We try to get down to Florida every couple of years to visit our siblings in the Orlando area. This trip, however, had a special purpose. Many years ago I sponsored a young girl in Guatemala named Raquel through what was then known as the Christian Children's Fund, now ChildFund International. She was my first such sponsorship, and just like the materials suggested, I did my best to communicate and build a relationship. After a number of years, she aged out of the program before realizing her desire to become a lawyer. The agency assured me that she was qualified as a teacher and would do fine.
Fast-forward 40 or so years. I got a phone call in 2019 from ChildFund stating that Raquel had contacted them and wanted to reconnect. Was I willing? Darn tootin' I was willing! As it turns out, she had realized her dream of becoming a lawyer and then some. She is a judge! Her entire family: siblings, nieces, and nephews had succeeded in academics, medicine, and the legal field.
I immediately arranged to visit Guatemala, but those plans were derailed by COVID. In 2023, however, Raquel made her own plans to visit the US and we agreed to meet in Orlando. Jim & I arranged to spend a week in Florida -- some time visiting his sister and her son, some time visiting with Raquel and her sister Ligia, and some time visiting with my brother and niece.
There are a couple of ways to follow us on our trip. I've tried to make the narrative a complete summary, but I've used many links to other web sites to provide additional details and sometimes pictures. You can either stick with the basic narrative or explore the various links. At the time this album was created the links were all valid, but the WWW is in constant flux and that can change. If you encounter broken links, please send us some email.
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