Harmon's Haven

Meet amazing dad Robbie, mother-in-training Jesika, 7 year old best big sister Bree, 5 year old boy in every way Gabe, 3 year old who thinks he's 10 years old who makes us all laugh McKay,
and 9 month old sweetest Quinn Marie...the Harmon Family!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Costa Rica!!

Wow. Wow wow wow pretty much sums it up so far. As of December 22nd our home is here in Costa Rica. While I admit it hasn't all been a perfect happy vacation in paradise, there are some definite perks: The weather is perfect...cool in the evenings and sunny with a touch of humidity in the day time. We're surrounded by gorgeous greenery with bright beautiful flowers. We have a pool up the street, a nice little house all to ourseves with a playground literaly next door, and Robbie doesn't start school for another week still!! Bree LOVES getting to wear dresses and skirts any time she wants without leggings underneath :) I will be happy when Gabe starts walking though since all of the floors everywhere are tile...not super clean for a crawling child. Yes we have found all sorts of fun surprises in his mouth! But I think with all of the craziness of having a Christmas Dance concert with the four dance classes I taught all last semester, being in charge of our ward's Christmas activity, moving out of our apartment and putting all of our stuff in storage and saying good-bye to people and a place we have loved living for almost four years, oh ya and preparing for Christmas, I didn't get to properly prepare myself for this trip... let's just say there have been lots of surprises. Having been on a mission I was prepared to be discouraged about not knowing the language...but I knew I would hate not being able to speak and that I am going to learn, so that bit of frustration was to be expected. BUT, there are a few other things that have thrown me for a loop: Like our clothes take two days to dry (on a line) and if they aren't drying in direct sunlight they start to stink...it gets light at 5:30 AM and so both my kids are up then no matter how late we but them in bed...our legs are covered with mosquito bites...big red ants everywhere, especially in the grass... I can't find whole wheat pasta or flour anywhere :( ... and while we are grateful to have a stove I didn't think about how long it takes to make food, and warm things up without a microwave! :) All week I have just been waiting to go to church, knowing that with all of the unfamiliar, crazy transitions into a new culture at least I could go to church and feel that same familiar spirit, even if I couldn't understand what they were saying. I failed to remember however, that I have an 11 month old son, who can't sit still and won't stay in Sacrament meeting, Sunday School or Relief Society or Priesthood for more than about ten minutes!! (this was the age that with Bree I seriously questioned why I even went to church!!) Ah yes, and the halls in the churches in Costa Rica are tile and echo his sounds nice and loud. Robbie took him out during Sacrament meeting so during Sunday school it was my turn. I walked outside with him and almost broke down. The worse part about all of these "new things" was that it was causing me to have little to no patience with my children...and I really don't like that feeling. I wanted more that anything to pick up a phone and call someone...my mom, my dad, my sisters or brothers, in-laws, friends...ANYONE! But as has happened two other distinct times in my life when I have felt utterly alone and completely helpless, I knew that my Heavenly Father wanted me to talk to him. He wanted me to reach deep inside and let him help me grow from this experience. I plead with him to help me and asked forgiveness of my bad attitude. I hate even admitting all of this...because I feel like I am usually an optimistic person ready to take on any challenge life throws. But I know that the only way to learn and grow is through trials and challenging things. So I should be grateful right :) I came home and wrote down ways that I could overcome the little difficulties I was facing and goals for learning Spanish. I KNOW that I am going to learn so much here in these three months and that it's going to fly by and I'm going to love it. I'd better take advantage cause I'll never have this chance again! So, Pura Vida baby in Costa Rica :) Bring it on.

And don't worry, I will post pictures soon! This place is amazing!!

10 comments:

Karen said...

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. As you were listing off the things that were throwing you for a loop, it totally reminded me of Switzerland. The no microwave, the mosquitoes, the floors, etc. I can't imagine what it would have been like with the floors we had if Eli had been any older than he was when we were over there. Sure makes your appreciate your American amenities when you come home :P But I bet you'll end up loving it and it will go by too fast! We all miss you already!

Ali and Josh Holt said...

im so sad we didnt get to say goodbye, but its probably better becuase im a baby and on top of that im pregnant so im sure I would have been a wreck! We miss you guys but you are going to love it there im sure! Im for sure jealous! Please keep in touch and when you settle in Arizona please send me your address so I have it and we can send you a baby announcement :) love you guys! Tell Bree Josh and Ali say hi!

Tara said...

So I may not be able to identify with everything you are going through (I do have a microwave) but the feelings I definitely can. Living abroad (although an adventure) is harder than you could ever anticipate. I'm sure a mission prepares you somewhat but with a family, especially small kids, is a whole new ball game. Don't beat yourself up for feeling discouraged...let yourself feel it, its all part of the plan and there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes life is just HARD!

Good luck!! If you ever need to vent...shoot me an email...I definitely understand!

McGuire's said...

That is incredible that you guys are living in costa Rica! No microwave and mosquitoes would be very hard with kids. But sunshine does sound wonderful now. :) I'm excited to see pictures and hear about your adventures. You guys are amazing!

Arbon Family said...

GOOD BYE!!! I am so sad I did not get to see you before you left! We were in VA and got home Monday night and I had Strep throat so I OBVIOUSLY was not going to come over! We miss you already and GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITH EVERYTHING!!! Thanks for everything and hopefully we will see you again sometime soon! Love ya!

Jeff VanDrimmelen said...

Hang in there dear friends. We miss you already! They are lucky to have you and just like the mission before you know it you will look back at this time with fondness at all the crazy quirks of living there! Merry late Christmas!!

Natalie said...

I can't imagine the challenges you are facing in another country. I just hope the rewards are plentiful as well.

Los Bagleys said...

Jesika! I've been wondering if you all had arrived yet! I feel for you but at the same time I am excited for you because after the adjustment you are not going to want to leave! As for whole wheat flour, beans and rice is the way to go where you are, get some yummy recipes and you will be a pro by the time you leave. I know about the floors too, a pain but easy to clean up! Let me know if you need help with Spanish over the web and I will help you! I will be checking you blog to see how things are going! So excited for you guys!

breena rae said...

Jess, you're amazing.

Lizzy said...

What an adventure Jes. I just read your post. You are one amazing girl. Thanks for being such a wonderful example. I will be praying that Spanish comes along quickly for you. Keep us posted. Love you!