Ola’ Lea!

It seems as though Maryellen just arrived, but we know the Girl of the Year 2016 Lea Clark is waiting in the wings.  The books listed on Amazon indicate that Lea travels to Brazil (see our post Brazil, Here We Come).  We count a Brazilian girl (human, not doll!) as part of our family, and we hope you can get to know her in the coming year, too.

Fact:  Ola’ means “Hi” in Portuguese, the language spoken in Brazil.

We sponsor a Brazilian child through Compassion International.  When you hear Brazil do you think of resorts and fabulous beaches?  That is a small part of Brazil, but not the whole story.  Our Brazilian girl is 7 years old and lives in the Northeast part of Brazil, far from the tourist areas.  In the Northeast part of Brazil, housing is commonly a tile roof/mud wall structure with no running water.  When intense rains come, the walls can seep water.

Home similar to the one our sponsored child lives in

Home similar to the one our sponsored child lives in

Fact:  The murder rate in this area of Brazil is higher than Detroit, New York City, and Chicago combined.

Our sponsored child can now attend a Compassion-run Center at a local Brazilian church when she is not in school.  There she finds a safe place to be a kid!  She plays, draws, learns, and receives any medical and dental care.  Our sponsored child looks a lot like the cutie in the picture below.

image

I believe Lea Clark’s story will touch on the Amazon Rainforest.  Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist, has said that wherever there is extreme poverty, the natural environment is at great risk as well.  Improving living conditions for some helps all of us on the planet!

We write to our sponsored child and the letters are translated into Portuguese.  Brianna is our main letter writer, and she provides lots of encouragement.  The child can write to us by the same process.  In the coming year while we learn about Lea Clark we hope to also introduce you to our Brazilian friend!

Graphics above are from Compassion’s magazine for children.  Compassion is Christ-Centered, Based in Local Churches, and looks at each child holistically to improve their opportunities.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Ola’ Lea!

  1. jackylina

    I’m so glad you’ll let us see your story with your sponsored child! And what perfect timing with the GOTY 2016! I can’t wait to be introduced to her. I will keep her and everyone who lives in such conditions in my prayers.

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    1. Jen Post author

      Thank you Heather! I think the Summer Olympics are in Brazil in 2016, so I guess we are all going to be immersed in South America soon.
      I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for our sponsored child… We know she loves dolls, Art is her best subject, and she wants to be a teacher. We hope to get a letter from her in the coming months. It takes about 3 months to get correspondence back and forth. We will share when we know more 💓

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      1. jackylina

        She loves dolls!! That’s so cool! Yes this whole year sounds like a Brazil year! I was just thinking about some of the non AG dolls: Last year, the Journey Girl dolls went to Paris and then this year AG sends Grace to Paris. Now, the new Via E doll, Tatiana is from Brazil where Alexis meets her and sure enough AG sends a doll to Brazil too.

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      2. Jen Post author

        Paris is so .. Last year.
        The summaries of Lea’s books allude to her meeting a friend in Brazil and the friend coming back to the U S. I forgot about Tatiana and the Brazil connection! I’m glad Via E took the leap of crafting a doll that shares the diverse blend of cultures in Brazil.

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  2. Flo

    I look forward to hearing more about Brazil and the child you sponsor. I remember we sponsored a child as a group when I was in school, I know it was South America but I don’t remember exactly where. It was a great learning experience though. Mexico, Latin America and South America are truly areas of extremes when it comes to living conditions.

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    1. Jen Post author

      Thanks. This organization will arrange trips to meet sponsored kids and tour the various centers they operate in the region. Completely scary, yet a tiny bit intriguing.
      Saw the AG potting bench is on sale today… I still like yours better! Have your girls received any gardening catalogs yet for 2016? Our Seed Savers came yesterday!

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      1. Flo

        I don’t get any seed catalogs anymore because I try to buy them locally when I can. Not sure that we are going to be much gardening next year, we had a major blight issue and we have to let everything “rest” and give it time to die off. I might grow banana peppers though, they were the only thing that didn’t seem to be contaminated.

        That’s cool that they offer tours, I agree, scary but could be interesting. I remember a friend who went on a missions trip to Mexico telling me about how some of the poverty was so bad it made her cry.

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    1. Jen Post author

      We didn’t either, but we are learning as we go! Parts of Brazil are similar to sub Sahara Africa in terms of poverty. As you get to the tip (bottom) of Brazil, by Argentina, there is a strong German presence there. Lots of people sailed across the ocean and ended up there!

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  3. Sharry A.

    I still have the photo of the little girl my mom used to sponsor in the 70s from India. And I wonder if AG got their inspiration for this doll from the Via-E (dot) com website and the dolls they make, (the first of which has been around for a couple of years, and I received one of the first ones produced). Check out the website and let me know your thoughts!

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    1. Jen Post author

      Thanks for the tip on Via-E. It’s really great that they offer medical insurance for their dolls! If AG had that for dolls like Caroline it would be great.
      I know Heather at DollightfulDolls has a Tatiana on the way to her. I love the realistic hands and feet, and that the company isn’t afraid to make their doll reflect the African and Euro backgrounds of many Brazilians. She’s a cutie!

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