Kaia will be 12 weeks old tomorrow and since she was born she has spent 60+ hours riding in the car, has been in 11 different U.S. states, has traveled 3,230+ miles by car, has visited 9 different churches, and has taken a bath in 10 different bath tubs and 2 sinks! Many of you have heard us say this, but it’s worth saying again: God just really knew what we needed during this phase of our life. Kaia has been such a sweet, flexible, and wonderful baby throughout all of this craziness and we are so grateful that we were able to introduce her to so many of you!
The most recent photo of Kaia taken while writing this blog post.
It is surreal to look back on the last nine months and realize the journey that our new little family of three has been on. From packing up our apartment in Ithaca, ending our jobs, hitting the road to raise support, going through training at International Teams, welcoming Kaia into the world, and then traveling around again to introduce her to family and friends…it has honestly gone by SO fast and it seems incredible that we are about to embark on the next leg of the adventure.
We leave for Costa Rica this Sunday. Our sole focus during our time there is to study, learn, and practice Spanish. We will have four days of orientation at the Spanish Language Institute, (starts on May 3rd), during which we will take placement tests, meet with the school staff, and sit through a few seminars to learn how to integrate into the Tico (Costa Rican) culture well. After that, regular classes will start.
The school is open Monday-Friday and offers classes in the morning and tutoring sessions in the afternoon. Our plan is for Jim to attend the morning classes while I watch Kaia and then for me to meet with a tutor in the afternoons while Jim stays home. We’re going to start there and see how our language acquisition progresses…if any adjustments need to be made we’re willing to look into different options. We are so grateful that we will be able to offset our schedules and won’t need to find childcare for Kaia - Praise God!!
Lastly, we wanted to share a few pics of what our living situation will be in Costa Rica! The Spanish Language Institute has been around since the 1940s and they have really fine-tuned their programs since then. One of the programs they offer is called the Big Brother Program. Current students (big brothers) are assigned to incoming students and are in charge of securing housing for the new students, picking them up at the airport, and stocking the apartments with a few staple food items. Really, the goal is for the Big Brother to help ease the transition for the new students. Our Big Brother is a couple from Alabama that are in the process of preparing to serve in Ecuador as well with an organization called Global Partners. They have done a wonderful job of anticipating our needs and caring for us even before our arrival! We praise and thank God for them and are really looking forward to meeting them in person once we arrive.
They found a great apartment for us that’s only 100 feet from the entrance to the school and it is also next door to the apartment they’ll be living in, too! I’m sure we’ll post more photos once we arrive and make it into our own “home”, but we thought it would be fun to share a couple now to help you visualize what this next step in life is going to be like for us.
This is the dining room/living room.
And this is the kitchen...can't wait to post some photos of tasty treats being made here!!
The last info I’ll provide in this post is our updated mailing address. You can also find it on our website, but for those of you that have asked, it is below. Please only send letters to this address, NO PACKAGES will be accepted.
Jim and Suzy Olsen
Instituto de Lengua Espanola
San Jose, Costa Rica
Thank you for your continued prayers and support - next time you hear from us we will be in Costa Rica!!