Wow!! So much has happened since our last entry! As you can see, Alaina successfully completed field day and the kids really enjoyed all the activities! There were traditional games like four square and jump rope, and there were also extreme games like a zip line and a climbing wall. There were obstacle courses and relay races, board games, pictionary, and water games. Praise the Lord is was overcast almost the entire day so the kids didn’t get too hot. Alaina directed the tug-of-war and parachute games all day long. The kids loved running underneath the parachute and trying to make the ball fly high in the sky!
With Friday over, our Spring Break officially began. Hooray! On Saturday we went and visited Marina, Alaina’s housekeeper from when she lived in Costa Rica 16 years ago. It was such a sweet reunion! Marina said over and over again, “My granddaughter, my granddaughter,” and gave Alaina hugs and kisses. She took us to her little house and told us a story for every artifact she owns. Plus we got to see baby pictures of Alaina, Mirike, and Katelyn. She was so hospitable and we have an upcoming lunch date with her when she will cook for us. We’re looking forward to it!
After meeting with Marina, we headed into downtown San Jose with Cousin Kevin. He took us to the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum). Here we were able to see the currency of Costa Rica through the centuries. We also saw artwork, an exhibit on light, and a display of different bird artifacts from indigenous Costa Rican times. The final floor of the museum was a huge display of gold artifacts from the pre-Colombian era. It was really neat to see how the natives used the gold to make jewelry, figurines, and armor. After eating “comida tipica” (typical food) we went to a market and did some shopping.
Sunday morning the real adventure began. We got up early and headed off to the town of La Fortuna, snuggled beneath the shadows of the active volcano Arenal. The bus ride was rather miserable because they had people packed in there like a bunch of sardines, and Alaina and I were so grateful that we were sitting and not standing for the five hour trek through the winding mountains. We arrived at the town before dark and were able to spend some time walking around the quaint village. There was a beautiful park located in the center of town that we spent time relaxing in and for the next few mornings, we ate a picnic breakfast there. One thing we’ve both noticed about the culture here is how the people take time to just sit and be at rest. In the states it’s always “Go! Go! Go!” but how wonderful it is to take the time to sit still in the presence of the Lord. “Be still and know that I am God,” has taken on new meaning during these past few days as we have explored God’s amazing creation and taken the time to just sit and listen to God’s voice.
On Monday morning we began our adventures in La Foruna with a hike to the famous Catarata (waterfall). We packed up our backpack and set out on our four mile hike to the falls. On the way we met the sweetest old man who was a believer. Before parting ways with him, he kissed us and said a prayer of protection for us- he was so sweet! We then began the uphill portion of our journey. The guidebook called it “Stair Stepper with a view”. We must agree… the view was absolutely breathtaking! Plus along the way we saw a bunch of Costa Rican farms and one farmer and his son were skinning a cow- right there in front of our eyes!! Thus I feel more educated about the anatomy of a cow. We finally made it to the waterfall and agreed that it was well worth the hike. We spent the next few hours sitting at the feet of the waterfall listening to the water plunge the great drop. We swam in the pool beneath the falls, even though the water was freezing cold! We also enjoyed a peanut butter and jelly picnic. We explored through some trails and found a swinging bridge too. We also found a great look out point where we could see all of the waterfall from our private balcony. Sadly we had to begin the hike back before it got too dark.
Tuesday morning we got up early and went running through the little town. It was great to be able to run on flat terrain! After eating breakfast in the park we headed off to Baldi, a natural hot springs heated by the Volcano. We had no idea the treat we were in for! The place was absolutely beautiful! There were about 10 different pools all heated to different temperatures ranging from 93 degrees to 115 degrees. Some had waterfalls, others had lounging chairs, and still more had water slides. Needless to say we spent the entire day relaxing in the warm water and working out some of the soreness from Monday’s long hike! Baldi also had some beautiful gardens that we meandered through. As the sun was setting we were able to have a perfect view of the smoking volcano with the beautiful night sky painted by the hand of our creator. It was such a wonderful day!
Yesterday we ended our grand adventure with a canopy tour! What an adventure! Basically we drove about half-way up the volcano and spent the rest of the time zip lining down on a series of 15 cables. Yes… it’s true we went flying through the jungle down the side of a volcano. It was so exhilarating and the view was once again amazing! Our adventure ended with a free fall Tarzan swing during which I definitely screamed like a baby. But it was so worth it!! After enjoying the canopy tour we returned to the bus and headed for home- well to home here. We were so thankful for God’s provision and protection during our trip. We couldn’t have planned it any better! God is so good and we were left in awe of how amazing his creation is!