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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.
Vicki
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1 comment:

Karen said...

If you want to be an orphanage parent for the summer do you need to know Spanish? Where do you stay? Can I bring my kids?