(Just about the only Spanish phrase I know thus far). Today I arrived in the wonderful city of San Jose, Costa Rica! The wait is finally over. And now, as I sit in my bed recapping the days adventures on my iPad, I wonder how the heck I got here. After my flight from Memphis to Miami, I found myself in the middle of two new study abroad friends in seat 34C headed to Costa Rica for the next 90 days. After a 2 hour ride, as our plane continuously lowered for landing, our three heads magnificently fit into the tiny box-window at the end of our row with our mouths open and our hearts beating fast. The three of us, Maiera, Sam, and I couldn't get through customs, immigration, and baggage claim quick enough it seemed. We were greeted by five other API students and boarded our bus towards our host families. A nice Costa Rican driver was there to escort us, help us with our bags, and I think he threw in a few jokes here and there but eh.. no entiendo? For the next 30 minute drive from the airport towards our homes, not one word was spoken. We all just stared as we passed mountains in the distance, small homes with red and orange roofs, small tikos chasing each other around, our iPhones capturing as many pictures as they could, and silent prayers to God that our driver didn't kill us on these insane streets. (I've found that Costa Rican driving involves a lot more speed and agility than does the U.S. Also pedestrians do NOT have the right away. Duly noted.).
I arrived at my Homestay greeted by my new host mom and host dad. I think they must be two of the sweetest, most patient people i've ever met, and it hasn't even been 24 hours. Naturally, we spent the first hour together drinking coffee around the kitchen table and establishing the fact that I know little to no Spanish. My host father luckily understands and translates for my host mom and I but tomorrow we head into the city without him! I'll keep you posted on how that goes. I'd say i've used more Spanish from my old high school vocabulary words today than I ever have in my life. I finally understand what it's like to be on the other side of a language barrier--no bueno. I told my family I'm an easy learner, so I'll be kicking into high gear these next months with my Spanish skills, which really excites me. There's so much to do and learn and understand!
I'm praying for the Lord's guidance and patience over these next few days. God, come and show up in a real way. Make your path straight and be a light to my feet as I figure out this recipe for the good life. From Memphis to San Jose, i'm ready to see what's in store. Let your name speak louder in me than any word that can leave my mouth. You, my God are the same here as you are anywhere and the same today as you are tomorrow. Come, captivate me here and take me among the high places of joy, peace, rest, patience, adventure, love, and reassurance. In Jesus name.