The basic format for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday:
5:00 am Wake up, breakfast, run, take a city bus to mass
9:00am Morning prayer corporately and then individually
11:00am lunch and free time
1:00-4:00 pm individual projects of the GAP year (retreat organization,personal formation, meetings)
Wednesday we serve at an orphanage: playing with the kids, and cleaning. Monday night we go to Shalom (the Arbol del Vida Community's youth group); Tuesday and Friday afternoon there is a spanish class; Thursday night is a Bible study with a small group of young women; Friday nights are a university outreach (Christianos En Marcha) event; Saturday there is a gathering with the community, and a celebration of the Lord's Day at night. Sunday is a 'free' day, or a 'crash-and-do-nothing-but-sleep' day. Starting this week, Thursday will also be our college evangelization day. This means that we will be going to the UCR (University of Costa Rica), and basically giving our testimony to whomever we encounter. Needless to say, I am slightly terrified. But less than I would normally be, since any insults or rejections will probably in rapid-fire spanish, and thus go right over my head.
2. Entendiste?/ How Goes Your Spanish?
This question always makes me laugh... or not... depending on how long of a day it has been. There are two reasons why it evokes such a response: 1) A complex immortal soul just asked if I understood them. 2) They were speaking another language. Regardless, I am improving. And though there are days when not being able to understand others or speak with them literally drives me to my knees, there is always grace to continue. And it is there, when I am empty and have nothing left to give, that I am truly blessed.
3. Are You Homesick?
I have been in this country for 1 month and 2 days -- eating food that is unfamiliar, speaking words that have never been uttered from my mouth with people that I do not know. I spend my nights in a bed that is not my own, and my days in a room whose walls are still foreign to me. And yet, despite all of this, I still call this place my home. Why? Because homesickness is a funny thing. We can be surrounded by our family, or home, or our friends, and still be homesick. And I believe, if you will bear with my philosophy, that this is because our hearts were not meant for this place alone. Our hearts rest in an eternal kingdom and as long as we are on this earth, we will never be truly home. So, do I miss the comfort of my family, my home, my friends? Yes. But if I were to pack my bags tonight and go home to Minnesota, a piece of my heart would remain here.