Hey everyone! Costa Rica has been a lot of fun so far; however, today everyone really came out of their shell, which made working and the experience even more fun than it already was. Today while visiting the kids, we had craft, snack and bible study time. All of the kids seem to really enjoy and cherish the time they have with us; however, we enjoy and cherish the time just as much as them. Church this evening was such a blessing because we got to learn and experience the way Costa Ricans have church and worship. The people here dance to the music provided for them around a stage that looks quite similar to ours. We all wish we could go to church with them every day. The pastor of the Costa Rican church told us how much of a blessing we are to them and their community, and the whole group was definitely touched by it. They are truly our blessing though, through serving we are able to grow in our faith and appreciation for God and all that he gives to us. After the service was over, all of the Costa Ricans that came hugged and shook hands with every single one of the members of our group. They are all wonderful, happy and gracious people with big hearts. We miss you all, and hope everything is well!!

Lindsey Buckmeier

Yo estoy consada. I am tired. It is only Tuesday and the amount of work we are doing is really starting to catch up with me. So is the amount of food we are all eating! Our hosts are so generous when giving us food, it is incredible. The women here work all day to prepare our food and it is delicious every single time. If I don’t have rice and beans every day when I get home I may go through withdrawal. On a more serious note, a lot of work was done today. At the church we worked on the driveway in the front while the group at Centro Metodista used over twenty bags of cement to pave the majority of the driveway here. The amount of work we are doing is crazy! At VBS we made necklaces, sung songs, and I made a lot of new friends. The little girl I was trying to get to open up to me yesterday, Genesis, started talking to me today. Which is a good and a bad thing in my case, but to be fair I am working really hard to understand and speak the language.

After dinner we went to church and it was quite the experience. It was very different from the church services we have at home. We danced and sang Agua de la Roca, and we were all very grateful to join together; the members of the church here are very grateful to have us here to serve, and we are all grateful for the opportunity to be here and grow in our faith. Tomorrow will be a very interesting day because we are not working in the morning and we are taking a tour of San Jose instead. I will actually miss working in the morning because I think the experience brings us closer together and teaches us all to appreciate things more. After filling the gaps between cement blocks for a very long time I realized how incredibly grateful I am for the houses and buildings we have at home. If you have never used a cement mixer, or better yet, mixed cement by hand, you might want to give it a shot. You will become very grateful, very fast. Overall, I am very grateful for this eye-opening experience and I cannot wait to spend the rest of the week learning and working. Day two rocked, now onto day three!

Sarah Smith

Hello everyone. Even though it is only Tuesday we have accomplished a large amount of work. We have worked both at the church and here at the Methodist Center. At the church we are building a wall and paving a driveway, and here we are painting the fence and paving another driveway. It is amazing to hear stories about what it used to look like and how much it has improved. In the afternoons we hold vacation bible school with the kids from the town and that is really a great experience. It is amazing to see how happy all the children are to see us and they really have a lot of energy. In between the different stations we have free time, and the kids really love this game that is basically tag. However, they would be able to run for the entire game and we would have to switch off in order to catch them. Even though we were switching off so much, everyone was still extremely tired. We also played a small game of 3v3 soccer and we actually won! It really surprised me that we Americans were able to keep up and actually beat them! But, it was also great because they were all having fun and so were we. After dinner we went to church and it was great to see so many people there all smiling and enjoying themselves. The pastor talked about how much of a blessing it was for us to be there; it was great to see how much the people here appreciate our help. It has been an extremely fun trip and I know it will continue.

Derek Phillips

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