Today was adventure…to say the least! Check this out…
The day started at 5:30am! Yep, the sun was shining and the temp was actually a cool 68 degrees. Best of all, no snow on the ground. The five of us loaded up in Tim’s van for a day full of adventure. First of all, did I mention the roads are really small, narrow, curvy, uphill, downhill and motorcyclist driving through the middle of traffic? It was like riding the your favorite roller coaster at Six Flags.
Our first stop…the crocodile bridge. We walked out on this very high, narrow bridge overlooking the river. The crocodiles were everywhere…on the ground below us. We were told not to feed them but video evidence from the past suggest they have been fed before (see Pete for more information). The view reminded me of a scene from Jurassic Park. Fortunately, the reptiles were much smaller.
We continued our adventure to the zip line adventure park. Again, imagine a tropical rain forest from Jurassic Park. After being strapped into the harness like it was a tourniquet, we received our 10 minute training and up the mountain we went on the tractor. We kept going and going and going until we reached the top of the mountain. The view of the Pacific Ocean and Bay were spectacular! Next thing you know…we were flying like monkeys through some of the tallest trees I have ever seen. Sometimes we were screaming at the top of our lungs and other times we were holding on with all our might. It was a blast! We played together and laughed hard together. We had two guides and they were so friendly and personable. We learned about their life and journey and we shared some of our adventures as well. In the end, we learned about the many snakes, birds, termites, BIG cats that live in the area. This totally added to the excitement and created more adrenaline (us guys need more of that…huh?).
After two hours in the woods, it was time to hit the beach. We drove a few minutes to a beach resort directly on the ocean. Hogar reserved a room and provided two great meals for us at the resort. As soon as we got our cheesy Wisconsin swimsuits on, we hit the water. Pete grabbed a body board and the fun was on! After several hours in the ocean, we headed into the town of Jaco to explore. There we were…the Band of Brothers walking the streets together like John Travolta in Staying Alive. However, we found ourselves singing ‘Panama’ as we walked the streets. We all agreed we would only shop for about 45 minutes but it turned into almost 3 hours!!! We moved effortlessly through each store looking for the perfect item. I must say, Ryan has a gift for shopping and Joel was a close second. Our final stop was at POPS ice cream shop and it was so refreshing.
From there, we headed back to the resort to swim and have supper. Can I mention something that was amazing? The sunset! It was such a reminder of how big our God is! As we watched the sunset, we had some of the best conversation as we reflected on our Creator.
After a long day, we headed back to Hogar for the night. We spent the next few hours, in the common area, unpacking our day and the new memories that were created. Family and friends, this has been a sweet week. I have really enjoyed serving with this group of guys. I have watched each of them serve faithfully at Lakeland for many years. This week, they have taken it up a notch! They are not serving because it is a job…they are serving because they want to become more like Christ…and life-change is happening in us all!
One final note to our families…we miss each of you alot! Everyday, we talk and think about our families back home. God is working in each of us to return home with a greater zeal to love and lead our families in ways that truly honors God. Friends, we are five days in and have had no contact with our wives or kids. Please keep us and our families in your prayers. We are all counting the day until we hear their voices and wrap our arms around them again.
And one final note on our adventure…really…Several guys from our team visited the local ________ ________ today. Oh, I can’t reveal…yet.
Stay tuned for more.