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Author inspires Sophiasburgh students to support Kenyan orphanage

sophiasburgh-orphans

Ruth Kyatha, program manager of Hope Development Centre in Kenya, sent this photograph, saying “We are happy for the support you have provided and the children have a special ‘thank you’ to you. See those smiles.”

Meeting Canadian author Eric Walters inspired Sophiasburgh Central School students to support an orphanage in Kenya this week.

Jeffrey Stone’s Grade 5/6 class at Sophiasburgh Central School and Shawna Brady’s 4/5 class were invited to Pinecrest  School to hear a presentation by author Eric Walters.

“We jumped at the chance, and so glad we did. He discussed his books, his life, his ideas; everything,” said Stone. “The students were entertained, and inspired. We found out that he had made some trips to Kenya and over the years had helped form an orphanage called Creation of Hope. He told us the story of one boy who came to the orphanage, a boy, who he wrote a picture book about called ‘My Name is Blessing’.

“We were so inspired our classes wanted to help. So, we had a spaghetti lunch day for our two classes and a bake sale another day. We raised $440 for Creation of Hope. We mailed off the cheque and some letters from students. We received a very nice e-mail from Eric Walters and these lovely pictures as thank you.”

“What a wonderful surprise awaited me when I got back from Montreal!  Thanks to you and your students for raising this money.  It will be noted in our April update on the website and in this email I’m suggesting that the money is placed toward daily support of the orphanage,” said Walters. “$75 per day provides for 53 children to eat, their routine medical care, school supplies, the salaries of the matron, caretaker, night watchman, cook and tutor, the electricity, sanitation and water for the entire building.  That means that for six days (I’m going to add in a little to bring it up) your students are the ‘parents’ of our orphans.”

Walters noted that as the check was made out to AIM, they take a 7 per cent administration fee.  donated the $4 to top it up to $450, then an additional $31.22 for a total of $35.22 to cover those fees so that your students get 100 of the money they donated.

Walters also answered the questions Sophiasburgh students asked in their letters.

Eric’s answers to question:
I have written 92 books.

I’ll stop writing when I die – maybe a few days later.

My favourite book is always the one I’m writing.

I punched the tiger really hard because I was really afraid.

I play soccer and basketball mainly.

Some of the kids in my class were slackers – mostly they were good, smart kids who didn’t know they were smart – I had to show them!

I bring different people to help when I go to Kenya, but mostly it’s Ruth – and those under Ruth’s direction – who are the day-to-day heroes that run the place.

My favourite color is red.

My favourite music is jazz.

My favourite NHL team is the Leafs.

I didn’t play much hockey but I always was defence.

I would love to go on Man Tracker.

On average it takes me 45 days to write the first draft of a book.

I love travelling to see the world.

Dogs are my favourite animals – followed by cheetahs.

I was about 49 when we started things at the orphanage.

I write lots and lots of historical fiction – check out my website to see which one will interest you.

I’ve met lots of tigers.

I started writing in 1993.

I was 36 when I wrote my first book.

I always loved writing as a kid.

I’ve been to Paris 4 or 5 times.

I never have trouble finding a topic to write about.

My favourite book is always the one I’m writing so right now it’s called Re-Genesis.

There are 53 children in the orphanage.

My wife’s name is Anita.

Just bitten by a tiger, never a lion.

Some of the orphans names are Muendi, Boniface, Charles, Mueni, Baraka.

I get my ideas from everywhere.

In three years I’ll be doing basically the same things except maybe a little bit slower.

Being bitten by even a baby tiger really hurts a lot.

My next trip is to Calgary and Edmonton.

I was born in Toronto on March 3 1957.

I never had a favourite student when I was teaching – they were all special.

The rule of three is the longest book.  Books like Grind are the shortest.

The biggest animal I have ever seen is a Right Whale.

I’ve always played basketball and Jerome is a friend so I played ball with him.

To get to Kenya is two long flights about 9 hours each.

The oldest orphan is about 21 – that is Mutuku.

Booboo the bear is nice enough, but I wouldn’t want to be in a cage with him.

I was walking the tiger and that’s why I got bit.

Chocolate isn’t good for bears or dogs so Werner doesn’t give him much.

I don’t know if boo boo is a boy or girl bear.

I have owned and driven a motorcycle.

My favourite subject at school was gym.

Run has probably sold the most copies but The Rule of Three is catching up fast.

If you like mystery try The Money Pit Mystery.

My favourite author is Joseph Heller but I do really like Hunger Games.

I’ve eaten a bacon wrapper burger – it was pretty good.

I don’t really write fantasy.

My books vary from about 100 to 400 pages in length.

I have one sister, Janice.

I think lots of my books are in the Picton library.

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