How We Had a Wonderful Time Spending Your Money

How We Had a Wonderful Time Spending Your Money

Many thanks to generous kith and kin – you know who you are – for helping the 24 refugees from Venezuela. They had an enjoyable festive season due to your assistance.

Zuleidi – my go-to person — and I had a meeting to set priorities.


  1. Glasses for Sebastian

Sebastian was born hydrocephalus. His eyes are crossed and he sometimes has trouble navigating.


The shop was owned by Andres’s friends and they donated the frames and we bought the lenses.


  1. Fans for the houses

I thought we would get two large fans and two small ones. Wrong. But what do I know about such things? The four medium-size fans are now keeping the house cooler.


  1. Feasts for Christmas and New Year

Before I left for Panama, I slipped Zuleidi enough money to cover a couple of special meals for Christmas and New Year – with lots of left-overs in between.

  1. Bus ticket for Lismarie

Lismarie’s mother in Venezuela is very sick. In addition, she has diabetes and insulin is hard to come by so it doesn’t look promising. The money we gave her will cover the cost of a 27-hour bus trip back to her home town.

What will happen once she gets there is speculation. The border security is tightening again so she may not be able to cross back to Colombia without a passport.

  1. School

The best news is that there was enough money in the budget for school supplies. The most important item was a uniform – without one kids in Colombia –and many other countries — can’t go to school.

Frankeni with her school backpack.


Haider in his school gym clothes.









School backpacks and supplies.










Presents for the kids

When I told Mayra about the ‘project’ she jumped right in.

She offered to organize her friends to buy Christmas presents for the kids and wrap them with their names on tags. Fantastic. I appointed her co-coordinator.



Evening on La Playa

My present to the Venezolanos was an outing to La Playa. This street is blocked off and decorated with lights. I gave Zuleide 100,000 pesos – about $50 –and asked her to arrange the expedition.

The 14 or so people assembled and off we went. The older ones looked after the younger ones and everyone stuck together. From time to time a kid would do a break-out and run, but it didn’t last long.

When we reached our ‘destination’ the smell of grease hit me between the eyes like a brick. It is a fast-food joint that specialized in what kids like to eat. The national dish is fries with chunks of hotdog that is slathered in ketchup. The adults opted for burgers. I claimed I had already eaten.

After the main, everyone lined up for soft ice-cream. Think Dairy Queen. It made my teeth hurt to watch it, but it also brought back memories of how much I enjoyed it as a kid.

Chica and icecream


All the best for the Year of the Rat. And gracias again for your donations. Your money helped make some Venezuelan people’s lives better.