Prepping to Return to Ecuador

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m headed back to Ecuador with Compassion International in early May. My mother and I will be joining a group tour in Miami, and spend May 4-12 touring and visiting with Compassion churches and clients. I’m super excited, but have a ton of work to do beforehand. And, as you’ve probably figured out, I’m a major planner. So, in that vein, I took this week off of work, and have a whole list of activities to complete in order to be on track to travel in 2 weeks. Many of these projects include items for me to sew, and it’s my plan to blog about the major items separately like I’ve done in the past. For ease, this post is more of a catch-all list of what I’m working on, along with a few tips for anyone considering traveling with Compassion International.

What I’m Taking

Not much is different from my basic packing list this time compared to what I took back in 2015 (and talked about here). Major differences come in what I’m taking to my kids (and what Mom is taking to hers), and I’ll be blogging the full-picture of those gifts later. But, since my Mom is going with me this time, I’ve essentially freed up a ton of packing space in my bag – she’s packing the gifts for Gladys herself. This means that while I’m taking an excessive amount of gifts, I’ll still be able to reduce the overall number of bags I haul, which will help so much. Right now I’m looking at taking my largest rolling suitcase, my carry-on roller, and a backpack as my “personal item.” As always, there will be space-saver bags and some packing Tetris involved.

I’m also taking Days for Girls Period Kits to each of my/mom’s sponsored girls and for the home visit gifts. I first did this for home visits on my trip to Peru in 2015, and it was a huge hit. Since then, I’ve sewed so many of these and included them in OCC shoeboxes at Christmas, and stockpiled them for return trips with Compassion. I’m planning to blog about how I sew these, and the few modifications I make from the official Days for Girls Kit Patterns.

Gifts for My Kids

With three kids to pack for and my penchant for going overboard, it’s safe to say that I am taking a ton of fun things for each of my sponsored kids. Like I said, I’ll be posting a more comprehensive overview of what I’m taking them (mainly because I always find this sort of thing interesting as a sponsor), but I’ve listed a few highlights below. Look for the full post to drop later this week.

For Josué:

  • Sewing Machine (so excited for this!)
  • Sewing Notions
  • Quilt (Blog Post Coming)
  • Clothing/Swim Suit
  • Sewing Books/Patterns
  • Photo Book from our last visit

For Emily:

  • Quilt (Blog Post Coming)
  • Lots of Clothing
  • Sticker Book
  • Photo Book from our last visit
  • Soy Luna pajamas
  • Period Kit (Blog Post Coming)

Whew, I think that’s it. Have any of you traveled with Compassion International? How did/do you prepare?