Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March19th

Pics: Shopping in NYC
Back home in Vermont, we arrive at Brandon's and Oriana's to pick up our car at 3:30am.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog how that while we were at the airport counter checking in our baggage 2 girls in the American checkin line noticed Megan's bible in her bag and asked if she was one of Jehovah's Witnesses. "Yes!, the four of us!", Megan replied. They were both from Toronto Canada and had been here working with the Grecia English congregation. It's funny, it seems like in Costa Rica you run into one of your brothers or sisters almost on a daily basis. It's wonderful to be apart of a worldwide brotherhood.
I woke up this morning before the girls and caught the shuttle back to the airport to pick up our car. Except for missing my exit to get back to the hotel, everthing went as planned. We loaded up and headed into the city, had a nice breakfast, and then shopped around in SOHO for the day. After the city, we went back into NJ so that the girls could get their Target fix and after a quick bit to eat didn't leave the city until 10:15pm. I drove all night and we didn't get home 5am!
Here it is noon and I'm writing our last blog post. It was an experience we'll never forget! We all had so much fun, made lots of new friends, and though it had it's challenges, but the blessings far outweighed them. Time to get back to work and start saving for next year, till them.....chow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Pics: Saying goodbye as we leave the house early in the morning.
NJ airport: All bundled up and coming off our withdrawal of no cell phones for 2 months.
We locked up the house this morning at 5:40am, slid the key under the door, and headed out. In downtown Quepos, we stop for coffee and pastries and just as we were heading outside the town limits, Megan realizes that she left her coat and scarf in the house! OH, but we locked the house and slid the key under the door. We decide there is a way. We drive back to the house and can see the key. Megan grabs a small stick and manages to slide the key back underneath the door. Shazaam! We're in! We head back out, only a few minutes behind schedule. It was a cool morning with hardly no humidity so we cruised to San Jose with the windows down, breathing in ever last bit of Costa Rica we could get, sad to be leaving. We make it to the airport by 9:15, I drop the girls off with all the luggage (which filled the entire trunk and the front seat and floorboard) and I take the car back to the rental agency. Back at the airport, we begin to check in and realize that one of our bags is 4.5lbs. overweight. So out comes the gallon jug of Lizano sauce that we were bringing home (the ticket agent will be eating good with that for months) and we head through security with no problems. At the food court in the airport, Chastity and I meet a family of 3 (father, mother and their college son) from Alabama. When they learn that we've been in Costa Rica for 9 weeks they want to know more. We were able to give a nice witness to them about our purpose their to preach.
We had a great flight home, landing in Newark at 7:30pm. We are pleasantly surprised by 60 degree weather and no snow on the ground. We finally get our shuttle to our hotel (priceline I love that website!) at the Hilton next to the airport, eat a quick dinner at the hotel and reminisce about our stay in Costa Rica. By 9:30, we are in our room resting. Whew....what a long day! Tomorrow we pick up our car and make our way back home.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Pics: Lights out at our last meeting.

Saying goodbye to our good friends Bryn and Nancy.

Our last full day in Costa Rica. The girls packed all morning and worked on some final touchups to the house. I worked up my part for tonight and then at noon left for my last Bible study with Luis. Ken Nelson came with me and is planning on taking it over when I’m gone. Unfortunately, Luis wasn't home, so I left him a note and explained that Ken would be by next week to continue the study. The girls went to the beach while I took the car to get it cleaned. At the car wash (lava car) I decided to do my Bible reading for tonight and a man noticed the Bible and asked what religion I was. I replied, "I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses" and he said he knew many of the witnesses. Our conversation continued and I learn that he use to study with the witnesses, had stopped smoking and then life took a turn for the worse. He explained he needed to get his life back in order and start coming back to the kingdom hall. I shared a couple of scriptures with him and gave him an invitation to the kingdom hall, with the new times for their meetings.
After arriving at the meeting, seconds before the meeting started the electricity goes out. Within no time flashlights appear and the meeting continues. No fans, no lights, and no microphones. They are used to it here so we continue with the meeting. It was hard commenting at first because I could hardly see my book or Bible, plus I was sweating so much I could hardly focus. After the congregation Bible study, Bro. Cernuda introduces the Theocratic Ministry School and right after the Bible highlights we get electricity! Too late, I'm already soaked from head to toe. After the meeting we said our goodbyes to all the friends, exchanged phone numbers and emails and promised to come back again. It is such a loving congregation, we will truly miss the friends. Back home we loaded up a big bag of things (extra food and other misc. items) and took it over to one of the local Spanish families, Jainer, Carla and their two kids, Farit and Amy. We also said our goodbyes to our lovely neighborhood kids, little Issac and Camila. We stayed up for awhile and watched our internet "TV" and finally went to bed. We'll be up and on the road at 5:30am tomorrow.


Pics: Chaz and Amanda on our hike.
Some beautiful bamboo we saw on our hike.
Well we finally got our internet turned back on!! This morning we dropped Amanda off at the Nelson’s house to give Kim a massage while the rest of us went on a short hike on their property. It was so hot that we didn’t last long. Dying of thirst and hungry, we ditched the hike and headed for CafĂ© Milagro. After I picked Amanda up, we went down to Quepos and went snorkeling by the new marina they are building. There is a great little cove to snorkel, except for today. The current was really strong and so the water wasn’t as clear as it usually is. We did see some pretty fish and beautiful coral though. So it’s back to Manuel Antonio beach. The girls all went for a run on the beach while I went for a walk, hey, at least it’s exercise.

Pics: Best pork in Costa Rica.

Still no internet, we are starting to have withdrawals! Anyhow, this morning the girls started getting things ready. Washing clothes, packing clothes, etc. Just a few more days left. L For lunch, Alex drove us up to Naranjito. There is a local there who is known to have the best pork around. Last year a guy on our zipline tour told us about him, then when the Sterns and Kotormans were visiting, our zipline tour guide on this trip told us the same thing, then on Friday, Bryn Cernuda was telling us about the same guy. I knew I must go after hearing so many people rave about his food. He cooks only on the weekends and doesn’t advertise. You would never know about this place except by word of mouth. No sign or nothing, just a sitting area under a tin roof and a big open grill. The prices are amazingly cheap. Nothing fancy, just a plate of grilled pork, boiled yucca (a lot like potatoes) and slices of lime and a Coke to wash it all down. You don’t even get silverware, you can either eat with your hands (which most of us did) or there are some toothpicks on the table you can use. Talk about “finger licking good”! It was so good that the girls made me order extra to take home.
At the meeting today we had 2 couples and another brother all visiting from Missouri. They are here only for a week scoping out the area to see if maybe they might move here permanently. We had about 25 in attendance. We decided to stay home and watch a movie tonight. I rented Wall-E and we ate popcorn and then played cards.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sat. March 14th

Pics: Some of the massive waves at Manuel Antonio today.

Chaz, Evette, Megan, Nancy, Naomi, and Amanda.

Still no internet. This morning the girls were craving French toast, so we went were we knew it was good – Anaconda restaurant at Costa Verde. After breakfast, Chastity, Amanda and I went to the beach while Megan stayed home to rest. The waves were even higher today than in days past! They were breaking quite a ways from the shore and were probably 9-11 foot swells – massive! There were tons of surfers out in the water and the rip currents were really bad. I rented a boogie board to be safe and it came in handy as a floatation device, just ask Chastity or Amanda. Megan came to the beach in time to see the sunset. We were sad to hear today that our good friend Santiago had left to spend his last 2 weeks in San Jose before returning to Toledo. (If your reading this Santiago, you for sure have to come visit us in Vermont now. You owe me, thinking I had my last meeting here with no assignments, I now have to do your part on Tuesday about the yearbook.)
Back home, Bryn, Nancy, and Naomi stopped by to say goodbye to our neighbors the Kubons - Dan, Evette and little Jayden. They are leaving for San Jose early in the morning. Everyone came over to our place to hang out and enjoy one another’s association. The Kubon’s were here the same length of time as us. We will miss them very much.

Friday, March13th

Pics: While in service we saw this little boy riding his horse and leading another one.
We had to stop one last time at Playa Esterillos on our way home from service.
Still no internet. At about 7:30 this morning it began pouring rain again. So nice to hear the rain coming down on our tin roof. We decided to sleep in an extra hour and missed the service group. The four of us went and finished a territory that we had just south of Jaco and then around lunch, met up with the friends at the literature table in Jaco. Megan had a great conversation with a girl who is originally from Colorado. She explained that she attended a non-denominational church in Jaco and that in college she took theology. She was very familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses. She had lived in South Korea for 5 years and was amazed that when they visited her there they spoke excellent English. We explained that many of Jehovah’s Witnesses learn another language so as to be able to accomplish our ministry more fully. She said she had read many of our publications and when Megan offered her the Bible Teach book she quickly accepted. Megan explained that she would be leaving next week, but that she would have someone else from the Quepos English congregation come by and visit her. A few hours after lunch we finished the territory and drove into Jaco to meet up with the rest of the friends. The market is in Jaco on Friday morning and afternoon so we decided to stock up on a few items. At one stand, after hearing me talk, the man next to me asked, “sounds like a southern accent you have”. Turns out he and his wife were from Plano, Texas here on vacation. He asked Amanda how long we were here for and when she told him 2 months, he wanted to know why so long. She explained to him that we were Jehovah’s Witnesses here as volunteers to teach the English speaking people the Bible. He was really impressed and said that was great we would come here to do that. Friday evening we went back to Barba Roja due to our nacho cravings.