Some people collect stamps, or china, or key chains.
I collect people.
Key chains are easier to keep track of than people. But people find their way into my heart and then they live there forever.
The hardest thing I was asked to do on the Costa Rica trip, was to leave my new friends behind, knowing full well I may never see them again in this world.
Let me introduce you.
This is Mihai. Mihai was our SCORE guide - - - which means he was our lifeline. We stayed in his home and he took us everywhere, kept us "in line," and protected us.
Mihai is a Romanian who is living in Costa Rica, working with SCORE, and being trained by SCORE. His goal is to return to Romania and host SCORE groups there.
We all loved Mihai. I don't remember what I did just before THIS picture was snapped to make Mihai laugh like that - - - but whatever it was, I'm sure I richly deserved the laughter.
I almost gave him my lappy.
Mihai, since leaving I have wondered many times if I really SHOULD have given you my beloved lappy, because you are worth a laptop and oh so much more. It brings me nearly to tears to think I might never see you or even hear from you again.
This is Yajaira. Yajaira came into Mihai's house every day to clean up after us and do laundry. (Towels and bed linens, not our personal clothing) She couldn't speak English, and I do not speak Spanish - - - yet somehow we were able to understand each other quite well. I found out that she is a mama to three little girls.
Yajaira, I miss you and wish so much I could continue to see you every day.
This is Jeremy. He is Yajaira's "esposo" and was our bus driver most days. Since we rode hours each day in a bus, we got to think of Jeremy as being one of "us."
He could speak a few English words. I don't know HOW he could drive that bus so well around so many curves, navigate such tight corners, and stay out of the way of so many cars coming right at us - - - but he did an AMAZING job of all those things. AND, he gave us great little Costa Rican hard candies too!
Jeremy, you made our stay so enjoyable. I miss you too - - - A LOT.
This is Jose. Jose is the Costa Rican SCORE director. He planned our schedule while we were there and was our "go-to" guy in a pinch.
Thank you for all you did for us, Jose AND for all you do for SCORE and the people of Costa Rica who still need Jesus.
All my southern bloggy friends - - - you're gonna LOVE this!!!
These are Jason and Wesley, two Georgia Boys!!!! They came to Costa Rica to use their expert carpentry skills to build cabinets for the new SCORE house at Coronado, the same place where we were painting the fence blue. They only had a couple of days to work, but they churned out gorgeous cabinets in record time.
And this is Jason. I only got to BEGIN to know Jason. He went with us into the barrio. I think he was a combination guide/guard. Don't you just love his smile?
Thank you Jason, for giving your time to assist in our barrio grocery deliveries.
And so - - - I had to leave my new friends, and a large chunk of my heart - - - in Costa Rica.