Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thunder Snow

Saturday there was a rare occurance - thunder snow. It's very odd to hear thunder & see lightning while it's snowing. Pretty cool though. The snow was coming down fast & furious for most of the day Saturday in Lawrence. There were blizzard-like conditions. I was glad to be safe & warm at my parents' house. It was another brilliant weather forecast - some rain & a trace to 1" of snow - nothing much. We got about 5" and it was drifting from the gusting wind. You can see the pile up on my parents deck and on my car.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Festive Weekend

It was predicted Wichita would get 6-8” of snow Friday night into Saturday. We got just over 2”. I’m happy, it’s enough snow to give us a pretty coating of white and not enough to cause major travel problems. And I just have to say…the new house color looks fantastic in the snow!

Friday night I attended a “tacky Christmas sweater” party. It was fun, lots of hideous sweaters. I was delighted with the tackiness of my find but every time I went to cross my arms, I scraped my thumb on the baubles decorating the trees on it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I went to Kansas City with a group of friends last weekend. It was cold but the weather was not as bad as expected. Nothing terribly much to report. Wandered around the Plaza. Played with iPhones at the Apple Store. Ate way too much food.

Tanya, I found my penguin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well there were highlights and lowlights for the Thanksgiving weekend in Lawrence.
Highlights: lots of family time, playing with JT, good food, a trip into The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City with my parents to see the lights, seeing to old friends at church
Lowlights: well there's really just one - the KU vs. MU game & outcome. Ugh. Miserable.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Pastor Dave’s sermon on thanksgiving last weekend, reflecting on Psalm 100, was stirring - powerful for the whole year but particularly in this season of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. My earliest Thanksgiving memory is from when we lived on the farm in Canada; I was probably 5 or 6 years old. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October and there’s usually snow on the ground. The dining hall was set for dinner, the adults getting the food prepped, Dave Garriott in some tan plaid bellbottoms. (My sisters always say I remember odd details.) Thanksgiving fills me with cozy memories from early on. Through the years we’ve had it just with our family, included friends who didn’t have families to dine with, and gone to Aunt Marilyn’s in Missouri. I love what the holiday is based on – giving thanks for all God has blessed us with. I want to be more conscious of being thankful throughout the year of all the blessings in my life – family, faith, employment, shelter, friends, health.
I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.


I have two ginormous maples in my front yard and an elm in the backyard, which is also bordered by lots of trees in my neighbors yards. So each fall I have a major leaf problem. Last night I decided to deal with the leaves in the front yard. I had just started raking when neighbor Joe yelled out encouragement - "It's a losing battle!" Ah, yes, but one that must be fought none the less. The first year I owned the house, I raked & bagged all the leaves whole. It was ~25 bags. But since then I have been introduced to neighbor GI's modern marvel - the chipper/shredder. It turns what would be 25 bags of leaves into 5 bags of leaf mulch. It is a thing of beauty. He's helped me in the past, but had a hurt leg so he showed me how it worked and let me have at it. His daughter Euna stood watch during my work, keeping me company as darkness fell and we finished by street light. Round 1 with the front yard is complete. I fight round 1 in back tonight and borrow that wonderful machine again.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Does she have all her teeth?

Are you ever asked completely random questions? The person asking them thinks they're either funny or relate to the conversation and the sane people are left wondering what in the world is going on in the asker's head.
Saturday night while telling friends that I'm expected to attend my sister's sister-in-law's wedding next weekend, a strange man at the end of the table asked "does she have all her teeth?" What??!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rock Chalk

I drove down to Norman, Oklahoma to spend some time with my college roommate Chrissy. It was really great to hang out and catch up and share pictures of our recent adventures.

Back in Wichita Saturday night, I attended a progressive dinner after church. At the last house, we were thankful the tv was on to the KU game. Go Jayhawks! So completely odd that KU is now 10-0, #3 in the BCS rankings and #4 in the polls. After years and years of football woes, it’s very strange for Jayhawk fans to adjust to this new reality. One KU alum said he knew this was the year Jesus was coming back because KU was doing so well in football. When I turn ESPN on during my morning workouts and they’re discussing KU’s chances for making the national championship game, it’s hard to fathom this is real. But we'll happily take it!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Accidental Opera

I went to see Little Women last night at WSU with a friend & two of her daughters. We thought it was going to be a play, but it was an opera (did you know WSU has an opera performance dept?!). Umm. The 7 year old loved it but the 9 year old didn't. I'm more inclined to agree with the 9 yr old. I love musicals but operas are a whole different bag. Maybe it's the style, maybe it's the non-stop singing, but I wasn't loving it. Maybe it was that Little Women is an opera in English - not exactly the most lyrically lilting language in the world. I admit the only other opera I've seen was a marionette opera in Salzburg, Austria when I was 15. So I promise to give a non-English opera a try before I say no to it entirely.

On a pop-culture note, check out Peyton Manning's priceless peptalks for a good chuckle. You can even personalize them with your name.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monday's dinner menu

Poached cod with olives and lemon
Fresh cooked spinach
Multi-grain bread (thanks, Danielle!)
Green salad

Lemon pudding cake with raspberry coulis

Montevina Sauvignon Blanc (California/same wine the fish was poached in)

Good conversation with Tanya & Chris (& Seth) and Jim & Danielle.

These are my enjoyable adventures these days.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Happy Birthday! Love you!


I may need to back off my "favorite aunt" campaign with JT. A week ago Hannah called Sharon. JT wanted to know who was on the phone.
Sharon - "It's Aunt Hannah. Do you want to talk to her?"
JT - "No, I only talk Aunt Jemfer."
Hee. Sorry, Hannah.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Housework is a dirty word

Literally. But the dirty work is wrapping up, finally! Here are pictures of the end results.
I had the house painted and love the result. I installed a new porch light, mailbox, doorbell cover and house numbers. And I had the trees professionally trimmed.

The kitchen is almost complete. The cabinets are done. The new countertops are in. The backsplash wall is fixed and painted. The new curtains are made and up. All that is left to do is figure out what to do with the backsplash behind the cooktop and put in the baseboard trim. It's great to have the kitchen back in working order. And the house got deep cleaned in the process of cleaning up the construction mess. Ah.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Middle of Everywhere

Last weekend was my last travel weekend for awhile. I went to Rolla, Missouri and the blog title used to actually be the city slogan. It was UMR’s Homecoming so I had an alumni association meeting to attend. And it was Christian Campus Fellowship’s 35th Anniversary celebration. And of course it’s always great to stay with my “college parents” when I’m in Rolla. It was a good weekend. Got to see some old friends at the CCF events. I got sunburned at the tailgate Saturday – it’s flippin’ October!! I did not stay for the football game but UMR actually won and is now 2-6 for the season.

For my fellow Miners, the campus has changed a lot in the last few years. There have been many capital improvement projects. They tore down UC West a few years ago. It was a great move as the Rolla Building can now be seen, but it’s very odd to see the puck basically in the middle of a field. UC West is no longer needed as the Havener Center is open and provides the campus with a real student union (where the Student Health Services bldg used to be).
Toomey Hall is huge. The ME Annex was torn down and this beaut is being built in it’s place + much more. Once the new section of the building is completed, the ME Building will be renovated.
Record enrollment this year at 6167. The name change is official on January 1, 2008: Missouri University of Science and Technology. I’m not fond of it, and don’t know an alum who is, but then again the Missouri School of Mines grads weren’t happy about becoming University of Missouri-Rolla.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aunt time

I flew down to spend the weekend in Kentucky with my youngest nephew, Marshall. He is 15 months old and a total little flirt. Absolutely adorable. He points out every "tuk" (truck) and loves the riding lawn mower. We had fun hanging out at the house & playing. He's fascinated by my camera. He's also very much a jabberwoky - chattering non-stop. It was good to get aunt time with him. He gets a bit confused with me sometimes "you look a lot like Mom, but you're not Mom so I'm not sure what to do with you." But we enjoyed some good play time.

I've told you that my nephews are the cutest boys on the planet and here's proof with my favorite 1 year old.

His favorite way to wear Daddy's hat.

Monday, October 8, 2007

O Pioneers!

Saturday I decided to check out one of the National Scenic Byways in Kansas (there are two of them). I drove north on Hwy 177 from Cassoday to Council Grove but the main attraction was the Tallgrass Prairie National Presevere just north of Cottonwood Falls. I have a special love of the Flint Hills, those beautiful gently rolling hills covered with tallgrass. I think of the pioneers and their journey - what it would have been like to crest a hill and see the trees next to a creek. Anyone who doesn't see beauty in the prairie is blind.

I encourage you to check out Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It's about 1.5 hours northeast of Wichita. Bring good walking shoes for one of trails and make time for the 90 minute bus tour through the 10,000 acres.

Another great resource is The website for the National Scenic Byways Program with maps and ideas for day trips along each route. And if you're ever in Cottonwood Falls, get a four star meal at the Grand Central Hotel where an old friend of mine is head chef.

Stone fences at Pioneer Bluffs-Rogler Ranch Historic District
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Lower Fox Creek School

And I had the perfect soundtrack for the drive, the Kansas vs. Kansas State football game, made even better by KU's win. Go Jayhawks!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Welcome to the world, Ethan.
Congratulations on your new arrival, Josh & Amy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's here

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Go Lions!

I went to Lawrence for my 15 year high school reunion this weekend. It was fairly impromptu and casual, as there isn’t usually a 15 year reunion but Mike & Grady decided they wanted one so they put together. There was a small turn out but it still was fun to catch up with some classmates – most of whom I’d known since 7th grade. I couldn’t believe how many names I couldn’t remember though faces looked familiar. I didn’t feel so bad because a lot of us were whispering “who’s that?” to each other. In defense, LHS 1992 was a graduating class of 540. We went to the LHS football game where the Lions got spanked by Olathe East, had a picnic on Saturday and then hung out at Johnny’s that night. I got to reconnect with a few friends I hadn’t seen since graduation and chat to others I haven’t seen since the 10 year reunion. It was very enjoyable. It’s unfathomable that it’s been 15 years; amazing that most of us have grown up into real live adults.

I was able to only spend an hour with my sister on Sunday. Had to head out early because of storms moving in. JT started crying because he couldn’t go on a ride with Aunt Jen. Scrunched up eyes, hung down head, crocodile tears. Broke my heart and I had crocodile tears as I drove away.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm a girl and I read directions...

Pride is a slippery little slope with humility waiting at the bottom.
I bought a hutch for my kitchen – assembly required. You’ve got to love it when you think you’re close to being done assembling something only to find out that a piece is in there wrong and it’s going to require almost complete disassembly to fix it. I was close to finishing the base cabinet and sliding the drawers in place when that’s what happened. The center support for the drawers with the slider on it was backwards – the drawers would not go in. I was able to figure out how to remedy the problem with only partial disassembly of the cabinet. Yea, me. Assembly of the upper shelves went much smoother. And presto-chango, 4 hours later three boxes of parts turned into this:

Monday, September 24, 2007

My boys

My mom's 60th birthday is in 2 weeks but due to scheduling conflicts, we all made it home this weekend to celebrate it. She didn't want a party, just family. It is a rare thing for the entire family to be together. It was good to hang out and spend time together. We made dinner so that the little men could participate without a problem. JT's not sure what to think of Marshall, but he did pretty well. Marshall just watches his cousin intently. Not too long from now they'll be getting into mischief together.
My boys - the cutest ever!

Marshall and Aunt Jen

He is his mama's son. Hannah is only 1 year younger than me. We both sucked our thumbs. Grandma Marshall visited us when I was about 5. She told us that if we kept sucking our thumbs, we'd eventually suck them off. Mom said she saw my eyes go big, I took my thumb out of my mouth and never sucked it again. Hannah, though, gave Grandma a "yeah right" look and stuck her thumb back in her mouth.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cake Stuff

I recently discovered this store in search of a specific cookie cutter. Awesome. Lots of cookie cutters, cake pans, candy molds, frosting, cake & cookie decorations, and even classes on cake decorating. Cake Stuff is in the strip mall at Central & Tyler. It’ll inspire you to bake.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wheel grease & cookie dough

(Per your request, Miss Sanchez, a new post.)

I am a list person, a detail person. I like finishing things so I can cross them off my list. But there are times I have to remind myself that people are more important than accomplishing what’s on my to do list. I co-hosted a baby shower at my house on Sunday. Saturday’s list was long and I was stressed over getting it all done. Farmers’ Market for fresh produce (huge, juicy cantaloupe!), Dillons for all the other groceries, clean the house, make cookies, last coats of polyurethane on the final cabinet doors, getting those doors hung after they dried. Tanya came to help frost the cookies – the duckies turned out very cute, and helped me hang the doors.

In the midst of this, a neighbor stopped by to say my roommate’s car had a flat tire. Thank goodness it was in the driveway. So I changed the tire for Michelle – she got a rush out of getting the lug nuts loose while I was getting cookies out of the oven. I picked her up when she dropped her car off to get the tire fixed. And praise the Lord, it ended up everything on the list got done in more than enough time.

It’s a good thing for me to be tapped on the shoulder by God and reminded that people are more important than my list and that when I do what’s important, the rest will get taken care of.

Friday, September 7, 2007


This is a picture of my kitchen from when I bought the house. Plain wood cabinets, flowered wallpaper, yellow linoleum, old appliances. Outdated and NOT me.
Over the 4 years I've owned the house, I've been making a lot of changes. The kitchen has been a work in progress over the last 3 years. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Started by stripping the wall paper and painting yellow & brick red. Elisabeth & I replaced the ceiling fan that matched the wallpaper over the dining room table with a wrought iron look chandelier. I replaced all the appliances. Dad and I tiled the floor (mostly Dad). My parents bought me a nice shiny stainless steel sink for Christmas/birthday to replace the chipped & stained cast iron sink. And July 2006 I decided to tackle refinishing the cabinets. Got started and then my job got in the way, so I've been without most of the cabinet doors for over a year.

Since I returned from France, the goal has been to finish the kitchen remodel before any other projects are started. I have made major progress. A massive thanks to cabinet maker extrordinaire, Tony Racchini, for 3.5 hours of his time tackling the not fun job of rehanging the cabinet doors yesterday. It's so weird to have cabinet doors again but I am very pleased with the results. I added trim to the edges, primed, painted, glazed, and polyurethaned the doors. I still have a few doors left to finish. And I have to rebuild and do the same thing to the drawers and add trim at the baseboards and make new curtains. But the list is getting shorter and having the doors back up is a huge leap forward.

And I have new countertops on order. Don't know exactly when they'll be done, but should be within a few weeks. Yea! Progress, finally!

Friday, August 31, 2007

she strikes again

My mom hates when I say this (I can hear her saying “Don’t speak that over yourself!”), but I am a klutz. There’s no denying it. Let me share just a few examples from the past week. I invested in some schmancy new kitchen knives: Henckel Four Star series. For the last ten years I’ve been using a block I bought at a friend’s garage sale for $5. I think their actual retail price was $20. But they did the trick for someone fresh out of college with no money. I love the new knives, and let me tell you, they’re incredible sharp. They slice through everything, even skin, like butter. I sliced my fingers – twice, thank goodness not badly. Those cuts are healing nicely. So last night I sliced my finger with the letter opener going through the mail. Toledo steel in the shape of a sword from Spain – ironically, a present from my mom.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Live each day

Wow. I was prepared to write a light blog about investing in some great kitchen knives this weekend. However, I got an email that changed everything this morning. My final semester in college, we got a new campus minister for Christian Campus Ministry. Allen & Chrissy have done great work there over the last 11 years. The email told me about two weeks ago they had a motorcycle accident. She was thrown and sustained only a concussion, but he was pinned under the bike. He had a spinal cord injury. There have been issues with his lungs & breathing, but he is starting to get some sensation in his upper body. There is a long road ahead of them.

I have two other friends who are in the midst of health crises as well. Caden, friends’ 4 year old son, is undergoing chemo for a neuroblastoma in his abdomen. And Cory, an old KCYFC friend, undergoes major abdominal surgery tomorrow.

So I pray, pray, pray for these friends and their families. It’s amazing how life changes in an instant. I marvel at the strength they have to walk through each day, even though I know they often don’t feel strong. Each of them has a community of believers standing with them. And it’s a reminder for each of us to live each day such that when we do face crises that we have a firm foundation to stand on.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy 35th Birthday to my big sister, Sharon!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Excess – n. 1. An amount or quantity beyond what is required; surplus. 2. Intemperance; overindulgence - adj. 1. Being more than what is required.

Last week I ordered a medium Diet Coke at Wendy’s and was shocked at the size of drink I received. What used to be the biggie size is now medium. This set off a mix of emotions and contemplations.

Having been out of the country a lot lately, my biggest culture shock in coming home is the American excess. Large portions of food which lead to large waist lines. Large homes, large vehicles. I feel sickened by the excess and unsatisfied appetite for it that I see in myself and all around me. Where does this American obsession for excess come from?? We have well beyond what is required.

I think of the people in Costa Rica, about the kids we fed that week. They live in shacks thrown together with scrap boards and sheets of metal. For most of them, the food Ronald brings on Wednesdays is the only real meal they get a week. Otherwise they’re scrounging through trash for food. And the woman who does the cooking for them lives in a scrapped together home herself. She gets up at 4 AM to prepare the food and opens her home to the teams that come to serve. I think of the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-44.

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."”

I am wrestling with this. How can I not live selfishly? How can I give out of all I have? What does that mean? Several years ago I read a commentary that compared SUVs to our lives. Most people buy an SUV to tool around town, to look cool, to keep up with the trend. But they never use it for what it was designed for – off roading, heavy hauling. Many people live their lives that way. They may look cool but never live their lives to the full potential, what they were created to be. I so don’t want that to be me. How do I live my life to be all that God created and called me to be no matter what the circumstance?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Had a good time at the family reunion in Illinois Aug 3-5. Always good to see my aunts and uncles and my dad's cousins and Great Uncle Bob. The Marshall kids and spouses:

I got quality time with JT as he insisted on taking the 8-hour roadtrip in Grandpa’s car rather than with Mommy & Daddy. He does really well, likes looking out the window. We had fun singing and playing. I taught him to say “favorite aunt” – hee.

I have to figure out when to take a trip to see my other nephew, Marshall.

I got the new calculator – I know you’re anxious to hear about it. The HP 33s RPN has a fancy design. It’s incredibly lightweight and has some great functions, but I’m still getting used to it.

I have season tickets to Music Theatre of Wichita but for obvious reasons missed most of this summer’s season. I let a friend enjoy them. I got to attend the last show of the season last week – Hairspray. Fun. However, I was more excited by a discovery I made when I finally glanced at the tickets when we got to the theatre. I got new seats – Row A front & center in the Balcony! Can’t tell you how thrilled I was. I’ve been trying to get from Row B to Row A for 2 seasons. I’m buying season tickets whether I’m here next summer or not so I can keep the seats.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Costa Rica - Part Dos

This is going to be a long one. I don’t know how to even begin on sharing my Costa Rica experience. It was incredible and exhausting. I had not been able to participate in any of the team meetings leading up to the trip because of my time in France, so I didn’t know how I’d fit in with the team. But it was a fantastic team of 17 people who went – we worked well together and everyone dove right in to the work at hand. I made some good friends - we shared a lot and a lot of laughs.
The main part of our week was spent helping with construction work at the Abraham Project. It’s an amazing ministry to the community around them. They do it all with excellence and amazing vision. I could spend pages telling about it. They have placed themselves in a marginal area to serve the community. They have a daycare. They have a cafeteria for the daycare kids some of whom do not get food at home. The cafeteria is currently also where the church meets. Above the daycare is classrooms where they teach adults life skills so they can get jobs to support their families.

They have 3 children’s homes – 2 are finished and we helped with construction on the third. One home is up and running with Costa Rican house parents with 6 children. These are not technically orphans, but they have been declared abandoned by their parents. Three of the kids are in the process of being adopted by an Italian couple. These kids long for nothing more than to have a family of their own. The house we helped with will be up and running by early 2008. It will take emergency cases when social services needs to remove kids from homes immediately. The Costa Rican government places the kids in the homes. The Abraham Project has a good relationship with the government. The 3rd home is handicap accessible and will be operational once they find a 3rd set of house parents.

We also helped with construction of the multi-purpose building. It will have offices for professionals to come donate services and a large gymnasium. This will be where the church meets and will be for sports programs for teenagers. It rains 70% of the year in Costa Rica, so having an indoor sports facility will be a large service to the community.
I got to help pour concrete for the multi-purpose building foundation. The project hires Tico (what the Costa Ricans call themselves) workers and the mission teams help out.
We were told the work we did last week was 8.5 weeks worth of one Tico laborer. It really encouraged them. We had a good time with our Tico brethren. Ramon promised to have me speaking Spanish in 3 days – not so much. Us “concrete-stadors” had tons of fun. It sounds ridiculous, but it was a blast.
Unfortunately the lye in the concrete mix started burning my hands, so I had to switch jobs partway thru day two. All the wood used at the project is donated by a company in San Jose that ships glass. The wood palates have to be taken apart, nails & staples pulled and treated, planed & stained. We helped pull many nails & staples.
Sunday we attended their church service. Such passion in worship. That night we went to a youth cell group. One of our guys played the guitar and we sang songs in English while they sang along in Spanish. It was an incredible experience – like the Bible says every tongue, tribe & nation will sing praise Him together. Thursday night we got to have a little party at the project with the youth and Tico workers. We also had a chance to play with the kids in the daycare and children’s home. That was so much fun.
Wednesday we helped with Cristo por la Citudad (Christ for the City) - Transformations. Ronald has a feeding ministry to very marginal areas of San Jose. Every week he takes food there and feeds whoever comes. Then later he goes in to build relationships. We took coolers of rice, beans, salad & juice. The first place we went they have run the police out and barricade themselves in. Ronald is allowed in because of all he has done to share love with them. I had to remember to not focus on the serving and look at the kids and adults who came to get food. It was heartbreaking to think that for a lot of them that’s their only meal for the week. Drug dealers, druggies, kids who know no other life. We then stopped and step up on the sidewalk in four other places as well and served until the food was gone. Laughed when one kid ran back to tell his mom yelling something about the gringos coming with food.

Saturday we worked with Ronald again. Went to a squatters camp and had a kids party for about 150 kids. Then fed them and their moms. It was great to see their joy for a few hours of fun.

We had one fun day. Took a catamaran cruise to Isla de Tortuga. Got to go snorkeling and hang out on the beach and get burned to a crisp despite two applications of sunscreen.
I didn’t experience culture shock like I had expected. But I understood what Ronald meant when he said it weighs on their team working in that level of poverty constantly. That was emotionally exhausting. But I think the biggest impact on me over the week was seeing the vision of these ministries being worked out to fulfillment. My heartache grew as the vision I have for my life weighed heavy on me. I long for it to be worked out. It was a confirmation that these things really are my heart’s desire. And while God seems to be opening doors that lead in the opposite direction, I’ll trust that He is working and knows my heart and will continue to work in and through me.
It was a privilege to serve at The Abraham Project and with Transformations. To encourage them in the work they are doing. Costa Rica is a beautiful country but I go away with much more than the scenery – with the people in my heart.