One Road Less Traveled…!

“We are at our very best, and we are happiest when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”                                          by  Earl Nightingale

Some old and new “Friends” are still making donations to the Learning Center. We are blessed with generosity and especially the ongoing interest in the work being performed at the Learning Center. To me…it is simply a case of praying people praying…and the donors donating.

                        THANK YOU!

We are delayed in sending out personal “Thank You” messages to our many donors. So zzz CLC Students 5much is going on and the time just slips by each week. Please know that with your support there are kids in class who otherwise would be home missing out on some very important education.

New Facility Status!

The crucial question is to move on to Stage 2 or not to move! This is a very serious question and is paramount in our daily thoughts. I predict we will officially announce the final decision within the next few weeks. There is obvious support from Copey and I have various stateside supporters cheering us on. Some of these are potential donors. More specifically, “Friends” have been supportive as well. Thank you for your recent comments on the drawings and encouragement.

Perhaps you are asking why then the delay in the decision?  On the surface this may appear fairly simple to most. The amount to be raised to build the new Learning Center in the grand scheme of things may seem like not much. However, when you get deep into the nuts and bolts of this type of project, there are many parts and pieces needing to be addressed. Further complications arise since we are talking international versus domestic. Robert Frost referred to it as “the road less traveled”.

I am certainly willing to confront the many challenges, commitments, and time demands this will place on me personally. As you well know, “Friends of Copey” is not a formal organization with the traditional or conventional parts and pieces which drive its existence. We are a group of like-minded friends who share a common interest. We do not have bank accounts, investors, or even obligated supporters. In short, only a very few of us will have the burden of getting this ball over the goal line once started while most will by design have the luxury of standing off in a distance watching this all move along successfully or unsuccessfully…hopefully watching and praying to be precise. So, please stay tuned in and let’s see how this all unfolds.




In other news, I congratulate Angela (prior Executive Director) on her successful trip to Ireland where she recently led a 50



member choir group on a musical tour. We are still hopeful Angela will be able to join the Copey students heading to Emory & Henry College in June. She is a real veteran traveler and leader.


The selected Copey students are busy getting their passports and other travel preparations taken care of. Hopefully, this will all go smoothly. We look forward to these young special ladies arriving in the USA and sharing their stories about life in Costa Rica and especially the small community of Copey. We pray all goes well.

















“If You Build It…He Will Come!

News from Copey this week is a little light but we have been busy in the USA looking at various sources and resources pertaining to our pending decision to move on to Stage 2 of our plans to build a new Learning Center facility in Copey.

In 1989, Kevin Costner starred in a great movie titled..“Field of Dreams”. Maybe some of you remember this movie. If you have not seen it, rent it and enjoy a good clean movie. For those who do recall the movie, you will understand why at times we are wise to act on faith and believe. It could involve building an ark, a baseball field, or a learning center.

Again, we thank both Larry and Cindy, our American “dream team”  living near Copey who are a significant assistance to us. We credit them for the design of the drawing we are building dreams on. Living for about 10 years in the nearby town of Santa Maria, both Larry and Cindy are very familiar with the area and the various challenges dreaming like this can entail . The drawing of this new multi-purpose center helps us all see how much this could mean to a small community eager to improve the lives of their children and the overall community they live in.IMG_1308 (2)

On the home front, I have the lead in looking at the various pros and cons relating to the decision to build a new facility. Financial and legal related issues must be addressed appropriately. From both the logical and practical perspective, the community would benefit greatly for a variety of reasons with a new multi-purpose facility located in the heart of the community. Education would potentially improve both locally and perhaps even regionally. If a cultural resource and development center could be housed in the multi-purpose facility, citizens from distances away would travel to Copey and would likely general tourists from other countries visiting Costa Rica. IMG_1309 (5) Other areas of potential benefit could include the development of the agro-ecotourism route under consideration within the Copey region. Perhaps, the multi-purpose facility would become the incubator for other industries pertaining to “sustainable living”, conservation, and ecology. The possibilities are many and the potential for these ideas to become part of the overall funding strategy all need to be fully researched, understood and included in the effort to move the decision to the fund-raising stage.

As “Friends of Copey”, please feel free to send in your comments and questions about our potential interest in spearheading a building project that would be life-changing for many. I would enjoy very much receiving your thoughts. Over the next couple Posts, I will update you on more of the nuts and bolts of this effort. In the near term, we have two key decisions to make; 1) to move to stage 2 or not, and b) if we decide to move forward, what is the preferred time frame.

Stay very connected and remain supportive. I am certain some “Friends” believe this could result in a huge plea for financial support from “Friends”. This is not in my current plans. I believe the eventual funding success will involve major donors or funding sources for this to be achieved. So sleep easy and pray!





















Dream…Plan…But Also Believe!

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic!”             – Anonymous

Okay, now we are having in most places decent weather on the west coast and today I see predictions for horrible winter weather on the east coast. My heart goes out to you easterners as I hope to enjoy 60 plus degree weather today.

Last week I had the wonderful pleasure of speaking directly with Katie, Lashawn, and Daniel. These three volunteers at the Copey Learning Center all seemed very enthusiastic and joyful about their work with the children. Skype technology is a real blessing.

Hopefully, next week we may have the opportunity to bring together our Pen Pals from our local elementary school and some of the young students at the Learning Center. This will be the first chance we have had since November 2016.

It has been a few months now since “Hidden Figures” arrived at theKatherine Johnson Movie shot (3) theaters and several communities are still showing the movie. My sister Pat and I both are often asked about our thoughts regarding the movie and Aunt Katherine. Last evening we were the invited guests at a local church to discuss with its members the various social issues presented in the movie. We enjoy these discussions and the opportunity to share our views pertaining to both the movie and Aunt Katherine’s role at NASA and the family’s reactions to the movie.

We Are Getting Closer!

I am providing “Friends” a sneak preview of the newly proposed Copey Learning Center. This is a preliminary drawing and there is still much to be decided before we move past Stage 1. I am feeling a tremendous amount of excitement over the design. This new facility could be a significant addition to the community and have substantial impacts on a wide range of  community interests. Even though it is preliminary, I feel as “Friends” you deserve to see what the future of the Learning Center might look like. IMG_1308 (2)

To be clear, we are nearing the final steps of Stage 1 which entails us to closely evaluate the final design and determine if we have a reasonable chance of raising the funds needed before moving to Stage 2. We owe Larry (architect) and Cindy Windes who reside near Copey, a great deal of thanks for providing this preliminary drawing. They have worked closely with the Learning Center Board members and the community to get their input on what a new facility should include to support the mission of the Learning Center and the needs of the community. Stay tuned in. There is so much more to come on this topic.

Again, thank you for being so extremely generous and helping the fundraising efforts achieve success way ahead of previous years’ schedule. Looking over the numerous indicators, the site visits are way ahead of last year’s totals at this time, new “Friends” joining in are increasing, and all seems to be going well at the Learning Center.




Let in The Thoughts of Hope…!

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring”.                                          ~Bern Williams

There are still reports of snow off in a distance but I can see the early signs of Spring heading my way. It has been a long winter but as the Proverb states “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”  Wherever you are in the “Friends of Copey” land, I hope your day is full of sunshine and joy.

Last week I introduced you to Katie Love, our Learning Center volunteer. This week I am pleased to


Volunteer Lashawn Bowens

introduce Lashawn Bowens from Miami, Florida. She has been teaching English for over 4 years. She has also taught in both China and America. She is a very active musician and a natural explorer. Traveling and learning about other cultures is a love and passion. She enjoys the challenges of being a volunteer in Copey.

The Learning Center is also benefiting from


Volunteer Daniel Edell

the skills  talents of Daniel Edell who is also from Miami, Florida. Daniel has over 12 years of teaching which included 4 years in China and 8 years teaching physical education. He is also an accomplished musician/guitarist and music teacher.


Very similar to Lashawn, Daniel enjoys traveling to different countries and learning different languages. He insists he is the learner rather than the teacher and is looking forward to helping the Copey community.

I think it is a great time to get Lisa Baldwin, our teacher extraordinaire, pen pal guru, and famed musician back in action. She and these musical volunteers at the Learning Center could do some very special things together for the Learning Center students. I will get to work on this…check in next week to see if I have convinced Lisa, Lashawn, and Daniel to get together.

If you have missed previous reports about the final results of our recent fundraising efforts, here they are. There will be 17 or more students receiving financial assistance through the AGB Scholarship Fund in 2017. Also,img_1251-2 we raised in record time our share of the salary commitment in support of the Executive Director’s position.

On Saturday, the final check for this dual fundraising effort was presented to me by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Columbia Basin Alumni Chapter, located in Washington state. This wonderful group of retired educational and business professionals has been extremely supportive for the past two years and are among some very special “Friends of Copey“.  Just another example of “partnerships at work”. I thank you all!