“Friends…Still Difference Makers!

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”     Albert Einstein

THANK YOU!

We were successful raising the $200.00 we pledged to support some of Lorena’s (Mariana’s mother) travel cost to accompany her daughter on the trip to Limon, Costa Rica, where the National English Festival…aka “Spelling Bee” is being held tomorrow. The thank you .3response time for some funding support was very short and in typical fashion, enough “Friends” responded to make the deadline. Now, we only have to wait to hear the final results. We all are pulling for Mariana to bring back to Copey the National Championship for the entire community to share.

Texas Church Shooting

As most are now aware, we have another tragic event to endure involving the senseless killing of innocent people. Our prayers and condolences extend to those closest to those who lost their lives and were injured yesterday. I pray we keep mindful there is evil ever-present…but so is good all around us. Evil finds a home among those who lack a positive purpose in life, fail to see in most cases there is a choice to do good or evil, and do not understand the same energy that is required to take a life can be used to help a life. God be with us all!

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane cutie“I have dubbed this little cutie “Hello Kitty!” She is no bigger than a minute and is always smiling! Today she brought me a flower! She is so full of energy and so happy!  Life is Good!”

This very young student is benefiting from an early start on becoming familiar with the English language. But, it is much more than that. It is the relationship and the sense of being valued outside of the immediate family…it is the impact of a student/teacher relationship that can last a lifetime. The flower Jane received was only a symbol of what the little girl feels inside. It is also a symbol representing what many Learning Center students and the community feels about all the support “Friends” provides. “Friends”, do you realize how much positive impact your interest is having on both the young and old in Copey?

New Educational and Cultural Center

“Friends” has officially submitted its application to an organization we want to become a partner with us on our journey to help build a replacement facility for the current Learning Center. Without question, this is an extremely important time for us as we wait for some response.

I am calling on all “Friends” to take a minute this week to say a prayer for a positive response. We know “Friends” can make a difference in the outcome of our efforts. For those “Friends” more inclined to be great “positive” thinkers, please also join in. Together, we can all impact in a positive way the outcome as we have done many times before, especially by accomplishing results many thought unattainable. Please take a minute this week and become involved in this important decision on our application. This is one of those “sun standing still” miracles I mentioned in last week’s Post.

 

 

 

 

The Sun Stood Still…!

Spelling Bee Update

We have great news!  Out of the three students, we were successful in placing one student in the finals. Mariana has again demonstrated her excellent English skills and for Spelling Beethe second consecutive year, she is heading to the final competition…The Nationals.

Both Celeste and Margaritas placed very high and came close to winning their competition. Congratulations to both of them as we recognize being among the top three finalists is a huge success in view of the extremely tough competition they both faced.

mariana-5

Mariana

The Nationals are scheduled for next Tuesday and “Friends” plans to provide some financial assistance to Mariana’s mother (Lorena) so she can attend the event to support her daughter just as she did last year. The rules of the competition only allows one family member to attend and no Learning Center staff are permitted.

Last year, we provided $200 to help offset some of Lorena’s travel and living expenses. We want to do this again so I am putting in the first $50.00 and invite others to voluntary match or chip in if you want. The funds need to be in Lorena’s hands by mid-day Friday in order for her to have access to the funds in time. So our response is urgent to get the funds to her.

The two methods for donating are still the same. Anyone can use the Copey Learning Center’s PayPal system which is available by using the link provided. Please indicate you are affiliated with “Friends” and that the donation is for “Lorena”. Find the “Donate Button” in the upper right-hand corner. http://www.copeylearningcenter.org/

Or, due to the short notice, it may be more convenient for some to contact me directly via email with a pledge. I will submit the pledged amount to the same PayPal system on your behalf and will provide a PayPal receipt to you. I can be reimbursed at your convenience. Just send me a note at atbroady@aol.com.

Being in Southwest Virginia

Emory PhotoI just returned from southwest Virginia, the area I grew up in. I really enjoy seeing some of my childhood friends, spending time with my family, working with my colleagues on campus, and visiting some of the “Friends of Copey” who reside there. All of this was squeezed into a five-day visit.  Emory & Henry College and “Friends” are committed to continue the “Pathway Project 2018”. This is a great relief knowing we are on track for another year having students engaged in this unique educational exchange opportunity.

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane

I was in Jane’s hometown area this past week and while on campus, several folks indicated their awareness of Jane’s volunteer service in Copey. She is highly regarded and admired by those following this Blog. Many feel she is representing one of the key values of our college…“service to others”. She is now in her final month as a volunteer in Copey. I will be in Copey to attend the “graduation” service with her later in November. This will be a very special time as two E&H graduates will be very happy to represent “Friends” and our college. There will be much to write about when we return to the US.

Final Words  (Joshua 10:13)

I attended church with my son and his family while I was back east. The essence of the minister’s message was to have the faith and expect prayers to be answered. Be “BOLD” in your prayers and ask for miracles…and expect that “sun standing still” event to happen. Although there has been some scientific debates regarding whether or not the sun once actually stood still, as with many Biblical accounts of this nature…it simply boils down to “Faith”. For me, I believe in being bold and expecting the unexpected to happen. And, I never get tired of witnessing the unexpected happening with “Friends”. Stay encouraged! There are more “sun standing still” miracles to be prayed for.

 

Faith, Hope, and Charity…Friends

GraduationThe Learning Center is moving quickly towards its end of the year destination aka “Graduation”. It is scheduled for November 24th. There is still some time available to get your plane ticket to join us for this very special occasion.

Go to your favorite source where you usually go to check on flight schedules and ticket costs and see how inexpensive a ticket to San Jose can actually be. If you know anyone who has traveled to Costa Rica, ask if it is worth your time and money to visit this country. I have not met anyone who has reported a negative experience. Check it out and contact me if you want more information.

I had planned to delay this Post until I received the news/outcome of the upcoming Spelling Bee“Spelling Bee” contest scheduled to start today. But, I decided to not wait since the results can come today, tomorrow, or later. I can assure you there will be a follow-up Post as soon as the news hits my desk.
We are very eager to wish our Learning Center students well as they begin their competition. This could be a very significant achievement if all goes well.  Noelia, Mariana, and Margaritas…“go forth and conquer!”

Jane’s Quote for the Week!

Jane Chlid“This little cutie did not want me to take her picture, so I did the next best thing! She really is precious and I had walked passed her house at least twice a day for almost 60 days! Friday I heard “Hey Jane!” Music to my ears!!!!!” 

While having a conversation recently with a “Friend”, my Friend commented that “Jane really gets it!” I thought a moment about the comment and then responded “yes…she really does get it”. I often read the comments on Jane’s Facebook page written by many of her personal friends. It is obvious Jane has had the love and respect of her friends for a very long time and all this has continued while Jane has been doing her volunteer service in Copey. She has a passion for education, for teaching, and learning. And, this passion is all wrapped up in her great love for kids. Friday when Jane heard the little girl call out to her, Jane knew right then that the little girl “got it”…she got what Jane is all about.

Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.                    Anonymous

“It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…To Yesterday!”

Last week a dear cousin passed away and I wish to call attention to his life and celebrate his “home going”. William “Yimmy” Goble, Jr. passed away on October 16th. He was born

photo (2)

“Yimmy” and Anna

in St. Louis and lived his entire life there. Since his early childhood, he had been physically disabled as a result of an unfortunate car wreck. Even though the physical disability provided a life-time full of physical challenges, his mental abilities allowed for and provided love, joy, meaning, and purpose for him and for all those who knew and loved him.

“Yimmy” was blessed with family and many friends and was especially blessed with his sister Anna who became his primary caretaker throughout his adult life. His family in the Northwest and the many “Friends” from one end of this country to the other end and beyond, we extend to Anna and her sister and brothers our love and condolences.  “Yimmy”…go with love!

Final Words…!

“Friends” I firmly believe we practice faith, hope, and charity in our efforts to make a difference in Copey. We pray…(faith), we are positive thinkers…(hope), and we demonstrate our service with the heart of a servant…(charity)!

“Thank you Friends!”

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

“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,

Maliek
                    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!

 

 

 

 

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