Saturday, April 21, 2012


My husband dubbed our recent trip to Nicaragua to renew our visas "Mission Within a Mission". My oldest son found this quite humorous and re-dubbed it "Mission-ception". Because it has been five weeks since he has been here with us and I miss his quirky humor tremendously, I have stuck with that.
The trip was so blessed and I am still trying to process all that happened and wade through photos, mental images and journal entries in order to share some coherent thoughts. The problem is that it was also utterly exhausting and we are all still trying to recover and at the same time keep life going here with a mild sense of order (and I use the term loosely).
Today, as I say by the river with my prayer journal and looked at the quick day-by-day notes I made on the trip, it struck that it was interesting in its own right and might make a good introduction to where we went as I start to share more about the trip. So here it is, the Mission-ception run down.

Tuesday, April 10th:

  • Bus from Grano de Oro to Turrialba (2 hours)
  • Bus from Turrialba to San Jose  (3 hours)
  • Bus from San Jose to Ciudad Quesada (3 hours)
  • Bus from Ciudad Quesada to Aguazarcas (30 minutes)
  • Overnight visit with an amazing missionary family and group from St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette
Wednesday, April 11th

  • Bus from Aguazarcas to Cuidad Quesada (30 minutes)
  • Bus from Ciudad Quesada to La Fortuna (2 hours)
  • Two days at the cabins of an old friend in the shadows of Arenal volcano, enjoying one of our favorite spots in Costa Rica--swimming pools, thermal waters, picnincs, pizza, birthday celebration for Dina Estrella, our landlady who accompanied us on our trip
Friday, April 13th

  • Cab ride from La Fortuna to El Tanque (30 minutes)
  • Bus ride from El Tonque to Penas Blancas (6 hours)
  • Crossing the border on foot and clearing both immigration offices (1 hour)
  • Bus ride to Rivas, Nicaragua (1 hour)
  • Cab ride to port of San Jorge (30 minutes)
  • Lunch on the beach
  • Ferry ride to Ometepe Island (1 hour)
  • Taxi Ride to CICRIN (Christian Infants and Children's Center in Nicaragua)
  • Warm welcome by the staff and children of CICRIN
Saturday, April 14th

  • trip into the town of Moyogalpa to see a bit of the Island
  • chore time and play time with the CICRIN kids
  • Swimming in Lake Nicaragua
  • helping in the kitchen
  • movie night under the stars with a lap full of kids
Sunday, April 15th

  • 8 am Mass at Santa Ana Church in Moyogalpa
  • Birthday lunch at a hotel in town
  • Swimming at the Oja de Agua with the CICRIN kids
  • Relaxing evening swinging in the hammocks in the rancho and playing with the kiddos
Monday, April 16th

  • More hammocks, kitchen help, chores, and playing
  • A trip to town to buy a pinata
  • The most amazing birthday celebration ever at CICRIN
Tuesday, April 17th

  • Ferry ride from Ometepe to San Jorge (1 hour)
  • Cab ride to Rivas (30 minutes)
  • Breakfast in Rivas
  • Cab ride to border (30 minutes)
  • Border crossing with fellow bus passengers and lots of other various waiting (3 hours)
  • Bus from border to San Jose (6 hours)
  • Pizza Hut
  • Sleep over at the apartment of Dona Estrella's daughter
Wednesday, April 18th

  • First hot shower in a week
  • Bus ride from San Jose to Turrialba (3 hours)
  • Wandering around Turrialba trying to find Greg (we got inexplicably separated and our phones were wonked out from the trip)
  • SNOWBALLS with condensed milk in the park!!!!!
  • A quick grocery trip
  • Bus ride from Turrialba to Grano de Oro (2 hours)
  • Walk from bus stop to home dragging huge suit case, back packs, exhausted kids, and a sack of groceries in the rain
  • Sleep. In our own beds. 
I hope this will make the upcoming storm of photos and reflections make a little more sense. And explain why I need to recover a bit before hashing it all out. Be back soon to share more!

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