Celebrating Love and Friendship

Dear Friends,

A lovely, quiet Sunday morning greets me. Tomorrow is the day of love and friendship worldwide and goodness knows we are needing lots of that these days. The winds are still. The neighborhood appears to be sleeping. I can hear the distinctive sounds of a toucan in a tree as I gaze at the clear skies in the distance. I am filled with joy as I welcome another day, another opportunity to practice mindfulness. If you can, get out early today and take in all the marvels around you.

February is a popular month for weddings in Costa Rica. It is right in the middle of our dry season with bright days almost a guarantee. The tourist season is in full swing right now and our visitors delight in the fact that they can enjoy all the activities the country has to offer without worrying about carrying rain gear too. Here in rural Atenas, we have an amazing opportunity for bird watching every day of the year; each one also offers the potential to photograph a species of vivid flora in bloom.

This coming week will have students returning to in-person classes for what will be an unusually long school year. The continued presence of the pandemic has led to implementation of many protocols to assure the student community and parents that they will be safe when returning to the classroom. It is equally hoped that teachers have used this time to prepare for the recovery of education gaps in the student population. I applaud the perseverance of students whose plans were disrupted for so long.

I am very late in sending my greetings today because I drove our daughter to the airport this morning. She surprised us with a short, almost one-week visit! On the way to the airport we passed many of the 4,500 cyclists who were part of the first edition of the “Gran Fondo Andrey Amador”. This event was declared of national interest, forcing a temporary closure of some major roads. The tenacity of the participants cannot be praised enough. Enthusiasm for the sport has grown significantly in this soccer-loving nation!

Have a wonderful day and a week full of love and friendship, Marietta

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