Possibilities…They’re Always There!

“Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities — always see them, for they’re always there.”  By Norman Vincent Peale

COVID-19

Lately, I have not reported on the virus situation in Costa Rica but there has been some recent news of interest.

The Health Ministry recently reported that a total of 81,129 cases of the virus has been confirmed so far. The country is averaging 15.7 deaths each day since September including double-digit deaths for 23 straight days. The total death count is at 551.

Regardless, the Costa Rica Tourism Board on Thursday presented the steps it’s taking to reactivate the sector in context of the coronavirus pandemic. Tourism is “one of the main engines of the country’s economy,” comprising an estimated 8.2% of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product (GDP) and creating 9% of its jobs in 2019.

Some examples include: As of August 31, all accommodation establishments now operate at 100% capacity except in common areas. As of October 17, all vehicles can circulate Saturdays and Sundays from 5 a.m. at 9 p.m. except rental vehicles (rent-a-car) and tourist transport vehicles are exempt from the vehicular restrictions. Since October 15, all beaches can be visited with some time restrictions.

For international travel, Costa Rican citizens returning from abroad can now avoid a 14-day quarantine even if they remained out of the country for less than two weeks. Tourists from anywhere in the world will be allowed to visit Costa Rica starting November 1.

COVID-19 Education Impacts!

Public schools will remain operating using primarily “on-line” services when and where available. Schools are still scheduled to close for the summer in late November. No word on what will happen when school resumes in February/March 2021.

The Ministry of Education reports there is a trend of education centers closing down permanently due to lack of students. Education centers I believe are similar to US school districts. Most impacted by these closures are rural schools since there are fewer numbers of students residing in non-urban locations such Copey. Should this trend continue, the Copey Learning Center may become an even greater educational asset or resource for rural students affected by school closures.

The United States Southern Command

The US Military delivered a significant donation of hygiene supplies to Costa Rica’s Education Ministry (MEP) in a ceremony last Friday. The donation was arranged through UNICEF and various US government programs, including an $800,000 contribution from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Among the distributed supplies were digital thermometers, hand sanitizer and other equipment that will be deployed at schools when Costa Rica returns to face-to-face teaching.

Meet Emery Reid…! (Again)

I highlighted Emery a few weeks ago and last week Celeste conducted a live interview with Emery. Please (hopefully the video works) take a few minutes and learn what this teaching experience has come to mean for Emery.

We are looking at our project coming into its final weeks of operation. Based on the feedback I am receiving, things are moving along very well…as expected. Amazing how things work out even when all the bugs and challenges faced fail to shut down or deter the education process.

Adding the Emory & Henry College students (E&H students shown with Lisa B.) to the project is a powerful example of building bridges and reaching across to get the job done. This project involves two countries, five or six states, volunteer teachers, college students, many excellent Copey students, and two or three retired oldies.

We are all together working to get the job done. Hopefully, in a couple weeks we will get some feedback from the college students regarding their experiences.

I believe this project has served to reinforce the lesson of the “possibilitarian”.

I borrowed the term “possibilitarian” from Norman Vincent Peale soon after “Friends of Copey” was initiated in 2013. I started out on this journey thinking only if I could “possibly” make a difference. There was nothing but the belief something could be done and I was not sure what that something was.

Clearly, I was led by faith back then and continue believing anything is possible. Over the years, there has been many possibilitarians” doing things to support “Friends” and the Copey Learning Center. The latest team of possibilitarians is the wonderful “Dream Team”. They prove each week they can make a difference.

We are grateful!