Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pura Vida!

We have arrived!
It's our one week anniversary here in San Jose, Costa Rica. It's amazing how many emotional ups and downs you can have in one week. If I had to describe the experience overall in one word I think I would use the word "different". Not better or worse, just different. I guess it's human nature to be scared of the unfamiliar (I know, unfamiliar makes two words) but unfamiliar it is here. From the electrical outlets to the food packaging to the streets to the buses to the taxis to the razor wire, it's unfamiliar. 

Over the last week, as the unfamiliar becomes known, we've started to settle in. Our first few trips to the stores were more puzzling than anything else, wandering the aisles trying to figure out where everything was, feeling victorious whenever we could actually read something with our limited Spanish. We had quite a bit to buy to set up our house for living, and by the second trip we were able to find everything but baking soda. After using an unsuspecting expat as an eng/span dictionary, we found it. Bicarbonato de sodio! 

Food is interesting here. Gallo Pinto is the traditional meal, and they do not like anything spicy. Finding hot peppers for salsa is nearly impossible. If, while in a restaurant, you put lots of black pepper on your food, they will be horrified at how hot it must be! If you move here and love red meat, you will be disappointed. There's not a lot of quality beef to be had here! On the other hand, if you happen to be from California, and are a bit granola with your eating style, it's a great place to be. You can find lots of fruits and vegetables for great prices, and eating Mangoes and pineapples here is  pretty much like eating candy. Here's a pic of yesterday's haul from the feria (farmers market) down the road.
(Note the sweet wood paneling on our wall. I know your jealous.)
We purchased pineapples, watermelon, avocados, bananas, apples, oranges, carrots, green beans, cilantro, strawberries, and mini bananas for about 13 bucks.
To contrast that, a small chunk of wannabe cheddar cheese will run you 7 bucks. Try counting up how much cheese you use in a week and you'll see that it's a bummer of a thing to give up!

Classes start in the morning at 7:30 am, so we've got to leave the house around 7am to make the twenty minute walk and get Cohen and Titus into their preschool. Our "dsl" internet connection would lose most races to dial up in the states, so pictures take a bit to load. I'll leave you all with a picture of a makeshift Costarican bath.  Baths are extremely uncommon, as they are very peculiar about personal cleanliness here. Most Ticos are disgusted that US Americans would take a bath, feeling that it is not a very good way to get clean. I might expound on that later.  

Before I forget and if anyone is wondering, we did feel the earthquake last week. We were in a get-to-know-ya interview in the student counselors office at language school, and we started rockin' and rollin' for at least 7 or 8 seconds. It was a pretty good tremor, by far the strongest I've ever felt. It's pretty sad, as reports keep coming in and the death toll mounts (19 so far). We have some friends here who were coming home from the beach that day, and had planned on stopping by the volcano where the earthquake was centered, then decided they didn't have time. If they had, they would have been there when the earthquake hit. 

We're clinging to God and trusting in His plans for us, and we feel incredibly blessed to be here and safe. God is good, even though transition to this place feels like a huge challenge at times.  The people here are warm and friendly (even though personal security is majorly different than at home, more on that later), at least as far as I can tell, I'll confirm that in a few weeks when I can understand a bit of what they are saying.  

We love and miss everyone, 
Dave for Kate, Cohen and Titus. 
ps. I'll blog more later, I wanted to wait at least a week untill we were settled. There's quite a few interesting things that go on here, so expect more posts!


Terry said...

Life is good in SJ Costa Rica by the looks of it on farmers market. Baths are no problem for two little boys either. Missing you all lots.
Papa Boone

Trisha said...

Thanks for the news! Remember it's okay to have yuck ducks and yeah ducks at the same time...remind me of that when I post my first note from SLO!!! =) Praying for you guys! Trisha

Allison said...

It was so good to find a new post! Glad to hear you are safe and doing well!
Love, Allison

Josh said...

That is one nice bathtub. Hope you don't have use that one too! Glad to hear from you again.

Renee said...

It is very nice to see pictures. The fruit looks amazing! I love the bathtub,it looks like the boys were enjoying it!

Arlene said...

Want me to share this with everyone on our newletter list?

Been wondering about you. So delighted to read about ya!!

Heap o prayers heading your way, daily.

Kristen said...

The pineapple looks so good! Thanks for updating us. I keep thinking about you guys and hope you are well. Kristen

Eric said...

Beautiful fruit! looks like it could be in a cornucopia.

Praying for you guys.

Mark Boone said...

That bathtub's special. There was one like that in Salida in 1988. Do the math and figure out who used it!