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

Monday, May 26, 2008

It has been a soul searching last few days. The first thing that happened was a 50 child orphanage near Xela was closed down due to sexual abuse of children by the male director. At least that is what they said. Now I take everything with a grain of salt. Because sometimes the government just wants to close someone down for political reasons and will use any excuse, real or imagined. So that having been said, we have been asked to take some of the children and they are processing the papers this week. We had to buy some new beds. I found out about this on Fri.
Sat. a gringo man, who works with handicapped children, came by our house to speak with us. He said he comes across children all the time who are handicapped ; don't have parents who can deal with it and need a place to go. Some are at death's door from malnourishment. There is a big orphanage that used to take the kids, but they have reported they can take no more until someone dies. Plus even tho this orphanage is very clean and the kids are well fed, they are left in cribs for 22 hours a day.
Today, the Pensa Libre--the big newspaper for the country--had a one page article on how the children are being abandoned and there is no where for them to go. With adoptions ended many orphanages are closing and are refusing to take the children. It is causing major problems in the cities. Especially no one wants the newborns. They, btw, are my favorites.
I am willing to take any and all of these kids, but need money and supplies and volunteers.
It breaks my heart to see the pictures in the paper of the firefighters holding the infants and toddlers that no one wants. Or to think about the handicapped kids in their cribs 22 hours a day or starving to death in a hammock behind their family's shack. My heart is so sorrowful as I write this because I know I am just one person who can only do so much. But with your help I can delegate and manage a team of people who can do alot. All we need again is money, supplies and volunteers. So please think about it.
I want to thank the people who are contacting me and are working hard to help us to help the kids. You know who you are.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just had a weekly staff meeting and I have to say it went quite well considering almost everything I had to say was hard to hear. First was dealing with the ever challenging lice. The staff had been slack and the lice had gained a foothold that ended with all boys getting baseball cuts and two of the little girls, per the reccommendation of our volunteer doctor. So the first order of business was that the lice be dealt with on a daily basis and the kids hair combed out with lice combs everyday so if any problem develops it is conquered right away.
Second we went thru economic issues. They were going to have to start using cloth diapers and wash cloth wipes. Not a big hit among my staff. And third they could only use two tanks of gas a week as gas has gone up 30% in the last few months. The cooks like to start boiling their water for cooking 30 minutes ahead of when they actually need it so I went over some economic ways to conserve.
They handled it pretty well; perhaps because I had brought them sub sandwiches as a treat.
GOOD NEWS. We hit water in the well at 60 feet still being dug out by hand. They are laying block on the house. We have someone who knows someone in ATandT that may help us get the money for the second building. The two babies are getting FAT. Carlos is walking. We have enough volunteers that the littles get to go for walks everyday. Our volunteer psychologist is being a big help with troubled kids.
We got a new 11 year old boy yesterday and he had been with us one hour before he ran. It took 4 staff people 6 hours to find him sitting on a bus ready to leave for Guate City. They brought him back and he tried to escape by taking out the glass in the window upstairs. We have asked the courts not to send us runners as we have no means to confine them. This boy it turns out has run numerous times and they knew it.
Well gotta go supervise supper for my family.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We have been so blessed with donations and volunteers lately. The first picture is off the orphanage van full of all the donations we brought back from Price Smart. Thanks Mike.Then we got a suitcase of boys clothes. Thanks Stacy. Vanessa brought down a bunch of stuff. Little girls clothes, OTC meds, plastic sheets, a kid computer and much more. Sunday we had a touring group of opera singers who left a ton of personal care kids with shampoo, soap, toothbrush, etc.

We just got an intern for 5 weeks from my University. NC State. And in mid July we have 25 volunteers coming for a month to work on the land planting, landscaping, etc. that is in addition to our other already planned groups. It keeps me busy and inspired. And a couple of girls are coming from Utah for a month.

I have a couple of pics of our newest little one. He and Noah stay at my house 3 or 4 afternoons a week. It is alot of fun for us here. His name is Edwin and he was the one folund abandoned on the road. They found a dead baby at the market here just 3 blocks from the orphanage so this week we are trying to figure out how to get the word out so other babies can be dropped at the orphanage door. Pedro is picking up our new one year old tomorrow and taking Fernanda to visit her Mother's grave and bringing back her sister to live with us. We are also supposed to get a 3 year old girl being sexaully abused by relatives.

The pics are not cooperating and going where I want them to, so you will just have to guess what pic goes where. The last two pics are of the building team. One is of the actual builders and the other of my husband and Pedro who are managing the team. My husband will write the building news next.
We hired a maestro de obra to supervise the construction of the first building. He is much like a contractor. For Q200,000 (about $30K) he will handle the labor on the construction that includes everything but the septic, which a volunteer team will do, and the doors and windows. We expect the materials to run another $30K. The building is 10.5 meters square (roughtly about a 1000 sq. ft.) with a second floor and 3rd floor balcony. We had an architect design a building and I changed the layout slightly to eliminate the hall. This first building is a girls' dorm on the ground floor and a boys' dorm on the second.
We want to build a second building adjacent to this one with about the same dimensions. It will house the kitchen and dining area, bodega (storage), offices and classrooms. We expect the cost to be about the same. While we have the money for the first, we need to raise the money for the second. We will need your help here.
We are digging a well--by hand! A hole about 3 feet wide is--as of yesterday--15 meters down which is about 46 feet or so. The soil is very wet and we hope to end about 20 meters. We expect the cost to be about $2000 once it is lined and we buy a pump. One man is down in the hole with a shovel filling a 6 gallon bucket with dirt and rocks. The other man pulls it up with a rope and then lowers it again to repeat the process.
Well gotta go work. Life is definitely interesting here.
Vicki and Jody

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Well I have alot of stories to tell. The first picture is of my adopted baby who turned 3 today. We just had a great birthday party for her. Holding her in the picture is my almost 21 year old daughter who is currently in China teaching English to 4 year olds. She wrote us on Sunday and said she had decided to go on a mission for our church. This will be such a great experience for her.
The next picture is of some of my children standing beside the children of the orphanage gardener. Anselmo has worked for us for 2 years now and his mom is my personal housekeeper. All their money goes to educating their children. Juana, my 70 year old maid, did not go to school and Anselmo, our 38 year old gardener, only went thru 3rd grade. They could use help if anyone feels so moved with paying for Claudia's high school and Alex's middle school. The kids are very conscientious students.
It has been an exciting week here. We started our first building on Monday. We have hired a building team and they are in the process of leveling the ground and will put in the footers next week. Of course, our building is the only one in the last 10 years that had to have building permits, septic permits,etc. in this mini aldea of Los Robles pop. 1000. But we managed to get it all together. We are having a well dug by hand. The diggers are thinking they will only have to go down 8 meters which will be a very cheap water supply. Start raising money now so we can afford to build the second building in 5 months.
The girl on the bridge is Fernanda. She came to live with us 2 years ago when her mom went to jail for drugs and her dad took the 3 younger children and left her, then 12, to fend for herself. The dad, btw, had broken her arm twice before the age of seven. Her mom got out of prison last spring and instead of coming and getting her, left to illegally go to the USA. Fernanda overdosed on aspirin when she heard. Well Tues. was her birthday and her grandfather visited and told Pedro, my director, that her mom had been killed by a drug gang in Guate City two months ago. Shot 15 times. Fernanda is handling it well.
Her grandad loved the orphanage and has asked us to take her 6 year old sister and 9 and 15 year old brothers. They will come next week.

The last picture is of one of my nannies. Eva [ she has a 3 year old with cancer] is holding our newest baby. He came on Thurs. He was left on the side of the road between Los Encuentros and Chichi. People walking by found him. Just born and a premie. He has been in the hospital for a month and now lives with us. What a sweetheart. My husband wanted to name him Edwin for some unknown reason. We came to find out that his legal papers were on his body when found and his birthmom had named him Edwin, much to our surprise.
We are getting a one year old next week when Pedro goes to the city to get Fernandas sibs. I don't know his story yet. Our two month old, Noah, who we got a month ago is now so fat and cute. He is starting to smile at everyone.

Well that's the news.

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