Six Things I’ve learned (and love) about Costa Rica in 6 months

Today is a milestone for our family: we have lived in Costa Rica for six (6!) months.

Celebrating 6 months in Costa Rica.

Celebrating 6 months in Costa Rica.

The overwhelming feeling of this time is gratitude. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here. Living in another culture has taught me even more about the richness of God. This is the God who made every tribe and tongue.

As I live here, I simultaneously appreciate the beauty of Costa Rican culture more each day and long to feel more “at home” here. It is a constant reminder that my “home” is in heaven not in any country.

So, here are six things I’ve learned in our first six months:

  1. Children are awesome. This is a culture that celebrates children (quite literally – on September 9, Costa Ricans celebrate the Dia Del Niño). Everyone (and I mean everyone teenagers, senior citizens, our teachers, other parents) stops to say hello and coo at our children. It is really a remarkable experience, and I love it!
  2. Much like a fine wine, the Spanish language is complicated and beautiful.
  3. Not every country has, needs, or wants a military. (No military here in Costa Rica – an odd thing to this army brat)
  4. Pura Vida (pure life) is a great phrase! It can be a salutation, a response to the question “ how are you,” and a general phrase for “it’s okay/no worries.” ¡Pura vida, pura vida!
  5. Hair gel is fantastic. I know it’s a common product in the US, but I never used it. In this humid climate, it has changed our life – and my daughters hair – forever! She now has sleek perfect pigtails and braids.
  6. Dulce de Leche is amazing and delicious. Seriously. Get it. Eat it and love it. It is great slathered on pancakes, stuffed inside churros, in cake, as an ice cream flavor, as a coffee flavor,  spread on a croissant…. I could go on. and on. and on.

As I look back on my first six months in Costa Rica I feel incredibly blessed by the opportunity to live here. Costa Ricans have been warm, welcoming and incredibly patient with my Spanish.

I joyfully look forward to making more friends, learning more about this wonderful country, and understanding how to love its people well. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy to minister in this country and thankful for the partnership of many of you on this journey.

About Melanie

Melanie Morris is a former politico who left Washington DC for the mission field of Central America. She is married to Peter and they have four young children.
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