Latest Annual Photos, Taken on September 11, 2014



I prefer Tomasa's photo from 2013, because she is wearing one of the dresses I brought for her when I visited in May:

Sadly, I do not have access to little sister Maria's annual photos.

Ana Paola's CR Letter - March 20, 2015

Gifts Baggies For Paola and Sisters

In March (I think) of 2013, another sponsor traveled to Guadalajara to visit her sponsored child. In exchange for my helping her to plan the trip, she delivered quart-sized baggies of gifts to my three kids and their siblings.

The photos I got back were very cute, but they never made it onto Paola's blog. So here they are!

DP Documents (see previous post)

M-I-C-K-E-Y... DP from Sponsor David

David Motz traveled to Mexico in February of 2014. He did not have time to visit any kids, but he left some cool gifts at the CI office for Paola. Check out these super-cute photos!:

Paola's reply letter, DP report, etc, in next post...

Mack's DP Debacle

Mailing this DP was a disaster.

My mother's employer generously offered to ship a large box to my three sponsored children in Mexico at their own expense. They are contracted with FedEx, while I always use USPS to Mexico.

First, FedEx returned the box to us because they didn't like how the Kids' ID numbers were written on the outside of the package. After we placed the box inside a larger, unmarked box, FedEx was willing to ship it for us.

Next, the box was scrutinized by customs in Mexico. I had cut off or scribbled out anything that said "Made in China", so I figured the contents would pass inspection. Nope. 

Customs placed restrictions on the following items:

Wrapped candies (there was a lot!)
Cotton candy tubs (3)
Box of candy canes (1) 
Set of Disney Princess dolls in box (1)
Barbie-like dolls with no box (2)
Deodorant stick (1)

With the exception of the deodorant, these are all items that have successfully shipped to Mexico on many an occasion. I think customs "looked inside" the box this time, when normally they would not bother. There are two reasons this may have happened:

1) The box was sent by a large US company, rather than a private individual.

2) USPS has a designation code for charitable gifts. I don't know if FedEx has this, and if they do, my mom's company probably did not know how to ship the box as a charitable gift.

End result, customs contacted CI to tell them that the items would not be allowed into the country and to ask what should be done. CI contacted me, and I gave them permission to tell customs to destroy the items instead of mailing everything back to the United States. However, customs went ahead and mailed it all back to me (at the expense of my mother's company, I imagine, but nobody has complained). I'm glad to get the Disney dolls back, because I can take them to Mexico with me the next time I visit.

My advice: Don't use FedEx to Mexico!

I am using a Macbook now, instead of a Windows OS, and I don't have a way yet to edit photos. That's why I left the name/ID number at the bottom of the pictures. 

Latest Letters from Ana Paola - 2014

Here are the two latest letters that have been received from our little Ana Paola. My mother scanned the letters together into one PDF doc, which it seems I am unable to upload to Blogger, so I will have to scan them again later.

The first letter is a reply to sponsor David Motz. It says:

Dear Padrino David Motz,
I have done very well in school, I am in the 1st grade and I am learning how to read. I have a friend. On Children's Day we had a party and I was given a candy bag, mole and Jamaica water. I had a lot of fun. Thank you for the letter that you sent to me.

The second letter is a response from a DP that I sent earlier this year (see photos in next post):

Dear Mckenzie Fritch,
Thank you so much for the presents, I love the lemur, it is just like the one we saw at the zoo, I also loved my blouses, they are very nice, and I like the colors. I hope you can come again soon.

Cake and Pinatas!!!!

What were the child’s/family’s comments when the gifts were delivered?
¿Qué comentaron el niño o la familia cuando se le entregaron los regalos?

"The whole family was waiting for Paola, especially because it was her birthday and there was going to he a cake and piñatas. Paola was veyr happy and excited when she blew out the candle on her cake and she said "Today's my birthday!" She was also excited about breaking the piñatas, it was the best time. They sang the song for breaking piñatas "dale, dale no pierdas el tino". It was a great happiness for her."

Paola's 8th Birthday Party, Courtesy of Renee

New sponsor, Renee, sent Paola some birthday money which was spent on household goods, groceries, new shoes, clothes, and supplies so the family could celebrate with a party!

How will the gifts benefit the child and/or family?
¿Cómo beneficiarán los regalos al niño y/o a la familia?
"This donation helped Paola celebrate one more birthday and share these happy moments with her sisters, her cousins and the rest of her family."

Paola's Educational SNG From Mani


Mani sent $100 so Paola could buy supplies for this school year. She received some awesome, new stuff, but ... we were told that Paola was enrolled in school, and it turns out that she is not.

Here is the explanation from the staff in Mexico:

"Regarding Paola's education, it's worth mentioning that she still attends tutorships at the Children International community center every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The tutorships are just for her to learn how to read and write. She still doesn't have her birth certificate to attend a regular school. This is due to the lack of interest from Paola's family, they have been advised on the procedures they have to follow in order to get the birth certificate. Only the family can follow them but Mrs. Rosa doesn't show interest about this matter."

On the other hand, Paola's teacher says that Paola's learning process is "slow, but she's willing to learn".

This is troubling news, but at least Paola has made remarkable progress in her writing ability for a kid who only goes to school for two hours each week.

Any ideas about how we can convince Rosa to get Paola's birth certificate in order? Bribery, perhaps? Maybe I need to fly down there and use my visit to take the family to the courthouse or wherever!

From the field staff:

"Paola was very excited choosing the school supplies, especially the backpack and the colors."

"This donation helps her have the opportunity to study with the help of the new school supplies that he will need to continue taking tutorships."

Paola's thank-you letter was mailed to Mani, so I hope he will share the contents of it when it arrives.

Meet New Sponsor, Shannon (Saddare)!

 Hola! Me llamo Shannon! Most of you already know my Sponsorship story from LiftOne, so I'll only do a quick summary here: I've been a Sponsor since I was 14, and I currently sponsor twelve girls individually and, including Paola, two girls in group Sponsorships. I'm so excited to have had the opportunity to join little Paola's group!

I live in the USA in Maryland with my boyfriend Julio and my twelve-year-old Carin Terrier, Ali`i (Hawai`ian word meaning “king” or “chief”). I work for Southwest Airlines, supervising the guys who load and unload your luggage (Bags Fly Free!). I have no children of my own and have no plans to have any—a dog is handful enough for me!

When I'm not busy putting together D.P.s  or writing letters for my girls, I enjoy crocheting blankets for Project Linus. I'm also a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (more easily referred to as the SCA), a medieval re-creation group. In medieval life I am a 16th century Irish noblewoman who can't pronounce her own name (don't judge! How would YOU say 'Sannon inghaen Bhriain ui Dhuilleain'?!) but nonetheless dabbles in dance, music, archery and leather work. Julio has begun his medieval journey as well—he's a nobleman from Spain—and he has vowed to make me Queen of Atlantia someday!

            So, that's me in a nutshell!

            … if I'm in a nutshell, does that mean I'm a nut?

            Me despido con abrazos grandes!

Barbara's Gifts for Paola's 8th Birthday!

More Christmas DP From Barbara + Paola's 2nd Letter

Christmas 2012 DP From Barbara