"You can admire people for sure, and they're worth admiring, but you need to find that special thing about yourself. It takes working hard, getting the technique, and learning to sing and all that stuff, but the master class is about bringing yourself to the role."
- Susan Egan, actress and singer
After moving through four different international airports in 28 hours, the Costa Rican capital city of San José lay before us. Quick carry-on consolidation, customs checks, and a dodging through leagues of insistent cabbies found us on our bus towards the outlying Heredia, with me already forgetting what day of the week it is...
Thank goodness for a missionary at the bus stop, and our seat-mate while riding who made sure we found the correct stop. As we bumped along over the cracked concrete, stone-wrought, single-story businesses huddling behind barred gates and barbed wire flanked the tight, turning streets. Lushly decorated mountains cloaked in white mist hid the horizon when the city's shops made way for a clear view of their shrouded slopes until the bus heaved it's load towards our final stop
Various local vegetables (fresh beans, dozens of banana varieties, yuca, taro) occupied baskets right beside standardized, metal shelves filled with recognizable US staples (Oreos, Lucky Charms, Downy detergent, Nestle Chocolate milk, Pantene Pro-V). The contrast was actually kind of encouraging, somehow.
Mario is a fantastic cook... No more need be said (polenta was made proud that night).
Hopefully some of Mario's splendid skills will rub off on me before we leave...
The next morning found us meandering the neighborhood, scouting for an available family to spend time with, and tweaking the travel weeks to follow.
So much effort goes into keeping contact with potential hosts, seeking out local families for connections, continuing to build out both websites, maintaining correspondence, planning routes, and promoting our cause.
I thank work experience at an international brokerage firm and even jobs behind the counters of coffee shops for teaching me resilience to pressure and time management.
At the same time, I'm surprised already how difficult some things have been... I consider myself decently open-minded (and fervidly hope to open it more, with this expedition) but admittedly experienced an embarrassing amount of judgement and doubt only three days in... That's such a large part of why I am doing this. To grow more. To stretch further. To expand bigger.
To love better.
Well, back to work. The clouds above the city are about to break loose the daily showers that wet the land each afternoon. Thunder grumbles and echoes through the valley and the sky dims while as first sparse droplets splat on broad, rain-forest leaves.
Hmmm... If I close my eyes, it almost feels like I'm back in Seattle again...
It's much easy to help people than many of us think...
Let's explore the world. Let's make it better!
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