Happy New Year!

Derek and Max shooting fireworks

Hello everybody, Happy New Year!!

We hope you had a great Christmas, and a wonderful new year. Our New Years Eve was spent at some friend’s house playing Wii bowling. After that Derek challenged the kids in different Wii sports, and he’s pretty sore today! Then we lit sparklers and watched the ball drop in New York. Once we got done at our friends house, we came home and joined the many Costa Ricans in shooting off fireworks. Since well before Christmas Costa Ricans have been shooting off fireworks every night, at all hours of the night. Last night people went crazy in bringing in the New Year with fireworks. We could hear and see fireworks going off for miles in every direction. We think they began to stop shooting them off at about 2:30 in the morning.

Another interesting event that happens in Costa Rica during this time of year are the “bull fights”.  It’s not the typical bull fight though, no bulls are injured, but some humans are instead.  Random guys who attend the event get into the bullring and try to see how close they can get to the bull. We have watched this event several times on TV. It is pretty interesting to see the people, sometimes 50 or 100 at a time, in the ring with the bull. Some are brave and get really close to it, while others scurry away when the bull moves.  You can imagine this could be dangerous, and the bull does successfully get to some people and do them some harm.  They do several different games with the bull as well, such as seeing who can get a bandana that is attached to the bulls’ horns.  To bad we didn’t get a chance to go see this event in person, or enter the ring with them either (comment from Derek).

Before Christmas, Audrey’s mom visited and we had the chance to go to the North part of Costa Rica, to a town called La Fortuna, near Volcano Arenal.  This area of Costa Rica is incredibly beautiful.  It is all very green, and there are beautiful views all around.  Volcano Arenal is the most active Volcano in Costa Rica.  During the day, if it’s clear, you can see rocks tumbling down the side, and sometimes at night you can see glowing lava flow down the side of it.  We hiked to waterfalls, ate some great food, ziplined across a canyon, soaked in some natural hot springs, watched sloths, birds and monkeys, etc.  It was a great trip.  We have a lot of new pictures on the picture page from this trip, and we hope to post some video of the monkeys that we saw.

We missed having our normal get togethers for Christmas, but our Holidays have been pretty good.  Our trip was excellent, and on Christmas day we had lunch with some other missionaries, it was very good, we enjoy a good potluck.

We will leave tomorrow for a couple of days of relaxation before school starts.  Our school starts on January 6th, so we’ll probably be pretty busy starting then.  This is such a beautiful country, we are enjoying seeing as much of it as we can.

We like this time of year.  Neither of us are real into making big New Years resolutions, but it is a great time to reflect back on the last year, and look forward to next year and see what we should do different or better.  We feel like God has blessed us so much this last year.  It has been great, and we look forward to what all he has in store for the coming year.

Thanks for continuing to keep up with us.  Please let us know how you’re doing, and if there is anything we can pray for you about or anything else.  Happy New Year, we hope it is a great one for each of you!

Derek and Audrey Tucker


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