Since we last wrote:
We're continuing to enjoy our Spanish learning, making progress and growing in confidence speaking Spanish out and about, at church and in many different social settings.
Back in August we were able to enjoy some free time when we had a break from school and visited some of the friends we made at school who live in a town on the coast. Sadly, on the journey back, Rob's backpack was stolen from the bus with his laptop, our passports and some other items inside. Then, 2 days later, poor Chloe broke her leg in a local park so the start of the new term was a little rough! We are so thankful for the friends we have here in Costa Rica who helped us practically and emotionally during that difficult week and for the messages of support and prayer from back home.
We have managed to apply for our new passports and they should be with us soon. One complication was whether they would arrive before our 90 day visa expired but Rob had a meeting with the immigration office and they are allowing us to extend our visa negating the need for a costly, and laborious visa run (exiting and re-entering the country).
Chloe has been very brave and resilient. We have access to a large pushchair and there is a wheelchair she uses at school. We have a follow up appointment next week where we are hopeful the cast will be removed.
All of these appointments and meetings have been navigated in Spanish so that's another thing helping our language skills to develop!
We enjoyed hosting the EMI office director, Phil, and his wife, Olivia for a weekend and are excited that we will be working with them when we arrive in Nicaragua. It was exciting spending time talking about future plans for EMI Nicaragua! We have also been enjoying getting to know our new colleagues and neighbours (they live in the apartment above us) David and Diane Lowe and their two daughters who will be serving with us at EMI Nicaragua.
This term, we have found opportunities to get more involved in life beyond the walls of the Spanish school. Helen has joined a Saturday morning Zumba class in the park and plays football with some ladies from church on Monday evenings. She has also started volunteering with a local organisation to teach beginner English classes to adults once a week. Rob has joined a local running club and is clocking up the miles around San Jose. He has also joined a midweek men's group at church. The children continue to enjoy school and after-school activities.
Covid and health:
The Covid situation seems to have remained stable and schools are open though mask wearing is still compulsory. There remain some restrictions regarding car circulation and curfews but they don't affect our day to day life. Costa Rica has finally been removed from the UK red list and so plans are afoot for Rob's family to visit us at Christmas.
Apart from the broken leg (!) our overall health has continued to be good. Helen's joints improved for a while but have been up and down with pain as a result of her rheumatoid arthritis.
We have heard that the Covid situation is worsening in Nicaragua, but vaccines are happening so we hope that the cases will reduce in the coming months.
As mentioned above, we have been getting more involved in mid-week activities at church and are connecting well with some members of our church community. They have been patient and supportive as we communicate in Spanish. One sweet lady from the kids' church is starting some free classes for the children to aid them in their Spanish learning.
There have certainly been some unexpected costs since our last update and whilst most are covered by our insurance, some are not eligible. Also, the cost of living here is higher than we had anticipated and so there is a deficit in our monthly budget. We are therefore turning our attention back to fundraising in the coming weeks.
Costa Rica celebrated 200 years of independence on 15th September
For those who pray, we would value you holding these things in prayer.
Give thanks for:
Continuing to enjoy Spanish classes with great classmates and teachers.
The fact that God sustained us during a difficult time and for the support of family and friends both here and in other countries.
The successful meeting with immigration and the resolution to the visa renewal.
The delightful news that family are going to be able to visit us!
Things to pray for:
Complete healing and restoration in Chloe's leg.
Our Spanish learning as we complete the last couple of months here in school.
Wisdom as we begin to make decisions about where we will live and where the children will go to school when we arrive in Costa Rica.
Peace and recovery in Nicaragua as Covid cases increase and elections take place on 7th November.
Provision of the extra funding we still need to raise.
If you have any questions do give us a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org