- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Well there is news to tell. First my life has been busy since returning to the states on the 20th of Nov. Of course there was Thanksgiving and all my kids were here except the two oldest and their families. My oldest son has a baby due any day and my oldest daughter and my sil and two granddaughters had a wedding to go to in CA. So there were 16 kids , some spouses and five grandchildren. My youngest grandbaby lives here with his parents. We made them a small apt. on the third floor so that someone would be in our house while we are in Guate. He was 6 weeks when I saw him first. We drove in our driveway at 2 am and his mama said he woke up just before we pulled in. I told her he wanted to officially meet his grandma. So it was another hour before we got to bed. He is so sweet and sitting and rocking him is my greatest pleasure right now. I loved seeing the other grandkids also. They are two nine month olds, one 16 month old, and one 3 year old. It was so special having them here for 4 days. All us ladies attended the baby shower of my grandbaby due in Jan.
Did I tell you what a treat it is to drive the roads of the US at night and not worry about banditoes. Or to not have to chlorox everything you eat. Or to not worry everyday about whether I am going to get lice or scabies from a new child at the orphanage. Or to not have to go to church and be responsible for how 40 more kids look and act.
I love the work we do in Guatemala with the kids, but it is so hard. The last week we were there, my beautiful 17 year old daughter was seen by the Diario, a hugh Guatemalan newspaper with a readership in the millions. They asked where to find her and tracked her down. Then wanted her to be on a two page spread in the paper and promised modeling jobs from the spread. Of course all the pictures would be in bikinis. I saw it as nothing but trouble and luckily after talking with my daughter she saw it the same way. I was so proud of her that she told them no. She loves living in Panajachel and I like many things about it, but you have to be so diligent raising children there. I guess you have to be in the states also.
Well for Guatemalan news. The orphanage land is bought. We now own 10 acres ready to be bulldozed and built on. ONly problem is the bulldozing is much more than we thought. A good fast guy wants $10,000.00 to do the work which includes a 1200 foot road, leveling for the buildings and a soccer field. He will have the work done in a week. Then the family we bought the land from offered us a great deal on a piece of the road frontage land. We have gotten them to agree to $8000.00 now and the rest in a year. They will even give us the title now, but that is another $8000.00 we need right now. The builder is ready to go and has promised to be done in 4 months with all the buildings. He wants to buy the materials now as they will go up after Jan. We are afraid to do it until the road is done. We need to move into our permanet home really bad as the children are having to move again. The hotel we were in can not handle our water needs so we are moving this week to another location with tons of water. This moving is very unsettling and we need a permanent location.
The government drives us nuts, constantly coming in and complaining about everything. They want us to have a 3 to 1 child, nanny ratio. And other things of a similar nature. Then after a week of complaining, they send us a pregnant 12 year old, a 5 year old and another 14 year old. This week we are supposed to get a sibling group of seven children.
So please, please help in anyway you can. We can use a volunteer staff here in the states organizing volunteers and donations and putting out emails everywhere. Always we can use donations. If you send them to my home in the states in the next month, I can haul them to Guatemala when I go back. Write me an email at 20.vicki@gmail.com for my address.
And the most precious commodity is money as it is keeping us from growing. Unless we get the money for the cost over runs on the bull dozer work and the extra land, we will have to reduce our buildings from 3 to 2.
I also want to start a feeding program as more and more mothers and children are coming to us for food. Very malnourished children who need the food. I want to start a crisis pregnancy program to help street mothers and teen mothers as there is nothing to help them. No social services here in Guate folks, only you and what you can do.
Thanks so much for all you have already done. Please keep it up. You help keep our spirits up.
Vicki and Jody

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here is our computer, Tony. He has been a great help.

Here are two of the great girls from Pan En La Boca who have helped us so much. The one on the right is me.

And here is the beautiful Lake Atitlan that we are located at. Makes you want to visit, huh

Great news.
I have a computer guy here and we are going to start having pictures on the blog entries.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

After having started back in May looking for land and a permanent place for the orphanage, we finally signed the papers and paid the money for 10 acres of basically flat [ flat for Lake Atitlan is definitely relative] land. It was kind of sad as we bought from two old sisters whose family had had the land for generations. When their dad died , it was divided among the 8 sibs. We will eventually be offered more of the sibs land I am sure. They did not have bank accounts and cashed the checks and took the money home in cash. Quetzals; it takes 7.62 to make a dollar. I do not know where they will hide it.
Anyway it is a done deal and we start road work on Mon.
We leave to go home on the 20th and have a ton to do before hand. We have the builder we want and are looking at a couple of gringoes who live here to supervise the job and report to us. We found out Thurs. our 10th grandbaby will be a boy. That means 3 boy grandbabies all witin 6 months. I can not wait to get home and hold the one that is already born.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today was a really hard day.Alot of bureaucratic stuff that made no sense and caused much emotional upheaval for a while. Enough so my husband and I were both ready to go home to the states and get ready to retire. [ with 10 kids still at home ]We were seriously wondering why do we do this.
Then I went to the orphanage to meet a new long term volunteer and do some training with a new employee. While there all the preschoolers came running up and gave me hugs. Abram,who just turned two, came to us a year ago so sick he almost had to be hospitalized. The back of his head was completely flat and he could not sit at all. But the worst thing was how he cried every time someone looked at him. Well we have all worked with him developing muscle tone, giving healthy foods and giving love and encouragement. Today he gave me a shy smile so I took his hands and practiced walking with him holding on to me. Then I let him go and held out my hands for him to take his first steps. He took three and gave me the biggest, sweetest grin I think I have ever seen. To think he now trusts me after all the neglect and abuse he had as an infant. It just kind of made up for all the bad stuff.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sorry I have not written. Life just seems to always be busy. And the orphanage work has been so routine it was boring. The land we are buying has been twists and turns trying to get enough paperwork to protect our purchase from a family of Mayans who have no paperwork. So we have a good attorney and she is gradually getting it done. The land had to be resurveyed and we spent alot of time working with the surveyors making sure that was done right. It was nice time as it is beautiful up there with fantastic valley views. Jody had to spend all of Friday up there working to get the 1200 foot road bushwhacked so that the surveyors could mark the lines. He got bit again by 40 or 50 ants. The man does not know how to look down. Eight of the oldest boys went with the guardian from the orphanage and put in some good work time working with machetes and starting to take possession of the first land they will own.
The kids are through school until Jan. All of them but one passed and most of their marks were in the 90s. Most of these kids would not have gone to school if they were not living at the orphanage as school requires a stable life and the funds to pay for books and enrollment.
We have had some great help recently. Pan en la boca is raising significant amounts of money for us. Isamundo foundation has offered to pay for the road. Ryan Williams, with Bountiful Tours, brought a group down a month or so ago with great donations. And two days ago Russ and Susie Trepanier and other family members left the burning fires of San Diego to come to Lake Atitlan and bring us some much needed donations.
We moved the orphanage into an old hotel in Panajachel. All in all, it has worked out okay. We are still going through the adjustment period with staff and the kids and getting new routines down. Everytime we go back to the States or down here we have a 2 week adjustment period--getting settled in and getting new routines going.
We have a 7 year old boy coming new week. His parents are dead and his grandmother, who is raising him, can't afford the cost.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The kids at the orphanage moved this week. They have all the beds up and the kitchen functioning. And most of the clothes organized. It has rained solid since the day they moved so it has been very hard getting clothes dried. And what do you do with 35 kids on rainy days when you do not have an inside play area. The baby who came with the 14 year old mama is very cute. 13 months old and a boy. The girl mama is nottaking great care of him so we are woorking on getting him a seperate legal status than her so that we can give him the care he needs. I had to take him to the doctor this week for a skin infection. He has taken to me tho and did not want anyone esle to hold him. I have taken to him too. His name is Carlos David. I am working on getting the baby room set up at the new location.

For those who have been following this blog for awhile and remember the murder across the lake last June..... An update. About 3 weeks ago there was a double murder about a mile from the orphanage in Cerro de Oro. We have yet to get many details but it was 2 blocks from one of our employees house. The killers were wearing the same military fatigues and black ski masks. AND there was another murder on our old road where we personally lived at Chelchic Abah about this same time. Pedro talked with another gardner on the same road who is very scared. Again, the same custom. This gardner wants to quit but doesn't have any other options for a job. Vicki was certainly right when she predicted we were leaving a battlefront. Between the banditoes and the vigilantes. We feel very safe over here in Panajachel tho.

Our attorney is working on paperwork for land purchase. Buying property is more complicated here than the states because there is no registry of deeds in every county. Most land is not registered but our realtor believes that this might be which would be excellent.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Just wanted to do a quick catch up.. My grandson is born. He is so cute. Big chubby cheeks. It breaks my heart not to see him for 44 more days. But he lives in my house so when I get home I can hold him for a long time. Also had another son have a birthday. He is 26. And another son will be 22 in two days. Then a granddaughter will be 3 in 3 more.
Life is busy down here with the little ones. I gave food and clothing and meds to a woman who comes to my house and has a sick 6 month old. I am not sure she has a place to live. She has two other children also. I am investigating where she lives. She is good at begging tho. I want to do an outreach program to these children who live on the streets.
Also , now that adoptions have virtually stopped in Guatemala, I am told by one woman who receives babies, that she will be turning over 3 or 4 of them to us at the end of the month as she can not find families to adopt or pay for their support. I have a special room for the babies at the new place we are moving and need to stock it with infants things. All these babies are under 3 mont This. Another woman has spoken to me about the same thing with her babies. They will first see if the birthmothers want them [ which they do not think they will be able to take them ] and then send them to us.
So start collecting formula and diapers and other baby things. This is not to mention the extra nannies we will need to hire.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sat. I met the man who has been renting us the place where the orphanage is currently located. To make a long story short, he was mad we are not buying it and said we either had to pay him $17,000.00 to rent for the next 6 months or get out asap. Well I can build bedrooms for 32 kids for $15,000.00 so I am not paying him $17,000.00. So we offered a $500.00 reward to several people in Pana we knew needed money to find us a place that would rent to 35 kids starting in a week. And one of them found us a place. An older non fancy hotel that is letting us have 5 rooms big enough to sleep 6 kids each and a bungalow house with 3 more bedrooms and a kitchen and big dining area. Plus a really nice sunny room for the babies. They pay the electric and will have their maid wash the sheets once a week. It is not perfect, but doable. All for $1000.00 a month.
Adoptions have shut down in Guatemala. No more referrals to families are being made and no one knows when or if things will start up again. UNICEF is very against adoptions and has offered $28,000,000.00 for them to stop. So we are preparing to receive infants. Anyway, we are moving all the kids on Tues. to Pana. We close on the land the first of next week and hope to start the road the following week. As soon as we can get building supplies in we will start the buildings.
Life has been busy. My down syndrome son was 10 today and my first grandson will be born on Fri. the birthday of my 25 year old son.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

We spent yesterday morning walking the land we think would work for the orphanage. It is a bunch of siblings who own it and two want to sell their portions. The others are giving us free right aways thru their land for the road. ONe other sib has already come forth and wants to sell their 3 acres, so over time I think we can expand the acreage if we so desire. Right now 9.5 acres is fine. Enough to build for 200 to 300 kids, put up an on premises school and grow all our own food as well as a cash crop. There is also a beautiful spot that overlooks the valley for casitas that we can rent out to tourists or volunteers. The location is great. No lake views [ the reason it is so cheap ], but great farm vally views and within 20 minutes of Panajachel. There is an elementary school within walking distance and a basico [ middle school] within a 5 minute pickup ride. The man with us who does the road work and has the bulldozer estimated 100 hours of work at Q350s per hour [ $47.00 an hour for you gringoes ]. The road will be about a 1/4 mile long. This does not include any gravel. We have a building team on call that built a camp for a group of evangelists. They are Mayan and work a crew of 70 and can build us 3 buildings in 3 months. We know they can do it as we saw them do the camp. Two buildings would be bedrooms and baths for a total of 64 kids. The third , the same size, would house the kitchen. dining, living area. He quoted us all this including materials and labor for $45,000.00. Eventually the third building would be dormitory for kids and we want to build a hugh building that has a big kitchen and hugh room that can be dinig or auditorium or gym. But that building will cost $50,000.00.
Anyway, think on how you can help. We can use work crews and always money, plus your donations keep us going. Thursday, Pedro bought 10 new mattresses for the bunkbeds that needed new mattresses as well as more kitchen pots and pans and picked up maseca [ for the tortillas ] and rice and beans and dried milk from our friends Orphan Resources. We had to spend a $100.00 on a new ultraviolet light for the water filter. Plus forks and spoons. Anyone coming from the US. please Walmart has forks and spoons for 12 for a $1.00. I know because that is what I buy for my home in the states. Kids are terrible to take the silverware outside to dig with. Buy us some of the cheap Walmart stuff.
Now to end. My husband stepped in a bed of fireants yesterday walking the land. He was bit about 40 times and went into aphylactic shock and almost passed out. The realtor drug him up to the car and we got him home and zyrtec into him. He thought he was going to die and knew I would be upset with having to handle everything. NO KIDDING. But he is fine now and I was sure glad to see him beside me in bed last night. I just kept touching him to make sure he was still breathing.
We are going to need to move asap as the man we are renting from now is mad we are not going to buy where we are at and has threatened to kick us out. I am begging him to let us stay and pay rent for 3 to 6 months while we build. Pray he cooperates.
Oh yeah I went to my first Rotary club meeting last week. They are starting a club in Pana and were excited to see how great our need was here. Pan en la boca has gotten us some great sponsorships and Andree and Paul are thinking of raising the money for the road. We still need sposorships for kids and building money so feel free to help there. Attached are the pics and bios of 30 of the kids. I will list the 7 other new ones next blog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gosh we have been busy here. First we had two great ladies with Pan-en-la-boca come to Pana and check us out. We loved them and they must have liked us some as they turned over use of their 1999 Monterro Super Sport to the orphanage. And they have gone home and started raising building money and child sponsorships for us. Then my precious daughter, grand daughter and son in law came down and we did alot of legal work which needed Sarah's signatures. Then we had a great family group half of which are from Canada and the other half from Utah. They were all ages and brought some wonderful doantions and gave us a half a day of work time. In the middle of all this I had a major flu and bronchitis and was in bed and on antibiotics. Panajachel also had a tradegy as a young [ 15 years old ] German boy who has spent his whole life here was killed in a car accident. His brother was injured in the accident as well as a girl who was driving. The family is well know in town and the boys death has affected alot of people including my family.
We think tho we have found our land. It is 10 acres of rolling /flat farmland in a beutiful valley. The price is great; we just need to put in about 1200 feet of road. A man is meeting with my husband on Sat. to discuss the challenges and costs of this.We are excited tho and have started looking for builders and thinking of practical, economical building plans.
We got two new children at the hogar, a 17 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.
We are getting more and more support from many different areas and we sure do appreciate it.
I have a new grandbaby due anyday according to my daughter's doctor, our first grandson.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We visited the orphanage for the first time since we have been back on Fri. and took the donations that many of you sent while we were in the states. The kids were all glad to see us and I was surprised at how many more little ones we have. I think it is because adoptions are significantly slowing down in Guate and the competition for these toddlers is also slowing down. So instead of being potential children that the adoption system can make money off of, they are just kids who need a home. They are cute. Everything seemed to be running well. I was pleasantly surprised at how well organized the storehouse was with the supplies and donations. Thank you ladies who put time and energy in there. It certainly showed. I told the kids I would be back on Weds. and we would have a party with a present for each of them. I will then give out some of the donations. We have two great US ladies here representing the foundation Pan En La Boca. I met with them on Sat. and loved talking to two gringas my age about things like grandkids and retirement and priorities and need in Guatemala. They visited the kids on Sunday and Monday. Tomorrow we will meet and brainsotrm about the hogar. They were impressed with the loving relationship the kids have with the staff and the general happy attitude of the kids. My husband and I had the same first impression being back and that was we needed to move into better situated facilities, where we can be better set up to meet the needs of the children both physically and educationally. Ryan Williams brought down a great group of people and a bunch of bookbags filled with all kinds of goodies for the children.
We really get a ton of help with material donations. thank oyu so much everyone. Now if we could just get full sponsorshps on each child and some building fund money, we would be set.
Vicki Dalia

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

We arrived at Lake Atitlan safe and mostly sound. The last 29 minutes of the plane ride were a little hairy. Mostly because it is the rainy season and it was pouring. Our house was not ready for us as the last inhabitants were still in it. They are building a new one and the plumbing was not working, so we lived in a hotel for 4 days. Actually it was a nice break as we could go to our new house and unpack buckets that were stored there, but then come back to a nice orderly place to sleep.
We are in now and really like it. The last resident, an American, said he had lived here for 4 years and never had any safety issues. I loved hearing that. The kids love it as all their friends are in Pana and we now have between 10 and 15 kids here alot of the time. But they have all helped us unpack and move in. School starts today for all our children unless Hurricane Felix hits here as it is predicted to do. Last nights forecast showed that Lake Atitlan was in the direct path of the hurricane. The school my kids go to has agreed to take my down syndrome son which I am thrilled about.
We are supposed to go to the orphanage today, unless the hurricane hits. Pedro, our new director, has done a marvelous job. Several people are looking for land for the orphanage on this side of the lake. We will go look at one 7 acre piece next Monday. We need sponsors for the kids so we can start building. Several people on this group are doing talks to groups and one is doing an auction in Oct. Everything helps.
Well gotta go. It was two years ago that Hurricane Stan hit and destroyed many many homes and lives because of mudslides. The river in Pana flooded and destroyed many homes, so we are anxious about what Felix will do.
I noticed something yesterday as I shopped the market and the tiendas loading up on food and supplies. There were a few Americans doing the same thing, but no one esle. I asked an American friend why and he said it is always like that; they never shop until they run out and then the stores are empty. Wonder why? Maybe they just do not have the resources to plan ahead?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well things are packed and ready to go. Thank everyone for the donations. We have many challenges facing us when we return such as finding a new location asap. It is hard to leave our land and family here. My daughter who lives in our house with her husband is expecting her first baby of Oct. 8 and I would love to be here. But I have to get the other kids started back in school and find the new hogar location so I will officially meet my new grandson on Nov. 20th when we return home for the holidays. Leaving family is the hardest part of this work for me. I have missed the kids at the hogar and my two dogs, a beautiful lab and a beautiful German shepherd. The lab almost died while we were gone, but Pedro , my great hogar director pulled him thru with the help of a vet. We have about 15 new kids at the hogar that I have not met yet so that will be fun. I am also looking forward to picking up our new little baby girl that is paritally blind and deaf. When I was a teenager I used to spend my week-ends working at a home for retarded children and I think they can be really special spirits. Altho I have an adopted downs son and he is just a normal bratty kid.
Evelyn and her sister with Pan en la boca are coming down the first week in Sept. to see how they can help us. The middle of Sept., my daughter and 6 onth old grandbaby will be in guate to sign some legal papers that only she can sign. Then the end of Sept. Mandala adoption services will pay us a visit.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bofore I start with the news, everyone check for the attachments. We are sending you pics and short bios of 30 of the children who need sponsors as well as our sponsorship/donation form. Ask everyone you can thing of to help us get these children sponsors.
Our time in the states is almost up. We fly to Guate on the 1st of Sept. [ again I would like people to know that none of our personal expenses are taken out of orphanage money; they are all paid for by our personal money. Anything you donate to the orphanage goes directly, 100%, to it and the kids.] I am a little nervous as the elections are on the 9th of Sept. and there has been alot of political violence. But old timers have assured me that Panajachel, where we will be living is safe and we will only be in the city for an hour. Some of you have sent donations and I want to first thank you and second tell you they are packed and ready to go in one of the 24 rubber made tubs we will be taking down with us. My family has a big job when we return turning our house into a home. If you remember we were chased out of our last house a week before we left in June. We found a great new one in Pana a few days before our flight out in June, but our belongings were just tossed in there and I only saw the place for a total of 20 minutes. When we return we have the job of turning it into a home for us and our 10 kids. It needs a new frig and some beds and some drapes I know, but it is a great place in a SAFE location. My kids start school soon after our arrival.
We have received several new children at the hogar. A sib set of 4 and then single kids varying in age from 11 to 15. I accepted a 1 year old this week with microcephalia [ not sure of the spelling ]. Anyway her brain is small. She is partially blind and deaf, but supposed to be a sweetheart. I will pick her up when I get back down there. She is currently at an orphanage that only does adoptions. Pedro, our new hogar director , has done a super job while we were gone. His big project now is looking for more beds as we are full up. Again thanks to Harvey and Rod Martin with Orphan Resources as Harvey is looking for us.
Our land that I want so badly so that we can become self sufficient and not have to worry so much about fund raising may be bought by someone else this week-end. The realtor called me and said the owner had told him this. Maybe it is true, maybe not. We have borrowed the $100,000 for the land, but do not want to spend it until we have enough for at least two of the major buildings [ which is about $50,000.00 ].
We are slowly getting child sponsorships, but need to get more people on board with the fund raising. We have one group doing an auction in Oct. and have a great musical group ready to do a concert in early Dec. If any of you can do any kind of fundraiser or write any kind of grant for us, please email me at 20.vicki@gmail.com
Thanks again for all the volunteer help we received this summer while I was gone and all the donations people have collected and sent. They are great. We have a great kids store in Apex, NC giving us some wonderful clothing donations.
Volunteer Missionary Movement is supplying us with a Registered Nurse starting in Dec. Alicia is making a two year commitment to us and we are very excited.
As soon as we get back to Guate and I can find my internet hook ups [ my new house has high speed dsl so no more internet cafes, I hope ] I will be writing the blogs on Mon., Weds., and Fri. I am also going to start adding pics to them as it will give you a much better idea of what is happening. In the meantime go to this new website www.isamundo.org. We are one of their projects and if you click on Casa de Sion, you can see some pics of the kids.
Thanks for your love of these children

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Well our time in the states is quickly coming to an end. I have been to the foot doctor as I had a severe broken foot in Guate two years ago and needed the steel plates and screws checked and to the eye docter as I needed my glasses updated. I have two more appointments with the dentist and my regular doctor.
I have had a wonderful week at music camp with some of my family and friends.
Last week we had our family summer reunion; we had one at Christmas. All 18 of our children came, all the married kids spouses and nine grandbabies [ three were in utero ]. In other words, everyone came. It was awesome. We did a baby shower for the baby boy due in Oct., a baptism for our 8 year old and birthday parties for two daughters. We went on hikes, had picnics and ate all our favorite foods. On Sunday, we added my sisters' family and my dad to our already large numbers. My three oldest granddaughters[ 4, 3 and 2 ] have been here with me this week and that has been great. Tomorrow, my husband and I take grandkids home and take some time for ourselves. We are spending tomorrow night at an inn that has been in existance since the 1700s. We spent the first night of our honeymoon there 30 some years ago. Then we will go visit the kids who have bought new homes that we have not seen. That way when I talk to them in Guate, I can visualize where they are. My hardest part about being in Guate is missing my family, especially the grandbaby's births. I think newborn come out so wise and with such spiritual vibrations. I love to hold them and soak it up.
The orphanage is now empty of volunteers for a short while. Ryan W., one of our great friends, is taking a gang down the end of Aug. and Bob, a regular visitor is coming again. We received 4 new children yesterday. A sib group ages 15, 13, 8, and 5. They came from one of the three new courts who have checked us out in the last month. I expect to be full to capacity shortly. Please help us increase the amaount of capacity to 100. Attached is a sheet listing cost breakdowns and the current kids [ minus the last four ] and their ages and sizes. If you can do a full or partial sponsorship [ it costs us $175.00 a month to pay everything for one child ] of a child please do. Or contribute to our building fund. Or do a fundraiser or collect much appreciated donations. Or come and volunteer. We love you for any and all you do.
Vicki Dalia
Director of http://www.safehomesforchildren.org

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We've been on vacation as you can tell by the last entry. Vicki was at music camp for a week and we have been visiting with the family.
But the orphanage has been VERY busy. Three local judges have been by in the last 10 days to inspect the orphanage. They were thrilled and we have five new children with promises of more. They are grateful to have a hogar nearby to send children. We are the only one at the lake taking our kind of kids. We got an 11 that had to spend 2 weeks in the hospital first as he had been beaten so bad. Also three little sisters living on the street ages 2, 4, and 6 and one little 3 year old whose mom would leave him and his brother and sister for several days at a time. We will receive the sibs soon.
We have two volunteer teams at the orphanage currently. A group of 6 young college girls who have cleaned and cuddled and played and bought shoes for all the kids. The best thing they did for me was organize the bodega [ our house that we store the donations in ]. They were there for 3 weeks and leave this week-end. Yesterday a group of high school kids and chaperones arrived. They will clean, cuddle and play also. Next week they will conduct a camp for the kids. They will cook an American lunch for them each day and do camp activities withm all afternoon. We love our volunteers at they do things with the children that the staff does not have time to do.

Soon we will add a fund-raising page on the website [http://www,safehomesforchildren.org ]
The challenge is to find a permanent location that will allow us to grow. Vicki is talking to local Rotary Clubs and whoever will listen that might want to help with fund raising. Another non-profit has volunteered to help raise money via sponsors for each child. That would be a great help; it would allow some of the other money to be channeled into the purchase of land and buildings.
We will put photos of the children up on this blogger so everyone can meet them. As you will see they are surprisingly like every other kid you know including your own. They love the idea that they have a personal sponsor that is paying for them individually. They love getting "IN" clothes and shoes. "IN" clothes for them is anything that does not have big holes or stains in it. They don't like being considered orphans; they love the idea of belonging. While most have had a rough start in life, they are making rapid strides toward success. At last report all were passing at school and some were excelling.
We have a new administrative asst. Rosa Bevins who will intro herself to you soon.
Anyone wanting to send donations can email me at 20.vicki@gmail.com. If they get here by the end of Aug., we can take them to Guate when we leave the end of the month.
Thanks so much for your help
Vicki Dalia

Thanks for your

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We are home in the states from Guate. A long travel day. 3 hours drive from the lake to the airport, then the flight home and then 3 hours from the airport to our home.
We finally had a birthday party for my 17 year old. She had missed it as it happened the day we had to flee our home. Today was the 3rd birthday party for one of my granddaughters. It was nice to be here for it. I will miss the one for my one year old grandaughter on Monday, but hope to see her soon. The states feel so safe. I can leave my doors open when I shop in our little town and my pocketbook in the cart at Wal Mart while I walk a few feet away.

While walking the streets of Panajachel we met an American that has lived down there for over 30 years--20 of those years in Santiago. He moved out 10 years ago because it was difficult. He reiterated that it was a violent area; murders were common. When we mentioned some of the problems the orphanage was experiencing from some powerful ladinos, he said there was an ingrained prejudice against the Mayans. Those in positions of power did not want to help them and made it difficult on those that did because it upset the social stata. The Mayans were at the bottom working for next to nothing ($10/day is great). Many work as guardians and gardeners for $100/month. You can imagine the upheavel if they were to be paid a normal wage. While no one readily admits it, it seems to be a fact of life--not unlike our own problems in the United States.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I hope this comes out in English as it is in Chinese on my screen. Well we have officially relocated to Panajachel, a much more tranquil town on the Lake. I found a great house for us yesterday while my husband and kids were moving us out of the unsafe one. The kids love being here as this is where they go to school so all their friends are here.
We also looked at the land that we want to buy for the orphanage in great detail Tuesday. It still looks like the best deal esp. after we have investigated a couple of more pieces. We have also ascertained that it is unsafe to leave the orphanage in its currant location in Cerro because of the high murder rate. We met with the head men of the Aldea, or small pueble, where the land is located. We have to have a right away thru some of their land for the road and electric. It was a very interestiing meeting as their goals for their families and their lives are the same as ours. They were excited about us locating there. Hope they do not want a lot of money for the right of ways.

Monday, June 18, 2007

well so much for us being okay staying in our house. We received a note yesterday on our windshield of our car telling us in spanish to leave our house and not come back. They did not want to hurt us. So I left with the kids. My husband. oldest son and security guard stayed with our belongings. We are packing up our belongings today and storing what we do not bring back to the states. We will lool for a house on the Pana side of the lake where we are relocating the orphanage. It is alot safer over there.Apparently my security guard seeing the murder has upset some people. Plus we are the only full time residents on the road and our going up and down the road all day interferes with someones plans. We will live at motels until we travel home.
Today is my 17 year olds birthday.

Friday, June 15, 2007

After the murder on Monday, we had a sizable earthquake on Wednesday. We've heard stories of a 6.8 but local stations are calling it a 5.4. I'm more inclined to believe the latter. There was no damage that we could see, but everything was shaking for a little bit. It's a eerie feeling.
In 1976 there was a 9.2 quake that destroyed much of Guatemala. Since then construction has changed and should be much more secure.
Our realtor is back and he is currently on the ground and running to check out the property we are interested in for the orphanage. He will be talking to nearby property owners to make sure everyone agrees where the boundaries are and how much they would want for easements because we need to get electrical power in. We also need a better access than is current. There are no property deeds and registry as is the case in the US so these steps are important.
We got another boy from a nearby pueblo. He's 15 years old. He was living with his Grandfather who could not feed or educate him. Seems to have a sweet personality.
I stopped by the hogar on Wednesday after being in Antigua. Josue, the new almost 3 yr old, was walking around in a snow suit and boots, enjoying the 75 degree weather. When I asked why he was dressed so, the staff said that he had been a little cold.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The good things first
We received three new children: a 19 year old living on the streets with her 7 month old son and a 15 year old boy living with his grandfather who can not feed him. Both teens are good kids. Just have dead moms and non existent dads.
The bad thing now. On Monday I sent my sons Seth and Tony up our road with an orphanage employee to go to the preschool at the orphanage. Then I drove up the mile long road to make sure they had a ride and drove home for a meeting with Pedro who is now director of the orphanage. He then walked up the road to catch a pick up ride over to the orphanage. On the way up he spoke a few words to the guardian for the house next to our house and then passed him. Pedro was about 450 feet pass him when he heard gun shots and turned and saw the man fall to the ground. He also saw 3 men in military uniforms and ski masks. They shot in his direction so Pedro ran and jumped on a pick up that was passing. He called me at home and told me to barrciade all the doors and lock Jody and I and Gabby in our bedroom until he got there with the police. He got there 3 hours later; some experience. The man who was killed was targeted by the soocial cleansing group that works the area. They are cleansing the area of robbers, drug dealers and kidnappers. Everyone has assured us we are in no danger. We still spent the night in panajachel, but came home yesterday and I actually slpet last night. Pedro slept at the housse with us and with his gun. Boy my life is some adventure.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

We've had a couple of new children come into the orphanage. One was a 10 yr old girl from around the lake. She had been living on the streets for years and she was a handful. The first thing she did was run away. Nico was bitten trying to restrain her. She eventually jumped in the lake to escape and Nico had to fish her out. She had a feral look, like she'd raised herself. One of the things she taught our littlest ones, going to pre-school at the hogar, was how to pick and choose the best worms to eat.
The 2 yr old sibling of one of our current children was also placed. The mother was so grateful. Over and over she thanked Vicki because her life was miserable and impossible for raising a small child. She had lost her factory job.
We are supposed to get a 19 yr old with her 6 month old baby on Monday. She's living on the streets and finally admitted that she can't make it on her own.
A sibling group from a local pueblo is supposed to arrive on Sunday. The mother cannot feed them. I'm also sure they are not going to school or doing anything else that they would need to have a chance here.

We are currently trying to develop a share program to help raise the money to match the grant we've been offered. We are thinking of $20 a month till it's paid off. We will have more details later but contact me if you're interested.

Vicki Dalia

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A quick blog
First we had a great day at the hogar on Weds. We had a circus troupe from Los Angeles come and entertain the kids. It was a blast. They brought costumes and face paint and dressed all the kids up.
Second we have a donor who has offered to match any donation we get for the purchase of the land and the cost of the buildings up to $100,000.00. So far we have had a $5000.00 donation. So we have $10,000.00 raised. Here is a cost break down
Land $90,000.00 that is 25 farm land acres, enough for self sufficiency and a money maker like avocadoes.
2 right aways $2000.00
electric lines $2000.00
road $1,500.00

Dorm and living space per 30 kids $25,000.00
We need two of these to start with

Auditorium, kitchen, laundry, office and staff volunteer building $50,000.00.

These prices are based on materials plus labor so if any of that is donated, that cost is gone.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well those of you who know me well know I tend to sometimes jump ahead of the program. That is what Jody is for, to slow me down. But he was not here the last email I typed so I need to backtrack alittle. A couple of things. First the American Legion is being very helpful and allowing me to present our proposal to them next week. We still have to follow procedure and be passed by their board.
As to the LDS church welfare, I have spoken with them and they told me we would have to work thru a NGO 501C3, which we are. Also they would need a list of the materials required, based on a specific plan, and a quote from a local supplier along with a project request form. They will require our financial statements showing an accounting of gifts,donations, income and expenses. Once these statements and forms are reviewed, and if approved by the area welfare manager, they would go to the area presindency for final approval. Quess I just like to think positive.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Well I have found our orphanage property. The one we were supposed to buy is not going to work out and so we started looking at other places. The one we found Wednesday is fantastic. Twenty five acres of beautiful rolling farm land 20 mins. above Panajachel. We have enough room for a 200 kid orphanage as well as our own school that we can also use to school the community children. There is plenty of room for vegetable and fruit gardens and farm animals to comnplete my dream of us being self suffcient.We can have a clinic there that would greatly benefit the surrounding Mayan communtiy. I already have people who want to donate dental and medical equipment for the clinic. I also have a donation of 5 new computers for the school.The Mormon church welfare Dept. has told me they would donate all the building materials for the buildings. We will have gorgeous accommodations there for volunteers as the views are out of Sound of Music with patchwork farms and mountains on one side and lake Atitlan and 5 volcanoes on the other. Land of this size is rare esp. at this price of $90,000.00.
I know that together we can do this. here is all we need:
1. $600.00 a month to make the land payment
2. Money to dig the well, about $2000.00
3. Money to pay to have the main road connected to the orphanage property, about $3000.00
4. The electrical lines connected from the Mayan pueblo to our property. I have a contact with engineers without borders who I hope can help with this.
5. The buildings built. Remeber I already have the materials donated. Does anyone have contacts with Habitat for Humanity. They have an office in Panajachel.

Well all I need now is to know which part you want to do. Just email me at 20.vicki@gmail


Monday, May 21, 2007

Well my car did not get hit last week or was it 2 weeks ago. Time flies when you are having fun.
I am at the hospitalito having myself checked for amebas. I love 3rd world countries.
We have a new staff member. She is a nurse who is getting her social work degree on the week ends. I am excited to have her as she is what I needed to start the malnourished baby program. Also she will complete a 9 page social medical form on all the children.
We are looking at buying land and building more of what we need in facilities. Jody and I are looking at a 10 and 25 acre tracts on Weds. If we like them we will buy right away. I think we can get the building materials free from the LDS church. Anyone who wants to contribute to the land purchase, let me know.
We are talking seriously about starting a school at our facility. I just got word that the government is pulling their money out of education and if you can not afford a private school, you do not go to school. Also with adoptions being shut down alot of the money making orphanages will close and those of us who do this for reasons other than money will shoulder the increase in kids.
We just got a call that they are bringing us a new 12 year old girl.
Keep us in your hearts and prayers.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My daughter Sarah and her husband and Adam my new granddaguhter Tali visited all last week. Definitely the hardest part about being here is the grandbabies being in the states. part of me would like to be the southern country woman who has all the kids and grandkids live within a 5 mile radius and no one ever goes anywhere. Obviously there is another side to me. The whoel orphanage was sick all last week with uppper respiratory infections. At our house we all had stomach flus. I am at the internet cafe praying my car does not get hit. We have changed over alot of staff. Got to go move my car.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My family and I have been recovering from a virus so life is slow. We have had a couple pieces of good news. One, the pueblo of Cerro de Oro where we are located, has agreed to let us have a nice building to have our preschool in. It will enable us to take children from the community of Cerro. They have never had a chance to go to a preschool before. We also will take younger special ed kids. My two sons, Tony who is 5 and Seth is 9 and down syndrome, go to the preschool 3 mornigns a week and love it. Today we had 3 volunteers from the hospitalito in Santaigo come sing and dance with the kids. Seth showed me his dance moves when he got home.
Also we desperately need to build. We have tried to work with the owner of the property we are on to buy it so we can build, but he is stalling. Also the next door neighbor does not want an orphanage. Today we were offered 4 acres of land in Cerro for $8000.00. It does not have buildings, but we know builders who can get things up quick, plus I had one organization offer the building supplies for free if we had people to build.
Did I mention 3 of my children have had chicken pox in the last month. We had to take my 7 year old daughter to the emergency room last night as she had swlllowed a whistle. Right before that I had to hunt my 16 year old daughter as it was dark and she was not home. She has a hard time understanding safety issues were meant for her. She is a beautiful blond girl who gets way too much attention from the men. Alisa the 7 year old was able to swallow completely the whistle and out it came today. But it is a little hairy driving after dark around here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two great things at the hogar this last week. One, one of our new employees had connections with the association that collected food for hurricane Stan victims. This man gave the hogar 1000 pounds of rice, beans and atole, a soy, corn heavy protein drink. We wanted some food storage and here it is. We bought heavy duty metal cans to store the bags in.
Next we had a Sat. noon surprise visit from the social worker from the Chimaltenago courts. She loved the hogar and wanted to know if we would take some more kids. Babies I hope.
I am interviewing all week social workers to work full time at the hogar.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We have had a national teachers strike and all the kids but the ones in private school have not had school for a month. The strike was finally over and then the week of Semana Santa started and they got another week. My kids, who also had Easter vacation, helped me all week handing out dresses, pants, shirts and shoes as well as Easter bags to all the kids. Thank you so much all of you great people who donated these items. The kids looked fabulous on Sunday with all their Easter finery. I also gave out tennis shoes and regualr clothes as well as sheets and towels to kids who did not have them. An eagle scout and his mom visited and had a treat for all the kids, plus donations that were badly needed.
I still need more shoes for older kids, but will give my staff money this week to buy them as well as socks for older kids. We gave out a donated CD and DVD player which was much appreciated.
Anyone wanting to donate can send items to my US address. Thank you to those of you who sent cash also. It will be used to buy the shoes and socks. We have people traveling to Guate all the time who can bring down donations so if you wish to send good quality items, send them to
Safe Homes For Children
3303 Pond Mountain Lane
Whitetop, VA 24292

For all who have not experienced Semana Santa or Holy Week.....This is probably the biggest vacation time of the year. It occurs during the summer and everyone takes off the week for a vacation--very much like july 4th in the states. There are religious processions all during Lent and it reaches a crescendo during Holy Week. Antigua, Guatemala is the capital of Semana Santa in the Western Hemisphere. People make carpets of colored sawdust--very elaborate carpets--and flowers that cover the streets. The carpets are 6´to 8´ wide and 50´ or more long. They are intricate and beautiful and done as a sacrifice because soon after their creation the procession will walk over them and destroy them. We don´t have anything equivalent to this in the states. People come from all over the world to see the processions and the carpets in the streets and to party.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

We had a great trip on Thurs. that an American owman and her sisters and mom paid for. They rented a big boat and took all the kids from the orphanage and my kids from my family across the lake. Then they bought all hamburgers and fries in Panajachel. The kids loved it. They also left some great donations.
On a sadder note. Betty and Vilma ran away from the orp. Both girls had lived on the streets for a long time and just could not adjust ot rules. betty left her 2 year old. Helen is eating now. At first she would not. But her big brown eyes are so sad. Life has just been hard for her.
Aisha went home to her family in the states. They sent me pics and she looks so happy. She has been with us since she was 1 and so hurt she would pick her skin raw.

Friday, March 23, 2007

We arrived safely in Guate and picked up the many donations the Newton family had left with Harvey plus Harvey's food supply. Then on to see our kids who we had been away from for 9 days. I sure did miss them. Now I miss peace and quiet. We have spent the last two days at the orphanage catching up with all the minor crisis. the rest of the time I have spent unpacking donations and organizing them. Today I gave out some of the much needed shoes and threw in the trash the ones the kids had on. I have my staff making a list for each child of what they have so on Monday I can start passing out what the kids need.
Thanks so much for all of you who gave so these kids can have a higher quality of life. I have to use the internt cafes for a while as banditoes stole my wireless box and printer.
Director of http://www.safehomesforchildren.org

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jody and I are in the states now and have been for the last 9 days. Our kids are in Guate and doing great with our security guard and our college daughter. Jody and I have spent the time visiting with our older married kids and our 6 granddaughters. That has been alot of fun. Jody got to participate in the name blessing of Tali, 3 weeks old, and I got to hold her alot and hold Baleigh who is 5 weeks. We ate at some great restaurants and just had fun as a 50ish couple traveling with no kid responsibilty. Tomorrow we return to 50 of them.
We have had some great donations to the orp that were at the house in the states when I arrived home. Jody and I are taking 4 suitcases of donations with us and Sarah is bringing 2 more when she comes a month from now. I have an Easter outfit and small easter toy for every child thanks to these wonderful donations.
The Newtons visited the orphanage while we were gone and brought a ton of donations with them. Thanks so much. there are alot of shoes which is great as I have 20 kids clamoring for shoes.
We have some new kids and some old ones have left. When I return I will try and get a list on here of current kids. We have a mother/sister/friend team coming next week with more donations and some volunteer time. They are going to go thru all the kids clothes and throw away the ratty stuff and give me a list of what each child needs. Then I will pull their needs from the donations. They are also going to foot the bill for a boat tour of the lake and a barbecue dinner for the kids.
Some of the city teens have been causing a rucus, all girls. They want a better cook and tv time and on and on, gosh they sound like American teenagers. I am reading a book now on the psychology of teenage girls. Hope it helps. We do have all the kids in school now and basically the city kids set up out here. next step is we need to build more buildings.
Oh I forgot to mention. Our famaily moved into a better house. During the moving process, someone entered the old house [ while no one was there] and stole our wireless internet box, our printer and a cheap keyboard and a bike. Good old guatemala. So now I will have to use internet cafes foe a while until all this gets straightened out.
Well I have got to go pack .
thanks for everyone's help.
Vicki Dalia

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Our orphanage teacher Neftali has gotten most of the city children in school out here at the lake. The children are gradually adjusting from city life to country life. T Atitlanhey now have two acres of grass to play on. The little ones adjusted pretty quick.
On Tues. Two nurses and 4 med students from the hospitalito in Santiago came out to the orp to visit and possibly volunteer. Also with them was an another American, a man who also has a nursing degree, experience with special ed and administrative experience. He lives in San Pedro Atitlan. He has been wondering around Guatemala for the last couple of months looking for somerthing to sink his teeth into. He settled on us today. He will live in a bedroom in our storage house and work with Neftali and the preschool with alot of his help going to my adopted downs son. He will be at the orp to help us get our staff better organized. The two nurses were a big help as we have now 5 or 6 kids with health issues. One of the nurses has known our 16 month Abrama since birth as she has seen him go in and out of the hospital. She did not know he now lived at the orphanage. As a matter of fact, she said she was surprised he was still alive. The last she saw him he was living with his parents. I showed her that he could walk with help for several steps, that his belly was no longer so distended and that the flatness of his head was much improved. She was very impressed.
Yesterday the pump went out at the hogar. No cooking, no functioning bathrooms--bad news! With our limited electrical experience we guessed it was a fuse and went into Santiago for another one. One the way we came upon a wreck along the windinng road that surrounds the lake. It appeared that a crazy kid was trying to pass on a blind curve and slammed headon into a mimivan being used as a taxi for the local Indians. The cars appeared totalled. Numerous injuries to the Mayans in the back of the minivan. One woman was stuck in that van. Just as we were ready to truck a few of the injured to the hospitalito, the bomberos showed up. All the roads in Guatemala are dangerous because the drivers have few rules and there are no traffic policemen. Chicken buses are notorious for flying around turns with a "I'm bigger than you are attitude." The woman who had devoted the last 10 years of her life to a program called "Safe Passage" was killed two weeks ago by a chicken bus that hit her driver head on. We always drive slow and defensively.
Tonight Harvey, our wonderful friend from Orphan resources brought out the last big truck load of stuff from the city orphanage. We have gotten many wonderful donations from people in the city. I will be sorry to see them end.
Tomorrow jody and I go to San Marcos for a morning off from the orphanage and our kids. I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The two new boys have settled in well. great kids. Neftali has already taught them a ton of sign language.
We have decided to start a preschool/special ed school at the orp with Nicho[ Neftali] as the director. He will hire some more staff. He also has tutoring the school children in the afternoons. We will have 8 " normal" preschoolers and 5 special ed. It will actually be cost efficient as we are spending $10.00 a day tranporting our 5 special ed kids to Santiago.
Abraham is finally starting to walk. If I hold both his hands he will grudgingly walk 5 or 6 steps. Cindy, the 14 year old who came with her two year old, is begging money from everyone she sees, at the orphanage, in Cerro de Oro and today at church. This is how she used to make a living on the streets.
Sat. we moved 12 kids from the city to the lake orphanage and their beds and kitchen appliances. The town of Santiago loaned us a truck and driver and Pedro and our son Johnny drove our van and moved them out here. It was alot of commotion, but Nicho who runs the orp on the week-ends , had them all at church today where Cindy tried to panhandle me in the bathroom. This move will save us about $2000.00 a month. And allow us better supervision. On Weds., Harvey with orphan resources, will use his truck and move the rest of the furniture from the orp. They are a Mennonite group who is a ton of help to us. Nicho has the job of getting all the school age kids in school tomorrow.
Friday Jody and I met with Ryan Williams, one of the board members. He had with him 5 other men from the US. They are starting a humanitarian tour group. There tours will be half tour and half volunteer work. We will be the main humnaitarian project. One of the men is a photographer who video taped me and the kids telling all their stories. Should be on Ryans website soon.
In the midst of this we celebrated two of our kids birthdays and valentine's Day and dealt with a major stressor with one of our teens.
Did I mention I had a new grandbaby born last Sunday. Baylee Mae Dalia born to Crystal and Joey. Some of you know Crystal as she is my administrative asst. Sarah Dalia Bodily, the head of the orp association, is expecting her baby and my grandbaby no. 6 anyday. Her name is Talia.
I really want to go to the states for a few days to see my grandbabies. Does anyone have any frequent flyer miles they want to donate?
Vicki Dalia

Sunday, February 11, 2007

We received two new boys from the courts on Fri. We were told there was no other orphanage that would take them. They are brothers 12 and 6 who were being used by their parents to shine shoes and then turn the money over to the parents for drugs. They can neither speak nor hear. They seem like good kids and thank heavens Neftali, who has been to school for special ed, does sign language. The boys know enough sign to tell us their names and ages. We sure do need donations of all kinds.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Last week was a big one. We lost our translator as his children are visiting from Canada for the next 5 months and he has moved to Antigua to be close to them. He quit last Tues. In court on Tues. the orphanage was awarded custody of the 3 little Tzutihil children until they turn 18. A psychologist from the courts came out today to assess that they were better off with us. He confirmed that that was definitely true. That day in court we were also awarded 3 more children. A 14 year old and her 2 year old daughter and 9 year old sister. They are all retarded except the baby. They had not eaten in 3 days. They were from the Carribean.
Fri. in court Wendy, age 6 who has been at the orphanage since she was 3, was awarded to our hogar until she is 18 as was Vilma, a 13 year also from the Carribean. She can be adopted as can Juan, Maria, Monica and Aura.
Next week we need to get serious about moving the city to the lake. I had an American volunteer help clean out my storage room. It sure was nice to spend time with an American woman. We can't take any more children unless we start getting some financial support, so if you feel so inspired you can send the money on our paypal acct. or call Flossie at 1-276-388-3092 and she will tell you where to send the money in the states. 100% goes to the orphanage.
Director of http://www.safehomesforchildren.org

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We had a husband/wife musical group perform at the orphanage this afternoon. They were great. Between their playing and me grabbing my 14 year old son and dancing, we had all the kids laughing, singing and dancing. The final number was the American song Twist and Shout and the kids loved it and learning the twist. So nice to see all those young uns who had such a sad start in life, laughing and dancing and just having fun.
Thanks so much to Yata and his wife Jean.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

We have decided to move all the city kids to the orphanage at the lake. The schools at cerro de Oro have agreed to accept them the second week in Feb. This will certainly simplify things for us as soon as we get them settled in. In the meantime their is quite a bit of work to do.
Let me tell you about two of the kids at the city orp. Their are sibs. The older is named Victor. He came to us a couple of months ago with alot of fanfare. His story was on the front page of the Pensa Libre, the newspaper for Guate City and the whole country. He made the front page becuase he had been so badly beaten by his father. Last week we got his 9 year old sister. Yesterday she had a major seizure and after our head nanny took het to the hospital, it was determined that she has a fairly serious seizure disorder. We need to have alot of tests done on her. She has started on meds. I wonder if she has shaken baby syndrome. Her dad certainly seems capable of that type of behavior.
Director of http://www,safehomesforchildren.org

Monday, January 22, 2007

Well we are back in Guate and at the lake. There is lots of excitement here. The biggest challenge seems to be moving the city orphanage. We have to be out in a month and have to decide whether to move all the city children to the lake or to another house we have found in San Lucas. We found out today that Adolfo quit without giving us any notice. We had noticed that his work was not up to par since we had been back, but have no idea why he quit. We have 25 kids at the Lake and 16 in the City. Jackie and Stephanie have gone back to live with their mother. Hope they are safe and happy. The baby at the lake has been in the hospital for the last two days. I am discouraged, but will try and keep up the writing.