Sunday, September 28, 2008

Soccer, twins, & cheap ice cream

 Saprissa vs. La liga. 
They are the two biggest teams in Costa Rica and they played each other last night. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy possibly the biggest game as my first here in Costa Rica. If you've ever seen the craziness that happens at football games and got scared... Don't go to this game. It was madness!! And it was Awesome!! We had a blast. people from one end of the field threw so many rolls of paper (like out of a cash register) that it covered the goal. when they pushed it back off of the field it was probably 2 feet tall the entire width. Amazing!! We weren't allowed to bring any coins in, apparently because of people throwing them. Every time the ref made a call a sign would go up on the big screen saying Remember, No violence!! It's nuts. I do however feel like I need to know about it and experience it in order to fully understand the culture. One missionary who has been here for 40 yrs or more said, " choose your team soon and stick with them." Implying that it's important in order to be immersed in the culture. It's a good thing I like soccer, cause this aspect will be the easiest to assimilate to.
Well sundays are always a nice day for us. We haven't found a church yet so most sundays are just a relaxing and enjoyable family day. Today I spoke to Jose for a while. His wife had twins yesterday. It is very odd to me but he had to come to work... I spoke with him yesterday and he seemed to be crying, probably just excited to be a dad. Anyways, he works from 7am-5pm,  365 days a year. So while he was at work his family was with his wife in the hospital. She went into labor at 3am and had the first baby at 3pm and the second at 3:15pm on yesterday. They are healthy and their names are Georgia and Georgina. Georgina is his mother-in-laws name and Georgia is the name of the daughter of the family that lived in our house before us. Apparently Ken, the father of the family, made such a huge impact on Jose that Jose wanted to name his daughter after Kens. That is quite an honor. He is very grateful for everyone being so concerned for his family. He said all day today people have been coming up to him, just like I did, saying congrats and asking if everything is alright. He said that when his wife has recovered she wants to come to our house, meet us and show us the babies. He really wanted to take pictures of them so he can show them to Ken via the internet, so I loaned him an extra camera, and hopefully he can take some nice pictures of his daughters to send to his friends and family. I hope the camera comes back, but if not... it's Gods anyway. 
So after speaking with Jose we strolled to the park and on to Pequeno Mundo, a Big Lots type store. On the way we decided to splurge and eat out at McDonalds... For those of you who know us well, push your jaw closed. I know... It's very sad that I have to compromise my morality (eating ad McDonalds) to be a missionary.  The kids loved it. I think it was like eating back at home... Besides all of the staring at the cute little gringo kids (people stare at us all the time, but it's not an awkward stare, they just think little blonde kids are cute. Everybody from women of all ages to older men to teen aged boys walk by and say, "Que linda" or "Que lindo" which means how pretty.) So we ate our burgers and fries and then Ella and I got 4 ice cream cones... SPLURGE TIME!!! It was awesome though... We spent less than $2 for all of them. Now you have to understand... In the states it would be a good deal, but here it's awesome. A half gallon of ice cream in Costa Rica is over $7!!! So to get a cone for 50cents is awesome. We haven't had much ice cream since we got here (and that's huge for Erin) so now we found a place to get decent ice cream for cheap. Sorry for all of you who think I'm making a big deal out of this, but to us it's pretty sweet to find something that tastes like something from home and is reasonably priced...
Ok well I've rambled enough for today... We love and miss you all.
May Jesus bless you,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Story time with Judah

As promised... Here is Judah with his favorite book. He's always saying dum dum dum.
Jesus Bless you, 

Rainy day fun...

So I ran home from school with the two kids, Knowing that the rain was coming. (Erin has a study period at the end of the day so she comes home early) I stopped for a minute to tell Jose hello and let him know that I remembered his twins would be born tomorrow at 7:00am, when thunder crashed right over our heads. It was so loud that it set off all of the car alarms for a block. I said goodbye and ran because I could hear the storm and the metal roofs about two blocks away. I began to see hail, a first for us here, and yelled through our gate for Erin to help me 'cause I knew we were in for a good storm... Unfortunately I grabbed the camera just after the thunder past us but here is 5 min of the kids playing in the rain. 
I'm glad that the rain here is not depressing and the kids can enjoy it without being scared... Thanks for checking in. Also Check back for Judahs story time... Thanks Bentons for the Dr. Seuss books, Judah loves Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. He walks around saying "dum  dum      dum  dum      dumdumdum. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Friends...

  I am very proud of myself for actually maintaining a decent conversation in spanish. I have made my first native friend here in Costa Rica. There is a very nice man who seems to be about my age who guards the street that we live on. His name is Jose and he is from Nicaragua. He has been in Costa Rica for ten years and hasn't seen his mother since he moved here. He works 365 days a year and works 12 hours a day. He will even be working this saturday, the day his wife will give birth to their first children, twins! He told me about his need to go back to see his mom because she is very sick. He also needs to leave the country so he can be legal again and then his daughters can be citizens which will allow he and his wife to be as well. My heart goes out to him and his family. He lives with his father, sister, sister in-law, wife and soon two babies. Their house is smaller than ours and all of them probably make less money than a high school kid working at a pizza place. My immediate reaction is to offer money or help, even though we have been warned not to. Please pray for us as we walk this fine line. We want to help but really we only want to do what God would have us do.  We know that we aren't here to fix the world, just to direct people to Jesus. I want to know more about how to do that. I want to understand what people truly need and when I can help their circumstances. Well I guess today it's just a journal of my thoughts. Don't be afraid to think with me and let me know what comes up.  I will do my best to get a picture in the next few days and tell you more about my new friend, and hopefully soon, friends.
May Jesus Bless You all,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A few sights.

Here are some random pictures:
Nice tree flowers. This is a common walking hazard. Don't fall in, they're really deep. 

A small part of what we see daily.
A small store. It's actually a house and a store.
A carnecaria, this one is accustomed to gringos so it's expensive.

This is the Catholic church in Desaperados. Desamperados litterally means forgotten or abandoned. This is a shot from just infront of our house.Here's the shot without telephoto. That's my lovely wife on the way to the store with the kids. Notice the bars. Everything has bars. Every house... Window... door... Everything is locked and double locked all the time. If it's not... It's free for the taking. Crazy. I don't think they have this much razor wire in all of the prisons in CA.
Yet another Shot of the road.
Ella has a Hercules beetle, Sorry you cant see it.
Here's a nice plant of some kind...
Thanks for checking it out.
Jesus Bless you,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Costa Rican Independence

So yesterday was a holiday here in Costa Rica. It's their independence day. We walked down to a school where they began the parade and watched for a while. Basically it's a lot of school children drumming really loud with one general rythm. It's kinda crazy. Families walk with the parade down the street, as if they only care about their son or daughter. I think we were some of the only ones to stand in one spot and watch. For some reason the video wouldn't load on the blog so I posted it on you-tube. Here is the link to the movie.  or use the Costa Rica video link on the right side of this page. The video is Parade.
Thanks for reading.
May Jesus Bless Each on of You.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The ride of the day!

Our washing machine is out of balance. Sometimes it moves about 3 feet to the other wall. It shakes a ton but we found a good use for it. We put the kids on it. It's really technologically advanced, I know. Here's the pictures

Our Stuff is here!!!

Disaster area!!! Oh goodness, there's not enough room. Our crate came on thursday (thanks Zann) and we have all of our stuff. It's like christmas in september. We get to open all of the boxes that we packed and discover what is in them. When we packed our boxes and sold the rest of our stuff we felt so good. We felt like we had simplified our lives drastically. Well now that it's here it feels a bit overwhelming. We don't have room to store everything. It's crazy. Heres a few pictures from our day.

This is our friend Nathan. He and his family came to help us unpack. Of course when we started to unpack it started to rain. Isn't that how it always works...
Jeff is an athlete. He's actually jumping up into the crate backwards. (That's my boss;)

And here are two of our teachers:
Elena is my language teacher. She is possibly the sweetest lady I've met. Fransisco is our grammar teacher. He is awesome. I've learned as much in two weeks from him than 2 years of high school.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What is life?

Some of you are probably wondering what our life is like these days. Well I wish I could say that I am evangelizing the streets of San Jose and impacting students lives through the practical application of the gospel but I can't. Our life will be pretty simple until we finish language school. It is amazing how hard it is to communicate. I thought I was decent at speaking spanish but I am realizing that I can only understand what I initiate. 
So here's a taste of life. 5:30am we wake up. 7:05am we walk to school. (see map) It takes about 15 minutes to walk there so there's your scale for the map. We get out of school at 1:00pm and usually walk home in the rain. 1:30pm we put the kids down for a nap and do homework or rest. 3:30-4:00pm we walk to the store/stores. We have a small fridge and the ants eat everything we leave out so we literally go to at least one store every day. Today @ 4:00pm I walked to the supermarket. (one that's not on the map but it's between the panadaria and the carneceria on the main street) From the market I walked to the Carneceria, and the back past the market to the Panadaria, and on to home. I got back at about 5:15pm. That's an hour of walking just cause we don't have storage space. 
(note: in Costa Rica it is cheaper to go to the bakery or meat market to get food than to get food at the grocery store. It's the opposite of the states) So we will eat at about 6:15 and then put the kids down between 7:00pm & 8:00pm. Erin and I will finish homework and try to be in bed by 8:30 or 9:00pm. And that's a day in the life of the Janzens. 
The moral of the story... Appreciate the luxury of convenience. It is something that we don't have very much of here. I can definitely see why the poor have a really hard time getting ahead. You must pay for convenience & inconvenience takes time. It takes time to make money. It's a catch 22. 
God is really increasing my compassion for the poor here. Because of normal life and circumstances they are trapped in their situations with no way to get out. I pray that as you hear this you realize that we don't have the answers like most of us think we do. The problem is not as definable as us "Americans" (Costa Ricans are americans too) like to think it is. Our job is not to fix their lives or even their situation but to care for them as Christ would and lead them to Him. Because, as I say quite often these days, I don't want my circumstances or situation to define who God is. God is God no matter what. He gives joy to the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the educated and uneducated. We as christians don't need to fix the situations because the situations may be ordained by God Himself. We need to show them who God is and that no matter what their circumstances are God loves and cares for them.
Thanks for reading. Dios le bendiga.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mailing address!

If you would like to send paper mail (no boxes please customs could charge us a lot of $$) or address is : Jeremy Janzen
    Instituto de lengua espanola
    apartado 100-2350
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    America Central

Also if you haven't received an email from us please send your email address and we will make sure to put you in our address book. We will still send out paper mail but we don't really know how it will all work yet.

miscommunication. We're in His hands!

Ok. Well I know my ability to convey thoughts isn't the greatest but I thought I was clear enough.Obviously not though. My family wrote and was very sad that we lost our camera to thieves, and a friend was offering to fly down and "regulate" for us. No need. My intent was to tell you that I am smart enough to not take my camera out when things are busy because of the possibility of being mugged. Costa Rica is safe as long as we are smart about things. We don't carry cameras or electronics and if we do they are in grocery bags so nobody knows. We don't let our earphones dangle around our necks because then thieves will know we have ipods. Ect.. Thieves know that as North Americans we have more than they do, or at least access to more than they do, therefore we are, and always will be a prime target for muggers. Don't worry though, San Francisco de dos rios is the safes part of the city if you ask some people. The worst if you ask others, but here's true hope... We are surely undisputedly moving to a more dangerous part of San Jose after language school. So rest assured, we are more safe now than we will be later.HAHA. In reality we can never be more safe. God, ultimately, is responsible for keeping us safe. Therefore, our location, situation, even our actions do not assure safety, we can only truly be safe as we obey The Lords will for our lives. The safes place to be is right where God has us.
Thanks for reading, Dios le bendiga.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quiet sunday. Muy Tranquilo.

Well ,we haven't gone to church here yet, the language barrier is a problem. We are looking forward to the day when we can understand enough to maintain relationships and understand sermons in spanish. So for now we just enjoyed our sabbath day rest. The kids and I went to the park across from our house while Erin got herself ready for the day. The kids went down for a nap around 10:30 am and when they woke up around 1:30 we went for a walk. We walked to a store called Pequeno Mundo to look for some containers that would keep the roaches out. We found out that a small plastic drawer (one) was 5,000 colones which is about $10. OUTRAGEOUS!! In the states we can get 3 for $7. And this store is like a Big Lots. It's crazy what people pay for stuff here. 
So I don't have any pictures for you today because of the theft problem. Sundays are very busy around town. All of the families go to the parks and fly kites or play games. It's amazing that no one comes out during the week but sundays are crazy. So anyways back to the theft. apparently it is common to be mugged or have your purse/wallet stolen here in San Jose. We have received many warnings from the language school about how these people will rob us "gringos". Students have had three men drive up in front of them and two jump out with guns take your stuff and then speed off. The whole thing is over in 40 seconds. They also drive up behind people and lean out the window and grab bags off of peoples shoulders. Often times the person is dragged for blocks before they fall out of the strap. The other thing that just happened recently is that two men will be on a motorcycle, jump the curb and ride right between two people. The guy n the back will grab at bags and if they don't get it they stop and fight with you to get your purse and wallet. The guy that this happened to snapped and used a sapling to beat the guys off of his wife and they left with nothing. (that's not recommended) Anyways, walking around on a busy day with a camera is not recommended. 
One day I will hopefully take a picture of the walking bridge that we took across the freeway. It is a small Golden gate but it's painted blue. It's quite fun to walk across. I didn't think about it until today but we live in San Francisco de dos rios, a southern suburb of San Jose. Thus the reason for the Golden Gate copycat. 
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

God is good!

So I realize that I will probably not do this again(three posts in a day) but tonight I was realizing that I have seen God in the small things and have not told everyone about it. 
In the last weeks of living in Visalia we pushed hard to get all of our home improvement projects done. We finished installing baseboards, cabinet doors, painted, and many other things. During this time I learned two simple, but new, things. 1 I learned that painters caulk is great to fill gaps and makes base boards and trim look much nicer. 2 I learned how to take apart and fix an old style of door knob. Well it was no coincidence. 
When we moved into our new home here in Costa Rica, we quickly found out that we had roaches and ants. Not just a few ants either... there are lots, and coming from inside base boards, door jams, behind loose tiles, everywhere. There were so many ants climbing the wall of our bedroom that they left a dark line where they walked. They had built an ant hill in 
 the base board and climbed the wall through the trim around the ceiling, into the attic, and then back down the other side of the wall. Well guess what... If I hadn't learned just weeks before about painters caulk, I would still have a whole lot of ants. I caulked all of the gaps around the trim and the base boards and got rid of the aunts. The same in the tile, trim, and random holes to nowhere throughout the house.
     About two days into our lives here, the bathroom door wouldn't open. The door knob was busted. I really think that I can fix almost anything so normally it isn't a problem. In times of high stress however, I can get quite upset with little tasks. Thankfully God, knowing me and my stress level, had already equipped me with the necessary abilities to take care of it quickly. It was the same old type of door knob I had just learned about. I took it apart and found that whoever installed it did so incorrectly, thus the result of it breaking. I simply fixed it and moved on.
Well all of this long story is to say that God cared enough for me to teach me two little home improvement skills that would help me here. He knows what He's doing. He cares about the little things. It's our job to see how He's cared for us and give Him the glory. It may seem small, but He cared enough to give us what we needed to be a little more comfortable. Glory to God, for He has created all things, and He cares about the smallest of them. He is always good, always faithful, and always God. 

Ah the sweet life.

Here's what it's like to be 19months old on a saturday in Costa Rica.

For the rest of us here's our day so far. Everyone woke up about 5:15ish and then I got lucky and went back to sleep till 7:00am. Now that's lucky. (did you know that ticos (Costa Ricans) bathe their children in cold water at 5:00 AM every morning... Then again before bed at night. They're very clean people) So I got up at 7 made the bed and then made breakfast. I made a potatoe, onion, sausage, and egg scramble thing which we eat with corn tortillas. Breakfast was done by 8:15 and we were off to clean. I cleaned the kitchen and entertained the kids while Erin cleaned the floors and the bathroom. I put the hammocks up and let the kids play until Judah fell asleep. 10:30 am Ella and I are reading books and Judah is still asleep. Erin went with some new friends to a fabric store and to the lady that makes clothes. It might be a good option since clothes are double the price here. 
Later we'll probably clean some more, have lunch, read my spanish dictionary, and then we have some friends coming over for pizza around 5:00 pm. Pizza is about $14 for an extra large. (not everything is super expensive... just most) Thanks for reading! Send us an e-mail some time. We'd love to hear what's going on with our friends and family in other parts of the world. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, the sweeter things in life.

Man, there are definitely perks to being a missionary in Costa Rica. For one... These sweet chairs. You can't even buy things like this in the states. 
Most houses here come fully furnished. Whether you buy or rent, like we are, the house has at least the bare minimum. In our case we have more bare than minimum. We received these four lovely chairs today because four of our six "normal" chairs were broken. We are really looking forward to our crate arriving. It is really difficult to cook with no utensils. I flipped pancakes the other morning with a wooden spoon. Later that night we served chicken soup with that same spoon and a coffee cup(1 of 3 total) We have 3 plates, 3 bowls, 7 plastic cups, 4 knives that wont cut butter, and some really old pans (guess how many...3)
So tonight we had pasta with salchichon (sausage, and I don't know where or how to put an accent yet)  So here are a few pictures of our dinner. I took the pictures and Ella didn't want hers taken (thus the pics of Judah and Erin)
This week was also the first week of school. It seems to be review for me although I have learned  a little. Erin has already been frustrated with it all and would really like prayer for her ability to retain Spanish. Here's a few more pictures from the first week of school... Just cause. 
Thanks for reading. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Communication can resume!

                                                                      in the airport.

Ella & Judah playing in our yard (yes  that's the whole thing)
Wow!! There's way too much to tell you all about.  The really big thing is that just a few minutes ago we had our internet and cable hooked up. Yeah!! We have no T.V. yet but that will come soon enough. We are looking forward to watching lots of cartoons in spanish (it's a good way to learn the language)
      So we arrived on the 20th of Aug. @ 10:00pm Costa Rica time. We were greeted by our big brother who had arranged for us to be picked up and taken to our new home. We got, in looked around, and then went to sleep. Since then we have unpacked and tried to make this house our home. We moved a bed and bought 2 coffee cups and some glad storage containers for food but other than that we have what we need. (I use need in the real sense, like need... not want.. there's a lot to want) Overall the house is nice. It has plenty of room and is in decent condition. The only real drawbacks are the termites, ants, and roaches. I've been chasing the ants and roaches trying to find out where they come from but to no end. I bought painters caulk and have been caulking every little hole in every room of the house. 
      The weather is wonderful. It is usually sunny in the morning from 5am until around 2-3
pm when it starts to rain. The first few days it rained about an hour... Now it seems to rain from 2-9pm every day. It's alright though, we bought a large umbrella that keeps our heads dry. (if you're walking in the rain everything else is wet. 

here's our front driveway. (everything has bars)
We are officially starting school tomorrow. We have had orientation for the last 4 days and it has been long and boring. I am looking forward to actually learning spanish. So here's a taste of our days. We get up at 5:15 (4:15 in CA) and Erin makes the kids lunches. Ideally this will be when we pray and read the Bible as well, but we haven't gotten that in the morning yet. We get the kids up around 5:45 or 6:00 and get them fed and ready so we can leave for school by 7:05. We have about a 15 min. walk from our house to school so we get there drop off the kids by 7:20 and then our classes start at 7:30.(orientation started at 8:00)  We will have 3 classes daily: Grammar, language, phonetics. it works out to about 4 hours a day but then we are supposed to do homework. I don't know how much we'll have but everyone else says it's overwhelming. 
So anyways... that's enough for today... I'll write more soon... the afternoon is naps... bible...dinner... and bed by 8:00pm.... there's a lot of details but you can ask about them.... So far we are loving it but we still ask that you would pray for us to learn quickly, and for continued financial provision. We made our one time goal (Thank Jesus) but we are still lacking in monthly support.... God is good all the time. 
Thanks for checking in.