Life is different in Costa Rica.
Because there are so many 'firsts', I thought it best to just write a list. Without further ado:
Since I have been in Costa Rica, it is the first time I have.....
-kissed so many strangers on the cheek
-listened to an entire homily and an entire talk and not understood anything
-watched a spanish-dubbed movie
-been mistaken for being older than I actually am (apparently I have aged 2 years in 5 days)
-played Wii and enjoyed it
-willfully woken up at 7am
-gone 5 days without seeing another blonde (the streak was broken by a foreign exchange student from Germany)
-been welcomed into so many different homes
-taken a taxi
-spoken so little
-understood so little
-felt so little
-realized how blessed life is...
In other words, I am a brechista (GAP-er), and I don't speak Spanish.
If there was a Gapper book of records, I'm sure I would break at least some of them.
Humility is the name of this game, and it is hard to play it well. But I am learning; learning many many things. May I repeat: I do not speak Spanish, and English is no one's first language. Spanish is intimidating because I fear not being understood. English is intimidating for the same reason.
Permit me to describe a conversation to you: it's not quite head-under-water, but it's not the kiddy pool either. It's more like that really uncomfortable stage where the water is right below your bottom lip, so if you move too much, you get a mouthful of water, and if you don't move at all, the waves will get in your mouth anyway, and you never really learned how to swim so you're treading water like a dog, and what you really want to do is either learn to swim or get out of the water, but neither are an immediate option, so you keep on doggy-paddling........Perhaps you taller folk have never experienced this, however, it's an analogy, and it's not perfect, but hopefully you catch my drift.
Now let me leave you with some hope. The people in this community are so welcoming, and so so so kind. The last 'first time' that's listed is realizing how blessed life is. This could not be more true. There are many little and large blessings to be found here: red-orange sunsets, a baby falling asleep on my shoulder, learning a new word, thunderstorms, the smile of a new friend, fresh fruit, a song that I recognize, morning prayer.... The list goes on and on.
Again I repeat: Christ is here, in these people. I'm used to finding Him in words. Here I find Him everywhere.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you. -2 Corinthians 13:13