Thursday, September 30, 2010

Making fresh orange juice.....

Okay, so maybe it's not this dramatic....
but I did help out by squeezing
a bunch of limes today to add to all kinds of things.

When life gives you limes...well you know the rest.

Pocket Oxford Spanish Dictionary © 2005 Oxford University Press:
squeeze1 /skwi:z/ sustantivo
  1. countable
    1. (application of pressure) apretón m;
      he gave her hand a ~ le dio un apretón de manos
    1. (restrictions): a credit ~ una restricción crediticia
    1. (hug) apretón m
  1. (confined, restricted condition) (colloq) (no pl): it will be a (tight) ~ vamos (or van etc) a estar apretados
squeeze2 verbo transitivo
  1. (press) ‹tube/pimpleapretar(conj.⇒), espichar (Col);
    to ~ a cloth (out) retorcer(conj.⇒) un trapo
  1. (extract) ‹liquid/juiceextraer(conj.⇒), sacar(conj.⇒);
    he tried to ~ more money out of them trató de sacarles más dinero
  1. (force, fit) meter;
    I can ~ you in tomorrow morning le puedo hacer un huequito mañana por la mañana
verbo intransitivo: he ~d in through the hole se metió por el agujero


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Farmer's Market

 There is no experience quite like the experience of a farmer's market. Every Saturday Rodney takes one lucky member of the house along with him (at 6 AM, sharp!) to the Farmer's Market (or Feria in Spanish) in the nearby town of Escazu. Anyone who has been to a farmer's market knows the hussle bustle of people trying to get the freshest, tastiest, and bestest priced produce. The market in Escazu is no exception. While the people were no surprise, the variety of produce at this market was astounding to me. Who knew some of these foods even existed, let alone could be eaten!!!

What ARE these??!! Some kind of fruit, I was told...


The juiciest, freshest pineapple on earth!

I've never seen eggplant like that before...

I would love to make little animal sculptures out of these :)


I bet this is how oranges feel if they get left behind at the market.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All Languages Are NOT Created Equally.

This is why teaching English is so stinking hard. It's SOOOO much easier to learn Spanish. Click on the picture title to see why it is going to be difficult for me to teach my own language......

Also, on the vein of how weird language is, supposedly, researchers at Cambridge University have concluded that it doesn't matter what order the letters of a word are in; as long as the first and last letters are in the proper place, you can scramble the rest of the word however you like, and it's still readable. See if you can "translate" the following:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Heart of a Woman

Friday nights are our time of praise/prayer or a message in Los Anonos and I was asked to speak this week. What has really been on my mind lately is how we talk to each other. I see the young guys in this community rip on each other all the time, calling each other names, teasing each other. Not only do they do it to each other, but also to the girls in the community. Their words are so powerful and they don't even know it. Their words can cut someone down faster than a knife and I am seeing the effects of those words on the girls here (when they come to the door crying because their friend called them fat, stupid, that everything is their fault). The following is what I spoke on (translated into Spanish). It is predominantly excerpts from one of my favorite books, "Captivating", by John and Stasi Eldredge concisely woven together with a few of my own thoughts and some scripture to speak what has been on my heart for this community:
Rather than asking, “What should a woman do—what is her role?” it would be far more helpful to ask, “What is a woman—what is her design?” and “Why did God place woman in our midst?” We must go back to the beginnings, to the story of Eve. Even though we might have heard the story before, (We have told it many times) it bears repeating. We clearly haven’t learned its lessons—for if we had, men would treat women much, much differently, and women would view themselves in a far better light. Eve was created as the crown jewel of creation. A perfect match for man. A completion of love and beauty. But in the garden, Eve was told a lie. That she was not complete and lacking something, lacking being like God.  And when man left the garden, this lie continued in the heart of woman, that she is not complete and is lacking something, and it makes our hearts ache.
We need not be ashamed that our hearts ache; that we need and thirst and hunger for much more. All out hearts ache. All of our hearts are at some level unsatisfied and longing. It is our insatiable need for more that drives us to our God. What we need to see is that all the controlling and our hiding, all our indulging, actually serve to separate us from our hearts. We lose touch with those longings that make us women. And the substitutes never, ever resolve the deeper issue of our souls.
Every woman knows now that she is not what she was meant to be. And she fears that soon it will be known—if it hasn’t already been discovered-and that she will be abandoned. Left alone to die a death of the heart. That is a woman’s worst fear—abandonment. Rather than turning back to God, reversing the posture that brought our crisis in the first place (which Eve set in motion and we have repeated and repeated). We continue down that path by doing what we can to secure ourselves in a dangerous and unpredictable world.
And down in the depths of our hearts our Question remains. Unanswered, or rather it remains answered in the way it was answered so badly in our youth, “Am I lovely? Do you see me? Do you want to see me? Are you captivated by what you find in me?“  We live haunted by that question, yet unaware that it still needs an answer.
When we were young, we knew nothing about Eve and what she did and how it affected us all. We do not first bring out heart’s question to God, and too often, before we can, we are given answers in a very painful way. Other people answer this question instead of God. We are wounded into believing horrid things about ourselves. And so every woman comes into the world set up for a terrible heart break.
The way women see themselves was shaped early in life, in the years as a little girl. We learned what it meant to be feminine-and if we were feminine—while we were still young. Women learn from their mothers what it means to be a woman and from their fathers the value that a woman has—the value they have as a woman. But we live in a broken world, with broken people. We say things to each other.
Words are said, painful words. Things are done, awful things. And they shaped us. Something inside of us shifted. We embraced the messages of our wounds. We accepted a twisted view of ourselves. And from that we chose a way of relating to our world. The words that men say to women have great power and affect us. If a woman asks a man, instead of God, “Am I lovely, am I worth anything?” and he answers her, his words will be very powerful. His answer may begin to define who she is as a woman. But the wounds that we receive from these words don’t arrive alone. They carry messages with them, messages that that shake the depths of our hearts. Our wounds hit the center of our femininity. The damage that they produce in our feminine hearts, the wounds that we receive worsen over time into horrible things that we believe about ourselves as a result. If we feel made fun of, belittled, pitied, or abused, we believe that in one way or another we have done it to ourselves, the problem lies within us.
Words can damage and we should remember that with the same mouth we can chose to worship the Lord, yet with the same mouth have the capacity to destroy each other and our loved ones. We should take care, because even though the tongue is a small organ of the body, it can do much damage. And it has the capacity to destroy a person. At times we make fun of someone else to make ourselves feel better. James puts it this way in the third chapter:
5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Wheat-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Decided to give these a try. They came out AWESOME!!!! I adapted the recipe (with Diana and Cindy's help) from my favorite vegan cookbook, Veganomicon. They are so worth it!!

1 3/4 cups oat flour (I pulverized oats in a blender)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used 1 tsp molasses + 1/4 cup sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil (I used extra light olive oil)
1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I never go by the recipes on this. Add to taste. Meaning A LOT)

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the flaxseed and soy milk. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and stir. Add in the oil and vanilla and whisk vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified (~1 minute). Mix the wet ingredients with the dry; fold in the chocolate chips. Taste the batter. Make sure it is yummy.
Drop the batter by the tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving space between each cookie (they do spread a bit). Bake for 10-12 minutes. While the cookies are baking, lick the bowl clean.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transfering to cooling racks (the cookies will fall apart if you try to take them off too early.). Cookies are best consumed hot. With a glass of milk. Better with ice cream.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Hunt for Gloria

There is a girl here who is hungry for something. That thing is chocolate. She craves it and will eat it whenever it is placed in front of her. There is something else she is hungry for, but she can't put a name to it.

Rodney was given a box of Kinder Sorpresa by someone here in Costa Rica. It's basically a hollow choclate egg that has a toy on the inside (See image below). Inside these particular eggs were all tiny figurines from the movie Madagascar.

One afternoon a group of young people came up from Los Anonos for dinner. One of the girls said she absolutely LOVES chocolate. It is her favorite. She will always eat it and craves it all the time. Rodney decided to pull out an egg for each of us. Each of our eggs contained a different one of nine figurines. In looking on the box, one of the girls fell in love with the hippo figurine, of which none of us had gotten. So it was decided that we should each have another egg in hopes of getting this one character. We each got duplicates of characters we already had. The next day we decided to try again to find the illusive hippo, but to no avail...It soon became an all out hunt to find the hippo, and every time this girl would come for a meal, at the end of the meal Rodney would pull out several more boxes of chocolates to hunt through. Each time we were sure we would find Gloria the Hippo. Well, 4 days and some 30 odd boxes of chocolates later, the hippo was still no where to be found. None of us wanted to give up, sure that we would find it, knowing how important it had become to this girl to find it. And we tried everything: going to the bottom of the box, taking from the middle of the box, from the top, random places. We tried it.  In the mean time, some of the chocolate was also shared at a kid's birthday party. During women's Bible study, several kids were sitting around playing with the toys they had gotten from the party when low and behold out of the corner of my eye I see one of the boys playing with the HIPPO!!!! I couldn't believe it! There is was! None of our 30 plus boxes had it, but here, randomly, was the hippo! But did this child know the importance of the hippo? Appreciate the search we had made for it? At the end of the Bible study I approached the child, and using all sorts of strategery, convinced the child to trade the hippo for a pencil. (Low, I know, but super effective. I made the pencil to be much cooler than it was, but that's beside the point). The point was I got it. With hippo in hand, I couldn't wait to share the good news with every one!!! The next day the opportunity had come to make the big reveal. Everyone knew the hippo had been found except the girl. After lunch we went through the usual routine of everyone getting a box. The hippo hid securely in my pocket. Our plan was to all open our boxes, not find a single hippo, and then have the hippo make a magical appearance out of now where. Which would have worked, except TWO MORE HIPPOS WERE IN THE BOXES!!! The girl got her hippo and everyone was thrilled to see the joy on her face at the abundance of hippos she actually got.

So what is the point of this story? When there is something we want, we will desperately seek after it. We are often willing to go to extreme measures or risk looking ridiculous to get what is important to us. It may seem like the odds are like winning the lotto, like it may never be found or won. But when we put our whole heart into it, and surround ourselves with people who encourage us in our search, what we seek will be found. I believe the same is true in a spiritual sense as well. When something is very important to us and we desperately seek the Lord for whatever we need, He will answer us. How many of us desperately seek Him, though, go day after day after day seeking, asking, searching, knocking? How many of us have our spiritual eyes open to see that exactly what we're seeking and asking for is not in the box at all, but there none the less, in an unexpected place, at a totally unexpected time? And how much more does the Lord want to bless us even more abundantly than we could have asked for in the first place? Luke 11 says:

 5Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
 7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness[e] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
 9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
 11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I think I know how Gulliver feels...

On his first voyage, Gulliver is washed ashore after a shipwreck and awakes to find himself a prisoner of a race of people one-twelfth the size of normal human beings, less than 6 inches (15cm) high, who are inhabitants of the neighbouring and rival countries of Lilliput and Blefuscu. After giving assurances of his good behaviour, he is given a residence in Lilliput and becomes a favourite of the court....

Here's my version of the story:

On her first voyage, Gullivette, formerly known as Julie, lands in the middle of the mountains and awakes to find herself a missionary to a people who are at least a head shorter than the Dutch of her native land. They are the inhabitants of the neighboring countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. After giving assurances of her good language skills, she is given a residence in Los Anonos and becomes a favorite of the village. They decide to nickname her Pequenita, or little one.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Speaking of taking things for granted...

So tonight I went to the Vineyard (La Vina, with the ~ over the n, but my keyboard doesn't have that key) Church for the first time...what an adventure! Again, I take things for granted in the states...such as the fact that I have my own car and it only took me 8 minutes to drive myself to church. First we walked down one side of the valley, across a bridge, and back up the other side of a very steep hill. Then we had to cross a highway doing what I like to call "human frogger" to get to the bus stop. You know that great game of the late 80's/early 90's where you got a tiny little computer frog to cross the road while oncoming traffic keeps coming? Picutre 4 of us doing the rain...and we saw several other people doing that, too....and it's legal and totally legit. Crazy. Besides the fact that the bus stop is actually on the highway. Yup. It just pulls over to the side of the highway to let people on. After the bus dropped us off, we continued walking a bit until we finally got to church. Alive. With all limbs. Quite the adventure. I can't wait to go next week!!!

Line dried Underware

I have taken too many things for granted...Like throwing clothes in a dryer to dry. Now I do line dry quite a few clothes in the States, too, like good shirts that I don't want to shrink, or nice dresses, or things that dry really quick. But I have taken for granted the delicate task of throwing underware and socks in a dryer. Letting them secretly dry by themselves, and then folding them in the privacy of my bedroom. I washed my clothes for the first time here, today, and had the dawning thought...Where will I hang my underware?!?!? It is hanging in the back, furthest, most hidden place on the patio. Still in the sun, yet covered by a slotted roof. With my pajamas stading guard in front to keep them well protected.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From the Inside Out

This is one of my favorite Hillsong worship songs to sing at the Vineyard, called
From the Inside Out, or Desde Mi Interior in Spanish:

A veces te falle, Mas tú fuiste fiel
Tu gracia me levanto, Me basta tu amor        
Mi Dios eterno tu luz por siempre brillara
Y tu gloria incomparable sin final.

Señor tu voluntad permanecerá,
En ti me quiero perder en adoración
Mi Dios eterno tu luz por siempre brillara
Y tu gloria incomparable sin final.

De mi Corazón te doy el control
Consume todo mi interior, Dios,
Tu justicia y amor me abrazan Señor
Te amo desde mi interior

Dios eterno tu luz por siempre brillara
Y tu gloria incomparable sin final
El clamor mi ser es contigo estar
Desde mi interior mi alma clamara

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

10 Things,...

10 Things I Will Miss About the US:

10: My cell phone and the ease of calling/texting everyone when ever I need to talk.
9: Not having to shave for weeks at a time in the fall and winter.
8: Flushing my toilet paper.
7. Washing dishes in scalding hot water.
6. Having it stay light outside past 7:00.
5. Tea time with college friends (Bubba, Schmuffie, etc.)
4. Women's Bible Study.
3. Women's prayer at Tanya and Stephie's houses.
2. Worship team at the Vineyard.
1. Spontaneous hang out times.

10 Things I Am Loving About Costa Rica:

10: Being able to learn, teach, and speak in two languages.
9: Getting to wear spring and summer clothes year-round.
8: The mountains and lush, beautiful nature all around me.
7: Meeting new people.
6: Cindy's cooking!!!!!!!!!!
5: COFFEE!!! REAL coffee.
4: Women's Bible Study.
3: Constant prayer and time to study the Word.
2: Worshiping team in the house.
1. Spontaneous hang out times.

Moving to Costa Rica

What an incredible journey!! I can't even express all my thoughts and feelings about moving to Costa Rica. I am super excited to share all the cool things I have seen the Lord do and how He has moved in my life these past few weeks. I will post that all soon. But, since this is my first blog, I wanted to test it out and see how it all works.