Archive for October, 2007

Building Fences, Building Relationships

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Happy Sunday!

Today is the day that volunteer Meg returns to her family in Georgia. Meg has spent the last two weeks living and working at Hogar Miguel Magone. When I called the orphanage yesterday, she wasn’t there. She had gone to Antigua (Guatemala) with Gustavo and Daniel. I know she’ll have a great time in Antigua at the market. I love it there. The big market is where I get the bracelets that are available for purchase on line through our web site. I’ll give Meg a few days to get settled back home and then I’ll give her a call to find out what her experiences were at the hogar. I do know that she wasn’t prepared for the rain and the colder change in the weather. Sorry about that Meg. But she made do and is on her way home. I’m sure there were some tears when she left.

Steve’s group is visiting in early-mid December and we’ve decided that a good project for their 4 person group is to build and replace fences. We’re getting together the specs and an estimate of cost. My understanding is that they will fund the project and provide a few days of valuable labor to replace the fences. Our orphanage is hilly and some of the fences are at the top of retaining walls. We don’t want boys falling off the retaining walls so these fences are important. Through the years, they have weakened with boys leaning on them and they have also weakened from the sun and the torrential rains that we get. If we use pressure treated wood, they’ll last a long time. So… these fences are very important and it’s a good project to undertake. The older boys might be pitching in to help. They can certainly help with the painting. Thanks Steve and friends. We’re really looking forward to your visit.


Money, money, money

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Hi Everyone,

I’m back from Mexico. I was at a Spaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. It was very relaxing… very nice. I met so many lovely people (at the spa) that are interested in the orphanage and the work that we are doing there. I hope the men and women that I met (who got a brochure and the web site address) are reading this. I also hope they are planning on following through with interest and determination. And even my seat mate on my return flight was interested. He plans to pass on information and the web site address to his friends and relatives. ( Hi Kelly!) And that’s what it’s about… spreading the news and getting more people involved.

I did get a confirmation from the hogar that they received the $1,200 that I just wired to the orphanage account. It feels so good to be able to send $ to the orphanage so they can grow, build, support the boys and pay for essentials. Remember, the government is no help at all. It’s up to us.

Did you get a chance to peek at the video of Gustavo and Kevin? I hope so… it’s only 46 seconds long but there is a good message there. I’ll be adding more videos of the boys in January…. during my next trip.

Thanks for being in the boys’ lives.


Hague Convention – Adoptions

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Hello there,

Meg made it. She arrived in Guatemala yesterday, on time, and even got to go to the central market in Guatemala City before coming to the hogar. I’m jealous. I haven’t been to the central market and I’ve been in Guate 4 times in the past 17 months. I will go in January….I truly will. They say it’s huge and you need to be very careful… of your body and your belongings…. ie; get a bodyguard ! Meg is getting settled in and she and Brian cooked pancakes for the boys this morning.

There are new boys coming…. almost every day. Does it have something to do with the fact that school is out for the next 3 months and parents just can’t take care of their children? I don’t know. There are lots of factors involved and the judges seem to think that these boys need to be with us in the hogar. Some of the boys who have been there for months are leaving this next week. That’s why it so important to keep bringing shirts, socks, underwear, backpacks, etc. as we are constantly adding and subtracting boys to the population of the orphanage. Right now, the beds are pretty full at 50 boys.

Adoptions from Guatemala are slowing down. And there’s a reason for that. The Hauge Convention governs intercountry adoptions and those rules and requirements need to be met for the US State Department to allow adoptions from foreign countries. Guatemala and the US are not in sync on this so…. the US State Department is not going to approve Guatemala adoptions soon. For more information you can go to this site.

And, there are other sites and links that will give you information on when/why/what, etc. And that’s sad because these children in Guatemala are so much in need of hope and better lives.

So, we will keep doing what we can to make their lives better.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for helping.


They keep on coming

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Yes, Brian arrived at the hogar and he is settling back into life at the orphanage. He likes his new bed, the colors, the newness of the sheets, the comforter but not the dust ruffle. Yes, there are some strange sheets in Guatemala. The ones that I bought for his little house were different than any I’ve ever seen. The bottom sheet was actually a fitted sheet and the dust ruffle…all in one. It fit over the bed (twin size) and then the dust ruffle/skirt part just floated down to the floor. That sounds like a nice idea. Not! When you put the top sheet on, you realize that you can’t tuck the top sheet in anywhere. And then the sheet and the comforter end up on the floor very soon because things are slipping and sliding. So, what’s the solution? Brian put the ruffles up between and mattress and the box spring. I don’t think he liked the skirt. So… problem solved. Anyway… Brian is back and is getting to work in the carpentry shop. He’s going to be spending some time on the chicken busses as he’s going to travel to the city of Antigua each day. He’s enrolling in language school and will attend every day for a few hours a day. He too feels the need to work on his Spanish so he can communicate better with the boys.

We will have a first time volunteer at the home around noon on Saturday. Her name is Meg and she’s from Georgia. She’s a Georgia Peach, just like me. Anyway, Meg is leaving her husband, her business and her dogs in Georgia for the 15 days that she will be at the home. She has 50 new shirts for the boys, games, books, little things for the teachers and she’s just about packed and ready to go. It’s fun to relive the excitement of a new volunteer. And I know she will be good for the boys.

We also have a group of four adults coming to the hogar in early December. They’re coming in from Boston and are planning to work, play, donate some $ and cook. We’re working out the details but I know they’re going to bring a lot to the boys and the home.

Damian’s coming back in December and Sabra is too. They’re former volunteers from Canada. They’ll be in the hogar for Christmas.

And… there’s a San Francisco State student that is considering coming in January for a two week work stint. She’s still talking to her folks. She may find a friend to come with her and we’ll work out those details soon.

See….. the volunteers keep coming. And it’s wonderful!

Who’s next? Wouldn’t you like to volunteer your time and your heart to the boys of the home? That can certainly be arranged.

Come on… you know you want to !

New Chapel with a View

Friday, October 5th, 2007

The work is progressing on the new chapel. Near the top of the orphanage property, our new chapel is under construction. Here’s a picture taken during an earlier phase of construction.

The block walls are up and the roof was put on at the end of August. The floor tile also got delivered in late August but it hasn’t been installed yet. There’s still quite a bit of work to do but it will be beautiful and it certainly is in a great location.

The view is lovely. You can look down all the rest of the orphanage and in the distance, you are looking at Guatemala City.

I took pictures early one morning and they had a surreal quality about them.

I can’t wait to see what the interior of the chapel looks like in a couple of months. Maybe we’ll be able to hold Christmas services in the new chapel. I hope so.