The Purple

We made it! We made the trip from Puerto Viejo to David by hitching a ride with some Canadian, hailing a cab and bartering him down, walked the 100year old bridge (with Homer the happy and helpful pan-handler) that separates the two countries, nearly melted waiting for the Panamanian customs agent to finish lunch, hailed another cab, hitched a bus ride, hailed another cab, and here we are! It is amazing to think that just this morning we awoke on the Carribean coast and this evening we are only 20 minutes from the Pacific. The drive over the mountains was breath taking. We were so high up at times we were driving through clouds, and at other times the clouds were below us in the valleys.

We are off to Soloy in the morning, and will probably be away from the net for a while. We bought a phone today, and if you are on our top 2 list, you will receive the number tonight ;)

Tonight we are crashing at the Purple House Hostel in David. Our hearts are still breaking over leaving Tuis, but we are trying to enter Panama with an open mind and heart, trying not to be biased towards our new family in Costa Rica.


Mixed Emotions

Today we had to say goodbye to some very special people. We had an amazing time in Tuis. We made some amazing friends. They have changed our lives, and I'm pretty sure we have found a place in a few of theirs too. It wasn't only the two of us with teary eyes today. Maybe I was the only one out right crying though...

Recap of our last few days>>>>
  • Yes, we did go to the coffee farm! We hunted Umberto down and pleaded with him until he took us. He probably thought that was the path of least resistance considering we lived on the same lot. He was very proud to show us. We picked beans, chopped down sugar cane with a machete and ate it right there on his farm overlooking the Costa Rican mountains. It was nothing short of an amazing moment that with resonate in our heart for some time to come.
  • No, we didn't finish the bathroom job - but they are much greener than when we started though! We purchased some rollers so the next volunteers don't have to put up with the agony of old crusty paint brushes. It was amazing how much thanks we got, considering we only got one stall and one wall done. Next time we may want to set some achievable goals.
  • On Saturday we hiked up to the new residents house they are building and the huge garden they have. It is built on a hill, and it looks beautiful. They will be able to house 8 more residents at the new facility. They are doing some pretty amazing work here.
  • Our Spanish is getting better. We are able to communicate, but a lot of charades is still involved. Entertainment for all!
  • This morning Tom got his hair cut by our 'house-father". He was looking at Tom's hair, then at his shears...Then at his barber chair....The good sport just jumped in!!
  • The church service this morning was nothing short of moving. The Spirit is here, and it is so amazing to meet believers from around the globe. It doesn't cease to amaze me how many of us Christians there are, how Jesus changes lives in all nations.
  • We got to attend a Costa Rican birthday party today. They serve two kinds of cake at them! (And you are suppose to eat them both!)
  • And, drum roll please.....we are writing you from Peurto Viejo tonight!!! Because I doubt that you know where that is either, we are on the Carribean coast, near the Panama border. We rented a cute little cabana for the night and already took a dip in the ocean. Straw roof ta boot! Bats ta boot... Geckos ta boot....And, apparently, the Howler Monkeys will be around at 5:00am. Can't wait to meet 'em! (Did you know that they are the loudest mammals on earth?)
  • We saw some breath taking scenes on the way over here. Moutnains, valleys, the ocean, BANANA fields!!! And some pot holes that would give Winnipeg a run for its money.
  • Tomorrow we are jumping the border and our (achievable?) goal is to make it to David. It we don't make it, we will be spending the night near Bocas del Toro. Poor Tom and Candice....Can you hear the violins???
Hope to catch another internet cafe along the way. We miss you, and will try to keep you posted.

Tom and Candice

A few pics, in random order.



Tomorrow is Saturday, and Saturday is Umberto´s day off, so he is taking us to his coffee farm! We bought some rubber-botas for the trip. Mine are white! But not for long. Maybe we will get to drink more coffee...Haven´t slept for 4 days...heheheHAHA..

Sigh, time to walk home now. Ciao.


My fingers are green.
Tom´s elbows are green.
Both of our pants are speckled green.
There is even a little part of my toe that is green.

But, thankfully, some of the bathroom walls are green too.

Language Oopsies....

List of oopsies (that we know about)...

  • Dirty horse? (Is that your horse?)
  • This is a boob spoon? (Is this a little spoon?)
  • Who are you doing tomorrow? (What are you doing tomorrow?)
  • When are the animals in the trees? (Which animals are in the forest?)
  • Poop! (cake!)
  • It was my great pleasure to have you drive us. (Thank you for driving us!)

Words that we have taught our host family...

  • Boogers! (I was nearly rolling on the floor laughing when I caught Tom teaching them that one!)
  • Sneeze
  • Mess

Buenos Dias!

Well, another amazing morning. We headed to town first thing and spend the remaining cash we have for this mission on shoes, shirts, and seeds. The clothes are needed for the residence of the rehabilitation house and the seeds are for the agricultural project for the families. You see, once things start growing, you can harvest some seeds for the next crop, but you need some seeds to start with!

The gratitude that has been shown towards your donations has been truely heart warming and humbling. We keep telling them it wasn't just us, but our family and friends in Canada. Yay Canada! (We will try to hold off on passing on the kisses when we see you next!)

We are going to continue on with the bathrooms today. What a 'beautiful' green they will be! Kermit would love it.

Hopefully pictures to come....



We have had an amazing day.

Your generosity allowed us to buy a huge load of groceries this morning! We divided up the goods into packages and even had the opportunity to go and deliver to a family ourselves. There are some unbelieveable stories that we have heard, and believe me, your generosity has made a difference today.

The family we met today (a mother and a two year old child) have recently walked four days from their village in the mountains to seek help for the young daughter - she is paralized on her left side. They had to leave because her life was in jeopardy, not from her injuries, but from the community because a disability is a curse. The mother's brother was hung from a tree when he was 5 because he was not able to walk yet. So she ran away for fear they would take her daughter too. The mission has provided a short term home, and today you have provided a load of food for them.

We are also in the middle of another project - bathrooms! The primary school across the street (a very resource-poor school) is in dire need of some paint in their bathrooms. The mission has purchased the paint and we get to slap it on the walls! We just washed it today and now we are waiting for the walls to dry so we can finish the job tomorrow. The children are pretty confused as to why 2 english whities are hanging out and hosing down the walls in el bano! Oh the sign language we have had to use.

I had my first language-oopsie today while visiting the family. What was suppose to be "is that your horse?" apparently came out "dirty horse!". Oopsie.

Uh oh...We have to go, or we will be walking home!

Hasta luego!


So, we are here! And to say that this is the most beautiful country I have ever seen would be an understatement. No pics for you yet though, the internet is a little slow...

We had a very entertaining only-Spanish-speaking driver that picked us up from the airport in San Jose and brought us to Turrialba. He is a coffee farmer and introduced us to the local cappucino. Starbucks has nothing on them!

Our host family is fantastic...We laughed our way through some Spanish ¨conversation¨ over dinner last night. Did we mention only a few speak English?

There are so mnany things that have happened already, just can´t wait to show and tell you. This morning we are planning a grocery trip and a few other activities we can help with.

To sum it up in one word? WOW!!!

Please keep us in your prayers. Your love and support mean so much to us.

Love Candice and Tom

(For those of you who are interested, our GPS says we are at 9.85N, 83.6W.)


One more sleep????


Apparently, that cute little countdown ticker is inaccurate.  There is not "1 day, 12 hours, and 20 minutes left 'till our next adventure".  Nope.  Incorrect. At this moment, there is 18.5 hours left. There is a bunch of stuff to do yet too, and here  I am blogging away! I love it. 

Don't tell Tom, k?


Before any of you start wondering...

"Where's the next post? That Candice is usually pretty good about getting new material up regularly."

Well, my dear wife is writing a FINAL EXAM tomorrow morning. And it's a doozie!

So, here's what we all do: Anybody who reads this, please post an encouraging comment, and say a little prayer for her in your heart. :)

Don't worry, the "good stuff" will be back soon.


It's not where you live, it's where your home is.

Seriously, I can't believe we are leaving this apartment! I love this apartment!! Tell me, why are we leaving this apartment?!?

Oh yeah...Because we don't need this apartment.

Oh number 31, how fantastic you have been! You were our first apartment together, our new place in a new city. When we arrive we were so pleased to meet you, so eager to dress you up and make you our own. We built a nest, made you cozy and comfortable. We have introduced you to some of the most important people in our lives - you welcomed them too, and offered a great place to stay. Oh number 31, how I am going to miss you....

Oh number 35, how excited I am for you to be officially ours! We gaze down the hall at you, trying to picture how it will be like. You will be our second apartment together, a new place in our city. We have met you a few times now, and are getting more fond of you by the day. We will built a nest, make you cozy and comfortable. We are excited for you to meet some of the most important poeple in our lives - we will welcome them together. You will help us remember that where we live is not our home; home is where we truly live, and that is with each other.



Do you add completed tasks to your "to do" list, just so you can cross them off? 


Wordless Wednesday

You learn something new everyday

Today I learned that our car is worth the equivalent of 2 door-dings on an Audi.

Silly gust of wind!


Kenyan Missionaries

I will spare you a link to the horrific story of the missionary couple who were beaten and assaulted in Kenya last week. The story is horrifying enough to lose sleep at night and forgo breakfast in the morning. The salt in the wound is that they do not have medical insurance; they couldn't get any before leaving, due to their age (66&70). The Canadian couple had already sold all their possessions to go to Kenya and help the widows and orphans living in poverty.

The couple's strength and faith through this horrid event is an example and inspiration to us all. Although easy for me to type, sitting here in my safe little office, no matter what happens to us in this world, nothing nor anybody can take away our faith, nor our rewards in heaven.

Because of this attack, the sound of (ultimate) forgiveness has rung in the ears of millions of people around the world.

God bless this couple.




The following is a list of items we have/are planning on getting for our upcoming trip. Are we missing anything? Are any of the following a waste of space?
  1. Two good quality backpacks & pack protectors (from rain)
  2. GPS unit
  3. Portable water purification system & two water bottles
  4. Sleeping bags
  5. Hammock with built in mosquito net, plus mosquito net and self-inflating mat
  6. Malaria pills, antibiotics for travelers' diarrhea, pepto bismoo, tylenol, tylenol 3s, gravel, super prescription gravel, Immodium, water-proof pill bottle, bug spray, ultra-potent sunscreen, hand sanitizer, first aid kit
  7. Camping pot & 2 sporks
  8. ponchos from dollar store
  9. camping towels
  10. backpacker's bible, devotional book, Spanish phrase guide
  11. clothes (skits, shirts, shorts, swim suites, pants, a formal outfit)
  12. knife & swiss army knife
  13. American bills
  14. combination lock
  15. Laptop?
  16. .....?

Added items..

- 2 diaries/notebooks and writing utensils

The Trip

Alright, so things have been solidified (a little bit). Here is the first blog devoted to the trip. We will be posting updates during our trip as to our locations and learnings. I'm sure these posts will be very overwhelming to read from a length point of view; maybe we should change the site to 'all across the page' viewing? Please let us know!

Anyways, here is our preliminary schedule...

1) Wednesday July 23 - Land in Costa Rica and have the spoiled experience of someone there holding a "Scatliff" sign to pick us up. Then, we are whisked away to the mountainous region a few hours east of San Jose to Tuis (nearest place on google maps is Canada, Costa Rica ;) but if you punch in Turrialba you get a much better idea. This is the home of Voz Que Clama, a mission organization that serves the physically and mentally handicapped people from the surrounding indigenous reserves. People with handicaps are outcasts from the communities due to mythical reasons why they were born with the condition. Their mothers are often cast out as well and this organization offeres them a refuge. (Un?)fortunately they are in the midst of a building project to increase their capacity.

As some of you may know, Tom has experience working with physically disabled individuals, and he is excited to see how his skills may be put to use in these developing areas.

Along with offering a home, the mission is working to spread the gospel in the indigenous regions (many are inaccessible by roads and it's a 3 hour hike in!), offer education on disabilities, and bring in much needed supplies. Additionally the mission sponsors local families near Tuis with food baskets and agricultural education to aid in the process of becoming more nutritionally and economically stable. There are a bunch of other things but I'll try to keep this short and let you know what we learn when we are there (in 10 days from now!!!) We will be staying with a home-stay family in Tuis for 4 nights. Bare in mind, this family does not speak English. Eek. I guess we will be putting our Spanish lessons to the test

2) We say good bye to Voz Que Clama on Sunday, July 27th, and head south to Panama. After a seamless crossing at the border by bus [ ;p ] we eventually reach my colleagues in Soloy, Panama. This trip may take anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Who knows, really. Central America time does not work on the same clock as North American time. We've learned that one in October!

3) While in Soloy we will be crashing either in the health post or with local family (apparently anyone will put you up - a very relationship based country - for a few dollars :) Anywho, we will eventually find my colleagues, which won't be too hard. I'm sure they will know the second we are in town "Otro blanca personas!!" Soloy is one of our 'bases' for reaching the most remote communities in our studies. Most days we will be taking an excursion to an outlying village for data collection. I guess we will see what kind of shape we are in!

4) After a few days we will be heading to David, Panama to meet up with a second mission organization, Panama for Jesus, that runs a local church, seminary school, and also a feeding program for inner city children. We will be working with them for the remainder of our trip. I'm so excited to have been asked to address with the nutritional considerations of the children and help tweak the menu for their needs. Awesome! We will be staying in a hostel here and working with Tracy and Rafael for a few days with whatever we can.

5) On Wednesday Tom flies from David to San Jose, and then catching his flight back to Canada ;( I head out to San Felix, to catch up with my new roomies for the remainder of August and go back to one of our 'bases' and remote communities. Yeah, I'm gonna be buff (or broken) by the time I get back to Canada.

6) I will remain out there and help in any way I can and gain as much information as I can for my project. The hardest piece of this time will be a lack of internet/phone service because we will be spending most of our time in the boonies. I guess I will have to use smoke signals to communicate with Tom. ;)

7) I do the bus to David, flight to San Jose, flight Toronto, then home trip at the end of August.

8) We are reunited! Sigh. Move into our new apartment. :)


It's official....We're moving!

Yup, good 'ol stable Tom and Candice and moving again.

Nope, not provinces this time.
Not to a different city.
Not to a different street. 
Not to another apartment building.
Not even to a different floor. 

Yes, they are now officially moving down the hall. 



Picture from Junior High

In response to Tiffany's challenge (to post a picture of yourself from junior/high school that people won't believe is you) I'm running into some challenges... Most of the other bloggers are running into scanner problems or embarrassment issues. I, on the other hand, am running into a different problem; I still look exactly the same, which I'm sure is not related to the fact that I own digital copies of my high school grad.

So, this is what I've come up with.

My husband, on the other hand, is unrecognizable!


Answered Prayer

We have a backup home for our foster cats while we are away! Good friends of ours from church, although they have a lot to learn about looking after cats (first question: "What if they have to go to the bathroom?"), have graciously offered to take care of business while we are away.

I will sleep better tonight. 

Oh Canada!

We headed over to Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day on Parliament hill. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time, thanks to our new Ottawa friends. Here are a few highlights from our day...

The buskers: 
I just love watching them at these kinds of events.  They have so much talent!

The entertainment on Parliament Hill: 
Overall, it was pretty good, but of course our favorite was Paul Brandt! 

The incredible crowds! 

The fireworks!

Happy 141 Canada! (Happy 400th Quebec City!) 


Random Updates

I know, it's suppose to be Wordless Wednesday (and I have a fantastic picture for it too!), but I think you guys are going to getting sick of seeing our ugly mugs every time you log on here. So I thought I'd give you a break and provide some random updates instead;

  • 2 days ago I went outside to get some sun so I wouldn't be so prone to burning when we get to Costa Rica, and now I'm sunburned.

  • Our new/old air conditioner rocks, and it only cost 50 bucks and a few slices to Tom's hands.
  • We still have a house full of cats and are finding them to be fantastic. They need to go back soon. On a happier note, we may have a wonderful couple that will pick them up if 'that' call comes while we are down south.

  • Speaking of down south, my trip has been extended (still preliminary) 'til the end of August. :) Tom will still be returning at the beginning of August. :(

  • I'm applying to transfer into the applied masters program (from the thesis option). A long story, but once I come to terms with it I might blog about it. Might.
  • One of our readers finally had the heart to tell us that it is a melon baller - not a lemon baller! (Shopping trip post.) Thanks to the rest of you who just laughed at us and left it!
  • One of the can openers was not a can opener at all but some kind of useless kitchen gadget that looks a lot like a can opener. Do I need to mention that the 'second' can opener is totally rusty? Didn't think so.
  • One of my bestest girlfriends is getting married in less than 100 days. The trip to Winnipeg for the wedding is going to be amazingly short. My dress is going to amazingly great. Now, if it would only arrive one of these days...
  • For all of you who are still wondering about our shopping trip that Tom posted about. Our favorite store is Value Village. C'mon, how come no one got that one?
  • For those of you who are wondering if Tiffany is right about a cricket in the "The Bug" story, she was wrong. It was defintely a June Bug. And June Bugs are scary.