Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting Settled

We moved into our new house almost a week ago now.  It feels great to finally be in our own space again and to start to get settled here in Costa Rica.  We have spent almost every day shopping to set up our home, trying to get the most for every dollar (or colon) we spend.  Things are NOT cheap here, contrary to what many people may think.  The most frustrating part is buying things that we already own in the states and spending twice as much as we would there… but that is part of the whole experience and we’re still within our budget, which is great.  It’s all about making do and prioritizing what’s really important and what’s not. 

Not so important: the quality of a kitchen table.  We have a plastic outdoor table for our dining room table and four maroon plastic chairs to sit in.  It works.  And it’s a lot better than the cardboard box we ate off of the first two nights.

Very important: our bed.  We splurged on a nicer bed and box spring since you spend 1/3 of your life sleeping.  We thought it was worth it.

Middle-of-the-road important: our sofa.  We wanted it to be decent looking and comfortable and to be the “center piece” of our living room since we don’t have any other furniture.  Mission accomplished.

And, just to let you all know, many of our purchases have been made at Walmart. Yes, we’ve become Walmart shoppers. It’s really because that’s what there is here – it’s affordable and convenient. There is no Ikea or Target or even 2nd hand stores, so you go with what you got.

Fortunately, there are lots of other stores to buy furniture and household goods at.  We’ve become huge fans of Pricesmart, the local Costco here (we’ve even eaten pizza there twice!), as well as Aliss, a department store.  Epa is the Costa Rican version of Home Depot and is right up the road from us.  And our new favorite: Pequeno Mundo – kinda like a ware-housy Big Lots.  Kerby and Jason, one of the couples who work at the Project, took us there last night, and we had a blast wandering through the aisles, rummaging through the dollar bins (the 500 colones bin), smelling gross candles, and buying lots of *finally* cheap stuff.  Little containers and baskets, $1 plates, closet hooks, a Toy Story 3 fleece blanket for Fernando, etc…  I was STOKED!

Besides shopping and getting settled, we’ve been to church (on Saturday), eaten dinner at the Terra Mall food court, participated in the weekly prayer meeting with the other families, and taken our first walk in our neighborhood.  We also signed Kate up for daycare – she’ll start next Monday, and met with our Spanish tutor to plan our lessons for the next several weeks.  We start class with her next Tuesday.  Kate will go to the daycare for about 3 hours in the morning while we “practicar y aprender espanol.”  (practice and learn Spanish)  We’re very excited about this as it can be quite embarrassing when people talk to you and you don’t understand a thing.  Well, maybe one word, but not the actual meaning… We are eager to get proficient!

The only huge bummer of our time here so far has been the RAIN.  There has been some type of front over Central America since we arrived, and it has literally been raining or pouring every single day.  We have seen the sun for maybe 15 minutes total.  But it seems to have passed today, and although still gray, it is not raining, thank God.  And soon enough, it will be the dry season and it will get hot!  Looking forward to that.  In the meantime, we continue to settle in and adjust to a new life in Costa Rica, rain or shine!

P.S. God answered a HUGE prayer yesterday: we found out that Delta would refund us the $450 for our ticket change fees we were forced to pay last Monday.  Joe had written an email, and thought he would have to call and harass them, but lo and behold, we received a very apologetic email from Delta!
P.P.S. For those of you who don't know, Dawson, our dog, will be joining us down here within the next 6 months.  He's currently staying with Joe's parents.  We just couldn't bring all our stuff, the cat, and dog all at once :)

First meal: breakfast for dinner on a cardboard box!
View of backyard as you sit on the sofa.  Joe put up a swing for Kate in the middle of this empty room.
View out the front door.  Lots of gates keep us secure and safe.
Kate enjoying her inside park!
Bedtime stories with daddy.  We are having a bed frame built for us at the Project.
Fern enjoying the view.
Leaky roof... a bucket catches (most of) the drips.


  1. thanks for all these updates!!! So fun to track what is going on with you guys!!! You are amazing!

  2. I love following you guys on here. What an adventureb glad things are going well. Love the indoor swing. Keeping you guys in our prayers. Lot of love.