Monday, December 7, 2009


Okay, sorry for the long-time-no-write!

I kicked myself a few times in the car on the way to the end of the road when we were off to Chiripo... Oh why, oh why did I not write to my readers that we were heading off into the wilderness-jungleyness for 4 days???

Oh, right, because we had (have) amazing house guests and A LOT of prep, planning, and ministries to take part in during the days leading up to the trip. Then there was the trip, which of course didn't contain any electricity... never mind internet :P

Okay, enough excuses, eh? I'll just tell you how it went.


I could just leave it at that, if I were to sum it up in one word. But you deserve more.

So here are the:


We were a team of 19 individuals, coming from all sorts of places (Winnipeg, Montreal, San Jose, Turrialba, Tuis, Las Colonies....), and all ages (from 25 - 61) with one goal: To serve the indigenous people. We did this through medical clinics, church services, a dental health workshop, construction work, and simply playing and hanging out with the women and children.

The 19 of us met at 5:00am in Tuis on Wednesday morning, climbed into the back of a cattle truck, and drove to the end of the road (about 1.5 hours). Well, most of us went in the cattle truck, Erica and I were of the lucky ladies that got to ride in Daniel's 4-Runner :D

Once we reached the end of the road, we left the heavy bags for porters to take, and we headed off, into the jungle, as a team of 19 who had no idea what they were in for!!!

We hiked for about 5 hours... Under the jungle canopy, over fallen trees, through rushing rivers, and under thick brush. Oh, the experience!!!!

Then we made it there.
Sinoli village.

We fell exhausted to the floor of a wooden hut built by the mission, but we didn't stay for long. We took off to the river to clean ourselves up to do a medical clinic for the village.
Except our bags didn't arrive.
Until after dark.
An executive and wise decision was made to hold off on heading off to the next village on Thursday morning, but instead stay in Sinoli for another day and have the medical clinic there.

So we did.

And it was great!

Tom and Bob worked on light construction projects for the mission hut and the community's church. A nurse (Cindy) and an American Spanish student (Crystal), along with two translators (from English to Spanish, and from Spanish to Cabecar) served those in the community seeking medical attention. The women and children who attended the clinic walked for hours to get there. Can you imagine? They are coming because they are sick. And they walked for hours, through the jungle and under the sun to seek medical attention, because this is their only opportunity for the next few months.

Erica and I had the opportunity to play with the kids, make a million balloon animals, and hand out candy necklaces (thank you Lakeshore!). Erica even ran a dental health workshop that provided toothbrushes and toothpaste to the children and showed them the proper way to brush their teeth. Erica was amazing. The kids were so cute.

(And no, the irony of providing candy necklaces prior to the workshop was not lost on us.)

On Friday the other 17 people from the team left for Palmera, a village located a few more hours' hike away. Tom and I stayed behind due to, errrm, gastrointestinal concerns that dragged out allllll Thursday night. Oiy! I'll spare you the details.

The team ran another medical clinic, partook in a church service, and had time with the kids in the second village. Then, before sun rise on Saturday morning, they packed their belongings and hiked back to Tom and I, had breakfast, and we all hiked out. The hike out took about 7 hours and boy howdy it was challenging.

By God's grace we all made it out, relatively in one piece each, and the cattle truck did indeed meet us at the end of the road.

Pictures and feelings to come!!!


Tiffany said...

I was going to comment on the candy necklace / dental workshop thing, but you beat me to it!

Isn't it funny how we take our travel for granted here? I can be in Winnipeg in an hour. The travel is complete with heat or a/c, radio, a coke for the road.

I can be at the hospital in 5 minutes. And it's free, and I can have any tests or procedures necessary, and I can ask any questions I want and have them answered. Then I'm two minutes away from a pharmacy should I need any prescriptions.

Five hour hike to see a doctor/nurse? Not likely! Crazy how different it is in different parts of the world.

Keep it up out there!

Patricia said...

Blessings everyone. You are in my prayers and I sure do look forward to seeing you back here. I hope the culture shock is not too much; but I guess you have been through that before. What a wonderful God that He has given you all such a privilege and adventure in His service.
Keep on... Pat

Kesseler Family said...

I've been dying to hear how things are going/went, so thanks for posting!! :) Dad & Mom are on their way home, but Dad did leave a quick message yesterday letting us know that the hike was AMAZING. But we want more DETAILS!! :) And PICTURES!! :) We have LOTS of questions and will have lots of time around the holidays to ask them!! :)Thanks for all you're doing in Costa Rica and thanks for asking my parents to join you. I'm sure they loved it. Take care, God bless you!
Manuela Kesseler(née Lehmann)

Candice said...

Hi Manuela! You have no idea how much of a blessing your parents are (or, wait, you probably do!). Thank you for sharing them with us for a week ;)

As for pictures, they take a long time to sift through and download, but some are ready on another webste: , one of the pastor's websites.

As for more details, it takes even longer to sift through and process all we saw and went through during the trip. I'm thinking it may be a while before I can sum it all up into a post or two. But thank you for the encouragement to get on that!

Merry Christmas!

Kesseler Family said...

Thanks for that other website, amazing pictures!! Very lush area! What an experience it must have been for everyone!! I know it takes a while to process a trip like that, don't worry about trying to get it all down on a couple posts, but do journal it somewhere, because these experiences are invaluable! :) Have a great Christmas!! Hope you're feeling better...Manue :)

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