This year our Ghana girls have been writing pretty short letters. I was excited that Mary not only responded to each prompt on her stationery, but that she wrote a whole extra page! Mary said they've been learning about decision making and consequences at the project. and her family is doing really well. She said she really enjoyed the animal letters I sent this fall. She said she's been learning bead making, sewing, and cooking at the project. She also wrote about the Odwira festival, which you can read about here. I always love it when the kids tell me about local festivals. I get to learn a little about their culture, and I get a better idea about where they live!
We hadn't heard from Francisco for 7 or 8 months, so it was great to get his letter! He didn't say too much, but he did mention his visit with the Canadian sponsor tour group and getting to meet Jennifer and Katrina! He said he was so happy to meet my friends and he was really grateful that they spent time with him. The form portion of his letter was about holidays and special events. His favorite holiday is Carnival and he likes throwing fireworks! He also said that when they have school holidays, he goes fishing with his dad. And he said he was sending lots of kisses and hugs! He also drew this picture.
We also got our first letter from little Carla in Bolivia this week! We've had Carla since the spring and hadn't heard from her. I'm so thankful that Bolivia letters are on the move again. Carla's letter was also about her holidays. Her favorite is Christmas, and when she's on holiday she likes to play and watch movies. And at Christmas, when she's with her family, she plays and talks to everybody! Carla wrote that she greets me with the peace of the Lord, which is lovely. Carla said she got to go to the zoo recently! That's so fun! She said she hoped that we would send more letters, and drew this lovely picture!
Patricia shared that recently there was some flooding in her town, when "the river got full." She said that the project then opened the door to everyone and handed out clothes and food! She also shared that she's started taking drawing classes at the project, and she loves it. She also said her church is called Church of Peace and she's involved in the youth group there, and she likes to go with her sisters!
Zalifina's letter arrived just five days after she wrote it! She lives in the Manyara region, named for the big lake there (which I have seen, from a distance!) It's just a couple hours away from where the field office is. How neat that her letter came so fast! Zalifina said she'd taken the national exam and she was confident she had passed because of what she had read in the Bible. She said she keeps rejoicing when she gets letters, and she prays that I keep writing with the same heart. She shared that the mangoes on the trees were ripe, and she really likes mangoes (me too!) She asked how many trees I've planted!
Teresia's letter arrived the same day as Zalifina's, but it was written a bit earlier. Teresia's family isn't planting mangoes, they're planting maize and millet! She said she prays every day for me to have a long life, which is so sweet. And she invited me to come spend Christmas with her! If only I could! I think Tanzania would be a wonderful place to spend the holidays. Joy and praise are overflowing there. It would be hard not to be in the Christmas spirit.
It was a good week for Tanzania letters! Said said his family is doing fine. I am going to do an inquiry for him when I can, though, because his family description online has changed a bit in a way that concerns me. Said said that he liked learning that it was hot where we live this summer. I'm glad someone enjoyed it! :) And he liked hearing about the summer reading program at the library! Said wants to know if our church has a project like his church does! And he enjoyed reading about the "animal garden" (the zoo) and told me he's visited a national park before and seen animals there!
This was our first letter from Haiti since the Hurricane. Benji didn't have a lot to say, but he did say that the hurricane didn't really affect his family, and asked us to pray for the families that lost their homes and crops.
Fatuma shared that every day, her family goes to the mosque. I'm thankful that her family is open to her attending the project and based on what she has described to me in her letters, they aren't really in opposition to Christian teaching. I like knowing when my kids live in places where people get along. :) Fatuma said that they have been discussing business plans at the project, which is pretty impressive since she's so young! She said she wants to open her own business selling mangoes and oranges. She said that her favorite thing to eat at the project is pilau, and they also get a fruit with their meals.
Two letters from Gloria arrived this week, which was great since we hadn't heard from her in over six months! Gloria asked how I am doing and said "I think you are fine." Gloria has been away at school- she wrote to me a while back that she was starting a new school, but I didn't realize it was a boarding school! Her teacher is named Edith and there are 35 students in her class. She also shared the names of her family members- her mom's name is Charity and her dad's name is Leonard! She also said "my teachers love me because I am well behaved." She is such a sweet little girl- I don't doubt that!
Also, just as a general sort of announcement, I am thinking of taking a break from this after the holidays. I've been struggling with blogging lately for a couple of reasons. Most of the time I just feel like I'm talking to myself. When this started there was a nice little community of sponsors who were blogging for Compassion and we were all communicating with each other. Now, most of the women who got me interested in both Compassion and blogging have sort of dropped out. And I don't think blogs are as much of a "thing" as they used to be anyway. I'm not sure what people are doing now instead. Maybe live facebook videos. I don't know. But it's been a few weeks since anyone commented on here and I don't think there's much of a "readership" anymore. Plus the advocacy part doesn't seem as effective- in two years only one person has sponsored from this blog, and I'm at the point now where I feel like if my friends and family were going to sponsor, they would have done it. I might still share waiting kids or pastor letters on my personal facebook page, but with no interaction from people reading this (if anyone is) and no known fruits of my labor, I guess you'd call it, motivation is kind of tough to come by. I love telling people about my kids, but on Sunday nights or Monday mornings, when I think of how I "have to" come here and post, I feel a little frustrated and like I want to procrastinate. And I don't like that feeling. I might change my mind, and I hope to have some updates to share on my other blog about our adoption, but I just wanted to share what's on my mind and why you might see a lack of posts in the new year.