Its been a crazy first month and a half here in Costa Rica-- different than I ever could have imagined.
We have finished our first entire Spanish course and I’m beginning to wonder if fluency is even humanly possible. It been full of exciting weekend traveling, but also day-to-day life during the week.
Transitioning into a new culture is different. Things like riding the bus, ordering food, or finding things to do become a unique challenge when you are in a foreign city with a different national language.
I am finding a new compassion for the international students, immigrants, and refugees in my city at home. My heart breaks for those isolated in a new culture.
Thankfully I have found some incredible locals here who have opened their homes, helped me read maps, find buses, call taxis, and check my homework. Without these people I would be absolutely lost, lonely and isolated.
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This summer in Honduras, I really began learning about contentment, peace, faith, and joy. I struggled to find what those things looked like on the days I feel bad or the times that life circumstances leave us no option but to mourn.
Surprisingly enough, those questions didn't disappear at the United States border, nor here at the Costa Rican border.
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Amidst the beauty and adventure here I begin to doubt. Am I where I’m supposed to be?
In my mind, finding a purpose should be clear— a schedule to serve or a goal at work, but life is slow here. I go to school and study, but I also spend hours at our small apartment, and sit down to eat each meal.
My subconscious keeps asking me this question: Is sitting the opposite of purpose?
Well maybe you sit there and say, “Well of course not,” and maybe with my words I would have said the same thing.
But time and time again, I have come to this place of sitting. Whether a odd in between time or a task that leaves me sitting, listening, and thinking— it’s usually just minutes before my mind goes completely crazy and I'm wondering when I can go somewhere or do something to get a break.
Lets face it, I suck at resting. And so does most of America.
Amidst many things, Costa RIca has been an eye-opening lesson in rest, and along with that comes the dreaded lesson in patience.
I wait for everything: food, the bus, the internet, directions, class and so on. What they call that here is living on "tica time."
And in the waiting, whether a season of life or a gap of time, we have two choices: to rest or to stress, letting our anxiousness poison our hearts.
Far to often I choose the latter, but I'm learning to choose rest just a little bit more.
As I type this post, our power just went out. Our apartment is dark and my illuminating computer screen will probably only last another 5 minutes. I gave up on reading while holding my iphone flashlight to the screen and will probably forego the yummy hot breakfast I was anticipating and settle for cereal and coffee later in the afternoon.
Normally I would choose frustration, but today I am looking at it as an opportunity to be still. Normally today would be a bad day, but this dark morning is a warm bed for my soul to rest—to be reminded of the important things that far outweigh electricity, wifi, a computer battery or even gallo pinto.