Sunday, 22 December 2013
Thanks to so much good will, generosity and focus, we have collected over 6400€ for five Christmas projects for children in Peru an Bolivia. Little did I know seven years ago - when I first arrived in Chile - I would become a fund raiser.
hopes dreams fears surprises...
simple complicated religious non religious
treats... no treats...
hot chocolate in Peru
more hot chocolate in Peru
hot chocolate being made in San Pedro prison for the 350 children who live there with their dads..
San Pedro jail La Paz Bolivia...
compassion is a verb
thanks to so many friends in Spain and around the world... we can....
bring small Christmas gifts...
something yummy to eat...
to children who suffer extreme hardships, year round, in Peru and Bolivia...
'When the eye becomes the heart, the heart becomes the eye.'
-Wasif Ali Wasif.
Happy New Year to all of you who follow Drawn by a Star. I wish I knew who you were!
And thank you to all the wonderful local people who have supported our 6th Chocolatada fund raiser in Orgiva, Spain in so many ways - and a huge thank you to the generous supporters around the world . You are amazing. Really, you all are. My dream that started small has now found a huge family.
Feliz Naviada a todos/as
Friday, 1 November 2013
Gearing up for our 6th Chocolatada Fund Raiser here in Orgiva Spain !
Last year we raised 5000€.
Like to help us raise more?
Have a look at the brand new website?
Chocdrops aims to put smiles of hundreds of little faces in Peru and Bolivia this Christmas.
Our fundraiser La Chocolatada will be on the 7th Dec at the top campsite La Puerta de la Alpujarra, 11.00 -14.00.
Stalls, live music, Father Christmas, hot chocolate, Tombola, Fantastic Raffle, Auction of Favors, Human Fruit Machine, Kiddies corner and much more!
The pics above: Our 2nd fund raiser at the Molino de Benizalte in Orgiva, 2008.
Each year we have increased our total by about 500€
Like to help us give underprivileged children in Peru and Bolivia a treat at Christmas? This is likely to be their only present.
Masses of info and pics on the brand new website,
we still have some website tweaking to do...so plz bear with us....
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Thanks to the Internet, my summer project has been a hop skip and a jump from a funky pottery in Prague, to an eco community in the Nicaraguan 'jungle.'
Actually, read steamy tropics for jungle ! Whether jungle or sweltering tropics, I'm preparing myself for lots of unfamiliar animals, barking dogs, slithery beasties, and lots of torrential, tropical rain.
It's going to be an extremely long hop skip and jump from Granada Spain (never made it to Prague) to Granada, Nicaragua. Then there'll be a drive into the sticky unknown.
Previously, anything to do with jungles seriously freaked me. Wasn't attracted.
Outdoor wildlife fine, at a bit of a distance. Indoor wild life, no thank you.
Mosquitoes, scorpions, snakes - love the photos, love the films - but I do not love any of the above in my bedroom !
However, something has mysteriously changed. I seem to be 100% game to zap this life time phobia !
Every summer, apart from always eagerly learning more Spanish, I love to immerse myself in some aspect of drawing, painting, ceramics, writing, or leaning a new skill. Usually this requires being alongside other artists. Always it involves living communally. Last year I spent 3 weeks at and arts center in the Spanish Pyrenees working on my screenplay. This year it's going to be 3 weeks in Nicaragua, potting.
My first Internet search led me to Prague. Two weeks of making and decorating pots in a funky studio with a talented teacher plus afternoon visits to colorful local places, home stay or hostel. Sounded wonderful.
Expensive and complicated to get there from here though.
No reply to my email.
Next search: a fab studio near Valencia, Raku pottery, right up my street.
No reply to my email.
OK I though, how about combining Spanish and pottery ?
Immediately up popped NICARAGUA.
Learn Spanish 3 days a week, make and decorate pots with local potters in indigenous villages 3 days a week Home stay. Transport, local buses.
'Si señor,' I said out loud.
' Me voy !!' ( I'm coming)
Yeah! Love the sound of this. The fact the journey is long, complicated and expensive didn't seem to come into it.
Sent the email .
So having landed, so to speak in Nicaragua, quickly all sorts of other info arrived about this volcano studded country, I could feel the adrenalin rising.
La Mariposa Eco School then popped up and it quickly became a definite possibility. No pottery though. Never mind.
They replied to my email immediately. A good omen I thought.
Truth be told, my biggest longing for this summer is to take my Spanish to another level. A level of competence where all those pesky little words don't trip me up...... a level of confidence I need to be able to speak to prison directors in Bolivia, and to people in Latin American organisations related to my fundraising work. So I decided to enroll at the Mariposa Eco School ( The Butterfly School).
I chewed on the decision for days.
Real adventure versus real improvement in my Spanish?
The Eco School offers interesting field trips three afternoon a week, and at weekends . I'll post their website below. It's at the heart of an eco community set up my an extraordinary English woman,and it's s run entirely by local people. No English is spoken. Good.
It's going to be awesome I know!
Possible challenges may be: getting bitten to death by mosquitoes, catching Dengue fever, getting bitten by a snake, devoured by scorpions, being buried alive by an erupting volcano...
Yes I am taking sensible precautions.
The tropical medicine doc gave me a great bit of info the other day:
'Mosquitoes bite at night' he said, 'the ones who carry the Dengy fever bite you by day.'
Did you know that ? Double lathering of Deet during the day then ? How many bottles will I need to take?
Having decided on La Mariposa School, the pottery school replied!
Oh the decision was so difficult to make....
La Mariposa came tops.
Sound teaching versus a real adventure into the completely unknown?
Maybe week 3 I can venture into one of the pottery villages?
Contacts in Nicaragua ( from friends) are arriving daily. I now have a Buddhist nun to meet; the owner of a wonderful pizzeria in the capital to chat with; a poet-priest-sculptor to track down, an island to visit.. but first of all I´m going to spend 3 nights with Irish Gerry in Granada- beside- the- lake, in his hostal Casa del Agua .
Looks lovely on the Internet ! A friend of his will pick me up at the airport.
So, thanks to emails not being replied to, I'm off with hand luggage only for the next Latin American adventure.
I hope to return spouting the subjunctive effortlessly and with a sketch book full of lovely memories. .
Malaria ,scorpions, food poisoning, hurricanes, scams any of these might show up.. but hey ho... we live in the moment don't we.. so... no worrying allowed !!
'The heart has reason the head cannot understand.'
So, once again, I'm following the call, being drawn by that same shinning star !
Sunday, 11 August 2013
Sunday, 21 July 2013
Thursday, 11 July 2013
There has to be
a name that encapsulates
the essence of
these children's lives, even those who live in San Pedro prison with their dads
what is the name that invites our compassion to support 5 Christmas projects ( hot chocolate fiestas) for them ?
A few thousand children in Peru and Bolivia will receive a mug of hot chocolate, a sticky bun ( of course they LOVE this) and a small gift, and a fun fiesta in their remote villages the week before Christmas. The children living in San Pedro prison last year enjoyed a fab show from local clowns, as well. Organizing this was a new project for us.
|Ivan's clowns in San Pedro prison last Christmas.|
I need to find a name and join these 5 projects to network and fund raise successfully . Friends from around the world want to support and donate. All the creators of these 5 projects are friends of mine, they're people giving back to their communities, except Barbara, a young Italian woman who has created the school in San Pedro prison.
Any suggestions for a really punchy name ??
|The road to Ccapi and numerous other villages where many Chocolatadas were celebrated last year.|
Tags: La Chocolatada/ Peru/ Bolivia/ 5 Christmas projects/ hot chocolate in remote villages/ hot chocolate to kids living behind bars/ hell hole Bolivian San Pedro prison -yes honestly more than 300 kids live in this jail/ Father Christmas/ musicians /clowns in tow.
Sharing the spirit of Christmas to spirited children who know how to share.
Click on any photo to start slide show.