Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No Photo?

Trinidad is amazing and many of you have been asking for photos and updates and I have a billion posts written (in my head) but nothing to post. Why??

This may sound lame but I left my camera at a friend's house and she is in the States until mid April. There are cool pics on that wee little camera on house arrest on the Northern Ridge.

The folks are coming down today and we will be having many more adventures and I will be sure to capture them on my back up camera. Stay tuned!

For now, enjoy a bit of locally loved Trini food. It's called Doubles and it is the messiest most delicious thing ever. You buy it off the street from a (sanitation inspected) street cart. It is some sort of crepe like bread with a mixture of chickpeas, spices and other "stuff" folded inside. You have to eat it right there on the street or else risk losing it to the floor of your car or it bonding with the wax paper it's wrapped in. It looks a bit like vomit but I'm pretty certain it isn't.

Lulu and Doc

The sweetest gift in the world had to be a baby. On March 11th my big brother and sister-in-law welcomed their first baby into the world. God is good, and I was blessed enough to be there when little Owen finally came out to high-five us all.

The adorable new mom and dad. How she can give birth and look gorgeous at the same time is a talent that I hope to have one day.

He is beyond precious and it is true what they say; you feel as though your heart might explode with pure love. Pure, sweet love that runs out your ears, nose and eyes you are so filled with joy. Too graphic?

Just in case you aren't a follower of the blog JL&O, allow me to introduce you to Owen Daniel. He is going to be the coolest kid around, because he has the coolest parents a kid could ever dream of having.

Besides having a nephew (am I really grown up enough to have a child call me, Auntie??) the next best thing about this new bundle of cuddly love is seeing my big brother become a dad. BF and I received a message from the new dad just last week saying how well they are doing with their new little pooping, eating, sleeping machine. He figured it would be an easy adjustment for his wife since she has managed him so well for so long. And basically, aren't we all just eating, sleeping, pooping machines? Come on, let's be honest. All together, "YES!"

I'm very proud to say that BF and I now have a brand new roll as a married couple - we are now Uncle Doc and Aunt Lulu. As Monica Gellar once said, "I'm your aunt, Lulu. I will always have gum."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

At Arms Length

What hadn't occurred to me prior to going on our honeymoon was that you have to be really good at taking photos of yourself, because you and your new spouse are the only ones around. The only other option is to take solo portraits of one another.

We discovered this on the first leg of our honeymoon trip. I promised you in my last post that I would share our adventure through the rain forest canopy and in the volcano. We also went to hot springs that were amazing and heated by a real live volcano but the resort did not allow any photography. This rule was fine by me because I had my two friends in either hand, Pina and Colada. Nice to meet you, ladies.

Zip, zip...I had to look away so that it wouldn't be quite so awkward to have a nice Costa Rican man fasten my crotch to a really long wire. Still a little awkward.

See that tiny little blue dot way down on the line? That would be BF flying down the half mile long line, 500 ft off the rain forest floor, next to a giant water fall.

Unless you want all of your photos to feature your freakishly long looking arm in the corner, you have to ask the nice bare-foot Brazilian man on your tour to take your photo.

Here is monster man looking out over an inactive volcano. Doesn't he look beefy?

Standing in a former lava lake. Kids play soccer there now. Isn't that veird??

This series of photos was taken to show the amazing view, if you can get past my facial expressions. I promise that I wasn't upset, it was just unnaturally bright up there.

Face No. 1:
Face No. 2:

Please feel free to make up your own captions to the re-donkulous images above.

Here is the beautiful church that we stopped at on our way back into town. It was such a peaceful experience to walk around it while people were worshiping inside.

Detail of the front of the church. BF captured this image so well.
Below is a photo of a natural spring that the people built a fountain around. They believe that the water has healing powers blessed by the Lord. People come from all over to bring their ailing children and the sick to touch just to touch this water.

I love this wall. It is part of the church above original site. Mostly destroyed now, this wall still remains standing.
Did I tell you that BF's dad, The Bish, was in San Jose the same time as us?? He was in Costa Rica doing a Spanish immersion class and we had the pleasure of going to dinner with him one night. It was one of a few really lovely meals that we had in Costa Rica.

I'm really not short like this picture makes me out to be. The guys standing beside me just happen to be 6'2 and 6'3. Bunch of trees.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pura Vida and Heavy Lifting

In all of the insanity that followed our November nuptials, including but not limited to: Christmas, New Year's Eve, going home to D.C., packing up and moving from D.C. to Dallas, heading to Trinidad for our extended stay and the birth of our first nephew...I forgot to tell you about our honeymoon!

Please feel free to continue surfing the net if you're sick of hearing about our wedding and all things wedding related but I have to tell you about the honeymoon. Or "Luna de Miel." BF makes me feel blessed every day, especially when I think back to our honeymoon with a purpose.

The day after tying the knot BF and I hopped a flight to Costa Rica to begin our honeymoon tour. This is the view that we were greeted with every morning out the French doors of our terrace.

We came up with the idea of a "honeymoon with a purpose" from both of our backgrounds in mission work. BF had spent some time in college building churches, schools and homes in Costa Rica with a group from a church in Dallas. We have always wanted to do some work together and figured since we were traveling anyway why not spend a week working for others? And look constipated while doing heavy lifting? Yes, we could do all of those things. Clearly.

That idea led us to contact BF's friend Ray in Costa Rica. We told him that he could count on a couple extra sets of hands to work on their latest project. Our first task as a newly married couple was to help build a children's home, set on a hillside outside of San Jose.

Before I continue, I have to tell you that weddings, no matter how smoothly they go are exhausting. We arrived in San Jose Sunday evening and were off to work on Monday morning. Thank goodness for Costa Rican coffee. OMGoodness. Michael and I would groggily get out of bed every morning and then get all excited because we knew we were mere moments away from the best coffee. Ever.

After enjoying a few cups of java we headed to the work site. We were the first honeymooners and the first couple to come work on the site apart from a larger church group. We had a blast and the regular contracted workers did not hesitate to give us the job of building walls.
The workers spoke Spanish, Spanish and did I mention Spanish? BF and I speak very broken, mostly pathetic Spanish (we're working on fixing that) which made construction a bit of a challenge. We made it work, though with BF's impressive vocabulary of Spanish construction terms.

Sign language for, "Yes, I'm a girl but I can lift 25lb cement blocks."

My birthday happened to fall on the second day of our honeymoon and our second day on the work site, this was also one of my favorite days. Allow me to introduce you to Carmen.

Carmen is the gracious mama who lives with her family on the work site. She cooked delicious lunches for us everyday and served yummy coffee and treats. Two hours before quitting time she called BF and I up to the house and surprised me with the most beautiful homemade birthday cake. Everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me and then Carmen prayed for me. It was the most touching experience. And the cake was really good.

Caremen's family also had the sweetest dog. His name was Fuffy and he loved his tennis ball. You could throw that ball anywhere on the hill and he would find it. We were buddies. He would have been in my suitcase if I had brought one larger than a carry-on. And if he weren't super matted and smelly.

In Costa Rica they have a saying that I absolutely love and BF and I took it to heart. "Pura Vida" or the pure life. BF even left it in the foundation of the children's home along with our names.

In case you're worried that we didn't get to play during our trip to Costa Rica, rest assured that BF and I took a day to play. We zip-lined through the rain forest, visited a sweet village and saw an active volcano. To keep this from becoming a marathon post, stay tuned for the adventure portion of our honeymoon tomorrow.