This morning Aurea and Mario took me to church with them.
I am a Unitarian Universalist who has not been to a Mass since 2014 when I walked the Camino de Santiago. I really enjoyed being at the Mass with them. I especially enjoyed the music. It was much more modern than I expected. There was a guitar player and other lead singers. The congregation’s voices filled the church. My time there reminded me of my feelings when I attended the Ethiopia Gena (Christmas) because during both the music and the other parts of the Mass, I could feel the energy and faith of the people in the church. I, of course, just watched as all three aisles of the church were filled with people taking communion. I would have gone up with them to be blessed but I was not sure if the priest would understand the symbol of my crossing my hands over my chest to signify that I was not a Catholic.
The priest announced what would call the “Joys and Concerns” and after the service a man stood outside with a special donation box for the 2 families whose homes burned earlier this week.
After church we went to the final party. Some of us took a walk to the lake and took photos of each other. I love this photo of Aurea.
Lee and her host.
Anne and me.
Our wonderful Oregonian cultural ambassadors.
Later in the party they prepared bags for people to purchase.
I did not like the taste of it at all.
Several people gave short appreciative speeches. The man un the middle of this photo translated Aurea’s words to English. Aurea is the president of the Grecia chapter.
Lee also gave a short speech. She has been a wonderful leader of our Oregon group. I really appreciate her attention to detail and her concern that each of us is doing okay. This morning was an example of that. Since I was so tired last night, I didn’t get yesterdays post completed until this morning. When I was in the shower, I heard my phone ringing. I discovered that it was Lee calling on WhatsApp. I called her back because I thought there was some information I needed to know about what to bring today. But actually she was just checking to see if I was okay because I hadn’t posted my blog by the time she awoke.
Thus is Oacar. He is one of the leaders from an area that Oregonians are going to visit next year.
I think Oscar is the president of all the Tico’s group. Aurea is the president of the Grecia group.
Elizabeth also expressed her appreciations again.
Next we were treated to another group of young people who showed us some traditional Costa Rican dances.
Before more activity began, I asked Randy to take a photo of my hosts from Liberia, Tilarán, and Grecia (San Rafael) with Barbara and me. I sure wish Emilia had been able to come.
What a treat to have them drive all the way to Grecia for the party. I knew that Emilia was not going to be able to be here, and I missed being able to see her.
We again had a delicious dinner served on a banana leaf..
Today was another example of a time when I really wished I could speak and understand Spanish. Although I had conversations with people one on one using Google translate, that is too hard to do at a party Nevertheless, I took a few photos in between dancing, laughing and hugging.
Rosarita, Armando and Susan
Nancy and Anne
This woman and child were not a part of our party but I thought they were so cute. They were in line to buy the sugar cane candy.
Olman and me.
Dunia and Nancy
Randy and Lucia
Aurea and Olman
We celebrated the people who had birthdays in during this week. Barbara’s was yesterday.
Mario and Aurea
Nancy and Sylvia
Nancy and Alma Vilma
Oscar, Nancy, and Estiban
Saying, “Adios,” to Oscar.
Barbara also took photos and she shared them with me. I am posting them because they will bring back great memories.
Vilma and Ana Vilma
Emilia and Luis- The only people who were able to come from Peréz Zeledón and I think they were the only ones who came.
Freddy, Janice and Rosanna
Elba and Melba
Vilma and Sergio
Lucia and Randy
Ana Vilma explaining something.
Aracely, Leticia and Anne
Maria and Naibe
? and Isabel
Nidia and ?
Aurea and Nidia
Freddy, Oscar and Rosanna
Vilma sent this photo to me late last night. It was our last photo together at the party.
The Partners of Americas Cultural Exchange program has been more than successful. The Ticos know how to have a fabulous time and their enthusiasm was contagious. In additions to their sharing their favorite places with us, they provided an abundance of warmth and care throughout this visit. I have met so many wonderful people and hope that my hosts and I continue the friendship we have developed.