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#58452 - 03/21/06 04:20 AM Re: A Shivering Eagle is Back...Brrr
Sherri Offline

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1177
Loc: Decatur, Illinois
Welcome home Eagle, glad to have you back.


Named: Best New Christian Writer by

#58453 - 03/21/06 04:25 AM Re: A Shivering Eagle is Back...Brrr
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
So Eagle...can you share some stories with us? We are all waiting to hear how the trip went for you AND the people you help each year. What a wonderful thing you do!


#58454 - 03/21/06 05:14 AM Re: A Shivering Eagle is Back...Brrr
Eagle Heart Offline

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
Thanks for the welcome home everyone! We're still "decompressing" as Bluebird so aptly put it and I'm finding it hard to find my rhythm and routine again. So if I'm not around too much, it's because we're napping a lot these days!

It was a much more hectic month than we anticipated it would be this year. We found the "hunger" more overwhelming than usual this visit. As some of you know, we (my husband's family) unofficially "adopted" a family in a tiny village in Cuba about 13 years ago. They/we have been going back there every year. Because of weight limitations on the chartered flights, we can't take a whole lot, but with anywhere from 4-8 of us going every year (one of his brothers used to go 3 times a year), we've managed to get an astounding array of things to our family over the years, including much-needed medications (anti-biotics are almost impossible to get there) and even a wheelchair one year.

But one thing we've noticed happening in the past two years is that the "family" is GROWING. Last year, I wrote all the names down and had close to 40 people on our list of "family". But every time we went back to the village over this past month, there were more and more people waiting for whatever we could give to them.

We also had a LOT of Cuban friends coming to the gate of the resort looking for us...not just once, but sometimes 2-3 times over the month. It was too much. One day we had a whole string of visitors coming at the same time or right after each other; some of these people have to travel a very long way to get there, have no money to buy food or drinks, and can't get a bus back home until 3-5 hours later, which often means we have to keep them company until the bus comes (and we usually take them somewhere to eat as well).

It's gotten to the point where we have to "draw a line in the sand" and concentrate on the people we've been committed to all these years, or we'll begin (I think it's too late - we've already begun) to feel "donor-fatigue" and will be so exhausted we will no longer be able to help anyone.

But all fatigue aside, it's still clear that our presence makes a difference. We can see the improvements that even the little that we do bring has made in their lives over the years; we try to bring stuff that is useful and will help better their lives.

This year, we managed to bring some really hard-to-get stuff. I would say that one of the best moments was when hubby gave the two fishing rods to the two 14-year-old boys in the village; they couldn't believe that the fishing rods were actually for them - and suffice to say that we didn't see much of them for the rest of the vacation! One of the boys managed to catch quite a lot of fish for many family suppers.

Another highlight was the Spanish Bible for Sarah...Sarah's the matriarch of the family, over 60, but looks about 80, is tired and weathered, very spiritual, but has never - and could never hope to - own her own Bible. Well, thanks to a donation from my aunt, we were able to bring her one this year...I wish you could have seen the tears in her eyes when she realized what it was!

We also gave a Spanish-English dictionary to another older friend of ours. He's a very creative person, loves to paint, read and write...but doesn't have easy access to paints, books or paper. We did manage to find him a set of oil paints and brushes, which brought tears to his eyes when we gave them to him. But it was the dictionary that took his breath away. We gave it to him the first Sunday after we arrived, and by the next Sunday he had painstakingly written in English a beautiful invitation to supper for our family.

I have to tell you about that wonderful supper, but will do it in another post, perhaps tomorrow.

#58455 - 03/21/06 08:42 AM Re: A Shivering Eagle is Back...Brrr
AvalonBlondi Offline

Registered: 11/07/05
Posts: 1096
Loc: West Chester ,PA
Welcome Home Eagle...your story is such an inspiration...I'll bet your adopted family in Cuba sees you with "angel wings" rather than those Eagle wings of yours...I can't wait to read more...the story of the boys with their new fishing rods is priceless...I have goose bumps!!
I never realized that your trip was so full of purpose and year I'd love to make some sort of contribution if you'll let son works for Johnson & Johnson...perhaps i can send you some meds from him or anything else you could think of...what you and your husband and his family do is so important...
I hope you are getting lots of rest now...but I'm anxious to hear more from you... [Smile]

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