Do what you can, when you can.

Dear Friends,

The air is very quiet this morning. I step onto the terrace expecting the usual
scent of fresh rain in the ether, but instead the pungent odor of decaying grass
from too much rain reaches my nostrils. I search for the birds, listen for their
song but they are missing from the scene and a powerful sadness engulfs my
heart as I look at the horizon and know that relief efforts are still in progress
in our town. I breathe in slowly as I contemplate the many options I have to
lessen another person’s burden and I am grateful that I can at least do that.

On October 10, 2007, I found myself riding the bus to Atenas from San José
in the early afternoon. I don’t remember why I was on the bus instead of in
my car listening to the radio that day. The young man sitting next to me was
on the phone telling someone that he was coming to Atenas to help in the
rescue efforts in Bajo Cacao. I was until that moment unaware of the mud-
slide that the relentless October rain had provoked early that morning.

I arrived home to learn that more than 10 people were missing, 7 houses
destroyed, 3 cars buried and hundreds of people involved in rescuing and
setting up shelters and collecting donations. It was a devastating event in
our town but I was able to see for myself concrete evidence of solidarity
in times of crises. We are presently working through a similar event caused
by Tropical Storm Nate. The generous spirit of collaboration is once again
in action in Atenas and elsewhere since Nate did not confine its force to us.

Yesterday Costa Rica qualified for a spot in the 2018 World Cup in the
dramatic final minutes of extra time. Despite the storms we have weathered
recently and the ones that are still to come, we ticos love our fútbol and
celebrating with joy (in my opinion) does not lessen our commitment to be
there for those suffering. It makes it a little easier to bear the burden. We
need to do what we can, when we can, where we can because we don’t know
for how long we can. Give your loved ones an extra hug today.

Have a good day and a productive, peaceful week, Marietta

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