We have been in Nosara for over a month now. It is probably the coolest place I have ever lived. Definitely something I have dreamed about and have wanted for my family for quite some time now. There’s only one problem, the Devil lives here too, and is trying “shoo” the Toomeys out. Why, oh why, I keep asking? I just don’t get it.
I normally don’t like to dwell on the negative, but I wake up in the night thinking about all of this and want to put it past me. Here’s the “Negative Nelly” list:
* 75% of our clothes are bleached — We were staying at a hotel when we first got here and looking for a place to stay. We had bags of clothes to be washed from our Panama trip to 9 days being at the hotel. We had the hotel staff wash our clothes for a fee, and upon return, we didn’t open the bags. We waited to pull them out until we got into our place. Not a nice surprise!
* Billy’s computer — After a few days of being in the house, Billy left his computer on the arm of the sofa for a few minutes. One of the kids came and jumped their hiney on the sofa. It rolled the computer onto the ground and broke. Hasn’t turned on since. My computer is now Billy’s computer. For better for worse, right?
* My I-Pod stolen — On our way to the beach on Valentine’s Day, we stopped at a little convenient store to grab a drink. I jumped out, with my I-Pod in my lap, ran in, bought a drink and hopped back into the car. We drove a couple minutes down the street when I realized what had happened. We u-turned and drove back to the store. No I-Pod on ground, and no one standing around (or clerks) had seen it. Hmmmmmm……….
* No Communication — In order for Billy to make money, he needs to be able to talk on the phone through the internet and send/receive emails. That’s quite a problem where we live! The internet is not DSL, so is very slow, therefore not allowing us to talk through the internet. On top of that, we have a pre-paid internet card, which charges out the wazoo. Plus, our cell phone we used in Quepos doesn’t work in Nosara because it’s not 3G or 4G. Sooooooo…….we can’t talk through the internet (unless we go to a restaurant and use theirs) and we don’t have a cell phone. No comunicacion = no dinero = no bueno. If we don’t figure this out soon, Billy may have to split his time between here and the States. I’m totally fine with that, we just need a plan and direction.
* Kids getting picked on — We enrolled the kids in the local public school and last week was their first full week. Even though they like school, we have many discussions and issues to deal with. My kids have never been the bullies in school, nor have been picked on, so they REALLY don’t get this mean thing. Throughout their first week, they have have spitballs blown at them, laughed at numerous times, money stolen out of their desk, pencils poking them in the back, and warnings to be careful because they are cute. Okay……………as a parent, I was ready to yank them out last friday, only 5 days in. In speaking with Billy that morning, we talked through our emotions and realized it was good for them to stay in school. They are learning a different culture first hand. The other students behavior is sad, but it’s just what these kids know. We now have a new approach to teach our kids how to behave, and the examples God would love for them to exemplify. We explain to our kids that there is a reason they are right here, right now, and maybe being a good example is one of them. We tell them to shower their bullies with kindness, be friends with the same sex first so the other sex isn’t jealous of you, address issues like someone stealing your money, and have respect for the teacher. We’ve already had a turnaround this week in bullying, so hopefully it will continue to get better.
*I am sick. I can’t breathe out of my nose, my throat has the pins and needles feeling, and I’m not sleeping at nighttime. Ughhh!! The locals say it’s because of all the dust from the dirt roads, so I’m trusting that. I actually feel a little better than yesterday, I’m just tired.
*Water Issues – They started a fews days after we moved in. Tank leak, pump broken, low pressure, etc… Before school a few days last week, we didn’t have an ounce of water. That was quite tricky with fixing hair, brushing teeth, kids thirsty, cooking, and so on. The water pressure is still low, so the washing machine doesn’t work. Therefore, I am hand-washing their uniforms daily. The little things you appreciate when you don’t have them! The pump should be fixed soon, so we are not stressing or getting upset, just working with the resources we do have. Everyone has been troopers with the low-pressure, freezing cold showers!
Okay, enough of the “Negative Nelly” list. Onto better and brighter things. I really, really like Nosara. How can you not when the main means of transportation is dirtbikes, 4-wheelers and walking? Even with all of these yucky things surrounding us, our spirits are high and we continually see all of the wonderful blessings we DO HAVE. Here’s a few:
* Healthy and Happy — We are all healthy (except for my minor dust issues) and happy. Both of these are priceless.
* Church – We didn’t go to church for 6 months while living in Quepos. It was one thing missing in our lives. Through word of mouth, we found a small church here in Nosara that meets every Sunday morning, on the beach, under one of the palapas. It’s not a preaching-about-Jesus kind of church, it’s more like a Lifegroup or Sunday School. Coming from a Lifegroup in Austin, this was right up our alley. We talk about the Bible and how we can individually implement it to live a more, fulfilling life. All of the families are super nice, and our kids really enjoy being around one another. One of the families live in New Jersey, homeschool their 2 kids, and loves to cook (good at it too!). They split the year between Jersey, the family farm in Texas, and a few months in Costa Rica. Love the similarities!! How lucky we are to have found this church, and these sweet friends.
* School — Even though we’ve had our issues to address, we are so thankful to have been brought to the school. It’s a different kind of learning, acting, and social environment, but isn’t that what life is about? Getting out of your comfort zone to see life through someone else’s eyes? That’s how Billy and I feel about it. As long as the kids are safe and happy, it’s good for them. I am still homeschooling them, just not as much. I am making sure all are reading English books, writing in their journals and keeping up with math. One thing I am impressed about, is the Mathematics is on the same level as the States. Kaitlyn is working on the same 4th grade lessons I was teaching her while homeschooling (i.e. long division 24500/122 and multiplication 14545 x 871) The older 2 have homework every night. It’s pretty time consuming because we use the Spanish Dictionary to help understand, but it’s been great for their Spanish. The kitchen is one of my favorite places to be, anywhere. This Elementary School kitchen isn’t any different. They have 1 person that preps, cooks and cleans for all 106 students. Her name is Juanita, and she runs a tight kitchen. It’s been fun to watch and learn from her. In return, she likes the help from me. I’m there everyday from 9-11am, doing whatever Juanita needs help with. After we prep and cook the food, she serves and I do the dishes. We are a good team! What I love about her tight ship, is she demands respect from the kiddos. Here are her rules: Tuck in your shirts. Wash hands, dry them. Stand in line, hands to yourself. Get food and drink, sit down. No talking. Wait until every is seated, say Grace together. No elbows on table. When finished, bring dishes to sink. Say Thank You. Go back to class. GOTTA LOVE IT! One moe silent rule: eat all your food or Juanita will ask you why you didn’t like it. My kids learned that the first couple of days of school. Most plates don’t even have a grain of rice left on them.
* Day trips — We are so lucky to have the beauty of beaches surrounding us. Pink sand beaches, black sand beaches, white sand beaches………….you name it, it’s around here. The other day, our sweet neighbors and friends invited us to go to a black sand beach, about 40 minutes away, to go spear-fishing, catch scallops, snorkel, grill on the beach and hang out. A few families were there, and it was fun for all. A great day trip!
* Food — We have learned a whole new respect for food and how lucky we are to have it. We make weekly trips to the grocery store, Pali, in Samara, which is about 40 minutes away (30 minutes on dirt, rocky roads). Since we buy enough food and drinks for a week at a time, we have to carefully plan our meals 7 days in advance. By the time the next weekly run comes around, we have eaten nearly everything in our fridge and pantry. There is a grocery store here in Nosara for little items to get here and there, but it’s alot pricier than Pali (a Walmart-owned grocery store). What a fun family outing each week to get groceries, cross rivers, stop at beaches along the way and sing in the car. Definitely memory-making!
My prayer for the next few weeks is this, “God, please continue to stay by our side, look over us Toomeys, and ”shoo” the Devil out of town. We love our life here in Nosara, and don’t want the negatively to impact our attitudes and experiences. Please give us clarity on how Billy can continue to work here, given the internet connectivity issues. Please watch over the kids and keep them safe at school, while opening their eyes, ears, heart and mind to all you want them to know and learn. Thank you for loving us, and for showing us all kinds of beauty that life has to offer. It truly is a priceless gift.”