After arriving in San Jose Costa Rica on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles I was met by my tour manager and whisked away to a school for my first performance. I tried not to allow my exhaustion to show through the veneer of energetic engagement but it was a little difficult.
The students were incredible. From start to finish they were exceptionally attentive. I actually loved that they rushed the stage at the end of the performance, pelting me with questions, wanting to talk and just simply desirous of sharing space. I, personally, think this is the best part of performances.
As we were talking I noticed a young man returning back through the side entrance of the auditorium. He waded through the crowd and was able to get right in front of me. He held out in front of him a “Pati,” sort of a turnover that contains meat, spices and a hint of vegetables.
“This is for you,” he proclaimed.
This young man had gone to the cafeteria, spent his own money in order for me to have a small slice of Costa Rican culinary culture.
His name was Estefano and to say that he touched my heart would be an understatement.
The last time something like this happened to me was in Colombia and I’ve never forgotten the young girl’s face that surprised me with a real-deal Colombian empanada.
I don’t know what makes some of us more empathic, caring and giving than others but I sure wish I could package it and make sure everyone got a dose.
I hadn’t been in the country more than two hours when I was pleasantly accosted by this warm gesture from a child.
Following Estaefano’s lead, three young girls departed the auditorium and sprinted back in holding desert for me. The smile that widened my cheeks hurt my face. Thank you Ania, Sofía and Karina for your loving, kind natures.
At the time of my writing this blog, I haven’t even been in Costa Rica but a few hours. If the way these children responded to me is any indication of what I can expect of the rest of the schools I visit, then this promises to be one joyous, love-filled adventure.