6/27/09

Jump Rope

cute kids naturally go well with jump ropes...no comments necessary


(OK, gratuitous cute kids w/o jump ropes)






I had to put this picture here too...both Dennis and Danny are wondering if I am jealous here.

yes

Kingdom of Heaven

A week ago Friday ( yes, I am still catching up) we had a convergence of three different groups from the U.S. Visit our home.

Xavier University's OT department came by on the last day of their trip.

A group from Westwood Reformed Church in Omaha Nebraska came by as part of their trip to see how they might become involved with what God is doing in Guatemala.

A group from Compass Christian Center in Seattle Washington came to paint faces, and love on our children. They also brought a team of dentists. They also brought a full dental unit, to leave with us. They also brought the really cute kids you see above from another orphanage in Guatemala city, called La Casa de Amor. The House of Love.

The afternoon especially was like a 3 or 30 ring circus, with activities all through our house and property. Even though the Pizza for lunch was 2 hours late, you can honestly sing that never was heard a discouraging word.


The Westwood folks were on an exploration trip, but everywhere Barry went, he handed out candy and love

But Amy gave him a run for his money


Amazing how one on one times occurred again and again

Lots of creative activities and playing of games.

Lots of professional interaction

Even a barber station

Dr Steven Lee fixed about 50 teeth in all, but seemed to also be everywhere, playing with kids, and buying Pizza, and making things fun. Maybe it just seemed like he was everywhere, because the college kids and fellow professionals he brought shared the joy of life Dr Steve exudes.


The people of each group have become our friends, and each group came to us pretty miraculously. Hard to explain, but really fun to be a part of.

One of the participants commented later what a privilege she felt at being a part of it. She said she felt like she was walking around in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Face Painting

Compass Christian center put a face on their talents and love for our kids



Xavier University Occupational Therapists

I'm working backward, but will try to show the cute pix we have from the last 2 weeks. The photos are the best I have, but I am hoping team members will send better ones ( hint)

After the OT students from Xavier saw the country, they set down to work, and made a lot of patients, care providers and therapists very grateful, as they visited the special needs areas of Anini, Marina Guiloda, Misioneros del Camino, and Nuestro Pequeños Hermanos.

And, of course, our home
Lots of good discussions

and play therapy


and more good discussions


Lots of connections made with big and little Amor cute kids


A week full of training, learning, laughing

Teenage boy's dayroom at Anini


(yes, that's Josh helping fix that wheelchair)


After training sessions with the staff members, the Therapists left detailed sheets with photos and instructions for each of the children

Safe to say a good and productive time was had by all!

6/19/09

a day at the pool



If you would like to see pictures from our trip to the pool with our friends at The Brook, in Huntsville, Alabama go here

We were introduced to the Brook by our friends and co-parents, Bill and Melodie Shroder. We call them co parents, because they have adopted Fernandita. It is great to keep in touch, and to note how relationships grow wider and deeper! One fun aspect of Fernanda's life is that Bill and Melodie see her love for dance, and have placed her in dance school!

She has always responded to music...do you see the one really grooving to the music?
video

Guess who?

By now you probably know that the picture at the top is Fernandita from the front on the day she went to live with Bill and Melodie

6/17/09

Beautiful lake and sad little town

One fun part of teams visiting us, is it give our children an opportunity to see their beautiful country. So, we also went to lake Atitlan on Sunday, and the kids enjoyed a very fast boat ride to Santiago, and then Panabaj.

Tella loved the wind and waves

Jose imitating Jesus...sleeping in the boat!

Arriving at the dock in Santiago

Lots of old folks in Santiago...wearing pants that work well for fishing in the lake.


IN many parts of the country, only women wear distinctive clothing, but in the small villages aroud Lake Atitlan, the men also are distinctive.


Panabaj was hit by a terrible landslide in October, 2005, and the effects are still there, with many damaged buildings still vacant. Many areas still buried by the mud. There doesn't seem to be an interest in rehabilitating the areas that were affected. We were told by a young man that people are afraid to move back.

These are the shacks that were built as an emergency shelter area in November 2005. Still there. A little worse for wear. Like refugees everywhere. making do.

6/15/09

a day at Iximche

We visited the ruins at Iximche, near Tecpan. It's sort of like a history lesson, and a playground combined, as the kids found more ways to use the ancient stones to have fun.
Jose watches over the Occupational Therapy students from Xavier University, with his Ka'chikel stern warrior face.
Friends and a beautiful park setting...





6/13/09

potpouri of the extreme makeover crews

OK this is it for the gang from Roswell. I have to say I was really impressed with the grace of the servant hearted young people who worked so hard all week. It was a week of extreme makeovers, in other words, fixing rooves, and pouring cement floors, and leveling rain damaged areas.

The crew above figured out how to make mixing cement on the ground fun. I wish I had a video of it to share with you. These four people danced around the mound of cement, much like native american warriors dancing around a bonfire, with hoes in hand. In short order, the sand, water, gravel and cement powder was ready to pour in the kitchen they remodeled.


This is the roadside view of a small house we repaired the roof on. Here follows the formula for removing a tile roof:

simply lift tiles off, and gently lob to the ground crew.

ground crew gently catches and passes to stackers

who gently stack for future use

all under the watchful eye of sister silvia and baby Mateo

This is the view from the roof


Meanwhile, another crew was leveling the earth in front of the school in Chulumal

While inside, kids learned in the computer lab.

a fun juxtaposition, Americans handling rudimentary tools outside, while Guatemalan kids from extremely poor families studied computer science inside.

Thanks, Roswell Presbyterian Church!