Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Todo!"

Costa Rica. Is on one hand very familiar in its sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel. And yet, altogether different. I have very keen memories of Manila from having lived there for 8 months. Also memories of Costa Rica's neighboring country, Nicaragua. But though they look, feel, and smell similar, there are no familiar places, no church down the street, no friends around the corner. Entirely unique.

After safely landing, successfully navigating immigration, our travel group (about 1/5 of the whole group) headed to the mall for some much needed lunch. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the mall as we walked off the bus. Letha noticed too and commented, "It smells familiar!" It smells just like Mega Mall in Manila. Yep. But it doesn't really look like Mega Mall. It bragged the same kind of food court we were familiar with in Manila, but the KFC doesn't have spicy chicken. Ahhh, and it's humid! That feels all too familiar in a melting, wet kind of way.

In other ways, as we got into Quepos, the smaller towns had more of a look about them that Todd and I experience in Nicaragua a few years ago. A little ice cream shop. Clothing stores. Drug stores. Market. I'm incredibly excited to see more than can be seen through a bus window in the rain!

We arrived at our hotel in the rain, frogs chirping. It's clear that the hotel is beautiful, though hard to see in the dark. We had a nice dinner and one of the missionaries that we will be working with talked to us. She laid down some ground-rules for the the week. Don'ts and Do's!

Don't go off alone. Even if you think you know the culture here, you don't.

Don't touch the wild-life. Snakes, frogs, caterpillars can be poisonous and scorpion stings can hurt, though there are no poisonous scorpions here. (Eeeeek!)

Don't flirt with the locals. (duh!)

DO appreciate the wonder of God's creation.

DO appreciate the culture of these lovely people.

DO speak their language.

DO share the love of Christ with them.

A long night and full day of travel. If this post makes no sense or rambles, chalk it up to lack of sleep! We are here. We are safe. And I am ready to face a week of putting myself aside to honor, glorify, serve and love my Jesus by being here.

Ok, I'm freaked out by the whole bugs, creepy-crawlies, snakes and scorpions thing! Really! I think spiders might be the least of my worries here, and that says a lot!