We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica just over two weeks ago. In that time we've unpacked 28 bags (well, almost all of them - some we're saving for Uruguay), gone through orientation, celebrated two of our children's birthdays, and had three regular days of language classes.
Our house is wonderful. Bathtubs are a rarity in most places outside the USA, and ours is huge! It fits all three kids very well, so that is a great nighttime ritual. All of our major appliances are USA-style, which makes for early user-friendliness:) The rooms and furniture are comfortable, and now we are all set up with internet (which you cannot purchase without also getting cable, so at this moment Jimbo is preparing to watch the Tim Tebow, er, Broncos game tonight). In many ways our house here is more comfortable than our previous housing in Florida.
Our schedule is mostly settled. We leave the house (walking) five days a week at 7 a.m. to get the kids into their classes before ours starts at 7:30 a.m. Our classes are all finished by noon (then we wait for one kiddo until 1 p.m.). Lots of things happen in the afternoons - too many to list:)
We have established Fridays as "family date days." After school we'll try to do something fun as a family - this gives us something to look forward to during the week. We go to bed earlier than we EVER have before - usually we're all asleep by 8:30.
Our kids are doing beautifully. They have weathered this transition incredibly well - thank you so much for talking to the Father about this for us! Our little one is still not sleeping well at night. We are taking turns getting up with him. We trust that this will not continue for the entire year and are thankful for when the change begins.
Our classes are going well. We (J and I) are in the same classes for four hours five days a week...right now this is a good thing:) We feel confident in class right now.
Right now we are learning that victory is not so much about doing things right (we've made a few mistakes since we've been here) as it is about our response during and after our failure. Consider the following quote from one of my favorite books:
"People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes. But those who are successful in their own strength tend to go their own way, forgetting about Me. It is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness that you learn to rely on Me."
We have already seen great victory here in San Jose as the stress of doing new things (and I really never can find a pen!) brings out the unlovely in us. What an amazing opportunity to be purified! We all know we're not perfect, but how do we ever move forward? Try going through stress in an environment of grace - His Presence.
We have so much to be thankful for: a (clean!) house, a job, amazing food (cooked for us), healthy kids, a thriving marriage, supportive families, friends who love us, a high quality language school, and the health and strength to live the Pura Vida (as they say here in Costa Rica) with gusto.
We look forward to sharing with you (and hearing from you) as we progress through the year.
Happy (belated) New Year!