I am back on! Forgive my leave of absence. Let me just get straight to it and catch everyone up on what I have been up to this past month.
I really enjoyed my time in Tamarindo (I am now back in San José for good). While in Tamarindo I was able to get to know some of the locals and to develop friendships that I hope to keep up with. The people in Tamarindo are very kind and very inclusive. My days were spent meeting with folks back in NC (via skype) and assisting Padre Pedro with St. Paul's by the Sea (more on St. Paul's later). As a way to immerse myself in the culture I hit the beach most afternoons to play volleyball. It was great on many different levels. I was able to meet new people and practice my spanish (which is progressing). It also allowed me to enjoy God's wonderful creation with some of the greatest scenery I have ever laid eyes on. And most importantly it allowed me to be active and competitive which i was sorely missing!
Now back to St. Paul's by the Sea. I can't say enough how great it is to put a lot of effort into something and then see it bear fruit. We have had services where we have had 18 and 20 people. Since it is in the low season in October in which everybody is NOT in Tamarindo, it was great to have those numbers at the services. We were also able to hold Sunday School in which we had a good amount of kids attend. St. Paul's still has a long ways to go and is still in the early stages of its development, but the progress thus far is incredible to see. Padre Pedro also started a program called Kid's Cafe (There is one at St. Paul's Winston Salem, the sponsoring church) in which students from the local school come to the church every other Saturday and volunteers from St. Paul's BTS help them with a variety of things: grammar in spanish, learning english, mathematics, guitar, even just being there to talk. Then there is always foodstuff and drinks. I know that Padre Pedro and the parish of St. Paul's BTS will do great things in the community and I am looking forward to going back to visit.
To the now... Everybody at the Diocesan Office has been crazy busy this week. We are all getting geared up for our annual national convention which starts later today and goes until Sunday. I can say that I have never been a part of an episcopal convention let alone any convention at all, so I am excited to be able to take in the experience. We will be holding it at the newly constructed Hogar Escuela in Heredia and everyone is looking forward to it. My job for this convention is to learn and experience, which I am more than happy to do.
Other news...It was very interesting to experience a presidential election abroad. Part of me was upset that I couldn't be at home in front of the TV with a map of the US coloring in states red or blue, but part of me was thrilled that I did not have to watch the gazillion campaign ads on the television prior to election night. Also my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are still being affected by Sandy. I was able to talk to my friends and family who are in the Tri-State area and to make sure that they are doing well, even though some are still without power! To finish up with great news, for me at least, is that my parents will be coming to visit in 10 days and I am really excited to have them come down! I just wish that they could bring me some Chick-fil-a!