This last week another batch of new language school families arrived in Costa Rica to learn Spanish at the school where we studied back in the day. (I taught there for the last year and a half too.) So Josh and I have dedicated a week or so to helping them get settled in. Our language school directors can’t be in a dozen places at once. They are good friends of ours, so we are happy to help them carry their load for a while.
But the thing that I like the best about receiving the new families is getting to show them around Costa Rica. For most of them, this is their first experience moving overseas. Some of them have never even traveled outside of the U.S.A. So we get to be the ones that share their first few days of blissful excitement when everything is new and fresh and amazing for them. I get to see my home through fresh eyes too.
It’s kind of therapeutic for me. I’m not in the “honeymoon” phase anymore, haven’t been for years. So there are things that get on my nerves, things that I have forgotten to enjoy, things that I no longer notice anymore. But when I get to hear all the excited observations of the new students, it reminds me that I DO love it here. I am so blessed to call Costa Rica MY home.
We get to tour the newbies around the city for a few days. We take them on their first grocery shopping trip. We take them to the farmers’ market and show them exotic fruits and vegetables. We take them to their kids’ school and get their kids enrolled. We take them to church on Sunday morning. It’s a lot of fun for our whole family!
My kids get to show off a little bit too. They love to show the new kids how to eat tropical fruits, how to find the sermon text in their Spanish Bibles, how to order food in a restaurant, and which stores carry American foods. They warn the new kids to watch out for dog poop on the sidewalk and in the park. They remind them to pay attention in the street so as not to fall in an uncovered manhole. They help translate for the shopping day at the farmers’ market and help take pictures of the group with their arms laden with their abundant harvest. My kids get to be the experts for a few days. It’s fun.
Keeping your eyes fresh is not in the job requirement. No one checks up on us and makes sure that we are still in-love with our country of calling. No one forces us to stop and smell the roses once and a while. For me, keeping a fresh perspective on life is a key to my mental and emotional health. Sometimes that fresh perspective comes from the joy of my children and sometimes it’s from the excitement of fresh faces on the field. Wherever I find that refreshing, I like to camp out there for a while and bask in it’s rejuvenating energy. It’s a good thing.