Candles Made for Light…!

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”   by Robert F. Kennedy

I appreciate the comments I received pertaining to my grandson’s (Mykel) participation in his church’s Candle Light service on behalf of the victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting. I enjoy sharing my pride and excitement for my grand-kids. And, it means a lot to me when others understand where I am coming from.

In Copey…!

Apparently, the community of Copey and the Learning Center are returning back to some levels of normal living after last week’s confrontation with Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Nate.

As things get back on track, the semi-finals for the Spelling Bee has been rescheduled for October 24th. I want every “Friend of Copey” to get on board and become involved in this very special event. We have three students competing for the opportunity to go to the National Spelling Bee contest and we need to encourage them and pray for them to do their very best. We have enjoyed so much success because of prayer and this is just one more challenge and opportunity to join forces. Together, we can help bring one more major accomplishment to the Copey community. For those who pray…pray! For those more inclined to exercise their “power of positive thinking”…get busy!

Previous “Pathway Project 2016” student Noelia, along with sisters Mariana and Margaritas (all AGB Scholarship Fund recipients) will be competing with many of the country’s best students and they will be ready without doubt.

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

“Today one of my students came up to me after church and asked what time class was tomorrow! I replied the usual and she said no, the knitting class! Knitting before English, life is Good!!!

Each week I am for some strange reason…AMAZED…at what Jane is doing in Copey.student knitting Truly, Jane is a high energy, free giving, and loving person. The local folks are very excited about her willingness to become part of the community and share herself on many different levels. Jane knew somehow that a knitting class would be popular among many adults. She has become much more than a star volunteer teacher. She has a passion for knitting and a willingness to share that will last far longer than when she leaves that community next month.

Jane reminds me of Eve Solomon. Some of you may recall Eve and her passion for kids which extended beyond her volunteering to teach English. Her passion included teaching ballet. Eve, with many years of formal ballet training, took on the challenge of introducing ballet to her students.ballet-line-up.jpg

This involved many night classes and rounding up ballet slippers from places far from Copey. “Friends” who were around three plus years ago, will remember Eve’s efforts resulted in her students being invited to participate in the Christmas “Nutcracker” Nutcracker 3production held on the big theater stage along side professionals in San Jose. The opportunity for these young students to actually learn basic ballet and be ready to participate only happened because Eve dared to dream. Her acting on the “why not” caused many life-long memories for her students. And, the parents of these young performers witnessed on that stage something remarkable that no one ever imagined could happen for these students from Copey.

Last weekend while attending a conference, I heard one speaker say…”a great idea is only worth about ten cents…a great idea implemented is priceless”. Of course, this is true. And of course, such thoughts reminds me of wonderful folks like Eve and her great idea to teach some ballet. Then Jane’s idea to share her knitting talents, and the many others who dare to go beyond the limits and boundaries of just a great idea can help change lives for the better. A great idea “implemented” is magic in motion!  Who knew that one day an adult in Copey would be asking Jane when will her class start?…for knitting?

As a kid waiting to leave for church with my family each Sunday, a television show would come on during my wait. The show began with these words…“If everyone just lit one little candle…what a bright world this would be!” 

“Friends” we all have a candle to light. When we do so collectively as “Friends” in Copey, things get brighter there…and a little brighter here as well. And, when our work is done in Copey…whenever that comes about, all involved will know we were among those who dared to dream and were willing to ask “why not”.

 

Be Ready to Care…!

Las Vegas Update

A week now has passed and the tragedy in Las Vegas is still in need of our thoughts and prayers for comfort and support. There are still many in the hospital and several remain in critical condition.

Mykel, my “second” oldest grandson, participated in a Candle Light service last week at his church in Las Vegas and was called on to read the scripture (Psalms 23). He is a Junior in high school and this was his first time speaking in front of a large audience.

Mykel church
Mykel Broady

The size of the audience was estimated being close to 3,500 in attendance and another 13,000 plus streaming the Candle Light service on-line. Mykel stated afterwards that he was nervous speaking…but as he says in part…“I did not know what I was getting myself into [when asked to speak], but ‘HE’ did. I did not know how I would contribute to the service but ‘HE’ did

Mykel is a fine young man learning early the power of faith! For me, I appreciate Mykel’s empathy and concern for those in his community, especially the younger members, his peers who have the need for spiritual support. I also appreciate his willingness to respond when asked to serve. As a result, he experienced doing something uncomfortable and finding what “faith in action” means. He says he is ready to do it all again whenever call upon!

Jane’s Quote for the Week

“I have learned to appreciate Costa Rican time! No matter what, they stop to talk and it is just not being polite! They are interested in everyday happenings! The bridges have been stabilized enough for foot traffic and motorcycles! I still hear the river and know it is there. The sound is comforting! I realized in church this morning that Dr. Seuss is consuming my thoughts!

“I can worship here…..I can worship there”
“I can worship anywhere!”

Other News In Copey!

Jane washed out roadThe latest news in Copey pertains to the heavy rainfall that has come about mostly due to Hurricane Nate. Although Copey is a more centralized location in the country, the conditions of the hurricane have been very intense. Roads and bridges have been washed out and landslides have made traveling around and near Copey impossible. The Copey Learning Center has been closed since last Tuesday or Wednesday and remains closed today and probably tomorrow. Even the Spelling Bee scheduled for this week has been delayed since the area is on “Red Alert”.  Jane put it very well when she reported that local folks do not have the luxury of FEMA or some other organized agency showing up to help. Everyone in the community shows up to work and help each other out.

Janes suitcase

Jane’s Packed Bag for Copey

At last report, even with the problems caused by the rain-fall, Jane expects to see some of the parents today for knitting class. You do know she carried a suitcase full of yarn to Copey to introduce the world of knitting to her new friends?  That’s Jane!

Closing Message

The closing message today is one of hope. We can all see the multitude of natural disasters and of course, “man-made” calamities that cause needless pain and suffering. Today it is very difficult to imagine the glass can be anywhere close to half full…just plain empty. We are often reminded on an hourly basis how horrible it all is and one problem has two more problems waiting to be added.

Frequently, I observe when the bad things happen, typically it does not discriminate. Fires, floods, hurricanes, mass shootings, and the rest comes calling for us all. I also frequently observe those who respond and find their willingness to help seldom discriminates. First responders and others arriving to help save and to protect do so without concern for color, race, sex, ethnicity or anything else we spend so much time arguing about. I call on some of us to be ready to respond and to care because if and when that time comes, some of us will be surprised how unimportant our differences are when a crisis hits.

These tragic stories of recent events all end with stories of unimaginable acts of kindness and compassion…and serve as reminders there is a better side to most of us…and Thank God for that. I will never be convinced the glass is only half empty…but always half full! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condolences to Las Vegas

” Jesus was acquainted with grief, those who mourn are blessed; for there will come a day all tears shall be wiped away from their eyes and be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Waking up this morning to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas was very unsettling. As a father with two children and two grandchildren claiming Las Vegas as home, the news of the horrific event hit home very quickly. Fortunately, a quick call to my daughter assured me that all my family was all okay.

However, for many the news is not as reassuring and for all of us we are again reminded how things can happen instantly and lives changed forever. Our thoughts and prayers for all involved are extended.

To bring you a Post full of positive and uplifting news is a real challenge today because of the event in Las Vegas.  I will try!

Jane’s Weekly Quote!

Jane has passed her first 30 days in Copey and now has about 60 days remaining. She has and continues to stamp her mark on the community and the Learning Center. This past Jane 1week, Jane’s son John and wife Paula spent the early part of the week in Copey as reported last week and the balance of the week was spent seeing other areas of Costa Rica. I spoke with the three of them near the end of the week during a Skype session.Jane ATV

Jane’s quote is actually from her son John. He wrote “I love Copey!” However, Jane did say…“John’s quote says it all!”  And I agree wholeheartedly. As you may recall, I challenged the retired teachers/educators (Friends) to go to Copey and take Jane zipthe Copey Challenge…to share your teaching experience and your long history of educational know-how. Jane took up the challenge and is finding the experience totally inspiring and rewarding. We are continuously amazed at her enthusiasm for teaching the children and her zest for life. She has fully embraced the Copey community, the Learning Center, and evidently the entire country. Whether or not she is holding class, riding an ATV in rough terrain, or flying high above the rain forest on a zip-line, she gives it her very best!

I personally know many of you retired educators and I know you have given your very best to the education profession. And of course, retirement is good…well great! But, you can still treat yourself to an extraordinary experience. Consider the Copey Challenge and find out first hand why this small community is so special. Spending a week, month, or even 3 months at the Copey Learning Center may be the biggest highlight of your educational career just waiting for you.

Other Copey News!

I also had a very long and productive Skype session with Ana Yancy, Director of the Learning Center. Ana Yancy is very busy as the Learning Center moves into the final two months of operation for this year. She and her volunteers purchased school supplies this weekend with the help of some recent donations. This provides the supplies needed to finish out the school year.

The students being considered for “Pathway Project 2018” look very promising. The excitement is growing among the students and in the community as we move along the student selection process. Hopefully, the selection process will be completed early November.

Keep connected to learn the results of the upcoming Spelling Bee contest. Mariana Rodriguez, our 2016 National Spelling Bee finalist is trying to get back to the National contest. Her younger sister Margarita is trying to join her by winning in the upcoming competition.

Celeste Mora

Celeste Ulloa Mora

Then, Celeste, our guest student during the “Pathway Project 2016”, is our third candidate for a possible National Competition spot. We are extremely proud of all three students and will watch closely the results.

Rodriguez photos

Mariana and Margarita

We enjoy experiencing the success of these students since the competition is “English based” and Learning Center students are encouraged each year to participate and compete with students in the country. The vast majority of the other students competing enjoy many more educational opportunities and resources and are strong competitors. These Learning Center students are helping put Copey on the map as they tend to shock others with their success in this competition. It is an added bit of excitement when the student is also a current or past recipient of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund. My records indicate all three have been recipients.

Closing…!

Thank you those who made comments regarding last week’s Post highlighting my grandson, Maliek. I am still very emotionally sensitive. And, while preparing this Post, the number of casualties continues to rise in Las Vegas. Please keep all those involved in your prayers.