Once again I find that I have no idea how to begin this post – or even the words to use to describe the amazing experience that was Ecuador. I know I left part of my heart in South America, and in all honesty, most days the trips I took there feel more like a weird, wonderful dream than reality. I got to see my sponsored children again. I got to speak with them, hear their own voices, give them hugs, and show them love in person. I held their hands in mine – and once again utterly left my heart with them.

There’s no way I could convey the full range of emotions felt from this trip in a single post – so, just as I did with my last trip, I’m attempting to share in a series, breaking it down day-by-day or story-by-story; but bear with me, these words are hard to write and even harder to share…

—————————–

First off, let me give you fair warning: this is the last of my Ecuador trip posts, and it’s a bit lengthy and photo heavy.

I started the day loading up the 7, yes 7, bags full of goodies, gifts, and my essentials (sunscreen lotion, swim suit, etc.) and heading down to the lobby for a quick breakfast at the hotel restaurant. You can read more about what I took to my kids here – but let me just say that the duffel bags I made were a huge hit and I’ll be making more of them in the future, also, they can totally be worn like a backpack (see photo below).

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While all of the sponsors were gathering in a room below the lobby, the kids were arriving and having some fun with the baggage carts! The photo below is one of the jewels I got from Emily’s camera – and a big reason of why I take a digital camera to my kids and give it to them as soon as I see them – they take great photos! This is a tradition I’ll continue with each trip: I buy inexpensive digital cameras at Walmart before I leave home with the intention of giving each of my kids one of them. I also stock up on batteries and SD cards. The plan is to put 1 SD card in each of the cameras at the beginning, let the kids take photos to their hearts content, and then switch out the SD cards with new ones right before I leave. I then take their photos home & print them, and then send the photos back to the kids in the many letters I write them. It works perfectly. I got tons of photos, but never have to be behind the camera – it is so awesome!Digital Camera

Once we were all reunited, we boarded several busses and headed to the waterpark for our fun day. Emily, Gladys, Josue, and I got to sit in the very back of the bus – and had a blast during the hour or so ride. Ecuador2015Day7_ - 2

Once at the park, we sat down our things and played some games – Josue is extremely sporty (which I am not – by any stretch of the imagination) and I cheered him on for a while before we talked all of the kids into trying out the swimming pool. Gladys had never seen a pool before, but she took to it like a fish. It was task to get her out of the water at the end of the day!Ecuador2015Day7_ - 4 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 5 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 6

After swimming, and a quick lunch at the park, we headed back to our bags and began giving gifts. (It also started to rain on us a bit – but a few sprinkles weren’t going to deter our happiness). The kids all loved their gifts – and the quilts were a huge hit. Digital Camera Ecuador2015Day7_ - 8

Gladys also loved, and I mean LOVED, the doll Mom sent to her. Can’t you just feel the excitement? Gladys is very, very shy. I don’t think she spoke more than a dozen words the entire time – but once we opened gifts she came alive. She was the most expressive of the three, I think. After each and every gift that she opened, she gave me a big hug. I have some of the sweetest photos of her from this time. You could tell by her face that she couldn’t believe this was really happening.Ecuador2015Day7_ - 9 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 10 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 11 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 12

Also, note the “v” on the above bird – for months we thought Gladys went by her middle name – Valeria. We were wrong – as I found out on this trip. Oops!Ecuador2015Day7_ - 13 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 14 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 15 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 16 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 17 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 18

After all the hard goodbyes (always the worst part), our group went out to eat at a traditional restaurant that featured dinner and a show. It was a fantastic way to decompress and process all that we’d been through. The costumes and dancing were amazing, and I’m so glad I thought to take some video of the performances – it really was a great way to end the day.Ecuador2015Day7_ - 19 Ecuador2015Day7_ - 20

Finally, we closed the trip with a 2:45 wakeup call in order to make our early morning flight back to Miami and then my connecting flights home. I was exhausted, but the trip was amazing. I cannot wait to go back to Ecuador.Ecuador2015Day7_ - 21

As I mentioned Tuesday, the Compassion Bloggers are blogging their experiences in Ecuador this week, too. To read more from the bloggers, click here. To find your own beautiful child to sponsor, click here.

Once again I find that I have no idea how to begin this post – or even the words to use to describe the amazing experience that was Ecuador. I know I left part of my heart in South America, and in all honesty, most days the trips I took there feel more like a weird, wonderful dream than reality. I got to see my sponsored children again. I got to speak with them, hear their own voices, give them hugs, and show them love in person. I held their hands in mine – and once again utterly left my heart with them.

There’s no way I could convey the full range of emotions felt from this trip in a single post – so, just as I did with my last trip, I’m attempting to share in a series, breaking it down day-by-day or story-by-story; but bear with me, these words are hard to write and even harder to share…

—————————–

Ecuador2015Day6_ - 4

Day 6 was easily the longest day of the trip – mainly because we were all super anxious to see our kids at dinner, but, before we could do so, we had a couple of other stops planned. We started the day by touring the main country office. Here we got to see the process of sorting and delivering letters, tracking student progress, and curriculum development. I also love going through the various project mailboxes and look for letters waiting to be delivered to my kids.
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After the tour, we stopped for lunch at a local pizza place – which took forever, but had some really great food. I ended up begin the last one to get my food, but it was worth the wait. After eating, we went back to the hotel to rest and prepare for meeting our kids. We gathered in the hotel lobby to drive over to the event space and set up our tables for the dinner with the kids.
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I had my own table for the dinner, since my group was going to be so large – and I decorated it with confetti and streamers. The kids ended up arriving 30 minutes later than expected, and let me tell you, we sponsors felt every second of it. On the plus side, this gave the event space staff time to get their wifi working – which meant that I was able to Skype home and let Mom talk to Gladys, so it was worth it.
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To meet our kids, our group leaders lined all of the sponsors up in order and one at a time, our kids came through the doors and met us. It was a cool way to do the introductions, and allowed for plenty of good photo time. I’m also very grateful for those photos – especially the one below – because I knew as soon as I saw my Emily that I’d be picking her up. My friend Jodi also got a great video of the moment – which is the best!Ecuador2015Day6_ - 5

I love, love, love that Ecuador does this dinner before the fun day. It’s nearly my favorite part. And this year they had a photo booth – which was such a fun idea! I don’t have any of the photo booth photos – I let the kids take them all – but I do have some other photos that capture the night perfectly. In fact, I have so many photos that it would be impossible to share them all without creating a blog post that is insanely long. So instead, I’ll just tell you some of my favorite moments:

  • Josue celebrating his birthday (which was 2 days later) with the ceramic cupcake I brought him
  • Opening the elaborate gifts created by my kids for me – including: a sculpted paper heart from Josue, Guava jam from Emily, and a balloon giraffe from Gladys.
  • Watching Emily and Gladys become fast friends
  • Hugs on top of hugs on top of hugs
  • Watching Gladys skype with Mom and take photos of my computer screen with Mom’s face.
  • Learning that Josue was competing in a reality TV dance show – seriously! This boy is so talented!

Some of my favorite memories are from this night – and I wish I could go back to it every single day. These kids, they are why my heart calls Ecuador home – and they are why I make every effort to visit as often as possible – to write as often as possible – and to send my love across continents. These kids will have a brighter future because of Compassion, and I am honored to witness it.

Ecuador2015Day6_ - 3 Digital Camera

As I mentioned Tuesday, the Compassion Bloggers are blogging their experiences in Ecuador this week, too. To read more from the bloggers, click here. To find your own beautiful child to sponsor, click here.

Once again I find that I have no idea how to begin this post – or even the words to use to describe the amazing experience that was Ecuador. I know I left part of my heart in South America, and in all honesty, most days the trips I took there feel more like a weird, wonderful dream than reality. I got to see my sponsored children again. I got to speak with them, hear their own voices, give them hugs, and show them love in person. I held their hands in mine – and once again utterly left my heart with them.

There’s no way I could convey the full range of emotions felt from this trip in a single post – so, just as I did with my last trip, I’m attempting to share in a series, breaking it down day-by-day or story-by-story; but bear with me, these words are hard to write and even harder to share…

—————————–

Ecuador2015Day5_ - 3

At the start of Day 5, we met as group in the hotel restaurant to enjoy some of the best food of the whole trip and fellowship with students enrolled in Compassion’s college program. It is always amazing to visit with the older Compassion students and hear first hand how the program has helped them. Ecuador2015Day5_ - 7

After breakfast, we headed to the famous Otavalo market – which was amazing and huge! We spent a little over an hour here – and I never feel like that’s enough time. The market was easily the size of an entire city block, with vendors packed in every available space. I knew that in order to see everything and get what I’d planned on purchasing (for myself and gifts) I had to be methodical and fast.

I don’t have many photos of the market, because it’s considered rude to take random photos. Instead, you’re encouraged to ask permission before taking a photo, and take photos of booths where you’d purchased something.Ecuador2015Day5_ - 1

The night before, I sat down and made a list of what items I’d be looking for at the market. I knew I wanted a bag of some sort since my carryon was a duffel bag that I’d made specifically as a gift for my sponsored girl, Emily. I also wanted to get as many alpaca blankets as possible – and ended up getting an amazing deal by buying them in semi-bulk! Finally, I wanted to pick up some small trinket like items for my coworkers, some artwork for myself, and a nativity scene (because I want to buy one every time I travel with Compassion).

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The artwork was so vibrant and truly makes me happy every time I look at it. I bought some beautiful pieces, but I left one behind. I really wanted that painting of the ship in the photo below – near the center of the photo – and I wish I had bought it, but at the time, I felt it was outside my price range. At least I got a photo of it, though.
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After the market, we made one final trip to Puerto Lago to pack our things and board the bus headed back to Quito. The rest of the day was mainly spent between traveling and stopping for food. We had lunch at Cafe Vaca – note the John Deere at the door. Ecuador2015Day5_ - 9 Ecuador2015Day5_ - 10

Here, I introduced to the group to the deliciousness that is the mixed guanavanan and blackberry juice drink. I could seriously drink this every day. Ecuador2015Day5_ - 2

When we got back to Quito, we had a few minutes to check into our hotel rooms and rest before we met in the lobby and walked over to “Waffles and Crepes” – which was also so delicious. This was the first time I’d ever tried Crepes and they were worthy of the hype. Finally, we went back to the hotel to rest and prepare for the next day – when we’d get to finally see our sponsored kids!

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As I mentioned yesterday, the Compassion Bloggers are blogging their experiences in Ecuador this week, too. To read more from the bloggers, click here. To find your own beautiful child to sponsor, click here.

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This week, the compassion bloggers are writing from Ecuador. They will visit Compassion children and centers that have overcome unimaginable odds, and then share their journey through their words and photos. Also, this trip is different from Compassion’s previous trips because each blogger is bringing their son. I am excitedly following along on their adventures, and hope you are doing the same.

Since Ecuador also holds a place near and dear to my heart – I’m planning on blogging about my experiences there this week, too, taking this opportunity to pick up where I left off back in July. These trips are always hard to write about, but they are so worth it. So, I hope you’ll join me and the other Compassion bloggers this week as we all travel to Ecuador in our writing and spirits.

To read more from the bloggers, click here.

To find your own beautiful child to sponsor, click here.

Curate2015

In early 2015, I chose Curate as my One Little Word – my one word to shape the year and guide me in my experiences. And honestly, I can’t say that it served me well. That’s not to say that it did poorly, it’s just that I wouldn’t associate 2015 with “curate” anymore. I feel like I had wonderful intentions, and started off pretty solid, but by mid-summer I was tired. I lost motivation for curate, for this space, and felt completely overwhelmed. My trip to Peru in June did little to reinvigorate me (which was shocking since both trips to Ecuador had given me new life upon my return home), and processing everything completely bogged me down. Then, in late 2015, I was so stressed that I’d love to just wipe those months from my memory. I don’t type this for your pity or to whine, but instead, I type this to say: it’s ok. I dealt with 2015, I crawled in my figurative hole and hibernated for a few months. I rested my soul and my voice, and now slowly, I feel my motivation returning.

I’ve decided NOT to pick a “little word” for 2016. After reviewing my words in the past, it became blazingly obvious that I do much better when I pick a word that sums up the year at the end of that year – a reflective word. Reflective words recognize the overarching themes, but set no expectations for the future. They look back, open eyes, and teach lessons, but do not set unrealistic goals, add stress, or threaten failure. Reflective words are my jam.

So yes, dear reader, I am back to writing in this space. I will do my best to ensure that I don’t leave you hanging for 7 months again. Right now, I’ve got posts lined up for the entire month with the plan of publishing 2-3 times a week. (This week will be the exception, with more on that tomorrow). I’ll be writing about my quilting, gardening, and (of course) my sponsorship journey with Compassion International. I hope you will come along for the ride.

Until next time, I’d love to know: Do you pick One Little Word?

Once again I find that I have no idea how to begin this post – or even the words to use to describe the amazing experience that was Ecuador. I know I left part of my heart in South America, and in all honesty, most days the trips I took there feel more like a weird, wonderful dream than reality. I got to see my sponsored children again. I got to speak with them, hear their own voices, give them hugs, and show them love in person. I held their hands in mine – and once again utterly left my heart with them.

There’s no way I could convey the full range of emotions felt from this trip in a single post – so, just as I did with my last trip, I’m attempting to share in a series, breaking it down day-by-day or story-by-story; but bear with me, these words are hard to write and even harder to share…

——————————————————————-

[Long post alert – consider yourself warned]

Day 4, and I wake up to the most spectacular hotel ever. Seriously, look at my room in the morning light – don’t you just want to curl up and stay forever? Just to the left of the photo is a wood-burning fireplace, too. This hotel, Puerto Lago, is now a definite weak spot for me. I had a very, very hard time leaving it – to the point of if I didn’t have commitments back home, I would have tried to find a way to stay longer.

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On this trip, unlike my 2013 visit to Ecuador with Compassion, I opted to pay the increased fee and have a single room – and let me say, it was so worth it. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 18

My room here had it’s own balcony, and all be it small, it was beautiful. The view looked over the lake with the volcano in the distance. It was truly breathtaking to see each morning – and absolutely peaceful. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to capture in writing the feeling of calm I got while here, but man it was amazing. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 7Ecuador2015Day4_ - 15Ecuador2015Day4_ - 23

Also, there were alpacas at the hotel. Alpacas. At the hotel. Several – and they were fun to photograph.
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For breakfast each morning in Puerto Lago, we ate at the hotel and had the best fresh fruit – strawberries, pineapple, melon, you name it. Plus, there was the most exquisite hot chocolate – like Swiss Miss to the max. After breakfast, we headed to EC-471 to experience a “Day in the Life of a Compassion Child.” Ecuador2015Day4_ - 12

Before breaking into groups to visit the children’s homes, we toured the main facility. This project had recently made use of Compassion’s Complementary Intervention Funds and upgraded a room for the teens to include a ping-pong table and several computers. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 1

After the tour, we once again loaded into the back of pick-up trucks and made the short but bumpy drive to the local homes. My group visited the house of Wendy and her brother. The house was constructed of concrete blocks and was one indoor room with a small kitchen area behind. You can see the kitchen best below:Ecuador2015Day4_ - 20

Here’s another view of the kitchen – the family cooks over a fire, but does have a small range inside. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 22

Against the other outer wall is a small lean-to bunk. This is where the adults (3) sleep. It’s covered with plastic sheeting to help keep the rain out. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 14Ecuador2015Day4_ - 25

Inside, there’s a bed where all the kids sleep, a bit of storage in the form of a wooden wardrobe, another small Cars themed wardrobe, and some shelving.  In the corner is the weaving machine where Wendy’s Dad spends most of his time creating sweaters to be sold in the local market.Ecuador2015Day4_ - 6Wendy’s mother also knits (and is so fast it’s crazy). Together, their crafts earn the necessary income to sustain the family. In the little time we were there (less than an hour) Wendy’s dad had created the front panel of a sweater and her mother had banded a hat. It was amazing to watch. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 9We also had the opportunity to ask Wendy and her brother about their experience in the Compassion Project. Both children are sponsored, and Wendy has received several letters, which she was excited to show us (though her face doesn’t look it, I promise she lit up when we asked about her sponsor). When we asked if there was anything she would tell her sponsor if she could, she replied, “I would let her know that I was waiting for this moment [to be sponsored] my whole life.” So sponsor, where ever you are, your letters are working. Man are they working. So thank you. Thank you for caring for Wendy and her family. Thank you for writing to her and filling her spirit with encouragement. And thank you for allowing us to witness such a small part of you story.

Ecuador2015Day4_ - 17Really, the entire family was so open, so grateful for their local church and Compassion. It was so inspiring. Also, see those minion and monster hats? Those are what the family makes to sell – and in the bottom right corner, that Canadian cloth? That’s the panel of the sweater they made while we were there. And, to top it all off, the family gave us each a hat before we left – they literally gave us part of their income because they were so happy to receive us in their home. Talk about generous – these who have less give most.

Ecuador2015Day4_ - 28Outside, the family has a small personal garden and a pen where they raise guinea pigs (below you can see 2 of the girls trying to get in with the guineas).
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Also, let me take this opportunity to reinforce the fact that I adore these Ecuadorian abuelas. I very much want to adopt one of these grandmothers as my own, they make me smile so. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 3

After our home visit, we gave Wendy and her cousin a ride back to the project – and they had a blast! (Again, one of my favorite photos from this trip!)Ecuador2015Day4_ - 19

Upon our return, it was time to play and, of course, paint nails! I will say, no matter where in the world you find yourself, little girls love nail polish, and the four or five of us sponsors painting nails were swamped the entire time.Ecuador2015Day4_ - 27Ecuador2015Day4_ - 30Ecuador2015Day4_ - 8

I also had several bracelets my friend Yvonne sent to me to give out – and man, these were popular, too! We had a crazy line for them and I enlisted several other sponsors to help me hand them out. Ecuador2015Day4_ - 13

After our play time with the kids, it was time for the projects grand finale – a birthday party for all of the kids celebrating their birthdays in April.
Ecuador2015Day4_ - 16They had so much cake! And giant sprinkler candles!

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And confetti! Truly it was one of the happiest birthday parties I’ve been to, and one I won’t soon forget!Ecuador2015Day4_ - 24

And after the cake and the party, it was time to say our goodbyes. The project presented each of us with a knitted hat (animals for the women), we took our final photos, and loaded back on the bus to head back to the hotel.Ecuador2015Day4_ - 2Ecuador2015Day4_ - 21

I keep forgetting how long these days were – it doesn’t seem like we did too much each day, but still got in so many activities. All day with the kids, and then back to the hotel just in time for a sunset over the lake. Just enough each day – just enough to soak it in and still feel like you can go on. Just enough to fully take it all in without feeling too rushed. Just enough.Ecuador2015Day4_ - 10

I’m planning to share more from this trip each Tuesday until the story is told. So be sure to check back for the next installment! :)

I’m finally making some headway on all the mini-quilt swaps I signed up for back in the Spring – and have seriously limited myself on any new swaps I sign up for (too many swaps means too little time to finish a well-crafted quilt). Anyway, today I’m sharing a look at a quilt I made for a Fairy Tale Themed Quilt. With this one, I had a last-minute partner switch, and consequently had to adapt my plan fairly quickly. My original partner was keen on Snow White and I had these grand plans of using this block as a center and adding a border of Lori Holt’s apples. But, that went out when I got a new partner. Thankfully, I’m a procrastinator, and I hadn’t gotten past the planning phase when they switched. I would have hated to have made the Snow White Mini only to find that my new partner was not a fan of Snow White. FairyTaleMini_ - 2

My new partner was, however, a big fan of Alice in Wonderland, and immediately I thought about making a cake-themed mini with the “eat me” tag so indicative of Alice. I made the tag with my embroidery machiene, and busted out some of my favorite fabrics (including that Wee Wander Mason Jar Print) for the cake layers.  FairyTaleMini_ - 3

I finished it all with some 1/2″ matchstick quilting, a bit of ribbon to “tie on” the tag, and some pink bias tape for binding. All in all, I’m super pleased with how it turned out, especially considering it was a plan “B” quilt.

FairyTaleMini_ - 1How about you, are you involved in any swaps this summer?

 

Once again I find that I have no idea how to begin this post – or even the words to use to describe the amazing experience that was Ecuador. I know I left part of my heart in South America, and in all honesty, most days the trips I took there feel more like a weird, wonderful dream than reality. I got to see my sponsored children again. I got to speak with them, hear their own voices, give them hugs, and show them love in person. I held their hands in mine – and once again utterly left my heart with them.

There’s no way I could convey the full range of emotions felt from this trip in a single post – so, just as I did with my last trip, I’m attempting to share in a series, breaking it down day-by-day or story-by-story; but bear with me, these words are hard to write and even harder to share…

——————————————

[Long post alert – consider yourself warned]

Day 3: Lots and Lots of Roses in Cayambe & Otavalo

Early Monday morning, we began our two-ish hour bus ride to Cayambe and the first Child Development Center of the Trip: EC424. This area of Ecuador relies heavily on roses and rose production for much of the economy – and we saw plenty of evidence of the floral influence. In the photo below, the field of silver that could be a lake if you don’t look closely, is actually a sea of greenhouses all growing different varieties of roses. We could just glance the beautiful colors during our ride to the project.

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But, even more beautiful than the flowers, were the people. They lined the street to welcome us in, giving each of us a small bouquet of the famous roses as a greeting gift.
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Once we entered the church, we were met with an amazing display of photos and resources. This is one of the nicest sanctuaries I’ve been in, and I remember the floors being very slick from the wax finish – with made for an interesting game of musical chairs between us and the moms 😉Ecuador2015Day3_ - 2

While we were here, the workers and staff told us about how they implement the Child Survival Program. We also got to visit with the mothers and babies participating in the program to see first hand the impact Compassion is having on this community. Ecuador2015Day3_ - 5 Ecuador2015Day3_ - 4

After touring the facility, we helped serve all of the children lunch, and then ate lunch ourselves. The food was as amazing as I expected. Freshly cooked lima beans, lots of roasted chicken, potatoes, and corn. I’m generally a fast eater, and stepped outside to play with the kids while everyone else finished their food. Unfortunately when I did this I missed an amazing story from one of the project workers – but our tour leader, Bobby, writes it beautifully here. (Seriously step over and read it and then come back – I’m horribly disappointed that I missed it, but can’t help but think that there was a reason that I did. I’m not 100% sure what that reason is, but I have peace in knowing I was where I was supposed to be when I was there.)

Ecuador2015Day3_ - 14Once we’d finished lunch, we loaded up in the back of a pick-up truck and headed to the first home visit of the trip. The home was made of cement block, and we toured 3 rooms: bedroom, kitchen, and storage/bedroom.

Ecuador2015Day3_ - 10The family that lives here grows onions (that look much like our leeks) to sell for income. 

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After the home visit, we returned to the Compassion Center and helped to hand out monthly groceries to the Mom’s in the Child Survival Program. Let me tell you, that bag is heavier than it looks – and these moms carry it and their babies as they walk home – a walk that could take up to 30 minutes.Ecuador2015Day3_ - 8

And then, before we said our final goodbyes, we had a few more minutes to play with the kids.
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This little girl was great – when I first saw her, she was so upset that a project worker stopped me and asked if I had any bubbles that she could play with, apparently all of the kids around her had gotten some bubbles, and she’d been left out. But, fortunately for both of us, I had a fresh bottle that I was all to happy to give her. And she was all to happy to blow tons of bubbles for me to photograph – seriously, one of my favorite photos from this trip is of this little girl and her bubbles. Ecuador2015Day3_ - 16And then, it was time for one last group photo before we made our way to Otavalo and the hotel.

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It started to sprinkle a bit on the drive to the hotel, but even so, it was a beautiful drive. I seriously love this country, the view, the people, all of it. Ecuador will forever have a special place in my heart – and I wish I could visit it every year. Ecuador2015Day3_ - 22On our way to the hotel we made a fantastic side stop at Cayambe to sample a local delicacy, bizcochos. These cracker-cookies were so, so, so good! Made with tons of flour and butter, baked in a brick oven, and served with a caramel dipping sauce – they’re making my mouth water now just thinking of them.

Ecuador2015Day3_ - 18 Ecuador2015Day3_ - 19 Ecuador2015Day3_ - 20This particular shop is very famous for its bizcochos and I can totally see why. If you’re ever in the area, these are a must have. 

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And that, friends, sums up the day – we did make it to the hotel (and boy is it beautiful! I’ll post photos later this week – but know that it was here that I seriously debated never coming back) , and we initially only had wifi in the lobby, so there was this fun little convening of all of us as we “gathered ’round the wifi” before supper. We ate at the hotel – delicious empanadas, fresh fruit, and blackberry sorbet made for a great supper and a fantastic way to end the first day in the highlands.

I’m planning to share more from this trip on Wednesday, and then again each Tuesday until the story is told. So be sure to check back for more! :)

GirlKit

Thanks to everyone who entered this month’s giveaway.I am excited to finally announce the winners of the June Correspondence Kits!

Congrats to Sam & Maegan!

Be sure to check you email for a message from me (and be sure to check your spam folder, my messages tend to end up there for some reason)– I’ll need to know what kind of kit you’d like (older boy, older girl, younger girl, younger boy, or birthday) and your mailing address.

Everyone else, Thanks again for participating and remember, I give 2 kits away every month & offer them outside of giveaways.

26. June 2015 · 3 comments · Categories: Compassion · Tags:

It’s the second Friday of the month, So, I’m really late on posting this, this month – I thought I had this post scheduled and turns out I didn’t. Ooops. Anyway, good news is that it’s time for another Correspondence Kit Giveaway – and since I’m a bit late, I think I’ll give 3 away this month! (Don’t forget it’s also time to get those letters out to your sponsored kids – click here to read about how sponsors all over the world are connecting and writing the second Friday every month).

What is it?

Simply put, a Correspondence Kit is, as the name suggests, a kit to help you with correspondence; specifically letter writing to Compassion Sponsored children. Each kit includes a variety of paper, letter templates, and goodies all for you to personalize and send to your sponsored child. I give away 2 kits on the second Friday of each month. (But I’m giving away 3 this month – yay you!)

Types of Kits:

I currently offer 4 gender & aged based kits – Young Boy, Young Girl, Older Boy, & Older Girl. I also offer a neutral Birthday kit. The photos below show one girl kit, one boy kit, and the birthday kit.

GirlKit

Each kit will come with an assortment of pattered papers & color copies of the templates I’ve designed and featured on this blog. In the boy & girl kits, there will be enough paper & templates to write your child at least once a month for an entire year. In the birthday kit, there will be enough paper & templates to send a very special birthday packet as well as six months worth of letters.

Each kit will also feature and assortment of goodies that will be age & gender appropriate. These might include: stickers, paper puzzles, coloring sheets, activity pages, gospel tracts, etc.

How to enter:

To enter, simply leave me a comment and let me know that you’d like to win. Easy Peasy!

For an additional entries, follow me on instagramfollow me on twitter, tweet this giveaway, and/or share the giveaway on facebook (you can use the social media buttons at the end of this post). Leave one comment per task you complete to let me know. That’s a total of 4 possible entries.

This giveaway will remain open all weekend, and winners will be announced Monday night, June 29, 2015.

Please note, due to postage costs, this giveaway is limited to those with a mailing address in the United States or Canada.  

Good Luck & Happy Friday!

I also offer these kits outside of giveaways – and ship them all over the world. Click here or on the button in the side bar for more information.