¡Costa Rica!

Do you have those times in your life where you look at the schedule a few months down the road and think: oh, I’ll have tons of free time as soon as June gets here, or August gets here… and then June or August get here and SURPRISE!! you still don’t have any free time. No, just me? Well… this is pretty much the story of my life.  But since I love crazy busy and a little out of control schedules (I know you can’t really do it all, but I really love to try!) this is really how I like to spend my life.

My full time work life has been busy, and I’ve traveled quite a bit for it, I got to squeeze in a few days with my husband’s youth group as they rebuilt houses in Moore, OK (and an ER visit… because while 99% of the youth escaped injury free from the trip, Reese hit his head on a desk in the dorms they were staying in and had to get staples in his head), and then pretty much as soon as I got back from that I left on a trip to Costa Rica to visit the medical clinic our church started and for which I sit on the board.  costarica3

I’ve been on the board helping to get Clinica Emanuel (the picture above) started for about 2 years now, and it has been an awesome blessing and an interesting experience.  4Corners is the non-profit organization that we created and so far we have opened and been operating a medical clinic for the Cabecar people in the mountains of Costa Rica.  The Cabecars are indigenous people that live in the southeastern part of Costa Rica in the Limon Provence. They live in 16 different villages up the mountain, and have very little medical care, clean water, transportation, etc. Our clinic operates a couple of days a week and serves people from all the villages, with patients frequently walking 3-4 hours to get to the clinic (and you think you’re 30 minute wait in the air conditioned waiting room was long!).

Our goal with this trip was to do the prep work for a team that will be travelling to this area  in the fall to build a community garden in a second village. I traveled with the Executive Director of this organization and we stayed in a small tourist spot on the Atlantic Ocean called Cahuita. Even though this was not a vacation trip, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice (and cheap!) rooms with air conditioning… since the whole time it was there it was either 100% humidity or raining.


From Cahuita the clinic is in a village that is about an hour and a half drive up the mountain… 4 Wheel drive mandatory.  The first portion of the trip is through a Dole banana plantation which is pretty cool to see! They have all these banana trees with blue bags covering the bunches of bananas.  The bags apparently prevent birds and pests from getting to the bananas.  (I got out to take a picture in front of some of them)


From there they hook the bags onto a pulley system and this donkey brings them to the processing area where they are put into boxes and shipped to your grocery store! costarica7

Anyway, after the Dole banana plantation, we get to a river that we cross in the Jeep (hence 4 wheel drive necessary). Its not very deep right now–as you can see the woman wading through on the right–but it does get pretty deep in places and when it rains a lot, the river can get too high to cross.





From there we spent some time at the clinic and then went to another village up the mountain where Ulysses (in the picture below) is donating some of his land so that we can build a community garden for them to have some additional food and income for the village.   costarica1


On our way into that village I snapped this picture of the Cabecar women who definitely work hard and walk long distances.  costarica6 It was a great trip and a fantastic experience, aside from my run-in with American Airlines who chose to cancel and delay our trip home 36 hours (48 for my co-traveller).  Is it just me or do companies just not really care about customer service anymore?!

I’m so glad to have been able to go on this trip, it definitely helps shape some of the decisions we make on the board to have gotten to experience these people’s lives first hand.  I am so excited for the group to go in September to make the garden a reality!


And a total bonus… at the end of the week my college spanish was coming back to me!


  1. Emily Webster says:

    Poor Reese. But, yeah for you! You are one special lady.

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