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guest columnist mark klempner

by Mark Klempner

While the violence and intolerance in the world seems to be spinning out of control, I am fortified by the peace and harmony to be found in our little Costa Rican village. Not that it’s paradise here, but the kind of things that go on are definitely chicken soup for my CNN-besotted soul.

     When we first moved into our current house in Costa Rica’s central valley, one of our neighbours saw my very pregnant wife and decided to throw us a baby shower. Entering her backyard patio, we found a bevy of other neighbours gathered beside a pile of gifts. As if this wasn’t enough, they also took it upon themselves to pray for us and the baby, a blessing that was enhanced by several of them gently placing their hands on my wife’s huge belly.

     Dazed by this unabashed expression of good will and caring, we stayed for rice and beans and some homemade dessert made from condensed milk. The only cloud on my mental skies was the question of whether these good Christian women would treat us the same way after they found out we are Jewish.


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