Greg and I are just back from spending the last month back in Canada-three weeks in Vancouver and a week in Calgary. It was a whirlwind trip with many meetings, lots of incredible meals and bizallions of coffee dates.
These trips back are always a mixed bag for us. So necessary, but always so rushed and a bit too full. This time, we eased back in with a schedule that was not too overwhelming to start. We were glad to have set it up that way, as we were both knocked out and sick for that part of the trip! Not sure if it was that Canadian drinking water or what! We are gratefully all better now.
We had the opportunity to visit some of the schools that send students as part of their spring break service trips and as always, that was a treat! We met at Southridge, York House, St. George’s and Strathcona Tweedsmuir schools. I love reconnecting with the students who have given up their vacation to come help us at Project Somos. And… we look forward to meeting the next groups in 2015! (four confirmed groups already!)
While away, we were inundated with generous donations of toys upon toys for the kids! We got handmade dolls from Tina Thorndycraft, LEGO from many different families (thanks to Gin for her blog and then follow up call out and collection), wooden toys, puzzles, games and seven dolls from Bamboletta as part of their fundraising auction for Project Somos! Now that we are back I am sloooooowly introducing and sharing some of these treasures with the kids. Remembering that these kids come from nothing and I so don’t want to impose our North American consumerism on them, I am doing this in a systematic way.
Each child received a small gift upon our return and the rest of the toys have become a part of our book and toy library. Every day I offer play time to the kids, exposing them to opportunities of learning and creative exploration. Next I will be working side by side with the mamas to teach them how they too, can play with their children and enjoy the toys as much as the kids do!
A HUGE thanks to all those that welcomed us into their homes, made us a meal, took us out for a meal or coffee, donated toys and gave us more injections of love and support to keep us going. We love you!
p.s. And a big thanks to my cousins and Sproutz in Calgary for the raincoats. Timing couldn’t be better! The rains are falling hard!