Anyel Antonio Centeno


TX Greg here. Gary had wanted to dedicate a page on A/O to his little Nicaragua mate Anyel whom he sponsored thru World Vision. Below are some comments Gary wrote from the waffle over the last few years:

January 2, 2011. Last night, a thought suddenly entered my head. Why not make a difference in 2011? So I jumped on the computer and sponsored a child through World Vision. I chose the grumpiest looking kid I could find, as well as the one who had been waiting the longest for sponsorship. He's 1 year old Anyel Antonio from Nicaragua, so he'll be less grumpy this year, as well as in the years to come. As I get correspondence from World Vision about his progress, I'll post it on a special Anyel page on Aussie Odyssey.

January 11, 2011. The postman arrived today with a pic and some background info from World Vision about my sponsorship of a child living in Nicaragua. Mr Grumpy, otherwise known as Anyel. He makes me laugh. I didn't think anyone could look grumpier than me. He lives with his mother and has no father or siblings. His mother is unemployed. Anyel was born January 29, 2009, which means he'll turn 2 at the end of this month. I must send him a birthday card. Isn't it weird that what I spend on a card and postage will be as much as they have to live on for a whole week... less than $2 a day.

So there ya go, I'm a daddy. Maybe that's why Anyel looks so grumpy.

I'll dedicate a page to Anyel on Aussie Odyssey and update it as I receive reports of his progress. World Vision sends annual updates but they may send more in response to stuff I write to him, such as my first letter and the birthday card. Fair dinkum, every time I look at that grumpy little face I have to laugh. He's got a high intelligent forehead and big brown eyes, and he's kinda cute.

January 13, 2011. I showed Averil the pic of Anyel Antonio and she thought he was a cute little fella, which he is in a grumpy kinda way. I wrote a letter yesterday that I printed, and bought a couple of Taree postcards today... pics of kangaroos and koalas and pelicans and that kinda thing. He's only 2 ya know, so he's not into anything too serious yet. According to his bio his favorite hobby is "playing with toys". Fair enough. I'll post my letter and cards tomorrow.

April 9, 2011. Satdee again. I just wrote a note to Anyel and his family, my sponsored child in Nicaragua through World Vision. I had to keep the letter simple and brief, which ain't easy for me. Hehe. Anyel is one of five kids being raised by a single mother. They lead a very simple life but I suppose it's all relative. Rattles and toy cars are very important when you're 2 years old.

July 21, 2011. Well, at least someone thinks I'm a "charming and really nice person" hehe. I got a letter today from my little Nicaraguan dude, Anyel, the boy I sponsor through World Vision. I sent him some postcards with pics of Australian wildlife that he liked very much, and also the drawing of me done by Brian some years ago. Anyel says "it's nice to know that someone besides my mother loves me a lot." Isn't that sweet? He's a bit young for school at the mo - he's only 2 or 3 - but his mother says he's looking forward to going to school and studying. He says he will "write and draw to you". Makes me a bit teary to be honest... to think that a little kid in Nicaragua and his family are benefiting from the few bucks I send each month. He says he would like to learn more about me. Oops! Well... lemme think about that. The word 'selective' has just sprung to mind.

September 29, 2011. Well, my little sponsored World Vision boy Anyel from Nicaragua will turn 3 in January. Wow! A whole three! So World Vision sent me a letter today containing a birthday card personally addressed to Anyel, and reminded me to write a personal note wishing him a special day. It takes a couple of months for mail to reach sponsored kids, so I need to attend to that pretty soon. Isn't that sweet? By the time he's my age, I'll be 131.

October 27, 2011. Pay day, bills paid, yadda, yadda... another swing on the merry-go-round. BTW, I got an update on how my little bloke in Nicaragua is doing. Anyel is 11.2 kilos now (about 20 pounds), and he'll be 3 next January. He likes to play with toy cars so he'll end up another revhead like Oregon Richie. The really important news is that he and his family are in good health, he has had all his immunization shots, and they've just had outhouses installed so they "don't have to do our physiological needs outdoors". They speak Spanish over there so a World Vision staffer helps them with letters and translations, etc. According to his latest photo, Anyel is still as grumpy as ever. Hehe. I don't think he likes having his photo taken.

July 27, 2012. Just received a letter from Anyel, my sponsored child in Nicaragua. His mother says he often asks about me... the man from a land far away who gives me gifts and who sends money to spend on improvements to our village and our education. Yeah... kinda like a Santa Claus who comes more often than once a year. He says he wants to meet me one day. "We know this may be difficult or maybe not." I think maybe not. I do understand and appreciate what a difference my contribution makes to Anyel's life and the lives of his family and neighbors, but I certainly don't think parting with 10 bucks a week is anything to brag or feel saintly about. It's the very least I can do to provide hope for people who desperately need it. Meanwhile, it's nice to be reminded occasionally that Anyel and his folks think of me, and appreciate the fact that I exist.

September 17, 2012. And guess who turns 4 in January? My little bloke in Nicaragua, Anyel. World Vision sent me a birthday card to fill out, and I've got a few 3D stick-on thingies of fish and birds to go with it. He can stick them on things in his room, I guess. That's if he's got a room. Probably shares one with all his siblings. Judging by the content of the letters I get two or three times a year, the family is doing well and life is improving with community gardens and a school. So that's all great news.

October 16, 2012. Just received a newsletter from Nicaragua and a letter from little Anyel Antonio with his photograph... all dressed up in his Sunday best and wearing white shoes. There's also a colored-in drawing of his hand, which is about the size of my palm. He's looking less grumpy as he gets older - not altogether jovial, but reasonably content - in fact he reminds me of my younger bro when he was that age. He'll be four next January. According to his mother, he's healthy and loves to play, so he's a happy kid. The community continues to receive medical aid, education, training in hygiene and nutrition (cooking) and various other assistance to improve their lives and set them on a course to self-reliance.

November 2, 2012. World Vision's Christmas card and small gift for Anyel in Nicaragua arrived today for me to fill in the details and greetings, so that's all done and will soon be on its way to my little grumpy bloke. He'll be 4 in January. It's a long way from what my parents did for me over the years; housing, clothes, education, food, birthdays, Christmases, etc, but at least it's something. NC Art knows all about the cost of raising a family. I dare say that being a parent is one of the toughest jobs going. And maybe even thankless in many cases.

August 8, 2013.

Anyel Antonio Centeno

Para: Kelly,

I wish you many blessings. My mother is helping me to write this letter. Thank you for sending me this beautiful birthday card and the stickers that you sent me. It is nice to have friends in another country. I will always keep you in my heart. I love you a lot.

Anyel Centeno.

Isn't that sweet? That's my little 4 y/o mate from Nicaragua whom I sponsor through World Vision. The money goes on providing education, hygiene, housing, and community gardens for growing small crops. When he's older, and has access to a computer and the internet at school, he'll be able to follow my adventures on Aussie Odyssey.

September 17, 2013. I received some stuff from World Vision today about Anyel's birthday - my sponsored child in Nicaragua. He'll be 5 in January. How about that? From a toddler to a school-age boy already. I've not mentioned anything about cancer or whatever to him or his family, nor anything about the Odyssey. I'm simply the mystery man from Oz who helps out with the bills. What's going on in their lives is far more important than what's going on in mine, at least for now. Maybe one day when they get internet access and a better understanding of English it'll be time to learn more. Meanwhile, I'll write a personal message on Anyel's birthday card and send it off. At age 5, he'll have a much better understanding of his situation and the work World Vision is doing to give him a brighter future.

November 27, 2013. When I first became a World Vision sponsor of little Anyel in Nicaragua, he was almost two y/o and grumpy hehe. I just received an update about his progress and there he is sitting on a pile of rocks in a garden with his new shoes and colorful clothes looking a fine specimen of a young man. He's even smiling! He's 4 now and attending pre-school. The report says he's underweight (that makes two of us) but WV has taught the family to plant better crops in their plot, and they also have a chicken coop which doubles as an income! I guess they're selling some of the eggs. Capitalism!

Anyel's favorite bird is the parakeet, and having seen the colors of his clothing I'm not surprised. But those Central American people tend to be very colorful with blankets, trinkets and ceremonial attire. It suits their jet black hair and coffee colored skin. His mother writes: Thank you very much for the support you have given my son during this whole year. I want to tell he loves eating beans with cheese. He loves playing with cars. His favorite animal is the parakeet. He likes we tell him stories. His favorite is Little Red Riding Hood. We call him Anyelito to show him our love.

November 29, 2013. Well, this is all very flash. World Vision now provides an email service to sponsored children. Now I can go on the web site, write a letter, attach a file or two, and send it off! I just wanted Anyel to know that I think he looks very handsome in his new shoes and that I share his interest in cars. I sent a pic of PJ and told him that I will soon be traveling to various parts of Oz to take pics and write about my adventures. He won't have access to a computer or the internet so just an occasional pic and g'day will do. But the service sure beats the hell outta snail mail and stamps.

I've not mentioned the cancer thing to Anyel. Santa Claus is always happy and jolly, right? Besides, the whole point of the exercise is his welfare, not mine.

September 17, 2014. And guess who turns 6 early next year? Little Anyel, my sponsored child in Nicaragua. He was almost 2 when I first sponsored him and his family, so he's grown quite a bit! Not so little any more. World Vision sent me a card to fill in with a personal greeting and a small gift to return. I've not mentioned anything about my health issues to Anyel or his family. They have enough problems of their own.

October 19, 2014. Up until now, Anyel, my little sponsored bloke in Nicaragua, has sent me crayon traces of his hand along with letters about how he and his family are doing. But he'll be six next January so his drawing has matured. This time he sent me a drawing of a chicken which he colored brown. The chicken is pecking at a few seeds on the ground, and nearby is a soccer ball (I think), also brown. At first I thought it was an egg but it's too large to be an egg. The kid's no Rembrandt but at least he's trying.

According to the 'Dear Sponsor' info pack, Anyel is healthy, currently attending 3rd level, pre-school which he attends by travelling on foot. At school, he needs to improve his performance in the drawing class. (They said that, not me). In his community, he drinks water from a well. His home has electricity, but the floor is dirt. He receives packages of gifts (from World Vision) such as shoes, clothes, vitamins, de-worming tablets, sporting goods and kitchen goods for the family. The info pack also contains a recent photo of Anyel with close-cropped jet black hair looking rather salubrious dressed in a red long-sleeve top, black jeans, white socks and blue/gray shoes. In the background is a little brown and white dog, resting but also watching proceedings with interest. The first photo I received some years ago showed a grumpy little boy but now he's looking far happier and healthier, all dolled up in his Sunday best.

In Anyel's bio sheet, he colored in a smiley with his favorite color yellow. He used blue to color the types of clothing he likes to wear everyday - t-shirt, baseball cap, lace-up shoes and jeans. He used yellow again to color his favorite fruit, which is pineapple, and blue to color his favorite toy, a soccer ball.


October 2014 was the last post about Anyel before Gary became very ill.


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