- The "My Compassion Experience" Trip Guide and Journal. This little spiral bound notebook is full of interesting stuff- I can't wait to sit down and read it. It has my name and the tour dates printed on the cover, too, which makes me happy. The inside of the notebook has four parts. The first part is called "Preparing to Travel" and has packing info, information on documents, immunizations and insurance, a to-do list, and things like that. Part two is called "Destination: Tanzania", which has details on the culture and language, a section on "Handling Culture Shock", and then exciting sections about visiting Compassion offices and touring centers and homes, and a bit about meeting my sponsor kids! Part three is called "Trip Journal" and provides writing prompts and space to write abut things like "preparing your heart and mind", "daily reflections", and "I want to do more!" Part four is where I will keep track of "Itineraries and Final Details", such as flight itineraries, trip itineraries, a list of my fellow travelers, and the CDCs we will be visiting. Much of this information will come later. There's also a pocket in the back where I can keep track of paperwork.
- A packet of notecards. The introduction letter says these are for leaving notes of thanks, prayer and encouragement. Each sheet has "May God bless you" on the front, and writing space on the back.
- Luggage tags! I almost bought some the other day- I'm glad I didn't! These are blue and rubbery and have the world map printed on one side, along with a little airplane and Compassion's logo. I love them!
- A handy little pouch and a Compassion ink pen
- Stickers and bubbles (in a tiny bottle with Compassion's logo) for playing with the kids
- Compassion lip balm and sanitizing wipes. The wipes are all wound up in a teeny container with Compassion's logo on them, and hang from a keychain. Very handy!
This package is very exciting for a number of reasons. For one, it's a tremendous encouragement to me to receive something like this, as I've been having a pretty hard time lately. Last week was absolutely horrendous, filled with a lot of bad, hurtful things, and I have been praying that this week would have better things in store! On top of that, it's a good reminder that in just three short months, I will be in Tanzania! I have been so wrapped up in other things lately, like the holidays or even fundraising for the trip, that my mind has wandered away from the trip itself. Having this tangible package of exciting things is helping me refocus and get excited once again.
I'm really thrilled to share my trip with you all, and I thank you for your prayers and your financial support, too. Just as a friendly reminder, I still have 86 ornaments to sell in three short weeks for my Haitian ornament fundraiser. I really hope that I'm able to sell them all, not just for my trip fundraiser but because a majority of the funds I receive go right back to the moms and dads who made the ornaments, so they can keep their families in tact. Every little bit helps, but I want this fundraiser to be a true success for them and sell out. If you have any friends who like to give holiday gifts that give back, please consider sharing this post with them!