No soy una tica.

Feliz día de la independencia, Costa Rica!

Today is Costa Rica’s independence day — 190 years of independence. Wow! Viva Costa Rica! Costa Rica is not my country and right now, it’s not even my home. As much as I wish it was, it is not. No soy una tica.

I live in Seattle. I have American citizenship. My skin is pasty white. Soy una gringa.

But in my heart I’m a little bit tica. In my heart I love this country. I love the way the people greet you with a kiss though they have never met you and welcome you into their home as if it were already yours.

I love that this country is not at war and I love how you live as though everyone is your brother. I love the way you praise God and offer your lives for him. I love the way you care for your family and how you make life richer through your laughter. I love the beauty of your country and the beauty of your hearts.

I love the way my tica mom, Rosaura, feeds me until I can’t possibly eat any more, and sings to me with words I wish I could understand better. I love the way my tica mom, Xinia, smiles with endearing eyes, holds my head in her hands, and kisses my cheek before giving me a tica mama hug.

I love the way my tico dads, Victor and Gerardo, joke with me in as much English as they know and love me as though I am their daughter.

I love my tico brothers and tica sisters who love me and encourage me in the Lord. I love the way we laugh together, though not all of us have the same language. Jota, Josue, Gabo, Eri, Lucia, Chemelo, Leccy, Abi … Tefi, Robert, Kathy, Kevin, Kristine, Cristina, Nancy, David, Karen, Giovanni, Kendall, Bryan, Valerie, and so many more… I love you all and today (and every day) I love your country with you.

Thank you for making Costa Rica my other home even though I am not a tica. Pura vida.

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