Don Bassana (Postulant) is visiting the Convento Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe in Costa Rica while getting an immersion in Spanish and getting to know some of the friars in Central America. He sent us an update and some photos.
Costa Rica is amazing. Our Convento sits in nature while making the least impact on the landscape as possible and many times it feels like we are living in a huge garden. Many beautiful plants that are exotic back home are growing wild here. The guys here are awesome. They have been very patient with me while trying to figure out what it is I want to say. They are also very happy: they sing songs from the mass walking around, they say a prayer when they enter a car to go somewhere, and generally seem to really have brotherly love for one another.
They sit around a horseshoe-shaped table for meals and everyone talks across the table or down the table. It gets loud and laughter erupts all the time. They also stop everyday and meet for a 3 o'clock cup of coffee and a piece of sweet maize bread, rice with milk and sugar, or some other little treat. I have experienced tremendous camaraderie. There is much to be admired about their way of living the Gospel values in the spirit of St. Francis.
Even though it’s a totally different country and culture there was familiarity to be found. The postulants’ day to day living in Costa Rica is very similar to the USA program. We have liturgy of the hours with the hinges shared in common and other hours on your own. There are students attending classes at the University as well as in-house. Naturally there are readings from St. Francis and St. Clare, with all postulants sharing their reflections of the reading. There is even something very similar to the ICPN program where the postulants from our friary, Convento Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe, meet with other pre-novitiate postulants and study various topics. Joining us for this weekend of study are the Hermanas Franciscanas Terciarias Capuchinas.
Emphasizing the importance of a balanced life, there is also time spent together in recreation. This past weekend ended with time spent at a local recreational park very high on Volcan Poas Mountain. We played soccer, volleyball, and took a hike around the park and enjoyed God’s creation. For lunch we went to Friar Eric Marin Carballo’s parents’ home,
and I made my first maiz tortilla. I thought I did pretty well, but I noticed I was not invited to continue making them, so perhaps a little practice is needed.
Paz Y Bien!