Today in My History2000: Paternity Leave
2002: In Your Easter Bonnet
2003: Shrove Monday
2004: Shock and Awe
2005: The Great Houdini
2006: Where's the Canine Prozac?
2008: Baby Watch
2009: How Much are Those Doggies in My Window?
2010: Hunting Wildflowers
2011: The Sound of (Kinda) Silence
Books Read in 2012
"Cutting for Stone"
Most Recent on My My 70th Year
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My Compassion Kids
The Pen Pal Project
1 April 2012
Isn't this a beautlful picture of Shallon? She is my sponsored child in Uganda and seems to be a lovely person. She is 18 and wants to be a nurse when she finishes school. She sends me wonderful, loving letters filled with her love of God and her love of me.
This picture shows the gifts that she got with the money I sent to her for her birthday (she and I share a birthday). She bought a blouse, a skirt, shoes, and a sweater.
I was worried about her because her last letter, written in November, said that she had to change schools because she "couldn't take the food" in her former school. She also complained of stomach pains and headache.
A call to Compassion put a query in place and after a long time I learned that she had food allergies and had to move to a school where she could go home for lunch.
In her letter she says that the family plantation has developed "banana wilt" and that "we have famine in our house." It was said as matter of factly as if she had said "I went to school today." It made me realize that people in Uganda are no strangers to famine. I sent a small family gift, but it will be awhile before it arrives and who knows how much it can help.
This young woman is Emmanuella, from Ghana. I chose to sponsor her because in her picture she was wearing jeans that were much too large for her and an oversized shirt and she looked like a young boy. She had a scowl on her face.
This picture is a thank you for her Christmas gifts, which included the dress she is wearing. While this is not a big smile, there is a definite upturn at the edge of her lips and she looks like a little girl.
In her letter of thanks she says "I had a terrible experience two weeks ago when our house got flooded by heavy rain fall. I had all my learning materials spoiled."
I know how important learning materials are to these children. I can only imagine how devastated she was to lose hers.
But again, she seemed to be rather matter-of-fact about it, and she was writing to thank me:
I thought about these two girls as I walked around Costco the other day, buying toilet paper, dog treats and a few other things. I saw families with carts piled high with all sorts of stuff and I went to all of the food stands giving free samples. Madeleines, "veggie straws" (snacks), tuna salad, pre-cooked Australian lamb, energy drinks, various Indian foods and lots more. You could have a meal just making the rounds of the food samples.
I looked at the obscene sizes of foodstuffs on the shelves and in people's carts (I myself had 30 rolls of toilet paper and two boxes of dog treats) and wondered if Shallon's village could fit inside the huge warehouse (I think I heard we have the country's largest Costco in Woodland).
It makes you stop and think about what is important and what others in the world are dealing with, matter of factly, just trying to make it from day to day, yet still happy and still thinking about people who help them and sending love and prayers for them.
"Thank you very much. May you receive everything you have spend on me in many folds." said Emmanuella, the little girl who is starting to find her smile. I have already received "everything I have spent on her in many folds" in this letter. And I just wish I were in a position to do more.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Brianna's birthday cake