El Toaster

August 15, 2017…Day 1
Mom, quit texting me. Dad, quit freaking out. We made it to Costa Rica, safe and sound.
Our journey today started bright and early at 6am, where we piled into Hope College vans and drove a bumpy 2 and a half hours to Chicago Midway Airport. From there, we began our day full of flying and waiting in lines. After fueling up on overpriced breakfast food and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, we boarded our first flight destined for Houston. Departure was around 11am, and after 2 hrs of Cody’s abnormally long legs folded into a middle seat, we arrived to Houston at noon (Houston time, appr. 1pm Michigan time).
We then proceeded to survey all available food options in the Houston airport before unanimously deciding on Chick-fil-a for lunch. After lunch Juliana insisted that there was a Nestle Toll House/Auntie Annie’s shop hidden somewhere within the airport. After searching each inch of each terminal, an employee of the airport informed us that, we were in fact, thinking of the wrong airport. ):
After a short but highly competitive stint of card games, which included euchre, war and poker with whatever coins were available, we boarded our Costa Rica flight around 4:40 pm. We were far from in the air however. After going through pre-flight checks we backed out of the terminal…and then proceeded to pull right back in due to a family who needed to exit the plane. After sitting in a steamy airplane cabin for an hour past our flight time, we finally had lift off and were on our way to Costa Rica.
Night fell as we traveled into Central America. We arrived at San Jose International Airport around 8:45 pm local time, 10:45 pm Michigan time. Lines for immigration were not short by any means, plus a hold up with Luke’s bag in customs only added more time to our airport stay (thanks to Juliana’s Spanish, Luke is still with us and not spending his first night in a Costa Rican jail cell).
We met our bus driver Christian and Nattie in the parking lot outside the airport, along with our means of transportation for the night, a great white bus affectionately name “El Toaster”. After a rather short 30 minute drive into San Jose, we arrived at our housing for the night, the AMCA house. This will serve as our housing or “base” for 3 or 4 nights of our trip.
We didn’t have to wait long to experience the typical Costa Rican cuisine of rice, chicken and beans, which we ate for dinner around 11 pm local time, 1 am Michigan time.
Thank you to everyone who has supported, is supporting and will continue to support in the coming week as we continue to serve in this awesome country. We have a big day coming up tomorrow and it is safe to say we are all in need of a good nights sleep. Continue to check back for updates this week, signing off for now…
Written by: Frankie + Luke

Home again!

The India team safely returned to the US on Tuesday night after a great week of serving through sport and clean water.

Stay tuned for picture and video highlights in the coming weeks! Thanks for all of your prayers and support of our SEED India team.

Be Strong, Be True, Let’s Go Hope!

AROUND THE WORLD AND EVEN FARTHER: Guwahati and Beyond

The group is back safely in Bangalore and we will be updating the blog over time with details of the past few days.

Tuesday Update:

By Hannah and Jacob

We woke at 2am to fly to Guwahati. When we got to the airport, there was close to a dozen lines for the men to get through security and only one line for the women. We were rattled by this norm because it is not something we have experienced before. In the United States, this experience would quickly be labeled sexist. Here in India, we came to discover, this separation was for the persevation of modesty (as only female officers worked in this section of the airport), which is an important and empowering aspect of the culture.

Upon arrival to Guwahati, we met Pastor Samuel, who always seems to be in a rush to do nothing. He rushed us from the church to different houses of the village to the ministry, and his urgency was softened with gentle English phrases, like “Please come, please come” and “kindly go, kindly go.” He would even ask us to not talk while we were eating so we would eat faster. His eagerness was energizing. In the times between our hustling, we got to share a lot of special time playing with the children.

-Hannah

After traveling to the direct opposite side of the planet and then traveling 6 more hours north, I discovered that Indian kids are in fact…kids. Upon our arrival to their small village of Uldagiri, the “language barrier” was pretty much shattered after the first juggle of a soccer ball. I didn’t juggle the ball cuz that’s just not what I do (extreme lack of foot-eye coordination), but by simply watching you could see that these kids wanted nothing more than to connect, and to have the opportunity to love and be loved. If the sweat stains on our shirts after the first half an hour of playing are any indication of our first sports camp set for tomorrow, it’s sure to be a blast (and wet). As we were packing up to leave for the day, “yellow T-shirt boy” (name to be discovered) tugged on my shirt, pointed sternly up at me, and said “Tomorrow. Come.” I will do just that my friend, I will do just that.

-Jacob

Having fun in northeast India!

The group made it to Guwahati and Udigiri and we’re having a blast running sports camps and assembling water filters with the local church and communities. Internet access is limited here so we’ll post more updates when we’re back in Bangalore on Saturday!