Picto Blog #3

Random additional pictures from Christian Immersion Spanish Academy (CISA).

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Picture Update #2

Every Thursday we had culture class, focusing on Costa Rican culture and history. This photo set is on the Costa Rican Holiday “Day of Culture” which at one point was called The Day of Races. It also happened to be my birthday and the children arranged a surprise party for me cake, decorations and pinata! It is easy to get older when you are reminded so easily of your life’s blessings.

Photo Blog

San Andres Isla, Colombia

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I had almost finished uploading the pics for this post and lost my internet connection. So now I am disgusted but determined to get this update published (stubborn me!). At the end of September we needed to leave Costa Rica for three days in order to renew our passports as tourists. We had been here for 90 days and the country requires a 72 hour break. Our timing was perfect and we were able to make reservations at an all-inclusive for a total steal. First, it is the off-season, and secondly, September is Independence month for Central America so the agencies were all offering great deals including the airfare.

As a result we ended up in San Andres, Colombia, a small island in the Caribbean only a 40 minute flight away. We had full access to the chain of hotels we were staying in and enjoyed swimming in a variety of different pools, beaches, snorkeling as a family, putting around the island in a golf cart, and lots of food and coca-cola!!!

San Andres is a popular latin vacation destination but seldom sees Americans. Everywhere we went we were watched and stared at once we spoke english to each other. Thankfully the majority of people on the island spoke spanish so we had plenty of practice. We actually had a man tell us we speak english very well!!! OK, I am going to try and get the pictures downloaded so I can get this published. Hugs to all!!!

Blanca’s First Lesson

Ok, today I had my first lesson teaching Blanca how to use a computer. Who is Blanca you ask? Why are you teaching computer skills you ask? Well, if we end up starting this coffee factory we are gonna need some skills here on the ground. One of those skills is bookkeeping and nowadays that requires some basic computer knowledge. And yes, I said Coffee Factory – this is not to be confused with the shoe factory we will be running in Guatemala. Please people, don’t you know the difference?

Actually, our lives are pretty complicated with lots of changes and moving pieces so don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up :-). That’s why we have this blog.

So Blanca came over today for her first lesson. She was VERY nervous and over an hour late but I wasn’t surprised and was ready and happy to see her. She knows nothing about computers so I found some basic computer videos on Youtube.com (en espanol) to help us get started. The funny thing is that I am trying to teach her Windows while using a MacBook and she doesn’t know the difference. I think we got through keyboard functions, parts of a computer and some general items before we opened up Quickbooks for a short little tour. Wow, bad idea!!! She almost had a panic attack while I tried to assure her that she didn’t have to learn it all today! Then, after her teaching me a little how the finances of a micro-factory would work I decided that we probably don’t even need Quickbooks. Next step, How-To Excel in Spanish. Youtube.com, here I come.

Eternal

God is good – all the time.

Guatemala, Our new destination!!!!

Over the past few months Laurie and I have been praying through different things that have been on our mind. Many of you knew that before we went to Costa Rica, we visited friends in Guatemala who are serving with Pray America.  In the past, we have been on short term trips to this same place with our church building homes for widows and orphans.  We had time to see the mission and all their current activities and see some old friends.  During this trip and afterwards, Laurie and I both felt God revealing a plan to us. We left Guatemala June 24th and since then have been praying through what we felt. I have spoken to family and friends about our thoughts and even went back to Guatemala in mid August to discuss the plan there in more detail. That trip, I believe, confirmed that God is leading us to Guatemala. There is a business there that is in place and in need of someone to operate it and possibly own it. This business would be a Business as Mission model.  One of the goals is to bring it to a profitable level.  Once it is there, not only will it be supporting the employees, but it can also be giving money to help the local ministries there in Chichicastenango.  I believe operating this business will be a great opportunity for spiritual growth, personal and professional growth and will open many more doors.

With all that said, we are planning on heading to Chichicastenango, Guatemala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichicastenango) after language school. Once we get settled in, we will begin working with the business. This business currently makes high quality sandals and other men and women shoes. The shoes are amazing. There is a previous blog post with photos of some of the shoes.  The man who designs the shoes is extremely talented. They also make basic leather shoes that they give to local kids who are in need. Right now the business basically runs on donations. Our role will be to provide on site management, increase production and most importantly, get these shoes sold throughout the US market and wherever else God leads us. One of the cool things is… every pair of shoes we sell a child in need gets a FREE pair 🙂 There are many details to work out.  We are very excited and believe there is a great opportunity here to glorify God.  We will keep you posted on the progress. Pray for direction, discernment and success. Proverbs 16:3

In Christ,

Matt

Po and her Litter

Well the momma cat who adopted us has started bringing her babies around and they are now part of the family. They get all our leftovers and I’ve even started buying a little cat food for them since they are loud and persistent beggars at mealtime. Next month we can get them spayed and neutered for the equivalent of $2 each but sadly the mom won’t be ready in time. She is pregnant again and even if she births her litter before we leave we won’t have time to neuter her so she can nurse.

They are a fun (though temporary) addition to our family and the kids love having more animals to take care of and play with. Momma is “Po” named after Kung Fu Panda. The biggest is Gris (gray in spanish), with the tiger striped black and gray named Plato (plate) and the black and white named Tigre (tiger).

I’m including pictures of the other pets we are sharinging right now, too.

Draft, what draft?

OK apparently I haven’t been on here for a while only to find out my last post was in my draft folder! So if you are reading this you will see I just published a very old blog update. So old in fact, that it really isn’t an update at all but a really outdated mumbo jumbo. Oh well. I am determined to get a true “update” on here this week. Thanks for waiting!

Vacation

So much has happened since my last post. I have decided to stay off Facebook for a while to keep the blog updated – even if it is short status updates! After we left Jaco, we met my sister and her boyfriend Zack in San Jose at the airport. They were surprised to see us – we had originally planned on having a car bring them to our new house and changed our minds to rent a car and pick them up. That way we were able to have wheels for their time here. Because we were literally carrying our household on our backs we decided to come on to our new house in Tuis so we all piled into a Nissan pathfinder, three bags on top, ten bags and six people inside (seats 5). hahaha and we stopped for groceries on the way!!!! It was great because it gave them the chance to see our house and it let us drop off some baggage before we continued sightseeing. The next day was Thursday so Matt and I went on to tour the schoolhouse and small town while the kids (Tammy, Zack, Harley & Blake) went to play in the river and rest. Friday we were up early for our 3 in 1 Costa Rica adventure (see pics) before heading to the beach on Saturday. This time we went to the Caribbean side of the country to try out the waves and enjoyed another day of relaxing (albeit some rain) at Playa Cahuita. Sunday was goodbye as we linked up with Daniel and let Tammy and Zack head back to the city to return the car and fly out on Monday.

Hopefully the next post I can touch on an aspect of daily life here in Tuis.

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