Dad gives up $13 million for his son.

Adam LaRoche and his son Drake Photo credit: Daily Mail UK news site.

This dad just told his teenage son and the world, that getting to spend one season with him, is worth more than $13 million.

Photo credit: ESPN

Chicago White Sox first baseman and designated hitter Adam LaRoche put family first when he retired from a job that guaranteed him $13 million for playing a game for one year. The love of the game was no match for LaRoche’s love for his 14-year-old son, Drake.

When the White Sox VP told LaRoche his son couldn’t spend as much time (or any according to some reports) in the clubhouse (despite arrangements that had been made ahead of time and a clear like for the teen by fellow teammates), LaRoche had to make a choice. He chose his family. Continue reading ‘Dad gives up $13 million for his son.’

A (planned) Guatemala home birth.

Israela Victoria’s Birth Story

ISRAELA

This is the story of our third Guatemalan birth. After having one baby in a birthing clinic, and one unplanned home birth, we made plans for a home birth at an apartment we were borrowing near the capital city.

Friday (June 6th, 2014)

Contractions started last night (Thursday night) while I was sitting in the recliner shortly before 10 PM. They weren’t painful at all, just regular “hard stomachs.” We went to bed around 12:30 AM. I slept for about 4 hours and woke up before 5 a.m.  I couldn’t get back to sleep and Jubi had been moving around and crying in her crib.We took a walk together as a family with our double stroller from 6:30-8 a.m. I felt somewhat regular contractions during the walk and really felt like I would be having the baby today as with my other two children, whenever I had “real” contractions, they always became regular and never stopped until baby was born, but after our morning walk they continued to slow down and eventually went away throughout the day. I took my shower and got myself all “prettied” up like I always have when I was in labor.

I had a few real contractions while in the shower,  but after the shower and doing my hair and makeup, the contractions pretty much stopped for the rest of the day. I did take a nap from about 4:30-6:45 p.m., but it didn’t seem very restful. I napped  to have energy for labor as I had no idea when the real deal was going to begin.

Continue reading ‘A (planned) Guatemala home birth.’

RENAP requirements for birth certificates

We’re planning a home birth for this spring and needed to look into what’s required by the Guatemalan national people registration office of Guatemala (RENAP) in order to get an official Guatemalan Birth Certificate.

Here are the official requirements for getting your Guatemalan birth certificate:

  1. Do it within 60 days of the birth.
  2. DPI original and copy of both parents  (or just mother)
  3. Medical report of birth (Informe médico de nacimiento) from your doctor or officially registered midwife.
    1. If your midwife is not registered or no medical personnel was present present a legalized and signed report of the birth with signatures of the parents or mother. (Talk to a lawyer’s office or your local RENAP and they can explain how to do this.)
  4. Boleto de Ornato (Get this at your local municipality office)
  5. Passports if parents are from out of country.

After you’ve gone through the RENAP process you can proceed with the passport process and work with your embassy to prepare your national paperwork.

Product Reviews Gone Wrong

Product reviews can make or break a product and with social media now days, these reviews can mean a sale or no sale and can become the bane or blessing of corporate marketers. Here are some reviews I came across during my own shopping

  • “I sat at my meeting and confidently removed the cap from my pen and it wrote flawlessly…” – BIC Ball Pen

 

If you’ve come across an interesting review, pass it along!

Getting your enemies to fight for you

Celebrating the money the neo-nazis are raising against their own cause.

At this town in Germany, the people gave up on trying to keep the neo-Nazis from marching every year and turned the march into a walk-a-thon where the marchers were inadvertently raising money to support those who want to leave the neo-Nazis.

For every meter the neo-Nazis walked, local businesses and residents would donate $12.50 to a nongovernmental organization devoted to making it easier for neo-Nazis to leave behind their hateful politics.

Check it out here.

What a great way to avoid the fighting of a controversy, get a laugh, and frustrate foolishness!

 

Renewing passports at the US Embassy in Guatemala

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City has significantly updated their Passport page to assist you so check it out!

US Embassy Web page

NOTE: Did you know that it’s faster to get a new passport through the embassy here in Guatemala instead of renewing in the States? It typically takes about eight days here in Guatemala and can take several weeks to a month or more in the states!

To get extra pages added to your passport…

Adding Extra pages has been eliminated. Get a new passport!

Here’s how to get a new passport added to your passport in the U.S. Embassy…

Visit the embassy page and download the Passport Renewal forms. Set up an embassy appointment. BE SURE TO PRINT YOUR APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DO THIS LATER. (Set your appointment early on so you don’t have to wait later.) Fill out the renewal form and get the photos you need. Print it and get ready for your appointment.

On your appointment date and time, go to the Citizen Services window inside the embassy. Here’s a link on how to navigate the embassy.

Take your current valid Passport, fee money (Currently $110 for adults.) and go to the Citizen Services window.

Usually passports are back in about 10 days but holidays or other delays could make that longer.

Call the embassy for details!

 

Legend of the Papalope

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

A game camera capture claimed to show the famed Papalope of Bourbon County.

Less known than the popular jackalope is the story told in the Great Plains of North America. This pseudo-mythical tale is of the “Papalope” a joyful, grandfather character who cares for cattle and children in the [[Kansas]] fertile lowlands with sitings reported near the old Camp Drywood site in Bourbon County.

Legends claim the Papalope is a farmer and woodsman known for his full head of tousled hair, quick wit, and ready smile and is often described as riding an late model (circa 1970) Allis-Chalmers tractor. According to a former public official from Drywood Township [1], the Papalope is married and collectively the” Papalope” and “Mamalope” are known to care for the plants and wildlife in their domain and for helping others in need. The Papalope and his bride welcome strangers into their home for large seasonal feasts and activities throughout the year and for providing housing to travelers in need of shelter. Though thought to be a folktale, a photo taken in 2014 by an automatic wildlife camera captured what former residents from the area claim to be a photo [see above] of the Papalope walking through the yard of a private farm in rural Bourbon County Kansas.

Circumstantial evidence indicate that the Papalope may not be unique to the Great Plains as there is an engraving from the 1920s that depicts a possibly similar character known as the “Cow Man”.

[1] Personal interview with a former Drywood Township Trustee

Pregnancy, Combos, and Walmart.com

We recently ordered some items from Walmart.com and it didn’t all arrive. So, I wrote to Walmart to ask for some help…

The missing bag of Combos Pizzeria Pretzels

Dear Walmart.com,

My wife and I really like the ability to order so many amazing things through your website, we don’t order often, but when we do, it’s always been a great experience.

However, for the first time ever, something didn’t come through correctly. I’m sure it was simply an oversight somewhere along the shipping line.

You see, my wife is pregnant, and we ordered some special snacks for her to enjoy including a 13 oz. bag of Pizzeria Pretzel Combos. There’s something about those Combos that she was craving! Continue reading ‘Pregnancy, Combos, and Walmart.com’

How To: Smart Travel Enrollment

Travel.state.gov header

Travel.state.gov headerEnrolling in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (S.T.E.P.)

There is an informative program called Smart Traveler from the U.S. State Department. We recommend that all teams register themselves so the U.S. Embassy will be aware of your presence in country in case of an emergency. You may choose to do this or not, but it is our recommendation that you do. We will keep you apprised of vital information that we receive if there are major change or concerns for your trip. As always, your team’s safety is always on our minds as we plan and prepare you’re your arrival. To enroll your team in the S.T.E.P. system online, follow the directions below:

Continue reading ‘How To: Smart Travel Enrollment’

Charity Choice and adminstrative costs

There’s a recent trend to check a charity’s administrative costs to determine if one will give to them or not.

While exorbitant overhead costs or executive salaries can be outrageous, don’t judge all non-profits by the same story you heard of some executive who had a mansion and a 7-figure salary. Most non-profit administrators and staff are working like all get out to keep their programs going with very little finances to keep them going.

In fact, according to Saundra Schimmelpfennig at the blog Goodintents.org, low administrative costs can be misleading on the effectiveness of an organization.

Some projects have inherently low administration costs such as construction projects – because of the high cost of building materials in relation to administration costs – and donated goods. This can lead to schools built or libraries stocked with books but both go unused because there is no money to hire teachers.

This giving mindset can lead to problems for non-profits that want to do things right but have trouble getting funding for the very things they are best at.

In a non-profit that I’ve worked with in Guatemala, they struggle to pay salaries, maintenance and basic expenses because many givers have designated there funds to specific projects that cost the organization a lot but are not the core programs.

Schimmelpfennig continues with a word of caution:

Be wary of any program claiming extremely low administration Administration is a necessary part of aid projects. Organizations claiming that all of your money will go directly to the aid recipients either have a secondary source of funding, are expecting volunteers to cover administration costs out of their own pocket, or are not being honest with donors. When I spoke with staff in my state’s Consumer Protection Agency they said that one of the red flags that will trigger an investigation of a charitable organization is if it claims no fundraising expenses.

So when you look to give to an organization, see what they are doing and how well they’re doing it. If you like what they do, support them in doing it! That includes giving to general fund expenses. Your gift that pays to keep a light on may be the dollar that illuminates the new ministry, outreach, or  research branch that changes hundreds of lives. It may even be the dollar that lights the lab where they will find the cure for cancer!

Read more of Schimmelpfennig’s useful article at  Don’t Choose a Charity Based on Administration Costs