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Trip Start Jun 16, 2005
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of Costa Rica  ,
Friday, June 17, 2005

Well, Mom and I made it here without a scratch. We were absolutely loaded down, and Customs didn't give us too much trouble -- except they were really fascinated with the pony beads. The official was telling another that there was a 'monton' of beads -- a ton of them, and wanted to know how much they were worth. They're mostly concerned with keeping people from selling stuff at cheaper prices than you could buy them here, but I was able to convince the guy that they were donated and that I was not going to be trying to sell them. He also was puzzled by the rhythm sticks... but everything got through ok.

Then Heidi (one of the pastors) picked us up, along with her son, Johann, and Jennifer, who's been working here for a year and is going to buy a house. We got our stuff dropped off at Casa Concordia, which is the guest house for International Service Learning, where Heidi works. (They organize medical, dental and opthomalagical trips into Nicaragua.) We can't be in the apartment yet because it's not done yet, but it's coming along. There's a toilet, shower, electricity, and a bathroom sink, and since it's not done yet, I can decide where I want the kitchen area to be. It's really cool, and I'm excited to move in!

We went to Bible study last night at Jesus Nuestro Refugio, the church in Pavas where I will be living and working, and I ended up reading to the kids who were entertaining themselves while the adults talked. I can see I'm really going to have my work cut out for me. Some of the kids are really well-behaved already, and some will be a huge challenge. I'm going to have to be very creative in my discipline, and I have to be careful not to raise my voice -- I know that sets a really bad precedent. Most of the kids last night were cool with reading a story (The Very Grouchy Ladybug, or 'La Mariquita Malhumorada') and watching Pinocchio, but one in particular kept running around and making tons of noise. No amount of ignoring or attention helped, so I'm really going to have to figure this one out before I let him loose with, say, finger paint!

I forgot to bring my camera last night, but never fear, pictures will be on their way!

Mom, master of lists, and I will be going to HiperMas (the Target equivalent) today to get stuff for the program and for the apartment. We went shopping yesterday and were pretty pleased with what we were able to find.

Well, that's all for now. We will be going to Sola Fe in San Sebastian, the other congregation, today, and dropping off some supplies for them. I will be doing some smaller-scale programs with them until I figure out how my time will be divided. I may very well end up spending some days in Pavas and some in San Sebastian, and while the kids are on vacation, perhaps half-days in each community. We'll see!

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