Peace be with you!

My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.

Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!

*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*

*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adventures at the Beach 4 of 4 - The Nature

Here is a set of photos of the nature and uses of nature!
A blue tailed lizard found near the pool
Small birds looking for lunch
Tree branches ready for a fire.
An outdoor patio built by the gifts of God's earth by the hands of God's creatures.
An image of the ocean as it slowly pushes branches on the shore.
A huge part of a tree that was pushed onto the shore.
A myriad of shells that lies under the waves of the ocean.
A close-up of the shells.  I collected a bunch of them and gave them to the teachers of the English department.

Adventures at the Beach 3 of 4 - The Sand

Now here are photos and stories about the sand at the beach. Here is the sand, which is black and very fine.  It was absolutely lovely to experience the beach in Costa Rica.
Here is I am after being buried in the sand by Toño and before this I buried him, but forgot to take a photo. After his is a photo of the pit I was buried in.
Above and below are photos of my cleaning off the sand that was all over me.
And here is a photo of me - so fresh and so clean clean!
Below is a photo of all of the trash and garbage that is brought up on the beach by the waves.  
As a joke I searched through all of the trash and found "Christmas" gifts for my family.  For my father I found beer and a vacuum hose. For my mother I found a sieve. For my sister I found a shoe. For my brother I found fabric to use in one his projects. For Pete I found beer and Lizano Salsa.  And last but not least for Sophia I found a basketball (Go Villanova!), a wheel for her bike, a Croc, and legos.
Also Toño did some searching as well and found these gifts for Sophia: a Christmas ornament, a number puzzle, and a stuffed bear and Daffy Duck. 

Adventures at the Beach 2 of 4 - The House

Finally we made it Playa Tivives, it was way past sunset, but Toño and I walked on the beach.  It was great to have sand through my toes and water brushing up against me feet.

But before we get to the beach photos were are some of Casa Malinche.  Interestingly, this house used to belong to the Dobles Family (Jorge's Family) and was previous owned by Jorge's dad. It has 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, two balconies, a kitchen, a small living room with a TV, a pool, and to top it all of it is right on the beach.
The view of the beach right outside of the friary
My feet in the sand and the water!
Me sporting my beard for "No Shave November"

Adventures at the Beach 1 of 4 - The Journey

For a day and a half I finally got to go to the Beach!  Saturday afternoon Toño and I packed up the car and headed to the beach. On the journey we visited the Tárcoles River, which is know for it's crocodiles. Below are some photos that I took of our detour.
Above is a bird that was walking very close to the crocodiles, I thought that he/she was going to be their afternoon snack. Below is a cool sign that has the classic Costa Rican saying of "Pura Vida". 
Above we have a view of the Pacific Ocean from one of those on the side of the road sightseeing points. And below we have Toño eating fresh ceviche for a road side restaurant.
Next Post...our House....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do I hear purring???...

The answer to that question is yes!  Today Roberto (One of the gym teachers) heard the purring of kittens. Somehow two kittens fell in between part of the support structures near the gym, they were trapped in a long tube of metal.  Below you can see were the metal support was cut so that we could rescue the cats.
 And the last two photos are of the kittens! They are so cute and feisty. By now they have made it to their new homes.
This incident today reminded of last year when I was driving one of our cars and at a stop light a couple was waving their hands at me.  I rolled down my window and they said, You have kittens in your car. At first I did not believe them, but they were right. Two kittens snuck down into the engine of the car. In the end, I drove back to the friary, opened the hood of the car, and eventually the kittens left the car on their own.

Early Christmas Sightings Part 2 of 2

As promised here are more photos of Early Christmas Sightings! The five murals below are ones that I found in the Preschool.
 The Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
 The Trip to Bethlehem (Luke 2: 1-5)
 The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:6-7)
 The Magi (Matthew 2:1-13)
 The Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
 Above is the Bridge that was used during the week of St. Francis and now has been turned into a nativity scene. Below is a tree made of wood pieces without leaves that is across from them bridge.
 The next set of photos revolve around an idea that I had for Christmas Decorations - originally only for the Language Lab. The idea is a way to combine Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With the approval of the Doña Rosario and the English Department all of the students wrote done things that they would like to thank God for during the Christmas Season on pieces of paper. The students could write whatever they wanted, in what language the wanted and how they wanted. Then I linked their thanksgivings together to make chain of gracias. I soon found out that 470+ pieces of paper would over power the Language Lab, thus they were put near the big Nativity Scene at the entrance of the Primary School.
Above are the chains made from the scraps of paper in the Language Lab, you can also see the Merry Christmas sign in the left of the photo. Below you can see the other sign that I put up as well Seasons Greetings.
The next three photos are of the final result of the decorations. The four chains in the middle are of the student's thanksgivings and the two outer chains have the various names of Jesus (Prince of Peace, Light of the World, Mighty God, etc) and the feasts present in the Church during the Advent and Christmas seasons - written in English. I like that the chains are leading towards the Manger Scene, it is as though the school is laying down their thanksgivings at the feet of Baby Jesus.
Below is a close-up of some the papers that the students decorated.
And here is a close-up photo of the Manger Scene, but these chains have the various names of Jesus (Príncipe de Paz, Luz del Mundo, Dios Poderoso, etc) and the feasts present in the Church during the Advent and Christmas seasons; but written in Spanish.
 The students were not the only ones who write their thanksgivings, the teachers and staff did as well.
Above is the note that Teacher Yoli wrote for me in Spanish and below is the final product present in the teacher's room.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Early Christmas Sightings Part 1 of 2

Now I love Christmas!  It is a time to celebrate the gift of God becoming a human. It is a time to celebrate family and friends. It is a time to celebrate the beauty of giving and receiving gifts.  It is a time to celebrate the awesomeness of nature (aka snow in my case). It is a time to enjoy the anticipation of Advent, the joys of Christmas, and the great feast days that follow until the New Year comes. And it is a time to remember ancient biblical stories, past Christmases, and beloved holiday tales (A Christmas Carol, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, etc). For me Christmas also holds a special place in my heart because it is one of the few holidays that I can spend with my family while I am in formation, so it is often the time to see most members of my family in one place.

Now that you know where I am coming from, I do not want to sound like Uncle Scrooge, but I am tried of Christmas decorations coming so early!  In SEPTEMBER I saw the first signs of Christmas here in Costa Rica.  I know that there is no Halloween or Thanksgiving here, but come on, over three months in advance? Below is a photo of an article from the newspaper, it is dated Saturday, September 20, 2010.  Whatever happened to waiting until December for Christmas? In my humble opinion I think we have gone a little overboard.
With that said, here are some photos of the Primary School decorations.  Again I think it is too early, but they have a reason to be decorating so early: the school year here will be finished on November 26. They are not even in school during the month of December, so if the teachers and the students want to celebrate Christmas, they have to do it now.  There were decorations in the hallways, in the classrooms, manger scenes, lights, bells, and even Christmas Trees!  Yes Christmas Trees are being sold here in Costa Rica in November.
Above we have the decorations that are in the hallways and below we have a bigger version of this decoration that is  located closer to the classrooms.
Here you can see one of the Christmas Trees that is in the classroom of 3A.
Add here to can see a manger scene made out of paper that is in the classroom of 3-C.
These are just some of the Christmas decorations that can be found at St. Francis College in November, tomorrow I will hopefully show you the decorations that I came up with. 
Peace and all good things!