Sunrise and Hope!

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”                                    By Bernard Williams

“Costa Rica: National Strike Continues as Government, Unions Fail to Reach Agreement”

For three weeks, Costa Rica has been dealing with a significant public employee strike including protests by a variety of groups over tax reform issues. The strike includes public school teachers and is causing school closures throughout the country. The Costa Rican unions have vowed to continue the national strike until an agreement is reached with the government on fiscal reforms. However, at this time it is being call an “indefinite strike” meaning there is no end to the strike in sight.

The Copey Learning Center is operating in spite of the public school closures. But, only some of the students can attend the Center since they live nearby while those students living further distances away are unable to attend. Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee contest has been suspended because of the school closings. It is uncertain if the competition will resume when the public schools re-open. We are sorry to hear this since we (the Copey Learning Center) has several very strong students competing.

Emory & Henry College Continues…!  

I have enjoyed the feedback received on last week’s Post. The Copey students  wearing the wonderful blue and gold colors of Emory & Henry College has helped increase the growing popularity of this small liberal arts college among and around the Copey community and possibly even beyond. “Friends”, I sincerely hope you recognize how unique and rare this relationship is. EH Shirt Photos.1

Possibly, there are other US colleges or universities who have captured the hearts and souls of a small rural community in another country but, I am unaware of any. I remain convinced we are standing either alone or among very few colleges or universities who can claim to have such a positive community wide relationship and influence as depicted in this single photo.

I can see the “sunrise and hope” in these young faces and their  growing connection with E&H College. There is the possibility of new doors of educational opportunities opening for them. I look at the faces and wonder if one or more of these kids will be selected for the “Pathway Project” one day? Be certain of this, these students are aware several of the older kids in their community have made that journey to America and to E&H College and they are encouraged and highly motivated to do the same one day.

Health and Welfare Update

Ana  Yancy’s sister Marta is still hospitalized but close to completing her first round of chemo treatment. She is reported to be doing well. My Aunt Christine is in great spirits and her doctor is prescribing non-invasive medical treatment at this time. Continue to keep both of these wonderful folks in your thoughts and prayers.

 

We Need Peace in the Valley!

“Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.”    By Norman Vincent Peale

Hurricane Florence and the aftermath…!

I continue to highlight this weather situation because several “Friends” are experiencing  floods, electrical outages, separation from their homes, and property loss. We continue to keep  all “Friends” in our thoughts and prayers. Continued prayers and best wishes are requested for Ana Yancy’s sister Marta. And, this week I am adding my Aunt Christine (“Friend”) from Washington, DC to our prayer list. She has some new medical issues to deal with.

Emory & Henry College Connects With Costa Rica

McGlothlin Arts Center

Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center of the Arts

During the “2018 Pathway Project” this past June, Copey Learning Center’s Ana Yancy and her students met one of our college’s most intensely devoted supporters, Thomas McGlothlin, E&H College class of 1968.

Thomas proudly represents the family and the namesake of the beautiful  McGlothlin Arts Center located on the E&H College campus.

EH Tom McGlothlin

Ana Yancy and Thomas McGlothlin Visit

Tom recognizes the importance of the  relationship and impact our college is having on this small Copey community.

After Thomas visited with Ana Yancy and the students, they drove to the Campus Mercantile where Thomas purchased a large number of E&H College shirts, caps, and the E&H College banner. And, he covered all shipping costs to Costa Rica. This enormous generosity serves to put an even bigger stamp on this strong international connection between E&H College and the Copey Learning Center. Certainly this is extraordinary. However, extraordinary is not that uncommon with E&H College folks.EH Shirt Photos Many devoted “Friends” are aware that in three short years, five E&H College students including an E&H College Alumni served as volunteers in the Copey Learning Center. These volunteers have touched the lives of these students seen in these photos and have made the E&H College name and brand one of the most familiar signs around the community and beyond. “Friends” are also aware during this same three years, six Copey Learning Center students have traveled to America and visited our E&H College campus.

The E&H College family is “special”. Another extraordinary act of strong support took place recently.  Devoted “Friend”, supporter/donor, also with a very prominent E&H College family name announced plans to give a special gift to the Copey Learning Center. Steven and Edeltrout Hunt, purchased several copies of “Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe”, a children’s book authored by Jo Watson Hackl. Also, they arranged for the books to be delivered to Copey.Smack Dab.jpg

I am most thankful and grateful on behalf of “Friends” and the Copey Learning Center. This and other thoughtful, generous, and passionate efforts to support the Copey community is proof positive there is something “Just Special” about E&H College folks.

Organization Update

Last week, I referenced the new Director of the Copey Learning Center, Andrea Serrano Cortes. Again, we welcome Andrea aboard and wish her well. She has acquired her Bachelor’s Degree in English Teaching (Summa Cum Laude) and is currently working on her thesis.  Also, she has experience teaching at a variety of grade levels including university students.

And, of course Ana Yancy is still on the job and she continues much of her current work on a day-to-day basis. The change helps to strengthen the staff’s ability to accommodate the surge in student growth, upgrade curriculum, and upgrade the overall operation of the Learning Center.

 

Finite Disappointment…Infinite Hope!

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”                                               By  Martin Luther King, Jr.

National Children’s Day

September 9th in Costa Rica was “National Children’s Day” and is celebrated annually. Children’s Day was to be a time to observe and promote the welfare of the children of the world. Because the Sabbath was on the 9th this year, students in Copey were out of school yesterday to enjoy a wide range of festivities in their community with their families and friends.

Dating back to 1946, Costa Rica was one of the first countries to celebrate Children’s Day. Eight years after Costa Rica began celebrating, the United Nations made a formal recommendation that all countries do the same. Governments were left to designate a date as each nation saw fit, but the goal was intended to be universal. Below are some of the great looking children in Copey!Jane 5

There is more news in Copey. The Copey Learning Center has added another staff member to help build and develop on the success of the Copey Learning Center.

Ms. Andrea Serrano Cortés joins Ana Yancy and the volunteer teachers devoted to the mission of the Copey Learning Center.  I enjoyed speaking with Andrea yesterday via Skype and I plan to share more details of her background in a future Post.

Also, I welcomed Ms. Pat Kozub who is a volunteer teacher from Canada. She will be assisting Ana Yancy and Andrea during the final months of this school year.

Call for Prayer   

Unfortunately, it is not all good news in the Copey area. I call on each “Friend” to take a moment to offer a prayer of hope and support for Ana Yancy’s family. Her sister Marta, is currently hospitalized in San Jose fighting cancer. Ana Yancy’s family is very close andHope Image this is an extremely difficult time for them.

As most of you well know, I believe in “divine intervention”. I believe it is just pure folly to believe we control life’s events 100% of the time. Consider all the times we are surprised, amazed, and shocked because the unexpected happened. Let’s remain faithful to the point that “what will be…is meant to be.” 

September 11, 2011

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Anne G. Broady woke up expecting to spend the day celebrating her 76th birthday. Her family and friends also expected a fun day full of well-wishes, cards, and some cake in recognition of Mom reaching this great milestone in her life.

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But, Mom’s birthday and much of the attention planned for her that day was interrupted by the horror of the attacks on the Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and the loss of Flight #93.

For the remaining years of Mom’s life, she as most others, shared that day in history being more focused on the loss of life. 

Final Note

“Friends of Copey” is fortunate to have friends all across this country and some reside in the path of Hurricane Florence. We [Friends] extend our hope and prayers to all impacted in some way by the impending and predicted devastation. I call on all “Friends” to keep everyone residing in the areas of danger in your thoughts and prayers.

 

“Humanity…Being Served”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”        By Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today I am focused on family and friends but my attention is always connected to the spirit of what makes “Friends of Copey” function as well as it does. This project [Friends of Copey], is a continuous story of good news and people making differences in their lives and the lives of others.

Maliek Broady

This past weekend, I had the honor, benefit, and pleasure to see in person my oldest grandson’s first game for this 2018 Football Season. Maliek is now a senior at the University of Nevada at Reno playing Maliek Broady. rev. 2his first game as a linebacker. This past Spring he changed positions from running back to linebacker bringing on a huge challenge for him to learn this new position and be ready to go by game time.

His first time out in this new position…in D-1 Level Football, he performed very well. This speaks volumes about Maliek’s work ethic, motivation, and acumen for football. We are all proud of his successful move from offense to defense. We are also just as proud of his academic accomplishments off the field. “Go Bro…!” 

Jane’s Anniversary

About this time last year, Jane Rutledge arrived in Copey. There has been many proud times andJane. Fabriana events during the five  plus years working with the Copey Learning Center, but not one as proud as when Jane made it to Copey. Often we hear the term “impact player” in sports. Well, Jane is an “impact player” in the world of education and volunteerism. She understands the meaning of the “heart of a servant” and that “service to humanity…is the best work of life!”  Happy Anniversary Jane!”

Aunt Katherine!

You know we celebrated Aunt Katherine’s 100th birthday last week but did you knowkatherine-johnson-2-e1536082870778.jpg what happened at West Virginia State University?

She was present on the campus for the unveiling of a new statue honoring her. This recognition included the establishment of the Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson Scholarship which will benefit students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) fields, with the emphasis on assisting talented individuals who are underrepresented in those fields.

 

Blessings Abound!

To close…let me share portions of two of several wonderful comments I received this past week.

“Thank you for that [Post} … you bless us with your work in Costa Rica and may God continue to bless you. ”   P. Wright

“May God continue to bless you, the students and teachers of Copey and your family.” K. Ford

 

 

 

“The Joy Is In Serving…!”

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”                                    By  Mahatma Gandhi

Anne G. Broady

On this date in 2013 at the age of 87, Anne (Elizabeth) G. Broady quietly passed away. To honor her memory, we established Marty Pics 097the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund. Scholarships have been funded for five years now and we are very grateful for the many “Friends” who have supported this scholarship. It has served us the givers as well as those who have received by making a difference in the lives of children in Copey.

Mom’s name has become very familiar in this remote area of Costa Rica and many families expressed their deep and sincere appreciation during my visit there last November. It has also been very personally rewarding getting to know well several of the recipients. Some of them have traveled to the USA under our “Pathway Project”. We all have been blessed.

Can You Go To Copey?

Fall is starting to show up as the kids in my area are ready to return to school this week. The Copey schools and the Learning Center have been open all summer and now they are focused on getting to November when schools close for their summer.

Jane with students

Jane…True Volunteer

I am using this platform to help the Learning Center connect with qualified teachers. I “know” there are many of you “Friends of Copey” with teaching experience and have many friends in the teaching profession.

If you are available or if you know of anyone interested in a very unique and possibly life-changing volunteer experience in Copey, Costa Rica, please let me know. It will be an extremely rewarding experience and I think we can get things set up very quickly.

This reminds me that on September 14, 2017, my friend Joe Thomas wrote this note to me… “Art, this project–a “project of the heart”–continues to be a witness for the topic of this post: divine intervention. All of the things that have happened in the past four years to make these transformational moments possible for the Copey students could simply not have happened by chance!”  There has been other transformational moments since Joe’s note was received. I am in full agreement with him. “Divine Intervention” is alive and well!

Spelling Bee

The Spelling Bee report indicates there has been a major change in the spelling competition this year in Costa Rica. In the recent past, winners at the different levels moved upward to the national Spelling Bee level to compete. I am informed there will not be a “national” competition this year…but the lower level competition will continue.

Spelling Bee. 2

Margarita

After the first round, Margarita won both the Impromptu Speech

Spelling Bee.1

Melany 

and the Impromptu Conversation competition. Melany won the Spelling contest. Both have an excellent chance of winning at the next round.

Also, you may recall Margarita’s older sister Mariana in the past has been a consistent winner at all levels and competed at the National level last year.

Mariana, apparently is not eligible to compete in this same competition now that she is in high school. However, she is participating in another contest and we will keep you updated on her progress.

We are very proud the students are competing and continuing to demonstrate to others that their English education provided by the Learning Center is a true benefit.

Happy (100th) Birthday!

Katherine Johnson

I wish to use this Post to say once again…”Happy Birthday…!” to Aunt Katherine. All the “Friends of Copey” wish you well and extend our love and admiration.

 

Just Do It…Till It’s Done!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”  by Nelson Mandela

The Weather

Today, we have experienced some welcomed and positive changes in our weather here in southeast Washington. The map shows much of the smoke has moved eastward to Idaho and Montana.  This follows several days of heavy smoke and ongoing fires. Weather map Washington

Last week our smoke was mostly from fires in western and central Washington, Oregon, and Northern California including our own small fire locally.

Now, most of the recent smoke has been coming down from Canada where there are several major active fires.

I am only reporting more than I am complaining. It is certainly far worse for those living closer to the fires, those in danger, and those who have experienced losses because of the fires.

Rebuilding the Church

My comments about the Copey church that burned down a year ago prompted some new information about the current efforts to rebuild. Larry Windes, dear friend and architect living nearby Copey, shared the news about the Copey community now working on a new building design. This indicates at least the community’s interest and desire to re-establish a local worship center to serve the Copey community. (Larry shown with his wife Cindy)Graduation 10

It is uncertain how much assistance and financial support the community will receive from the upper levels of the Catholic hierarchy even though the community is a predominantly Catholic community in need of a replacement church.  Hopefully, support will be provided and sufficient to meet the needs of the local and faithful community.

“Friends of Copey” has been patiently waiting to see if the community would decide to rebuild. To rebuild is a very important decision and will take most of the community to work together to accomplish. The other major building interest is the “new” Learning Center which was in the plans before the church burned down. We (Friends of Copey) determined it was unwise to interfere or impact the community’s interest and decision regarding the rebuilding of the church.

Special Birthdays 

Today, one of my dearest cousins celebrates her birthday and on August 26, we will all aunt-katherine-posterpay special congratulations to Aunt Katherine Johnson. She will celebrate and enjoy her 100th birthday.  Best wishes and love to cousin Anna and Aunt Katherine.

Other Learning Center News

All appears to be going well with the classroom instruction in the Learning Center. Typically, not much news is really great news. On my end I am eager for our schools to return from summer so we can renew our efforts to get more American students connected to Copey students. We have plans in the near future to attempt a skyping session and there is one school who has expressed interest in setting up a “Pen Pal” arrangement. We fully enjoy our success getting students to talk to students. Stay tuned in for more on this over the next several weeks.

 

“Lord…We’ve Seen Fire and Rain”

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.”                                   By Ferdinand Foch

On Saturday, a large local fire helped contribute to the enormous smokey conditions from various fire locations originating from western and central Washington, Oregon, and California. These smokey conditions stretch all the way to the east coast according to today’s weather reports. US Fire MapEastern Washington has not had rain in several weeks and with temperatures in the 100’s at times, this is a near perfect recipe for more fire and smoke. I hope “Friends” east of Washington state are having better weather conditions. However, I suspect there will be a lot of smoke in the near future since many of the active fires are not yet contained.

Our local fire reached and destroyed several homes but mostly it was a dry-land fire that burned rapidly with the help of strong winds. All in all, our community was very lucky given the weather conditions and the shortage of resources available to fight the fires. No fatalities have been reported to the credit of quick responses and reactions. Kennewick.5In Copey, I believe the weather conditions are much better although Copey is likely experiencing a daily rainfall since its region is now in the wet season.

It was August 2017 when the horrible fire caused the total destruction of the Copey community church. This was a devastating blow to the small community and little progress hasUtah team church been made to rebuild. We suspect available financial resources is one of the key reasons for the delay. The site continues to stand as a sober reminder to all those connected in the community who have strong historical and family ties to the church. This is our latest photo of the church location taken during the Utah team’s visit to Copey in March nearly eight months after the fire. Spelling Bee

In the near future we will begin reporting on the annual “Spelling Bee” competition. The Copey Learning Center has been represented the past several years with students doing well competing against stronger opponents from more urban areas of the country. This could be the year for a national champion from Copey.

As we now move into the final months of school scheduled to end in late November, keep the students in your thoughts. We are hopeful the support provided by “Friends” this year will be a major contributor to a fully successful year. Scholarships, supplies, and other various types of financial support will allow this to be a fully successful year.

“Thanks to all the Friends!”