Mejia Simpson Family

While teaching at Lighthouse, I met a family that I consider to be the coolest. family. ever. Hands down. Someday when I have a family, I hope to be half as cool as they are. 

Let me define ''cool'': Extremely generous and hospitable. Adopted 5 children. Foster family to many. Hope to foster many more children. 

Ever since meeting them and finding out about their mission to influence as many children as possible for Jesus, I have wondered how I can contribute as a teacher. Talking with the mom, Charlyn, was really good, and I hope to contribute time to the project in the future! 

A view of their property in the campo of Coronado. They hope to eventually build an orphanage and maybe even a school. 

L to R: Ruth, me, Daniela. 
While working at Lighthouse, I became connected with the Mejia Simpson family as Ruth was my student and Dani was my co-worker! I love these ladies!! 

Lighthouse Students

L to R: Ruth, Karina, me, Natasha, Tamara, Nhaia
I was able to spend some time eating ice cream and catching up with a few of my Lighthouse 5th graders (now almost 8th graders!). While they are growing up, some things have not changed: they love talking, giggling, and eating ice cream :). I never cease to be amazed about past students' memories -- they remember the funniest (and sometimes the strangest) things about our school year together. :) 

Tico Family Visits

 While living in Costa Rica, I had some really patient Spanish teachers, a.k.a. Costa Rican families. I arrived in 2008 without knowing any Spanish and I truly believe it was these very patient people in my life that made it possible for me to persevere through learning their language! 
The Cabezas Ramos family.
 L to R: Rebeca, Blanca, Judit, Manuel Enrique. 
While I lived with them in 2009, they included me in everything from Sunday family dinners to visiting earthquake epicenter sites. (Note: I forgot to take a picture while I was with them so I copied the photo from Rebeca's Facebook... ¡Gracias! )

The Marin Garcia family.
Pictured: Santiago (now 4 years old!) 
Marilyn (the grandma), Natalia (the daughter), and Santiago (the grandson) were also extremely generous with their time while I lived with them in 2010 and 2011. We spent afternoons at Parque La Sabana and toured me through the city to see Christmas lights. Now Santiago is 4 and talks a mile a minute!! It was fun to play with him again. 



Trish and I hung out with our Peruvian friend, Aydee, for lunch. She was our main source of Christmas gifts during our first years in Costa Rica. While we did not buy any Christmas gifts this time, she is still definitely one of our favorite international friends in Costa Rica! 


After being friends for several years, Melissa and I finally have a few pictures together! 
Melissa works with ReachGlobal in Costa Rica, and she came to CR during my third year. She was generous to let me stay with her overnight in her San Francisco apartment then, just like she was so generous during this last week to let me stay in her Tres Ríos apartment! 

(L to R: Kathia, me, Melissa, Lucy) 
Melissa introduced me to her Bible study girls. At the end of the study, they asked if they could take a picture wtih us. ¡Si claro! 

Vineyard Reunion in Costa Rica

So Cara and I met briefly in Costa Rica back in 2008. Then we were both back in the States by 2011. I was looking for a Spanish-speaking church, and while in the process, I ran into her again at La Viña! We are both part of La Viña and The Vineyard churches in Elgin, and it was great for her to join in on our Costa Rica beach trip! 


An Unexpected Adventure

Oh yes, that is me. On the back of a tow truck. Here's how it all started: 

We (five girls on a beach trip) were driving back from the Pacific Coast to San José. Everything was going smoothly. I dared to think, ''We're making great time!'' Little did I know, the trip had other adventures for us yet.

 The rain clouds started to roll in... Nothing too unusual. 

Then Melissa (driving her car) says, ''Guys, the gas pedal isn't working!'' We're heading up a steep mountain. I say, ''Pull over!'' She did. Cars and semis sped by us at unnecessary velocities. Melissa tried to call a friend to see what he thought we should do when a tow truck conveniently also pulled over in front of us. Before we knew what was happening, we had been mounted on the back of the tow truck (we = the car plus all of us girls, lol). Melissa and Cara went up front to direct the truck driver, while Kalli, Kim, and I stayed in the car.

It felt very strange to be moving in a car without a driver! 

A view through the windshield.

Whew! We made it home! Good story for later :)