I’m growing a tail

 

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08/09/2016 I’m recovered from company and have been in chill mode for many weeks, nothing I have to do except enjoy my life on the island. We spent a few days waiting for Hurricane Earl, who, at the last minute changed paths and headed straight for Belize. They got hit, we just got rain and wind. Very thankful we were spared and sad for the people in BZE.

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This is what we could have been hit with.

A few weeks ago Nidia was contacted by Carnival cruise lines that their employees had taken it upon themselves to organize a food drive for the elderly on Roatan. We met Nidia and Mac at Mahogany Bay at noon to pick up the cruise ship employees and take them and their 60 bags of food to the East End of the island. Due to some snafu, it took longer to pick them up than planned but we got them and were on our way to Pandytown. The people were waiting when we got there.

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Alexi helping load the stuff on to Mac’s truck

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We had the 2 on the right and the girl 3rd from the left riding with us. Two of them were from South Africa and the other from the states.

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I of course, found dogs. I was pulling ticks off this little girl when the owner approached me and said I could have her. I said, Thank you but no. He said her name was Lola. One Lola is all I can handle. She was adorable.

Next stop was Punta Caliente but when we got there a few crew members had to be back on the ship so we left and took them back to Mahogany Bay.

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These are the folks from Punta Caliente coming to meet us. The employees would like to do this monthly, which is pretty awesome!

On July 30th Because We Care did a breakfast for the people in Hottest Sparrow, a community many times forgotten. I got there around 6:45AM and didn’t really do much until the ladies cooking the food were finished, then I helped serve, made chocolate milk for the kids, passed out drinks, some soccer balls donated by Trish and Dave Symons and then helped pass out toys and gifts and clean up. It was a fun morning.

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The kitchen. My friend Carly from Blue Island Divers graciously helped with the cooking.

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Plates of food, eggs, bacon, sausage, tortillas, cheese, beans and juice and milk.

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Lots of hungry kids

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I love the older sibling holding their younger brother/sister.

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Sweet brothers

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There is not much in the way of fruits or vegetables in their diets.

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Of course, I was feeding the dogs all the left overs.

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These kids got some donated soccer balls, some from Trish and Dave and someone else donated a few larger ones as well.

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The school director with the ones I gave him, I also gave him a ball pump from Trish and Dave.

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Little girls with their Barbie (sic) dolls.

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Your guess is as good as mine.

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They passed out balls and were a few short so we gave this guy a soccer ball, he was thrilled.

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What’s a party without a Piñata?

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Nidia was throwing the candy

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Nidia and her box of mystery gifts

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Tom’s shoes

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He was so funny with the ball in his shirt

We were fortunate enough to meet some new friends from California via Alex. Kevin and Pam bought some land near us and plan on building on it. They had never been to the East End of the island so we took them to La Sirena, our favorite place.

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The end of the world.

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We stopped along the way and gave these boys a soccer ball (again, thank you Trish and Dave)

On the way home we stopped at the pirate ship and our friend the guard was there. He gave us another tour and some more wooden stuff, like a Seahorse statue that I am in love with.

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I finally got a decent photo of the chandelier. It’s stunning, as far as chandeliers go.

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And Pam got to hold onto an M 16!

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The mast and rigging on the closed down nightclub

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Oh yes, I got a reserved sign too.

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Rooftop view

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Really. 5 dogs!

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Such a pretty sky

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Barrio and Max swimming

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Maxiedoodle

We have had so many people over for dinner lately and that is always fun, especially when it’s a nice day and we can be in the pool.

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Dave, Trish and Jeanie

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The stunning Duchess of Camp Bay. There is only one.

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Roger and some dogs..

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They love each other.

I picked up my twinnie Ann and we went snorkeling at West Bay again and then had some drinks (of course) at Grand Roatan.

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Neon Goby on coral

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Ann in the swim

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Parrot fish. I love their lips.

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Lots of small Chromis.

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Love the coral

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I see you!

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More cool coral

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Sucks that we live somewhere so ugly.

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My favorite beach

This past week I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long long long time. I got my dive refresher and went diving. Thanks to Eric White of Blue Island Divers, he made my dreams come true once again. It’s been over 12 years since I dove and I really wanted and needed a refresher. Diving is dangerous, it’s good to go over these things. Eric was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. I’m looking forward to diving again with him as soon as I return. Thank you Eric! (his wife and I are friends and she cooked at the community breakfast, great people)

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We did a 62′ deep dive, the water was 80 degrees. I was able to dive in my swimsuit. I had my Ariel moment and will be doing it as often as possible now. There is nothing like being down there and looking at the vast world under the sea. Fish are so lucky.

Speaking of Mermaids, Robby and Julie brought me this mug. It keeps water cold and ice stays ice for 12 hours. It’s an Ozark Mtn. mug.

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Love this mug.

All was fabulous with the mug until yesterday when I took my mermaid cup to our friends Dave and Trish’s for a party.

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Trish in the “pink hat.” That’s another story for another time.

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Dave (Trish’s husband) and David on the raft

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The guys

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The sky, part way down their road.

The ice stayed ice, just had to refill the water several times while there. (in between glasses of wine) Even after the cup sat along the pool in the sun, the outside was warm, inside ice cold. I filled it again before I left our friends. We got home, put things away, fed the dogs and I laid down to watch some Netflix. I filled my cup w/ more water when we got home and had the cup sitting on the floor while I was on the couch. Around 9 I got up to go to bed and wanted to put more ice in the cup, I took the lid off and there was a small 1′ long Gecko floating belly up in my cup. I FREAKED OUT! Needless to say, I was over the top out of my mind thinking I might have sucked it up in the straw. OMG. I am going to devise something to keep the hole small enough that nothing can crawl in it ever again. Never ever ever again.

Today we delivered the clothes that Robby and Julie brought for Alexi’s brother, nephew and sisters. It was a success because everything fit. They were very appreciative and said thank you very much. I also gave Efraim and Osman a soccer ball donated by Dave and Trish. Earlier I took Alexi to Mega Paca and bought him 2 long sleeve white shirts for school, 3 pair of long pants, 2 black, 1 navy, some underwear, a few pairs of athletic pants and a couple t-shirts. Then we went to LST and bought him a brand new pair of black shoes for school. This is just the beginning of helping him. Thanks to Liza and Mike, Karl, Christy, Brenda and Sean. Thanks also to Tarra for the Old Navy flip-flops. They fit Alexi and he was thrilled to have a few pairs of new shoes. We’re going to take care of a few months of school for him also ($15.00/mo). I’ll keep you posted. Thank you all so much. The little boys and the girls were so excited with all of their new things and Alexi is looking forward to starting school with new clothes! 

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Alexi and his Mega Paca haul.

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New kicks

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Alexi’s younger sister Jessica, she is a beautiful young girl. She said that her step dad won’t allow her to talk to any boys and he hits her if she does. He’s a sick man.

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Alexi’s 19 year old sister Julianna. She has a 4 year old son, Osman.

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Osman

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Bill with Alexi’s 7 year old brother. He is the same size as his 4 year old nephew.

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Bill and Osman

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This kid is adorable

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Mother and son

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Max and Efraim, Alexi’s little brother

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Alexi and Juliana hauling their load of clothes home. They were so excited.

That’s it, I’m off to bed. I just wanted to get this stuff out of my mind because I’ll be gone 2 weeks and won’t have time to do any blogging then. Mom and Dad have finally said they would move closer to my sister Missy in Olney, MD. They will be 5 minutes away instead of 90+. So much easier. I plan to help them go through stuff, donate and pack, should be an interesting visit.

I’ll post this mañana, I’m off to fill up my water mug (and check for geckos) and then going to bed.

 

 

Frito, the OCD dog.

unmedicated

05/23/2015 A person my age can not exist on 5 hours of sleep a night. NO CAN DO.  Every freaking morning between 4 and 5 the pups start howling, since they are in the living room and I know they are peeing up a storm we get up and take them outside. It takes us 4 trips to get them all out, downstairs. Then I have to come back upstairs (Bill is playground supervisor), make them breakfast, go back down and feed them, watch them all play and poop (have to clean that up) pee and pass out. Then they all go in the big area downstairs and sleep. I come back upstairs, pick up the peed papers and any bedding that is peed on, scrub the tarp off with vinegar, wipe it dry, put more papers in for the night, and wash the soiled bedding. I also crawl back in bed several times throughout this performance, begging my mind for a few more minutes of sleep. At some point I get up and eat, do the dishes and try to sleep again, many times. Saying goodbye to these little furballs will be so BITTERSWEET, I tear up just thinking about it.

We are spending a fortune feeding them.

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The start of the food making, EVERY OTHER DAY!

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I should have bought stock in La Yogurt @ L72, or $3.50 each, YIKES!

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They love Emmy’s bed.

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And each other’s feet

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They all have names now: Sable and Bandit, Brindle, Max, Tank and Buddha and my boy Barrio.

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They can be brutal too

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Lola’s toys are a hit but she is reluctant to share

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Bandit with a sad, unstuffed toy

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He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.

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Sable sleeping on a stuffed toy

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Maybe the new crate isn’t such a hit

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Breaking out, or attempting to

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If they would only learn to use it

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The way to feed 7 puppies?? Two muffin tins!

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The ever present Aunt, once known as the DOG FROM HELL AND THE URINE QUEEN. No accidents on the porch in a week!!

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I would like to pretend this is someone else’s foot wearing socks with sandals, but I can’t. It’s Bill, I don’t dress him, although I’ve tried. Sable is sound asleep.

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Passed out in the Le Creuset

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What a love Bandit is..

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Their upstairs condo

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Takes up half the living room

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Luckily for the pups the wind blew the chair over and they foud comfy beds.

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We don’t see much of Frito. She only comes to see the pups if she thinks there is a morsel of food for her. She spends her days laying by a door, any door, hoping to sneak in and satisfy her insatiable food compulsion.

Frito is totally obsessed with food and its becoming annoying. she knew there was food inside and actually tried to fit her pear shaped body out through the puppy proofed gate. She will probably end up stuck in there and we’ll have to call for the Jaws of Life to extricate her.

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Fool dog

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Her nursing gig is now standing room only

A temporary babysitter. Lola stays in there with the pups until the dogs bark or she thinks it’s time to eat.

We plan to let the pups go to their homes next week, once they have their first shots. I will more than likely be a mess saying good bye to them. Despite the sleepless nights and constant laundry and food prep (you all know I hate to cook) I love these 7 small creatures like I never thought I could. My first and last litter of pups EVER. I only hope and pray that they are as loved and well taken care of in their new homes.

Other than running to the grocery store this past week I haven’t done much at all except try to nap when I can and I must say, the afternoon naps I sneak in are marvelous, just ask Emmy, she’ll tell you, she is always curled up right along side of me. Last night it rained and we had to bring the 4 big dogs in off the porch, we had ELEVEN DOGS IN OUR LIVING ROOM. 11 freaking hairy creatures.. Lucky tried to hide, he prefers to be under the bed when it’s raining. Sneaky boy that he is.

Last Monday Nidia told me she had most of the supplies needed to fill the backpacks and school supply bags but was short some writing books, scissors and rulers. I met her at Super Isleno, a store in Coxen Hole and we got the rest of what we needed using most of the balance of the money my friends Walt and Judy Kaiser so kindly sent to me.

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A grocery/school supply store.

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I had no idea they had so much stuff in there

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Pens, markers, scissors, rulers, paper, tablets, they had it.

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Neatly organized too

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Nidia (in blue) checking what we got

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It was a lot of stuff for a little over $80.00, enough so that each and every student gets supplies

While we were there Nidia was talking about a group that was doing a water system in downtown Coxen Hole. She had invited them to go to Helene with us on Friday. I said that I had met them at the airport last week and was talking to several of them for awhile. She took me to where they were working and I walked over and said hello and they all remembered me, even my name!! We chatted for a few minutes and found out what it is they are doing. I’m sure the people who live in that area will be very appreciative, having a water supply right there is going to be wonderful!

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They were from the Live Again Ministry in North Carolina

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Hard, hot, sweaty but rewarding work

I told them I would see them on Friday, dropped Nidia off at her store with the supplies and came home.

Also want to do a quick shout out to Beth and Aaron Fox for their donation to Because We Care. I haven’t spent their money yet, still have some of Walt’s money left. Once we start spending yours (Beth), I’ll let you know what we bought with it. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

I could do this in 2 posts but I don’t have the energy so here goes..

We met at the landing in Oak Ridge for a Because We Care last trip to Saint Helene to deliver the balance of the desks and school supplies and some back packs for the students. The group from Live Again Ministry was with us, as was Carly White from Sandy Bay (she and her husband have Blue Island Divers) and Brian and Sherri Visker.

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Live Again Ministry group

We loaded 25 desks for Saint Helene and 4 for Pandytown. We had to wait until the boat got gas and it took awhile. Granted it was a big boat, biggest panga I’ve ever been in, but also the gas was dispensed from jugs and buckets, no gas pump there…

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Good Shepherd Ministries boat from Helene

Once filled, we set off for Helene with a quick stop at Pandytown to drop off 4 left handed desks. I never really thought about it but the way these desks are made, they really are specific to your hand writing prominence, left or right. They would make it hard for a leftie to use a right handed desk.

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On the way to Pandytown

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Students at Pandytown sitting in the new “leftie” desks

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School store

Once we left Pandytown we were in open water and bouncing across the waves. I think it was a little rough and wild for a few people but I was loving every minute of it. There were some kite surfers on the south shore, never seen them here before, only out at Camp Bay. The photo sucks because we were going 700MPH on a choppy sea into the wind but you get the idea.

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One kite was really high

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Just landed and off loading at Saint Helene

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Students eager for their new desks, they were happy to carry them up the hill to the school.

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Maybe he already claimed this as his.

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My friend Carly carrying a desk. You can see the name plate on the back stating who paid for the desk. If anyone is interested, they can be purchased for $49.95 each.

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I love taking photos of the kids

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He was camera shy

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so cute

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She loved the camera

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They brought ALL of the new desks out into the schoolyard.

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One of the men from the ministry fell in love with this little girl. Who wouldn’t?

This little girl was a dusty mess and she had no shoes.

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His cast doesn’t look too good.

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Bags of supplies sent by a group of teachers. They are the same ones who sent all of the backpacks. There was A LOT of stuff.

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Packs were filled with supplies too.

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So much stuff, enough for a whole school.

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Students getting bags of supplies

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This little girl got a backpack with supplies in it

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Sherri passing out the goods

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He was happy, really he was.

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Look at her face, and what a cute backpack!

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He loved his

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The smile says it all, Spiderman!!

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Pretty in pink, she had the most gorgeous eyes!

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Handsome young man!

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Another beauty

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He didn’t know I was taking his photo, look at his eyelashes. I’ve never seen any that long!!!

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Girls from Live Again Ministry handing out supplies

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Spiderman rules

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The little girl with the backpack was fascinated with her ruler. It has shapes and letters to trace cut out in it.

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Pretty young lady, one of the older students there.

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And another, so many gorgeous kids!

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This is the boy with the eyelashes

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The last of the kinder students to get supplies

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The whole school lined up and yelled THANK YOU too all of the people who made this possible.

After we were done passing out school things several of the mothers made lunch for us, a conch stew. Needless to say, I passed on that as did Carly. When everyone was done eating we decided to hike over the mountain again so the group from the ministry could see the need for a water system over there.

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Some of the group collected shells on this log

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Pastor Ronnie and Nidia carrying loaves of fresh hot coconut bread on their heads.

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One of the group with Darla’s daughter.

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We stopped to pick up the man who owns the huge boat we were riding in. He came back to Oak Ridge with us.

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The ride back was much smoother.

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And we are back at the landing.

It was a really hot, tiring, sweaty wonderful day, filled with smiling faces and lots of children who were excited about receiving bags with scissors and pencils and erasers in them. Such small things mean so much to so many and the things we take for granted are a big deal to others.

Today we have a young boy named Eddy from the village below us up here weeding. He has been coming here for a long time because Bill gives him wood for his mother to cook with. A while ago we got him some school things. He goes to a bi-lingual school and the soccer team there is in the playoffs. Bill took him to town for a baleada and I got the idea to buy him a soccer ball with some of Walt’s money. I called Bill and told him to go get Eddy a new soccer ball. Eddy could not believe we were buying him a soccer ball, Bill said he thanked him at least 20 times. They went to Molineros and the balls were 30% off, of course, it took them 25 minutes to figure out how to ring it up, but Eddy has a new soccer ball. Thanks again Walt, this young boy is extremely happy!

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Eddy and his new Adidas ball

Many thanks to all who make this possible and most of all to Nidia, for having this vision and the passion to help the needy here on the island we call home.