Staying Present While Preparing for the Future

By Veronica Hotovy, FC 18 Costa Ricaoutside.jpg

I have officially one month left of FrancisCorps (probably less than that by the time you’re all reading this). Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize how difficult it’s going to be to leave this place. Costa Rica, the people, physical therapy, the food…it’s all grown on me. And thinking about leaving the señores breaks my heart. So mostly I try not to think about it. Yes, there’s some mental and emotional preparing that needs to be done, because ready or not, the end of FC is coming. Fast. But…I don’t want to say my goodbyes too early. A month seems like very little, but it’s still a month. A month to hang out with my friends. A month to explore Costa Rica with my community. A month to love and serve the dear señores.

I don’t want everyone to think I’m not looking forward to returning home. I’m excited to be with my family, to be in Nebraska, to find out what comes next. But in order to return to my life there, I have to leave some truly amazing people here.

I was recently talking to a good friend of mine about how work was going. So I immediately (as always) began spewing out recent stories about how wonderful and precious and adorable and incredible the señores are, and how much I love them. And he got this concerned, almost sad, look on his face. He told me that he was worried about the day I have to leave them.

I think about that a pretty fair amount. There are moments when it hits me – just how hard it’s going to be to leave Santiago Crespo. (If I could take all 200 of them home with me, I would.) I have absolutely no doubt that it’s going to be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

But the inevitable goodbye does not make me want to give them any less of me during the time I do have.

Recently I’ve noticed how far I’ve come in my relationship with some of them. One in particular, who at first I’m pretty sure hated me, now loves fixing my hair while we work through some quite painful stretching. Another, who at the beginning of the year tried to shut herself in the little massage room, has started refusing to walk with the other students (although getting her to behave while we’re on our walks is another story). Even though it’s difficult at times, I continue to build these relationships.  Because one way or another, I know I have a limited amount of time to love them and be loved by them.