Costa Day 4 & 5 Update

Man oh man…yesterday. We were blessed. Our Sunday was spent at Baldi Hot Springs at the base of the Arenal Volcano. We napped, soaked, and ate and  it was delightful. We ended the day with pizza and ice cream, secretly thankful for the break from beans and rice. After nine hours of sleep, we were ready for another day of hard work.

Okay y’all. Just because we’re in Costa Rica does not at all mean that we aren’t celebrating the Fourth of July as hard or harder than you are back home. Let’s rewind back to this morning, shall we? As us girls were waiting outside of the cafeteria for breakfast, we gazed in complete awe as a bald eagle flew over the building with one wing over his heart, proudly declaring his love for America by screeching the National Anthem. Just kidding… But it was pretty close. All of the guys showed up for breakfast wearing American themed graphic tees ranging from a flag to a bald eagle wearing a helmet (@ Richie). Connor, whose shirt featured an American flag, was used multiple times for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance throughout the day. Oh, and then there was the actual breakfast that included pancakes, sausage, eggs, and orange juice. Afterwards, we divided into our teams to tackle (reference to American football) our different tasks. Today, we prepared for one of the largest groups of students to come in for La Montana’s main camp. Since it’s winter in Costa Rica right now they’re on winter break, we all have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of excited campers.

Very few times in my (Anna) life have I sat in a worship service and felt like I stood out. I’m used to at least a hundred or so kids that look just like me, talk just like me, and worship just like me. It wasn’t until we sat huddled in the back row of an amphitheater straining to hear the translation of the speaker’s lesson that I realized we were outside of our comfort zones. Grappling with our strained knowledge of Spanish, we learned from the gospel of Mark about the relationships Jesus had with his followers. The speaker dwelled on the community between the twelve, and pointed out the paradox (the theme of this week’s camp) that now, though we have  more ways than ever to communicate, we are so disconnected with the people around us. I think something our team has learned from this experience is that we really aren’t as dependent on our phones as we thought we were. I (Anna) think I speak for everyone when I say I haven’t missed it. Though I miss my friends, the twenty five other English speakers here and this blog has been sufficient in keeping me connected. These last five days have been so full I can’t imagine what we would have missed had we had the opportunity to look away for even a moment. We may have missed the most gorgeous sunset over an active volcano, or a monkey perched on a rock a few yards away. I can’t help but think of all we may miss in our everyday lives when we’re staring at our phones, buying into the paradox that the communication we’re getting online is even remotely as fulfilling as the real deal. In a way, I think this addiction is more about comfort than anything. When you’ve got your phone in your hand you don’t have to talk to the person next to you, or you can pretend to not hear an uncomfortable question someone asks you. As we sat in the back of the worship center, smelly from raking leaves or shoveling cement, listening to a sermon we can’t understand in a place we don’t know, I can’t help but feel like we should all get this uncomfortable some time.

Emily C & Anna M