Showing posts from 2012

Alisha's Adventures in India

My friend and colleague, Alisha, is currently on an adventure in India!  As Chalice's International Department Administrator, she is visiting our Sponsor Sites this week and next week will be facilitating training for our Site Staff. 

Her Blog (Alisha's Awesome Adventures) is fabulous!  It will bring you right into life at our Sponsor Sites in India - her stories are heartfelt and the photos are beautiful!

Her most recent entry...Last night (Friday) Sr. Deepa and I took the overnight train (7 hours) from Bangalore to Bellary (northern Karnataka state)...

"The pride in what little these people have far surpasses the pride that many of us well-off people have in our abundance of things. "  "One sponsored child showed me a frame that he made with all of the photos his sponsors sent him."
"The community gathered in their small church. There was a small baby, maybe 2 months old, whose mother died soon after she was born. She is being taken care of by …

Photos from TANCAN 2012

Here is a sample of photos from our Medical Mission this past August.  They are uploaded in three parts...

Part One:

TANCAN 2012 Photo Album (Part 1)More PowerPoint presentations from Joanne Albrecht

Part Two:

TANCAN 2012 Photo Album (Part 2)More PowerPoint presentations from Joanne Albrecht

Part Three:

TANCAN 2012 Photo Album (Part 3)More PowerPoint presentations from Joanne Albrecht

Aug 7

Welcome to Neema Clinic in Songea!
We meet our Tanzanian Partners and set up the Clinic.

After setting up, there is a lively celebration prepared for us at De Paul Secondary School, Msamala
Playing a game of soccer.....very little knowledge of Swahili or English required :)

Here they are wearing their Chalice t-shirts, the colour showing us which site they are from: ML, MS, or BL(these are the first two letters of your sponsor child's Child Code)

And, of course, where there are Tanzanians, there will be dancing!

This is a traditional dance performed by men and it is when partners are chosen for marriage (now it is only performed by boys)

Aug 6 - Driving from Morogoro to Songea

After a comfortable rest overnight in the Seminary of the Precious Blood Fathers in Morogoro, we set out on a 14 hour bus ride from Morogoro to Songea (where our 1st clinic will be).  We drove through Mikumi National Park and saw many giraffes, zebras, wart hogs, monkeys....we'll see you again on safari when our clinics end!

Aug 3 - 5

Friday, August 3

Anyone from outside of the Greater Toronto Area arrives...

4 from Halifax: Alwyn, Johanne, Maria, and myself
1 from Thunder Bay: Maribeth
1 from Swift Current: Shayla
1 from Calgary: Shirley
1 from Yellowknife: Gerri

We stayed overnight at a nice hotel - last chance for a Canadian meal and sleep in a comfy bed (with adjustable firmness!).

Saturday, August 4

This photo was taken the following morning. Can you guess who is who?

From here we were picked up by the airport shuttle.  Departure from Toronto Airport scheduled at 10:15 a.m. ....but we had lots of "bonding time" as we sat on plane until 2 p.m. .... then finally up in the air with Ethiopian Airlines!

Sunday, August 5 Stopover in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - beautiful and green all around - on the ground for less than an hour (just long enough to make 1 post on facebook with the free wireless internet available....oh what a treat wireless internet is!!!)
We landed in Dar es Salaam at 1:25…

TANCAN 2012 - Nzuri Sana!

Karibu! Welcome! Karibuni Sana! You are all very welcome! Much has happened over this past week...where to begin?! Yesterday was our second clinic day, and we saw 352 children, women and men!

Geoff Scahill 1944 - 2012

Dear Familia, It is with a heavy heart that I send you this message. Our dear friend Geoff Scahill passed away on Tuesday while at his family's cottage. He was found sitting in his chair, having suffered a massive heart attack. Please join us in praying for Geoff and his family, especially his beloved wife, Diana, and daughter, Nicola. With love, and grateful thanks to God for His gift to us in Geoff, Joanne and the Chalice Family <>< Peace of Christ, our eternal life Customize your own free slideshow design

Host a Dinner - Change a Life

It's been nearly one month since I returned home to Halifax, NS, in this beautiful country of Canada......still, I haven't been able to stop thinking about "Bolivia" (aka: all the things I now associate with my time in Bolivia). My mind may be occupied with one thing or another for a time, but "Bolvia" never fails to come back to me throughout my day.

This is the photo that's been on my desktop since I got back...

...I can imagine I'm still sitting there in the Sports Complex at the Parish in Yapacani, and Fran is taking my picture :)

All this is to say that it's been on my mind, and I've been talking about it a LOT (my roommates haven't complained yet...but I'm just waiting for it to happen...). I was talking to my good friend, Sharon, and she was so motivated by my experience that she wanted to help. One of our goals from the Tour is to find sponsors for 50 children from Chalice's Sponsor Site in Yapacani. So far we've…

Come see our House being Built!

Karin (photographer) from our Solidarity Tour has just posted more (amazing!!) photos from our Tour...

She has documented:

- One of the houses being built
- Sports and games with the children in Yapacani
- Teaching the locals how to crochet with plastic bags
- Teaching English to the students
- Hair cuts at the salon
- a visit to the Soup Kitchen for Seniors


- a peek inside the beautiful church in Yapacani, Maria Auxiliadora (Mary Help of Christians)

Absolutely beautiful photos....

PHOTOS are here!

When asked what MOVED them most about the Solidarity Tour, one participant commented:

"The welcome ceremony in Yapacani. The whole community was sitting there waiting for us. Fr Arturo had pumped them up so much! Erica's speech was particularly moving; I didn't understand it in Spanish, but her emotions came through so strongly. The relationship was built from that moment."

To see Erica's photo and more... become a friend of "Chalice Solidarity Tour" on Facebook!

Welcome to Guadalupe

Saturday, February 25th

Okay, back on schedule with our Tour. The next day to share with you was our visit to Chalice's Sponsor Site in La Paz: Guadalupe. If your sponsor child's ID begins with GDL, this is his/her home!

When I think of this day, my first thought is of fresh flowers. I have never had a lei made of FRESH flowers...they are so beautiful, and (this may sound strange) it feels really good when you're wearing one. The original jewelry from Eden, I suppose...

Such beautiful signs! I brought two home with me... one is now by my desk at work, and the other one at home. In Latin America, the children think of their sponsors as Godparents, or "padrinos y madrinas".

It's incredible how loving these children are... ¡Abrazos!

MaryAnne works for Chalice as the International Manager for Latin America. Can you see the confetti that she was blessed with upon arrival?

We walked into our gathering place to find it was jam-packed with costumed dancers!


Remembering our Rock Star Welcome

For lack of a better post... or just for lack of my own post... :)

Seriously, you have to take a look at Karin's 2nd blog post. The photos are amazing, and the stories will bring you right into Yapacani with us! You'll read about our Rock Star welcome....delivering a wheelchair to an 82-year-old woman who had a stroke and (until now) was being moved around in a wheel barrel (THIS WAS PURCHASED THROUGH OUR HOUSING PROJECT)....delivering sponsorship benefits to the families....even a cat fish!

Welcome to Yapacani!

What a welcome it was! On February 19, the children and their families greeted us with BIG smiles, kisses, and dancing. Take a peek - the music will get your feet moving!

This celebration was held in the Don Bosco Sports Complex, which was a Community Project of Chalice's. The Complex is always in use - for anything from soccer games to Saturday Oratory (youth formation) to the annual Christmas celebrations called "Navilandia".

Karin's Blog

One of our trip participants was Karin Locke. She also happens to be a talented professional photographer!

Karin has just made her first blog post - take a look This first blog post of hers captures our time in Lima, Peru. For those of you who sponsor children whose Child ID begins with "PIN", these photos were taken at the site (named PINIFE) where your sponsor child lives!

Because of the potential for danger while carrying expensive equipment in this neighbourhood, only Karin was permitted to bring in her camera (and someone else brought it to the parish centre for her) these photos are a real treat.

Visit to CEDINC Boarding Home

On Thursday...

[Yes, this is a post RE: Thursday, February 23. I am very sorry for the lack of posting during our Tour. Our schedules were packed, but the real issue wasn't the lack of time, it was lack of good internet.... So now that I'm home in Canada, I am free to post to my heart's content!]

I met my roommate's sponsor child, Maria Esther!

...along with a whole crew of students who stay at the CEDINC boarding home outside of Yapacani, Bolivia. The students here have families and homes. But their homes are too far from schools with higher levels of education, so they have two options: (1) quit school and begin work from home; and (2) move away from home, closer to the schools, and fend for themselves (which can lead to use of drugs/alcohol & prostitution). The CEDINC provides a safe home close to school for students, which is literally life-changing for Maria Esther :)

Yvonne, one of our Tour participants, also got to meet her sponsor chi…

Soup Kitchen for Seniors

On Wednesday...

We had lunch at a soup kitchen that is also run by the Salesians.  We were a little late (as usual...hehe) coming from the Kindergarden, and so when we arrived there were already a lot of folks sitting down, enjoying a meal together.  It was such an inviting place to be....a real sense of "community".  

I didn't get a shot of the room as a whole, but here you can see Padre Arturo speaking with this gentleman.  The young boy with him had such smiley eyes...this photo doesn't do him justice :)

This gentleman stood up from the group to welcome us, and to thank us - and all of the Chalice family.  What stuck with me most was how he thanked us on behalf of all of his "hermanos" (brothers) who were really is a treasure of a community for these folks to gather here, as family, and share a meal together.

Again, one of the ladies who was always with us at mealtimes - she was enjoying herself SO much :D 

And there were kids around …

Hablo ingles?

From Monday to Thursday, we signed up for service projects.  The options were: construction of one of the homes (supported by our Housing Project), crocheting mats and handbags from plastic bags, sports workshops, visiting families, and teaching English.

I signed up for a variety, so that I could tell you about them here.....but after one day in the English class, I was hooked.  It was such a JOY to spend time with these students....and once I got to know them, I just didn't want to leave!

We had a mix of ages and English levels, but all the students were eager to learn, so we had a lot of fun.  Here's one of our teachers, Cassie :)  You can see some of the words we learned on the board.  It was actually a great opportunity to expand our Spanish vocabulary, and the students had fun teaching us new things too.

These three in the foreground were in my group :D ahhhh I loved their smiles and miss them already!  Here we're having fun learning numbers with a game of Bingo.  We p…

Lunchtime - again!

There must be an equivalence between gratitude in one's heart and a desire to prepare food  :)

These ladies (and many others!) prepared food for us every few hours it seemed.  We had breakfast where we stayed, but this was soon followed by a mid-morning snack, then lunch (held at a senior's home, pictured here), then a mid-afternoon snack, and finally back to our accommodations for dinner.

The snacks were really more like lunches - traditional and delicious and often served with freshly made juice - and always an abundance of fruit! 

Lunch was more like dinner at home - always soup, main course (with several choices of sides as you can see) and then dessert.  Going back to my packed lunches at work is going to be hard...hehe

These ladies were so kind, and a ton of fun.  Like just about everyone else I met, they loved having their pictures taken - and being silly :)

Here you can see a more complete group of these fantastic women and a few of the tour participants.  It was real…