Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day One (and backwards in time)

The Trip Here

I feel like I lost a day. Flying out at 10 pm Wed. night traveling all of Thursday, with virtually no sleep makes today being Friday a bit of a jolt. thank goodness for the excellent coffee of Costa Rica as it provides plenty of jolts in the other direction! I can drink their coffee all day and never experience jitters or bitter taste. but i did not come here to write about the coffee, worthy as it is of good press. lol.

We left Deming around 1pm Wed. making a few stops along the way to pick up other members of our team, drop off a dog with the sitter and enjoy a meal together before heading to the airport. Getting checked in was not without challenges. there was confusion over extra luggage charges and a previously issued credit, tools in checked luggage that got sent on it's way before batteries were removed. (a no-no) then delays as the luggage with tools was searched for.... delays that almost caused us to miss our plane!! it was stressful and hectic and even scary there for a little while but we were praying and it all came together at the very last second. the second luggage issue was being the very last people to get on the plane meant there was no room for our carry on's and we had to check them at the last minute. For some of us that was problematic as we had carefully packed those carry ons for a reason. LOL. how fussy we can be some times. yes, laughing at myself....

our 5 hour layover in Miami stretched into 7? as we had loaded our plane, then the pilot discovered something not working right so we had to disembark and reload a different plane. that took almost an hour then on the new plane an unruly (ie drunk) passenger was escorted off the plane and another delay ensued as they searched for all his luggage. of course it was on the bottom of the pile!!  Oh my goodness. We decided with this many issues before we got to CR it must mean that our time in CR would be trouble free. (so far so good)  there were other disappointments  frustrations and mis-communication that seem trivial and petty in light of today's news of the horrific shooting at the school in Connecticut. It also pales in the face of the big picture of the 6 children that 'came home' today to Residence of Life.

We arrived at the hotel at last thursday afternoon and were all very happy to get horizontal for a few hours. showers and food and sleep and not necessarily in that order. I enjoyed a very refreshing dinner; a salad of avocado and hearts of palm. it was the perfect evening meal for me. nutritious and tasty but not too heavy that close to bed time.

This morning with a good night's sleep behind us, we greeted the day with smiles and anticipation. Did a quick walk around of our hotel, The Adventure Inn. It is beautifully done and yet amazingly affordable. Safe area of town-- always an important consideration when traveling.

We had a few stops to make on our way to Cherie's home. Walmart, the bank, hardware store and grocery. Going to the bank is quite involved. There is an armed guard at the door and only so many people may enter at a time. We sent Jeremy and Bruce in and the rest of us waited in the car. We waited long enough to buy fresh avocado's off a street vendor, find one child's shoe just laying there in the street, which Colette playfully perched on the windshield as a way for Jeremy (our fearless driver) to gauge if he was cornering too fast!!
Finally the men came out of the bank having exchanged our American money for Colones. Backing up carefully to extract ourselves from a very tight parking situation, Jeremy still managed to bump the fendner of the car behind us. Oh, dear! Now despite there being NO visible damage whatsoever, the owner of the car came to investigate. the owner of the car just happen to be one of the security men from inside the bank! Could it get any worse? Well, for $100 in American the man was happy to let us drive away without calling the policia. What an adventure. Just the way things are done in another country.

Finally we arrived at Residence of Life, the home Cherie has established for 'her kids'. She has 6 to start with and hopes to provide room for more in the future. We got a tour of the house and then ate a filling tasty meal of rice, beans, potatoes, salad, and a chicken fajita like dish. Yum. I was ready for a siesta after eating but oh, no, we have work projects to start. YAY for getting started!!

The men, Bruce, Jeremy, Jake and Jordan are assessing the situation  and deciding what needs to be done first. Some of the little boys who have moved here will be 'helping'. This will be fun to watch.

Because the children's identity must be protected I will not be posting any pictures of the kids, from the face forward at this time. the rules are very strict. But I will be taking pictures of the scope of work we are here to do. Today is a low-key day, despite the eagerness to get started. it's a celebration day  for the kids moving home, a day for us to acclamate and get our bearings. The afternoon has brought a cooler breeze up from the valley and perhaps even the smell of rain is in the air. A BBQ is planned for tonight's dinner as part of the celebration. and right now I am helping put up Christmas lights... something that feels surreal in such warm humid surroundings. Pura Vida!


  1. What a ride! Giving of yourselves is a gift that gives back..may God give you the strength to give every were your you guys! ....can u bring back coffee... ? Lol I'll give $$ for it :-)

  2. Sounds like an exciting start to your time down there, Robyn. I had to laugh; I didn't think of a Wal-Mart in Costa Rica. Almost like being at home! Sounds like the work will be good too once it starts!



thank you so much for taking time to read and comment! have a great day!