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.


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.





“You Cause Ripples…”

“Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.”    by Victor Webster

Regardless of the size or body of the water, a small pebble will create a ripple effect. This fact is truly amazing as we travel through life each day experiencing events

xxxEmory 4
Famous Duck Pond 

and connecting with people. If we all could just focus today on how we look at each word and gesture we make, and each decision we make, we would see that ripple occur. In short, whatever you do today will make a difference…and sometimes we even have the choice of making that difference either positive or negative. Sure, I wish I was more educated in physics or science and understood better the concept of cause and effect. But my average intelligence allows me to witness what happens when that pebble hits the water…I can see the changes that takes place.

How does this relate to “Friends of Copey”?  We have an ongoing list of differences we constantly make as we touch the Copey community. My biggest challenge each week is to inform all “Friends” about the ripples we cause. Every ripple counts!

Over the past week as an example these small ripples took place:

  1. The Learning  Center has begun the process to select the “Pathway Project 2018” students who will travel to the US next June. Students, family, and the community will soon start preparing to send off more deserving students to America.
  2. Learning Center students are working hard to prepare for the next round of the Spelling Bee“Spelling Bee” taking place in a couple of weeks. Both leading Learning Center candidates are AGB Scholarship Fund recipients.
  3. Jane, our volunteer representative, is growing in popularity and is having a tremendous impact on the Learning Center and the Copey community. She is sharing her experiences with countless friends in the US via Face Book. The ripple effect has resulted in donations being sent to the Learning Center to help purchase needed school supplies.
  4. “Friends” is now assisting two US students planning to attend the university in San Jose by putting the students in contact with a trusted “Friend” residing in San Jose. The San Jose “Friend” has agreed to assist our young students if they need help while they are in San Jose.

Do we need more evidence that we as “Friends” are causing ripples and making a difference?

Jane’s Weekly Quote!

A man met me coming out of church today and asked how I was getting along! I replied how wonderful everything was and his response was “we are as grateful having you here and I can tell you are grateful to be here! ”  

Family Visits Jane in Copey

In 2013, Heather Tibbett visited her daughter Hailey (Key Friend) during Hailey’s time as a volunteer in Copey. I was very impressed with Heather’s strong devotion to her daughter. It was like a mother/daughter special get-away and resulted in a very memorable time together in Costa Rica.

Now we have another case of family visiting Costa Rica for the purpose of sharing the experience with a family member. There is perhaps no way to describe

Jane and family
Paula, Jane, Mike (volunteer), and John

the joy of family creating life-long memories this unique and special. John and his wife Paula have the first-hand experience being in the Copey community, seeing the Learning Center, meeting the families and the children, co-workers, and all the rest. Thank you John and Paula! 

Can anyone see the ripple effect in all this?

Now, this  family visit will ripple thru the lives of so many family and friends and will last for a long time. If you cannot personally have such an experience by traveling to Copey, then enjoy knowing it has been with your encouragement and support of “Friends” that has helped create this opportunity.

 Final Note to my oldest grandson!

Maliek, your family and friends are all very proud of you for what happened this weekend. You were provided your first opportunity in three years to officially carry the football in a Division 1 football game and it was against your home state team,

                    Scoring Touchdown

  Washington State University. When you crossed the goal line for the only Nevada score in the game, we all crossed that goal line with you knowing how hard you have worked to be ready for this opportunity. I often speak about “divine intervention” and my skepticism about coincidences. After three years of you being on the team, in uniform for more than 24 games, traveling thousands of miles to various universities, your time came on a day at a place under various circumstances including me watching from only yards away that defies this all being just a coincidence. Thank you for being the man you are becoming!






“As for me…give me liberty!

“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power [independence] to choose, to respond, to change.”   By Stephen Covey

“Independence Day” was the national holiday in Costa Rica on Friday. Similar to our 4th of July, it was a day of celebration throughout the country. Being one of Costa Rica’s most important holidays, it all starts on September 14th and continues on September 15th. The traditional celebration begins with a symbolic torch called the “Torch of Freedom” representing Central America’s freedom from colonial Spain. After several efforts to establish its freedom and declare its true sovereignty, in 1848 Costa Rica finally became a true  sovereign nation.Sample Costa Rica Children

Every year the torch makes the journey south from Guatemala to Costa Rica. When the torch reaches its final destination of Cartago – the Costa Rican provincial capital when Central America declared independence – Costa Ricans stand to sing the national anthem.

The most beloved Independence Day tradition is street parades, held on September 15th in every town around the country. School children spend months preparing for their marching baStudent bandnd, color guards, and folkloric dancing. Men, women and children often dress in their traditional best – flowing skirts, straw hats, and pressed shirts in a red, white and blue color palette. Congratulations on your freedom!

Goodbye to Anne and Kevin

You long time “Friends” have readAnne Lawrence about Anne and Kevin. They were the owners of the successful Bed and Breakfast (Hush Valley Lodge) business very close to Copey. Anne was with Seidy in 2013 when I first visited the Copey Learning Center. Anne and Kevin had moved to Costa Rica from Canada to experience a little different life style. Anne authored the very informative and colorful book titled “Following my tug…! Check out the Post written in March 2014 for more information about Anne.  We “Friends” wish Anne and Kevin our very best on their return home to Canada to renew their lives and relationships with family and friends. You will be missed.


Jane’s Quote for the Week”

“I guess it was divine intervention that I am here and we can blame it on Gail. If he hadn’t passed away, I hadn’t called you, you hadn’t made the donation on PayPal, and sent me the “Friends of Copey” newsletter (Post), I will still be at home watching Days of Our Lives and eating Chocolate.”  Jane with students

Jane also pointed out she is really getting her feet wet…and from all indications she is. Each day there is some rainfall and she has had to get some rain gear to stay dry. But, she is also deeply involved and getting her feet wet with the students and the community. She is certainly meeting all my expectations. She is expected to have some family visiting her in Copey soon. Seldom is there an opportunity for a volunteer to share with their family their work. Without doubt, when Jane’s family sees first-hand the relationship she has established with the students and the community, they will be most proud and pleased.  BTW Jane…you were not watching a lot of soap operas I am certain….before Copey entered your life.

During the month of September 2015, my featured quote was by Rosa Parks. She simply proclaimed…“I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day…”  

She did awake one morning and decided to fully embrace her full endowment and exercise the power to choose, respond, and change. This helped spark an historical movement.

Should you find this week’s Post worth sharing, pass on to a friend.   Thanks to all!

I’ll Fly Away, Oh Glory..!

“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.”   By Helen Keller

This is a very special week for me. As a proud member of the Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Club, I am invited to share updated information about the “Friends of Copey” and the Copey Learning Center.

For two plus years, “Friends of Copey” has been an approved project by my club.zzzKiwanis Club members support many club activities locally and elsewhere benefiting the health and welfare of children. “Friends” is honored to be included among the programs approved by Kiwanis which are focused on kids.

I plan to share information about the “Pathway Project 2017” which our Kiwanis Club’s Foundation played a very important role. Then, recently Fatima and Ariana made a “Pathway Project 2017” presentation to the Copey community covering their travels last June to the USA and Emory & Henry College.

Consider this!!! From Washington state to the local community of Copey, Costa Rica, we are sharing information about two very special weeks in the lives of two young students from Copey.

Jane’s Quote of the Week!

“The most amazing thing is the love and respect the people have for each other [in Copey]. They all work hard and no one seems to complain. The students have never complained or said they don’t want to do anything!”

This was Jane’s observation after witnessing the Copey community’s efforts to raise funds towards the reconstruction of the church lost recently by fire.


Ana Yancy, Michael, Cindy, Jane, and Larry

Last week Jane visited Angela who has returned to Copey.  Then, Jane and Michael, her volunteer teacher counterpart, along with Ana Yancy visited the very talented folks, Larry and Cindy Windes.

I am very excited that Jane is meeting some of the people who have been and continue to be extraordinary supporters of “Friends of Copey”. You may recall Larry and Cindy are transplants from Arizona. Larry is the architect responsible for the beautiful design of the new Learning Center. You will be hearing a lot more about Larry and Cindy in the near future.

Final Word

So many times I complete my Post, hit the button to send out my weekly message and then it hits me. I think about Carol who helps me with editing each week and I think of Dr. Lin Church who has been the co-chair of the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund since its beginning.

Lin church

Dr. Church and Arthur

Dr. Church, with his support has helped us do an amazing job over the 4 years by providing students in Copey an opportunity to attend the Learning Center. Dr. Church has been a significant partner in this effort and a “true” friend sharing this journey.

I had the pleasure of visiting him during my June trip thru North Carolina and that was only the second time he and I have met face to face. The first time was at my mother’s memorial service in late 2013.

More information about why Dr. Church is involved and his connection with the Broadys is included in the menu titled “Scholarship Fund”.

But, almost without exception, he will send me a note with feedback following each Post. I want to tell everyone that I am very appreciative of his support and his ongoing encouragement. Thanks Lin!

Thoughts and prayers continue for those seriously impacted by the recent hurricanes, floods, and the rest of the weather conditions being experienced in the south.



Make today a masterpiece…!

“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.”  By Robert Southey

In Copey

Jane arrived last week in Copey on schedule to take on her volunteer teaching duties. Michael, also a volunteer teacher arrived from Colombia to team up with Jane for the balance of the school year. Both arrived in time to say goodbye to Jim who was just completing his volunteer term at the Learning Center. Jane Jim and Mike Jim was provided a going away party and it afforded Jane the chance to see and meet parents and other community folks who support the Learning Center.

I spoke to Jim and his wife via Skype last Wednesday and also with Jane, Michael, and Ana Yancy. It was really great to see all of the crew and talk about the progress being made at the Learning Center.   (Michael, Jane, and Jim shown)

Jane’s Quote for the Week…

I planned to share a quote each week from Jane so all the “Friends” can share in a small way the experience she is having while in Copey. This week’s special quote is…

“I have already taught several classes! These students are so very impressive–their command of the English language is superior! I love the 6 and 7-year-old students! They are like sponges! They call me Teacher! They are so typical especially the teenagers! I have several new ideas to try with them!

Mom, Aunt Katherine, and Harvey!

Several notes and comments arrived commenting on last week’s Post and they have all been very much appreciated. Some can be seen in the “Comments” section of this Blog.

Aunt Katherine.2

Katherine Goble Johnson

Others comments arrived by email. I would like to share one note from a “friend” and representative of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (an AGBSF supporter)

“Thanks for such an inspiring message of remembrance and gratitude for your mother and aunt. We pray for those who suffered due to Hurricane Harvey and we are also grateful for the many first-responders, neighbors and strangers who risked their lives to save others. God Bless!!!  Vivian T.-Washington State

Notes from “friends” who appreciate and understand the value of family and relationships are precious and personally uplifting. I have pointed out many times with my Posts, I am blessed with both family and friends. Without either, “Friends of Copey” would not have begun and certainly not successfully continued as we move into our 5th year.

I am eager to share part of another note that you can read in full by clicking on the “Comments” link. My “friend” and senior high classmate from 1966, Kay wrote…

“I enjoy reading your blog each week and feel as if I know your family. You honor your mom with all your comments and I wish I had known her. Mothers are special, all of them. Best of wishes for your Aunt Katherine too. She is a remarkable woman and continues to inspire young woman all over the world with her perseverance and example.”  Kay F.-Virginia

Message to the Copey Community

Vivian and Kay are examples of “Friends” who know about you and your community and care about the Learning Center and its work. Remain steadfast in your belief that your children are special and that we are your “friends” stretched from one end of America to the other end who care about the Copey community.  Love and Peace!