Palm Sunday & Making Friends


Ox-Cart Wheels in Sarchi

One good thing about being 2 hours behind EST is that its really easy to get up in the morning. We got up and took a walk at 7:30am today. Carrillos is beautiful and I love Costa Rica. But it was SO hot even by 7:30! However, that made the ice-water shower easier. It was still cold enough that it hurt to breathe… but much more welcome this morning.

But today is Palm Sunday! Previous readers will remember that I spent last Palm Sunday at Montserrat, a monastery in the mountains outside of Barcelona. This year I’m lucky enough to spend it in Costa Rica! So church. First of all – the church is outside. It’s a cage-like structure that’s open to the air, but the sides are covered with a mesh-type netting that shades it from the sun. It’s not my little white church in Grove City, but I love it.

Church begins with music. It’s ten ish at this point, which is technically when church starts, but let’s get real: these are Latinos. People are still arriving halfway through the service. But really no one cares. Even though they’re “late” in terms of American time constraints – it doesn’t mean they aren’t committed or that they don’t care. It’s just a different culture.

La Iglesia Metodista

Church in Carrillos

We have two or three people singing and leading worship, a guy on drums, someone playing bass guitar, and someone playing keyboard (which sort of sounds a little bit 80’s in my opinion). And they sing so loudly and passionately. It’s too bad I can’t understand most of the words because it’s so loud. At the same time, they have a “dance” team that’s helping lead music. It’s very simple and repetitive motions – and it’s all women. Some of them are moms in their 30s or 40s, but the majority of them are little girls anywhere from 3 years old to 14ish. It’s fun to watch.

Wendy (our group leader) warned us that the services are long, and Pastor talks a lot. “If Pastor wants to say something – Pastor says it,” she told us. And Pastor had a lot to say. He preached on Luke 5 – which was really interesting because my dad (who is also a pastor) just preached on that a few weeks ago. I felt like I got different things out of the passage by listening to it in Spanish.


El Grupo en Sarchi

After lunch Papi and Oscar took us to Sarchi. And this time we took Keinney – the Pastor’s 12yo son. He is my favorite. He’s adorable and he loves to tease me. Since I got here saying “grathia” instead of “gracias” – my Andalusian lisp that I picked up in Spain, he’s been relentless in teasing me. I don’t take myself too seriously so it doesn’t bother me that much. He follows me around like a puppy calling me “espanola” (identifying and nicknaming me because of the way I speak). I taught him how to speak like an “espanolito” but it was hard to explain which sounds were lisped and which weren’t. I gave up after an hour or so.

That evening Oscar and Harvey were playing soccer and invited us to go along and watch. The group of us went and watched – it was a crazy intense game. I love soccer and the Ticos are so good at it that it makes for an exciting game. Their friend Jose – who reminds me of a Spaniard because he has blondish curly hair – came with us, which was good because then he was able to explain how they kept score. I enjoyed talking to him and practicing my Spanish, and learning all the vocab for futbol games.

I also got Oscar and Nelson to talk to me, although all three of them are hard to understand! They use so much slang, and they slur their words like typical teenage guys. I made them repeat themselves a few hundred times and they were patient enough that we were able to communicate. You never realize how much you take communication for granted until you’re trying to speak a foreign language.


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