There are many aspects of daily life here that are very different than what I am used to in middle-class America. Firstly, because the humidity here is almost always around 85%, EVERYTHING is ALWAYS damp. My towel never completely dries after I shower, my pillowcase is moist when I go to bed, and notebook paper NEVER stays crisp. Realizing this about paper was so strange, but my notebook, journal, and loose sheets of paper constantly feel damp now. I’ve heard that if you’re not careful with where you put things mold can become a big problem. This humidity is of course due to it being the rainy season here. From May to November it rains just about every day here. I didn’t believe it before I got here, but it’s true. The mornings are normally clear and sunny, but just like clockwork, around lunchtime the downpour will start. It often rains until dinner around 6pm. The rain makes it difficult to wash clothes because the only clotheslines are outside. I haven’t attempted this yet, but it will be an adventure for sure. I have realized here how much I take for granted in the U.S.: hot showers daily, clean floors, free Internet, a bedroom to myself. God has been showing me that these things are minor in light of the awesome community of faith I have here, and what he is going to teach me. It is humbling.
One thing I really enjoy here is the comida (food). How many different combinations of rice and beans do you think there are? Well, I’ve already had at least 3. When rice and beans are served already mixed, the dish is called gallo pinto, but when they are served separately you refer to it as arroz con frijoles. There are different flavors and spices that can be mixed into these dishes as well. So far being here I think I have had rice and beans at least twice a day. Usually lunch is a similar meal to dinner. The normal meal here is rice, beans, salad, and chips, sometimes with chicken or fried plantains (which are delicious). This is the traditional Costa Rican dish. We even have rice and beans for breakfast sometimes, along with eggs and fruit.
On the first night that our whole team was here, there was a Welcome Dinner for the new schools – our DTS and a Children at Risk school. The staff served us a meal while a Costa Rican reggae band played music. Then there was a presentation of all the nations represented in these new schools of YWAM. Each nation presented their flag. Along with many Americans, there are people from Canada, Finland, Honduras, Mexico, Germany, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and many other nations. I have loved getting to know people in other classes during our free time. Most of the students in the Children at Risk class (a secondary school in YWAM) took their DTS in a country other than Costa Rica.
Our first day of class was this Monday. Here is what my typical schedule looks like in our DTS:
5:30 – wake up and go for a morning run J
6:30 – breakfast
7:00 – personal quiet time with the Lord (prayer and reading Scripture)
8:00 – base intercession or worship
9:00 – class (different speakers give the lecture each week)
12:30 – lunch
2:00 – assorted activities (small groups, outreach preparation, or local ministry)
4:00 – family contributions i.e. chores
6:00 – dinner
7:00 – Bible study or fellowship
9:30 – quiet time
10:00 – lights out
So each day is pretty jam-packed with greatness! It definitely keeps me busy, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all that I am learning so quickly. But we usually have the weekends to relax, catch up on sleep, or hang out with friends at the base. I have learned so much this first week in class. Our theme was intimacy with God. I realized that although I have a personal relationship with God, I do not appreciate him enough. I don’t spend much time with him or even stop to think about how much he loves me! The main thing I learned is that through prayer I can become closer to knowing God and his heart. I will desire him more as I come to know him because he wants to have a relationship with me! Even though I can’t hear him speaking directly to me right now, I have faith that as I continue to seek him, his will for my life will become clearer.
Here are some pictures of life at the base:
Spanish vocabulary trivia: chistoso means funny
Bible verse of the day: 1 John 4: 7-9