Day 1 - The Day I Met Guanabana

This morning, we went to Tortillas de Queso and had our first meal in Costa Rica. We had the traditional breakfast, which included gallo pinto (black beans and rice), eggs, tortillas, cheese, plantains, coffee, and fresh juice. The gallo pinto was me and Karina's favorite and we literally ate everything! Costa Rica is famous for it's coffee, which is both smooth and less bitter, compared to what you get at Starbucks. 

  Breakfast at Tortillas de Queso

Breakfast at Tortillas de Queso

 The amazing traditional breakfast platter 

The amazing traditional breakfast platter 

After breakfast, we went to a Feria (local farmers market), where we purchased fresh produce for us to eat. They sold every fruit imaginable, and we even got to sample watermelon. A few of us got to test our Spanish skills when we were tasked with buying groceries for the week. 

  Saturday Feria

Saturday Feria

  Melissa vs. Watermelon

Melissa vs. Watermelon

In the afternoon, Gary gave us a brief introduction about Costa Rica and the history of Christ for the City, the organization that Gary is a part of. After that, we went to visit one of Christ for the City's projects, a Bible School in Tirrases.  We will be serving there during our first week. We said hi to the kids and introduce ourselves to Horacio, the pastor of the school. The kids were so cute! The kids ranged from first to six grade.

  Esther (Horacio's wife) leading a bible study

Esther (Horacio's wife) leading a bible study

  Horacio leading a bible study

Horacio leading a bible study

After the Bible School, Gary took us to a restaurant where we either ate a filet of fish (either breaded and fried or in garlic sauce) or ceviche, both of which were yummy.  The Costa Rica first-timers on the team also got introduced to a new fruit - guanabana.  It is as fun to say as it is delicious.   

  Lunch and guanabana drink

Lunch and guanabana drink

  Brandon and Melissa Yu talking with Gary

Brandon and Melissa Yu talking with Gary

We attended a local church's Saturday service in the evening.  The church was huge and it kind of felt like a Hillsong concert (flashy lights and super fancy tech equipment and all).  The service was all in Spanish, but I did recognize some of the melodies being sung during worship.  Even though I really only understood a few words of the worship songs and message, it was an amazing and interesting experience to witness the worship styles of other Christians.

  Church that we attended

Church that we attended

  The service (notice the disco ball?)

The service (notice the disco ball?)

We returned to Christ for the City's base and decided to just eat some fruit and ice cream for a "snack" since we had eaten a really really late lunch.  We snacked on plantain chips (also a Costa Rican food) and the watermelon we had purchased at the Feria.  We also had a team meeting and talked through all of our crafts for the VBS we will be helping out at this coming week.  

Prayer Requests <3

  1. Encouragement in our ministry despite the language barrier
  2. Strength to keep up with the energy of the kids
  3. Pray that the kids will be attentive to our lesson plans

Spanish Phrase of the Day: Dónde Está El Baño (I used this phrase today to ask Where is the Restroom? ) This was the first time I spoke in Spanish... all the practice on the plane paid off!

In his Love,

Lisa Mai (with contributions from Karina Lin :)