This week has been one of travel, family, new sights, laughter and refreshment. What a blessing it is to be "forced" to leave Costa Rica to renew our visas. For this "visa trip" we chose to turn over a couple extra dollars to fly to Panama City, Panama to visit Jason's Aunt Yvonne and Uncle Kirk, long term missionaries who were also enjoying a break from the regular routine of ministry for Semana Santa.
While here we have been able to spend a lot of time literally putting our feet up and relaxing. We took a short excursion to see the Panama Canal and visted the museum there (the kids really enjoyed the 3D movie telling about the history of the canal). After the visit to the canal we went to visit a zoo (which closed 20 minutes prior to our arrival) and since that didn't work out we went on to try out a hike that Jason's Uncle had heard about. We were able to really enjoy a light hike into the jungle, listening to the howler monkeys and chase little lizards. We found the waterfall (merely a trickle right now since it's dry season) and just relax in the beauty of God's creation!
Tuesday we took a day trip to the Pacific Ocean beach, rented a bohio and relaxed while eating the secret recipie monster cookies that Uncle Kirk had made the day before! It was such a blessing to be able to watch our kids run, splash and play at the beach and to have Jason's cousin Grace around to play with our kids!
Yesterday (Wednesday) was a day with a lot of relaxation around the house here. We also were able to take a short trip to an inner city community center/ school run by a local church. This idea is very much like the purpose of the community center in Ciudad de Dios that we will be working with in Peru. It was a blessing to see this ministry that was started 10 years ago and to see how they are now needing to expand because the ministry has grown so much over the past few years. The kids were entertained by Grace and Uncle Kirk playing a card game of "Garbage" for around 2 hours before we went to the local mall where I was able to find some clothing for a much more decent price than I can find in Costa Rica!
On the docket for today is playing at the park located just outside the house here and then off to the causeway this evening for an aquarium then dinner out with our gracious hosts here. It's been amazing to be able to look out at the beautiful trees, see the mangoes hanging in the branches and listen to the birds sing while we stay nice and cool in the air conditioned home of the Jones' family. Thank you so much Grace for giving up your room for us this week and Kirk and Yvonne for all the love you have poured out on our family this week. We are blessed and refreshed. Ready to see all that God has for us in Costa Rica during our last few weeks of this term!