Category Archives: volunteer

Snapshots of Soccer in Yanacachi, Bolivia.

Despite the holiday season ringing in, demanding [yet, wonderful!] family life, my hubby and his colleagues find time to visit communities outside La Paz, and share joyful and peaceful ‘soccer moments’… :o

Yanacachi is a location in the La Paz Department in Bolivia. It is the seat of the Yanacachi Municipality, the third municipal section of the Sud Yungas Province [Source: Wikipedia].

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La Paz runs for Boston!

mi corazon con Boston 2

Date: Sunday, April 21, 2013.

La Paz [Bolivia] streets taken by locals and groups of expatriates, including the US Embassy in La Paz. Running for Peace. Running for Boston! ♥

mi corazon con Boston 1

And, a nice write-up on a similar inspiring story:


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10 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’. Colors from The Bolivian Folkloric Ballet of Potosi.

Image #10: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: The Ballet Folklorico de Potosi, Bolivia.

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.


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12 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’… not quite your regular ‘Elf on the shelf’!

Image #9: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: Not quite your regular ‘Elf on the shelf’… more like ‘a non-stop climbing pre-toddler’! Climbing on the half-desk… going up the stairs… just got caught, while, quietly, trying to move on… Oh, the perks of being a mother of 3 little ones! Who needs adult supervision, anyway? :o

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.


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13 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’…making my wish for 12.12.12: to witness their shared passion!

my two boys

my two boys after the match

Image #8: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: My two boys on a regular Saturday morning…

While many are still sleeping in, my boys head to the soccer field at the kids’ school… The ‘older one’ is the player, but my ‘youngest boy’ has to be there to support his dad… I couldn’t be any happier when looking at their faces… That’s a good wish for this 12.12.12: I’ve got 2 girls and 2 boys, and being able to witness their happiness is priceless… Today, I’m sharing the joy these boys bring to my life, through their shared passion: sports! :o

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.


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14 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’. An evergreen centerpiece as a keepsake…


Image #7: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: Evergreen centerpiece.

There’s a bit of backstory to this branch of evergreen. It used to belong to a much larger tree, in front of the  Radiation Treatment Facility here in La Paz. The tree has been trimmed to offer space for a canopy, where patients and patients-to-be would benefit from some much deserved shade, while waiting to be called into the facility. Several branches were cut down, and a few of the volunteers decided to take them home, using them as part of a unique Christmas decoration

Two weeks later, one of the branches still exists as my dining table centerpiece… beautiful… a keepsake of a day of work, but most importantly, reminding us about how blessed we’ve been… There’ll be no holidays at a hospital facility for our family… we’ll spend these holidays together, as a family.. we’re all healthy and grateful…

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.


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Hogar San Ramon Greening Project, La Paz – Bolivia.





Enjoying quality time with co-workers, family and new friends


Newly built consciousness among younger generations. Returning to the community all the good we’ve received… Teaching & Learning. Sharing. Growing as human beings…

Bonus Result → Doing good, feels good! ♥

What a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Not even the light showers were able to stop the hard workers! Proud to have been part of the greening project, helping the Senior Center (“Casa de Ancianos”) Hogar San Ramon, in La Paz Bolivia. Is there a better way to teach our children the importance of giving? Giving their time, their skills, their open mind and heart? I hope we’re doing the right thing. I feel we are. And I’m grateful our family was able to volunteer… Wishes for a peaceful (and green!) weekend! :o

Related articles


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This is why we do good things… (for our kids)

School trip to the movies, by my favorite first grader…

I’ve talked before about the challenges and joys of parenthood. I’ve dreamed of a world where moms would be able to wake up on their own, without being suddenly poked by cold little fingers letting her know they’re hungry/scared/thirsty or simply wanting to go outside and play, despite the side table clock showing it’s not even 6 am…

I’ve talked about being a traveler, an expat and an around-the-clock working mom; being a cleaner/chauffeur/house fairyall in one, and trying to perform my best. Let’s not forget the additional task: trying to be the hauling supportive foreign service spouse, cheering for my husbands accomplishments and hiding ‘little household lows’ (like a broken lamp), in order to keep the peace. Yeah, we are also peacekeepers, at any cost. I’ve talked about it all over here, shared and received advice from other readers/parents/expats, and I’m deeply grateful for such an incredible experience.

One thing I’ve never experienced was the opportunity to closely work with my kids school. Always, because I lacked time to volunteer. Had helped before, when we lived in Mozambique and Brazil, but my working schedule really forbid me from being more active. This time, in La Paz, Bolivia, I’m living a different story. I’ve got more time, not working outside the house, so, I can now indulge and offer my kids the support and presence I’ve been ‘semi-denying’ them for the past years (there has to be one advantage of being a ‘non-working mom’, right? :o )

This is the first time my kids are enrolled in a American School, so, I’m volunteering the school PTA, I’m a ‘classroom parent’, helping extra-curricular activities, you name it. Despite being a bit overwhelming, I’m enjoying (I’m also a workaholic, so, I get my ‘highs’ from being overworked!). This past week, I volunteered to be a chaperone for a school field trip. My oldest child is a first grader, and the school took the whole elementary branch to a morning at a local movie theater. What a fantastic experience! Super excited kids telling me stories (some purely made-up, like flying in rocket ships or turning into fairies/wizards during their spare time!)

Today, after school, when checking my son’s backpack, I realized why we, parents, try to do these little good things, being more involved, committed: there were two handmade cards, with his daily homework. One from my son, and the other one, from my ‘chaperoning team’. And those cards made me understand a bit more about the meaning of being a (school) parent – the child’s true appreciation:

This other one, from ‘my team’. Names carefully preserved, for obvious reasons. Keep in mind we went to watch a movie (Madagascar 3), riding the bus… :o

And the second one, from my son. BTW, the “moma”, I believe, refers to me…

I was so touched, so happy, and grateful for learning that, despite all the difficulties one endures as a mom/dad, our kids do appreciate us.

They “aprishyat” all the “staf” we do for them. And above all, they love us. They do love us very “mutch”… :o

Thanks for letting ME be part of YOUR LIFE! ♥


Posted by on September 24, 2012 in children, expat, LOVE, school, volunteer



ABIA da la bienvenida a sus nuevos socios

Más de 70 personas fueron convocadas para conocer sobre la importante labor que realiza ABIA, cuya ayuda se orienta a cuatro instituciones: el comedor popular de San Calixto, el Hospital del Niño, el proyecto Luz de Esperanza y el centro de rehabilitación y salud mental San Juan de Dios.

Nos comentaron que, además de pasar un agradable momento y dar la bienvenida a los nuevos integrantes, los presentes quedaron gratamente sorprendidos con la fina decoración y los originales bocaditos que caracterizan a The Ambassador’s Table.

American British International Association (ABIA) anualmente ofrece una recepción para dar la bienvenida a sus nuevos integrantes, en esta oportunidad realizó un Wine and Cheese en el  The Ambassador’s Table.

ABIA da la bienvenida a sus nuevos socios.


Posted by on September 9, 2012 in BOLIVIA, en Español, volunteer



Greenpeace in Brazil. Visiting the Rainbow Warrior Ship.

2 biologists

The Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior is in Brazil.

We had the opportunity to go on a guided visit through its compartments, talk with the captain, and learn more about the current projects involving the Greenpeace Initiative and Brazilian NGOs.

The visit also included the solar kitchen installations and the solar panels.


The Captain



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“Talk to me, Goose”. Flying from Pernambuco to Alagoas after flooding season

This year’s rainy season is almost over for most northeastern states in Brazil. Heavy rains tend to cause extensive flooding. A good way to visit the sites is by air, since roads are taken by the floods.
Here are images from a visit to the state of Alagoas, after the relief actions.

landing in Alagoas

tents distributed to the misplaced population

overview of the flooding damage (city's outskirts)

a typical resident of the city's outskirts

aerial view of the state capital

aerial view of the coastline


Posted by on July 26, 2011 in BRASIL, photography, volunteer


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Golfing for Japan: expats in Recife (Brazil), united for Japan

Living overseas brings you countless opportunities. Today, my family enjoyed a wonderful morning with other diplomatic and expat families. Helping is fun and rewarding.

My husband was one of the 36 guest players. The tournament included representatives from the US Consulate, French Consulate and from the host Japanese mission… All players were asked to provide an “entry fee” for the tournament, which would be transferred to the Japanese Red Cross.

I’m proud of my husband, as an amateur player and as an example to other parents, and brought our kids to support the effort in helping the Japanese Consulate in Recife to raise money to help the victims of the recent tsunami…

The participants were greeted with a great luncheon provided by the Japanese Consulate and we all enjoyed a great performance offered by the musical group Ren Taiko, which means “Lotus Opium“.

Event: Fundraising Golf Tournament, coördinated by the expat community in Recife, PE. Including representatives from the Consulates in town, expatriate families, businessmen.

Venue: The Caxanga Country and Golf Club in Recife

Date: April 3, 2011.


Pictures to come soon! In the meantime, I’d like to show my gratitude to the Consulate of Japan in Recife, for allowing us to enjoy a very nice Sunday, surrounded by friends.



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