We Can Not Believe we are actually Here, in the beautiful country of Costa Rica.
It has been a long journey!
When we completed our application in October of 2009, we had no idea where we would end up, or when.
But we landed on Sept. 5, 2012 in San Jose, Costa RIca.
We have been in the process of moving and saying goodbyes since July of 2011, so we all felt like we were finally ready to be here.
We had 20 checked bags (11 footlockers and 3 suitcases and 6 duffle bags). We each carried a small suitcase on the plane, and each had a back pack. We looked like the Beverly Hill Billies. But we did it.
We all got to bring a little of what we felt like we couldn't live without. For Dave it was some fishing stuff, for me it was a little from each American Holiday to decorate the house, For Maggi it was books and stuffed animals, and for Emma. . . well she brought a small village of my little ponnyville ponies and accessories. This was our first time, so we had asked a variety of people what they would bring, and we adapted it to our family.
We landed on the day that Costa Rica had a major earthquake, but the quake did minimal damage to the country, and did not delay our arrival at all.
We left Sacramento in the morning, and had a connecting flight in Dallas. While waiting for our flight to San Jose, we ran into other missionaries headed to San Jose to start their time at Cincel. I am going to have to say, the kids were all so excited to be there.
We then arrived and cruised through immigration, and the only hiccup, was that Maggi and Emma had made passports for their American Girl dolls, in hopes that they could get them stamped with them upon entry in to the country. However the agent wouldn't stamp them. They were slightly disappointed. Then we picked up all of our bags, and then went through customs without any problems.
We had Don, the director of Cincel meet us, as well as one of our fellow missionaries, Josh. It was so nice to be welcomed home. Josh took us to our apartment where they had stocked us up on some snacks, breakfast and lunch for the next day. It was such a thoughtful gesture.
The girls got up bright and early the next day to start their first day of school. I can honestly say that they were so excited. They were ready to begin. Such an answer to not only our prayers, but the prayers of so many. It was a little akward leaving them there at their school, and then going back to ours.
We were in a very Costa Rican apartment off campus, however, it needed a little maintance, so it was decided that we would wait till an apartment closer to campus became available at the beginning of October, and that would better suit our needs. So in the mean time, we are able to stay in a fellow missionaries home, while they are away.
Our grand plan, is to be in the little apartment until December, and in the meantime look for our house that we will stay in for the remainder of our time at Cincel, and our first full term. So please be in prayer that the right home would be available to us.
So, we are still mostly living out of suitcases, which is a tad stressful, because we go to look for something, and can't easily find it, but, we are managing just fine.
So all of that being said, we are adjusting.
We are still in a state of being overwhelmed that we are finally here. We are so grateful for everyones prayers, sacraficial giving, their generous gifts to our children, the act of friendship bestowed upon us. . . all of it.
We know that we are not here because of one church or one district. We are here because we serve a Father who taught the Cartwright family that He provides in His time a perfect plan designed just for us.
I wish I could tell you of each miracle that got us here, but the truth is I don't know. Often times a family would give us what they could, making a sacrifice so that we could go where we were called to go. I don't know who they all were, they willing placed their offering in the plate as it went by. But we pray for them, as a family we pray that God would pour in not only money, but health and safety on them. We had a family that left the service, went home and got clothes to put on our backs for the bitter midwest winter. We had the South Carolina District provide a large donation to help us actually get to the field, and provide money so that we could bring our excess baggage. Norcal Nevada has provided finical funds to help with our arrival also, but then women provided money to help us set up our household goods, and a store we could shop in before we left. The NPLAD provided us our last push to get here, and the SC Hispanic district wanted to be a part of the Cartwright family in Costa Rica, and are mixed in the support base as well.
We feel like we are a quilt, with different swatches from all over, woven together to make something beautiful.
"Thank you" seems like a small way to say how we feel.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude, ready to serve, anxious to hear Our Father be specific in each detail in our lives.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! Psam 133:1