Nov 2011
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When we visit with families they always have some kind of refreshment for us. For example: dim sum in Hong Kong; rice deserts in Malaysia; cake & hot chocolate in Germany; baklava in Israel; Humus in Egypt; and even fermented horse milk in Mongolia. As we enjoy our treats with each family we take the opportunity to show them our E3 book.

It never ceases to amaze me how they love our books! Country after country, family after family… the children love the books! We show them the different pages “And we will have a book all about shapes, animals, and children around the world—just like you.” The children grin ear to ear, giggle, and get excited as they thoughtfully look through all the pages learning about other children.

Children in Egypt are fascinated by the children in Japan and Mongolia. The children in Israel are fascinated by the children in America and Germany. And on it goes. They love seeing children just like themselves living in faraway places. They begin to realize that, although other children live in quite different circumstances, they are very much the same.

This is exactly what we want to teach and share with the world through our books. It is exciting to see it happening a little bit at a time already!

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Nov 2011
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Thinking back over the last 2 months one of the most treasured memories for all of us is the time spent with our amazing organizers! In each country we had what we called our “contact” person! Someone who would spend hours finding families within their areas that we could take photographs of. Not an easy task by any means!

One country contact asked over 60 families before finding 3 that could take the time.
As we would communicate with these individuals and explain our ideas and hopes in capturing the right images I’m sure it was a bit overwhelming for them trying to figure out who we were, what we needed, and how to find the perfect families. In the end – every country contact came through with flying colors!

One of the things that I had not anticipated as we worked through contacting our contacts, was how quickly we would become fast friends with each one of them. I guess spending 9-10 hours a day together would offer anyone the opportunity to get to know you on a very personal level, even if it is for only 3 days.

Learning about their personal lives, living conditions, country statistics and families added 18 more GREAT individuals to our hard working creative team. AND each time it was time to move on to the next country resulted in sad goodbye’s and the realization that these individuals were heaven sent, to help E3 capture the magic of children and families around the world.

Thank goodness for the power of modern technology, because of it, the world is smaller, and we can continue to communicate with 18 of our newest closest friends!!!

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Nov 2011
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* Clean my room * Wash the dishes * Sweep the floor

What’s a typical chore list for a 6 year old around the world?

We asked several children what they are required to do to help around the house. So many of them are learning responsibility and the benefits of knowing how to work. My eyes were opened to a new level of responsibility when we visited Kenya.

In the community of Kayole, outside of Nairobi, I was amazed at all the children who were playing together in the streets. But something in particular caught my eye. There were several 6-7 year old girls playing in the street with a baby strapped to their backs.

By the age of 6, a child who lives in Kayole knows how to make a full meal. In the Maasai Mara, 6 year old boys are out herding goats and sheep. Responsibility comes at an awfully young age for these children. Maybe our own kids should recognize how easy they have it when they complain about having to take out the garbage.

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Oct 31 2011
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While driving through the unique city of Cairo, Egypt, we were anxious to meet our next family that would be part of E3 Imagine’s book series! We didn’t know anything about them, usually the case, but were excited nonetheless.

When our van came to a stop we were told to wait in the car for 10 minutes while the family prepared for us. A mother and her son came to the van to greet us – and this kid was ADORABLE! I got out of the van and started talking with them – luckily the mother spoke some english. She told me her son’s name was Yosef and he was 1 year old.

Yosef and his mother ended up joining us for the photo shoot and we captured some of the best shots of the trip with him. My favorite was Yosef with his grandpa next to the camel. What a neat shot! He wouldn’t stop smiling.

It’s amazing how inspiring a 1 year old can be. Everyone who came near him just had to smile because of the huge grin on his face! I just thought to myself, wow… magic!

So I made the decision that I needed to smile more! If a one year old could do it, and trust me we have met LOTS of one year olds, then anyone can! I mean not the goofy kind of clown face cheesy smile, I mean a genuine “I’m happy” smile.

Besides, isn’t it said that smiles are contagious?

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Oct 30 2011
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I heard a great joke in one of the first few countries we visited on this around-the-world trip to photograph children and families:

What do you call a person who speaks three languages? That’s easy….. trilingual.
What do you call a person who speaks two languages? That’s easy too….. bilingual.
So what do you call a person who speaks only one language? Think about it….. think about it….. Give up?
      A person who can only speak one language is called….. an American!

The reality of this joke has been evidenced to us everywhere we go. In most of the countries we’ve visited the people have almost always spoken at least two languages and have usually spoken three!

I wish I spoke the language in all the countries we’ve visited! The languages have been so beautiful to listen to. They have been so different and yet all so beautiful in their own way.

So, how many languages can YOU speak?

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