We are thrilled to have arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica and anxiously await our final companion joining us tomorrow.
Travel days are difficult. Even when all goes well, they are long days filled with early mornings or late nights. As several of our group experienced, sometimes you get both. A red eye from the west coast or mountain time to eastern time, only to return to mountain time in the evening.
Travel itself can just be wearisome. There is a sense of urgency but also a lot of waiting. There’s the excitement of what we are about to do juxtaposed to the dreariness of the airport. And, then there is the unexpected and, sometimes worse, anxiety about the unexpected.
It is easy to think about airport time as the time “in between” our Costa Rica course and the rest of our summer. In many ways, it is. We were still connected to our lives at home as we talked with family and friends and scrolled through social media. In other ways, however, thinking through ethical leadership is not something that only applies to our time there.
As one of the course instructors, I want to commend our group on how well they dealt with the inconveniences and weariness of the day. There were no complaints and good attitudes all around. Perhaps more importantly, today was the first day many of us met each other. I noticed the way students sought to include others, beginning with a simple, “Hey, do you want to join us?” Simple, right? Simple, but not always easy. Simple, but extremely important and impactful. Throughout the day, I sought different students making the effort to do the seemingly simple things that demonstrate awareness of and compassion for one another. To walk slowly beside a new friend. To initiate a game of cards. To lead the way through immigration and customs.
I am so excited to get to know these young folks over the next two weeks and to learn with them and from them