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Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

Photo: Elisa Coltro/Facebook
Nonna Irma, of Noventa Vicentian, Italy, poses with some of the children in the Kenyan orphanage she supports.

News outlets around the world reposted this story about a 93-year-old’s outreach work as described by her granddaughter on Facebook. But I found that BrightSide dug for additional details.

The website reports, “This charming woman from Noventa Vicentina, Italy is Irma, and she is 93 years old. Despite her age, she’s full of energy and desire to change the world for the better. She decided to fly to Kenya to help children in the orphanage there. Her granddaughter shared her grandma’s photos on her Facebook page, which took over the Internet. …

” ‘Irma has always loved life and was never stopped by life’s obstacles,’ her granddaughter [Elisa Coltro] wrote. She knows what difficulties are like and has always tried to help others. Irma lost her husband at 26 and later one of her three children. Her life has not been easy, and she has always relied on her own strength to make it through.

“Many years ago she met Father Remigio, a [missionary] who has spent his life helping the people of Kenya. Irma has supported him for many years. Once she heard that Father Remigio was hospitalized, she made a decision to visit him and all the places he had built during his lifetime, such as hospitals, orphanages and kindergartens.

“Now being in Kenya, Irma helps children as much as she can. She teaches English and Math in the school of Malindi. … Her age never stops her from taking motorcycle rides. Despite all the difficulties she’s faced, she continues to enjoy life. Irma plans to stay in Africa for a few weeks, but there is a possibility that she will want to stay there for good.

“She has always taught her children and grandchildren to help others. Her granddaughter Elisa did volunteer work in refugee camps in Greece in 2016 and 2017.” More here.

One of the things I like best about the story is the sense of a network of fellow travelers. Irma’s daughter went to Kenya with her. Her granddaughter volunteers. And zillions of people loved what Irma is doing enough to share the news on social media. One and one and 50 …

Photo: Elisa Coltro / facebook   

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The Associated Press had a story not long ago about some energetic Bolivians  competing at handball.

“A group of Bolivian grandmothers and great-grandmothers have a pretty nontraditional way of easing the aches and pains of old age. These Aymara women get together every Wednesday in the city of El Alto and play handball.

“The ‘awichas,’ as grandmothers are known in the Aymara language, don sports jerseys over their traditional skirts and look forward to meeting and exercising with friends every week. …

“Team handball is an Olympic sport; two teams pass a ball using their hands to throw the ball into the opposite team’s goal.

“The handball team is part of a program where about 10,000 older people are practicing sports and playing Andean music; they also get free medical care.”

See some great great quotes and photos at NBC News, here.

Photo: Juan Karita/AP
In this Feb. 4, 2105 photo, 72-year-old Aurea Murillo prepares to make a pass during a handball match among elderly Aymara indigenous women in El Alto, Bolivia.

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The-hammering-toy

When I arrived at Suzanne’s house after work yesterday, my grandson was having a bath. I hadn’t seen him for a few weeks. I stood in the bathroom doorway and smiled. When he saw me, he stared for a few moments. Then he got a funny little smile on his face and said, “Huh.”

Today we went with Suzanne to the Music Together class. I had decided to take a vacation day. His other three grandparents had already seen music class, and I was determined to get there, especially after hearing that last time he crawled into some unknown grandma’s lap for the lullaby!

Music Together is a great thing for babies and toddlers and their grownups. It’s franchised around the country. My husband and I attended one session a couple years ago with my older grandson in Arlington (where I believe Will McMillan now teaches, and wouldn’t I like to attend that one!)

Today’s class was chaotic and fun, with lots of rhythm and movement activities and little kids running around and banging percussive toys. They were all very good about putting the instruments back in the proper bins. (There’s a special bin called Taster’s Choice. That’s for the instruments that have gone in someone’s mouth during the exercises and thus need extra attention.)

After the little man and I both had a nap, we went to the Children’s Museum. 🙂

Prov-RI-Children-Museum

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John sent two articles about roles that grandparents are playing in children’s lives — in this case, grandmas.

The blog Microtask details Professor Sugata Mitra’s cool insights about the Grandma Effect.

“The theory is that grandmas are good at encouraging kids. They praise them and say things like: ‘Now that is clever dear, I’d never have been able to analyze the molecular structure of DNA all by myself!’ Supervising village children, Indian grandmothers got some impressive results: test scores almost doubled in two months …

“And the next step? The ‘Granny Cloud.’ While working at Newcastle University, Professor Mitra recruited over 200 UK grandmothers as volunteers. Broadcasting via webcam each ‘grandmother’ spends at least an hour a week encouraging classes of Indian school children. Some of the Indian locations are so remote that the Granny Cloud is the only access kids have to education.” More.

The second link that John sent has more on the Granny Cloud. Jane Wakefield writes for the BBC: “Jackie Barrow isn’t a granny yet but as a retired teacher she felt she might qualify for an advert in The Guardian newspaper calling for volunteers to help teach children in India.

“She did, and today, three years on, she is reading ‘Not Now Bernard’ via Skype to a small group of children in the Indian city of Pune.

“They love it and are engaged in the experience as she holds up an Easter egg to show them how children in the UK celebrated the recent holiday.” More.

Good work, Prof. Mitra! (Or as my grandson would say when I manage to attach the bike helmet properly, “Good work, Grandma!”) Everyone knows grandmas are cheerleaders, but Prof. Mitra took it to the next step.

Photo: Three-year-old photographer
Grandma saying, “Very creative camera work, Dear!”

grandma-art-photo

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We are gearing up for Mother’s Day around here. It’s an important time of the year for Luna & Stella. For one thing, it gives us a chance to share our enthusiasm for all those who take on the role of mother — whether or not they are actual mothers.

The nurturing person, the rock in someone’s life could be an aunt or a big sister. I have heard of a neighbor playing a mother role for a lonely kid. What about a loving grandpa?

Luna & Stella, as you know, has many birthstone-jewelry offerings, and not just for women. Check out L&S cufflinks if your grandpa was like a mother to you. Why not? Suzanne and Erik may think I’m crazy to suggest cufflinks for May 13, but hey, I’m just the blogger!

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