Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rainy day... random thoughts...

It is raining, a lot...

I sent out my BEG email (the first of 3) for sponsors for my Zambian boys. This video was included, I encourage you to watch it.

I am going to my stained glass class tonight, I should finish my first small project and begin my first big project. I am excited, and I will share this in a future blog!

Matt and I were lucky enough to meet up with Bunny and David for dinner Tuesday night. They were celebrating their anniversary, we had a great time!

I have started my "2012 Organize my Space" project... before/after photos to come!

I am wearing bright pink pants today, not sure why I wanted to share that here, but they are bright and pink and quite honestly, every time I look down, I smile!

Keep in touch, xoxo

Thursday, July 5, 2012

O family vacation 2012

That's right, we gathered the Greg O family for a cruisin' good time! My parents wanted to take a cruise to Alaska, so we went to Cozumel! Does that make sense? Here is a hint, from here on out, don't try to make sense of things on this blog... I have come to the realization that in my life, all the dots don't exactly connect, but everything ends up in the proper place (or at least close).  Okay, back to the Alaskan cruise, my folks wanted to go, but had not been on a cruise ship before and wanted to make sure they were down with ship travel before taking off on a 9 day tour.

I had been on a cruise before, I often tell people it was the worst 7 days of my life. I HATED it, but for my parents, I was willing to give it another try.

We met at Gaido's for lunch before we boarded the boat, YUM YUM! This place has a funny smell, but it is right across the street from the beach and humidity is pretty high, so I am not going to hold that against them. Their food is super tasty! I needed a really good meal before I got on the boat and Gaido's hit the spot!

We had cute family vacay shirts, here are the grand kids with Mimi and G-daddy waiting in check in.

We had a great time. The boys had some casino fun time, the kids got some splashing in at the pool, and the ladies enjoyed a moment at the spa. Saturday, while in Cozumel we swam with the dolphins. I think the kids had a blast, I know I did! Our dolphin must have had a crush on Tristan, she "clicked" when he was giving her a sweet smooch! The J O's headed to a snorkel spot after the dolphin adventure, Dad, Dale and Matt headed back to the boat for some relaxation, and Mom and I went to get some retail therapy in before we were required to get back on the boat. I think everyone enjoyed their time in Cozumel.

Matt and I tried our hands at bingo, it passed some time, but we were not the big winners.  We watched a show and saw a comedy show, and we ate... a lot! I feel like that is all we did, and we didn't even go near the buffet (I don't eat at buffets) the seated meals were good, we had a chance to try some things we had never heard of and for the most part, they we good choices. The kids had a never ending supply of ice cream cones, which made them very happy!

Mom and Dad took some time to enjoy a fun drink or two for my grandparents. I found this super cute coconut monkey (there is a drink in there), but it also doubles as a "monkey" bank (with a coin slot on the top). Matt indulged my childishness and walked around with me and my monkey for a little while.

The last night, Mel and I went to the casino and to the dance club, neither took too long! Mel and I were not going to let go of our money in the casino and when we went dancing we realized that the average age of other disco goers was well beneath ours, so we grabbed our canes and oxygen tanks and scooted our tennis ball padded walkers back to the room.
We had a great time! I don't know that we will be boarding a ship to Alaska, but I am looking forward to our next family vacay!

Keep in touch, xoxo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My boys (6 of 6): Chola

Chola, The tallest of the group, lives with his grandmother, he is a double orphan. His parents died when he was 6 years old. He told me that he had seen his father die. When I asked him what made him sad, he said, "mostly that mother is dead and how I miss her". There were tears, this was not one of those happy cries, this child tries to be tough and "macho" but he is incredibly sensitive and you can tell he just wants to please people.
He is 12 years old and very sweet. Every time we would move from one station to the next he would carry my backpack. He was a leader in the group, however, he didn't require constant attention, if one of the smaller boys had not had a turn, Chola would hurry them up to the front of the line and make sure they had a chance at the fun. Chola says he has lots of friends and they spend their time playing games and telling stories.
Chola's grandmother sells charcoal for a living, and although this is a decent job, it still not afford for Chola and his siblings to attend school. His favorite subjects are math and science. Chola "lives" with his grandmother and one younger brother, he has several older siblings that live close by. Chola sleeps at his sisters home and is required to stay there a lot to take care of younger children while the sister is out.

Chola wants to be a driver when he grows up. He is smart, in a matter of one day at camp, he had figured out how to take pictures with my iphone, camera and video. He also quickly figured out to turn each one off/on, and how to view the photos! He loved taking picture of everyone, and he loved having pictures of himself taken as well.  Chola was the oldest in my group, but don't let that fool you, when we were at the coloring station on Tuesday, he was the most engaged, he wanted his coloring to be perfect, and it was! He took his time, he was so focused and I have to be honest, that shocked me! I didn't know how I was going to convice this group of boys to sit down and color, but there was not even a question when they saw the crayons. They practically dove to the ground and started picking out the colors they would use for their masterpieces!

Chola is pretty quiet, he keeps his words to himself, but his energy radiates from each inch of him. He is always joining in random ball games or jumping and flipping. He loved dancing and singing to the camp songs.  
Chola quickly stole my heart, sometimes I was worried that he was not paying attention, but when I asked him questions, he was spot on!
 He was my little protector in the compound on community day. Children would approach us in swarms and he would get right next to me to make sure I was okay. He didn't speak much English, but somehow we communicated well enough to know what was going on. At one point a drunk man walked up to me, Chola was right next to me waiving the drunk away and making sure I was safe. Another time, there was a swarm of children wanting their pictures taken, Chola sat back for a while and let me entertain them, but when he felt like we had spent enough time doing that, he walked up, took my camera, turned it off, put it in my vest pocket, zipped it up and said it was time to go! The reverse of that, was that he constantly asked me if he could take pictures. Since I had dropped my camera the first day we arrived in Africa, I figured it didn't matter if he dropped it, so I let him shoot away!

What he asked me to pray for him:
Stop grieving the death of his parents
That he may be able to go to school
For his grandmother to be well