I finally heard from the third of my three Compassion kids. I'm not sponsoring Fred, but his sponsor doesn't have time to write to him, so he needs someone to write to him and I volunteered.
Fred lives in the southern part of the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. According to the information that came with this letter, "Bicol is one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines and is primarily known as the home of Mount Mayon, an active volcano with a perfectly shaped cone. It is the Philippines' most active volcano. It has an elevation of 2,462 meters (8,007 feet) with a base diameter of 20 km.
"Bicol is also famous for its rich and spicy dishes which are mostly cooked using "gata," or coconut milk and flavored with "siling labuyo," or chili. Well known Bicolano specialties are "bicol express," "inanaqat," "liang" and "kinunot." Must buys include "pili," nut-based delicacies, and handicrafts.
"Compassion has a total of 3,849 registered children in Bicol, coming from 30 projects as of March 2009."
The above is a picture of Mt. Mayon, the Philippines' most active volcano and considered to be the world's most perfectly formed volcano for its symmetrical cone. The name Mayon is derived from the Bicolano word "Magayon" which means "beautiful." (See how instructive this blogl can be?)
Many of the children come from non-English speaking countries, and so their letters need to be translated before they can be sent. However, Fred's mother, Lyra, wrote the letter for him, in English, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for sending him little books and things that require the ability to understand English, since the translators only translate the letters.
According to her letter, six year old Fred is the oldest of four children (this sounds like MY family!) and his younger siblings are all girls. The father is, according to Lyra, "a tricycle driver." But she doesn't say what he does on the tricycle, whether it is delivering stuff or something like a street taxi driver.
So I have now heard from all three of my Compassion children and already the letters to them are starting to be individualized -- up to this point, I was sending the identical letter to all three kids, but as I begin to learn about their likes and dislikes, and to answer their questions, they will start getting individually written letters.
The nice thing about Compassion is that you can either send a real letter or you can send an e-mail. I send little things like stickers or photos or things like that through the mail, but if I have nothing to send (or don't feel like getting something ready to send), then I can send an e-mail instead. And we all know I know how to send e-mail!
I am cautiously optimistic that Higgins has a new home. A woman picked him up the other day to take him home on a "trial run" to see how he got along with their dog, who has had problems with other dogs in the past. From all reports, though the two dogs have not yet bonded, Higgins seems to have little separation anxiety! The woman hasn't called yet to say she is going to be bringing him back.
Higgins on a day he went with her to her work
The other three have become adamant about being in my lap whenever my knees bend. Dexter has learned how to jump into my lap (but then he's the older puppy, by at least a month, even if he is much smaller). Eliza knows how to climb up the footrest of the recliner if I tilt it down for her a bit. Freddie has more trouble, but if he can get his front legs on the footrest, I can pick him up by my feet (it's difficult to pick up a big dog when you already have two other dogs in your lap!) Doing this at 3 a.m. is just so much fun!There was no adoption at Petco this week, since it was Halloween and it's a bad idea to try to introduce a new pet into the family on a night with so much confusion going on, so it will be at least a week before we have our next shot at finding a new home for all the puppies.