Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just a quick one...

Hello all.

Sorry it has taken me so long to post again, but my internet opportunities have been rather limited. Here are a few items of note:

Today (I am writing this on September 15) is the day of Costa Rica’s, and the rest of Central America’s, independence from Spain. Last night, I went to my sister’s school, and watched a sort of school program. It included some marching, several Costa Rican songs, traditional dancing, and faroles (not sure how to spell that one), which are basically elaborate lanterns that are generally hung from curved sticks. People in the gym lit all of them as they turned out the lights, and it was gorgeous. At the same time the symbolic torch arrived. As I understand it, the torch is passed from school to school the night before Independence Day. I’m not sure how safe it is to have small children waving around paper lanterns lit with candles and other children running around with a torch in a room that is made up of wood floors, but, after all, in the States, we let small children wave sparklers around on Independence Day. So I suppose I don’t really have much room to talk.

Newsflash! It is 11:09 pm, and I am still awake. I cannot describe the utter exhaustion that generally overcomes me by 9:30. I suppose it is the combination of mental exhaustion (due to the attempt to think in another language and culture) and physical exhaustion (due to the act of packing away enormous amounts of food at every meal). So, this is quite a feat to be up this late. Everyone also gets up very early. I’m usually the last one up at about 6:15 am.

Last weekend, all of the LASP students went to Limón, a port city on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. It is a very poor and beautiful province. Our main objective in going was to interview people in Limón about the poverty there, why it’s there, what they think the solution is. I was very nervous at first both to ask people why they are poor and to ask them in Spanish. However, after getting over the initial hump, it got easier, and was extremely interesting and heartbreaking. It is interesting to see how a person’s background shapes their understanding of a situation. There is still much to think about in this subject…

We were also able to visit an indigenous reservation and Cahuita Beach. It was absolutely beautiful, as the ocean bumped against sand, which bumped against the rainforest. We ate yummy empanadas and fresh fruit, and laughed more than I have since I have gotten here. There are a lot of good people in the program, and it has been great to get to know some of them. That evening, we also had a meal together and a few sweaty hours of dancing to a Latina/Caribbean band. None of us really knew how, but we had a fantastic time.

On Monday, we will be leaving for 12 days in Nicaragua. If I remember correctly, 63% of the population in Nicaragua live at or below poverty level, so it will be a rather drastic change from the stability of Costa Rica. We will be able to spend a few days in the Managua and Granada, but the highlight will be a week-long homestay with a Nicaraguan family. I pray that God will open my eyes and heart to what he wants me to learn there. Thanks so much for your support!
Attached are pictures from the parade, and from Destry´s birthday. Happy birthday, girl!

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to read about everything you are experienceing! It's absolutely amazing and I am far more envious of you than you can possibly imagine! Experience is what life should be about, and you are living it up!
    Love and miss you,