The Road to the Beach….

Traveling to other countries sometimes presents difficulties to those of us who never mastered a foreign language. I admit to feeling helpless while trying to make the simplest request understood or to try and ask a question without resorting to pantomime. I truly appreciate how patient and helpful people can be when you are “lost in translation”. 

Recently, I saw what needed no translation; a beloved child with special needs in a small community in Costa Rica. As I was waiting outside a small store for supplies, an entire family was walking up the road from the beach. Calling the packed earth a road is a stretch; for in truth it is a rough, dusty, sandy and difficult place to navigate. You can be sharing this road with buses, cattle, cars, horses, bikes and iguanas. As they approached I saw seniors, children, dogs, parents and the oldest, most antiquated wheel chair I have seen in a very long time. Pushing this chair up the road was tough but I watched the interactions of those pushing, those walking alongside the chair and the child who was being transported and I thought, “I don’t understand a word they are saying but I do understand that here is a kid whose family loves her.”

One of the great things about Costa Rica is the friendliness of its people. The party was laughing as they made their way past me, smiling and waving, continuing on their journey back to town. It could have been 5 minutes or 5 miles away; they were on a holiday outing, inclusive of everyone, no matter how difficult it was to bring this child along. The joy on her face as she passed will stick with me for a long time and continues to make me smile back at the office. Pura Vida!

Contributed by:
Chris Gallant
Director of Training

“Everyone smiles in the same language.”
~Author Unknown

Subscribe to Our Newsletter