January was a whirlwind for us. As some of you may be aware, our family was on a little tour of some parts of the U.S . We were invited
by the Rotary Club of Upper Arlington, Columbus Ohio to visit and give an
update to their club about the progress with our Trade School and Junior High
school that they have so generously funded.
It was exciting for our daughters to see snow. For Aleeya , our 8 yr old,
it was her first time to see or touch snow!
We were also able to visit and give a talk at another Rotary Club in
Columbus, meet with the service committee of a very large church who is
interested in supporting Mayan Families and bringing down groups and visit
with COFLAC....which is a group of people who have adopted from Guatemala
and sponsor children through us, we spent a lovely night with them, it was
so nice to see old faces and meet new friends. We then visited a church
group in Cincinnati who have been doing service trips to Guatemala with
Mayan Families for several years. It was an honor to give a talk at their
church and see many of the people who had come down and others who are
interested in coming down.
From Ohio , we went to Zearing, Iowa which is a tiny town about an hour
from Des Moines. It was wonderful for us to see the stark beauty of the
snowy countryside. We visited the church in Ames, that sponsors several
children and elderly...and had a wonderful evening with a Fish Fry and gave
a talk to about 80 people about Mayan Families. Everyone was so welcoming
Many of these people are members of this group and we want to thank you
again for your hospitality, your warmth and for being so welcoming and
From Iowa ..we headed to California..where we went from San Diego to Santa
Barbara..where we met with another Church group that has been very
supportive with Tamale Baskets and a Rotary Club President. We also met
with the organization, Direct Relief who we hope may be able to help us
with medical equipment. They have an amazing warehouse full of medical items to donate. We also met with the Vitamin Angels organization that has been giving us vitamins and prenatals
for the past year.
Their office is in downtown Santa Barbara ...and was a surprise to us to
see that most of the staff...( mostly mid 20's) were sitting, not on office
chairs, but on large exercise balls! Apparently, this is the new thing, it
is supposed to be very good for your posture and for your spine. It was a
very big surprise to us...and when I accompanied Aleeya to the bathroom,
she whispered to me, "Mom, I don't think that they have enough money to
buy chairs here"!
After Santa Barbara we had a meeting at UCLA with the Latin American
Studies Dept. They are very interested in bringing groups down to work
with us. Some of the dept. were here in January installing stoves with us.
At the meeting they invited us to participate in a symposium in May at
UCLA. We just received confirmation of this and they are generously paying
for our plane tickets to be able to participate.
Thanks to the flight attendants of SouthWest Airlines, spear headed by Connie who is a member of this group! Mayan Families was nominated for free tickets which made it possible for us to fly from San Diego to Ohio, Iowa and back to San Diego.
It was a great experience for us to meet so many supporters and we hope
that we may have encouraged some new people to support Mayan Families.
We will be in California in May....so if you would like us to come and give
a talk at your church, club or home, please let us know.
The only problem with traveling is that we really had very limited time on
the internet so we are behind with answering some emails. Please re
send your email to me if you have not received an answer. My apologies for
the delay in getting back to you.
It was wonderful to meet so many of you up there!