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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rainbows

Image By Chris & Lara Pawluk
It's so awesome to see God's faithfulness through this whole process to get to Costa Rica. God has been present through every step, and his perfect timing is becoming more and more evident.

Two years ago in October, we were in Minneapolis applying with ReachGlobal. On the way to our meeting to find out if we were accepted, a double rainbow painted the sky. It reminded
me of God's promise to Moses and of His faithfulness.

The last month has been crazy with hope and wonder if we would make it to Costa Rica in August. Two weeks before we were cleared to go, we were overwhelmed with the question "will this happen?" On an evening when I was most discouraged, a rainbow again painted the sky. It wasn't about my wishes for timing or even a result of my effort. God is the only one who is faithful, and He assured me that He would be faithful in getting us to where He's clearly led our family. Just 4 days later, we had the funding to go!

We're now here, and I'm eager to see God continue to work!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pura Vida - We have arrived!

Pura Vida!
Literally translated, 'pure life', this is a common greeting with Ticos.

We are happy to announce that we have arrived without hassle and are almost all the way settled in!

Quick facts:

  • Left for airport 8/19 at 6am
  • Arrived in CR with all of our bags at 1 pm CR time (currently on mountain time--but CR doesn't do daylight savings and time stays the same year round)
  • No problems or taxes in customs (9 bags, 3 carryons, 1 guitar, 2 personal items) 
  • Dinner and groceries provided for us for the first week. 
  • Set up with internet at home within 24 hrs of calling the company. What!!
  • Language school orientation starts Monday, first youth group event is Saturday 8/31
  • Patrick is doing very well considering the time zone, and loves his new room! (pics below)


Story

Our last days in the United States where a whirlwind. We had a bittersweet time at our church on our last Sunday, and had the house [mostly] taken care of by the time we went to bed Sunday night. Maggie's sister had to be at work on Monday, so she visited until Sunday afternoon and even helped us with some of the cleanup. Maggie's cousin came on Sunday night and spent the night to help take us to the airport in the morning. Monday morning came fast, and everything was a blur and quite surreal. We were up at 5:30 and out the door at 6. We bid a sad farewell to Jef and Kathy and headed to our gate. 

Patrick did really well on the flight. We sat in the very back row of the ariplane all together, and I had a perfect view of them loading the bags, so I saw all 9 of them get on the plane. No need to fret about that! Well we were the last to get off, and headed slowly towards the line for immigration, knowing that all of those people who were with us on the plane would also be waiting int he same line. But in Costa Rica, if you have a young child, you are escorted to the front of the line. So we walked passed about 100 people in line and breezed through customs. We hired a worker to help us with our bags, and he escorted us through customs... I'm not even sure that the agent looked at the x-ray screen. Although he did look at me funny when I told him that we were here for 68 days (we return for my sis-in-law's wedding) and proceeded to put a total of 12 suitcases on the belt. Crazy Americans.

We had two ReachGlobal staff member and an AMCA friend meet us at the airport. The gentleman who was helping us with our bags loaded them all into the car, and we took off!

The drive to our apartments took about half an hour and reminded me of growing up in Ecuador. The drive goes something like this: Accelerate, brake hard, swerve, lay on horn, swerve out of the way for the motorcycle racing in between lanes, swerve, brake--repeat.

When we got to our apartment it was nice and clean, and already furnished. We'll be here for at least 4 months. We spent some time with our gracious reception party, before they left for us to get settled in. Though honestly we'd rather they'd have stayed to keep us company, we've seen a lot of them and others who have been a great help and great friends.

We have accomplished several things: we got chips for our cell phones (thank you so much for the donations!!), have located the grocery store, Patrick got his next vaccinations at the hospital downtown ($10 in less than 10 minutes from entering the hospital), and visited a store comprable with dollar store quality, but much more expensive (our really cheap plastic hamper was $10) Plastics are expensive, wicker baskets are even more expensive, and electronics vary. Many foods are more expensive, but produce is cheap. Labor is inexpensive, but internet is more expensive.

We love our apartment. We are on the 2nd and top story and have a great view of the area, and mountains (yes!). Homes here have window that do not close all the way, as there is not central heating or air, and it is usually warm. We get a wonderful breeze through the apartment. We have one set of neighbors who are with Mission to the World who we've enjoyed getting to know. We thought our wait to get on the field was long--they've had a 14 year process, with many factors playing into their journey. They're here at the language school for a year before continuing on to Mexico to work with the deaf population.

We'll try to keep up with pictures as much as we can remember to keep you in the loop! We are so thankful to God that He raised a team of prayer and financial warriors to send us into the heart of Costa Rica. We'll keep on working on getting settled in, and then it's full throttle working on language and working with students. God is good. We are so content to be where He has placed us.
 Breakfast at the airport


 Sad goodbyes

 Beautiful skies
 Beautiful water!
 Immigration and customs forms! 

 Putting up stars from Nana in Patrick's new room
Finished project
View from the front door