Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Yesterday and today the director and I have visited several institutions (MIDES, Children's Hospital, and the community of 24 de diciembre, offering a place at the home to girls who need to be with us to have a more usual life (a child at Hospital de Ninos) or who have some special situation that has kept them out of school or that is preventing them for going to school this year. You will hear more about this as our populations grows.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the day after we had our wonderful visit to Coronado no one, or maybe only 1 or 2 wanted to go to the swimming pool. Today they are lively and had their sewing class and also started some guided reading to prepare for an afternoon visit to EXPLORA - a very hands on science museum tomorrow. So, look forward to more about that soon.

We are learning to live with little water as the pressure is not enough to get it up to our tanks during the night.

Tia Sue

Monday, February 26, 2007


Today the two new kids saw the ocean and a beach. We went to Coronado, a resort beach, where one of the board of directors members has a very nice house and a swimming pool. Most of the kids also walked down to the beach and saw the ocean. It is jellyfish season so I think the just walked in the water and did their swimming in the pool. We had a simple meal - easy to prepare - hotdogs and chicken hanmburgers (made in the kitchen) with all the fixings and cheese! Everyone could have two. There were cheese balls as well and a delicious cold punch with an interesting Panamanian fruit flavor. We also had tomato slices, chopped cabbage and lettuce.

It was a very nice day - although the van had two flats and for the second one we didn't have a spare - but another van the same as ours stopped and leant us their spare so the van could go somewhere and buy two relatively cheap used tires ($14) each. It was a beautiful summer day here. School starts two weeks from today.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Today we went to the Frank Graham Festival for Kids which was less exciting than I would have liked to see it but it was interesting. Seeing about 30000 kids and accompanying adults dressed in greem, red, blue, and yellow T-shirts that indicated what section of Panama we came from was impressive as each color had their special section of the seating. The kids were animated by huge beach balls being thrown up into the stands and then kept in the air as long as possible. We all participated in a huge wave of hands rolling across the stadium by color groups. Each person in the statium was given a bottle of water - a very good idea and a huge undertaking to give out. There were a lot of dance and performance groups - clowns, folkloric, marching, banners, jugglers etc. The program itself needed a bit more pizzaz.

We looked very nnice in our blue t-shirts and several of the kids commented on them. We are going to use them again for a trip to a wonderful museum - EXPLORA - for next Thursday.

Tia Sue

Friday, February 23, 2007


There is some sort of game of soccer going on outside the room right now - and I expect that some are watching Chiquititas - 6 are playing soccer and that means that 8 are probably watching TV. I am glad that all of the girls don't feel they have to watch TV all of the time they are allowed ( which is not a lot).

When I took our two newest girls to Childrens Hospital (for a EKG and chest X-Ray prior to seeing the cardiologist and to make an apointment for the younger one with a dental specialist - she has something - maybe not so great - growing inside her lower lip) when they saw the Bay of Panama one said excitedly - Look Tia Sue . a river! This also was the first time they had used an elevator. Although they are 7 and 10 they have not been to school (they will atart 1st grade in March. School starts on March 12th.) and their view of the world is very limited. The hospital was full of many things they had not seen before. There are wheelchair stalls in the toilets - and they wanted to know why it was so big. They actually saw a child in a wheelchair and a handicapped boy in a special stroller with special supports.

Tomorrow morning we are going to Frank Grahams (Billy Graham's son) who is here giving a 3 day crusade. Tomorrow morning is for children - aimed at 6 to 12 (but we are taking all of ours (the oldest is 14). I'll write about it this weekend. A lot of kids from the Episcopal Church of Panama are going - all of the Episcopalians are wearing blue T-shirts. We bought our own and they are a lovely blue. I believe that each girl will also have a tag pinned to their shirt with their name and phone number. There may be 30,000 or 40,000 kids and adults there (and the stadium only holds 30,000!) Festiniños, as it is called will start at 8AM and we are leaving here at 6AM. We are not very fart away but it would be nice to get a good seat.

We also are getting greener and greener. We have a team of three young men from Colegio Don Bosco (a technical school) who are doing their required 80 hours each of social service finishing the painting of the inside and outside of the home. These you men are very serious and professional about their work.

We also have a lovely opportunity. We have three students (one entering 11th grade and two entering 12th) who are competing with others for scholarships to finish high school in Canada, the US and some Spanish speaking countries. The competition requires them to do a social service project, where they plan and design what they do - within what we need and want. They are all good students so we have one working with the primary kids 3rd grade and up on multiplication and division, tables, making change. Another is working with Leonela (who needs a lot of help with 8th grade math. Her make up test is on Tuesday! The third is working with the secondary school students on Spanish (writing, spelling, reading etc.). I try to speak English with them but usually we fall back into Spanish. One can communicate fairly well. She wants to become a doctor.

Monday we are going to the home of one of the board members in Coranado - a resort community. She has a pool. It will be a great day. Since peanut butter sandwiches are not in vogue here we will have a simple picnic of hotdogs, fruit and junkfood - called burundanga.

More later. We have a busy weekend.

Tia Sue

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Carnaval over at 7 PM?

I think our Girls' Home carnaval is basically over for this year. The girls (we ended up the day with 14) are now playing soccer (futbol) although it seems that a few bolybol rules are in tonight - there seems to be some hand action. The girls, in their planning meeting, asked for Pizza and Yanitiza found a receip - and we had it for dinner - quite good. The basic ingredients were Pita bread (something similar at least), canned sphagetti sauce, cheese, peppeoni rounds and parmeason cheese. They were delicious. We ended the day with banana esplits - but without bananas (we just about used up the carnaval money before we got to the bananas and decided on whistles and confetti in their place). However we had the choco sauce and strawberry sauce (Smuckers). To keep the amount of dishes to wash as low as possible we used our cups.

Afew girls are watching Chiquititas - a TV show about a girls' home where much wilder things go one then here. I think they have a slide alongside the stairs to arrive on the 1st floor very quickly.

Tomorrow we will have a little evaluation meeting and also give each of the comittees a hand!

Tuesday of Carnaval

It is only 9:30 AM and the girls have made a small mud pit in the patio. I don't know if mud is particularly Panamanian. The lawn is very dry as we don't have water to water the lawn very often. It is 9:30 Am and all the water balloons have been broken - a few over my head. We still have water in the system so everyone but the queen and her princess is wet and has confetti stuck on them. Yesterday I ttook two of the kids to do the shopping for today - something we should do more often as they were surprised at the prices of things. We had a budget and ended up not buying everything on the list as we ran out of money. I guided them to buy the most important things They made the decision about that but agreed that the food was number one- Important things included whistles, confetti and balloons, as well as the food!

The Queen has been chosed and there was a brief parade to the front gate. I got to snap a cpople of pictures of her and her court - but they were so excited that it was hard for them to stand still. Music, from the radio, is loud. I can't tell if the screams are over the radio or from our girls or both!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Diocesian convention is over!

Yes, it was over a week ago and ended with a wonderful diocesian mass at the cathedral. I was exhaused all week. Tomorrow is the last and most important day of Carnaval here - celebrated with lots of water and mud and queens and princeses and parades. We have twelve girls here and will have our own celebration - with lots of food and fun and water and I am not sure about the mud. We have water saved in the leaky swimming pool and water balloons - but we don't have water most of the time so mud would leave us with - quien sabe.

I will write about our Carnaval celebration this week.

Tia Sue

Monday, February 5, 2007

Some great pictures

Some great pictures of the home and some of the girls are on - he posts a lot but it was posted today, Feb. 5 so loo for it.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

My personality DNA!

Along with some other I have taken this interesting test and I find that most of the results are accurate!

I hope this works to post this.

Yes, I still need to write Machuca III and also some more about the home.

In the time since January 30 I have been working a lot on 8th grade math with one of the girls and also with the two who haven't been to school. They are learning quickly - and in 4 week, when school starts, I hope they are both ready for 1st grde. The can cut, paste, color, count above 10, recognize some numbers, know the names of the basic colors. Their biggest area to improve is drawing!

Next week is our Dicesian Covention. I am a delagate so will be very busy - especialy at the end of the week.

Tia Sue