Today was a day with lots of pieces. We went to several sections of San Jose today. Very early this morning, most of our group -- 4 out of 7 (you can guess who's who) -- left at 6am to go the market with Rodney to gathering the fruit, vegetables and flowers for the coming week. Rodney brings home a new bouquet every Saturday. Now, so you don't think Rodney is so much better than we US husbands, keep in mind that a huge bouquet of tropical flowers, or roses, or lilies cost between $5 and $10! But he still gets credit!
The rest of us rose late -- by 7am, ate a good breakfast and then started preparing for the day. Phil and Ed have been hit by the Costa Rican Stomach Bug (just a food thing probably) so they rested some. Steve & Paul worked on a stove that had been donated. They repaired and painted it as best they could and then delivered it to a woman in Los Anonos with 7 children and one on the way. Ed, though not feeling well, joined them in this under taking which included using a dolly to bring the stove down a very steep hill side with dirt steps (and in places, just uneven ground). It was a site to say the least. We think we'll send a photo to Sears and challenge them to come up with a harder delivery! They worked to rewire the stove so that it is usable. For you electricians, the stove is 220, but the current they were working with was 110! Quite the challenge, but now there is a working stove that this family can use to fix meals instead of going to the "common kitchens" found in the community (just basic wood shelters where woman can cook over fires).
Craig, Jeff and Brian went to work on an area in this same location that is very steep and extremely hard to walk up. I would say that some sections reach about a 60 degree angle. It is just smooth hard ground in most places. In other places it is a thin layer of dirt covering trash. It is hard to explain, but essentially over the years, trash of every kind has been dumped in this area and built up to allow sections so deep and thick that you can walk on it to reach the top of the hill (probably 150 yards from the bottom to the top). With pick axes and shovels we created about 16 steps in this area to make the ascent and descent easier. Craig is an excellent foreman and could see this all in his head! This is a project that Rodney has wanted to accomplish for nearly 2 years! The first step is now done. Next wood braces and then maybe concrete will be added. Come rainy season, this could all wash away without reinforcement.
Phil arose from his sick bed to help Rodney clear talk grasses near the ministry house so that fires that often start during dry season would not impact the house. We have already seen at least 5 fires this week in the parts of the city we have been in. One just 2 nights ago here in Los Anonos.
After lunch, we took a trip by public bus to the center of the city. It was teeming with vast numbers of people in the shopping district. To describe it as crowded would be an understatement. We walked many blocks before we reached the artisans market where you can find most anything made in Costa Rica. Family members can expect lovely gifts! Another long walk and then the bus ride home finished out this adventure. By the way, if anyone asks...Ed does not like crowds, Steve is never even tempted to make a purchase and the bus drivers in San Jose are experts in over charging Gringos!! Ha!
We had a late dinner including some of the leadership of organizations we have worked with this week. It was great to discuss future ministry possibilities with them. The future looks very promising as a partnership seems to be growing. The Kingdom is big and when different parts of that Kingdom discover their individual strengths and work together, impact is maximized. This is just like it happens in a local body of believers, only on a larger scale. When each one operates in their strengths and giftings, the Kingdom prospers and grows.
Late to bed tonight after the day spent covering the city. Tomorrow we head to church, a baseball game in Jasmin and a series of long good byes! As our time in Costa Rica comes to a close, the seemingly quick passage of time is very real -- and the time to reach the nations seems even shorter than it did last week.