Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bob's thoughts on Chirripo!

My sincerest apologies for this post being delayed (filter problem in g-mail).
Please see below for Bob Lehmann's thoughts of our Chirripo adventure.
Composed December 16, 2009


The invitation from Tom and Candice has become my Christmas gift. The purpose was to join them for the Chirripo-hike. Great that we could do this as a couple – and even fly out of Montreal on Erica’s birthday!

We arrived in San Jose late on Nov. 27 - picked up by two amazing people, Hector and Daniel, who we got to love and appreciate. After a two hour ride to La Selva de Suiza we met our dear friends Tom and Candice in the early morning hours. What precious moments of reuniting! From that Saturday ‘till Tuesday there was so much activity and meeting wonderful people.

A few highlights:

1. The men’s breakfast that the Scatliff’s hosted, and Tom was the speaker and shared everything in Spanish (WOW!)

2. The Thanksgiving dinner

3. The church service (amazing!)

4. One and a half day of Spanish – classes with very patient teachers Lili and Karen.

5. Visit Henry on his old farm, which included a four hour hike to a waterfall. Last part of the hike was up the river to the falls. Amazing! (I still think, that Candice was testing us for the Chirripo-hike).

6. Visit one of over hundred of Costa Rica’s volcanoes, Irazu. Amazing!

Now it is Tuesday night and we are preparing our packs for the four day hike. Little anxious but very excited for the uncertainty before us.

Wednesday is a four a clock start of the day – quickly meeting the 19 member team. As strangers we were getting awfully close in the back of a cattle truck that drives us to the trail-head. And at about 8am the great adventure is on it’s way.

The hiking part for these four days was out of this world. Waking through the jungle, over mountains, through valleys, through raging rivers up to our waste, repelling over Rio Chirripo in an uninspected Aluminum-cage etc. etc. was a dream - just amazing - amazing is now my favourite word! God’s amazing creation! We saw a Capuchin Monkey, a Kinkajou, snakes, beautiful butterflies, toucans, parrots and other birds and even a scorpion and huge spiders and more spiders.

To meet the indigenous people, including chief Arnoldo, was a great privilege, honour and a highlight of the trip. The work the Mission in Tuis is doing for those people is amazing and encouraging. And Tom and Candice are so privileged to be right there with the Mission to make a huge difference to so many people.

One of the most amazing things that I experienced on the Chirripo-hike and in the Church community is being accepted, loved and embraced by those people. I started off the hike with mostly strangers and finished it off with the same people now being true and close friends. The experience of a tough hike where we all depended on each other, helped bring us together. There were only two rules for the hike, given by Hector: You are not allowed to cry or complain. And he encouraged us to spend time with God - listen and pray. These very simple but important rules made a huge difference for team-building.

The Chirripo-hike and the many new brothers and sisters I met in such a short time, I will never forget. Thank you Tom and Candice for initiating this great trip for us and thank you God for opening my eyes a little more. You are truly amazing!



Tom said...

Arnoldo (the chief from Chirripo) had dinner with us when he came through town a couple of weeks ago. He was asking about you -- he definitely enjoyed your company.

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