Sunday, June 6, 2010
Where do I start. We have packed alot in the last few days.
Friday, after we had our orientation, we ventured out. We exchanged our American dollars for Costa Rican Colones. The exchange rate is 500 colones for one American dollar. So we are techincally millionares.
Then we headed toward the "Multi Plaza del Este", otherwise known as the mall. We had to get two cabs, as our family plus one will not legally fit in one taxi. Dave put the girls and myself in one, and then he and Judy went in the other. That was a little scarey being without Dave going through crazy traffic. But we both made it there. The mall is very American. The stores are not the same, but are not far off. Oddly enough there was a Mac store. I guess they are international. Who knew? We had a nice time window shopping. Infront of every store, there is a guard, who checks your purchases. We found a movie theater (the girls are counting down the days till toy story 3 comes out, even if they have to watch it in Spanish), and a food court. The food court has all the same fast food restaurants as back home,(McDonalds, Burger King, Churches Chicken, etc) I thought that was neat, but was not impressed that there was no chick-fil-a. :). Before we left, we had a cinnabon, I know. . .I know, we should have had a Costa Rican treat, but the smell overwhelmed us.
After that we walked around the area, checking out different stores. The prices of things have suprised us. We thought that the prices of things would be considerably less, but not so. I think that since this country has such strong tourism, the prices are similiar to what we would pay at home, but a little more. Sometimes alot more. The food prices are double if you are buying American brand food.
After shopping, we hailed a cab infront of the mall, but we all squeezed in. I think Dave's size affords us some privelages. We have a card with our apartment address on it, so all we are supposed to do is give them that card and they take us home. Well wouldn't you know, on the way home we get lost. Not the lost where I missed one street, I mean the lost where you are in a taxi cab and are unable to communicate with the driver. I mean come on. We were driving around making dangerous u-turn in oncoming traffic. Finally we made it back "home". (I think Jesus really did take the wheel). The streets are not marked here, and GPS for side streets does not exsist. (we are sooo spoiled)
Anyway, , ,
When we registered the girls for school, we saw a posting for a field trip offered to those students to a place called La Paz Waterfall, and to the Poaz Volcanoe. So we signed up that day, thinking it would be a great way to get out of the city. So that was on the agenda for Saturday.
Saturday morning we got started early, so we would have the best chances of seeing the volcanoe.
We stopped off for breakfast at a little restaruant on the way up. The food was the typical Costa Rican fare. We had beans and rice, plantains (kind of like bananas), and bread. They offered coffee and hot chocolate. The food was outstanding. The girls loved it to. If you are a coffee drinker, Costa Rica has the finest in the world.
We were unable to go to the Volcanoe because of the weather. The fog had covered the top, so it would have been useless to attempt. It was disappointing, but we moved on.
We then ventured to La Paz waterfall gardens. The road had been destroyed by an earthquake that happened about a year ago, so it was a wild ride. La Paz is a nature park and wildlife refuge.
It was amazing. It is everything that San Jose (where we are staying) is not.
We were able to each hold a tucan. You are able to offer them food, and they come right up to you. It was a highlight the girls will not soon forget.
Then you walk into the the butterfly house. It was outstanding. The butterflies are fluttering all around you. There are 20 different kinds. They even have a laboratory to follow the life cycle. We had to pull the girls out of the place.
We also saw monkeys, poison dart frogs, "big" cats, and snakes.
One of the best parts, was the hummingbird garden. It was this big open area, not inclosed. Hummingbird feeders were hanging all around us, and the hummingbirds are buzzing all around you. If you sit still, you can almost touch them. It was outstanding. There were over 24 types of hummingbirds. We wanted to buy a feeder to take home, but they didn't sell those.
Then we hiked down to the falls. The trail took us though both the cloud and rainforest.
We finished up the day with a wonderful lunch, with everyone in the family trying Costa Rican food. (we also had pizza, but since it has pineapple on it, we deemed it authentic local food).
The drive back in itself was beautiful. We passed coffee plantations, fields of ferns, and beautiful flowers growing along the side of the road. It was a wonderful view of the Costa Rica you hear about.
This morning we went to a church, just a block from our house.
The worship service was so touching. Not because I could understand a word they said, but that we had a common bond.
We were all worshiping.
Witnessing the Costa Rican people singing and praising, in the zeal and excitement they expressed, let Dave and myself speachless.
Watching Maggi and Emma in the service was also sweet. Maggi, in her tender spirit, didn't know the language, but knew the song. . .
Holy (Santo) Holy (Santo) Holy (Santo). . .
Then I watched her use her hands, and "sing" the song in sign language.
Tears flooded my eyes.
I don't know where she even learned that.
I know God has set that girl apart for something amazing. I can't wait to see what that is.
And Emma, being Emma, brought me back to reality, and said with her eternal optimism said, "mommy, we will know what they are saying in a few days, right?"
Being far away from home, but being drenched in His comforting Spirit, was what we all needed this morning