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.

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