First weeks in Costa Rica

We have safely arrived in Costa Rica where we are soon to begin our language study! It is a bit of an understatement to say that we were welcomed with a BANG here as it was New Years Eve the day we arrived! If you have never experienced New Year in a Latin culture you should! So many fireworks and parties were in our neighborhood that we were up until at least 2AM. So far all is going well other than Andrew getting his 3rd ear infection in about 2 months (we may need to do some further investigations on that!) and me (Sarah) getting to experience going to the Urgent care at the hospital with him only 3 days in. I am so thankful that our school set us up with what they call a “Big Brother” so she could go with me and together we could understand MOST of what was being said to us. I was even able to fill one of my prescriptions while I was there!

Nathan & Evelyn are adjusting pretty well so far. They love the fact that they have an “outdoor space” where they can play and that bare feet are allowed since it is really warm right now here. Today we even treated the kids to ice cream after they waited patiently for us at the phone store. Jason and I feel we are still a bit in “survival mode” though school hasn’t even started yet! The house is mostly organized which makes me happier and we are working on making the house into a home for us. No car is in the plans for this year. Taxi’s are readily available though they are somewhat pricey so we only use them when necessary for hauling an abundance of groceries or our destination is beyond walking distance. All of us are getting accustomed to walking more and also the higher elevation (4000+ ft. in altitude).

We have yet to get to the malls and big shopping areas due to a 3 day festival in downtown San Jose. We aren’t completely sure what the entire festival is about however, we have seen t.v. footage of people bull fighting (or rather should I say running away terrified from the bulls!?!)

Since I wrote the above information much has happened. We attended a week of orientation at Instituto de Lengua Española (ILE) in San Fransico Dos Rios, Costa Rica. We learned all the what to do, what not to do, and where the best places and prices for shopping would be. We had our “placement evaluation interviews” and were placed in classes to begin this week.

Saturday we were able to visit the local farmer’s market where we purchased fresh(er) produce and some “street food.” We then walked home with a family that also attends ILE. Our kids get along great with theirs and Nathan has found a friend that lives near to us! Evie is still searching for that special friend that she can call her own, but she has made friends with the “Ticas” in her class. Evelyn is the only non-Costa Rican girl in her class at school, but she loves so deeply that it hasn’t been an issue and in fact she came home the first day telling me all about the 3 tica girls that she became friends with that day!

Sunday brought church and lunch with the same family we walked home with from the “feria” on Saturday! They took our family to experience “Monster Pizza.” Never have I seen pizzas that big before! You definitely get your money’s worth there which is a nice thing here since most things are three times the expense as in the States.

Monday morning brought about the first day of official classes for Jason and me. We are in class with 8 other people total and our group is split up 5 & 5 during half of the day. Classes are going well so far and in spite of feeling like much is review I am learning the wherefores and whys of a lot of the grammatical structure of Spanish! (Even today I thought… wow, I am learning something new every day in spite of all this review!)

Our neighbors ooh and aah over all three of our kids frequently which has definitely brought about many opportunities for conversations and chances for us to practice our Spanish. Some of our favorite things here have to be the nice weather, the coffee, the fellow missionaries at the school, and the lack of coldness! :) Yes, I realize I wrote about weather 2 times! Some tough things have been: no car to drive to the grocery store, the longish walk to and from school (up-hill and down both ways LITERALLY), the price of everything, losing my jacket in the taxi on the way home from a frustrating trip to the mall to day with the cell phone issue we had which is finally resolved as of yesterday after a week of trying to get the original phones that were non-functional replaced. Praise the Lord we finally have phones that work so we can keep in contact with each other and others here in Costa Rica.

Nathan attends soccer Mondays and Wednesdays and Evelyn attends gymnastics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both kids enjoy this immensely and are eager for their sports practices. Now to figure out how to make dinner and have it ready at a decent hour so we can all get to bed early enough to get up at 6am each morning to prepare for the walk to school!

If you’re still reading this you’re amazing and really must want to know what all we’re doing here and how we’re feeling about things! God is good, we have a home which is secure, big enough for our family and food in the cupboards! Our teachers are great and all love their job at ILE. Our kids love their teachers (even Andrew loves Lisbet, his teacher) and they adore them also (Evelyn’s teacher wrote today “she’s an

angel” in her agenda that we have to sign each night…. I wrote “For you!” in response because as we all know every child saves their hardest moments for their parents!)

Blessings on you all, if you wish to send a letter, card, package, etc…. our mailing address is:

Instituto de Lengua Española Attn: Jason & Sarah Sheets Apdo 100-2350 San Jose, Costa Rica América Central

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