Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Very Gery Christmas

by Kara

There's no doubt this Christmas was a little different than most Christmas's for Mark and I, and truth be told, it didn't totally feel like Christmas. However, we did the best we could to celebrate the day with our new family, our friends here in our town. Our families also did their best from afar by sending us Christmas decorations and presents to open. We also got to see and talk to them via skype; my family even tore themselves away from their 16-person Wii bowling tournament, which says a lot. All in all, the day turned out as good as we could have imagined. Plus, we had a new little family member to celebrate with, featured in the pictures below. :)

Our new kitty checking out the Christmas tree that the Esteps sent us.

Again, our kitty inspecting the goods we received in this great package from my parents.

Prepping food in Sarah's ger.

Zaneta showing off the wonderfully made pumpkin pie! Even though Sarah's oven doesn't actually have temperature settings beyond off and on and we made this in a cookie tin, it turned out delicious and tasted just like we remember them tasting at home.

Mark, Sarah, Zaneta, and Ochgoo enjoying our Christmas meal.


Averill Strasser said...

Mark & Kara:

I am COO of Water Charity, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does water, sanitation, and public health projects worldwide. In July, 2009, we started our Appropriate Projects initiative to fund small water and sanitation projects very quickly. Applicants are limited to Peace Corps Volunteers, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and Peace Corps Response Volunteers.

I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Bolivia ’66-’68), and am well aware of the difficulties Volunteers face in the field. Appropriate Projects is an addition to our regular Water Charity model that is allowing us to provide project resources to PCVs in the field immediately.

Often there is that little project that must be done now (before the rains start, before school begins, or in response to a critical need), but there are no funds available. Traditional funding sources are cumbersome, and there are long forms, detailed requirements, limited resources, and long delays.

PCVs working in water and sanitation usually have potential projects lined up. For those working in other program areas, there may be water components to their projects, or improvements needed where they work or teach.

Sample projects may be: rainwater or spring catchments, handwashing stations, water systems, piping, tanks, pumps, latrines, wells, etc.

We like to do the water and sanitation parts of projects for schools, clinics, and community centers. So, if you can get funding for the building and other stuff, we can help with things like the water supply, filters, sinks, plumbing, and drainage.

We like to finish projects that have been started, and fix things that have ceased to function.

We encourage follow-up projects that expand upon the successful completion of the first small project.

If you have a project in mind, please fill out the application form. We want this to be easy for you, so we have developed a simple form that you can fill out in one sitting.

If you have any questions about the appropriateness of your project, or you need some time to get it together, just let us know.

We pre-fund projects, so you don’t have to wait around for donations to roll in.

If you do not have a project that qualifies, please pass this message on to your fellow Volunteers who may have an interest. Finally, if this initiative resonates with you, please let others know what we are doing through your social networks, websites, and blogs.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Averill Strasser

Appropriate Projects

Water Charity

coco said...
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