Monday, April 25, 2011


What an amazing week! For Semana Santa (Holy Week) I was able to go to Costa Rica with 6 great friends! It was an 18 hour bus ride to San Jose and then another 5 hours the next day to La Fortuna where our adventures began, but it was all worth it!

Our Adventure began in La Fortuna at the base of Volcan Arenal. We spent a whole day touring around the volcano. First a canopy tour with 9 different zip lines. At the end of the zip lines, we rappelled down a cliff and rode horses back up.

After a brief lunch break we went on a hike through the rain forest to a fantastic waterfall! This was probably one of my favorite places. Some of us climbed up the side of the waterfall and jumped down into the deep pool below. We took trails around the base of the volcano seeing lots of different animals and even a coral snake!

The next morning 4 of us got up at sunrise to run to a rope swing in a river. It was about a 2 mile run and the rope swing was amazing! Another highlight for sure! We took turns swinging into the crystal clear water, pooled below a small cascade in the river before it slowly flowed on downstream.

After our morning swim we were on to Tamarindo, a beach town on the Pacific. We stayed at a nice place with a beautiful pool. I'm personally a beach person and spent most of my time in the sand. :)

The best part of the trip was the girls I was with. We had so much fun together! We hung out at the beach, went out for dinner, grilled chicken and veggies at our place, had ice cream sundaes, ate fruit smoothies on the beach each day for lunch... it was so restful and fun at the same time.

One of the days Lesly and I went surfing! I had never been surfing before and it was so much fun! I did find that the second day was a bit harder, but we had a blast! And of course, what's a beach without volleyball! I was able to play volleyball each day and LOVED it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Volleyball Tournament

This past weekend was our final volleyball tournament! The girls did an amazing job! It was held at La Estancia, another bilingual school in the city.

Thursday we lost our first match 0-2. Friday we won the first 2-0 and lost the second 1-2. Our last game was excellent and the girls played better than I've ever seen them play before! They were super scrappy and played their hearts out! We won the first game 33-31! It was an emotional game being so close the whole time. The second game was still close but they pulled ahead and we lost 19-25. The third game was another nail biter, but we lost 13-15. It was a great season and I loved being their coach!
Warming up
Pre-game pep talk
An amazing group of girls! I will miss them!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hello, Good-bye.

My dad, mom and Lance have been here and left again. We had an amazing time and it went super fast. What a blessing it was to see them! We did so much in the short time they were here! Here's a few snapshots of the week! Check out previous blogs to see pictures of La Tigra and when we served a meal at the city dump.

The Stadium Market! Dad had fun comparing prices of meat to prices in the states, and we bought a ton of fresh fruits and veggies for the week!

On Sunday after church we took a trip to Valle de Angeles for a little tourist shopping. We of course had to get an Expresso Americano while we were there!

Monday morning, before going to the dump, we visited The Rock school in Los Pinos. They've continued doing improvements and it was great to see the kids again!

We spent some time at the school too. Mom helped me teach on Tuesday while the guys went with Aben Claros to build a latrine. We all met up at my volleyball game that afternoon. My girls played great and won the game!

And of course... we love food! The top picture is from La Cumbre and the bottom one is from Asados El Gordo. Both super delicious!

City Dump

On Monday, we had the opportunity to go to the city dump to serve a meal. There is a community of people that live and work at the dump, a lifestyle that shockingly is better than ones that they've come from because they have an opportunity to make money and find food. The people that live there collect plastic, cardboard, scrap metal, etc to sell by the pound. Most of the people had a huge tarp which they carried their findings in. As soon as a new truck would come, the people would rush to be the first to dig through the new pile. Along with the hundreds of people that were there, dogs, cows, and tons of vulture-like birds wandered everywhere.

It was overwhelming the sights that greeted us when we reached the top of the mountain. Homes made of sticks, tarps, and tires lined the edge of the dump; plastic garbage bags filled the air like a flock of birds, swirling around when the wind would pick up; people and animals were everywhere; garbage trucks and dozers moved through it all, dumping garbage and piling it up. Most of the people had on layers of clothes and covered their mouths with cloth. I imagine if they left anything in the homes it would be stolen, and covering their mouths was to prevent the dust, dirt, and harmful particles flying through the air from getting into their mouths.

The pictures can only give a glimpse of the sights and leave out all of the sounds and the smells that surround you as you stand in the middle of a dump.

I can still see their faces as they lined up for food. One little girl, the one you see in the back of the three with a purple shirt on, was eating an apple when she walked up. The brightness and cleanliness of the inside of the apple contrasted with everything around it. I wonder where she got that apple... I wonder what else she had eaten that day... I wonder how old she is... I wonder how much of her life had been spent digging through garbage...

Before the meal, I had the opportunity to give a short devotional and my dad prayed. As I was preparing for this, I struggled with what to say. What could I say to people who lived a lifestyle that I had never experienced before? What could I say to people that would turn their hearts to the Lord? The Lord led me to one of my favorite passages, Acts 2:42-47 where the new community of believers shared all they had in common and there was no need among them. They are a community of people just like I live in a community at Pinares, and just like you live in community with the people around you. Occupation, socio-economic status, culture, language doesn't matter. As believers we are called to live together in unity. And we, as a body of believers are brothers and sisters to all believers everywhere. I connected this passage with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, "The coming of our Lord." The Lord is coming again, with the voice of the archangel and a trumpet call from God! We as a community, as brothers and sisters in Christ, are called to encourage each other in the Lord as we wait in hope for eternal glory with him. This is the encouragement I left with them, that although we are different, they are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and that we, together, have hope in the Lord's return.

After the devotional and prayer we served spaghetti and rice to men, women, and children. Several of them tried to go through the line multiple times, others just came to get water before heading back to work collecting plastic to fill trucks like the ones you see in the last picture. Looking into their dirty faces and touching each of their garbage caked hands as I handed them a plate of food will impact me for the rest of my life. Their faces and hands were precious, as all are precious to the Lord. I pray that my short amount of time there and 5 minute devotional in imperfect spanish while trucks roared by us, will make an impact on their lives as well.

Please join me in prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Tegucigalpa City Dump, and all over the world. Pray that they may accept the Lord as their personal savior.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
(Psalm 9:18 ESV)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rays of Sunlight

I praise God for rays of sunlight. My family went to Valle de Angeles with the Kolmodins today and as we were coming back the sun was hidden behind a cloud. Despite the fact that we couldn't directly see the sun, rays of sunlight were pouring out from every edge of the cloud. It was only something that God could have created. It reminds me of what we are like. Even though people may not see us or even know us, our influence shines out from wherever we are. The rays of our character and our actions go much further than we can imagine.

I wasn't able to get a picture of the sun today, but I did yesterday at La Tigra coming through the canopy above. What a beautiful display of the greatness of God!


It has been wonderful to have my family come and visit! They arrived on Thursday and we've been making the most of every moment since! Thursday night after taking a walk up the mountain behind the school, we grilled out and had a feast with my roommate Janice. Friday was a half day of school and then Parent-Teacher conferences. It was a relaxing day filled with meeting people, swimming in Kolmodin's pool, and of course, wedding planning! Yesterday, was a big day! We started out early and went to the stadium market. After dropping off our groceries we headed up the La Tigra to hike to the waterfall. It was a beautiful day for hiking! We were all tired by the end, but loved it!

On the way back we stopped at the blackberry farm to pick a couple of containers and buy some jam.

For dinner, we went out to eat with the Kolmodins and Janice to El Patio, a steakhouse in the city. Everyone ordered the "Senor Conquistador" and left with full stomachs after a great day!