Returned home yesterday afternoon after a wonderful trip! Costa Rica is an absolutely gorgeous country, and such a lovely culture. I hadn't expected the poor internet in the places we stayed, but it offered a respite that allowed me to unabashedly enjoy all the country had to offer and indulge in my inner NatGeo photography wannabe (I took over 3,000 photos!).
My heart is full of gratitude for being able to take Project Kindness to people in need. In exchange we returned home with something unexpected, and far more valuable than the donations we distributed . . . we came home with a lesson about life itself. The Costa Ricans have a saying — pura vida — that literally means "pure life." Its deeper meaning, simply put, is that no matter what your current situation is, life for someone else is much less fortunate. No matter how little or how much you have in life, we are all here together, and to enjoy what you have to the fullest because life is short.
In a time when our own country is facing a cultural storm with no sun in sight, we have a choice about whether to allow those issues to engulf our blessings and cast them into the shadows, or to find peace with our differences. Many Costa Rican conversations end with "pura vida" - enjoy life. Lacking in material riches doesn't dampen a country full of smiles and open hearts.
I went on vacation with two suitcases full of donations to a country in need, and came home with a life lesson I'll never forget.
Pura vida! XOXO