Y Tienen Los Libros

Last week was monumental.  Thursday was the day we delivered the 150 books to a school of kids.  A first step to progression.  A reminder: ‘Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ -Margaret Mead

On Thursday morning, we loaded the suitcase and bags filled with children’s books and headed to Pueblo Nuevo, where Beth teaches English to 1st-6th grade students.  We had two small assemblies, where Beth was able to present the books to the kids.  The books that were gifted from a variety of people all over the world (THANK YOU ALL.)  What happened after she was done speaking….is beyond my ability to describe.

Beth finished speaking. There were a few minutes left during the scheduled assembly, she invited them up to look at the books.

They ran. They sat. They flipped through every book. Some racing through. Some slowly, as if they were enjoying the last chocolate in the box. You could hear giggles. “Mira un Tiburon. Oye!!” There was a constant hummmmm of voices. They were reading the books out loud to themselves, to their friends. They’re faces filled with smiles. A few kids hugged books. Their eyes….filled with curiosity, wonder, excitement, a hunger to read more.

The principal told them the books would be kept in the teachers lounge and that they could come get them during recesses or free time. But weren’t allowed to take them home.

This is what’s needed next.  The next step…to physically build a library on the property. To house these books and more books to come.  So these kids can check a book out, take it home and read it with their siblings or parents at night.

I scanned the school. No other books in sight. The books that were in the kids hands at the moment are the only ones they have. Imagine that. They’re reading Clifford now. They have been introduced to Dr. Seuss. They screamed for Curious George. They marveled over The Rainbow Fish. The books with animals wow’d them….A Polar Bear!?

That day at Pueblo is forever etched in my memory. “Share books. Increase Education. Choose what matters most in life”


I saw what Beth is doing. Teaching English. Giving her best to help these teachers learn/teach English to all these kids.  It’s incredible.  Wait, it’s more than incredible.  It’s the type of human act we don’t see very often, a humanitarian act.  We don’t have a vocabulary high enough to describe.  Because we live with blinders on.    She’s giving her life (2 1/2 years) her time….every day she’s there “Good Morning Class! How are YOU today?  Hows the weather outside? It’s SUNNY!” Her vibrance transcends through the students.  They react to her positivity.  Their energy is jumping from them in every direction.  How Beth manages to teach a class using two languages, I have no idea.  But what I do have for Beth is utter respect, gratitude and inspiration.

Why not give..
do a service to the world…
just because.
Without any want in return…

Wonder what that’d look like through your eyes?

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About haileerustad

I love everything. I do things differently. Tending to avoid conformity. Accepting unknown adventure whenever its presented. My mission is to live, let life flow through me with endless energy. Exciting and empowering others to find their natural happiness. As life is, all perception.
This entry was posted in books, Costa Rica, Inspiration, motivation, Travel, Uncategorized, Volunteer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Y Tienen Los Libros

  1. Joan Rustad-Huisman says:

    Thank you for the news and for sharing the excitement with us! THank you for caring and collecting the books to share with the kids. You are a blessing Hailee!
    Love you, Joan

  2. Lawrence F. Lihosit says:

    It’s never too early to think about the Third Goal. Check out Peace Corps Experience: Write & Publish Your Memoir. Oh! If you want a good laugh about what PC service was like in a Spanish-speaking country back in the 1970’s, read South of the Frontera: A Peace Corps Memoir.

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