11 November 2010

From the Inbox: Flowers in Costa Rica

Chances are, if you are reading this, you are an artsy type who knows how good it feels to receive feedback on your work. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to read a comment that says That’s cool or I might just try that.

If you have a blog, you know what I mean. It's awesome.

Well, with that in mind, imagine how thrilled I was when I got an email from Leah, who has been living and working in Costa Rica for a little over a year now;

I work in Los Guido, a neighborhood that started as a squatter community of mostly Nicaraguan immigrants. My roommate started a Tutoring Center where kids are welcomed to come and get help on homework, studying, etc etc etc.  And so for the past year I have had the pleasure, for an hour twice a week, of being able to take a break from practicing syllables and making math practices to lead the kids in a craft.  They love it, and so do I.  It is quite challenging to weekly come up with new ideas that can be done on the cheap, or better yet, for free.  I really try not to buy anything, recycled and donated materials only, so finding your "Garbage Flowers" was such a sweet surprise.  We used them to make a tiny mural in our modest yet joyful Center.

Y'all, my heart just melted when I saw these flowers. Just look at those babies! Can you imagine anything more beautiful?

I can't take much credit here, seeing as I did not invent garbage flowers and I didn't have any role in the creation here, but just the same, I am smiling ear to ear thinking that post was one drop in a bucket of beauty. Thank you for sharing Leah, you have made my day many times over.

To learn more about the Tutoring Center, check out Leah's roommate Krysta’s blog, El TrampolĂ­n. Reading about her adventures in Costa Rica and the lives they are touching, the lessons to be taken from the community around them…well, it just warms my heart knowing there are good people out there doing great things. 

The Tutoring Center is part of a larger non-profit organization called Students International. If you or someone you know is interested in helping make a positive, sustainable impact in a developing country, join them on facebook, check out their website, or make a donation.

Thanks again, Leah!


  1. Awesome! As a blogger, it's great to find out that you've inspired someone.


  2. Good work! It is great to see people out there and making a difference! God Bless!

  3. Such a great story! And I love these garbage flowers!!! I'm off to the tutorial tout suite!

    xo mary jo

  4. Don't ya just love it when that happens? It's the best part of blogging in my opinion. Congratulations for being an inspiration. You are certainly one to me. And garbage flowers? I didn't even know you made flowers out of plastic bottles... Why am I so in the dark? Sometimes I feel like we live in parallel universes or something...

  5. Michele, I KNOW!! Great minds think alike :)
    But you know, even though I made dozens of those bottle flowers, the way you cut-n-slice them gets much more dynamic shapes...whereas, before, I was relying on paint to make them pop. This time, when Xmas wreath comes, I'm going to try to avoid using any paint but white (like yours)...challenge myself.
    You may have seen them before but you have GOT to check out Magpie's blog --it's new. http://www.magpieartcollective.blogspot.com/ They really set the standard for all of us funky-junky types!

  6. Magpie (great name) eh? will do. I'm on it.

    hey Peaches? This idea just popped in my brain... We should work on something together... don't know what, don't know how... never suggested this to anyone in blog land before... feel like i'm 13 and asking you out on a date... sweaty palms, the whole deal... but yeah... i really have no ACTUAL ideas... but thought i'd put it out there... maybe we could have our own event or go head-to-head in a self-imposed challenge or something... anyways i generally work alone but i think you're amazing so... i mean there all always exceptions... i'm babbling like a 13 year old now... ok. that's all for now.



  7. OMG…this is too funny…Michele you beat me to the punch! I was thinking some sort of challenge would be cool but I had no idea (still have no idea) on what sort of thing would be good/interesting/neat-enough-to-distract-from-cool-stuff-you-are-already-working-on...

    I’m emailing you in half a minute…stay tuned.

  8. D'you know how you could inspire even more people? If you finally wrote that book I've been wanting you to publish ever since I read your post on a certain fingernail. Get writing, lass, you know it makes sense.
    Way to go, you can be really proud of yourself. Inspiring people is a great gift few possess.

  9. it does always feel great to know that someone cares about what you write and/or do, but this is just wonderful! your heart has every right to melt! good job! :) lisa


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