Archive for July, 2009

How About a Book?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

We have good news this week! A professional photographer just booked her flight to Guatemala and she will be living and staying at the orphanage for a couple of weeks in August. She’ll be there while 3 new volunteers and I are there…in less than two weeks.

During her two week stay at Hogar Miguel Magone, Gordana plans to document the day-to-day lives of our children. She’ll be in their dorms, in their classrooms and in their lives. She’ll watch them eat, play, sing, dance, go to school, do homework, do their assigned chores and so much more. Oh, I know she’ll take some wonderful pictures. In addition, some time will be spent photographing the villagers, the nearby villages and surrounding terrain, the school, the walk to school, perhaps Antigua and also the rooms, church and buildings of the orphanage.

We are thinking about publishing a book! How about that? This book could be the start of something big……more worldwide knowledge of the orphanage, the kids, the country and…. it would be published with the intent of being a fundraiser for the orphanage. Gordana also plans to submit photos and stories to magazines. Hey, this is good publicity and we welcome it.

Gordana… we welcome you to our family at the orphanage. Bienvenido!

Our boys, our town

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

This picture was just taken a few days ago. The boys are wearing uniforms that were donated to Orphan’s Hope Project in December 2007. And the uniforms still look great.

I think the boys look pretty great too!

Going to Guatemala

Friday, July 17th, 2009

The two cajas grandes (big boxes) are on their way. Transportes de Leon picked them up this morning. They’ll be driven to Los Angeles tomorrow and from there, they go by boat to Guatemala. They will arrive in Puerto Quetzal in about 3 weeks. And when they come off the boat, they will be driven right to the orphanage. They’ll be waiting for me when the new volunteers and I arrive in early August.

Here are the guys, standing outside their truck this morning, in the driveway. They always take good care of the shipments and are polite, punctual and reliable. Thanks Transportes de Leon for helping us out… again and again.

There’s so much stuff in these two boxes. It just amazes me each time I pack them up. I make piles and piles of things that I’ll be taking. I label the bags, stack up the goods, start loading up the boxes and I always wonder if it will all fit. Yep, somehow, it does.

I don’t want to spill the beans as to what’s in the boxes, just in case a couple of the older kids are reading the blog. They do have internet in their private school and their English is quite good. So boys, you just have to wait and see what’s in the shipment this time. You have about 3 1/2 weeks to wait.

Voy a estar en Guatemala muy pronto….. I will be in Guatemala very soon.


Mechanics Bank donates to Orphan’s Hope Project

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Mechanics Bank donated some supplies to Orphan’s Hope Project and the orphanage. The supplies were delivered to me yesterday afternoon. Phew, just in time. The supplies are now in the shipping boxes. The shippers are picking up the 2 (caja grandes) boxes today. Tomorrow, they’ll be on their way to Guatemala. Nahid, an employee of the main office in Hercules, is here with the boxes of donated items.

She’s holding some of the lanyards that were donated. I think there’s over 50 of them. We can sure use these lanyards for the many keys that the adults have at the orphanage. We’ll make good use of them.

The boys will love the key chain flashlights that they gave us. They’re not visible in this picture. In my mind, I can see the flashlights, clipped onto the backpacks of the boys. They’re small flashlights but powerful. When it gets dark at the orphanage, it’s really dark.

Other donated items include many 3-color highlighters, lots of pens, and boxes and boxes of post it notes. These items will be put to use by all of us at the orphanage. I especially like the post it notes. We’ll use them often and probably daily. They’ll seem like a luxury item as post it notes are something that we usually don’t have at the orphanage. But we’ll have them soon…. and a good supply of them too.

Thank you Nahid for coordinating this great donation. It is appreciated.

update on Kevin & Gustavo’s adoption

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Here’s part of an e-mail from Jennifer, Kevin & Gustavo’s adopting mom.

Our adoption cases have been in PGN since last Thursday. I spoke with our Guatemalan attorney (through the director of our adoption agency) today. Our PGN reviewer is out sick right now. Our Guatemalan attorney is going to PGN tomorrow to ask the sub-coordinator to give attention to our case. After PGN, we need new birth certificates, passports, and finally visas. We have seen miracles continue to happen, and you all are a big part of that!
Blessings and peace,

So, let’s continue to think good thoughts and hope that it keeps moving in the system.

The Utah 4

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Here’s a picture of the Utah 4. That’s just what I’m calling them. They have waited a few months and their time has finally come. They are traveling from Salt Lake City and will be arriving at the orphanage on Tuesday afternoon. They will be living and working at the orphanage for 4 weeks. 4 young women, 4 weeks of volunteering……4 times the fun and 4 times the work. That’s why I’m calling them the Utah 4.

Thanks Emily, Lizzy, Jessie and Katie. We do appreciate your enthusiasm and your willingness to work with the boys for 4 weeks of your summer.

How did she raise some $ for the orphanage?

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Sabra is a long time supporter of the orphanage and of Orphan’s Hope Project. She has also lived & worked in the orphanage a few times…for weeks and weeks. She recently accepted a job transfer and is moving soon. She raised $500 Canadian dollars for Orphan’s Hope Project and I asked her how she did it. It’s tied into her job transfer and move. This is her answer.

So, how did I raise the $500? Well, as part of my farewell to Fredericton (the city in which I currently reside) I invited a bunch of friends for a little meet & greet (with appetizers) at a local Caribbean restaurant. Caribbean Flavas is the name of the restaurant. You can check it out at

The restaurant is owned and operated by good friends of mine. I advised everyone that the event was free but that for those feeling generous, information would be available on Hogar Miguel Magone Orphanage and they could offer a donation. Needless to say, everyone who attended made a donation.

Sabra and some friends outside of the restaurant.

The event was a lot of fun and gave my friends the opportunity to come out to see me for a final farewell, mingle with old and new acquaintances, discover a great restaurant that many had not been to, and support a great cause. The only unfortunate part was that it was a relatively small crowd of about 25 people or so given that many of my friends were not available to attend. I’ve tried to organize things in the past and timing is always the greatest obstacle. It seems impossible to choose a date that suites the majority of people. Anyway, the day was a lot of fun and still a success.

Yummy food!

Gee! That was easy. And raising $500 CDN is definitely a success. See, there are ways to do some fundraising for the kids and their programs….and have fun doing it.

Thanks Sabra…we appreciate it!

What can kids do?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

This is Parker. He’s a nice looking young man, isn’t he?

Parker S. lives in Wenham, MA and he came up with an idea and a way to help the kids at the orphanage. Parker asked the kids in his community to donate their sports team shirts to Orphan’s Hope Project so that the shirts can be given to the boys at the orphanage. Was he successful? Well, he did get a write up in the newspaper and yes, he collected shirts. Lots of shirts!

Yesterday, I received two boxes of shirts. In the boxes, I found a rainbow of colored shirts. The front of most of the shirts are printed with Hamilton-Wenham Youth Soccer with a soccer ball in the middle. A few of the shirts are from other sports teams. I had fun looking at the various shirts, sizes and styles. How many shirts? Parker did a great job and collected 85 shirts. Oh boy… the kids at the orphanage will be excited to be getting new shirts in just 7 weeks from now, which is when the shipped box will arrive (I’ll be there also).

Here’s a picture of the shirts. Pretty cool.

Parker, it’s a great thing that you did for the kids. They will be grateful and I am grateful. Thanks for being the caring person that you are. Give our thanks to all the boys and girls that gave up their team shirts for the kids in Guatemala. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!


More on the adoption process of Kevin & Gustavo

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Today, the attorney for the Crist family will pick up the pre-approvals, take the pre-approvals to be translated into Spanish, and submit them to PGN by Friday or Monday (we hope sooner than later). PGN could take a while, but they are going to try and communicate with those who may be able to push so that this case is a priority. PGN will issue an adoption decree stating the boys are the Crist’s :) THEN, a new birth certificate needs to be issued with ‘Crist’ as the last names for Kevin and Gustavo. Again, this could take weeks or be speedy, depending on the workers in the office. After they have the new birth certificates, the Crist family needs to get Guatemalan passports for Kevin & Gustavo. This only usually takes 1 to 2 days. FINALLY, all of this goes back to the US Embassy (but to a different department) to apply for a visa appointment. The Crist family will be issued a “pink slip” which means they are ready to travel to take the boys to the visa appointment, get their visas, and bring them home.

Keep your fingers crossed that everything moves quickly and without any glitches.

Good news on the adoption of Kevin & Gustavo

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

As many of you know, no new adoptions can be started (from Guatemala to the United States) as of January 1, 2008…. about 18 months ago. The Crist family started adoption proceedings for Kevin & Gustavo in late 2007 so their case has been in the adoption system for almost two years. We were worried because Kevin turns 18 in October and if he turned 18 before the adoption was finalized, he couldn’t be adopted. Gustavo is now 15 years old.

I just got this e-mail and thought I’d share it with you…….this came from George Crist… the adopting dad of Kevin and Gustavo. Jennifer is his wife and she’s been in Guatemala for the past week.

Jennifer and the crew are in the air (coming back from Guatemala) and I would have liked to tell Jenn first, but you all have become our family in this struggle to adopt Kevin & Gustavo. I just received word that they the embassy has preapproved their adoption. Now their cases can go back to the Guatemalan government to complete the adoption. Thank you all for your infinite prayers, support, and help.
A little choked up,

So… this is good news for Kevin and Gustavo… and the Crist family. No, I take that back… this is great news! I don’t know how much longer it will be in the Guatemalan government’s hands but I sure hope it gets finalized soon. Everyone has waited long enough.

We’re all shouting, yelling and crying now!