- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: August 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010


The pictures are of an aldea by the name of Nahuala. They have nothing. No shoes, no coats, no food, one set of wet clothes and muddy floors in their makeshift shacks. Half the children had no shoes on in 45 degree rainy weather. One picture is of a very shy little girl who had muddy, bloody feet. We spent our first days assessing needs of three aldeas. This one. Los Robles. and Nueva Victoria. Nahuala was the worst. We cmae back later with Shelter box tents, shoes, clothes and 100 pounds of corn, 10 pounds of beans, 10 pounds of sugar and a box of soap for each family. THANKS TO YOU WHO DONATED THE MONEY FOR THIS FOOD. IT WAS LIFE SAVING. Also a month's supply. I have pictures of the tent day I will post later.
But I want to get this out now as we are sending a container down the end of Sept. It is by far the cheapest way to ship. $3.50 a sq. ft. but I need your donations here by the 20th as we will be packing it then. We are in desperate need of shoes [ from little guys to adult size 9 ], socks, underwear, jackets and sweats for adults, work gloves, ponchos, school supplies, OTC meds, medical equipment and if close enough furniture for our directors houses and farming equipment like a tiller.
Write me at 20.vicki@gmail.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More from Guate

We have been so busy the last few days. We set up tents in Nahuala on Thurs. for families that had very crude shelters, like boards loosely put together and old tin roofs done the same. The boards were so far apart and the tin so loose that rain came in freely. Their floors were dirt and always muddy. They slept on boards raised about an inch from the ground with whatever they could find for blankets. It is always raining there, it seems and the children had no coats. By the time we left on Thurs., all the kids had jackets and some had shoes. Each family had a tent with a floor and sleeping mats and blankets. They had water jugs and water filters. The tents are beautiful and the families were so..... happy. No rain, no wind and no mud floor. We are going back out there today to give out a 100 pound bag of corn and 10 pounds of beans and soap and sugar to each family. We did the same on Friday to the 63 families of Panamache { now called Nueva Victoria}. I have to go pack and get ready to deliver food, so will have to write more later. Also have a bunch of pictures. I usually go yo church on Sunday but this is our only day we can delvier the food as it was the only day I could get a 4 by 4 to make it back to Nahuala.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

here in guate

first let me say i am at an internet cafe with no caps that work on the computer and is missing several keys. love guate. we have been so busy. the first day here mike with shelter box tents called me asked if we needed more tents. he had given us 50 some right after the hurricane and he was in the country ad had more and had my guate number. i told him we were going to do a needs assessment the next day would let him know. well in one day we found over 1000 homeless people living in horrible shelters or out in the open. the children were so scik from living in the cold , 40 degrees, and rain with only a tshirt and pants and some with no shoes. 600 of them had zip in the way of food. not even beans and corn. safe homes for children is buying 1500 DOLLARS WORTH OF 100 POUND BAGS OF CORN AND BEAANS AND BOXES OF SOAP. GUS, OUR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR FRIEND HERE IN COUNTRY GOT A TRUCK FROM THE MUNICIPALITY AND IS PICKING UP ALL THE TENTS TODAY. THEY WEIGH 110 POUNDS EACH AND COST 1000 US DOLLARS EACH. WE WILL BUY THE FOOD TOMORROW AND SPEND ALL DAY TOMORROW, FRIDAY AND SAT SETTING UP TETS AND GIVING OUT FOOD IN 3 COMMUNITIES. IW ILL BE SO HAPPY FOR THE CHILDREN TO GET OUT OF THE RAIN AND COLD. I HAVE SHOES FOR THE WORST OF THE CASES.either there is no caps or all caps. gosh i miss my computer . other organizations are beggin us for small neds tools. please go to all your doctor friends. we need the thing you look in the ear with. a stethascope and the thing you listen to the babies heart beat with.. we need them for several clinics. also many meds as the homeless people are all sick. also moey for food. and to ship our container that has many pairs of shoes. oh yeah we are out of formula.
yesterday at our mamas gorup we had 44 mamas adn 100 children. another crippled boy who can not walk, a two year old who had been hit on the arm so bad it was broken and the dad would not let us take him to the hospital. we have a 13, 9 and crippled 6 year old lving by themselves that need help. toms of malnourished and starving kids and moms. i will write more and send pictures when i return. but samuel has his new races and walked acroos the room to me with a hugh smile on his face. he walked perfectly. it was amazing. the 8 year old who came in yesterday and can not walk is named tony and is 8. my son at home is named tony and is 8 so i fell in love with him immediately. my twins were there anad they are so healty and cute thanks to the formula and clothing we give for them. i started teaching the mamas the steven covey 7 habits yesterday and they had no idea what being pproactive meant, but by the time i finished they said they knew and marie is going to work with them on the habits for the next year helping them grow in thier effectiveness in life. i love our new managers, russ and marie. they organized all our books and classified them ad we now have a genuine library, the only one for an hour around.

as far as our reunion here is what i was thinking. tripp comes in fri. he is at my house fri. jenn comes in sat to rental. her fam and tripps fam stay there til mon when tripp leaves. bets and hannah move in to rental cabin then. erin and fam stay with us in guest bedroom and bets and hannahs bedroom or emmies bedroom whichever is easier. sarah and fam stay with flossie. sunday we have a big fam dinner and a photograpeher. do not who that will be yet. any suggestions. monday, tues and weds, we do park and pcinic and hike, creeper trail and childrens barter theatre depending on weather. thurs just chill. bethany cooks italian with scotia and alisa as sous chefs and we all clean up. any takers for the other days. i will buy breakfast and lunch food for everything esle and will buy supper food if i have cooks.
well gotta to go meet with the managers..

love all of you and really miss you, but sure do realize how lucky you have it.
mom and vicki

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Formula and Building a Communidad

I leave to go to Guatemala tomorrow for two weeks. We will be looking at all the homeless communidads and assesing needs. We have about $2000 donated dollars for food. We have a man trying to raise money for a water system for them. We also have a man that is talking about providing housing for 76 of the families. We will be working to aid in the accompishment of all of this. We will also be meeting and training our new directors and buying chickens for our completed 100 bird house. And checking out all our existing programs.
We got a call last night about the twins that we are helping with their support. They are two months old and can not tolerate any formula but Enfamil Supreme. It is not available in Guate so I went to Walmart and bought $275 worth of formula for the babies in our programs who need special formula. Thanks to one of our donors we had money for this.
So the pictures are of one of the twins and children from the communidad that will receive the homes.
Thanks to you our donors.
Also thanks to my two adult daughters who have come in babysit our kids still at home.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

We had a man from TN go down to volunteer recently. I had told his story about a dream/vision he had of a young boy in a blue and yellow shirt a few blogs ago. After the dream, he had searched the internet until he found the boy from a picture I had posted on a blog that same day. So Bryson felt impressed to help us. He went by himself two weeks ago, but in Sept. wants to bring his wife and two young children down. Bryson helped with our projects in Los Robles while there putting in a cement wall on the third floor so that rain water would drain better up there. Then he visited the homeless villages. The 24 families in San Andres and the 76 families in Panamache. He was very impressed with their need for everything. He took incaparina to the children and clothes and shoes from our storehouse. He came back fired up to help the 76 families get water. They basically have none: to bath, to drink,etc. He wants to raise the funds to put a permanent water system in. The only problem. There is no electricity there so pumping it up from a hand dug well would take a generator and trying to collect rainwater would only work 6 months out of the year when there is rain. ANY IDEAS? WANT TO HELP? Push the donate button. The pictures are of the kids that belong to the homeless families. The one of the plastic bags is their makeshift shower. I would guess you would have to be pretty dirty to go do that.
I have been asked to supply the finances for 4 teachers to go to the 76 families to teach the children. There is no school there, but there are 120 elementary children who need the structure and learning supplied by school. CAN YOU HELP? To do this for the next 4 months will cost $4000.00.
Also we have enough donations to send a container down. I have a hospital and dentist willing to give us equipment when the container goes down. I can buy a container and send it for $10,000.00. The container will belong to us and can be used as a storage shed. With all the projects we are doing, we need a storage shed.. So we need money for this. We also would like to take our preschool program/lunch/elementary tutorials to Panamache. They will donate the land and do the building. We supply the materials and hire the cook and teacher. Can you help with this? Please pass this blog to everyone you know. We need some grant writers or just plain rich people. But we like the $10.00 a month people too and the praying ones. Put this blog on your facebook. Do what you have to to help us grow and help the people. 100% goes to the people to help them help themselves.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Our New In-Country Directors

Robert is no longer able to do all we need to have done as the Director of our projects. He has his own foundation and it needs more of his time.He will stay on to handle the finances. Russ and Marie Nielson have come on as our live-in in country directors. Marie is Guatemalan, but has been living in Utah going to school there. Russ is from the USA. He has been trained as a police officer. Marie is a certified Guatemalan teacher. They have worked with slow learners and are excited about working with us. The picture is on them.
Here is the blog excerpt that Russ wrote when he was in training with Robert last week.

"We left from San Lucas around 11:15 and started the trek to the center. About half way we stopped at a restaurant called “Tikal”. It is a fancy little restaurant along Pan-American Highway #1. After lunch we finished the trip to the center. When we got here, the doors were locked and I couldn’t get in. We called Jose, (the groundskeeper who happens to live 100 yards away from the center) to see if he had keys to the building. He didn’t have any keys, so we had to call Dominga (the cook) who had the keys. She lives in the town of Godinez, which is about 15 minutes away from where we were. She finally got there and unlocked the doors. I was finally able to unload all of my stuff from the back of my grandpa-in-laws SUV so they could leave.

I spent that night alone at the center; it was kind of strange to be sleeping in a new place in the middle of nowhere all alone. The next morning Robert, (the current director) came by around 7:15 and picked me up in a microbus. We had some errands to run in Panajachel and Solola. After our errands Robert showed me some of the sites around Pana.

Panajachel is a quaint little city, where there is the highest population of gringo’s and a place where basically everyone smokes marijuana haha.
We were told by the owner of the center to leave the microbus at the company rented house in pana, so we had to get back the ghetto way haha. What an experience…… the first leg of our almost 25 mile journey without a car was by Tuc Tuc. If you don’t know what a Tuc Tuc is, imagine a 3 wheeled motorcycle with an extra seat over the rear axle; add a little canvas ceiling, a windshield, and 14 year old driving it, and you finally have a Guatemalan style Tuc Tuc.

The next part of our journey was by pickup truck, we were luckily enough not to have to squeeze in the back with the other 20 passengers; we got to squeeze up with the driver in the front cab of the LITTLE tiny pickup truck. We finally got to a part of the trip called the durangee, It is a place where a giant mudslide has wiped out the road. The only way across the durangee is by foot. It is about a 400 yard section of thick sloppy Mud, that if you take even 1 misstep you’re going to sink to your hips in the nasty sludge.

We made it across the durangee without any major incidents minus a near miss with me, where I got mud up to my knee lol. After the durangee, we caught a microbus, which was literally packed with 24 people in the back of it. I had to ride standing up in the doorway with my butt sticking out in the rain for almost 15 minutes, before someone finally got out and I was able to actually get all of the way into the vehicle. We finally made it to Godinez, which like I said before is still like 15 minutes away. We got out of the microbus, and caught another Tuc Tuc back to the community center. We finally got back to the center at around 12:15.

When I finally got back to the center, I was able to check my cell phone which had been ringing off the hook. I had 4 missed calls from Marie, and when I finally returned the call I got some of the most stressful information of the week. She had been to the doctor that morning, and they did a new ultrasound, and her ovaries are on the verge of exploding. The doctor rescheduled the surgery for Tuesday at 1:00 PM.

As we were pulling in there was a whole host of kids entering the property for the afterschool feeding/study program that is free to any kids in the community. We had a delicious lunch that was prepared by Dominga, and then it was time for the study program. There is a teacher named Gil who runs the study program, Gil maybe 20 years old, and is a fantastic teacher from what I can tell. He can keep the attention of almost 45 little kids for almost an hour and a half while he helps teach them hygiene practices, manors, and helps them with homework. After the study program the kids play soccer for another hour before finally going to their homes.

Later that night, around 5:00 PM 2 volunteers showed up who had been in Antigua for the weekend. They are boyfriend/girlfriend, and about 25-26 years old. Mayra is the girl, she is from Lebanon, and is studying at a university in New York. The boyfriend’s name I can’t remember, however he grew up in Boston, and is recently graduated from college. They aren’t the most social people on earth, but it nice to be able to have a full conversation in English. (I can have full conversations in English with Marie, but it is nice to meet someone new and not need translation.) It had been a LONG day, and I fell asleep around 8:30 PM.

The next morning when I woke up Dominga had a delicious salsa covered ham and cheese omelet, with a big bowl of oatmeal waiting for me. After breakfast we began to prepare for a large group of moms, children, and pregnant women to arrive. Every Tuesday we offer basic parenting classes, and everyone who attends gets vitamins, and a free lunch. The kids they brought with them seemed to be starved. They ate their rice and Beef Stew with such vigor, that I honestly think that it is one of the only meals they would get today, and easily the best meal they will get all week. All of the pregnant women get a week’s supply of prenatal vitamins and 8 eggs a piece. Everyone else gets a single vitamin, and the free lunch, but no eggs.

It was really depressing, some of the moms that came were only children (literally) there were 3 or 4 that seemed to be no older than 13 or 14 years old. It was sad to see a pregnant 14 year old with 2 babies already. In the some of the Mayan cultures as soon as a girl gets her first period, she is considered a woman and is eligible to be married (most of the time to someone 2-3 times her age.) I don’t think I will ever understand some of the cultural changes here in this country. "