Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mission Trip Madlib

So if you've read any of our posts previously, you know that our team likes to get creative and occasionally silly!  So why would this post be any different?  This one is a Madlib.  We highly encourage you to come up with the appropriate words for each number, read the post inserting your words where the numbers are.  Please leave us your answers in the comments.  We'd love to read them!  Once you've gotten your sillies out, scroll down and read what we filled in.

Thank you for your support of our team during this trip!  We've appreciated the prayers and comments.

1.  Adjective
2.  Adverb
3.  Adjective 
4.  Noun
5.  Adjective
6.  Plural Noun
7.  Adjective
8.  Verb ending in -ing
9.  Plural noun.
10. Verb
11. Noun
12. Plural noun
13. Noun
14. Verb
15. Verb ending in -ed
16.  Spanish word

After a (1. adjective) day of travel, our team has arrived home (2. adverb).  We had a (3. adjective) (4. noun).  There were many (5. adjective) (6. plural noun) in the Customs line.  We are über (7. adjective) and looking forward to (8. verb ending in -ing) in our own (9. plural noun).  It is also nice to be able to (10. verb) the (11. noun) when using the bathroom!  Once we get all of the (12. plural noun) out of our (13. noun) we'll be able to focus on getting back to our regular activities. Even though we'll (14. Verb) Costa Rica, we know that we have (15. Verb ending in -ed) the lives of those we met.  Hasta luego and muchas (16.  Spanish word), amigos!

After a (1. long) day of travel, our team has arrived home (2. safely).  We had a (3. wonderful) (4. trip).  There were many (5. cranky) (6. rule-breakers) in the Customs line.  We are über (7. tired) and looking forward to (8. sleeping) in our own (9. beds).  It is also nice to be able to (10. flush) the (11. toilet paper) when using the bathroom!  Once we get all of the (12. grains of sand ) out of our (13. suitcase) we'll be able to focus on getting back to our regular activities. Even though we'll (14. miss) Costa Rica, we know that we have (15. impacted) the lives of those we met.  Hasta luego and muchas (16.  gracias), amigos!

Team (take 2)
After a (1. delightful) day of travel, our team has arrived home (2. el tired-o). We had a (3. monstrous) (4. fish taco). There were many (5. functioning) (6. phones) in the Customs line. We are über (7. strong) and looking forward to (8. monkeying around) in our own (9. homes). It is also nice to be able to (10. touch) the (11. shower head) when using the bathroom! Once we get all of the (12. ocean boogers) out of our (13. hair) we'll be able to focus on getting back to our regular activities. Even though we'll (14. shovel) Costa Rica, we know that we have (15. frightened) the lives of those we met. Hasta luego and muchas (16. cowboyaros), amigos!

-The 2013 Costa Rica Mission Team

Monday, August 12, 2013

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time, there were five people who followed a call from God to serve the people of Costa Rica.  After four days of various tasks around San Jose, they were whisked away to Manuel Antonio, a beach-side town on the Pacific coast.  On their full day there, they decided to go on an adventure.  In the somewhat wee hours, they boarded a bus and headed for the tropical forest.  The guide called it, "the very, wet tropical forest since it's the rainy season."  Avoiding large puddles of slick, red mud, the courageous crew zip-lined carefully from platform to platform, dodging poisonous frogs, silly monkeys, humongous "man-eating"butterflies, and other crazy foreigners.  After doing a vertical drop, 10 zip lines, and a Tarzan swing (some of which were attempted while upside down), the heroes ventured back for lunch.

With their bellies full of giant fish tacos, Costa Rican nachos, and a ginormous chicken sandwich, and their minds full of curiosity and random movie quotes, the team decided to give parasailing a whirl.  The waves were high, the breeze was refreshing, and the views were breath-taking, but the storm clouds were not so exciting.  The first foray into the wild blue yonder went incredibly well.  The second was a bit more challenging.  It started with an equipment malfunction, which looked terrifying, but was dealt with fairly quickly.  One member had to be kept from some daring acrobatics!  The next try at takeoff was a success, and the ride was enjoyed by the duo.  They did not stick their landing, however, and with a tumultuous tide, a broken ladder, a tow line tangled into the motor of the boat, and the captain of the boat diving into the water with a knife in his teeth to free the motor, it was certainly an unforgettable adventure.  [It's always fun when the surfers look at the wave approaching behind you and say, with awe, "Ay, caramba!", right?!?]

After everyone arrived safely on the shore, the skies opened up and the group was able to fully appreciate the rainy season with a celebratory dip in the pool.  There is nothing like swimming in the rain, except of course, trying to finish a roll of film on a water-proof camera whilst swimming in the rain. 

Cleaning themselves of chlorine and sand, but still plagued with rain, the team journeyed to an exotic locale deep within the Costa Rican coastline to have dinner in the belly of a bomber.  Dining by candle light and the light of chandeliers dangling daintily form the wings, our adventurers enjoyed fabulous food, good friends, a few painkillers, and a wonderful view of the cloudy sunset.  A special visitor joined them midway through, scrambling down a ketchup bottle and hitching a ride on the youngest adventurer's hand.  A good time was had by all, except maybe the gecko, who was blinded by flashbulbs.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words....

And we're too tired to write anymore, so here you go....

Hope you enjoyed our 7000 word blog post!

- The Team

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Movie Quiz aka Our Last Day of Work

Today's post is a test of your movie quote knowledge.  Each photo is captioned by at least one quote from a movie.  We had fun finding them and it is a reflection of how silly we have been every evening after work.  The answers are at the end of the post

1.  “Our fingerprints don't fade from the lives we've touched.” 

This is the family who lives in the house (behind us) that we worked on last year.  Yorleni was still thanking us for helping out and the house is beautiful!

2.  "Look, I don't mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me."  

Abby helped us tackle the mountain again today and learned how to use the pickaxe.

3.  "Why won't my arms move?
You've been mostly-dead all day."  

4.  "Any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment - to all that he holds dear is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle... Victorious."

5.  "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue."

While this photo wasn't taken today, we liked the quotes.

6.   "Bring out yer dead!  Bring out yer dead!"

7.  "Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, the Tara, the LAND doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for!  Because it's the only thing that lasts."

Our team in front of the hill we were working on, just before we had to leave.

8.  "What are you preparing?!  You're always preparing!  Just go!"

Getting ready for VBS.

"I yelled at Kenny today for coloring outside the lines... Megan and I are starting to watch the same tv shows, and I'm liking 'em... I'm losing it."

Abby encouraging a little girl at VBS to color her puppet and puzzle.

10. "I think this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship"

11.  "When you first meet people all you notice are differences between you and them, but as time passes, you start noticing the similarities.  I guess that's how all friendships begin."

This is Abby's new friend, Angie, and her cousin.  The girls bonded and had a great time together.

12.  "You've got to embrace the chaos.  That way, life just astonishes you." 

This picture captures the organized chaos that was VBS today.  It was a bit of a blur!

13. "Who is it?  You'll have to come back later.  I'm doing the dishes."

Abby cleaned up after all of us this evening.  This is the area where dishes are washed.

14.  "Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple."

Post dinner ice cream in celebration of a long few days of work.  This was our last working day.  Tomorrow we head out for a few days of relaxation and sightseeing.  Not sure if we will have Internet access, so if we don't post until Tuesday, (15.) "Hakuna Matata!"

Bonus Quote
"How are you feeling today?  Tired?  
Oh, no, I'm not tired.  But my finger is."

Scroll down for the answers to our movie quiz.

1.  Remember Me
2.  Princess Bride
3.  Princess Bride
4.  Any Given Sunday
5.  Airplane!
6.  Monty Python & the Holy Grail
7.  Gone With The Wind
8.  Spaceballs
9.  Mr. Mom
10.  Casablanca
11. Kalifornia
12. Hot Tub Time Machine
13. Animal House
14. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
15. The Lion King

Bonus:  Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Friday, August 9, 2013

...and don't call me Shirley!

It was a dark and stormy night, no wait it was a dark night and a stormy afternoon. After all it is the rainy season!  Today we continued digging our mountain and turning it into a mole hill. That is, up until the time it started pouring rain. The rain was actually quite welcome as the heat was intense today and we were all overheating. We even enjoyed frolicking in the rain as we cleaned the tools. 

While we like mudslides and all, the lightening and thunder forced us to abandon our mountain and move inside. The nearby lightening, as Larry was caring a wheelbarrow overhead like a helmet, was cause for concern.

Inside the church, we kept busy by tiling the kitchen counter and sanding the walls. Jeanette continued her hapkido lessons with the wax-on-wax-off wall sanding. The rest of us worked together tiling. Lindsay actually did quite a good job laying the mortar. Abby enjoyed helping and learning the process of tiling. 

We then got back to the mission house just before another storm rolled in and spent the rest of the evening relaxing around the table playing cards and quoting movies. We are now looking up the difference between an African swallow and a regular swallow!

P.S. We got several comments about our strong women from the locals working with us!  I will also agree and am so proud of the team this year. We all work very hard and enjoy each other's company while we are doing it. 

- Larry

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Work Without Purpose?

As we received our assignment today, we were reminded of Pastor Jen's sermon from last Sunday about moving rocks from one pile to another and then back again. This was referred to as "work without purpose". Our assignment was to remove the dirt from the top of a hill to make a level area for planting crops, so our first thoughts were of Jen's sermon as she described the process "dig, pour, walk, dump". As we worked, though, we were reminded of our visits to the feeding programs yesterday. Thinking of all of the children we saw yesterday gave us renewed strength to continue despite the heat and fatigue. The ultimate purpose of our assignment is to help prepare fields to be planted and harvested for the local feeding program that is expected to feed 100 children in Carrillos. Our small investment will help to ensure that children are fed for years to come.

In the afternoon, we spent time interacting with around 20 rambunctious and adorable children from ages 2-12. The kids really enjoyed playing with the parachute, balls, and skiing behind Larry! We were able to show the love of God to children who might not otherwise receive it.

So was this "work without purpose"??? We think not!

The Team

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Work Day #1

Today was our first day of work, and it was a success! We went to two feeding programs/VBS's, and met with two different groups if kids. Costa Rica is not exactly what I expected, but it was pretty cool!

                            My List of Things That are Different From What I Expected:

  -the rooms: they are smaller than I expected, but after you get used to them, they're pretty cozy
  -the cities: they are much more colorful! I like the actual cities better than the ones I imagined
  -the food: it's more delicious than I thought it would be. Breakfast was scrumptious this morning!
  -the restaurants: there were so many Chinese or Asian restaurants, I was surprised!
  -the fan in our room: it's much louder than what a normal person would think!

There are tons of dogs, and the plant life are very vivid and beautiful! The town is also pretty and colorful. We saw a beautiful view as we were driving up to the first feeding center and VBS, as the mountains Were littered with pretty colored towns.

When we arrived in La Carpio, we were all a bit surprised to see satellite dishes, because this was a slum area. We also noticed that the kids warmed up to us immediately and I felt like they trusted us. The person leading there had an amazing testimony, and poured love into everyone. She was a wonderful woman. 

Then we left for the other feeding program and VBS in Los Guido. We were able to serve them lunch before we played with them.  The kids up there were very rambunctious! They loved all the games we brought them! 

It was very hard to communicate with the kids while we were working at the VBS, and most of the time, we used sign language. Some of the kids spoke a little English they picked up from visitors. I also picked up some Spanish...

                                List of Words I Picked Up from the Spanish People:

  -hola, me yamo Abby: hi, my name is Abby
  -gracias: thank you
  -como estas: how are you
  -alto: stop

We ended our evening by heading to the local Methodist church for worship.  It was interesting to hear the different songs in Spanish.  "Si, si, Señor" is "Yes, yes Lord."  Most of the service was a candle light prayer.  The pastor is very dramatic!

Anyways, today was a pretty fun day, and I'm looking forward to another one tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One of us broke a nail.....

We arrived safely in Carrillos, Costa Rica!  We left the church at 4:15 this morning and sailed through security at O'Hare.

After arriving in Miami, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll from one end of concourse D to the other before having lunch and boarding the plane for Costa Rica.  Unfortunately, we boarded just as a storm came through, which created a ground worker delay.  We arrived in San Jose about an hour behind schedule, but still had plenty of time to get to Strong Missions before dinner.  We're happy to be here. It's a beautiful country!

We even squeezed in a walking tour of the area surrounding the mission compound.  We are beginning to feel the effects of such an early morning and a long day of travel.  We just finished a wonderful dinner and are getting to know some of the interns, staff, and the other teams serving here.  We are meeting with the other two teams we will be working with tomorrow at the feeding center and the larger of the three VBS programs.  Please pray that we have a restful night and wake ready to serve!

Oh, and if you are curious about the title of this entry, one of us broke a nail retrieving our luggage in San Jose.  Can you guess which one out of our group of four ladies and one gentleman?  Yep, it was Larry!

- Susan