13391445_10153541828090966_8744098202911526050_oSaturday, June 11

Today is the day. It seems like just last week when we were still in the planning stages of this trip, when June 11th was a far-off date to look forward to rather than a part of the very real present. But finally, tonight we will leave on the first leg of a long journey to the small city of San Ramón, Costa Rica (pop. ~10,000), in the hills north of the capital San José. 

The past two weeks have been spent crafting, buying, borrowing, and packing supplies, including:

– 200 Bible verse bookmarks

– 8 soccer balls

– 2 giant parachutes

– 5 suitcases

– 20 lyric sheets (Spanish)

– 96 Crayola markers

– 12 neon orange jerseys

And so on.

It’s my second time going to Costa Rica, and if anything, I’ve thought a lot about what I’m going to miss during this trip. The internet, the comforts of a full-size bed, not to mention the primetime of international soccer (It’s a key week for both the European Championship and the Copa América). 

But if previous experience has taught me anything, it’s that material, artificial things such as these are easy to forget. In the fog and concrete of San Ramón, the mind focuses on the more immediate. As clichéd as it may sound, the children can really teach you a lesson in simplicity. It’s a comforting thought when the biggest thing you have to worry about is how to corral a group of nine-year-olds away from the games and distractions when it’s time for bible study. 

Sometimes the biggest changes are made by attacking the smallest of problems. Those who have gone through hard times know that even a small act of kindness can be gigantic. My biggest hope for this trip is that we can make those small, everyday things into something greater.

I also hope that that week of Jeopardy! is still on the DVR when I get back.

Note: Contingent on the internet working at Pura Vida in Costa Rica, we hope to have daily updates for you submitted by CCUMC Youth Intern for the summer, Mason Norris.