Lopez stop motion

Tommy & Morgan celebrated their 4 year anniversary on August 11. To celebrate, I created this stop motion video of them seesawing on Lopez Island. It’s my first stop motion and I love how it turned out!

Happy anniversary Mo & To! Love you two! xoxo


a peek into my summer

The last month has been full. Just the way summer should be.

Camping on Lopez Island

Hiking Northrup Canyon

Celebrating Ice Cream Sandwich Day! Read more here.

Exploring the Ozarks

Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Sister time in Asheville, North Carolina

I’m back home now, savoring my time before the new school year starts.

August Kiva Loan

August’s Kiva loan goes to Cecilia from Mexico. She owns a stationary shop full of school and crafting supplies: two things I love! Read more about her below:

photo from Kiva profile page

Cecilia is a hardworking and enterprising woman. In order to have an income, six years ago she started a stationary store in her house which is located on one of the busiest streets in town. The business is called “Papeleria UPS2” and offers a variety of school supplies like pencils, pens, hole-punchers, notebooks, backpacks and more. The requested loan is to stock her store to be prepared for the new school year when they will have lists of supplies needed for kindergarten, primary school and high school. This way she will make more money.

July Kiva Loan

The idea.

Back in January, my book club read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by husband and wife team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

photo from amazon

The book opened my eyes to the challenges many women face: sex trafficking, gender based violence, and maternal health issues. It also inspired me. Women (and men) taking a stand, sharing their stories in hopes of making a difference. I was moved to action when I read Jill’s plan to provide a monthly microfinance loan through Kiva.

Not sure what mircrofinance loans are? Check out this short video.

The plan.

Once a month, lend money to a Kiva borrower. The borrowers repay me through Kiva and then I can withdraw or reinvest my money.

My first loan.

For July, I chose the Pabaquit Group from Guatemala. Here’s a little about them:

photo from kiva profile page

Mr. Ricardo is married, 37 years old, completed five years of primary school, and has eight children, one of which is school. He works in trade, selling clothing and other merchandise. He started this business as an itinerant vendor, and today, has 15 years of experience. He counts on the support of his wife, who takes care of the domestic tasks.

He decided to organize a group to request a loan that will help him to buy merchandise like socks, scarves, sweaters, jackets, pants, hats, etc. The rest of the group members work in various activities, such as trade and animal husbandry. Ricardo hopes to see his business with its own premises someday.

Guatemala holds a special place in my heart as one of my first international experiences. The perfect place to start!

The Important Book

Every year, I read The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown to my students.

The text structure and the rhythm of the words capture their attention. A snippet:

The important thing

about the sky is that it is always

there. It’s true that it is blue,

and high, and full of clouds,

and made of air.

But the important thing about

the sky is that it is always there.

Throughout the year, when they are focused on a small detail of the school day, I often refocus their attention with the phrase, “The important thing right now is…(washing our hands, reading, etc.).”

We all need reminders of the important things. This blog is my reminder.