Letters seem to be picking up some this month. We had a couple of kids who were almost due for inquiries when their letters came through, and I see that as progress. This month we heard from Jeannette, Kaue, Motempa, Nkoyio, Elisha, Said, Amelia, Emmanuel, Purity, Estha, Eyo, Herlan, Christina, Mjay, Kevin, Edmundo, Zalifina, Reine, and Fatuma! And we got Manna mail from Zoila!
August is one of our slower birthday months, but we still had several to celebrate! This month, Thanakan in Thailand turned 9; Prakasit in Thailand turned 12; Yisleidi in Ecuador turned 5; Caleb in Uganda turned 15; Pitchaya in Thailand turned 21; and Jessika in Ecuador turned 20!
Until last year, apparently we didn't have any new kids in July! So this year we celebrated one year of writing to Rubby and Amelia, and one year of co-sponsoring Maribel!
Sadly, we lost two correspondents this month because their sponsors decided to write to them, but we did gain three new kids! Welcome to little Jarvin in Mexico, and lovely Diana and Edwing in Nicaragua! And Edwing is officially our 100th Compassion kid! This is the most kids I have ever had to write to at one time. I definitely never thought I would have this many members in our far away family!
We had a couple of photo updates this month! The most exciting one was Vandana's- we've just had the one photo of her since we sponsored her last May, and it was already a little old. Twenty seven months after her last photo update, Vandana got a new photo- and it's stunning. She is so pretty! I am also excited because if you zoom in, you can see that the necklace she's wearing looks uncannily similar to the one that I sent in a bag of gifts when Shelley traveled to India in February. I hope this means that she (and the other girls) received their gifts!
Also this month, we got photo updates from Carla in Bolivia, and Christine, Mercy, Motempa, and Nkoyio in Kenya!
We received a big packet of Manna Mail from Zoila this week! Zoila made four folders, four colorful drawings, and a notepad for me! She is ridiculously creative- everything was covered with pretty doodles and drawings, she fixed flowers on one folder with paint, things were lined and trimmed with glitter glue and sparkling ribbon- it was amazing! And she even squeezed her little doll in. I think I will start carrying it with me and taking photos when I travel, to share with her! Dolly visits the zoo, the museum, and in October, Honduras! :)
As of today, my trip to Honduras is 52 days away!! I'm so excited! We won't get our itinerary until 2-3 weeks before the trip, but we are working to finalize our plans ("our" meaning me and Marissa, another sponsor) to meet up with our Manna kids when we are in San Pedro Sula. In the process, we did find out where we will be staying at the beginning of the trip. One thing I'm looking forward to is the fact that we will be staying in big cities on this trip- cities that frequently have tourists and visitors. I looked up the hotel on trip advisor, and they have a breakfast buffet that looks really nice! Being excited about that may seem strange, but in some ways, Tanzania was challenging because we stayed in a rural location most of the time, and the "hotel' was not quite what anyone was expecting. Seeing recognizable food (or properly cooked and stored local cuisine!) in a recognizable setting, in a hotel that looks like any I might stay in here, is very comforting. Yay! :)
In May, our wonderful Eduardo graduated from Compassion's program. I recently found him on facebook, and this week he accepted my friend request! I'm so grateful that we will be able to stay in touch! With a little help from Hannah, since I don't speak Spanish.:)