Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Makin' an elf of myself

Ok, someone just sent it to me, and well, I couldn't resist.
visit
click here
and you'll get a laugh or two.
Make sure to try it yourself.
K.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just a Monday/Tuesday in My World

What happens when publication day for the print issue falls right after a holiday weekend? Well, if you have my life, you get to write an editor's column (because my columnists both had unexpected and unavoidable delays and couldn't e-mail anything in) and a movie review, because the movie review guy didn't get to see a movie over the weekend.
So here's my editor's column.
My movie review will follow.
Have fun.
Print it out and line a bird cage or two. They might enjoy it.
K.

Starting a new year off right
In less than two days (depending upon when you read this), we'll be saying goodbye to 2006 and hello to 2007.
It seems like only yesterday we were sitting around worried about the end of the world as the calendar rolled to 2000.
Seems silly now, how everyone put together Y2K packs and prepared for the worse case scenario as 2000 came in with a mixture of fear and apprehension.
I can hardly believe it's time for a new year. I don't feel another year older. But as I watch the days click off the calendar, it plainly true -- another year, filled with clutter and junk, is almost over, and while the New Year is ready to start, providing a clean canvas full of numerous opportunities and a variety of potential.
As I ponder life in 2007, I my mind is filled with a variety of questions -- What will I do different in 2007? How will I make a difference? What changes will I make?
I'll admit, I haven't made any resolutions. But I am pondering what I will do in 2007 that will make a difference in my life.
If anything, I'm still finding ways in which my trip to Brazil continues to impact me even though I've been home for almost two months.
It's made me want to focus less on the frantic lifestyle Americans take for granted and instead make do with less fluff and stuff.
It makes me want to focus on what is important-spending time with friends and family members.
That spirit of giving crosses over and makes me want to find ways to give back to my community, through service and non-profit ventures.
This past year, I've met numerous people who have done things to help others in need. The list is endless, but includes:
• Rebekah Walters and Madison Wilson, Irving elementary students who snipped off their long hair off for Locks of Love;
• Kim Bannasch and Shirley Eyraud who began a chapter of The Compassionate Friends of the Four States after experiencing the premature deaths of their children;
•Debbie Mayberry and others in Joplin who work to help orphans and abandoned children in Maceio, Brazil; and
• Teachers and administrators at Joplin High School, including Keith White, Vallie Cook and Jeannetta Moss, who work every day to help young men and women find ways to stay in school despite numerous obstacles.
Most recently I met Kerry Freeman. Freeman is the mother of Christina Freeman, a Joplin student killed in 2006 by a drunk driver.
Freeman, and her family, has turned their grief over Christina's untimely death into a call to action.
Since February, Kerry has spent at least eight evenings standing alongside the road providing hot drinks and food for the officers conducting DWI checkpoints in Joplin, Webb City and adjacent counties.
Kerry said her goal is to show the officers that someone does care about their efforts to stop people from causing alcohol related injuries or deaths.
People like these inspire me to do my best to stop complaining about my life, and instead increase my efforts to help others.
So here's to 2007, may it bring health and happiness and a chance to make a difference in other's lives.

Friday Flicks: A change from the typical holiday flick
Call it my quest to find something beyond the typical Hollywood flick.
Ever since a friend turned me onto documentaries, I've been searching for different movies to watch that are not mainstream releases.

I've even had to turn to an on-line source to find the DVD's, because the films are not typically found on the shelves of my neighborhood rental store.
Last week I had a chance to watch Born into Brothels a documentary following children who live within the red light district of Calcutta, India.
Photographer Zana Briski spent several years working and living with the children who call the brothels home.
Initially, Briski wanted to photograph the women living in the brothels, but found the children to be more accepting of her presence in their lives.
Using point and shoot cameras, Briski worked with a group of students, teaching them about photography before turning them lose within their neighborhoods to shoot pictures.
Briski, along with film director Ross Kauffman, later filmed the children at work and play, documenting their lives.
The effort later won numerous awards, including a well-deserved Academy Award for feature film documentaries during the 77th Awards ceremony.
In addition to the children's photographs, which make up the core of the film, the documentary also highlights Briski's struggle to help her students move beyond the limits placed upon them by India society.
It shows the efforts she goes through to help the children become enrolled in boarding school - move which would not only provide them with a strong education but remove them from the negative influences found within the brothels.
For some of the girls, education will be the only thing, which keeps them from joining "the line" - prostitutes who line the streets of the red light district waiting for work.
Briski finds that many of the schools will not accept the children because their parents are involved in illegal activities.
The film does more than simply show the children's lives; it pulls the viewer into the world found hidden within Calcutta.
It leaves you wanting to help the children succeed, cheering when they do and crying when things just don't go well.
You see how the actions of adults may impact a child's life for years to come, when one parent decides their child cannot attend school-even after the lengths Briski and others went to ensure his admittance.
The film also highlights the beginning of Briski's non-profit organization, Kids With Cameras, which strives to help children in third world locations through photography lessons and more.
While the movie does not have a Hollywood ending, it does leave viewers with hope. One of the DVD extras provides an update on where the children are, three years later.
Additional updates, through November 2006, can be found on-line at www.kids-with-cameras.org.
The movie may not be "pretty" and it does contain some gritty language (from adults no less) and images. Watching it was well worth the time, energy and effort it took to find the DVD. In the end, it's a movie that sticks with you, almost hauntingly.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Legacy

For Digi Dare.com's Challenge, which was to do a layout featuring how you got your name.
So here's mine.
Kay + Lea + Marie = Judith Kay, Janice Lee & Joan MarieThe story behind my name is it was Lee for 24 hrs, then mom changed it to Lea, because it looked better on the birth certificate.


Credits
Photo - From Beky & Jimmy Moody's Wedding,
Paper - Ashley Olson Bundled Up pp1 (from DigiDare.com)
Fonts - CK Journaling & Architect
Doodles - Gift for Asher www.digitaldesignelements.com

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Sweet Christmas Card


I made this for a friend. This is her son, daughter-in-law and their new baby (yes, another of the baby pics...but isn't she just adorable!?)

Enjoy

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Simple Scrapbook Layout Submissions

Here are my layouts, I'll post the credits for pages on Wednesday. I was taking advantage of wifi to get these posted (I'm supposed to be writing a story...ugh, school board).
K.

The General Page Call
Love: I Will Love You No Matter What

You Are The Apple Of My Eye

Mudstock 2006


Mary Beth's First Love: Soccer



You Are In My Way!


Wedding Page Call
Love You For Always
Love You For Always Take 2
New Beginnings
It's Your Life... Dream It.

Monday, December 11, 2006

This day is done

Well, I wanted to post some of my layouts, that I submitted for the Simple Scrapbook Digi Magazine call (I submitted 9, five for the general call, and four for the wedding call).

But, it was a day, with four stories coming in after 3 p.m.

So, it's 11 p.m., and I'm just finishing up my last story. The founding academic dean at Ozark Christian College died this morning. I just finished the obituary story and posted it at www.joplindaily.com

He sounded like an amazing man. Why is it we don't always hear about people like Seth Wilson until after they die? Sometimes, I'd rather hear about men and women of integrity, rather than Brittney Spears and Nicole Richie...

Anyway, I hope to post some layouts on Tuesday (in between getting print edition stuff done and writing like crazy for the web). If not, I'll have time on Wednesday.

Besides, I still have to buy Christmas gifts!! (UGH)
K.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Photo sessions, creating layouts

Well, in the last week, I've held two photo sessions.
The first, I spent some time having fun with Syd, a young friend, making her "model" in the snow. Some of the pics turned out great, even if she froze (ok, so did I).

The other session took place at my local scrapbook store, when I took pics of wee ones visiting St. Nick. I only had one little one, appropriately named Kaylee, go nuts and cry when we tried to get her to sit on Santa's lap.

My youngest customer came when I had a chance to take a few pics of a friend's newborn granddaughter. She is quite adorable. I think we're going to try to take some pics of her in the next few weeks, when she's a bit more alert.

Anyway, here are some of the photos (on layouts I just finished), ready to show off. One of te things you'll notice is some groovy word art on the layouts.
Sue Cummings, a digi-designer at OScraps.com, asked me to be on her creative team. This means I get to play with all of her stuff, showing off her graphics with my pics. Talk about a great partnership.

Anyway, on to the layouts.

"Expressions of You"

Credits: Photo by kaytebug photography.
Template: The DigiChick.com weekly challenge #13
Kit - Merry Little Christmas by Leah Riordan, OScraps.com;
Words - [define]ingyourself-misc, by Sue Cummings, OScraps.com
Fonts - CK Elsie & CK Doodles


You've Taught Me ...



Photo - kaytebug photography;
Kit - Melissa Rose, Christmas Spirit Freebie, OScraps.com
Word art - Chalkboard Christmas Words 3, Sue Cummings, OScraps.com;
Christmas Joy Frame, Chalk Frames, Sue Cummings, OScraps.com;
Font: CK Bella; CK Diva

Love You Always...

Photo - Ari & Derrick's Wedding, August 2006, kaytebug photography;
Template - Vicki Stegall, OScraps.com; Kit - Heartfelt Jen Cantrel, OScraps.com;
Word Art & Poem - chalkboard love buscaglia, Sue Cummings, OScraps.com;
Font - CK Magnificant

Our Christmas Gift ...


Photo - kaytebug photography;
Template: based upon TheDigiChicks.com weekly challenge #16
Kit - Melissa Rose, Christmas Spirit Freebie, OScraps.com
Word art - Chalkboard Christmas Words 3, Sue Cummings, OScraps.com;
Christmas Joy Frame, Chalk Frames, Sue Cummings, OScraps.com;
Font: CK Bella; CK Diva

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Oh the Weather outside is frightful



Well,
Southwest Missouri had 10 to 14 inches of snow...depending upon who you ask.
(The public works guys measured 10 inches).

I had a snow day on Thursday, and then on Friday, as I was getting ready for a second one, when the Carthage Press sent out an SOS...Davison was snowed in in Joplin.

So, the two of us switched places for the day....I'm not sure how much Davison could do, since he was snowed into his neighborhood.



(Look, they did deliver my paper for me!)
I've got a few pics of the snow (I was carless until this afternoon, when my brother and his friend helped dig me out).

Anyway, I spent today at the scrapbook store taking santa pics. I think this one, with Karen's granddaughter is my favorite. We had a few "takers" even though the weather was still crazy.


Have a happy day.
I'll post more.
K.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Couple of Layouts

Here are a couple of holiday layouts.
The first, is obviously, of my favorite boy.
I love this picture.

I am So Thankful For You


The second is of Debbie Mayberry's three grandchildren. I went over to her house Saturday to shoot holiday pictures. This is one of my favorite pictures of the three little ones. It was totally unscripted, but the baby (Lance) was content to lay on the floor below the Christmas tree, and I talked TJ and Chloe into joining him. They look so happy in this picture (and ornery).

Say Cheese!


Both layouts use sketch challenge templates from The DigiChick.com.
The thanksgiving layout uses Heather Roselli's Fall Smell Kit, while the Christmas Layout uses the Holly Jolly Kit, both found at DigiChick.com.

I'm going to start posting pages here, as I get them designed. This will help "motivate" me to make more digi-layouts--if I can share them with others.
Have a scrappy day
Kaylea

Saturday, November 25, 2006

More pics from Collin's visit




So, here's some more pictures of my favorite boy.
He looks so serious in the first picture.
He's such a cutie, and well, such an ornery fellow.
I love him so much.





The first two sets of pictures are from Friday morning, out in the horse pens.
Collin had to check out Baby Blue's Ann, his newest horse, and of course Smokey and Joey, the other two colts.

He also needed to play with Nikki and Happy, the dogs; make sure the cattle were ok; and try out his jumping skills while playing on the hay bales.



It's almost like watching a little William--(other than the horses--that's a new addition to the farm) William tried all of these tricks.

The other set of pictures are from Silver Dollar City.
We rode rides, Collin tried on some goofy hats (ok, so he didn't like the one that got put on his head).





It was fun, but we we're all tired by the time we came home. Collin wanted to leave early, so he could go riding back at Mike and Marrisa's arena.

I'll post some more pics later.
K.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The guy who has stolen my heart




Well, for a bit more than 48 hours, Collin is here for Thanksgiving. (If you don't know, or have forgotten, this is my 6 yr old nephew)
He arrived late last night, and Will will fly back to Buffalo, NY with him crack o' dawn
on Saturday morning.

We're trying to cram a whole bunch of stuff into two days, including of course, a bunch of pictures taken by yours truly.

I thought I'd post a couple here. He's been out riding horses and playing with his puppy (more of a dog now). It's been a good day.

Happy thanksgiving y'all.
K.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Something Funny

I found this on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, the quiz (I put the link below) "comes up" with a funny obituary.

Here's what mine said


QuizGalaxy!


You can make your own obituary by clicking here.

Enjoy

Friday, November 17, 2006

My newest column

This is up on our website right now. I thought I'd post it here as well.
If you like it, my column by clicking here. Leave a comment, so my bosses will know that someone reads my stuff.

At this time of year, do Americans truly know the meaning of hunger?
By Kaylea Hutson
khutson@joplindaily.com
As I drove home a few days ago, I passed by multiple restaurants, fast food establishments, grocery stores and other places where anyone with money can purchase food.

For a mere $1 at some places, I can buy a variety of items. Obviously, more money equals more food.

Without money, I can rely on services provided by local non-profit organizations such as Crosslines, Watered Gardens and the Salvation Army.

At a certain income level, I can even utilize government assistance to provide food
for my family and myself.

In America, there are lots of resources available to ensure that people do not go hungry.

That's not the case in other countries.

During my recent trip to Brazil, I saw first hand the effects of hunger.

This included young children who look smaller than their age, because they have suffered malnutrition for an extensive period of time.

I also witnessed women and children standing on the side of the road, begging for pocket change as cars stopped at red lights.

One instance, I hope stays burned in my memory, happened when a car I was riding in pulled up along side a young boy, maybe six or seven, begging for change. What made the image so heart wrenching is that he held his infant sibling in his arms.

I do not have a recorded image of the young boy, because in a split second I realized I could either take a photograph or dig for money. I let my heart decide and I chose giving him money.

Later in the trip, I saw what I assume is his mother, holding the same infant, watching her young son plead with passing motorists for change. This time, I was not in a position to give money (I was sitting in the rear of a Kombi.) So I took the picture that appears with this column today.


The woman's eyes are haunting, because there is a desperation that seems to resonate deep within her soul.

According to Alda, the college student who served as my Brazilian translator, families often beg to subsidize the limited amount of money provided by the government each month-about $15 Reals (or roughly $7 American dollars) per child.

Some women without financial support turn to other options, including prostitution, to feed their children.

Another instant, which reminded me of America's blessings, took place at the boys' orphanage I visited outside of Maceio.

While the 20 boys living at the facility know they will have three basic, simple meals each day, extras like sorvette (ice cream), pizza or even cake, are considered luxuries.

During our stay, we purchased several quarts of ice cream and the related toppings, to create a "sundae bar" for the boys.

It wasn't really that unusual. I've made similar "spreads" for youth groups I've worked with in the states.

The boys' eyes grew wide as they realized that they could not only have a scoop of two different flavors of ice cream, but they could also have bananas, chocolate sprinkles and a mixture of chocolate and strawberry toppings.

They grew even more excited as they learned that their treat included seconds (and for some thirds). It's amazing how much ice cream 20 boys can eat in less than 30 minutes.

Towards the end of the party, one young boy, Henrique, came in for seconds. We did not give it a second thought, and gave him an additional treat.

We finished putting everything away, boiled water to wash our dishes and prepared to leave the kitchen.

There we were greeted with a heart breaking sight.


Henrique was so excited about having the ice cream that he was sitting at the table, slowly finishing his sundae. By now, the ice cream had turned into a chocolate puddle. He didn't care. It was still a treat and he was going to enjoy every spoonful.

Most American children would have turned their nose up at what Henrique was savoring.

I realize we have hunger in America. I know people suffer when their incomes only stretch so far, and can barely cover rent and utilities.

In Joplin the number of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch is growing each year.

But I also know this. In America, we take for granted that there will be food to purchase or donations to receive.

I know as I sit down to Thanksgiving this year, I'll encourage my family to think less about "filling" ourselves to the brim, and instead focus on the fact that we are together.

I also plan to find ways to continue to give back to the community. Because, as one Brazilian friend phrased it "America has been blessed by God."

How will you use your blessing this holiday season?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What I've been up to

Well, since I "surfaced" on Monday, (I'm finally feeling better), I've been working non-stop--I had two school board meetings so far; missed one by accident, and may have a fourth meeting on Friday (need to check if MSSU's Board of Governors is meeting this week).
But we got one print edition to "bed" and I'll have my share of next week's print edition done by Friday...then next week, I can work on the after Thanksgiving issue.
It's a crazy time, with pushed up deadlines.

I am hoping to have the rest of the of the photos updated this weekend (I'm staying with friends who have wireless net access).

I'm also hoping to have all of the articles, including a couple of new columns and such, updated on JoplinDaily.com's website this weekend.

Outside of the newsroom (yes, I can get out), I've been working on a hand quilting project.
I pieced this quilt from the scraps left from Heather (Hoffman) & Tim Underwood's wedding quilt. I started quilting it when I moved to Colorado (April 2005), because I wanted to finish "un finished projects" before starting anything new....

Well, I now have three "unfinished" projects, this quilt, a "grandmother's flower garden" quilt, and an applique quilt. Each is a challenge, because it involves learning a new technique. I'm trying to finish them (they seem to be never-ending) before starting something new.

I'm good at starting things, lousy at finishing things. It's more fun to start a new project, I guess.

Anyway, I thought I'd stick a note on this to say that I'm doing well, the mosquito bites are healing and the insurance problems are finally getting better (I think the computer glitch has finally been fixed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield). Hooray!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The mosquitos won

Well, I went to the Dr. Wednesday, and he put me on malaria treatment medicine.
I'm sure I don't have the disease, but he wanted to be safe, not sorry.
The quinine is driving me crazy...making me dizzy (more than usual), and leaves me with a metallic taste in my mouth. It also makes me drowsy at times....

I'm sitting in the scrapbook store and the noise is about to drive me crazy (because I can't hear much over the ringing in my ears). In this case, the side effects may be worse than the actual illness.

But the antibiotic is helping heal the bites. So I don't look too terrible.

Anyway, I'm still processing the trip. Every time I look at pics, it makes me sad. I miss the boys terribly.
I'll write more when I can. I stayed home from work today to rest, so I can hit the ground running on Monday.
K.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

I'm home

I'm tired, but can't seem to unwind.
But I'm home. I volunteered to help with election coverage, but they just laughed.

Lessons learned on the trip.

1)Pepto Bismal tablets are your friend.
2) Advil PM can make you totally spacy...I'm still feeling the effects of the ones I took last night/this morning...I'm not sure when I took them.
3) Chocolate Milk Mix (powder) does not pack well...the mix I brought home for the fifth grade class now covers everything that was in my large suitcase...
4) If in doubt, put items in a zip lock bag. See #3.
5) Starbucks tastes really good after 17 days in Brazil.
6) There's no place like home.

I'm going to go to the dr in the morning, to double check that the pesky mosquito bites heal...Debbie "suggested" I call, so it was the second call I made as we traveled from Tulsa. I couldn't get in tonight, but he could get me in at 8:15.

I'm going to spend tomorrow re-entering society, setting up my desk at the paper (we've moved to the Big Nickel office) and just adjusting to the "frantic" pace of the USA. It's seemed like I was in slow motion and everyone else in the airports were moving at warped speed this morning.

I'll try to upload the pics from the previous blogs tomorrow or Thursday. Then I'll start wading through the 1,500 pics - plus pics I took in Brazil.

Thanks for your prayers. I look like I have had a bad case of chicken pox on my arms. (My friend Denni suggested I just think of myself as the pooka dot woman).
K.

Monday, November 6, 2006

We're off in a few hours

In a few hours (well, it's 7:30 Maceio time, and I think we have to be at the airport at noon), we'll be headed back to the states.

BTW...Bob's hamburgers at the airport, well, my stomach did not appreciate the treat. Thank God for Pepto Bismal tablets.

The luggage is packed, our boarding passes are picked up, and we're starting to say goodbye. The boys are heading to school soon, but we should see them one more time before we go to the airport.

This has been an amazing trip. I'm not sure how to put it all into words. I'll update our trip progress as I get to net cafes...I know there's one in San Paulo, I'm not sure about Miami.

Talk to ya all soon.
K.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Flat Stanley Reporting In: #8





Oi guys and gals, by the time you read this, I’ll be on the plane, headed back to the United States.

It’s been a great trip. I think I’ve learned something new every day.
Today, I learned about cashew nuts. Have you ever eaten them before? Well I found out today that the chacarra has several cashew trees.

Since it’s spring here, the trees are budding and starting to produce fruit.

Cashew nuts grow on the top of a fruit, that kind of looks like an apple.
Each fruit grows just one nut. When they get red, like an apple, Brazilians pick them to harvest both the fruit and the nut.

You can’t eat a cashew nut raw, it’s poisonous.
In order to eat it, you have to cook it. The fruit can be eaten like an apple or made into a juice.

Kaylea took my picture next to a green cashew fruit/nut with the help of one of my new Brazilian friends.

It was really interesting to see the tree and the clumps of cashews growing on the branches. Now I know why cashew nuts are so expensive in the U.S.
***
Well, that’s all from Brazil. I can’t wait to see everyone back at Emerson Elementary. To my fifth grade friends in Mrs. Meintel's class, I’m bringing back a few Brazilian treats to share with you. I hope you have had fun learning about Brazil along with me!

I'll leave you with a picture of my friends in Brazil. I can't wait to tell you all about them.

Until later,
Chow!
Flat Stanley

Picture info:

Hey look everyone, I'm as tall as a cashew tree. I'm next to a bunch of new nuts growing on the cashew tree.

Cashew fruit/nuts growing in a tree.

An upclose look at a not quite ripe cashew nut/fruit.

The boys living at the International Christian Children's Home in Maceio, AL Brazil.

Quick note




In case you are following the blog, and are curious, we just heard from Bob. He made it home safe and sound. No major delays at San Paulo...we had heard there were 50+ hr delays earlier this week, but his flight was only 1 hr late.

We're going to head over this afternoon to check in early (and maybe get a milkshake at Bobs--like McDonalds...)
Our flight leaves Maceio at 2 p.m. tomorrow. We have one stop before getting to San Paulo, and then a 5 hr layover before heading to Miami.

This afternoon, we're going to have an ice cream party with the boys...we bought eight things of ice cream, chocolate and strawberry toppings, chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream (we have to whip).
It should be a blast. Debbie's dad decided the boys needed one HUGE ice cream party. So thanks to Grandpa, we're having one.

I'll try to write one last Flat Stanley before we leave. Benedito showed me how Cashews grow...the chacarra has cashew trees. No wonder they are so expensive...one fruit = one nut. It's spring here, so the cashews are just starting to grow. I got some neat pics of Stanley with some green cashews.

Anyway, thanks for following this blog. Let me know if you've enjoyed it.
Talk to ya soon.
K.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

1,361 and counting

1,361
That's how many photos I've taken as of 11:28 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.
I'm sure I'll go over the 1,500 mark before we leave on Monday.

I'm already trying to process everything I've seen here. I'm not sure I'll ever be the same, and I think that's a good thing.

It's going to be hard to leave, because I've fallen in love with the boys here. Too bad I can't package them up and bring them back to the states...

Anyway, If I don't post before we leave, I'll try to update this if I have time in San Paulo, so you'll know we're at least on the way. We're not sure how long getting through customs will take there...or how long it will take in Miami.

If not, I'll update this when I get home. (I should be home and awake by Wednesday).

(Look what worked tonight...photos! But I'm too tired to sit here and see if I can get past blogs up...that will wait until I get home.)
K

Destination Brazil: Travel Blog #11




Leaving the chacarra grounds, you never quite know what sights will greet you in your travels.
You might see a family traveling down the road using a horse and cart, someone literally riding on horseback into the doorway of a construction store to place an order or a woman standing in the middle of the road begging for coins, holding a baby in her arms.
The sights, sounds and even smells, of Brazil will stay with me for a while.
It’s been an interesting experience to step out of my comfort zone, leave air conditioning and “fast food” behind to stay in a boys orphanage for two weeks.
I know now why Mark Mayberry fell in love with the people of Brazil, and why he and others have returned again and again to help out those in need.
It’s the same reason his widow, Debbie, returns to Maceio. Americans are blessed. The need in Brazil is great. In fact, it’s down right overwhelming.
Mark Mayberry and the others who helped to start the orphanage in Brazil saw it as a chance to provide some help, comfort and even a new life, for young boys without much hope for a future.
As I prepare to leave Maceio in less than 48 hours, I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with having to say good bye to Alan, Benedito, Lucas, Marcos, Gabriel, and the other 15 boys who have found a place in my heart.
The orphanage stands as a testament of Mark Mayberry’s vision. As the young men mature, hopefully the education and skills they gain here, will allow them to pass on the blessings they have been given.
I’m sure it will take some time to process everything I have experienced in the last two weeks. I’ll share more photos and stories once I return.
In the meantime, I’ll spend the next few hours preparing to leave, not knowing if or when I will return.
Thank you Bill Hood, for providing me with this opportunity. It’s been a trip of a lifetime. I know I will return to Joplin a different person.
It’s been quite an adventure.
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