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

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?