Posted in A to Z, Africa, children, orphans, packing

Zeek #atozchallenge

Dear Africa

I will end this letter with a P.S. to my cousin Zeek.

I know you are no longer a toddler,  you’ve already scraped your knees, you climb many fences, and tall trees. I hope as you grow that this thing you know – you are loved by your cousins on the East.

You have a loving family and I am grateful that they found you healthy on the steps of the hospital. Not all orphans are as blessed as you. I hope to hold and hug several as I am one day closer to Africa.



My cousin’s son was found (several days old) on the steps of a hospital. No one knows anything about him. Was his mother from Johannesburg or one of the outlying towns? That dear little face melted my heart.

P.S.S. My bags are full now what do I do?


Last Day to enjoy A to Zers:
Posted in A to Z, Africa, children, orphans, packing

YoYo #atozchallenge


Dear Africa:

As I pack I am trying to think of small toys that I can take for orphans. Yoyo is a possibility. I already have 100 frisbees. My only concern is they are kinda hard to learn and when the string breaks you are out of luck. Hmmm

I went to and found all sorts of toys like legos, playdoh, dolls and even duncan yoyos. I remember buying 2 yoyos for $1.00. Now they range from $7 to $20. Im packing a ??? toy for the moment.

Any one have ideas for other small toys that children would love???

Enjoying these A to Zers as we finish the month:


Posted in A to Z, Africa, children, Liberia, orphans, packing

Only one… #atozchallenge


Dear Africa:

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with the details, but I am reminded that one person can make a difference. If each person touched one other person with kindness, our days could be that much brighter. Afterall, it only takes one sun to warm an entire planet.

I have one lap & one heart, and I’m packing dreams (in one suitcase) today with hopes for tomorrow.

noon sun


If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge, I want to thank you for stopping by. Fill the Cracks is a blog started to create a book of poetry. The book is done and ready to be published. All the proceeds from the book will go to an organization that is helping children orphaned by Ebola. I was looking for an avenue to get to Liberia and in so doing ran into an opportunity to work with orphans in Uganda. Hence this A to Z journal as we pack up and close this chapter of life  and hopefully open another in Africa.

Im not alone in enjoying the A to Z challenge today here are some bloggers to enjoy:
Posted in A to Z, Africa, children, orphans

Ink #atozchallenge

IDear Africa:

One of my favorite media is pen and ink. Why? After drawing with pencil, ink is the easiest to work with. Looking at what I can pack I also realize ink is easy to travel with. Ill have to leave the india ink home but a good drawing pad, pencils and ink pens will be my portable art studio.

Check mark:  packing colored markers for budding artists in Uganda.

I thought of the letter “I” and insects but decided to think about insects when I get there. If I have to eat them, I have dined on a few.

Do you prefer Insects of Ink as a topic????


tiger doodle

Posted in A to Z, orphans

My Pet Dragon #atozchallenge


Dear Africa:

While I am packing boxes, I am thinking about my friend Drag. Can I take him with me to Africa? Can I have the children help me write this book. I have a manuscript, but I wonder … I have dreamed of writing a book with children being the primary writers.

I don’t even need to pack him he is strong enough to fly to Africa on his own. I wonder what children would think about a pet dragon? We might just have to find out.



*Raising a Dragon in the 21st Century is one of the children’s books I put on hold because I wanted to get the book published to support children orphaned by Ebola first. House remodel first then A Song for Liberia, then maybe Drag’s story. For an except of Drag’s story go here.

Some folks I am enjoying during the A to Z Challenge:

Posted in A to Z, Africa, children, orphans

For the Love of Children #atozchallenge

Dear Africa:

Today I am writing about children because they are after all what I am journaling about. I could give you facts and figures about the number of children that are orphans or the number of children sold into slavery.  I could make you weep at the thought that children are running for their lives to avoid being harvested. But I wont tell you about numbers that you can put on a graph because I have held, fed, and loved these children.

Instead I will write about a little girl with faded ribbons in her hair who needs to hear the words “I love you.” I will tell you about the energetic boy who wants a hand to hold or someone to bandage his scraped up knee.

I may be getting old but I still have a lap, two hands and a heart to melt into a child’s. The hardest part is not adopting all of the children who have a piece of my heart.

For now I will put my heart in my luggage with some yellow frisbees.

Hand me another box…


A to Zers that I am enjoying today:
Posted in A to Z, orphans

Boxes #atozchallenge #B


Dear Africa:

Today I packed 10 more boxes of our belongings. Where will they go? Will I ever see them again once the lids are closed? I was resigned to get rid of everything except clothes and a few pieces of furniture. Yet I cling to distant memories:  an antique water pitcher that my father held on his lap for a 6 hour flight to my wedding, I still hear the echo of my grandmother when she told me she wanted me to have the 150 year old vase from her country , the assortment of handmade wooden boxes still hold notes and the dear memory of my husband’s mother.

Will the cardboard retain these memories while sitting in a dank storage? Probably not. But for now I will put the memories away rather than rid myself of them completely.

What things to you hold on to more for the memory than the practicality?


Scarlett Braden