Llegamos..... We are here!



San Jose, Costa Rica.

We have arrived in our "interim" year of language training. It was quite the trip to get here.... Angel, the MK, found the cheapest tickets.... which happened to be through Toronto, Canada. Okay, okay... so it wasn't the most direct route.... Come on, we signed up as "missionaries" right? Isn't it supposed to be a journey to get there? :)


Our first 2 weeks here have been good. Our house is sandwiched between two other houses (kind of like a town-home). The car parked out front is the neighbors.

We have 3 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. With my favorite space being the front "garage".


Sitting at this little patio-style table and hearing the steady hum of cars, dogs, trucks, birds.... life... has made me realize just how wonderful it is to have open doors and windows into our new lives here. We dipped into the culture of Costa Rica right away.

I want to give you a feel for what life is like here every day. Since we go to sleep and live life with the windows open for air circulation (no fans or A/C), our lives are bent more towards what everyone else is doing 24/7.

We wake up around 5:15am because that is when the sun rises here every day. We live about 6 houses down from a main road called Calle Principal, so we begin to hear a steady crescendo of traffic beginning around 4:30.

The day begins with breakfast which is typically eggs, ham, and fruit. Oh, and don't forget the beautiful Costa Rican coffee to start off the day. (Side note: I tried finding decaf here, and, even using the Spanish word for decaffeinated was given funny looks, so I stopped asking!) We get ready for school and head out the door by 7:10 to take the treck to the school 15 minutes away. There are two routes to school, but we choose the neighborhood route which is much less busy and clearer air. We pass by two parques and many people also walking their kids to school or walking their dogs. Everywhere we look while we walk we can see the mountains surrounding the city. San Jose is located in the Central Valley. Our children are attending Sojourn Academy, which is located on the same campus as our language institute. We drop them off at their classroom doors with their classmates, no larger than 10 children in each room. They study their main classes in English and have Spanish-speaking extra-curriculars. Classes begin at 7:30am.

Joel and I continue on to our school up the stairs. This past week we had orientation to prepare us for life in Costa Rica and as students in the Institute. There is a full staff of counselors, administrators, and of course language teachers. The program is full immersion. The language classes are in Espanol only. We were given placement tests during orientation and were placed accordingly, in different groups.

We have 2 hours of Grammar, a break, and then 2 hours of Lenguaje (like Communication). Our classes end at 12pm. For lunch we head back to our house for a quick bite of leftovers, and from what I'm told we either rest or can do our homework until it is time to pick up the kids from school at 2:30. So far we have had meetings in preparation for the coming year.

The kids do gymnastics 2 days a week, and soccer the other 2 days. They then walk home with us at 4pm for some much needed "down-time". Joel and I get caught up on household chores like dishes, sweeping, or laundry... or prepping food for dinner. By 5:30pm the sun has set.

It takes a good hour or so to make dinner. We eat around 6, and then take showers and do homework. By 7:30 we are all tired and ready for bed. It isn't uncommon for us to be in bed

around 8. We've heard this is actually quite common since the day begins so early.

There you have it! A day in the life of our family.

We are so grateful for your prayers for our family as we've been transitioning. We continue to covet those prayers. Our lives have changed radically.... for Joel going from being the owner of a company, for me being a homeschool mom... to now becoming students again after 12 years.

Pray for the girls. They have done well in adjusting, but are still struggling in their own unique ways. It will take time for this to feel like home, and to learn Spanish.

We miss you all! Send us a message when you think of us.


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Joel & Angel Ballew

770-331-4384

joel@12degreesnorth.org

ballews@gmail.com

Joel's Skype ID: joelballew

Angel's Skype ID: angelynnballew

Twitter: @joelballew

 

U.S. Address:

1730 Sugarloaf Club Drive

Duluth, GA  30097

Colombian Address:

The Ballew's

Carrera 52 No. 90-187

Barranquilla, Atlantico

South America

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@2020 by The Ballews.