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

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.