Child sponsorship: becoming a parent to the underprivileged

children-related, guest post

Donating clothes or toys to children is very noble. However, sponsoring a child is much better. Most people think that sponsoring is a hassle but in reality, it’s not. Sponsoring just costs around $2 (about 90 Philippine Peso or 2,230 South Korean Won) a day and that would make a difference in the life of a child living in places that don’t have the proper resources for a person to grow up properly.

In 2013, the U.S. has given a total amount of $335.17 billion to charity. However most of that money is spent on a one-time use that only helped an individual temporarily. When you sponsor a kid, you are helping a child get proper nutrition and healthcare until he or she is old enough to work. Sponsorship is like being a long-distance parent to a kid who isn’t as fortunate as those living in first or second-world countries.

Apart from food and medicine, the $2 donation that sponsors give everyday ensures a sponsored kid with necessities such as school uniforms and warm blankets for cold seasons. Unakids, a charity that aids children in areas with political strife, even offers children the choice if they want to continue into advanced studies or university-level training or trade apprenticeships, which is rather similar to what people get in the U.S. The $2 donation goes a long way and it’s much better than giving a one-time relief.

There’s a saying that goes something like, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This saying cannot be truer when sponsoring a child. So if you find it in your heart to become a foster parent to a kid who might discover someday the cure for cancer or some other incurable sickness, definitely consider sponsorship.

written for My Rocking Cradle by Mary Lewis

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Wedding Ring and Coin Holders

journal

Hubby and I celebrated our 9th year wedding anniversary last December 4. Time runs so fast, right?

Two of the most memorable items we had during the wedding were the ring and coin holders! I was very particular about it and got myself working on the details. I had it customized to pay tribute to my parents and my husband’s parents own weddings 3 decades before we had our own.

The 2 boys will be pressured to do the same! hahaha… Well, we have set the benchmark:-).

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Mesothelioma Awareness Day: Spreading Awareness, Spreading Care

health

I got an email request from Heather Von St. James about spreading awareness on a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos: Mesothelioma. Upon getting more information about this rare cancer and the fact that Ms. James herself is a rare Mesothelioma cancer survivor, I didn’t hesitate to write this blog post.

There is a website dedicated to awareness of this type of cancer and I must say that the people behind the website have given internet readers a good source about Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma.com has everything you need to know.

And if reading the website alone is not enough, there’s no one more qualified to talk to about it than Ms. James herself. She was diagnosed with this cancer at age 36 when her daughter was just a few weeks old. Fast forward to 8 years, here’s Ms. James and her daughter, Lily, today:

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Heather Von St. James and her daughter Lily

You can get in touch with her here: Speak with a Mesothelioma survivor.

If you know someone suffering or is suspected of having this rare kind of cancer, please help spread information about this and you can start from getting information from Mesothelioma.com.

Let’s all be aware and let’s all take care of ourselves.

My greatest admiration to survivors and to those who are currently having their own battle with any kind of cancer. Keep going!

 

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Life Lessons from “Desiderata”

poetry

My Daddy could be very sentimental. Well, he used to be:-). He’s the kind of person who memorizes poems and collects quotes.

One poem he has repeatedly pointed out to me and my brother is “Desiderata”. I grew up seeing the poem’s wisdom.

I find it’s wisdom very fitting at this time.

At a time when there are conflicting personalities around, I take comfort in this:

“As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons.”

I think I am surrounded by people with different personalities and different levels of intellect. But to say that one is superior than the other is wrong. Plain wrong. I can’t change people, can I? But there’s no harm in getting along with different characters… It’s adaptability with sincerity. If I don’t like a person, I’m gone after the first meeting, anyway.

I can’t compromise being “Me” so I can’t pretend to like what is being said.

“Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.”

So even if there are seemingly less interesting people around, I just can’t discard their own offer of friendship, too. There are condescending humor but they remain to be that… jokes. I think I can see through words spoken with condescension balanced with humor and words spoken with real negativity. Then I think it’s time to do some reality check:

“Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”

Reality check. This is the reason for this post.

Anyway, I leave you with the whole text of the poem. I may have forgotten about its lessons from time to time, but I still keep on going back to its wisdom.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 
As far as possible, without surrender, 
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious
to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the  changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment;
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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Something New: Wendyflor.Com

journal

Please welcome my new blog site: Wendyflor.Com

I hope readers (there are a few of you, right?) of My Rocking Cradle will take some time to visit Wendyflor.com.

I will not be giving up this blog. I am not ready to let go of my posts yet. There are many anecdotes about my children in here and these are the most precious.

I will continue blogging… just as before.

Cheers!

 

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Regular Inhabitant Tax

life in korea

For close to 9 years now, we had been annually paying our Regular Inhabitant Tax here in Seoul, particularly in Dohwa-dong, the dong where we reside.

It’s the time of the year again to pay our obligation. I got the reminder from our mailbox last week:

 

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I used to pay at the post office near our apartment but this time I found time to go over the document and realized I could actually pay at convenience stores. How’s that for convenience? And convenience stores are everywhere in Seoul. There’s CU, GS25, 711, Buy the Way and Ministop in every corner.

For all the convenience, the many free programs, and free infrastructures, we only pay for this:

 

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Not bad, eh? Not bad.

 

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Inspiration to Live Each Day Well

poetry

A good way to start my day.

 

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This maybe an entry from Bruce Lee’s notebook but the poem is actually credited to Kalidasa, a Sanskrit poet.

Here’s the full text of “Look to this Day”:

 

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

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Royalty Philippine Style

life in the Philippines, politics

It is not uncommon in the Philippines to have a number of aides, especially those who have been elected into positions – however low the position is. It has become a common sight to see bodyguards surrounding an official going around, even in non-related official functions.

This practice is not limited to elected officials, though. Heads of departments, institutions create their own set of aides and bodyguards. Like, the more people you have around you seem to equate to your importance.

So, it is really not surprising to see this royalty version in the Philippines.

 

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Photo grabbed from a Facebook post

 

And that’s just Sec. Jun Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications. See how dangerous “position of power” could get? It corrupts men and gives them sense of entitlement, more than they actually deserve.

It’s not a good sight (I am being tactful)… But it has become so acceptable that sometimes those who disagree with this practice cannot anymore make their voices be heard for fear of being looked at as an outcast.

 

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What’s Lining Up the Gyeongju Streets?

history, travel/places

After 5 nights and 6 days in Gyeongju, I have this to say: “I want to go back”. I didn’t expect much about the city before my family headed there for our late summer vacation. I thought there was really nothing to do except sight-seeing of a number of historical and cultural places recognized by the UNESCO. How wrong I was! This old city is very charming. I am charmed. There’s a lot that I would like to write about our summer vacation in Gyeongju from the newly-opened outdoor pool of Hilton Hotel to the roofs of the little buildings around the city to the cleanliness and well-maintained environment but let me start with this charmingly simple pictures lining up the streets across the Cheomseongdae Observatory:

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The next time you want to throw your old jeans, you might want to think about this. If you can’t line up your streets with these, you might want to use your jeans in the backyard, too.

Though they are not necessarily consistent with the “Silla Kingdom” historical and cultural value of the whole of Gyeongju, they are interesting and eye-catching pieces!

 

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Let’s Sing “Bahay Kubo”

life in the Philippines

Bahay kubo has a new version.

I bet, families today can relate to this one:

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taken out from a Facebook post

 

Last time I was in Manila (which was just in January 2014), high-rise condominium buildings are sprouting everywhere. This is the new version of our “bahay kubo”.

 

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