McCanns in Honduras

Let the nations be glad & sing for joy!

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Above: Sean teaching a group of beginner English students.

Tonight we started our second “semester” of teaching English classes with a local ministry here in our neighborhood. Lindsey and I are teaching a class of 20 or so Costa Ricans in the basics of conversational English. The classes run for 2 hours every Wednesday night for 10 weeks. Usually Lindsey teaches the first hour, and then Sean teaches the second hour. This semester we have our interns here to help us, and with the additional manpower we are able to split up into small groups to facilitate more conversation and interaction.

Above: Lindsey teaching basic introductions during the first hour of class.

One of the great things about English classes is that they are quite a draw in the local community. The ministry doesn’t do much advertising, and yet upwards of 75 people showed up the first night. It is a great opportunity to not only help people to learn English, which in some cases can improve their way of life, but also to build relationships in the local community. We have made friends through these classes, some of whom have ministered to us in return.

The English classes are also a time for the local missionaries to present the gospel and share the love of God with the students. We cherish these moments as it is our desire to share this same love with Costa Ricans, and eventually with Hondurans as well.

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September 24, 2008 Posted by | ESL, Ministry | 1 Comment

Welcome Interns

Above: Andy, Josh, Lindsey, Lucy, Sean.

Last week we welcomed 2 of the 3 interns that will be joining us for ministry in Honduras.  Andy and Josh (and Jamie who arrives in a few weeks) are from the Boston area and just graduated high school.  Before going to college, they are taking a year off to join us in our mission work.  We are thrilled to have the help, the energy, and the enthusiasm on our team.

We have had a fun week showing them around, getting them set up at school, and just hanging out and getting to know them better.  They are excited about Spanish and excited about Honduras, and we can’t wait to all finally get to La Ceiba together and start working!

They are blogging about their experiences, so if you are interested about what it is like to live with a local family or experience a new culture as a teenager, check out their website: BostontoHonduras.com

September 21, 2008 Posted by | Lucy, Team | 3 Comments

Dia de Independencia

Above: A parade Sunday night in our neighborhood. We thought is was a cool picture of all the lights from the faroles (lanterns).

This weekend Costa Rica (and most of the other countries in Central America) celebrated their independence from Spain. The official independence day is Monday, but there were lots of celebrations Sunday night as well.

Back on September 14, 1821, a group of Central American leaders met in Guatemala City (then the capital of the Republic of Central America) to decide if they wanted to declare independence from Spain. As they were meeting, people waited outside all through the night hoping for their independence. They waiting holding faroles (or lanterns), and so every year in Costa Rica, on the eve of Independence Day, everyone gathers with homemade falores at 6 pm to sing the national anthem and march around the neighborhoods.

We had so much fun at the parade Sunday night, that we decided to head downtown on Monday for more parades and festivities. The parades are all school children dancing, performing, playing drums and xylophones, and waving flags.

Above: The parade marching through downtown.

As always, it was great to see some more Costa Rican culture and enjoy a nice day off.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Costa Rica Culture, San Jose | Leave a comment

Quite a Mouthful

Lucy and her bud Will hanging out on some teeth.

Above: Lucy and her bud Will hanging out on some teeth.

Last week, during our vacation from school, we took a trip with some school friends to the Children’s Muesem in San Jose. Lucy and Will, her best friend in Costa Rica, had a blast exploring all sorts of toys and exhibits. One room that was quite a hit was this one, the mouth room. As you can tell they liked sitting on the teeth, though the giant toothbrush with a smiley face kind of put Lucy on edge.

In other news, we’ve just completed our first week of our second (and final!) trimester at Spanish school. This trimester promises to be more challenging than the last with tougher classes, longer assignments, and grammar lessons that seem to get harder by the hour! We both really like our teachers and classmates, and we’re excited about how much Spanish we’ll be able to speak (theoretically) in 4 months.

September 7, 2008 Posted by | Language School, Lucy, Our Blog, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose, Spanish Language | 3 Comments

Summer’s Over

Above: Lucy enjoying some homemade, chocolate pancakes, one of our many family fun activities on our “summer” break.

Well as of tomorrow morning, our summer break from school is officially over. Calling it a summer break is a bit generous, but our 2 weeks off from school was a relaxing break and a needed time of for our family to spend together.

Some of the highlights of our break include:
– Traveling with Lindsey’s family.
– Translating and speaking lots of Spanish on our travel.
– Sleeping in lots!
– Spending nights reviewing Spanish grammar.
– Lots of relaxing time with family and friends.
– Relaxing (or trying to) while reading a Spanish novel (or trying to).
– Beating the rain by going to the park almost every morning.
– Killing time while it rains reviewing irregular verb tenses.
– Homemade, chocolate pancakes.

We had a great break of relaxing with our family and trying to keep studying Spanish (the whole reason we’re here). We really enjoyed this time with just the three of us and can wait for the months to come as we study Spanish, attempt to learn the subjunctive tense, welcome our little girl to the family, and move to Honduras!

We’re hoping this restful break will last through the new year and beyond!

September 1, 2008 Posted by | Family, Language School, Lucy, Our Costa Rica Life | Leave a comment