Feb 25 2011

Foreign phrases that don’t compute in English

Although it’s based in Kansas City, CFCA is a global organization with more than 4,000 employees around the world.

Though many of our international colleagues speak English, we occasionally encounter the odd phrase or sentence that makes us wonder, “How come we’re speaking the same language but not always understanding one another?”

1) “He was promoted into glory.”

Means: He died.

Context: An elderly widow is awaiting sponsorship in Kenya, and three members of our communications staff encountered this strange phrase on the description the project sent us: ” Ö after her husband was promoted into glory.” Only one of us knew what that meant; the other two had no idea.

2) Which “DUI” is it?

Can mean: “Documento Unico de Identidad,” or unique identity document in El Salvador

Context: In the U.S., a DUI means “driving under the influence.” On the other hand, the national ID card in El Salvador lists a DUI, or unique identity document, for every citizen. Very different …

3) “I’m fighting to help my children.”

Means: “I’m struggling to provide for my children.”

Context: That pesky English language strikes again! Our child services department routinely gets descriptions of parents “fighting” to provide for their children who are living in poverty. We change it to “struggling” lest readers think these parents are champion boxers or prizefighters.

4) Help yourself … ?

Can mean: I need to use the restroom.

Context: In the U.S., we routinely say “Help yourself” when offering something to someone. For example, if there’s a cake on the table, we might invite guests to “help themselves.” In Kenya, that phrase is often a polite excuse to use the restroom ñ “I would like to go and help myself.”

For our sponsors who have been on mission awareness trips or perhaps seen a funny phrase in your sponsored friend’s letters, was there anything that ever puzzled you? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

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Feb 3 2011

Congratulations to our CFCA caption contest winner…

CFCA caption contest
We’d like to thank everyone who submitted a caption entry in our contest.

Many submissions, particularly those about safety vests, made us laugh, smile or giggle at our office desks, probably to the surprise of anyone passing by!

All of these were handpicked by our talented panel of judges (a.k.a. CFCA employees), who heard the caption only when they were judging and not the author’s name.

Everyone agreed that the contest was difficult, and the winner beat the frontrunner by only two votes.

Honorable mentions:

  1. “You might want to hoof it or youíll be late for your flight” ñ Catherine Kellerman
  2. “If he follows us home can we keep him?” ñ Barb Kellerman

And the one that won, based on the most votes:

(drum roll please)

“Come on down to PABLOíS USED BURROS and pick out your next ride! Special offer this Sunday, all certified used burros receive a 10 point safety check and a nose to tail 30km or 30hr warranty. (Taxes and delivery extra, hats and safety vests not included in this offer).” ñ Ken

As winner of the caption contest, Ken will receive a beaded Walk2gether bracelet and appreciation from the general CFCA community.

For any of you wondering what the story behind this caption really is, here’s Paul Pearce, CFCA director of international programs, pictured right of the donkey:

“I think at the 20-kilometer mark (of Walk2gether), we always received fruit during our rest break of about 15 minutes.

“Kris (Paul’s wife, pictured left) saw these three donkeys about 200 yards down a small dirt road and wanted to go say hi.†Two kept a distance, but the one in the photo walked right up to her and really enjoyed being petted.

“Kris is a complete animal lover and the many donkeys, llamas, alpacas and woolly Peruvian dogs can all tell as she made lots of friends along the way. Ö I believe the fruit (pictured with Paul) is an orange, mango and peach.”

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Jan 28 2011

Welcome to the CFCA coffee club

By Shanxi Omoniyi, web editor and writer

Coffee is cultivated in many of the countries where CFCA works and enjoyed by many of our families. The CFCA community in Kansas City loves coffee, too.

Julie Watson, CFCA graphic designer

Julie Watson, CFCA graphic designer and coffee club leader

Its rich, earthy aroma greets us most mornings when we arrive at the office, courtesy of Julie Watson, a graphic designer at CFCA. She has other talents besides making our print and online materials beautiful.

She makes fantastic cheesecakes … and fabulous coffee.

Julie started a fund for CFCA coffee lovers to donate toward the cost of providing fresh, gourmet coffees. Employees can also bring their favorite brands in place of money.

We’ve sampled and savored brews from El Salvador, Guatemala, Bolivia and Kenya.

The Juan Ana coffee is a favorite of CFCA coffee lovers. The coffee is cultivated, roasted and packaged by members of the San Lucas Mission in Guatemala. Many of the members of the mission and most of the coffee workers have children in the CFCA sponsorship program.

Michael Calabria, director of planned giving at CFCA, personally orders lavish quantities of dark and medium roast Juan Ana coffees toward the end of the year and offers the coffee for sale to CFCA employees.

“This is the fairest of fair trade coffees,” he said. “Please support our brothers and sisters living in and around the Hermano Pedro Regional Center in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala.”

Juan Ana coffees

Juan Ana coffees

(You can order a bag of Juan Ana coffee and learn more about the San Lucas Mission on its website.)

So now you know a little more about the CFCA community.

We’re passionate about helping children, youth and elderly people around the world.

We’re committed to serving those living in poverty through our Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

And many of us are also dedicated to enjoying the delights of freshly brewed coffee. Excuse me while I get another cup.

Note: Thanks also to one of our sponsors, Joy Noel, who generously donated some coffee from this coffee shop in Missouri, More Than Coffee.

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Jan 20 2011

CFCA caption contest: Donkeys and deserts

Update: We have finished judging on this caption contest and have announced the winner. Thanks to all who participated.

Frigid temperatures, Walk2gether in the Andes, beautiful landscapes and ambling donkeys Ö they can only mean one thing.

CFCA caption contest

A CFCA caption contest!

How would you describe the action going on in this picture? Share with us your clever caption by adding a comment below.

(Here’s a refresher on our guidelines ñ we don’t accept offensive or inappropriate comments, profane or abusive language.)

A team of qualified panelists (a.k.a. CFCA employees) will pick the winning caption in early†February. The winner will receive a prize of a Walk2gether bracelet as well as recognition from the general CFCA community.

Enjoy, and feel free to pass this on to your friends!

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Dec 31 2010

CFCA’s best 2010 blog post is …

We asked, and you voted!

CFCA best 2010 blog post

Recently we collected 10 of our most popular blog posts in 2010 and invited our readers to vote on which they thought was our No. 1 post. The voting was fast and furious – and as always, there had to be a winner…

Walk2gether brings out hope on the highway came in first place,

AND Juan Antonio ñ the dancing man came in second place by just one vote. They had been tied until yesterday!

In third place was†Regina’s gift to her sponsoring family.

Thanks, again, to everyone who responded to our survey. Happy New Year, and we hope 2011 brings more and even better stories to the CFCA community!

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