highlights from the retreat

- The fridge is no longer bare: figuratively - (see the last post) as I am posting again . . . and literally - we came home today to a fridge that contained an empty water pitcher, a tomato and some shredded cheese. As tired as we were, we had to run to the store.

- There were about 50 LAM missionaries at the retreat. Most of them were from Costa Rica, but a few were from Honduras.

- Several of the missionaries in attendance were from our orientation class of two years ago. It was fun to see them again.

- I ate yogurt. I hate yogurt, but I ate it. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to eat it to replenish the nutrients that have been expelled from my stomach due to a parasite and the corresponding parasite medicine which kills everything inside you. It was served as part of breakfast on Saturday morning. I decided I should just do it and get it over with (I figured that at least it might help quiet the angry mob). I'm sure looked pretty weird as I grimmaced and kept repeating to myself, "its just a milkshake". You're probably waiting for me to say that it was actually "not that bad". It was that bad.

- Robin and I helped lead worship for some of the sessions. It was fun. We played some hymns, some contemporary songs and some Spanish songs (you gotta please everyone). Our little makeshift band consisted of three singers, two guitars and the most rockin' recorder I have ever heard. Yes, I do mean recorder like what you learn to play in fourth grade. One of the missionaries from Honduras brought hers and played along. It sounded great.

- The staff who came down from Miami to run the retreat brought some mail. Included in our pile were:
a. a guitar effects pedal - I almost kissed it when I saw it. No longer will I have to plug the school's electric guitar straight into the sound system without any effects.
b. new strings for my acoustic - I had to order them from the US, because the low-quality strings they have here are way over-priced. I desperately wanted to change them during the retreat (my guitar was sounding dead with its super old strings), but I didn't have the right tools or enough time.
c. Jayber Crow - A book that I ordered around Christmas time, but it didn't find its way down here until now.

- There was salad for lunch each day. There were three bottles of "dressing" sitting out. There was red, white and orange-ish. One would assume that they were French, Ranch and Thousand Island. Nope: Ketchup, Mayonaise and Ketchup and Mayonaise mixed together. I never knew how good dry salad could be.

- We played a couple pretty intense soccer games. I only wiffed or foolishly fell down a few times.

- It was neat to hang out with and talk to some of the older missionaries. There are a few who are 70+ years old, have been serving for 40 or 50 years and have as much energy as teenagers. And in all honesty, I can extend that . . . it was neat to hang out and talk to all of the missionaries there. It is a fun group.

- It rained today. I guess Dr. Anderson was right when he said, "It never rains during the dry season except for when it does." He was talking about Guatemala, but it applies to Costa Rica as well.

- As we were leaving, I turned the key to the car and heard nothing but a hum coming from the radio. Somehow, it had turned itself on and drained the battery. After a few push starts, a near miss with a taxi and "do or die" trip down a large hill, we got it going.

All in all, it was a good time, but its nice to be home. If I can get my hands on some pictures, I'll post them soon.