Image by Wha'ppen via Flickr In Costa Rica every town has at least one church and across the street from the church is a plaza, or square or in American parlance a park, the size of a square block. The plaza is all grass with sidewalks through it. Trees are scattered around it, and benches sit in shady spots and in the sunshine. People utilize the benches. Young couples sit holding hands. Old men play chess. Young mothers chat while children romp in the grass. I usually sit in the shade and read. All around the square are shops. You can get a hamburger, an ice cream or your dog groomed.
You can sit in these parks without feeling self-conscious because everyone does it. If you sit in the park long enough, you will meet someone you know. The plaza are a throwback to another time and an imitation of European style. Nevertheless they are a reminder to slow down, sit down, think, pray and maybe even make a friend.