Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saprissa vs La Liga

From September 2008

Yankees/Red Sox
Red Wings/Avalanche

Are all great sports rivalries we are familiar with in the States. Well as heated and as important as they are to the fans of those teams they do not compare to the rivalry between Saprissa and La Liga here in Costa Rican fútbol. Lately the rivalry has been a bit one sided as Saprissa has won or tied the last 20 straight, including a 2-1 victory last night.

I was able to go to the game last night at Saprissa Stadium and the atmosphere was like no other. The streets around the stadium were filled with chanting fans at least two hours before the game. As the players entered the field fireworks went off in the stands, rolls of paper were launched onto the field, fire extinguisher like things were set off, and flares were glowing around the stadium. It made me wonder what would happen if Saprissa scored. About 15 minutes into the game Saprissa scored off a corner kick and the place erupted. Fans leapt from their seats and clung to fence that surrounds the field.

Throughout the game fans beat drums and chanted. Reacted to every play. Every bad pass, touch, or shot by La Liga brought jeers and whistles from the Saprissa fans. It was an entertaining game of quality soccer, but the atmosphere was even better.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pirates, Firemen, & Macaroni Peguins

While our life here is a little different than it was in Visalia, there are more similarities than differences. Sawyer and Olivia have been battling a virus that is going around. Olivia was able to overcome it in about a day. Sawyer came down with it Sunday night and is still not quite over it. So he has not been in school this week. So just like when we lived in Visalia when one of the kids is sick one of us has to stay home to play nurse. So after waking up, yesterday Sawyer dressed himself appropriately (see the picture below) and we sat on the couch and read books for hours. Some of the things we read about guessed it pirates, firemen, and macaroni penguins. Of course the rain boots were a necessary accessory as when you are reading you never know where you will end up!

From September 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Independence Day

September 15 is Independence Day throughout Central America, including Costa Rica. We had a good time learning about Costa Rica's traditions surrounding independence day and taking part in some of the festivities. In general Costa Ricans are very proud of their country and proud to be Ticos. This comes out around Independence Day as throughout the country people hang flags in front of their houses and decorate with the colors of the flag (red, white, and blue).

The evening of the 14th starts the celebration of independence day. At 6pm the national anthem is played on the TV and radio stations. A large number of people throughout this small country stop what they are doing to join in the singing. Not long after this people take part in the parade of the "faroles" (lanterns). On the night of the 14th (the night before the official documents were to be signed in Guatemala to declare independence from Spain) there was a meeting in Costa Rica in which people who could not get in stood outside holding lanterns.

Now something needs to be said regarding a point of extreme pride for Costa Ricans. There is no military here. Instead the money that would have been spent on a military has been put into the education system. During a presentation about Independence Day the comment was made that in most (if not all) of the other Central American countries Independence Day is marked with military parades. Here they say that the strength of the country is not in a military, but instead in the children. So the festivities here are centered around children and schools.

So shortly after singing the national anthem people gather at local schools and have the parade of the lanterns. Children design and then carry paper lanterns and parade through the streets lead by the school's drum core. Some schools have competitions to see who can make the best lantern. They are incredible! Anywhere from the traditional ox cart, a typical house, flowers, and even spider man.

On the morning of the 15th there are more parades of school children. The children are doing various activities. From marching in typical dress, to drum cores accompanied with xylophones, carrying flags, baton twirling, and cheer teams. These parades can include multiple schools and can go on for hours. We enjoyed watching one of these and also enjoyed a typical treat called "Copos" It is basically a layered snow cone. The layers are shaved ice soaked in flavored syrup, a few teaspoons of powdered milk, shaved ice again soaked in flavored syrup, and topped off with sweetened condensed milk. Delicious!

Below are some pictures from the festivities:

From Costa Rican Independence Day

Olivia in the parade at her school Friday morning (September 12th)

From Costa Rican Independence Day

The drummers leading the parade of the lanterns (Desfile de los faroles)

From Costa Rican Independence Day

Olivia with her Lantern (Yes, there is a lit candle inside that paper lantern!)

From Costa Rican Independence Day

Children carrying flags in a parade the morning of September 15th.

From Costa Rican Independence Day

Children riding in a traditional ox cart (Originally these carts were used to take coffee to port for export.)

Click here to see more pictures from Independence Day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Goin' On Venture"

From September 2008

The other night Sawyer and I went on an adventure to....the bakery. Hey when your two, its raining outside, you get to wear your rain coat and boots, and walk all the way it is a pretty big adventure. He only fell 3 times on the walk, and of course the first time he tripped a puddle was waiting to catch him. As he was laying face down in the puddle he was sure to tell the sidewalk, "Goin' on venture."

One of the things we have enjoyed is living close by some good and inexpensive bakeries. Often we will walk and get a loaf of fresh bread to eat with dinner. The cost is usually under 500 Colones (the exchange rate at the moment is about 550 to 1) and the bread is usually hot out of the oven. This loaf of bread is from our favorite bakery Musmani.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


We have just written our latest newsletter. It will be emailed out tomorrow (hopefully) and snail mailed out next week. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be please let us know. For those of you who want a sneak peak at the newsletter click here (or cut and past the address into your address bar) to download a PDF file of it:

Just a reminder that our newsletters are always available to download in the newsletter section on the right side of the blog.

Wow, this is a pretty boring post. But alas no time to spice it up as a counter full of dishes await (hopefully no ants are waiting with them :), as well as homework for grammar class, and preparing for an oral test in my conversation class.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

He Delights!

Just when I start to think about what I need to "do" for the Lord, he brings a gentle reminder to help nudge my thinking and priorities back into place. Here is the last couple of sentences from today's "My Utmost for His Highest:"

"The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The secret of the missionary is - I am His, and He is carrying out His enterprises through me.

Be entirely His."

To read all of today's reading from "My Utmost for his Highest" go here: