Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let's go live with Indigenous Tribes on an island in Panama?

I'm back from my internship and I couldn't be more pleased with how it went. Sadly, I don't have internet any longer so I have just a bit of time to explain to you.

I was working in La Escuela Santa Cicilia and it was such a blessing! The English teacher left the second/third day that I was there and handed me the classroom. Though the work was RIDICULOUSLY hard and I had to skype my mom almost every night for advice, I got through. I loved the children, I loved the teachers, I loved it all! I could see God working in me and through the children the whole time I was there! There truly are not even words that could describe what I had just done.

So, to explain it? I think pictures will do the trick...

So that's what I did and it was a blast! Ask my mom for crazy stories, hopefully she'll have more time than I do.

What's next? Well, that's the crazy part! I only have one more thing left! I'm going to Panama on Sunday of this week to live with the Indigenous Tribe of Kuna on an Island! We will be roughing it, for sure. Living there, hanging out with the families, sharing with the children, and just showing our love for other brother and sisters in Christ. Looks like I'll be sleeping in a hammock, using the bathroom in public, showing outdoor (also in public), eating a lot of boiled fish, and simply doing what the Kuna's do. After that? Back to Miami and then I'm home.

That statement sounds so soooon! Thankfully, I have two more weeks here and I'm going to live it up to the fullest.

See you all SO soon.

Dios les bendiga,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Venga, amor, venga.

I've started to despise that word "venga". It means the command come but they use it out of love too. Come eat, come help me with my homework, come over at this time, come, come, come.

What made me think of this was a conversation I had with Jenny. We were just chatting, and of course she asked me some very hard hitting questions such as:

[11/15/10 8:25:05 PM] Jenny Simburger: how was pooping in a hole?
[11/15/10 8:25:35 PM] Jamie Harling: pretty relieving, actually
[11/15/10 8:26:35 PM] Jamie Harling: I'm being beckoned now, sadly. I have to go!
[11/15/10 8:26:50 PM] Jamie Harling: look at it this way, the less we talk, the more fun stories you get to hear when I come home :)

but then, I was being "venga"'d my way into the kitchen, to eat, againnnn! One thing I'm coming back with is a bigger stomach. I'm still not sure if that's a good thing! :)

So today marks the one month return of me. I didn't realize it until I was skyping with Phil and he says:

[11/16/10 5:06:35 PM] Phil Ruppert: man oh man, i am gonna see you in a little over a month
[11/16/10 5:06:51 PM] Jamie Harling: shoot, its a month today!
[11/16/10 5:07:11 PM] Phil Ruppert: holy crap it is!!! get excited my friend

How can I actually be excited about leaving? I love it here. I love my families, I love my friends, I love my job (for now), I love the mountains, I love the beaches, I love what I'm studying, and I love what God is doing for me here. I might hate being venga'd every five minutes, but I just love it here.

The thing I have to look forward to is not only a baked potato from Ruby Tuesday's or a corn dog from Park-n-Eat, but also quality conversations about this trip and what actually happened behind pooping in a hole. I'm ready for that, but that's just about all I'm ready for.

I am here in Costa Rica and my heart is here in Costa Rica with me. In a month, right about this time, I will be stepping foot into St. Louis Airport and that statement will have to change, for now, I am here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paz y Amor

Peace and Love. A phrase used oh-so-often by a little girl named Andrea, who I thought a lot about today as I looked down at my pink notebook and saw the sticker she gave me. Then again when I went to open my book and a picture she drew me fell out. That’s just what my trip here in San Juan has been so far, Paz y Amor.

So I'm here, in San Juan de Poaz, next to the prettiest volcano, and surrounded by mountains. I took a run (which I usually hate doing) just to see the overlooks and unbelievable mountains and it was incredible. Oh yeah, and obviously since you have already heard from me, you must know that I have internet. Scratch that, I have WIFI. :) Though I did do a bit of downloading of Dexter, today was simply packed full of fun and love. I got here and ever since then my mother has been showering me with an endless amount of love. Then I opened my devotional and found the verse in Romans 12:9 that says “Love must be sincere.” As weird as it is to be thrown around from family to family, it’s so easy to love. My family’s love is so sincere and my love for them is also. My dad met me at the bus stop, my mom made everything perfect for me at home, my dad fixed the shower the minute I walked in the door, my mom made me food, my mom rubbed my back and told me stories, my mom took me on a walk around town, my brother lets me call him mae, my sisters let me listen, my parents took me to their cabaña, my parents stopped on the road to simply let me see the scenery, my parents asked me question after question, my mom skyped with my real mom, and most of all, my family loved me from the first minute. What in the WORLD was I so worried about? Everything is good.

Yesterday I did all of the listed above, but I also took a pit stop at my school to check it out. I met the english teacher, Roxana, there that I’m working with and she spilled her secret to me....she’s leaving San Juan early and wants me to take over the class. Umm... well.... I’m in TESL and am an Ed major, but I’ve taken little to no classes to be prepared for this. What do I do? I call my mom. She always knows what to do and of course has lesson plans popping up in her head the minute you give her a theme. So that’s what I did today, I set out a lesson plans for teaching english because tomorrow, at 7 am, ready or not I’m teaching. Crazy. Thankfully I was able to talk to a dear friend tonight, Shalya, who put my heart at peace.
She said:

“just keep reminding yourself why you're there, and how wonderful you're gonna be, and that God blessed you with this wonderful talent for spanish, and you're just gonna love on these kids (i think it's kids) by teaching them english.
don't worry about it being terribly formal..just be you.

So that’s it. Tomorrow I’m going to be me and pray that it works :)

Time to brush my teeth for the fourth time today. My family has excellent teeth hygiene.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things have changed...

Looks like I’m not going to Jocotal anymore. Road are closed, my school is closed, everything is completely flooded. Instead?...I’m headed to Poaz bright and early tomorrow to start a new internship. I’ll still be in a school, just no longer a school house. I have exactly 12 hours before I board my bus to get really, really excited for this internship! Sadly, I already put my heart in to Jocotal and I left a piece with the grieving families there. I am still praying for them daily and I know that soon enough their lives with be back in place and they will receive next semesters student with the same enthusiasm. For now, I’m just hanging out with my family, soaking up the few hours I have left here.

Here are some verses I’ve been meditating on:

“The one who has faith can do all thing.”- Mark 9:23

“Let the peace of Christ have power over your hearts. You were chosen as a part of His body. Always be thankful.”- Colossians 3:15

So that’s it: With faith I can do this new internship, I can embrace it and take in every moment. I am thankful I’m here, I’m thankful for what I have, and I am really, really thankful that I have this internship.

Dios le Bendiga, Jamie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And I'm off...

....or almost off. I’m headed to my internship for four weeks. For weeks of solitude, with a new family, probably no internet, and no friends within hours. What am I going to do for these weeks? Well, I’m going to work, finally! I have missed work so much and now that I get to enjoy 4 long weeks of it I am beyond excited! I will be working in a school house with 14 kids Kindergarden-6th Grade. There’s one teacher and I will be her assistant and will be teaching some of the grades while I’m there! I’m glad I am going to such a small community because it means that I will be forced to get to know all 100 people of the village!
Right now all I know is that I have 4 brothers and 1 sister and a mom and dad. I know that one or two of the kids goes to the school too but that is about it. The problem is that today, the 7th, I was planned to leave at 5am to Jocotal Abajo de Asserí but it has been delayed. Asserí’s highway and then the road to Jocotal is also closed because of the landslides. The rains have been horrible here lately because of the storm on the coast and it has flooded Asserí and my town completely. Keep them in your prayers as they grieve from death and attempt to rebuild their homes. Also, there is a group of us 7 that are awaiting a time that we can leave for our internships so be praying for our patience and that everything clears up in the near future.
For now I’m just soaking up the extra days wrapping up hanging out with friends, doing some homework, and finally being able to sit down with my family and relax. I’ll be back in a month and I’ll write you all then. After that, I’m off to Panama, Miami, and before you and I both know it... I will be home in the little town of Hillsboro once again. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

God is good.

Today, today was a fantastic day. I just thought I should blog the minute I got home. I was able to just share with people today and I don't know why but I felt like a 12 year old girl on the way home, skipping and listening to music. God was present today and I needed that. Man, He's so good. So, sooo good. Thanks God for today and the amazing night I'm about to have. (aka free tickets to El Teatro Nacional to see a modern dance!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sólo Ser.

If I had to sum up Nicaragua in just a few words I would tell you all that I finally learned how to stop doing and just be. It took me the whole two weeks, but I finally have it completely down. Like Manuel, my 8 year old brother said, “You just need to be here when I get back.”

I did some crazy things in Nicaragua and I have no idea where to even start to tell you about my adventures. I guess I’ll start with where I lived. My little village in the middle of nowhere was called La Montañita 1. I lived with Hermana Ana, her daughter María, and her grandson, the cutest little boy ever, Manuel. They took me in the minute I walked in through the door and I will forever be thankful.

So what did I do? Well, my job within the community was to play with kids. I just would like to say, thank you GOD for that one. I was child-deprived. I am so used to being constantly surrounded by kids in the states and here it’s not like I can ask my 23 year old brother to play with me or my 20 year old sister if she wants to play hide-n-seek. To say the least, I would have been content with that being my only job, but it wasn’t :)

I was also able to work with the youth and children within the church. We lead Bible Studies and were just able to share our own beliefs and evangelize with those in and outside of the church. I led a children’s service twice, once in the church and once outside. We also had meetings with the youth and had a special Bible study where we simply just poured out the love the Christ has to offer. Other mission trips you’re working on a fence, or painting a building. This is essential to some trips and that’s how it was like for the majority of people on my trip. For me, it was completely different. I had to take charge to do something but I actually left knowing that I personally had left an impact on the children, the youth, and the church in general. They were so willing to learn and that made my job easy. All I needed to do was come up with a Biblical way to play “Go Fish” and I was set! :)

Of course I cannot leave out funny stories...I always have those.

Day 1: I get there and I can already tell that it’s going to be awesome. I have been on a bus for hours and I also just walked a while to get to my house so I need to go to the bathroom. Take into consideration that this is my first time going to the bathroom in a hole. I was a little worried so I was barely squatting, skirt pulled up and tucked into my shirt, and of course, underwear at the ankles. Little did I know that my trash bag door would swing open mid-pee and I would flash my 13 year old neighbor boy that I had to then play with the rest of the week. There was nothing I could do, I was standing, fully what did I do? I waved with both hands and said “lo siento”. Gooooood idea.

Day 1: 3 hours later....I feel pretty gross. I’ve been traveling around Nicaragua and I’m already dirty from just traveling there. Obviously, I need to take a shower. Little did I know that Manuel was going to scare me and I was going to jump up and flash my brother and my neighbor. hahahahaah

My house might have been tarp, cardboard, and steel. My bathroom might have been cardboard and tarp and hole in the ground. My shower might have come up to my chest and been made of white sheets full of holes. I might have slept on a hard bed on a dirt floor. I might have flashed my neighbors, ate a lot of nasty pig/pig hair, and almost killed a chicken. Oh, and I might have left a chunk of my heart in La Montañita. But over all of this, I learned that in any circumstance, it’s all about how you approach it. I wanted everything listed above and now Nicaragua rates #1 on my best experiences here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Life is crazy here, that’s really all I can say. I’m so sorry that I’m bad at this posting thing. I mean, I’ve been here five weeks and I could easily spend all night telling a blog what I’ve been doing, instead, I’ll just highlight.

Recently my life has become homework. Even worse, homework completely in spanish. I FINALLY finished my 10 page paper on Cuba, of course ever word of it was in spanish. I feel like I’m writing papers left and right and then on top of that, I have a 10 minute presentation tomorrow over El Teatro Nacional...good thing I’m great at on spot talking :). I literally spent all day Saturday and Sunday cramming all of this in. Thank the Lord, I’m done and even have time to write my loved ones!

I have done some awesome things and met some even more awesome people.
Elmer Rodriquez Campos- the cutest little man I’ve ever met. It didn’t matter if he was spending his time as a security guard, by night he’s a skilled painter and poet. Such a cute man!
Rubén Pagura- Ohh, he sang for us! I know that I said Elmer was cute, but really, Rubén was someone I just wanted to have in my life everyday. He simply loved his life and was so passionate about what he did. An incredible man, that’s for sure!

Alex Grant- One of the first men to come in and finally speak english to us! Maybe it was that, or that fact that he used to be a model but is now some hot shot business man that made me love him! Too bad he looked like he was 21 and was actually 40 and just got married. Either way, he was great too!

Then there was Roderick, the sweetest, most passionate, and loving man I have ever met. I’ll never forget him, or his outlook on life. That and his passion for the Lord and how he simply tries to live likes he’s called. Roderick, a husband and father of the two cutest kids I’ve seen since I got here, was more than just a sustainable farmer. He is a poet and a genius. In his broken english he told us all about living your life for God and about being a human being in this world. Ah, he touched my heart and the best part, he sells the most wonderful coffee. I’ve never had a better cup!

Oh yeah, and then there was the one time LASP tried to teach me about Liberation Theology in a 4 hour session on the worst day of my life...that didn’t go over well.

Oh yeah... I also went to some place that were pretttty awesome. I went to La Fortuna, which is one of the most famous Volcanos here. Thankfully we went on a day that wasn’t cloudy and were able to see all of the Volcano! Also, my friend Abby’s tica mom here set up our weekend for us, so when we got to La Fortuna after a shady 4 hour bus ride, we were greeted by tour guides! We were treated like royalty and given some nice fruit drinks when we can. By 2 that day we headed for our 7 hour tour/hike. I might have jumped off a waterfall, climbed a volcano, and relaxed in the hot-spring and it may or may not have been the most shady tour I’ve ever taken. By the end, a good portion of our guides were having their own party...hahahahha.

Then I went to Limón. Finally, a beach! Of course, before that I had to do school too. Friday night we went out and conducted interviews with those on the street. If you’re anything like me, you don’t know anything about Limón, so I’ll give you a brief overview. A good portion of people in Limón are living in poverty but do not even realize it because everyone around them is the same. It’s a VERY dangerous place and literally kids of all ages gather and drink on the streets when an officer is 2 feet from them. Either way, it was awesome to meet the people of Limón and on top of that go to the most beautiful beach in the world. (See Facebook for photos!) Oh, then I had to come back on a Sunday night and write a paper on poverty, of course. LASP has this way or ruining things.

I’ve seriously done way more awesome things than I can describe, like concerts in crowded clubs, a ton of family fiestas that involve tacocitos (favorite) and dancing. Pretty much, I’ve done a ton of stuff that gringos and tourist would do, ha. I went to the embassy (so much to say about that), I went to a theater, I finally had subway, I read three books of Cuba, and so much more. I freaking love it here.

Oh yeah, mom, if you read this...I just got internet...kinda. It’s been in and out and then actually gone for weeks. Also, I tried to call today to tell you that I think I may or may not have a “gripe”, which is the flu. I slept FOREVER today though and I’m feeling a bit better. Good thing I have no time to even think about an illness with all of this work...except for when my mamí tica makes me awesome soup and gives me ice cream :)

AH, shoot. Remember that one time I almost forgot to tell you that I was about to go live in the bosque (forest) for two weeks? Yeah, I leave Monday morning at 5:00am. I’ll be living with a new family, probably in the middle of nowhere in Nicaragua. My intern, Annie, took a boat and then a horse for 3 hours to where she lived last time. I’m am beyond excited! Oh, and I get on bag with like two change of clothes, food, and the necessities. I’m going to be a hot mess for 14 days, but oh well. I once heard that you can do anything for four months...well I can do anything for two weeks! Then, I come back to fall break (aka- Manuel Antonio) pumped. BEACH! No homework. Hot showers, a beach house, walking without shoes, zip-lining. Soooo good. Until then, I won’t have internet access so it’ll have to be another three weeks before I post again. Thank you all for support and prayers!

So that’s life is seriously nuts. I’m so glad that I’m here with the people that I am and of course the family that I’m with. I love what I’m doing and I easily owe the Lord for this one.


Jamie Harling

Latin American Studies Program
Apdo. 54-2070
Sabanilla, Montes de Oca

I just found out my family loves baked potatoes. I knew my random pick day one was perfect.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hello all! I am alive and SAFE! The picture makes me laugh because I drink SO much coffee here...and I just miss my kool-aid! :)

I guess the last time I posted I was leaving in a week. I cannot even fathom that I have only been here a week! The first couple of days here were a little intense! Let me just start by telling you about my travels from St. Louis to Costa Rica. I arrived at the airport about 4:00 am thanks to the lovely Blair Cullison. From there I found my way to the Air Tran check in and pre-weighed my bags in the case that they were over. Sadly, one bag was over 1 lb and I had to give my precious leather bag back to Blair to take home. As I got back in line I met with a man from Ghana who was also waiting for his turn to check in. As I stood there talking to him I learned that he was an aspiring pastor that was trying to get his feet in the door. Leave it to the Lord to have me talking about my faith not even 5 minutes into my trip! I was able to tell him about my beliefs and we had this amazing, in-depth, and fully loving conversation for about an hour. Unfortunately, Air Tran didn’t open their check-in’s until about 5:00 am. When I gave her my flight information, name, and I.D., she looked at me like I was crazy. My paper said 6:05 am Air Tran to Miami but she had no information of this. There was no flight to Miami at 6, or that day, there was no ticket with my name on it, and she pretty much told me that I was out of luck. I then made my way to a booth where I could quickly talk to Cheap-O Air or check my mail dead. Of course, my luck didn’t come with me to the airport this day. I went to the AA desk and begged this woman to look up the flight information for me. Finally, she found me (as I was desperately praying at the counter) and actually, I got free baggage through to Costa Rica! I was already living the “Pura Vida”...or so I thought. As I got to security it was about 5:15 and my flight boarded at 5:30. Well, I beeped before my bags even went through. Well, I beeped again...and again, and just once again. I think I literally only had my dress on (tights, socks, jewelry, cardigan were all off) and I was still freaking beeping. So, they had me take out everything from my bags (a backpack and carry-on) for “procedure”. I had literally 8 buckets to myself. One for electronics, one for jewelry, one for clothes, one for make-up, one for liquids, one for shoes, one for my backpack alone, and lastly, one for my carry-on. God- willing they let me through. I “quickly” SHOVED everything back into my backpack and tried to run with this huge carry-on through the airport. I literally didn’t even have time to sit down at my gate because they were calling my boarding group. The day was easily in God’s hands because if one more thing went wrong, I would have been in St. Louis, better yet, Hillsboro for the next 4 months! After the flight the days become a blur. I got to Miami with no sleep and met up with Nicole, one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. Thankfully she had not slept either and we were delusional from pretty much 9:00 am-8:00 pm when our flight left! With a little help from Starbucks and friends we made it through and arrived in Costa Rica about 11:00 pm that night. Finally, we went to a retreat center for the first night. By the time we arrived, I had not slept for over 40 hours and was thoroughly struggling. Of course, I was not used to the dogs barking endlessly outside my window and literally didn’t get any sleep again that night! I still had to wake up early and go through training to meet my family. I met my family, we came to the house, and unpacked all of my stuff. I was literally falling asleep at the table and they let me sleep for 12 hours that night! :) This has actually become a normal habit for me...sleeping 10 hours a night! hahaha. Now that you have a long overview of my first few hours in CR, let me tell you about the big things....

Family: I have a mom, Mayela,58 who is great! She reminds me so much of my mom, just a bit older. On my paper it said that my mom was an “ama de casa” which means pretty much a stay at home mom. Actually, she raises dogs and paints so beautifully! My dad, Carlos, 61, has his own dry cleaning business and reminds me of my grandpa! He is the sweetest old man with such a great heart! My mamí and papí here have 4 kids, Catilla, Carla, Juan Carlos, and Carolina. Catilla is in her 40’s and lives with her husband and little girl. Carla is actually hosting another student from my program and lives very close to my house. Both Juan Carlos, 22 and Carolina, 20 live in the house with me. They’re both awesome but they both work and go to school all the time so our schedules clash quite a bit. I have hung out with Juan Carlos a lot this week though and I already consider him to be like a real brother! I seriously love my family here!

School: We have two different schools that we attend, LASP and ICADS. LASP is twice a week in the mornings from 8-11/12 and ICADS is everyday from 1:30-4:30. LASP is about a 10 minute walk from my house, which is nice. ICADS is about an hour and 15 minutes from my house. I have made the walk a few times but I can tell you that in the rain, it’s not the nicest walk in the world! This chunk of studying only lasts 5 weeks, which leads me to my next part. 

Schedule: I’m starting in classes and hanging out with family for the first five weeks. My days a jammed packed and I literally have about an hour (if I’m lucky) to just relax everyday. During these five weeks I will be traveling to a volcano (this weekend), Limón (next weekend), and possibly doing a little bit of white water rafting in the following weekends! After these five weeks I will head to Nicaragua for a rough 2 weeks in the deep forest! As I attempt to re-cooperate from Nicaragua I will possibly be going to Venezuela or Guatemala or possibly just Putareñas to check out the nicest beaches in CR while also partaking in a bit of zip-lining! After this I start my intensive Language and Literature class for two weeks in preparation for my internship! As of right now, we do not know where we will be placed but it will be in Costa Rica somewhere. It could be 10 hours away or it could be only 2 hours. I know that I will be working in a school somewhere everyday for a month. For this time, I’ll be with a different family, studying completely different things, with no english, and trying to become a real tica. After this, we come back together for about 2 days and leave for Panama. I have decided not to take the track that is going to Cuba because I found a better opportunity (in my mind) with the advanced track. I am going to live with an indigenous tribe on a remote island in Panama. Their second language is Spanish and we will be learning another language to communicate! They do not live in actual houses, or have showers, or even real houses. I think that this trip will actually be even more difficult that Nicaragua and it it literally ending hours before I come back to Miami! Then, back to Miami for a little debriefing and then home in time to hangout before Christmas!

Food: If you know me at all, you know that I really am kind of a picky eater. Well that went out the window day one. If you do not accept food from your mamí or say that you do not like it, that it quite offensive. I have totally sucked it up. I mix foods, I eat beans, I eat all meats...I literally can take down just about anything. I have definitely found a lot of things that I love and a few things that I just down-right hate. My mamí is so good about giving me food that she knows I will love and she always tells me that she can “toma la verdad” which means handle the truth, haha! The other night was the first time I couldn’t finish what she gave me. After I came home from school she gave me a fruit and put a lemon mayonnaise allll over it. I told her I would give it a try but I literally failed to eat even half of the fruit. She said it was fine and thinks that it is funny that I do not like the fruit, because she doesn’t either! Also, I love arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) and it just happens to be my papí’s favorite meal!

Weather: OH BOY. I thought it was the “rainy season” but it is more like the Monsoon season. It doesn’t just rain “a bit” in the afternoons, it POURS and POURS for hours and hours. I actually love the rain but I was overwhelmed by how much it actually rains here!

Culture: I cannot even begin to tell you how different it is. Shoes all the time, showers at night, everything is luke- warm (drinks, showers- if even, food), and us gringos stick out like sore thumbs. I cannot even start to tell you about all the differences, instead I’ll leave it up to you to ask all about my time here!

Fun Stories: Well, there are so many...and this “blog” is already like 3583 Heyen papers so I’ll keep them short and to the point.

1) I was able to go to church with my friend Nicole and her brother last Friday. I was overwhelmed with how devoted the children were! Two boys really stuck out in the group. There was a little boy, maybe 8 or so, who prayed through the whole service, was able to answer every question about the biblical story and verses, and even prayed over his friends at the end. How AMAZING is that?! That kid literally had the heart the size of Costa Rica and I was able to witness it. There was also a mentally handicapped boy who was trying with all of his heart to praise like the others. This was so inspiring to me because he didn’t at all understand why they were praying or why they were raising their hands in praise but he wanted to do it and be a part of it!

2) After my time spent at the church it was a little late so Nicole’s mom, Rosa, called a taxi (a friend of hers) to come and get me and take me home. Long story short....the taxi was pirated, which is illegal in CR. Also, during our orientation, they pushed and pushed at us that taking a taxi alone was bad and to NOT NOT NOT take a pirated taxi. Well, I was literally pushed in because it was a friend of hers and I didn’t even know where I was going. God- willing I made it home (with a bit of time spent getting lost) and when I arrived all I saw was my papí standing, shaking his head in his pajama, saying “oh, una pirata...una pirata. ¡Oh Dios mío!” which means a pirated taxi, oh dear Lord! Either way, I’m safe and home with mi familia ahora!

3) This weekend on Saturday, I was all ready to go out with my brother (showered, makeup, hair done) and my nephew came in and asked me to help with the community service at the park next door. I quickly changed into work clothes and put my freshly done hair in a pony tail and went to work. My job was to dig up a tree stump, but that’s not all I dug up. I ended up hitting a snake’s home...and I met the mother, father, and child. After a bit of a freak-out my mom moved me to wheel-barreling. I thought this would be better until daddy snake decided to take the ride with me to the woods. I dumped the ENTIRE wheel barrel over and freaked out...again. I would love to say that my story was over here, but it is not even close. As I walked further helping my mom pick up the stuff I bent over to be greeted by a yellowish, redish, orangish, SNAKE. The minute my mother laid eyes on that thing she SCREAMS “CORRE, CORRE YAMI, CORRE!” This mean, run, Jamie, run, and do it FAST. Well, it was a poisonous snake, of course. Man, if this isn’t conquering my fears, I don’t know what will!

So that's my life! I'm busy and I love it all, crazy, fun, and scary!

Even though I can’t eat what I want, even though my hair always looks horrible, even though the humidity runs my make-up off in a matter of minutes, even though I can’t communicate perfectly, and even though I miss my family, I wouldn’t change a thing about my trip. I am in LOVE with what I am doing and the Lord is already using me in ways that I never thought possible. I am truly blessed and so thankful I am able to be here. Again, I cannot believe that I have literally only been in this country a week!

God Bless and miss and love you all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Less than a week?

Hello all!,

I've been overwhelmingly busy with everything this week! Actually, I have not even had time to think that I only have 6 days left in the states! I constantly am on the go and have not even once been nervous! Yet, I had that overwhelming feeling that I had too much to do before I left when I worked a 11 hour and a 10 hour day cramming in work before I left. Not to mention all the good-byes, packing, reading, and prayer I have to do before I go! I cannot express how excited I am to be on a plane flying over Costa Rica in less than a week! :)

<3 and God Bless,

Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his steps but the LORD determines his path."