Sunday, May 15, 2011

Screws hold a house together...

Hi, I just wanted to tell you what I have been doing here in San Vicente and San Antonio Caminos.  Also I would like to say a special thank you to my school in Calgary (Escuela Canyon Meadows) for collecting juice boxes.  With the money earned from this recycling we bought lots and lots of screws.

  We had enough screws to build two houses.  The first house we built was for a lady named Christina and her husband Carlos.  They used to live in a small shed attached to Christina’s mom’s house.  The second family was Isabel and Juan.  They have seven kids, five live with them right now.  The houses look like this.

I like to put the screws into the door because it`s fun to use the drills.  Sometimes I don`t get the screw in on the first try, but usually by the second try.  It takes about one whole day to build a house.  The first step is to dig really big holes for the posts of the house to go in.  Then we put the house together.  When the house is built, we buy gravel, cement, and bricks to build the floor and finish the house.

Another house we built last week with my Uncle and Auntie was for a family with a kid named Fernando.  He cannot walk because he got sick when he was little.  We are going to buy him a wheel chair and we already got him a goat, because his parents couldn`t afford to buy him milk.  His mom is named Flor and his sister`s name is Kimberly.  His dad and his dad`s friends helped us build the house.  Here is a picture of Fernando. 

I have a nice school with a couple of new friends.  Every Thursday we go to a soccer court (called “la cancha”) and we play soccer because this is our gym day.  There are four boys and three girls in my class.  My friends are named Rudy and Kevin.  We like to play a game called Tazo.  To play you each have a chip and you try to flip the other person`s chip the number of times that you said you would do it.  My teacher is named Profesora Marina.  She is really nice.  She doesn`t speak any English, but I am teaching her.

There are two really good ice cream shops near our house.  One of them is named Sarita and the other one is named Boston.  I like both of them.  My favourite thing to get is soda with ice cream.  I especially like orange soda and orange ice cream.  There are some different foods here and two of my favourites are called Pupusas and Tamales.  In the tamales there are chicken and potatoes and in the pupusas there are beans and cheese.

In San Antonio there are lots of animals like dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and cows.  We really like to play with the baby dogs because they are very cute.  There is lots of room to play and run around.  It`s fun to ride around in the back of the truck.  Right now it is very dusty in San Antonio, but the rainy season is coming soon.  Then everything will be mucky.  Most of the moms there wash their clothes by hand in the river.

In San Vicente there is a really tall clock tower that we have climbed up three times already.  From the clock tower you can see just about everything, but I can`t quite see all the way to Canada.  Here there is a big garbage truck that goes by our house every day.  They take the garbage that we leave out for them.  Some people put their garbage in the sewer.  Then the rain washes it away.  I think that this is sort of gross because it washes it all into the ocean.  But I still really like San Vicente because the people are really friendly.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kade's thoughts on El Salvador so far....

This bag is not a toy

Now that we are in San Vicente we have been going to school only half day.

There is a really fun pool where fishes tickle your toes.
Our new Truck!

I learned a new game called tazo. I have lots of friends now.

I have already fallen off a truck twice and hurt my knee and hip. Then I cut my leg on a tin roof and needed 4 stiches. The worst part was getting the freezing, ooooh that hurt.

We went to a house with a baby and his head was really swollen. (he had incephilitis, but has now seen a doctor, had surgery and is doing much better.)

The first day of school we took a picture of me and my siblings.

Winnie & Ellis' bed
We have been living in a two story house with only 3 bedrooms for us. We live on the bottom floor and the Berstad's live on the top.
Kade's Bed

Yesterday I went to a beach, and a pool in La Libertad. I was diving into the waves and jumping into the pool.

I went on a field trip with my school to a children's museum called Tin Marin. We played soccer, and we got to go on a train, and an airplane and play in a Super Selecto (grocery store).

We went and saw some poor people in San Antonio and some of them are my friends now, and they like to play hockey with us.

I really like it here. A couple new kinds of new food here that we don't have in Calgary. Like papusa, they are tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese, and tamales, they are banana leaf stuffed with corn flour, spices, chicken and potatoe. You don't eat the banana leaf though, only use it to cook in.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hi My Name is Ellis

Hi my name is Ellis. I am 4. My mom is going to help me write this. We are at Guatemala. My favourite thing so far is going up the volcano on the horse.

I go to school here. I color, learn Spanish and eat snack. Elias is in my class and there are other kids too that I don’t know their name. They all wear the same outfit. They wear black shorts, shoes and a white shirt. They speak Spanish. My teacher’s name is Miss Sessy. The kids in my class are nice and the teacher is nice. I go school for a long time but I come home for lunch and stay home the rest of the day.

On the weekend we went to visit some new people that we met at the beach. They have been helping the poor in Magdalena and Buenos Vista, Guatemala for a year and a half. It was a short way away from here. We looked at houses like ones we might build in El Salvador and met some families waiting for a house. (note from Mom. Check out and and to read more on the family's work in Guatemala)
We really liked them and they had 5 kids for us to play with. When we were walking through the neighbourhoods we rode crushed plastic pop bottles down the hill.
It was fun until a kid bumped into me.

We also had Winnie’s birthday. We gave her presents. We went to McDonalds to have supper. It is pretty much the same as it is at home.

We went to get Winnie an outfit. (A traditional Mayan outfit that all the Mayan women and girls wear here)

Today we went to a cooking class at my Mom’s school. We made Torrejas, they are kind of like cream filled donuts. I had fun cooking and even more fun eating!

I like it here. I miss my friends though. I like sleeping with Elias.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I am Winnie

This is Winnie writing. My birthday is coming really soon and I turning 6! I am the second oldest. I want to tell you a little bit about what is around Guatemala. I got to climb a volcano.
 The name of the Volcano is Pacaya. We got to take a van there, it took about an hour and a half. When we first got there we climbed and climbed and climbed.x
I felt really tired, so we took a (caballo) horse for some of the time and all the kids took turns riding it.
I went on it with my friend Isaiah and then Anna. It took a long time to get to the top, it was really hard to take some steps. We were shown a leaf that you can use for toilet paper or a cloth because it soaks up water and is soft.  There was an eruption there in May so there were lots of black rocks to walk on. I got to take one piece of lava home. When we got to the highest we could go, we found a big pit of lava. We could not go in it, otherwise we would get burned.
So instead we roasted marshmallows and cheese over the hole. Then I asked my mommy why we couldn’t have roasted cheese at home!! She said, because we don’t have a volcano in our living room. It tasted awesome.
We got to go in a cave that was so hot, it was really cool! We saw some people right near the very top. On the way down we got lots of rocks in our shoes. It took the whole day and it was night when we got home.

Another fun thing we did last week was we had a movie night and watched Nanny McPhee 2.

After school one day, we went to a Mayan village called San Antonio Del Agua Caliente and saw lots of very colourful fabric.
The people there showed us a wedding, and showed us how to make the fancy fabric, we helped spin the yarn. Then after we made tortillas from flour.
 I got to make my very own and cook it on the stove.
Then we got to taste tortillas and special soup called Pepian. A soup made only in Guatemala. It was spicy and good.
I really like it here, one day we took a horse and carriage for a ride. We got some drinks, and I had lots of fun. Usually here we walk everywhere!! I am learning lots of Spanish with help from my teacher, Jessica.

Write me an e-mail at

Love winnie (with help from my mom.)