Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why is Geography important

What do you think? I will write more about this in a future post.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Impact a life - Sponsor a child

I realize I have not blogged for a while. Not that I don't like to, just that there always seems to be so much to do. We try to keep our life simple and limit activities, but still.

This past month we finally took the plunge and sponsored a child in Guatemala. After trying without sucess to adopt another child in the past few years, we decided we could still help somebody who needed it.

She is a young girl of 4, one of 5 siblings, who lives in a rural village and does not have a father. Her life is pretty simple and marked by the poverty that is typical of so many people around the world. I read recently that 3 billion people around the world live on less than US $2 a day.

For only $30 a month we can assure our young new friend will have some food to eat every day (even when the seasonal work of her mother dries up) and be able to attend school.
We are sending her toothbrushes and coloring books for Christmas and we hope to go visit her someday too. She lives close to where we visited in Guatemala last December (see our blog entries below).

We used the organization called: Christian Fuoundation for Children and Aging (, because we know the founder and because 94.8% of all donations go directly to the sponsored person. Only 5.2% is used for all other activities. You won't find a better one.

Think about sponsoring a child. You can make a huge difference in the life of somebody that really needs it for the cost of a simple dinner for 2 every month. After all, you have been blessed to be born in a developed country. This website shows what your life would be like, if you were born in another country:


Friday, August 20, 2010

A trip to the RainForest

with friends in Seattle

Kalaloch Beach, WA

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR

Our family took a week vacation in the NorthWest. What a wonderful place. So much to see. the nature is absolute stunning there and for us leaving in a dry climate, it as a treat to see, feel and experience the ocean and the moisture.

We all loved and will be back.

Our route: Flew into Portland, OR, teh drove to cannon Beah, Or, then up the coast (highway 101) to WA state and all teh way around Olympic National Park to Port Angeles, WA, then Tacoma and Seattle and back down to Portland.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Isabella in D.C. and other reflections....

I am finally here!!!!!

Thanks for your sacrifice. We pray this never happens again.

Isabella with Mr. South Carolina

I thought it was bigger...

Isabella and Daddy with Eistein

Isabella and "Mr. Kansas" (4th place overall)

Will try again next year

Isabella and I flew to D.C. to participate in the National Geography Bee. We were there for 4 days during the last week of May. 54 children participated in this competition. The winner of each state + the winner for D.C., the winner for the US caribbean islands, Pacific US territories and Department of Defense. Overall there where 53 boys and one girl (Isabella). A preliminary round of 9 questions (different for each child) narrowed the field down to 10 children. Isabella missed two questions (one of which was "unfair" in my opinion, but I am a biased parent of course). 12 children did better than her, so she did not qualify for the final.
Still, a wonderful achievement. As we were flying back home, I thought: "this country is reall big!!" It's amazing that Isabella was in the top 20 students nationally!

I, as a parent, feel as proud as if she had won an Olympic medal and in a way she did. Of course, I wish she would have won, but...s he was part of a very elite group of children participating in a National competition in which about 12 thousand schools take part each year. Wow!

It was wonderful to see her interact with other children, who are so very smart and who have similar interest and yet so very diverse background from ours.

It was very interesting to notice how many of these children have some foreign connections. Many of them were indians (from India), at least four had one or two european parent, two had chinese background...

The experience brought about so many emotions that are hard to convey, but that I hope I'll never forget. It left me speechless. Isabella worked very hard for this and deserved it so much... She wa sso close to make it to the top. That part is a little difficult to accept. More for me than for her, it seems. She receovered so quickly and was back to her hours of reading and music as soon as we got on the plane... She is still so much a child. That is so great and I cannot but be glad for that.

I feel blessed to have helped her achieve this goal. I also feel blessed that I have had the time and energy to dedicate to her. On our return, we have learned about the disaster and death caused by volcano Pacaya and tropical storm Agatha in Guatemala. We were just there 6 months ago. We climbed that volcano, we visited some of those villaged now covered in mud... We wonder why those people have to suffer so much. Their life is so often delicately balanced between life and death. They will never know what the Geography Bee is or even what a good school is like... Why are we blessed with so much and can spend our energy studying geography while they have to struggle to survive every day?

Please have mercy on them Lord. Please help us not waist our gifts, let us use them for your glory and for the good of others.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good friday Reflection

Matt Maher - The Journey of Alive Again: Restoration (4 of 4)

The world wonders why there is suffering, why there is death and where is God amidst all of this. As Matt says in the video above: "God is on the cross". He shares our pain and suffering and it shows us the way. He showed it is not the end and the Resurrection comes after death.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fasting - a way of getting closer to the poor

During the past few weeks, I took a couple of opportunities for doing a little fasting.

The idea came from a website: which invites men to pray for their wifes (or girlfriends/daughters/sisters, etc.) . By doing so, we join Christ's suffering and we intercede for grace for our wifes. I thought the idea was great + decided I could use some grace myself.

So, on two separate days I only had water and a few slices of bread from early morning till dinner time. Because I had so little too eat, I savored each slice of bread and took a long time to chew each bite (instaed of just stuffing it down to get to the next bite). It made realize how hard it must be for all the millions of people that struggle for food each day. It helped me realize, yet one more time, how privileged we are for the variety and quantity of food we enjoy every single day. Our refrigerator is full and all we have to do is open it...

Even though this was not why I decided to fast, I surely have already received some grace from it.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Reflections about the poor

While in Guatemala we met Bob Hentzen. He is the president of CFCA ( Its organization provides sponsorships to thousands of poor children and aging around the world.
He is a wonderful man and we feel blessed to have met him. He is now walking from Guatemala to Chile over a 16th months period. ( Why? Well, the best way is to listen to his own words.

Why I Walk from CFCA

We could not agree more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It is time to get back to our life, or is it?

We have been back home for a week now and it has been hard. It is very difficult to reconcile our "easy" life with all the things we have lived and experienced in Guatemala.
Why were we born here? Why were we given an opportunity to grow up healthy, go to school, have a good paying job and a nice, large and warm house and so many people throughout the world have not and never will?
I am not sure if we will ever be able to answer this question during our life on earth, but we do know that Jesus said: "The poor will always be with you", and "To those to whom much has been given, much will be expected". There is no doubt then, that we are called to share what we have with those less fortunate.
So, hopefully this is only the first of many trips we will take. For now, there are people to help and share with right here at home: our children, our neighbors, etc.
Happy New Year.