Monday, November 13, 2006

The Rest of the Week

As you can tell from the previous posting's photos, the day deteriorated into something akin to a monsoon, as well as some traffic of well-nigh cataclysmic proportions, due to a fountain overflow in the city or something. But the outing had been utterly lovely.

I spent the rest of the week having leisurely breakfasts with Sarita, looking at the birds that frequent the feeders in their orange tree. Then we'd usually do some random for-the-benefit-of-Jenn-the-tourist things in the late morning, heading to Carpio in the afternoons where I would help Auntie Susan again with activities mostly involving kids. There was another kid's club, louder and rowdier than the Pavas one, but no instant migraines involved.

One afternoon, I kept an eye on some children during a women's Bible study. The kids were old enough to understand that my own understanding of Spanish was fairly limited, and that my ability to reply was even more so; however, this did not deter their attempts to communicate with me. They would chatter on and on about something as long as my aspect registered any sort of comprehension, and as soon as I glazed over, they'd find something new to talk about.

Before that, though, we visited one of Auntie Susan's friends in her home. Olga and Auntie Susan have a Bible study together on a regular basis, but in this instance, Olga, who had nevertheless answered all the written questions for the study ahead of time, didn't have much time for actual study. She was understandably distraught. Some time ago, she had allowed some relatives space on her already cramped strip of land, and now they were trying to oust her from it. Don't ask me how you can get into a genuine legal battle over squatter's rights, but Olga is in one, and even though the facts and the witnesses seem to be in her favour, her relatives somehow have the ear of the judge. Olga is trying to trust God and forgive her relatives even though her already tenuous living situation is even more in jeopardy. I tried to think about if I were poor enough to live in what is essentially a tin can, and had four or five kids living in there with me, and was about to lose the can as well. But I couldn't.

I especially couldn't over the weekend. Being a North American on vacation in a developing country is weird. You can see poverty. You can even touch it a little bit. Then you can escape. Actually, if you're only on vacation, eventually you have to escape, because it's not like you have the right to live there or anything. Plus it was a holiday weekend in Costa Rica, and Auntie Susan and Sarita were going to take a well-deserved break, so we packed ourselves into the car on Friday afternoon, and headed to the beach.

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