“I am (almost!) Costa Rican!” Well, that might be a bit of a stretch, but I am significantly closer than I was 4 days ago! I cannot even hope to describe how amazing it has been: SO much has happened in such a short period of time!
I will start with the beginning (and proceed to get a song from the Sound of Music flowing through your minds!): when I arrived, my host mom and her granddaughter (who is an English major here!) came to get me at the airport. It was fairly late in the evening, so we didn’t really visit much, but I think the granddaughter had a phenomenal grasp of my nervousness (as a foreign language student herself) and so she spoke very slowly and clearly to me. I was able to talk about my family in “Los Estados” (who I miss VERY much) with my family here. Though it is unlikely that I will see their granddaughter again, she was SUCH a blessing that first evening! I went to bed less apprehensive because both of my host parents are amazing! In fact, when I told my host dad that I was nervous about the first day of school here, he said “You have nothing to be nervous about. You are smart and you understand a lot now.” Thanks to God for those words of affirmation – in Spanish!
School that first day was nothing too stressful, although today marked the true beginning of classes. It was difficult, but I know that I will improve so quickly because of it! Immersion is already showing its benefits; I am much more confident in my Spanish (not that I mess up less, just that I am less timid!). I am not allowed to speak any English, except on the phone with my parents (which has only happened for one brief time, unfortunately). To all whom I promised a “Skype date” – as my internet access is extremely limited (blog posts will be “copy-and-paste” and posted from the home of a friend who has internet access or from school between classes), I am not sure when it will work out but thank you very much for your patience! I miss you all very much! Also, I visited the post office yesterday and I am now fully prepared (and extremely excited!) to write to you!
I am already in love with this country (don’t worry dad – I am not engaged to a citizen!) and it has been less than a week! The weather is amazing; hot but sunny! Every afternoon from one to three I am blessed by the sound of a cooling rain which comes like a breath of fresh air to bring relief from the heat. They say this is normal; it will likely happen every day! I love it! My host home is extremely secure: I am currently equipped with a key ring that holds together like 5 different keys!
God is so present here (as always, I know)! I am not usually a “nature girl,” but anyone who sees this environment cannot help but see the truth in Psalm 19:1-4. Even now as I write, that glorious downpour is flowing like His mercy from the heavens, rushing down to meet with a thirsty land. What a “God thing”!
The other students on the trip are great; those that live in my neighborhood and I already have plans to go to lunch tomorrow in town and browse around all of the shops. Speaking of food—WOW! My host mom is an AMAZING cook; I have eaten so many yummy things already! She refuses to accept the possibility that one dish would be enough; I think my breakfast yesterday had 3 courses! To all those who may have been worried that I would return emaciated: no way!
As far as the things that I would love for you to lay at the feet of my First Love, first and foremost PRAISE HIM! So much of these first few days have been clear testaments of His love for me and it is a truly beautiful thing. I have a comfort that I know would not be afforded without Him. I am truly having a GREAT time! Also, please pray that I don’t become unnecessarily stressed by school, but that I am able to remain academically focused as I am taking a full semester of credit while I am here.
Thanks so much for your prayers and sweet comments! I leave you with the motto of my home for the next two months:
~Costa Rica Chica