the private Methodist school up the road and they go half a day.  There is a soccer field, playground, and lots of space for them to run around.  The area & view are simply beautiful!

Today's work involved bricks, mud, and cement.  Everyone worked extremely hard and together.  We had 3 maestros - Junior, Ricardo, and Leandro.

Beverly, Melissa, Dave, and Elias all worked laying the first bricks down for the foundation.  Michele and myself shoveled & sifted sand to remove the rocks.  Michele and myself also helped with adding mud between the bricks that were laid.  We worked for 3 hours or so then broke for lunch.  

Monica and Becky prepared a wonderful lunch of salad, fish, fresh fruit, rice, refried beans, and chips.  We then had little cookies and cookie wafers for dessert with more cafe (coffee).  The cafe might be my most favorite thing here!  SO good!!  Ray and Lidia ate with us and we told them about Grace UMC, our wonderful church back in Texas.

After lunch, it was time to get back to work! We started back at pouring in the cement into the block holes.  Everyone help work together, carrying shovels, using the trowel to level off the cement, pushing wheelbarrows, and shoveling cement into the holes.

Around 3PM, we started clean up and we were home by 4:30 or so.  We were all wiped from the day!  We took showers and then headed downstairs for dinner.  

House in the background is one of the homes that the children live in.

A Catholic church we saw on the way up.
Tonight we had "rice of the garden" (rice mixed with meat and vegetables), black beans, cucumber & heart of palm salad, fresh avocados & pineapple, and papas tostadas (potato chips).   Our drink tonight was horchata- YUM!!  We also had cafe after dinner...again!

We ended our night with a devotional from 1 Peter 2.  Which was so fitting for today as it talked about the foundations and stones of Christ.  Christ the cornerstone, our foundation and us us chosen people.  We accomplished so much today with our team of 7.  We were able to complete 2 rows of bricks and start on a third.  We may be small, but fierce.  So far, this trip has been nothing short of amazing!  We've had the best time and even though our bodies will most definitely be sore tomorrow, I know I am excited to get back out and see the rest of the stones be laid.  We are playing a small part in a much bigger picture.  God's plan.  THANKS so much for the prayers!  Please continue to pray for working, moving bodies.  Tonight, we are all thankful for HOT showers (took us a while to figure out the "suicide showers") and Advil!  We are also so incredibly thankful for this opportunity and for our Costa Rican brothers and sisters.  They are some of the kindest people I've ever met & in Texas we know kind when we see it.  If you are interested in the ministry that Ray & Lidia do here in Costa Rica you can visit their website to find out more.

Yours truly...from Costa Rica!  
By the way, this outfit was unplanned.  It started raining and my jacket just so happened to match my shoes...I like to keep it fancy even while I work ;)


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