CENTRAL AMERICA HERE I COME!
Well, I´ve arrived! My journey to central America took me through 5 airports over two days - twas quite the mish! I love it when stereotypes prove real, and hence was delighted to be welcomed to the Tahiti Airport by two large Tahitian men playing ukeleles and singing, and a lovely local girl handing me a frangipani to tuck behind my ear. It was just a quick stop before I was on to LAX.
This was my highlight - a 15 hour stop in LA where I was met by my friend Jayme, who´s a local. She took me to Venice beach, and we strolled along the hippie-carnival-atmosphere boardwalk. It was just what one imagines when thinking of California - we even saw bikini clad girls rollerblading with their dogs running along beside them. Great! After a good ol´ American cheeseburger we went for a drive in the mustang and cruised through Jayme´s university UCLA, before going for a look through Beverly Hills and Bel-Air (she even showed me the gate to the playboy mansion - but not a bunny in sight sorry boys! ). It was all too soon before it was time to leave again. I headed on to Houston where I was disappointed by the lack of cowboy hats.
I finally arrived in Costa Rica and was met by friends of my mum - Patricia and her brother Gene. Costa Rica-born Patricia runs a pentecostal church and Christian arts academy out of her hacienda-style home in the town of Heredia. Its a busy household, but a beautiful place to stay with huge stretches of lawn, tropical birds, a large outdoor courtyard and loads of friendly young people in and out all the time.
On Sunday we had a church service in the morning at the house, and then headed off with all the performing arts teachers to the Caribbean coast to a small town called Matina. A group of about 35 young people where gathered there to get lessons in performing arts - think streamers, flags, tambourines, Israeli dance, pantomime... It was amazing to be there within the organised chaos of up to four different activities being taught in the same space! The lessons clearly meant a lot to the students though, and afterwards we had a time of prayer together.
On Monday Pati and Gene took me to see the volcano Poas. The volcano was the epicentre for a 5.8 Richter earthquake back in January, and a lot of the damage was still evident in the surrounding town. We saw the beautiful, smoking crater (second biggest in the world they tell me) and a cold sulphur lagoon. I got a good taste of how rapidly rainstorms can come on in this part of the world while descending the volcano. Good fun though...
I´m here until Saturday when I travel by bus to Nicaragua. More news then!! Ciao!