Up at 6 am. Breakfast. Leave by 7 or 8 am. Volleyball clinics in elementary schools. Indoor soccer 5-on-5 tournaments, dramas in parks and testimonies shared. English classes taught in high schools. Dodge deafening downpours while running for cover under tin roofs. Return home by 11:30 pm.
Our sports-centered mission team hit the ground running. Not literally. San Jose, the bustling capital city of Costa Rica is anything but runner friendly. Narrow, winding streets, all without name or numbers, make running the streets and staying alive simultaneously nearly impossible. But we are not left wanting for physical activity. Working with SCORE missionaries, we have done four volleyball clinics for elementary school kids. The children, with their big, beautiful brown eyes are eager participants and just as eager to give hugs and smiles.
The soccer tournaments, two so far, are played on turf fields under the protection of metal roofs. Two hours running, the play is fast and furious...or at least for those who know what they are doing. The teams played last night were made up of very skilled young women, perhaps in their late teens or early twenties. You could tell they had been playing for a very long time. The team we played tonight was not as experienced, allowing us gringas to play unencumbered by intimidation.
However, beyond our athletic endeavors, the team of athletes have been performing dramas in the schools, after athletic contests, and even in public parks. To watch their transformation from timid to bold presenters of both the drama and their personal testimonies has been a privilege.
Today, they added teaching English in a large public hospital. Assuming all responsibility to use games and conversation to teach English, they stepped outside their comfort zones and did a great job.
I am most impressed by the maturity of these girls accepting the challenge of these busy days. They are not along for the ride. They are, in fact, the ride. What an experience for them and for us who observe. We'll see what tomorrow brings.