Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This year's Christmas Letter...


Can you believe it’s that time a year? Wow!...how time flies. We are happy to report that we have had a great year. While we have had our good days and bad days…difficult and not so difficult…we have had far more good. We have spent this year studying Spanish in San José, Costa Rica. We have not only learned Spanish but about Latin American culture as well. It has been a wonderful year and we know that it is because many of you have been lifting us up in prayer throughout the year. For this we say THANK YOU!

What is a typical day for us? Sun comes up around 5:00 at which time the neighborhood dogs begin to bark, birds start their day and the noise of the city begins. School starts at 7:30am for everyone. We walk to school (about a 10 minute walk) along with all the other friends on our street. This can be fun except when it’s raining…and it does rain here. From about July – November it rains every day at least once! We have gotten used to it, well, sort of. Jeff and Liesa finish classes at 1:00 and Haylee and Jackson at 2:30 each day. The rest of our day is filled with afterschool activities much like those in the States…errands, homework, soccer, cheerleading, dance, etc, but everything seems to take longer here than back home. It gets dark here around 6:00. No daylight savings time here. We miss those long Mississippi days but the temps are from mid 60s at night to mid 80s during the day depending. No need for a/c and heat. Shorts (flip flops for the girls) all year long!

What’s Haylee been up to? Haylee is now a 6th grader. She has been involved in cheerleading and dance. She was in an amazing dance recital in a historical theatre downtown. Nana and Papaw came to town for the big show. She loves her school and her teachers. Haylee continues to make excellent grades and excel in school. She had a sleepover birthday party as is tradition and they stayed up all night! Reading is one of her favorite past times and she has begun to develop her love of art and drawing this year as well. Haylee has been willing to try new foods but doesn’t always like them.

What’s Jackson been up to? Jackson is now a 4th grader. He has been involved in soccer and he loves it. He plays 3 days a week. Jackson has learned to boogie board at the beach. He plays video games and loves to build Lego vehicles. Jackson also enjoys watching cartoons in Spanish. Jackson also had a sleepover birthday party. He loves his school and teachers. He does well in school but it has been much harder academically for him. Jackson is not much on trying new foods so he eats lots of fish sticks.

We have had fun. We have an amusement park here with fair type rides and Pizza Hut. The kids love to go and it’s loads of fun. We have malls just like those at home with really cool movie theatres (recliners for chairs) and cheap. We have all major fast food chains. Downtown is pretty neat as well. Our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins came to visit during the year as well.

What have we learned…..

We have learned more about how to love people. You see it’s easy to love people who are just like you. However, when you live in another country they are not just like you and it’s not always easy to love them. But, God does and our job is to look at others through HIS eyes…not ours. Each week we work in a slum area of our town, “La Carpio”, where we teach bible stories, worship and play with the most precious children you’ve ever seen. All in Spanish! This is probably one of the most wonderful things we have experienced here. It is a ministry that the entire family is able to participate in and God has used these children to teach us so much and to remind us about why we answered his CALL to GO.

We have learned Spanish. The school here is wonderful. We still have a long way to go but we can share the love of God in Spanish, buy what we need, get where we need to go and order correctly at McDonalds. All of the kid’s extracurricular activities are in Spanish and they have Spanish class in school. Pretty amazing.

We have learned patience. You see when you don’t have a car…you rely on others to get you where you need to be or you walk. This means you leave earlier, you hold on when the taxi driver drives like a crazy person and you are kind to those around you on the bus when it’s standing room only.

We have learned about God’s beautiful creation. Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful place. Our city is surrounded by mountains. While the streets are dirty, broken and just plain nasty, if you look up (when it’s not raining) the view is amazing. You can see 3 crosses up high in the mountains,which we hiked (climbed) up to in March,…very beautiful. We have volcanoes, beaches, waterfalls and incredible wildlife here. All of which we have been able to see and experience.

What’s next? The Holeman family will leave Costa Rica December 13 and move to Lima, Peru. We will be working with the REAPNORTH team (team website... www.reapwsar.org). This is not an easy move for us simply because we have so enjoyed our time here in Costa Rica. The kids love their school and most importantly, their friends. We will once again be saying good bye to something familiar for something unfamiliar. We are excited, however, to see what God has next and to begin the next chapter. Please continue to lift us up in prayer during this next year. You can keep up with us through our BLOG ( www.theholemanfamily.blogspot.com ).

We love and miss you all dearly.

The Holemans

1 comment:

kay cobb said...

Happy New Year to the Holemans!
Am having some difficulties signing on as a blogger, so don't know if you received my previous (first) message. Am sending this in an attempt to respond to the new prompts shown.... Your friend, Kay Cobb