In May 2016, Brandon and I took our older girls with us on our vision trip to Costa Rica. We never shared the ins and outs of the trip then, because we were still quietly pursuing where God wanted us. So I thought I would share that with you now, so you can get a glimpse into life in Costa Rica!
Day 1: First Flight!
The girls were beyond excited to go! They had never flown or been out of the country before, so we were totally #winning as parents! Where's the trophy?
Day 2: Rio Tarcoles and the Crocodiles, CasaFe, Iglesia Radical...and the Pharmacia
This is the part we didn't tell the grandparents about, but don't worry guys, I was holding on to the girls for dear life. When Brandon and I had visited back in March, we stopped here with the Bells, so we did what any good parent would do and took our girls to see the giant crocodiles and let them taste their first pipas frias, which you can tell what Alaina thought about that.
We also visited CasaFe which is an amazing beach front youth house where a young missionary, Lisa lives and pours into the local youth. The ticos were practicing their drama portion for kids club the next day. So we were their practice audience.
That evening we attempted to attend Iglesia Radical for church, but a few minutes into it we realized Kayden had PINK EYE! So off to the local Pharmacia. This was the easiest visit ever. We walk in, tell them her symptoms in broken Spanish and off we go with the miracle drops that cleared her eye up in less than 24 hours.
Day 3: Kids Club
Horizon, an English speaking church, puts on a kids club for the locals each Saturday in Jaco. At first the girls were a little timid, and it took them awhile to jump in, but once they did our hearts were soaring. That particular Saturday, they put on a second kids club in Esterillos, which was about a 20ish minute drive south of Jaco. Once we arrived, I turned around to look for Alaina and there she was sitting in the circle playing the game with the local kids. She had absolutely no idea what they were saying, but she was certain she was participating. It was one of the highlights of my trip. She must have felt pretty comfy with them, because at the end when the volunteers pass out the rice and beans guess who was walking away with her portion? Yep, I guess she missed the memo about giving them out...not taking them. Bless her heart.
Day 4: Rest and Smoothies
Sunday we attended church at Horizon. There is so many awesome things I could say about this church, but that's probably for another post. Anyway, after church the Bells had a BBQ at their house and invited the Barrett family (The pastor of Horizon, his sweet wife and 3 sons) over so we could pick their brains and get to know them.
After a relaxing afternoon, the Bells took us to Villa Caletas for the yummiest smoothies and the best sunset view in the area! Unfortunately, the clouds got in the way of the view, but we still enjoyed the delish treat and amazing atmosphere.
Day 5: Monkeys, hiking and Pregnancy Center Oh My!
We woke up to a family of monkeys outside our windows and the girls thought it was awesome!
Then, Becky and Tori took us on what we referred to as the West Orange Trail, except it was up the side of a mountain and there was no running involved. The girls needed a break (I may have too), but we all survived and were rewarded with a killer view of Jaco Beach.
After our morning hike and jump in the pool, we ate a typical Tico lunch and one kid has converted to eating something other than chicken and fries.
Then we visited Centro Prenatal Jaco to get a birds eye view of what it was all about. And of course you know what we thought of that!
We took the girls to the beach for a bit to process our thoughts and feelings and were overcome with peace that we knew God was calling us here.
Day 6: Nos Vemos Costa Rica
Saying goodbye to the Bells included sharing with them how we were feeling. It was a bittersweet moment. We felt at peace about our decision to pursue Centro Prenatal, but a little sad knowing we had to go back and share with family what this meant. The girls were upset to leave their new friends Tori and Ty, who by the way were totally awesome with them! But they were completely stoked that their favorite show played on part of the flight...Fixer Upper. Thanks Chip and Joanna.