School and Spanish:
The children finished their normal school year a few weeks ago and have been attending 'Summer School' for the past few weeks. This included a VBS (Vacation Bible School) for a week with a team of volunteers from the US. The rest of the Summer School is run by their school staff and involves less learning and more play! In September, they will both resume classes for the next term. Schools have been permitted to re-open in Costa Rica so we're hoping for a more usual school experience for them from September. They are making progress with their Spanish language - Chloe has learnt lots of vocab and has memorised some bible verses. Josh is a bit more reluctant to show off his learning but there have been spontaneous moments which show us that he is making progress.
'Grown-up school' continues for another 2 weeks and then we're half way through - it's flown by! We're both making steady progress with learning Spanish but there's still a lot to learn! Helen is increasing in confidence in using the language and Rob has been involved in a football ministry where he has had the chance to interact with some (mainly) Nicaraguan youth. We have final exams coming up over the next couple of weeks and then we get a two-week break before classes resume in September.
We are continuing to enjoy getting to know our fellow students and are enjoying studying with them. We usually spend some free time each week with one or more of the couples or families. We enjoyed an adventurous hike to visit a waterfall with some fellow students a few weeks' ago. Some of the students will be leaving at the end of this term as they prepare to go and join their ministry in Ecuador.
We are looking forward to meeting the EMI office director, Phil, and his wife, Olivia, who also works for EMI, this weekend when they come to visit us in San Jose. We have had quite a few zoom meetings with them but it will be nice to meet them in person.
We are also very much looking forward to welcoming David and Diane Lowe and their two daughters to Costa Rica. David will be working in the EMI office in Nicaragua and they are coming to San Jose to study Spanish first. It will be nice to welcome new classmates and future colleagues. Chloe is excited to have more girls around!
Covid and health:
The Covid situation has improved in Costa Rica since our last update. The vaccine rollout is going well and the restrictions on schools and vehicle circulation have eased. Some restrictions do remain in place but don't really affect our day to day life. However, the delta variant hasn't really made an appearance here yet so we are aware that things could get worse again. We would love Costa Rica to be removed from the UK red list to allow family to visit in October and at Christmas!
We are thankful that overall our health has been very good since we have arrived - no-one has had to take any time off school and none of us have had any bugs or illnesses.
Rob has however turned his ankle a couple of times (once on a run and once at the football ministry) and so that has been a source of frustration.
Helen's joints have also been quite painful as her rheumatoid arthritis has flared and so she is seeking medical advice for that.
We have settled on a church to be part of during our time in Costa Rica - it is called Iglesia DC. The children enjoy attending 'DC kids' and we enjoy the service - not that we always understand everything, it being all in Spanish!
At school - a cake to celebrate Helen's birthday (the kids were in a Taekwando class which is why they're not in this picture!)
For those who pray, we would value you holding these things in prayer.
Give thanks for:
Our first term here in Costa Rica and for the language progress we have made.
The improving Covid situation here in Costa Rica and the vaccination programme.
The successful 'border run' we recently did, allowing us to extend our visa by 90 days.
Things to pray for:
The ongoing Covid situation, for protection against the delta variant and the change to the UK red list allowing for the possibility of family visits.
Continued energy and enthusiasm as we begin the next term of learning and for the children as they start a new academic year.
Helen's health to improve and for the right medical treatment.
The Lowes as they arrive and begin to settle into life in Costa Rica.
Provision of the extra funding we still need to raise (we currently have 90-95% of our monthly expenses covered).
If you have any questions do give us a call or email us at email@example.com