Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Reading

Happy Summer 
(to those of you in the middle of summer....happy winter to the rest of you)

I've come across some new book titles that I wanted to pop in and share with you. It's safe to say I'm an avid reader and I love finding books that take me to different places around the world. Some of these I've read, and some are still waiting to be read. Not all are in countries where Compassion works, but I still love learning about other cultures. 


For the younger ones...All Aboard for the Bobo Road by Stephen Davies 
 This is a sweet story that takes place in Burkina Faso. Back when I was doing my country expert posts, I couldn't find any books about or set in this small, west African country. I was pleased to find this.


For middle grade readers....The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
 This one is on my list for our homeschool read-aloud curriculum this coming year. Set in South Darfur (Africa), this story is told through poetic verse.



For teen readers....I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda
 This is the true story of an American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe who became friend through letters.




For adults....The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled From India to Europe for Love by Per J Andersson
"The remarkable true story of how love and courage led young PK to overcome extreme poverty, caste prejudice and adveristy - as will as a 7000 mile, adventure filled journey across continents and cultures to be with the woman he loved."



Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight - An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller
A memoir of the author's childhood in Africa. 



And a couple more I have already read....


Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua
set in Kenya - a memoir of how the author fell in love with the country and people of Kenya



 The Boy Who Runs by Julius Achon and John Brant
set in Uganda - the inspirational true story of a boy soldier who became a world-renowned runner



I'd LOVE to know what suggestions you have for me to add to my list. And I'd love to know if you've read any of these and what you thought. Happy reading!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bridgid's Cross


First a little story....two years ago our family started playing music together. What started as an occasional appearance at farmer's markets grew into regular performances in our area. We named our group Bridgid's Cross after St. Bridgid - a patroness of Ireland and lover of the poor. When we started collecting tip money, we decided to use the money to sponsor another child through Compassion and I was able to find an adorable girl named Bridget in Uganda. Recently we've decided to use more of our proceeds to support Compassion's water of life program and were able to donate $100 from one gig in March. 

This week the first hard copies of our first cd arrived. This is just a hobby for us, and the recording was done in our living room and garage over the past 6 months, but we are excited to share our love of music and Compassion with all sorts of people. 



Bridget in Uganda



If you are interested in hearing samples from the tracks, you can do that HERE. You can also download it digitally on that site. If you want a hard copy of the cd, I can get one to you for $13 (includes shipping within US) - just message me. 

The main reason I share this with you is not to sell cds, but to share that you can get creative and combine your passions / talents with your advocacy!



Friday, April 28, 2017

Learning About Brazil!

Brazil was our final country for the preschool year! I plan to recap our year with the complete reading list, and then hopefully I will share my plan for kindergarten. We really enjoyed learning a little about different countries so I have a whole new list of countries and/or regions to talk about in kindergarten.

As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


Our FIAR book was not about Brazil, but since we have Compassion kids in Brazil, I wanted to talk about the country! Here are the books we read:

  • The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan Mitchell
  • Amazon Alphabet by Martin & Tanis Jordan
  • Bugs for Lunch/Insectos para el almuerzo by Margery Facklam
  • Rain Forest Wildlife by Jinny Johnson
  • A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke
  • "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly," Said the Sloth by Eric Carle
  • In the Rainforest by Maurice Pledger
  • The Firebird of Rio by Christine Kohler

    Some of the books are not about Brazil specifically, but went along well with the other two books. (Bugs for Lunch/Insectos para el almuerzo went along because we watched some of Human Planet and watched kids hunting for tarantulas in the Amazon rainforest!) And of course reading about sloths is perfect for learning about the rainforest!

    We found the countries on the map and spent some time praying for our Compassion kids! And since we had the special opportunity for a friend to visit two of our Brazilian Compassion kids, we spent some time looking at the photos and watching videos of Gizelle and Estela.


    Juanito was very excited that he has a Brazilian soccer jersey and wanted our Compassion kids to see it!


    And of course we had to color Brazil's flag:


    Through reading Amazon Alphabet, we learned that X-Ray Fish live in Brazil, so we colored them, along with the Brazilian soccer team logo, the Amazon Rainforest, and a boy and girl in Brazil!

    We sent each Compassion child a letter, a photo, a sticker sheet, and a coloring page from Juanito and Rosie (remember the rule of 6 pages max!). And I fully intended to photograph the mailing (so you can get an idea of what to send your kid and to share the lovely coloring), but I completely forgot until the envelope was sealed. But if you want a visual, check out our Mexico post!


    We also watched some of the Human Planet, since it includes a few different locations in Kenya. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode.) The kids were fascinated...Juanito is now designing blow darts and Rosie is turtle hunting with her babies.

    We also watched some Compassion videos to learn more about Brazil! The first is specifically about Brazil, the second is just a fun video about extra-curricular activities in Compassion projects but BR-417, the project where 4 or our 5 Brazilian children attend, is featured!



    I made two Brazilian meals, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach and a recipe that Compassion sent, which I had tried a few years ago. We had chicken and rice, and we also had Baio de Dois.


    We also made Bolinhos de Arroz for co-op, which the kids really enjoyed because they were able to mix the batter (although we made ours in patties instead of balls because they kept falling apart).


    And we made blue morpho butterflies in co-op since they live in the Amazon Rainforest!


    We've had a great time learning about Brazil! And I am looking forward to continuing our country studies next year!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Mexico




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Friday, April 14, 2017

    Learning About Mexico!

    We just finished a look at Mexico (along with Mexican-American culture)! As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


    Our FIAR book was not about Mexico, but I really wanted to talk about Mexico since my kids are Mexican-American and I love covering countries where we have Compassion kids! Here are the books we read:

  • De Colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children by Jose-Luis Oroz
  • Pío Peep! by Alma Flor Ada
  • Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros
  • In My Family/En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Calling the Doves/El canto de las palomas by Juan Felipe Herrera
  • Sweet Memories/Dulces recuerdos by Kathleen Contreras
  • Let Me Help!/¡Quiero ayudar! by Alma Flor Ada
  • Lucas and his Loco Beans by Ramona Moreno Winner
  • The Fiesta Dress by Caren McNelly McCormack
  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
  • I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada
  • Cinco de Mouse-o by Judy Cox
  • The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell
  • Borreguita y el coyote by Verna Aardema
  • The Goat in the Chili Patch by Lana Josefa Kratky
  • The King's Oranges by Caitlin Brooks
  • 'Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
  • What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla

    I really enjoyed Pío Peep! and actually bought the book and CD combo after borrowing it from the library. I did not grow up with nursery rhymes in Spanish, so it's been fun to learn them along with my kids! And for English speakers, these are written and sung in both Spanish and English.

    We really enjoy the books by Alma Flor Ada. Let Me Help!/¡Quiero ayudar! takes place in San Antonio, where some of my in-laws live, and Rosie really enjoyed the parrot as the main character! And it was fun seeing Juanito drawing connections from I Love Saturdays y domingos to his own life and grandparents!

    We also really enjoyed comparing and contrasting some folktales with a Mexican flare to those we read from Peru. Juanito noticed that the antagonist in Peruvian tales is a fox, whereas in Mexican tales, it is a coyote. The Three Little Javelinas, a three little pigs tales set in the American Southwest, was one of Juanito's favorite stories, along with Borreguita y el coyote.

    But my absolute favorite book out of the lot was What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo?! It was such a fun book and the kids loved it. It makes me really want to read What Can You Do with a Paleta/¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta?.

    We found the countries on the map and spent some time praying for our Compassion kids, Jose and Elsa.


    Juanito loved Jose's hair and so he styled his and our baby Jose's hair to look the same! He also found his Mexican soccer jersey and wanted to make sure we could see the shirt in the photo we're sending to Jose.


    We also watched some videos about Compassion's work in Mexico! I really love when Compassion just uses subtitles for English because it makes my kids work on their Spanish!



    We colored the Mexican flag, and then I found some fun coloring pages (boy and girl) and paper dolls (boy and girl)!


    The kids wanted to send their art and the paper dolls to Jose and Elsa, and per Rosie's request, I helped with Elsa's doll. If you want to send letters to your Compassion sponsored kids, just remember to send at most 6 sheets of paper and label everything with your child's name and number!


    For our co-op, we played a game from Mexico, sent to us by our very own Jose who we sponsor through Compassion! I know he will be so proud that we shared his game with friends! We also created Mexican Mirrors, which was so much fun! The kids really took a lot of time and worked carefully. And I had another coloring page with a piñata for the kids who finished early:


    We also ate some chilaquiles (or migas, per my husband's family, although I know migas as ham and cheese sandwiches thanks to Argentina...), courtesy of my favorite recipe book Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. We have also been eating other Mexican meals over the past few weeks. We've had fish tacos and beef tacos, bean and cheese quesadillas (our typical lunch staple), gallo pinto (black beans and rice, our other lunch staple), and toasted flour tortilla topped with cinnamon and sugar!


    Both kids narrated What Can You Do with a Rebozo/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo?.

    Juanito said,
    Mamá pone el rebozo en los hombros. Hacelo into a parque. Usalo para un bebé. Jugar con un rebozo. El tío lava el piso pero usa el rebozo de mamá. La niña baila la Gamba. La niña duerme con el rebozo. La niña ponelo para una capa de héroe. Tapó los ojos para su cumpleaños. El babé le gusta jugar el escondite. La hermana mayor ponelo en su pelo y viste más bello.


    And Rosie said,
    She's silly. She was sleeping too. She danced. They played. She put the rebozo on the girl. They put it on her. They danced with the Bamba.


    We've had a great time learning about Mexico! Next up, Brazil! It doesn't go along with our FIAR book, but I have some fun books we'll read. Brazil will be our last country for preschool, but I plan on continuing our country studies for Kindergarten!

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan
  • Kenya




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
  • Sunday, April 2, 2017

    An Update

    Hello fellow Compassion Sponsors and Advocates!

    I've missed you and this space, but I must admit that having a little extra time has also been nice. March was full of ups and downs for us.

    I have grieved deeply at the loss of Compassion's ministry in India, as I'm sure most of you have as well. For  several weeks I couldn't even think of the situation without my eyes welling up with tears. However, I am grateful for the many years Compassion was there and for the strong ministry they were able to establish through the local church. It is my hope and prayer that the local church continues to have a strong presence and influence in the lives of the children and families that Compassion was ministering to. 

    Not only did we lose our dear Preeti in India, we also lost our girl Veronica in Dominican Republic. Because of these changes, we have added two new precious girls to our family this month.



    Alisson in Ecuador
       
    Alisson was sent to us by Compassion, and I was grateful because 
    I was having trouble choosing a child to sponsor.



    Wendy in Colombia
    I chose Wendy because she is older (18) and shares a birthday with me. 




    Also exciting and new this month....Our family band, Bridgid's Cross, has decided to donate 100% of tips to Compassion's Water of Life initiative. We had a sign made and used it at our St. Patrick's Day gig. Normally a gig like this would yield about $30 in tips, but we made exactly $100 in 2 hours. 





    That's all for now....I hope you are doing well! 

    Friday, March 31, 2017

    Learning About Kenya!

    We just finished a brief look at Kenya (with a brief mention of Uganda and Rwanda)! As I mentioned before, the main books we are covering are recommended by the Five in a Row [FIAR] curriculum and Give Your Child the World by Jamie C Martin.


    Our FIAR book was not about Kenya, but I really wanted to talk about Kenya this year with our kids since we have Compassion kids from Kenya. I also threw in a book about Uganda since it is Kenya's neighbor and I love the book! Here are the books we read:

  • Masai and I by Virginia Kroll
  • My Name is Blessing by Eric Walters
  • Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book by Muriel Feelings
  • Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
  • Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
  • For You are a Kenyan Child by Kelly Cunnane
  • Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
  • A Visit to Kenya by Mary Packard
  • Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier (about Uganda)

    I enjoyed Masai and I, For You are a Kenyan Child and Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain for the illustrations and showing a little bit of the Kenyan culture in a fun way!

    Juanito's favorite book was Wangari's Trees of Peace; he was fascinated that someone would be arrested for planting trees. And Rosie loved Beatrice's Goat, which was probably my favorite out of all the ones we read!

    We found the countries on the map and spent some time praying for our Compassion kids! Thanks to Beatrice's Goat, we also prayed for our kids from Uganda and Rwanda--Uganda because the story took place in Uganda, and Rwanda because our Compassion child from Rwanda recently bought a goat.


    Since we were talking about the three different countries, we looked at a more detailed map of east Africa and then colored each country's flag! Crayola has Kenya's and Uganda's, but they don't have Rwanda's current flag, so we drew our own:


    And while looking at the map of east Africa, I was reminded that our cichlids come from the lakes in east Africa! We have lots of cichlids, so we took a moment to admire them and find their lakes on the map.


    We also watched some of the Human Planet, since it includes a few different locations in Kenya. (I refer to Wikipedia for the listing of what is shown in each episode, and I hope to show the kids some more when we learn about Brazil in a month!)

    The kids were fascinated watching the Dorobo hunters steal meat from lions, Maasai boys follow a honey bird to honey, and Samburu hunters find water by following elephants. Juanito has been playing that he is a Kenyan hunter looking for meat, honey and water.


    I made three Kenyan meals, thanks to my favorite cookbook: Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook by Joetta Handrich Schlabach. We had lentils, ground meat and mango fish! All three meals were a big hit with all three kids...which is a feat!


    Juanito chose to narrate Wangari's Trees of Peace:
    She helped pull the weeds when she was a girl. Then she went to the state America because she wanted to study. When she came back, she saw no trees. She was sad. She saw women carrying firewood more far away from home. Wangari's going to plan more trees. The women, all of them, help Wangari plant trees. The cutting continues and then they hit her with clubs and put her in jail because she was planning trees, but she wasn't bad. But she wasn't alone because she saw trees and greet got back to earth, Kenya.



    And Rosie narrated Beatrice's Goat (here are the templates for the goat and girl):
    It's about the niña and the little goat. They walked a lot to see the mom. She didn't even go to school, she carried a baby hermana to the bush. They got a goat, the mami had two goats. They drinked leche. She gets the goat, she plays with the goats, she's going to the school.



    We've had a great time learning about Kenya! Next up, Mexico! It doesn't go along with our FIAR book, but I have some fun books we'll read.

    To view my complete plan for the year, click here. And here are the previous countries in the series:
  • China
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • France
  • Colombia
  • Ghana
  • Italy
  • Thailand
  • Peru
  • India & Pakistan




    About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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