Wednesday, June 27, 2007

103 youth

They all showed up today! I am tired. It's 9:30 and it feels like midnight, but I am just happy everyone's here.

There was the normal hiccoughs today, like usual here in Costa when we were picking up a group with a bus and then the cops decided to check the bus's papers...and we found out that the guy we rented the bus from hadn't updated his papers. And so the police took away the license plates, and we had to find another bus to pick up our other groups. Oh the joys.

Or like this morning, when we went out to check on this big tent that we set up yesterday (it's like a circus tent) and discovered that during the night, it had sagged, falling onto our volleball net poles...and tearing a large hole in it. By the way did you know we borrowed it?'s not perfect, but we're doing it!

Thanks for your encouragement and's really happening!

Monday, June 25, 2007


So I got in a bit of an accident yesterday.

I ran into a gate with the side of one our vans, trying to fit this monster van that I hate to begin with, into this narrow entrance (well, narrow in terms of comparison with the van) and in the end, the side window busted (it was sitting open, and I didn't notice) - tempered glass shatters, and then crackles...anyone know that? Well, Josh does.

He was sitting right beside the window when it shattered. Thankfully, he's fine. We all are. The gate is even fine. Well, the van's not so happy. Nice scratch on the side of the van, and no window. I hate moments like that, where everything you should have done differently flies through your mind. And then you have to fess up. I felt like I had to call my Dad and tell him that I broke his favorite...I don't know, fill in the blank. Kinda reminds me of the time I was mowing the lawn, and drove over a couple rocks that I didn't see...and the result was having to buy a new motor. Or the time I backed out our driveway, and randomnly got this piece of rope wrapped around the side mirror...and ripped it off. Unfortunately, it wasn't just a simple repair...turns out motorized side mirrors cost a lot...and have to be shipped in.

Anyways, we gave it a couple of hours, and then I called DeLynn and let him know. I told him, "I got into a bit of an accident with the van. No other cars, just the van and a gate." His response? "Is the gate okay?" Ha.

Why do things like this happen two days before 100 people are to arrive?

Last night we had a really good night, though. We took four hours, and worshipped, and prayed for each one of the staff. So, we prayed for 22 people in total...and I feel like the summer has now officially started. Here we go...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Me....working....oh, and others working too.

Staff training is well under way! I am excited about the people that we have working with us this summer...especially because we have an older, more experienced staff, which we need working with 300 youth this summer!!

Here's Julia and Nate, both repeat PVM summer staffers, making 300 nametags.
Here's Chico, Weston and Raul, working hard. The Tico definition of hard breaks are necessary elements.
And here's Gloria decorating the Pulperia. Patrick is sitting at his computer, making inventory, getting ready for the onslaught.
And here's that picture I promised. Me, at the computer, working on menus and booklets...and whatever else. Note the enthusiasm.

But in all honesty, I am very excited for the things that are underway. The staff is gelling together really well, and having fun, and working hard. And I know that in a week, when this craziness all starts, God's hand is going to carry us through and provide all that we need.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's Saturday!

I promised last week, when I was writing here about the upcoming week, that I would post on Saturday about God's faithfulness.

Here's that post.

We made it! A whole week went by with DeLynn not here, with a huge list of to-do's, and with a multi-lingual staff that I had to keep busy, and God kept me sane, allowed me to understand Marvin even when he was speaking a million miles a minute in Spanish, and provided all that I needed. (p.s. I could not have gotten through this week without Marvin. He is a miracle worker.)

You know why I love coming down to Costa Rica every year? Because I learn what it means to depend on God. Because every year, I am put in a position (usually one that DeLynn picks for me), that feels uncomfortable. It usually means more responsibility, and having to keep a multi-lingual staff busy and happy, all while accomplishing tasks that I "mostly" understand. That is a lot harder than what I have done before. A lot different than previous jobs and ministries I have been in charge of. And so...I depend on my Creator, and grow closer to Him.

This is the question: How do I bring this sort of close relationship, this relationship in which I depend on God, back home with me? Amazing how, the minute you get home, you fall back into the mundane, the every day ways, the schedule. I think part of why I come to Costa Rica every year is to get away from remember what life is really about and why we are here.

It's Saturday. Praise the Lord.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Pie...One year later.

For those of you that are faithful blog-readers of'll remember that last year, one of the first nights staying with my host family, my host "dad" started making noise about apple pie. "Do you have apple pie in Canada?" he asked me. "Yes..." I replied curious as to what would make him think of apple pie?! "With the criss-cross top?" he asked. "Yes..." "Do you know how to make one?" he asked me, with big eyes. "Well, I think I do," I said. And that's when it started. I made a burnt cause the oven was too hot...and he still wouldn't share it with anyone.

So, when I returned this year to visit, talk was in the air about apple pie. He definitely was wanting another...Carina had lost the recipe I'd given her, and so she'd never made one for her dear husband. So this time, I decided I needed to make two, to ensure he got what he wanted and that the rest of the family would be able to try some.

On Sunday, then, I enlisted the help of Carmelinda. It was her first pie, and my second! We had fun. Carmelinda posed for me...
And then we posed together. Now...truth be told. This was taken today. Because, I took Gloria and Carmelinda with me to see my host family. We all ate pie. Then when we came back, the other staff were jealous, and Gloria and Carmelinda still had the taste on their tongues. So...we made two more tonight. Aren't they pretty?
Here's Carmelinda with my host "bro" Jose Andres. While the pies were baking they played outside, and ran in every two minutes asking, "Is it ready yet?" Carina commented on how similar they look...they could be brother and sister!
And here's my newest pic of baby Julian. Carina was making him laugh. He is getting sweeter and sweeter, I swear.
Oh, so in the end...the apple pie was a sucess. Both times. And neither time did it burn. One day, I'll actually make apple pie in Canada. For's just a Costa Rican specialty.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Final Days.

Early this morning, DeLynn and Chad left for Nicaragua for the week. DeLynn left Howard and I in charge...and I'm a little nervous about this. There's a lot to do this week, and a lot that needs to be finished and ready to go, because on Saturday, the first half of our staff arrives. And that signals that summer has officially started.

Last night I had a dream (keep in mind I'd been watching "The Terminal" beforehand), in which I was working for an airline. Turns out that there was a terrorist on board one of the flights, and I had to be the one that talked him out of doing whatever it was that he wanted to do...over the phone. I hate the phone. 100 times out of a 100, I would rather be talking to you face to face.

Anyways, I woke up and felt like that was symbolic of my week to come (not that I view Howard or Marvin, or any of the staff as terrorists...let me get that straight)...but more that we have a major task to conquer this week. And I know that things will not be "smooth as butta" like we all hope and dream they would. And...I will have to communicate with Marvin, which is always a bit of a challenge because he likes to talk a million miles a minute, and use slang, in's the equivalent for me of talking over the phone.

Saturday, I will write another entry about how awesome God is, and how we made it through the week, and how we're ready for the teams to come. Ok?

Friday, June 08, 2007

One of those...erg...days.

Today was the kind of day that I like to forget about. You know, when it rains, it pours.

Today was one of those days filled with miscommunications, broken-down vehicles, computer frustrations. Basically...please pray for us!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the party resort.

Today is a rather hard day to get work done. We came back last night from spending three days at "Fiesta Resort" in Puntarenas...and now all I want to do is play volleyball, jump in the pool, and eat and drink for free. Anyone else interested?

Here's some pics so you can be jealous of me...
First off...all of us at dinner. 6 staff, Delynn (who's taking the pic), Gloria and Carmelinda, and then our cook, Rosario, her brother, Marvin who does all the errands that we need done, and his wife, Lillian (they're at the far end). It was a fun group to be at a resort with.
Here is DeLynn. And this is why every staff person at the resort knew who we were...
Here we are. Eating. As always.
This is me...burnt. It was supposed to be a pic of me and Carmelinda...but she got "shy".
Here Carol is showing you the area where we lay around...and got burnt. And here's us the wet bar...
Rob just couldn't get enough of the free stuff...
Here I am with the boys at the pier. Patrick and Chad are my body guards...and Rob takes the pictures (he has the perfect arm length)

Well, that's the end of that. Get ready for a series of pictures of me sitting around figuring out menus and schedules.