God Bless America

When we were in Costa Rica for language school, we experienced a true tropical paradise with the daily fresh fruit reminding us how great we had it.  We ate so much pineapple and citrus . . . we loved it.  Although we remain in the tropics, we now live at 9000 feet elevation.  So it is not the same.  We still have a lot of fresh produce, but the products are vegetables instead of fruit.  If you like potatoes or corn, you have it made.  Quinoa or grains, you are in luck.  Fresh fruit is available, but it is not like Costa Rica.  The apples are bite size.  The oranges are no bigger.  And then today we were in Cuzco and found this great fruit.

That picture is the fruit in our sink to be washed / cleaned of parasites.  Wow!  What great fruit!  And as we inspected it we noticed all the little stickers indicating it was from the good ole US of A.  We miss those great American seedless fruits (oranges and grapes, especially).  And what do you know?  You can get them right here in Peru, at the market in Cuzco!  God bless the USA!

I Feel Proud – Go Wildcats!

Wecome Week evening devotional at ACU.  The real emphasis on christian part of the school's name is one of the things that makes our school unique.

Wecome Week evening devotional at ACU. The real emphasis on the “Christian” part of the school’s name is one of the things that makes our school unique.

I would like to share that I am proud of my alma mater, Abilene Christian University.  This past summer, in our little state of Apurimac, located in one of the poorest parts of Peru, we had five people associated with ACU working for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the poor.  From our little university, located in the dry plains of west Texas, somehow five of us managed to find ourselves through the leading of God to be in one of the least honored regions of our hemisphere.  Most recently, the story of Kent Brantly, the physician who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, has been prominent in the news.  Well, he is an ACU graduate as well.  When we were in language school in Costa Rica, a school specifically serving missionaries, at times we had up to 10 students who had an association with ACU.  That was 10 percent of the student body from one university, all in Costa Rica with the hopes of learning Spanish so they can serve God in some capacity.  I read some Christian biographies and there are colleges that are prominent in American missionary history.  One that comes to mind readily is Wheaton college up by Chicago.  That small university has sent missionaries all over the world, and it has had a bigger impact for the sake of Christ than its size deserves.  I wonder if in 50-100 years, if people will be looking back and wondering how that small university in west Texas managed to send so many people out to bring the message of Jesus to the world.  I thank God for ACU.  Here is a link to some of Kent Brantly’s interview on NBC.


Lots of Sunsets to Lift Your Spirit

As it turns dark here in San Jose, I am recalling the coming of night during our vacation with my brother Sam and the Smith family.  Its great to watch the sunset on the Pacific coast.  You have a hard heart if you don’t feel like there is something bigger than you behind all of this beauty.  So here are some pictures to lift your spirits.  Click on a photo to see a slide show and bigger pictures.

Tamarindo with Family

We are in Tamarindo.  Actually we are a bit south of Tamarindo, but it is the closest town.  We are glad to be here to spend time with the Smith family, and it is always a great time when we are out of the busy-ness of San Jose.  We are having a great time watching the cousins reconnect with one another and sharing life with one another again.  Every time we are together it is a blessing.  Tamarindo is a small surfer town located on a great beach with beautiful waves.  The tide is large, and when the waves go out the rocks are full of tide pools that are full of stranded sea life.  We had never been to this part of Costa Rica, and we are surprised by how much it reminds us of the hill country in Texas.  It is the end of the dry season so everything is brown, and it is not a jungle.  It is still beautiful, but not the thick jungles we have enjoyed seeing in southern Costa Rica.  It is incredible how this small country can have such variation in flora and fauna.  I keep hoping we will see some monkeys so our little cousins from the states can see some of them before they get back home.

Saprissa Fútbol Club

If there is one sport item our family is unified around, it is the Saprissa soccer team.  David became a big fan (this may be an understatement) when we saw Saprissa win a game at the national stadium in the fall.  That game in el Estadio Nacional was fun, but the grandstands were not close to full, and it felt more like an exhibition.  Since that time he has desperately wished to attend another game in the actual Estadio Ricardo Saprissa where we would be surrounded by the most fervent fans of Saprissa.  Yesterday we finally made it happen.  It was a delayed birthday gift for David for which he has anxiously been waiting.  Saprissa won 4 – 0 against Pérez Zeledón who was one spot above them in the standings.  It was a good and important victory for “our” team.

Soccer is a great sport, and Costa Rica makes it very accessible to the public.  Tickets are not expensive by American standards, and there are even lower prices for women and children.  To sit in pretty good seats at the stadium cost us a total of $20 for all six of us.  There is a section of the stadium called Sol Sur where all the rowdy Saprissistas sit.  They jump and sing the entire game without stopping.  Periodically the rest of the stadium will join in song as they cheer on the team with los fanaticos.  With every goal the stadium shakes as the crowd comes to its feet in joyous songs and cheers.  We had a great time, and the kids loved the excitement of the singing, clapping, dancing, and the action of the game itself.

Things you can see and do in Costa Rica! Come and see!

If you have ever thought of visiting Costa Rica, here are some things you can see and do that you cannot see or do back home in the USA.  Yes this is an attempt to get people to come visit!

Best Trips 2013 — National Geographic

I have not stayed here, but it would probably be fun!

I have not stayed here, but it would probably be fun!  It is near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

The world is full of incredible destinations.  I have been fortunate to see many, but I have not seen any on this list from National Geographic except for Thessaloniki and Memphis.  Everywhere I go there is great beauty, things to celebrate, things to praise God over.  I am fortunate to live currently in a country that abounds in natural beauty, especially considering how small Costa Rica is.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a car and school keeps us busy, so visiting the beauty and wonders that surround us is more difficult than I wish it was.  We either have to hire a driver (expensive) or take the public bus (cheap, but much more of a hassle with four kids and the included luggage).  However we have had opportunities to visit a few places.   Continue reading

An interview with Peter

David and Peter

David and Peter

What do you like about living in Costa Rica?  That it is fun.  That we get to have vacations to beaches.  My favorite beach is Playa Blanca, because we made a lot of sand castles.  I like seeing animals like monkeys and parrots.

What is your favorite sport?  Soccer and Baseball

What is your favorite team?  Barcelona!

What do you like the least about living here?  I miss my friends.

Any last things you want people to know?  We have a small house without a yard.