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

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

here are the house pics. the first the baby room. the second the house. the third the kids eating in the kitchen/dining area and the last one of the bedrooms sideways.

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Here is a picture of Evelyn [ on the far left ] the founder of Pan-en-la-Boca with her sister and me [ far right].
We are standing on a hill overlooking beautiful Lake Atitlan. Evelyn was here last week and she and I spent much time planning the work projects for her team of 25 coming in July. They will be divided into several teams of workers. One team will work on the new land with the new construction helping to get the foundation ready for building no. 2 and doing some landscaping. Another will build a bunch of wooden shelves for kids clothes, kitchen equipment and the storehouse for donations. Another will work at the orphanage with the kids and a final one will buy crafts to take back in their empty suitcases [ after donations are taken out ] and sell in the states.

I always love having Evelyn come and she is such a great help to us.
This next picture is of one of our indigeneous families that we help. The four oldest children, Manuel, Rosa, Rolando and Carlos have resided at the orphanage for 2 years now. The mom and dad [ not shown ] can not afford to feed, clothe, or educate them so we do that. We give the parents enough money to come visit once a month. We are supposed to receive their sister Carolina any time now. The mom had a new baby a couple of months ago who died at birth. Manuel and Rosa are top in their class and all the kids are well behaved. Manuel has a great talent for art. I have watched him take a cartoon figure and copy [ not trace ] it onto paper perfectly. I would love to have someone sponsor him for art lessons and bring to him some art books.

The next picture is of Luis an 11 year old here. Luis was abandoned by his mom at age 1 and then raped by his male relatives until age 9 when he was taken by the courts. He has been with us two years. He is a handsome boy and can be very charming. He also has a violent temper [ not unexpected for a child who has gone thru what he has ]. He has a wonderful woman and her parents - in - law who are sponsoring him and wrote him a most inspiring letter. As well as donating to his upkeep. Our psychologist is also working with him.

The last picture is of our new rental house. It is very large inside and we have had alot of compliments on it. It is hard to please the courts in this country so that makes us happy. They came and saw Noah, the infant, the other day and were very complementary about how much he has grown and how well he is being taken care of.

The last thing I would like to talk about is our donators and volunteers. We have really been blessed lately. Evelyn has given us the money to buy two rocking chair for our baby program which were sorely needed and hard to find. While she was here and I was meeting with her, a large group of 12 churches in the states had a womens' work day and made 37 twin and crib blankets, a bunch of flat sheets, personal care kits, school supply bags, and infant gowns. They also donated a 5 by 8 trailer full of second hand clothes, shoes and toys. And an American company working in Guate City picked us as their orphanage to donate all we could haul in our van of new items from PriceSmart [ the Guate City equivalent of Sam's Club/Lowe's building supply ]. Pedro and I were able to load $3500.00 worth of much needed items in 1.5 hours. Holly has collected 77 more midwife kits that will help so much in lowering the infant/maternal death stat in this country and she had a church donate handmade clothing and quilts. In Aug., we have a youth group coming down to dig the septic system for our new buildings. These are just a few of the groups helping helping us out. You can not imagine what it means to us.

Some of our needs are
Money for building
Money to start the pregnancy center/midwife training center; I have spoken with a doctor who will donate her time to design the program along with all the stats we need and Holly, who is a midwife, has volunteered to come and help get it started.
Volunteer teams to work on both.
Our road put in on the new land; we have a Canadian family who has volunteered to do this and another Canadian group who is helping to find funding for it. It is badly needed. I was walking the land yesterday and while going down one of the steep hills I fell and am laid up for a couple of days. Thank goodness nothing broke.A road to walk on and dirve on would help so much.
A volunteer to work as my administrative asst. and get everything and everybody organized on a program such as Microsoft Word Access.

Sorry the picture with the new house disappeared. I am still learning about computers and all they offer.

Thanks to everyone
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A short blog today as I need to head to a staff meeting. Things are poking along. Pedro, my director, is at his home in Zacapa because his little girl is in the hospital. He picked up four new computers for us this past week-end. My daughter and son went with him because it was at a large orphanage where they are very self-sufficient. Lots of garden veggies, fruit trees and farm animals for both eating by the 250 kids and selling for cash. I wanted my daughter to take pics for me. I will try and post some of them soon.
We are thinking that my husband, who has built many houses in the states, and Pedro, who is good at bossing people around, are going to pair up and hire a crew and order the materials and do the building. It will save us a ton. We have a local man doing free consultation for things we need to know.
We have heard that the government is turning down people who want to open new orphanages and we know many are closing so it makes for interesting thoughts on what the future holds.
I did get a good lead on a doctor woman who wants to help us set up a medical program for both the orphanage and the community so plan to meet with her soon.
Oh yeah the picture. Some of my 4-6 year old gang of boys having preschool at the hogar. My cook is in the background. The kids had their first movie morning today. My 3 youngest here at home went and said it was good.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

I already wrote this once and did something wrong and lost it. So here we go again. The first picture is of my kids. My youngest bio daughter, four of my middle adopted kids and my oldest grandson [ 6 months ]. He and his parents have been visiting.It has been alot of fun having them. They kept our kids so my husband and I could have a night off in Jaibalita at an Inn we love there.
I love having my kids come. My oldest daughter gave birth in the states on Sat. to my fourth grandson under 6 months. He weighed 9.5 pounds. She weighs 120 pounds not pregnant so everyone was amazed. Her husband is in his third year of med school, but they decided to do a home birth with midwife. Sure wish I could be there to hold the whopper, but it will have to wait until we go home in June.

The next picture is the baby nursery. We have cribs for 7 babies. The paperwork is progressing on the two new ones we are supposed to get.

Next is Carlos in his new walker and Abram in his new car. In the middle is my daughter who is 2. The toys were bought with the $1500.00 that Neil, the Eagle scout raised. He also collected 2000 pounds of shoes, clothes and toys. His family is working now to buy a bus to bring everything down. They also are the ones who have committed to building our new road.

The last are some of the orp kids in front of the new rented house. They are ready to leave for school and have on the bookbags some of you donated.

Now for a little Guate news. The big City paper ran a three page article on the starving children of Guate. Gas has doubled in price here since a year ago. That affects us in two ways. One everything including food and building materials cost alot more and two we will need to take more kids. A rather gruesome story was of a baby found dead on the streets of Xela half eaten by starving dogs.
The reason I want to take more babies.

We now have volunteers helping a total of 18 hours a week working with the babies, the middle ones and teaching English. I think I mentioned last week we have a free weekly movie at a local small theater , play and group therapies and music classes going all with volunteer time.

Several people have asked what they can donate so here it is:
1] bactoban and neosporin for skin diseases; lice and also GENTIAN VIOLET which is very cheap. I know it stains permanently purple. I have used it for thrush with my babies and it works better than prescription meds.
2]lice and scabies meds. Can you tell it has been a bad week for skin problems.
3] FORMULA, esp. anti-allergenic and soy, bottles
4] diapers and pampers and wipes
5]good quality clothes and shoes in kids sizes
6]porta crib and twin bed sheets and quilts
7] wall hangings and posters
8] personal care products
9]school and craft supplies
10]OTC meds
12] baby seats, walkers, and cars
13] rocking chair
14 ]kitchen supplies : silverware, plastic cups and plates, utensils and pots and pans
CASH< CASH< CASH for building

Oh I forgot, we received 4 new computers this week donated by a Canadian group. Now we just need to build the rooms for the tutorials.
The whole community of Mayan Indians will benefit from this gift. Thanks for the cameras.

thanks so much
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Saturday, April 05, 2008

I noticed I had some comments. Finally, I guess some of you are saying, but you have to remember I turned 59 and this computer stuff is still new to me. If my kids have not shown it to me, I don't know about it. So one of you posted, you did not know how to contact me. My email address is 20.vicki@gmail.com. Another one asked about being summer house parents. We really need someone. Yes, you can bring your kids and no, you do not have to speak Spanish. Pedro, my director , is billingual. Your main job would be trying to keep American child raising standards into the orp. An example, next week I have to wrok with the baby staff to teach them to hold the baby when they feed them. Right now they porp all his bottles. But I bring the young ones to my house frequently and the love to be held and bonded to.
Now for the news. Did I mention last time that we heard thru the atty. for one of the big orphanages ,that has been doing close to 150 [ just a guess ] adoptions a year, that they found 5 babies in the trash cans in Xela and more abandoned at the hospital. That orphanage has decided adoptions are not going to start up any time soon. Since they depend on their money from adoptions, they are no longer taking any babies. They asked us this week to take a 2.5 year old girl who is microcephylac and developmentally like a 6 month old. Also they want us to take a 1 month old girl that is exactly the same age as my precious Noah. Anyone that knows me well knows I have always wanted boy/girl twins so that is what they would be. My husband and I went and visited the kids at the orphanage to make sure the 2.5 year would not be too much and she is adorable. We both fell in love immediately so have started the paper process of moving them to our place. It also is a money process, as I have to hire another nanny and pay for more medicals. Anyone who feels moved to help here, please do.
We moved the orphanage to a new location this week. A much better house that looks nicer and is bigger. Can take an extra 20 kids. And the rent was half the price. MY great staff pulled together and got us moved in and settled in 3 days. There is no yard, but it is right next to the big gym used to play basketball and a soccer field and basketball court. Also the only playground in Pana is a block away. I have been talking with a child psychologist from Denmark and she is going to start play therapy with the 4, 5, and 6 year old gang. We have 10 of them now. She and I are going to do a once a week therapy group for 8 of the teens. And she is going to help the orp social worker get social/psychological profiles filled out on each child. Also have lined up the music teacher at my kids school to start music classes at the orp one day a week. Also have got a local ministry that has a small movie room and a million dvds to show a free movie for the orp kids one day a week. We also think our 5 computers have arrived from Canada. We just need to pick them up and then build a room to put them in. More opportunity to help here folks.
Now for the building. Our two builders who we showed the land and the plans have dudded out. One came in with a bid way too high. Get sick of them thinking gringoes are suckers. The other is too slow. Taking over a week to get us a simple bid. But the builder we liked from back in Nov. popped into our house yesterday and said he is available. He gave us a good price back then when we thought we still needed to build the road first and we trust him and he is professional so we are showing him the new on the road location and the new plans on Tues. and hope he can get going asap. Also hope his price is still good. I would like to take a momonet and thank our many helpers. I am unable to write individual thank yous until I have a volunteer who wants to do that job. But we have an architech volunteering his time to try up very professional looking plans and many ladies sending doantions of clothes and materials as well as many some senidng donations of money. We could not do it without you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oh well enough philosophying. this last week was eventful. Carlos the baby in the hospital 3 weeks ago broke out with a rash over last week-end and I made the staff take him to a new doctor I want to use. She is not free, but is a pediatrician and good.. He had impetigo and still had bronchial pneumonia.The impetigo came from his stay in the hospital. My dumb staff had been dividing his bottle of amoxicillan with 3 other children with coughs. So I had to get tough [ not easy for me to do ] and give them the word that he was to be isolated with a caregiver for him only and be given his new and better antibiotic religiously. if they screwed it they were in trouble. Then I have had to check it twice a day. I made them take him back on thurs. and he is doing alot better. Monday he goes for a final check and hopefully will get an all clear sign from the doc. Then Thursday I was thrilled to get a newborn. The PGN attorny [ over the orphanages] wanted to give him to a fancy orphanage in Solola, but they would not take him as there atty. has told them not to take anymore babies to show the government that they can not just drop off kids and not compensate. I know the woman who owns and runs this hogar. She said already in Xela, they have found 5 babies in the trash and many more abandoned at the hospitals. Well I had the staff take Noah with Carlos on Thurs and have physical. He had a bad sinus infection so the doc gave him an antibiotic. I also had her run routine tests and they came back HIV pos. The woman who runs the orp in Solola said she had a 5 year old test pos for HIV and then the next day he broke out with measles. When he was over them, his test came back negative. So I have high hopes for him. Jody is not sure he wants him to stay, but I sure do, so he is here for now.
Then we spent two mornings meeting with builders on the land. gosh I love it up there. It is a real aerobic exercise hiking it. I would prefer living there.
I wrote the above on Sunday. Both Carlos and Noah went to the doc on MOn. Carlos is well; over both the impetigo and the bronchial infection. I had him and Noah at the house today for several hours as the orphanage is moving into a much better house until we finish building and it was chaos there. The docs office called my employee about 3 in the afternoon and Roy relayed the message to me. NOAH WAS HIV NEGATIVE. I yelled so loud I know half of Pana heard me. he is way too little to be burdened with so much.
As soon as we finish moving in, I am going to send my social worker to Xela to see what we can do about the abandoned babies up there.