Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meet the Hieberts

Hello all, just wanted to share a link with you today. As many of you know, I'm studying Spanish here in Costa Rica for a year in preparation to move to Venezuela next fall. Also planning to go to Venezuela is the Hiebert family. Chris and Angela attend the same school as me, and they have two very fantastic boys named Mackenzie and Lukas. A few weeks ago, Chris had the opportunity to head to Caracas with Murray Derksen, our Regional Developer. You can read his blog post here about his trip and what it was like to meet the people who we will be hopefully working alongside next year. While you're there, why not check out their other blog posts and get to know this family better. They have been such a blessing to me here in C.R. and I really wish that all of you could meet them. Please remember to pray for the Hieberts as well, as I will hopefully be doing ministry with them for many years to come!

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Do you know the way to San Jose....er....I mean...Heredia?"

This has been a crazy week, I am sooooo glad it's the weekend! On Tuesday I got brave and headed to the other side of the city (Heredia) to visit a friend of my aunt's who is in Costa Rica for a few weeks. To cut costs, I decided to take the bus there and then come back in a taxi. Lucky for me, a few friends were heading downtown San Jose so I joined them for that leg of the journey. In San Jose, there is no published bus schedule so once we got downtown, one of my friends began asking people where to catch the bus to Heredia. It's always good to ask 3 or 4 people, because more than likely you'll get a number of different answers! And oh ya, did I mention that in San Jose most of the streets are not named or numbered? And if they are (mostly downtown) people don't really know the names or numbers??? After a bit of a hike through the streets, we found the place and I was on my own the rest of the way. I had no idea where to get off the bus, but once we got to Heredia, I actually saw a sign pointing to the hotel...it was only a few km away! I decided to get off the bus and take a cab the rest of the way. HOWEVER....I couldn't reach the cord to pull to tell the driver to stop at the next bus stop!!! I just love being short! I decided to wait til someone else pulled the cord and luckily someone did a few blocks later. I started walking and saw another sign that the hotel was only a Km away, so since it was such a nice day I walked the rest of the way. If you know me, you know that I was bound to take a wrong turn at some point...and I did. I came to a fork in the road and turned right when I should have turned left, but after asking for directions from a condominium guard, I found the way. I ended up having a great visit with some great Canadians at a beautiful hotel and then came all the way back to San Francisco in a cab. I had an awesome cab driver who didn't wait around in traffic letting the meter (or the "maria" as they say here) rack up a high fare. He zipped around the sidestreets and we ended up chatting the whole way in spanish with a bit of spanglish thrown in on both our parts. Although I'm sure I didn't make alot of sense most of the time, I think I was at least able to get my points across (maybe he was just nodding out of courtesy???) and so I was pretty excited after the trip.

My next adventure coming up is figuring out how to take a bus to Alajuela where the airport is. Pastor Jim and Teresa Rilling are coming to Costa Rica next weekend for a wedding and I get to visit with them! Pastor Jim is one of the pastors at Sylvan Lake Alliance Church and I had the privilege of working with him for my last year in Sylvan Lake...and Teresa is...well... pretty much one of my favourite people in the world! So I'm pretty pumped to see them.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to relaxing this weekend and getting some much needed rest (I was not well on Wed). Hope you have a wonderful "fin de semana"!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

There's a Chill in the Air...

Please don't laugh, but there really is a chill in the air in San Jose right now! The last few days the weather has really taken a turn. After the torrential downpour of last week (and consequent landslides and flooding), the temperature has dropped and the wind has started to blow. In fact the wind was blowing so hard the other night it actually woke me up! Now, I know many of you will laugh at me when I say this but at night the temperature is going below 20. Yes, it's true. That may still seem tropical but it's a damp coolness that chills you right through. I actually put my feather duvet on my bed last night, since concrete walls and a lack of a furnace can make for a chilly night. My Tico hosts say that over the next month it's going to get quite cold, some nights getting down to 14 degrees. This makes for an interesting season here in San Jose...I went shopping at the mall a few weeks ago and we went into 'Zara'...I was shocked to find wool pea coats, winter jackets and vests, toques, mittens, scarves, and boots....I left these things behind in Canada for a reason!!! My phonics teacher was knitting herself a scarf last week, and my pastor told me at church on Sunday that I was 'brave' to come without a jacket on! When you think about Costa Rica, you often think about sunshine and beaches...but there is another side to this country that I had no idea about! Sadly (yes, sadly) I'm going to be missing out on snowmen and skating this winter...but a bright spot is that for a few days at least, I get to wear sweaters!

You may have heard of the difficulties here in C.R. last week. If not, here is an article...and here is a link to a blog of some fellow Canadian students here in Costa Rica who helped this past weekend with some clean-up. It wasn't too long ago that their own house was flooded and they were forced to move. please continue to keep Costa Rica in your prayers, especially those who are recovering from losing their homes and loved ones.