It’s one thing to have a positive attitude about your low expectations for your trip… it’s another thing to keep that positive attitude when you’re experiencing those lows.
We arrived in the San Jose airport around 8ish (their time, which is 2 hours behind EST) and we were exhausted. When we left Pittsburgh it had snowed, but here it was a hot sticky 85 degrees and we were all wearing pants and carrying heavy luggage. I was sweaty, had a headache from flying, and felt a little nauseous from the bumpy landing. I knew everyone else felt the same way, so keeping a positive attitude was pretty hard. A family from the church, Papi and his son Oscar, met us in the airport. I didn’t understand what they were saying to me (Costa Rican Spanish is very different from Malaga Spanish!) and I just wanted to sleep. We took a taxi-bus to Carrillos, where the church is located. Pastor Eddier met us and explained some of the work we would be doing. Then they showed us where we would be staying, and left us alone to shower (literally ice water – colder than even I expected) and sleep.
My bed was a stack of 3 lumpy (and stained) mattress pad things, and the sheets I had brought from home. We were so tired we slept pretty well… that is, until 4am when the rooster next door started crowing. And then the dogs joined in. They warned us about it – buuuuut it’s one thing to know about it, and another to experience it.
Things got better once the day started. Breakfast was amazing – and super fresh mango (my favorite!) too. We eat outside on the “porch” area of the church and it’s cool and wonderful. It’s absolutely gorgeous here in Costa Rica. The weather is sunny and there are SO many flowers everywhere.
We spent the morning prepping for VBS on Monday, working on lessons and crafts and doing some extra planning. Then after lunch we went to a nearby bigger town – Alajuela. (Carrillos is very very small and mostly residential.) We went with Papi and Oscar and explored the area. In one of the town squares they had live music and a some older couples dancing, which was fun to watch.
After coming back, we ate dinner – which was delicious – and spent the evening with Mami and Papi. They are a family that lives next to the church and is super involved with our team. They have three kids, Harvey, Oscar, and Nelson (but you have to say their names with a Costa Rican accent ;)), and are the sweetest couple ever. Their door is literally and figuratively always open, and there is usually someone there having coffee with Mami, talking to Papi, or playing video games or cards with the boys. I’m so thankful we have this family to interact with during this trip!