Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I Saw! I Slid! I Survived!

Ok, so as anyone that truly knows me already knows, I am TERRIFIED of heights!  It's one of those things where I don't need to prove anything to anyone, nor do I feel the need to 'overcome' this fear.  LOL! 

 However, there are times when, those who don't have this same fear, seem to think that I should just CONQUER MY FEARS.  Oh, if only they knew how it felt to be standing 10, 15, 20 feet in the air, your legs are shaking so bad that they are cramping up, your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, your laughing uncontrollably in order not to burst out in tears, and the only thought running through your head is "OH MY GOODNESS, I AM GOING TO DIE!".  

This is how it was a few weeks ago for me.
We went with a group to this amazing resort in La Fortuna called Baldi Hot Springs and Resort.  You can either stay there or just go for the day.  We went up for just the day to enjoy the awesome Hot Springs.  They range in temps from around 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) up to like 150 degrees.  It's an amazing place to visit and relax for the day.

Well the largest pool area (or hot springs) is one of the coolest, temperature wise, and has 3 water slides.  To begin with... I HATE WATER SLIDES.  I've never liked them, have no use for them, nor care to ever go down them.  I am completely okay with being a WIMP and a CHICKEN.  I prefer to relax nicely in the pool and cheer everyone else on as they conquer the SLIDING BEAST.  I'm a great cheerleader and support team.  I will tell you what a great job you've done, pat you on the back, even grab your towel for you if you need to wipe your face.  But I do not WANT TO JOIN YOU!  

For some reason, on this particular day my wonderful friends and amazing husband, all who say they love me, decided that my sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else go down the slides wasn't good enough for them.  Their day would be more 'complete' somehow if I went down at least one slide too.

I wasn't bothering anyone!  I was minding my own business!  I was completely enjoying myself just being the cheerleader for all of them.  But...that wasn't enough.  

So out of the pool I go!  I slowly walk up the long flight of stairs, taking a break every now and then to catch my breath because I'm hyper-ventilating.  I am now standing at the top of the ENORMOUS SLIDE.  My legs are shaking so bad I feel like I'm going to fall, my heart is pounding, I'm doing a sort of giggle/cry... I look at my husband, who has so bravely brought me to this DEATH SPOT, and beg him not to make me do this.  As he smiles at me, he says "It'll be okay.  Costa Rica's all about trying new things."  Well... DEATH is something new for me but I'm not exactly wanting to try it at the moment!  So after a few minutes of sitting at the top of this slide, trying to get up enough courage to let go, I decide to lay flat on my back and have Ron push me... Yes, I had to have him push me.  I was so scared that I couldn't even go by my own will... Ha!Ha!

So, needless to say, I SURVIVED! 
Do I want to do it again?... Absolutely Not!!!
Have I conquered my fear of heights?...  Not even close! 
But... I can officially say,  "I SAW!  I SLID!  I SURVIVED!"

Here's some photos of our day...

This is "Arenal"... It's a 'sleeping' volcano...


Back in Nicaragua

We just went to Nicaragua so that everyone (us, the Hawkens, and the Schults) could all be all the same 'visa schedule'.  We went to San Juan del Sur.  It's a small little surfing town and is a port for cruise ships.

The house where we stayed.  It had 3 separate buildings... the one you see is the Kitchen/Living Room,
behind that (and up a lot more steps) is two other buildings that had a total of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

This is the cove where our house was located.  It had a beautiful private beach. 
Where we stayed was the place on the right.

A couple of pics of the town of San Juan del Sur.

Here's the local Kingdom Hall...

We took a small boat for a Sunset Cruise.
Ben Lonergan came down for a little over 3 weeks.  It has been such a privilege to have him here with us.

Mitzi having fun!

It's Leonard!  (or LeeOnerd, as I like to call him.  Hee!Hee!)

Time for a Selfie!

Great pic of Cindy.

'Captain Ron'
(He was immediately put in charge of driving the boat.  Ha!Ha!)

And then the fishing poles started going crazy!!!...  Several on our boat got to reel in some big ones.

Even Cindy got in on the action!!!  Whoo Hoo!  
"Go Cindy, Go!"

This is sooo cool!...  
These next 3 photos are where they are currently filming the show 'Survivor'.  
We weren't allowed to get any closer because of filming and such.
What a bummer... we were hoping to get on T.V.  LOL!

Mitzi contemplating whether or not she wants to have another rum and coke... LOL!  Just Kidding!

You got any 'coke' in that rum and coke drink, Jim?  LOL!

Me and Cindy

Jim and Cindy Schult

Leonard and Mitzi Hawken

And in case you have forgotten what we both look's us!

We finished off our boat ride with a beautiful sunset...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blessings Beyond Blessings!

So as you are already aware... Every 90 days we have to leave Costa Rica.  The easiest place to go is Nicaragua. So we leave Costa Rica, cross into Nicaragua, stay a few days and come back.

As you've already read from one of our earlier post, we arrived in Costa Rica on Jan. 14th and went to Nicaragua on Jan. 15th because our dear friends, Leonard and Mitzi, had to do their 'visa run'.  So we decided to go with them.

Well... on the way back into Costa Rica we were hoping to receive our 90 day visa stamp.  Unfortunately that didn't happen.  We received a 70 day stamp... OR SO WE THOUGHT!  We asked why it was only 70 days and they politely explained why... (long story).  Anyways, about 65 days later, we were making our plans to run up to Nicaragua really quick so that we could have our 90 days.  I opened up the passports and what did I see stamped there?...  NOT 70 days but 30 Days!!!  Oh my goodness!!!  Panic mode has officially set in!  What's going to happen to us?!  Will we have to pay outrageous fines, like we've heard about?  Or worse... Will we be deported?  At this point we have no idea what to expect when we get to the Immigration office the next morning.  We have called my parents along with Leonard and Mitzi and they have informed our Coordinator of the problem.

We decided to try a new Immigration office at a different location in Costa Rica.  We were told it was a little smoother process there because it's not as busy.  We drove up to the border, where a local Spanish brother was waiting for us.  We explained the situation to him only to receive this look like "Oh No!".  He escorted us to the small Immigration office.  But before going in Leonard said a prayer for us.  Needless to say, up to this point we have ALL been praying repeatedly!!! The brother politely explained our dilemma.  The older gentleman behind the counter looked at our passports, looked at me (which I'm about to cry at this point), and says "No Problem".  He stamped our Exit stamp on our passports and away we went.
Well, it wasn't quite that simple...  I sat down on the bench and cried.  What a relief!!!  We all immediately thanked Jehovah.  The brother that was with us said that there are usually officers that stand outside the Immigration Office.  Had they been there that morning (which they always are), then we definitely would have had to pay big fines.  But for some reason they weren't there that morning.  Hmmm...  Holy Spirit?  I say "YES!"

So with the most unbelievable sense of relief, we sat down with our new favorite brother (LOL!) for some breakfast and waited for our ride to Nicaragua.

Here's a few pictures from our trip...
(The only picture I got of the Brother that helped us out...  One where he's acting silly...LOL!)

(The dock where our boat took off)

Arriving in Los Chiles, Nicaragua

It's so sad to see how some people have to live.
How we look forward to the time when the whole earth will be a paradise
and conditions like these will no longer exist. 

YAY!!!  We finally got to see some monkeys!!!