Happiest Place on Earth and You Are Staying ......

Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
German and Rosa's

Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Heredia,
Thursday, January 20, 2011

You came to the happiest place on earth and you decide to only stay ONE week???? cried Diego, German and Rosa's middle son.  Diego had told Louise and me earlier that a recent poll had reported that Costa Ricans are the happiest people on earth – even happier than the people of Bhutan who live towards a happiest quotient!

I have to say, I saw that happiest factor everywhere we went, and if Costa Rica is the happiest country, we landed in the happiest family in the happiest nation.  What luck!

Louise met German (pronounced Herman) nearly 25 years ago when he came to Canada on a cultural exchange through Crossroads International.  Louise was the local coordinator and German, having finished his Master’s Degree in Special Education, arrived to learn how Canadian agencies work.  He had a job placement lined up and two host families to live with and all was good until he got off the plane and it was discovered that he could not speak any English. They all made it work.  Since that time Louise has been to Costa Rica to visit a few times and everybody keeps in touch via email.

German and Rosa, also a professor in Special Education, have three boys – Daniel, 24, Diego, 22 and David, 17.  What nice kids and what a nice family to get to live with.  I have been so lucky to have been able to live with Clem’s family last year in France to experience an insider’s view of French village life, and now see Costa Rica from a true Tico viewpoint.

German and Rosa picked us up at the bus station in San Jose and made it clear from the start that their home was our home and as it turned out for the next nine days, we found out that their hospitality knew no limits.  There were people coming and going, all day, every day:  relatives from the US, friends of friends, friends of the kids, families, individuals, groups – some slept there, some ate there, some just passed through.  It all worked like a well-oiled machine because both Rosa and German have two of the biggest hearts of any people I have met.  Rosa speaks some English, German far less, the boys all speak perfect English and Louise and I told them that we were staying there until we could speak fluent Spanish.  They actually believed us and without hesitation said – as long as it takes – stay.

Diego’s Godparents have a beach house in another state and offered it up for a week.  We piled in the car and headed to Punta Leona; A beach resort which was lovely.  Again, here, some were coming one day and going the next, girlfriends and cousins and relatives and anybody who stopped by was welcomed and embraced.  We had a lot of fun and I only hope that when I am no longer homeless and have a home, (wherever and whenever that will be) that I will be able to reciprocate to all or some of this family and others big and small kindnesses they showed me.

Have a look at the pictures and see the joy and love in this special family.
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Yvonne Jones on

I enjoy reading about your new adventures. Take care. Yvonne.

TheresaCalgary on

Love hearing about "Joy"! And all the comings and goings of friends and famiily ... awesome! Fill your heart with it all :-)

Rudi on

Hello Debbie,
I was so glad to hear from you as I had no idea how to contact you over the Christmas Holiday. Now i know that you have been travelling the world once again. As usual, fantastic pictures and it looks like you are having the time of your life. Glad to see that you are alive and kicking. Thanks for keeping me posted!!!! with love rudi

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