Trip Start Jun 16, 2005
Trip End Aug 2006

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I am in Washington this week both to visit friends and because I am required by law to leave Costa Rica once every three months for three days. This trip hits perfectly, and it's been a wonderful brain-break and opportunity to brainstorm about fundraising and plans for next year.

I have selected the next director of the program. Her name is Morgan, and she is a graduate of Washington State University with a BA in History who has been a para-educator in an EMI classroom this past year and is thinking about getting her teaching certification. She speaks Spanish, and was a counselor for the Boys and Girls Clubs Kids Camp for a couple of years and was the arts and crafts director there for a summer. I'm really excited to have her on board this next year!

I've been trying to set up a budget for next year that is flexible. The absolute minimum that the program needs to run next year is $7,000 -- this would pay the director's living-expenses stipend of $300 per month, program expenses and for two round-trip tickets for the director. In talking with some people here who actually know how to do things like run NGOs and raise money for them, we came up with the idea that I should think about hiring an assistant teacher from the community to provide some continuity and some help -- and that would cost another $4,000 for the year. There are some other things that would be smart to do, like pay for state health insurance (at $16 per month, it's a steal!) and have some more money to use for expanding the program and replacing games that are already well-worn, and so with all of my big thinking, I'm close to $13,000 for a "what-I-would-do-if" budget.

In short, the program needs money. Everyone who's looking at this site knows what a wonderful addition this program has been to the community of Proyecto Cristal, and you know how important it is to keep it going. I'm sending letters to churches and corporations, but I'm pretty sure most of the budget will end up coming from the same place as last year -- individual people.

If you would like to donate, please make your check out to St. Paul Lutheran Church with "Elizabeth's Project" in the memo line. The address is: 21915 Beech St., Dearborn, MI 48124.

Thanks so much for all your support and interest in this program. I hope you're doing well!

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