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!

Can you handle how CUTE these kids are?!?!!?!!

There's so much to photograph...and to record! Here's Jerry, excited at all the stories such a day could inspire...

Air Canada let each of us bring a second suitcase along - for FREE! So, we filled them up with all sorts of things the Sponsor Sites requested (Pencils, Pens, Colour Pencils, Markers, Spanish-English Dictionaries, Puzzles, Math Facts, Math Games, Math Posters, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Gel Alcohol, Liquid Soap, T-shirts, Shorts, Winter Clothing, Clothing for Adults, Skipping Ropes, Basketballs, Soccer Balls, Soccer Team Shirts, Soccer Goalie Gloves & Shirts, Soccer Cleats & Shoes, Soccer Socks, Soccer Bags, Soft Foam Balls, Water Bottles, Art Supplies, Knitted Teddies, Fleece Teddies, Fleece Blankets, and Plastic Bags & Wooden Dowels to make crochet hooks!) We brought some of the soccer and basketballs with us today.

We then shared a feast for our lunch! It's not unusual for us to be feasting at lunch (we were fed so well), but this time it's a traditional Bolivian potluck called Apthapi. Everything is laid out on the table, then everyone comes to load up plates for their families. This was definitely my favourite meal - absolutely everyone had their fill, and on the hillside outside the centre families were sprawled out - one big picnic!

From here were went to visit some of the families in the community.

This lady has a sewing business - and specializes in clothing for pets! She received this sewing machine from Chalice's Gift Catalogue, and was so happy to show us what she's been making. She smiles as she tells us about her sewing machine....she calls it her "husband" because it's what brings in the money! :)


I got to meet my sponsor brother and sister, and their families. It was really, really, ......... blessed, and beautiful, and surreal ......... it was like meeting members of my family for the first time. :-D <-- this is me, right now, smiling while I think about it. God is so good to have given me this opportunity. I had no idea I would ever visit this site when I started sponsoring two years ago. To be honest, I wasn't even sure my heart was really "into" sponsorship before I started. I knew it was a "good" thing to do, and because I'd been working for Chalice for two months already at that time, I decided I "should" do it...and so I did. But I didn't pick Brayan (I just asked for "whoever was most in need"), and I certainly didn't imagine at the time that I would ever meet him (or Maribel later on). But when I started to add them to my prayers for my family, my heart was changed. I felt so blessed to know they were part of my life. There was a connection there that I wasn't expecting. Sure, I didn't really know them from experience, but I felt I knew them in my heart. Having this chance to actually meet them was......... well, you can see for yourself :)