- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: March 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Here are a few more pictures of the last two
days activities . The top one is the new psychologist from Denmark who is volunteering with us. She and I are going to run a childrens' sexual and physical abuse group once a week. I used to do these groups in the USA. She will also be helping us do social/psychological histories on all the kids. The kids in the picture are the children in the orphanage who are in the preschool. The pictures were taken on the roof of our current home . It is the only place we have to hang clothes and do the preschool. We do have a certified teacher who runs it.
The picture of the little girl is Ana Maria. She just had her court date to determine where she will stay. With us or back home to her parents. She told the court psychologist she wanted to stay with us as her parents beat her with pieces of stove wood. pretty big wood to beat such a lttle girl.
The little baby to the left came to live at the hogar yesterday. He is one month old and is malnourished. We sent him for a pediatric visit and he weighs 7 pounds. I kept him yesterday and he has great sucking energy so I think he will be fine. He had no name and the doc made us give him one so it is Noah Dalia. Anyone who would like to sponsor little Noah, he sure needs one. We spent $150.00 yesterday just getting the proper baby equipment for him.
The last picture is of my youngest adopted daughter who could not stand that no one was taking her picture.
Thanks to all our donors. You are a big help.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This picture is the road the land is on. My husband, Jody, and orphanage director , Pedro are meeting with one of 3 builders to get prices for construction. The buildings will start being built on this part of the property. That is a primary school in the background

Here are some pictures of the new land. the land is on four plateaus that add up to 17 acres. This is the second plateau, not able to be seen from the road, but easily accessible. This is the one we are currently clearing for the gardens. It had corn on it last year. the black area was burnt off. I want to put the cement soccer and basketball and little kids riding area where the black stuff is eventually.

The next picture is of the upper plateau, the one on the road where the buildings will get started being built.

Here are a couple of pictures for you. The one on the left are the two youngest at the orphanage right now. Carlos and Abram.[ Although we did get a call from the courts that they are sending us a 5 month baby from the hospital in Solola. They are riding in the double stroller that the Eagle scout raised the money for. My daughter bought it in the states, second hand for $50.00 and brought it down. The picture on the right is most of our staff at the orphanage at our weekly staff meeting. The little girls mother works for us and they both live there. The little girl has cancer and has to receive chemo and the mother had not been able to find a job. She is a good worker. Anyone that wants to help her with expenses of the cancer, let me know.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I want to write about a couple of the babies at the orphanage today. This is Carlos . He is 15 months old. This was taken back in Oct. right after he came to the orphanage with his 14 year old mother. He and his mother had a court date a few weeks ago to determine where they will stay on a more or less permanent basis. It might be go back home or continue in our orphanage or go to another orphanage. We knew the mother wanted to go back home and that is what she said when the judge asked her. She must be retarded because she then told him she was getting paid 100Qs to have sex with guys and needed the money, plus she wanted to go back and drink and party with her friends. Well the judge then requested she be sent to an orphanage for prostitutes and the baby stay with us. The mother, who was holding the baby, threw the baby in the air and my social worker barely caught him before he hit the ground. We then brought him back. About that time a flu virus went through the orphanage and Henri the 4 month old baby and Carlos had to be hospitalized. If you come visit us make sure I take you to the local national hospital. I visited several times while those two were sick and it was an experience.
So they came home from the hospital. Henri and his 18 month old brother William were with us a month during which time Henri gained 2 pounds and became somewhat healthy and then the mom wanted them back. Since we had temporary guardianship we could not do anything. She moved to the city with them where there is better prostitution. I went to the states for 9 days and when I got back had company of my kids and grandkids so would just visit the orphanage and make sure everything was running right. I did not like the way Carlos was being cared for as my staff's idea of recovery was to leave him in a crib in a dark room all day away from everyone. I started bringing him to my home everyday and giving him stimulation and fresh fruit juices and yogurt [ to counteract all the antibiotics he got ] and he has made an amazing recovery. One of the hardest jobs down here to retrain my staff. My social worker/nurse got mad at me for giving him fresh air and sunshine and I had to just ignore her. Plus they want to dress the babies like they are in the middle of a -50 degree snowstorm. I will start next week having weekly staff meetings trying to correct alot of the cultural things I find unacceptable; a very hard task as this is what they have done for generations. Women who have just given birth stay in a dark crowded room in a crowded bed for 30 days after birth. Bet they have some serious post-partum depression.Carlos , or Charles, is a doll. Loves to be involved with people and loves the food we are feeding him. My whole family is working with him and he is crawling now and tried to stand yesterday. My husband taught him to say hi.
Another good story. We have paid and bought all the land; 17 acres of farmland. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had the orphanage gardner and all the older boys as well as my two older boys start clearing the fields so we can plant crops. We have several people in mind for builders and hope to get that going soon. I spent 4 hours just hiking the land all the way down to the river, really a stream during the dry season, but I am sure a raging river during the wet. I want to build our house out there so we can be close by. Fruit tress will cost us about $5.00 each and we can grow oranges, lemons, tangerines, apples, pears, avocadoes and peaches. It was a magical place and I fell in love with it.
I really appreciate the donations that were in my home in the states when I got there and which I brought back down with me. laura you sure spent alot of time and money getting the kids some great things. We can't do it without all you wanting to help. Anyone want to come and spend an extended time as an orphanage parent. we sure could use it, esp. this summer when we go home.
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

This blog is for you Pud, an attorney friend who helps us work thru this a year ago.
Many of you have been to our old location at Cerro de Oro. We had two small houses and about an acre of beautiful land that had not been occupied for 15 years. We were looking for an orphanage location two years ago when the attorney owner of this property called us and said he heard we were looking for a spot to locate the orphanage. We looked at it, loved the gardens and thought we had enough space to build more buildings and put in a playground. So we did a lease purchase. $20,000.00 for a year and the rest paid at the end of the year when we would get the deed. Well thru out the year, the attorney who owned the property next door kept telling us he owned half of the grass land which would keep us from having a playground. He also had his guardian chase the kids off the property every time they went out to play. So we got a little worried. Our atty. owner kept saying " don't worry ". At the end of the year, I called our atty. owner bunches of times to come from his home in the city out to the lake and let us get the deed straight and buy the land. I had a couple of work teams coming for the summer and wanted to get some work done once we had a deed. Our atty. owner never came or even answered my calls. Finally I concluded he could not give us the property he had promised and convinced my husband we needed to look eslewhere. So we did and found our other acreage. We went home for the summer and the orphanage remained where they were.
When we returned, the atty. owner called me and wanted his money all $100,000.00. I agreed to meet him at the property the next Sat.I went thru the whole above scenario and told him we were not going to buy, but would like to pay a reasonable rent rent until we finished building. He was mad and his reasonable rent was another $20,000.00 for a year on houses that were worth about $500.00 a month total. So I told him no, we would move immediately which we did. We spent time and money replanting grass where all the little feet had trampled it and replaced some glass as well as did clean ups. And then moved on with all the other orphanage crisis.
Well Tues. we , my husband and I, were served with papers to pay about $20,000.00 to this atty. owner. We had 3 days to answer. He also requested our bank accts., the ones that feed the orphanage kids, be frozen and that my husband and I not be allowed to leave the country until it is settled. He also said the orphanage was not properly registered. Man did I freak out. We straigtened the last one out first. The orphanage atty. assured us she had the paperwork to show we were properly registered. Then yesterday we talked to a Pana atty we use to draw up temporary guardianship papers and realized real quick he was out of his league. So I called the American Embassy for a big city atty. and got an answer machine that told me to read their website and leave a message. I did and they have yet to call me back. Then I called a friend who has lived here for 30 years and bought and sold many pieces of land and he gave us the name of a great atty. who also speaks English and is honest and ethical. We drove 3 hours over very bumpy road construction and met with him at 3. His first words after reading the papers were. Man this guy is a real prick. He thought we had a great case, said the judge had already refused to demand we stay in the country and he thought he could keep that from happening. He found 22 ways to overthrow the lawsuit and two criminal charges against this atty. owner. The atty. owner was petitoning the courts to have us evicted and we have not been there since Oct., plus the man was trying to sale us land he did not own. Sure hope it all works out. Hi going to draw up the counter papers on Sat. and deliver them to us on Sun. and then we will take the and file them on Mon.
After that we drove back over the same road work except this time they had dynamited the road and it would not be open until 10pm. Luckily i got out of the car to ask a guatemalan man what was happening and he rode with us and showed us a short cut over very hilly, bumpy dusty roads that got us home by 7.
Our daughter, sil and grandbaby have been visiting and leave today so gotta go. We are suppsed to get a 16 year pregnant with her dads baby and a one month who mom is nuts.