We spent this morning meeting 18 of Heredia’s most mature ladies swapping stories about our children and assisting them in creating some colorful napkin holders. Before the art began we introduced ourselves to the group and then they introduced themselves. As the Tico’s say, “No entender ni papa.” which means I didn’t understand a potato. Although I didn’t understand much of what was said I know what welcoming appreciative eyes look like and I know the warmth they shared with us just for showing up. It was a special morning of clumsy talk, but smiling faces. We return next Thursday. Hopefully I’ll be more prepared to converse with these ladies. It is worth saying at this point that when we were introducing ourselves, Mary launched into an unbelievable introduction. I wasn’t sure where it all came from. I said something like, Hi. My name is Hans, but she filled two minutes or more and did it with genuine warmth.
It has been beautiful to watch her fall in love with this language and see it fill her up. Mary’s father was a Spanish professor and I honestly hadn’t thought of that when I duped her into this trip. I don’t mean to overplay this, but I can’t help but feel like her father is a part of this trip in a very real way. As her skills surpassed mine overnight I immediately noticed a glow within her that I feel is tied to his memory. I knew she’d enjoy Costa Rica. I didn’t have any idea that learning Spanish would ignite memories of her father and a new passion for Spanish. After twelve years of marriage, we’ve both developed, but it is awe inspiring to see this new side of her. It’s amazing to me that I had to travel to Costa Rica to find something that’s been next to me all along.