In the states, laundry happens in a small (often windowless) room or closet whenever one can spare the moment to flip the load into a machine for washing or drying. Costa Rica has washing machines (praise the Lord!) and dryers, too. Electricity is so expensive, however, that colorfully decked-out clotheslines decorate everyone’s open spaces. Washing machines are often situated under awnings in open back patios. This summer I got to pretreat and sort within view of rolling hills and (hopefully) clear skies. The washing machine emptied its rinse water into the nearby sink and delighted my children by making enormous “sud cakes.”
The language of Laundry is spoken often in Costa Rica because of the warm weather and easy access to dirt, but it is spoken in terms of sunshine and warm breezes, limited only by afternoon rains, line space, and the number of clothespins you own. In Costa Rica, joy, and laundry, come in the morning.
I’m sitting on a sidewalk a little ways from our cabina overlooking the swimming pool, watching the rain clouds approach, and trying to get a better internet signal. Things have been pokey on the internet connection, so we haven’t been able to post as much as we have intended, and there have been lots of good tasks to stay busy with as well. We spent a few days cleaning, dish washing, and bed making to prepare the team cabins. Our first team has arrived in two parts late Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Matt drove to San Jose by himself to pick up the second half. Kris has been shadowing Dena and learning to meal plan and cook evening meals for them. Today they all rolled up their sleeves and dug in to the list of work projects. Matt and I are enjoying getting to know the new faces and quizzing ourselves with their names. There are even a few runners that let me keep up with them for a mile and a third this morning.
We are working to find a new rhythm of life for our time here. How much time to spend with the team, what will entertain our children, what to cook for our family, etc. Laundry, for example, is a whole different ball game here. I love that our children are getting to play outside every day, but their clothes show it. We are thankful to have a washing machine of our own to use. Line drying everything before the probable afternoon rains is a bit of a dance. The daylight hours here are from around 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. We are realizing that getting up at 5:45 a.m. is sleeping in here. Our kids pop out of bed at 5:30 a.m. We are used to having some quiet time before they get up so our alarms are going to start getting a workout.
We are each finding our way through the adjustment. This morning, while he was supposed to be piously quiet during devotions, Ezekiel, our three-year old, started a kissing and “guapo/handsome”-calling match with Vanessa, a tia here. It is sweet to see him open up to someone who doesn’t speak his mother tongue. Bugs and sticks suddenly have high entertainment value for all the kids. We worshipped with Iglesia Biblia church on Sunday and Eliana and Elijah met some other English-speaking, homeschooled children near their ages who live here. This gave them the confidence to feel comfortable going to the children’s program after an hour and fifteen minutes of worship. I went with Ezekiel to his class and was able to practice my Spanish on toddlers.
Please continue to pray that we find the balance for this work here at Hogar de Vida. The kids also have some serious welts from bug bites that we are praying over and putting benadryl on. Please also join us in lifting up the hearts of the team that the Lord would plant great seeds in this time. I will conclude with the verse that one of the team members gave me as we rode in the van to church.
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. . .” Psalm 37:5
Pre-breakfast entertainment provided by a millipede and a spoon.