The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
by Vince Lombardi
Last week, I issued my Post from Kingsport, Tennessee and today I am happy to be back home. I am also happy to report that Angela, Noelia, and Celeste are all safely back home in Copey as well. They ended their 15 day trip by arriving home on Saturday night.
Today I am featuring some of the memorable times Angela, Noelia, and Celeste spent upon arriving at Dulles International Airport on June 4th. Their first day was spent seeing many of the sites in our nation’s capital. While traveling to southwest Virginia, they visited the Natural Bridge and the Caverns. As they arrived on the campus of Emory & Henry College, they were greeted with open arms and shown the true meaning of “southern hospitality”.
There were both old “Friends” and now new “Friends” involved in making these past two weeks and the five earlier weeks with Casey and
Xavier, a reality and unforgettable experiences for all of us.
There were “Friends” who helped underwrite the travel costs. Other “Friends” who arranged for and provided food and lodging. There were “Friends” who took our guests on hikes and trails and provided unbelievable views of the region. There were bicycle rides, bowling, and many more recreational activities provided.
Then, Celeste and Noelia performed their cultural dance for three different audiences. One performance was at my high school reunion. They were so impressive that the Class Reunion Committee is planning to provide some financial support to the Learning Center. All three made new “Friends” while participating in the Young Scholar’s educational portion of their trip. Yes, “Friends” were found almost everywhere you looked.
Angela was a “guest professor” and shared information about Costa Rica, language and customs.
The “Thank You” notes I received from Celeste and Noelia were very positive and included some of the following: Celeste wrote: “I will never forget my experience in this country…my favorite part was my visit to the Lincoln Monument but I really enjoyed my stay in this beautiful town (Emory) and getting to know this amazing (host) family and many other people.”
Noelia also shared her thoughts in these words: “Words can’t expressed how grateful I am for this opportunity. It has been an incredible and amazing adventure. I really love this town and all the people in it.” Nothing could have been better than their time spent in America.
Here are just a few of my thoughts. I absolutely enjoyed being with Angela, Celeste, and Noelia. They were excellent representatives of both Copey and their country. They experiened first hand our “Friends of Copey” motto; “When many will do just a little…much will get done for kids” and saw closeup the energy of the “Friends of Copey”.
I have those very special people around me who provide encouragement, support, great advice and guidance, and inspiration to go beyond just imagining and dreaming about doing something. Carol knows me well and knows my heart when it comes to this “Friends of Copey” project. She is often the reason much of the really detailed things get done. Pat and Jim along with many others I consider affectionately as “Friends” also help make this project all it is today and all it will become tomorrow! I regret the fact that so many of you supporters (Friends) did not meet Angela, Noelia, and Celeste during their stay. If you had you would better understand how significant you are and how much you have impacted so many lives and believe it…you have. You would see what the “Friends” in southwest Virginia all witnessed over the past two weeks…something very special.
This USA trip ends an important and “SUCCESSFUL” chapter in the ongoing support for the Learning Center. “Friends” did what we set out to do and we can rightfully bask in the warm sun of our success. But also, Angela now leaves for China and will spend a short time there as another “guest professor”. We wish her well and pray for her safe travel there and back. The new Executive Director, Ana Yancy Chinchilla, will now take hold of the controls and help move us to even higher levels of support and “SUCCESS!”