Leaving the old run-down Hogar San José behind in four days will also result in so many poignant memories remaining behind as well. My students’ have been practicing their presentation to the new building’s inauguration audience for the past two weeks. It will be an all-star event: the old and new municipal alcaldes will be there, television coverage, leading community members and other luminaries. The children are so excited. They are eager and well-prepared and I am so proud of them. They will be speaking English; the English I have taught them and will continue to teach them. I am so privileged to be allowed to be here for them. They inspire me. Gracias, niñas, por darme vida.
The last time I saw Jonas was 9 February 2011, the night I broke my right elbow in La Paz. Wednesday evenings I had an English class back then with five adults at Dr L’s house that lasted until 7:30 pm or so. Jonas was a foreign exchange student boarding at Dr L’s for a year. We had our weekly English conversation and reading class and would have a great time laughing and exploring new ideas. Jonas is from Germany and like most European students is multi-lingual. He spoke German, of course, English, Spanish and is now learning Georgian. He flew to Honduras to visit with Dr L and her family from Tbilisi, Georgia (a former Soviet Socialist Republic) where he is posted as a Volunteer until next August and we met for breakfast. I have met many foreign exchange students and other country’s Volunteers in La Paz from Germany, Belgium, Holland, Japan, Cuba and, from Canada, my good friend Bob, who recently obtained work in Costa Rica and who I am going to visit soon. I wasn’t able to visit with Jonas the night before he left the country. He and Dr L had just returned from El Salvador where they spent the holiday with Dr L’s daughter. I was invited to dinner but my bum leg had been hurting more than usual. Yup, still a problem. I told Jonas on the phone I would dedicate a web note to him. So: to Jonas! Saludos, Amigo!! My fellow world citizen, I admire your commitment and dedication to the betterment of Humanity!!! Mucha suerte en su vida siempre. Live long and prosper.