Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beyond Blessed

We both had the honor of being in the wedding party.
It was so much fun to be united with close friends.

It’s been quite some time since our last blog and we’ve done a lot within that month! Here’s a little recap: We flew back to Oregon for Papa’s memorial and our friends’ wedding. It was a great trip and we packed in as much as possible in the short week we were there. The whole week was rather surreal after having been out of the country for 8 months and unaccustomed to the extravagance in the States. It also spoiled us to be surrounded by friends and family once again. That little taste made our return in December sound quite appealing. : ) However, we are enjoying our life here and the beauty that surrounds us in Cahuita. We will live in the present and the future will be here soon enough!

Upon returning to CR we were accompanied by my mom, our first long-awaited visitor! Having my mom here for the last 2 weeks gave us the opportunity to see Limon (and the surrounding towns) through new eyes, once again.  We assumed the roles of tour guides and realized in the process that we need to take advantage of where we live a little more. She marveled over the details that are now normal to us, so we re-experienced them with her. My mom also documented sights that we’ve failed to capture, yet portray a very accurate picture of where we live. Therefore, I’ll include some of them for you to see, a more complete picture of our life, portrayed through my mom’s eyes/camera lens.

This is our solo means of transportation. For better or for worse.

This is the bus stop that we sometimes wait at just down from the school. (This time we were placated with ice creams from the guy down the road while we waited.)

It’s very odd to buy things from someone’s gated front door, isn’t it? Hmmmm….well this is our favorite ice cream joint near our school. If his inside door is open, then he’s home and selling; if it’s closed, then we’re out of luck.

The weeks that my mom spent here were a blast, accompanied by terrific weather. Thank goodness for this, because half of what’s to do around here involves being outside in nature.

This is one teeter totter. Just one. Packed with as many students as possible. It’s new to the “playground;” the playground consisted of nothing until this came recently, along with some old tires made into swings.

Every morning at school my mom was welcomed to the 2nd grade class with a, “Welcome Miss Tammy.” At the end of the 2 weeks when I told them she was leaving, they jumped out of their desks to envelope her in a huge bear hug, all the while telling her not to go. We teach such adorable children…we will surely miss them when we have to say our good byes at the end of their school year.

We took mom to a place known for their fried chicken. I hadn’t realized how odd the building was before when we’d been there, but as mom pointed out, there’s essentially only one wall. The rest are just bars, keeping it well ventilated, but also giving the impression that you’re in jail.

Mom’s first experience of a “Soda” (their term for restaurants) was a positive one, where we ordered her a “Casado.” Beef, rice, beans, sweet plantains, mashed potatoes (though not common), and a cabbage salad.

While we were eating, a car passed by with a loudspeaker on it, announcing, or rather blaring, anything and everything. This is a common form of advertising here, and it makes us so thankful that the USA has noise laws. : )

Punta Uva is one of the prettier beaches where the water is often calm enough to snorkel in. This was the first time we went snorkeling with fins and our underwater camera.

Chris was certainly in his element during this outing.
Chris is in the process of perfecting the art of getting coconuts or pipas (green coconuts) down from the palm trees. He was eventually successful. Twice.

After 8 months, we are still amazed at all of the types of fruit here. This was a new one to us, and we’re still not sure what the name is, but it tastes like a cross between a mango and a guanabana. Yum!

We are so blessed to have such a great spot to watch the sun set every evening. We will miss running on Playa Negra when we return to the paved streets of Corvallis.

This past weekend we said good bye to my mom after spending some wonderful time with her, and hello to our 2nd wedding anniversary! We decided to go big this year and take a trip to a Caribbean destination, somewhere warm, full of character, yet not too expensive. Luckily for us, this was only 15 kilometers down the road in the little surfing town of Puerto Viejo!

This past year of marriage has held so many extremes and new experiences  (working 3 jobs between the 2 of us, hardly seeing each other, moving out of the silo, moving to Costa Rica, helping to build a church, committing to volunteer teaching positions, and spending nearly every moment together) and it seems to have flown by. We were asked recently how this time abroad has affected our marriage and whether we would recommend it to other newlywed couples. Our answer? We would ABSOLUTELY recommend it to others. This year abroad has been such a blessing for our relationship. We learned how to truly live together, since we’re rarely apart, yet still give each other space and independence. We’ve become experts on each other and find ourselves even more in love today than we were yesterday. It’s been a testimony to just how amazing God is to have brought us together. This time abroad serving and exploring together has only brought us closer, so much so, that we’ll likely go through withdrawals when we return to the States and have to work “normal people jobs/schedules.”

We’re so blessed to have friends and family like you, keeping up on our adventure and praying for us. Thank you once again for your support.

Dios les bendiga!
-The Savages