victor's updates
Victor has stolen the hearts of all the ninos at El Faro. More importantly though, the ninos have stolen his and keep it safely in Tijuana. Victor spends nearly every weekend at the orphanage and is gracious enough to send updates to those of us who can't visit as often as we like. The following are in his words, from his heart and for you to enjoy.
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July 4, 2008
April 1, 2008

March 1, 2008

October 13, 2007

October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007

September 22, 2007

August 18, 2007

March 19 , 2007

April 17, 2006

March 26, 2006

February 19, 2006

 

-- Quincenera Weekend
-- Spring Break
-- Chef Papa George
-- Never Forgotten
-- Morelos Park
-- A New Baby
-- Fall
-- Splish Splash
-- It's a Circus!
-- Easter Weekend
-- Quincineros Weekend
-- New Boys Dorm!

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July 4 -- Quincenera Weekend

Ahhhhh...gotta love three day weekends! Hope everyone had a great time over the July 4th weekend.
 
It was rather quiet at the orphanage this weekend. Puente de Amistad stopped by on Friday and brought a bunch of Iowa high students with them. They brought plenty of arts and crafts to keep the kids occupied. The kids' favorite activity was making lions out of paper lunch bags.The group also performed several skits throughout the day and of course, there was ample time to run around and play. Believe it or not, that was it for visitors this weekend.
 
There was one surprise during the week...Jasmin, Alicia's younger stopped by for a little bit. Needless to say Alicia was happy to see her. She has grown some and matured quite a bit since we last saw her. Hopefully she is able to visit again soon.
 
A big thank you to Sara Jaye's friend for donating a huge box of makeup. The girls were sifting through the stuff like a bunch of piranhas enjoying a fresh kill. It was quite the little frenzy and there was only slim pickings afterward. Girls will be girls!
 
Most of Saturday was spent preparing for a Quincenera that took place later that day. One of the church attendees' daughter was the young lady of honor. Xochitl is her name...and if you can pronounce her name...Tacos Elizabeth are on me on your next trip. Naturally Arline and Chandra are excluded from the competition.
 
Everyone was busy arranging flowers, ironing tablecloths, blowing up balloons and setting up chairs and tables. I'm happy to report that our group of kids were up to the task. Pa George made the birria for the dinner afterward.It was very delicious and all the kids and guests devoured it in an instant.
 
Pa George also presided over the ceremony which was very nice. Xochitl (give up??? it's pronounce "So-chi") was very nervous and excited at first. She was all smiles and looked very beautiful in a light green dress. She was just beaming throughout the entire ceremony. Oh yeah...there was also a Mariachi band that played into the night making the celebration even more festive.
 
Well that was pretty much it for the weekend. Almost forgot...Happy Belated birthday to Stephen. He became a year wiser last Monday.
 
Victor

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Apr 1 -- Spring Break

Hola! 

Ahhhh…fortunately, there’s only one more week before Mexico gets to "Spring forward." There’s nothing worse than being an hour ahead as soon as you cross the border!

 

Much to the delight of the staff, the kids Spring Break is almost over. Believe it or not, a great majority of the kids are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. It may be unheard of but they really do enjoy learning and doing homework. During the two week long break the kids stayed busy entertaining their some extended visitors and playing with their new dog (thanks, Woodie). Her name is Jessie and she’s absolutely adorable!

 

Two of the visitors who decided to spend nearly a week at Sion were Kori Ruth and her friend. Many of you may remember Kori Ruth from past trips and a fundraiser she held a couple of years ago up in Sacramento. They had a great time and the kids enjoyed having them around. Kori Ruth will be spending a couple of months during the summer at an orphanage in Tanzania but hopes to make it back to the orphanage for one more visit before she leaves.

 

No sooner did Kori Ruth leave on Thursday than a church group from Vancouver, WA stopped by for a visit. The group was composed of mostly teenagers and their adult chaperones. They had an excellent time down there and the kids were naturally thrilled to have them around. There have been some serious Uno and chess tournaments throughout the week and La Tiendita has seen a lot of traffic. In fact, Arline's shelves were cleaned out for a while. And of course, a trip to the orphanage wouldn't be complete without a stop at the best taco stand in all of Tijuana, Tacos Elizabeth! The group came away with full bellies and happy faces. Good luck trying to find Mexican food as authentic in Washington!

 

Leigh also made an appearance on Thursday. Unfortunately, Adam was under weather and couldn’t join her. And man of man, she sure could have used an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. She was cooking up a storm and in no time all the kids were full of fresh veggies (heavy on the ranch dressing, of course!). 

 

Beau, Hannah, Stephen and Baby Cooper also made it down on Saturday. As can be expected everyone was happy to see them all again since it’s been awhile since their last visit. Cooper was busy as ever tapping into even more hidden talents. All I have to say is, Peyton Manning and Eric Clapton better look out. Cooper was throwing some spirals and strumming some mean chords on the guitar. Pretty darn talented for someone under two-years-old. 

 

Naturally, Beau's visit means one thing - "Beau pelicula?" Unfortunately, no peliculas for a few weeks as the “theater” is undergoing some repairs. The roof over the kitchen has been torn down and the guys are building a sturdier and sounder one. The good thing is that there will be an additional foot and half of head clearance for all of our tall teenage boys!

 

On Saturday, we took the kids down to the local park where they got to stretch their legs and spread their wings. The Vancouver kids were busy as ever chasing kids around, pushing them on swings, assisting on the monkey bars and just having a great time in general. And what hits the spot when one has been running around all day? Ice cream, of course! Leigh and Stephen spent most of the afternoon filling the bowls with seconds and thirds. And to add to the cavities of the day, later that night Arline baked a cake to celebrate our March birthdays.

 

Happy Birthday to Daniela, Ruth, Jose Medina and Jesus Antonia.

 

Well that will do it for this weekend. Hasta next time

 

Victor




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March 1 -- Chef Papa George

Hola!
Another beautiful weekend in Southern Cal. Hope everyone was out there having a good time.

As far as the orphanage goes, we had a very quiet an uneventful day on Saturday. The only two exciting things that happened involved Pa George. First, he treated us all to some homemade hamburgers for lunch. As many of you know we don't get to see Pa George in the kitchen all that often so this was a big treat and the kids happily devoured their food with smiles from ear-to-ear. The second exciting thing was watching Pa George driving around in his new car - a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle or slug bug yellow for those old timers like me. 

Sunday Beau brought his sisters; Bonnie, Betsy and Babbette, as well as his nephew, David, to visit the orphanage. Arline gave them a tour and they had a great time hanging out with the kids. They also brought a couple of toys for the toddlers which was very thoughtful. They decided to stay for church services on Sunday and they sure picked a good time to attend. A guest pastor presided over the congregation.  Well that's it. By far the shortest weekend wrap-up in a long time. Everyone be sure to wish Beau "buena suerte" tomorrow. He's off to meet with SENTRI officials and hopefully, he'll get the green light this time around! Hasta next weekend 

Victor

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October 13th“Never Forgotten” 

Hola,

There was more great sleeping weather over the weekend, which makes it hard to get out from under the covers! Alas the kids make way too much noise to get a good night's sleep. Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.

It was quite the construction zone this weekend down at the orphanage. The project for Saturday and the remainder of the week is to raise the back cement wall. A group of New Song volunteers came down to help out. It was a little sketchy at first due to the rain. Luckily it was only a light sprinkle that lasted until about 10:00am. And once they got a rhythm going it was no problem. Aaron and Israel were the ones laying down the cement blocks while everyone else pitched I where needed, such as mixing cement, carrying buckets of cements where needed, and other odd jobs needed to get things done. They were able to get 4 layers of cement blocks up before darkness set in. No doubt they will finish the wall during the week.

Hermano David and his group of Pescadores also made it down on Saturday. They helped out where they could with the construction, but there were already plenty of people helping. So they got the kids to do some arts and crafts. The kids also did them a favor by writing thank you cards to a donor who provided all the school aged kids reusable lunch sacks. The Pescadores cooked up a chicken and rice dish for lunch as well as a nutritious snack.

Woody also made it down this weekend. His neighbor Amanda made it down for the second time.... countless more visits to follow... and his friend Abby made it out from New York. With his visit the kids knew they were in for a culinary treat. This time around it was homemade chili with corn bread for dinner. The kids absolutely devoured their plates and had full bellies when they went to sleep that night.

The kids got spared my usual specialty breakfast (cereal) on Sunday mornings. Woody and company whipped up some Eggo waffles with a side dish of an eggs and a fruit cocktail. Again, not a hungry child to be found anywhere. They definitely look forward to his next visit.

Hermano Jason and a group of Ohio high schoolers stopped by for their annual visit. There were a few repeat visitors from years past and a handful of new faces. They had a great time visiting and playing with the kids. Lots of smiling faces to be seen during their stay. We will probably see more of them when they come back out during Spring Break.

One thing that is for certain kids may come and go but they are never forgotten. Saturday afternoon I spent a good hour with Brisa and a couple of other kids just practicing how to write kids names with our left hand (we actually got pretty proficient during that time). We would pick kids who were within visual range and take turns writing their names. Towards the end Brisa wrote down “Savana.” I asked her why she put her name down and she said that she missed her.  Brisa spoke a little bit of the fun times she had with Savannah. One thing that did make her smile was that her teacher knows what school Savannah attends and talks with her teacher about her. Brisa is glad to know that Savannah is doing well, but wishes she was still at the orphanage. It made me sad because I hadn't thought about her in a while either. Thank goodness for fond memories and many pictures.

Two celebrants on Saturday. Julissa, the triplets sister, turned 11 and Arline turned 39.... Plus Arline is baptized tonight in each, so double congrats to Arline. And most important of all... Mama Carmen's birthday is Monday. So please email or call her to wish her a feliz cumpleanos. I think she also turns 39.... :) 

Hasta next weekend!

Victor

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October 6, 2007
—“
Morelos Park” 
Hola!

Well, it’s definitely between the fall and summer season. A nice cool fall day on Saturday and a rather summer-like day on Sunday. Hopefully everyone got out and had a good time.

The Friends of El Faro visited this weekend. Let's see there was Sara Jaye, Nicole, Natalie, Adam, Tanzia's best friend Daisy, Gena Kay, Stephen, Hannah, Robbie, Cooper of course, and showing up late in the day was Leigh. Beau also made it down as well. It was a good thing we had such a large turnout because we needed all the extra pair of eyes and hands as we took all the kids down to Morelos Park.

The kids were anxious all morning waiting for Adam to show up so that they could head out to the park. No sooner did he show than the kids were piling into all the vans. We managed to find a prime spot at the park. It was conveniently located between all the activities the park had to offer. While there the kids got to ride go karts, jump on those inflatable air jumpee things, visit the mini zoo, ride a train, play volleyball, play on the swings, slide down the slides, watch clowns performs, see some acrobatic and dancing dogs, kick balls, make bracelets.... and just have a great ole time running around and stretching their legs. They also got to enjoy some carne asada on the grill and other good side dishes. Naturally the kids were bummed out when they had to leave for the day. They are already looking forward to next year. Naturally they were also asking when we were going to be taking them to the playas.... :)

The kids made it back and were looking forward to their next treat - a Saturday night movie from Beau. This time around it was The Mask 2. I can only assume the kids had a great time watching it.

Sunday was very laid back. It was also very blustery and windy and the dirt was being tossed around, so most of the kids stayed indoors to avoid dust in the eyes. FOEF spent some good quality time with the kids. They even had a project for them to do. The kids had to respond to letters from pen pals at Calvary Church. It was good to see them practice their English writing skills. No doubt their pen pals will enjoy the letters.  

Hasta next week  

Victor

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September 29 2007—“A New Baby” 
Buenas tardes!

Hope everyone got to enjoy the great fall weather outside.

Let's see… Clare stopped by on Friday but then left extremely early on Saturday morning to beat the border traffic. If I'm not mistaken she plans on making it down this weekend as well. But even bigger news than that, we have a true baby at the nursery, plus her sibling as well. Joselin is around 8 months and Alan is probably 17 months. He is very shy at first but once he warms up to you it's ok. Joselin truly is a cute baby and won’t hesitate to smile at you. So, on your next trip down make sure to stop by the nursery.

Only one group stopped by on Saturday. They've been frequent visitors but their name eludes me at present. The kids had a great time hanging out with them. Plenty of coloring, playing and running around. The group also had some fun activities with prizes going to the winners. They played musical chairs and some hoops. They were supposed to do a water balloon toss but alas I had to step out - more on that in the next paragraph. The group also provided a very good lunch for the kids, which they made fast work out of.

Well as you all know parking can be a treacherous and tricky thing at times around the orphanage. The garbage truck had stopped by to remove all the basura. In the process the driver accidentally clipped the front end of Danny's car causing somewhat costly damage. Danny's car was pushed back a couple of feet and into my bumper. No real damage besides some chipped paint and a slightly bent license plate. I thought "oh boy, this is going to be an adventure" I was quite surprised as to how expedient and efficient the whole process was.

Sammy and his band Libre 3:20 performed on Saturday night. Most of the kids went to watch and cheer him on. Lots of fun was had by all. Did I mention that Sammy has a new CD???  And for only $10 it's quite a bargain..... :)

Cumpleanos, cumpleanos, cumpleanos. We had three over the weekend. Chandra can officially attend the next fundraiser Friends of El Faro hold. She turned 21 on Sunday - wahooo!!!!!  She stepped out early to spend most of the day with her mom. She did come back in time for church. There she and Carla Guadalupe, who turned 17, were recognized. Today Miche turned 9 years old. Everyone sang cumpleanos feliz before we ate breakfast.

Well that will do it for this week. Hasta next time.

 Victor

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September 22, 2007—“Fall” 

Hola!

Brrrrr.... felt like fall this weekend, but sure makes for great sleeping weather. Hope everyone managed to stay warm and dry over the weekend.

Well so much for those dire predictions by the weather forecasters. I have expected to be driving through muddy streets in TJ the way they were predicting storms all Friday night and into Saturday morning. I was kind of looking forward to the challenge. Alas, only a small sprinkle on Saturday morning and that was it.

George Perez was the guide for a private bus trip on Saturday. There were a few familiar faces in the group from previous CDV trips and a bunch of first timers. They had a great time playing with the kids and touring the place. Plenty of arts and crafts: spirographs, water coloring, creating paper angelsm, and of course kicking around a soccer ball or two. The big hit had to be all the domino tins the group brought. The kids had flying playing with them all weekend long. The group also cooked up a tasty lunch including home made cookies for dessert.

Beau was back after being away a couple of weekends. His Espanol keeps improving each weekend. Now I'd better start being careful what I say around him.... :)  And of course what would a Saturday night be without a movie from Beau?? This time around it was High School Musical, which was a big hit with the kids. Heck, I even tapped my toes once or twice during the movie. The kids have naturally requested that he bring HS Musical 2 his next trip down.

Senor James hitched a ride down with Beau on Saturday morning. Naturally everyone was happy to see him back again. Stephen, Hannah, little bro Robbie and of course Cooper eventually made it down. Everyone was delighted to see Cooper and they were all surprised and delighted that he is able to walk under his own power. Not bad for an 11 month tyke. Clare and her boyfriend Sean also stopped by for a little bit. Esmeralda was happy to have her helping out in the nursery.

We also had a couple of celebrations over the weekend. Sammy turned a whopping 26 on Saturday and had a nice outing with his family later in the day. The triplets, Michelle, Mauro and Rudolfo all turned 2 years old on Sunday. It's amazing how much they have grown since they came to the casa. Another little event on Sunday.... Sammy and his band performed in Santa Ana at the New Song masses. I would imagine he performed superbly.

And lastly another flash from the past, Erica stopped by briefly on Sunday morning. It took a couple of glances to remember her name. It's been roughly two years since she left the orphanage. She's doing well and still walks around with a big smile on her face.

That does it for this weekend, hasta next time!

Victor 


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August 18, 2007
-- Splish Splash

Hola!
Whew! Another scorcher of a weekend. Hope everyone found ways to have fun and yet stay cool.

The fun started on Monday....all the kids went to Las Albercas in Tecate (the water park!). They left around midday on Monday and stayed all the way through Tuesday. I was only able to make it on Tuesday. From what I hear a great time was had by all on Monday, swimming and splashing around the pools, as well as staying out late and camping on the grounds.

Tuesday the kids were up bright and early. I got there around 7:00am and they were already having a little prayer get together. Lupita true to form was in a makeshift kitchen making breakfast and she had plenty of helpers. Of course the kids were most excited about the pools being open for business. As soon as they got the OK they were screaming and hollering, splishing and splashing, jumping, diving, paddling to their hearts content. Even the staff got an opportunity to get in and get wet. The most ironic thing of was that it actually rained for a brief moment that we were there.

There were 5 other orphanages besides us there. So we also bumped into some old friends. Ernesto, Claudia Guadalupe's brother was there. They had a good time seeing each other. Unfortunately Beto was under the weather and was not able to make it. Karina's sister was there enjoying the day. Belen, Fernanda, Vanessa, Bon Bon, and Julissa's sister was there too. Guero was there he had a brother Ritchie and sister Maritza who also stayed with us. And.....Kaila was there too! She's growing so fast. Carolina and Daniela had a great time hanging out with her. Of course Martha was there too and going around visiting everyone.

Saturday was back to normal.... Corazon de Vida brought down a busload of visitors. Larry and Mike were the group leaders and it was good to see a few familiar faces so that was an encouraging sight. The kids managed to have a good time getting involved in the arts and crafts, violin lessons, water balloon fight, a pinata, and of course a good healthy lunch. The kids always look forward to the monthly CDV trips.

We had/have a handful of birthdays this week. Jacqueline turned 13 on Sunday, naturally cumpleanos feliz were in order as well as a late night cake by her dorm mates. Older Israel celebrates his birthday on Monday, Ruby turns 17 on Tuesday, Aaron celebrates his on Wednesday, as does Jose Alberto who turns 17.

School officially starts for the high schoolers this week, so alas looks like summer is winding down. Next week and the following week the kids attending Modelo and Nuevo Mundo start classes. The staff is looking forward to the daily peace and quiet once the kids start school. 

Well that does it for this week

Victor
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March 19 , 2007
-- It's a Circus!


Ahhhhh...an absolute beautiful weekend down with the kids. You would think it was summertime around here and not the middle of March. 
 
This was a rather busy weekend around Casa Hogar Sion. On Saturday, the festivities began when a local troupe of clowns stopped by for a visit. They kept all the kids entertained with various skits and programs. As with any show, there were the typical interactive segments where the kids could get involved as well. The troupe closed out the fun with an array of balloon animals, hats and swords. I'd have to say that the highlight of the day was watching them do the "cut the rope in two" trick. The kids loved trying to figure out how they did it and in turn, learning how to perform the trick themselves. 
 
A large number of visitors from New Song members made it down as well as Hermano David and his group of Pescadores. Together, they cooked up some mean rice dishes and fried chicken for lunch. Of course they all brought plenty of arts and crafts as well. Between the coloring, water colors, and macaroni necklaces, the kids were plenty occupied for the day.

There were groups of volunteers from San Francisco and Wyoming who visited this weekend as well. They were very busy patching up parts of the nursery and applying a fresh coat of paint. The new peach color makes the room seem larger and brighter which only helps since it's one of the most popular rooms at the orphanage. So, besides making the trip to visit Arline's new and improved castle-themed room on your next trip, be sure to stop in the nursery for a visit. These volunteers also provided popcorn and a movie on Saturday night which we all know is a huge hit. We began with March of the Penguins but quickly learned that the kids were in the mood for something more action-packed so we swapped out the penguins with "Eragon."
 
As for our regular visitors from Friends of El Faro, Woody, Craig, and Barb made it down which meant only one thing...some fine cuisine for the kids and staff. Craig led the charge with tamales for dinner. As usual, they had plenty of little helpers in the kitchen prepping and making the tamales which were gone almost as soon as they were finished cooking. A very much appreciated feast! Sunday morning the kids were treated to Eggo Waffles, eggs and fresh fruit salad. The kids definitely look forward to "Woody and Company's" next trip down. One more Sunday visitor to note, Clare, who spent some quality time with the kids and worked on her Spanish skills while she was there.
 
Finally, the most celebrated visitor of the weekend...our dear Savannah stopped by one last time with her family to pick up her personal belongings and say goodbye. Cande and Ma Carmen created a scrapbook for Savannah to remember her years at Casa Hogar Sion. The staff, kids, and volunteers are all sad to see her go but are so happy to see that is going to live with her dad nearby. Fingers crossed that every now and then she'll surprise us with a visit!!!
 
Oh yeah, even more great news...we officially have no more crawlers in the nursery. Eduardo has finally gotten his coordination together and is walking around on his own. As if she didn't before, Francis will certainly have her hands full now. :)
 
hasta next weekend
 
Victor
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April 17, 2006 -- Easter Weekend

Hola!
 
Whew what do you know another exhausting weekend. Hope everyone had a good time celebrating Easter.
 
Looks like I missed Nicole on Friday. The kids were happy to see her even if it was only for a few brief hours.
 
Wohooo Corazon de Vida was back to visit on Saturday.  Lorenzo and Miguel were there to lead the new visitors. Our old friend Norma was on the bus trip. Many of the kids who remember her when she was a regular visitor were happy to see her. Litle Vianey was the happiest of them all to see her.
 
The kids naturally got to enjoy playing with the visitors and doing some fun arts and crafts. They also got to enjoy a good lunch prepared by the guests. But what the kids enjoyed the most was an Easter egg hunt. While the kids were eating lunch the eggs were "hidden" so that the kids could find them. They had a ball finding them and of course eating all the candy that was inside. The kids will have to wait until June for the next CDV visit and why is that you ask????
 
Well someone whom we all know and love decided to have their wedding on the same day in May. No ifs and or buts the wedding takes precedence. Stephen, Hannah and her 14 year old brother Robert arrived on Saturday and were staying for four days. Robert has gotten quiet an eye opening experience so far. From what I observed he was having a lot of fun hanging out with the kids. The drove down to Puerto Nuevo to check out their honeymoon hotel and to map out directions.
 
Mehdi and Chandra were the only other regulars who showed up. Chandra bailed out on us on Saturday and returned late in the day on Sunday just in time for church service. Something about a minor family emergency. Honestly I think she bailed so that she wouldn't have to do the Sunday 5:00AM church :)  So I got to go in her place and I attended most of the regular church.
 
The main reason being the performed the crucification of Christ. It was a pretty good drama put on by most of the older kids. They had a dress rehearsal the night before and it won't off with only a few glitches. We had standing room only. I will upload the pictures at the end of week and will send everyone a link. Some of the the people were from a wedding that was held there earlier in the afternoon.
 
Three new kids at the orphanage. Maria Guadalupe is older Isreal younger sister. She is 14 years old and is fitting right in with the teenage girls. The other two are brother and sister. Sophia and Angel are their names and are 3 and 5 years old respectfully. Not sure how long they are going to be staying. Their mother has started working at the nursery downtown. Another was that Isreal's stepdad stopped by for a brief visit. David's dad also stopped by to spend some time with his son.
 
It's official Sammy and his band have signed a contract with a Christian music label. The CD is going to be ready by June. They will be doing some kind of tour to promote the CD, so get ready to take a road trip or two over the summer months.
 
Another good sign is that they begin installing culverts in front of the house and down towards the dirt intersection. So the work to prepare the road for pavement is underway. Let's hope the TJ streets and sanitation group move faster this year than they did last year.
 
Well time for bed. I am going to sleep nice and soundly tonight. Hasta next week

Victor

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March 26, 2006 -- Quincineros Weekend


Hola!
I am one totally exhausted and spent person after this weekend but well worth it as many of you can attest to.
 
Where to even start...Sara Jaye and Chandra were down on Friday as well and our errands did not stop until we left the place. Thank you so much for their help and assistance over the three days. It was much appreciated by everyone. The rest of the gang showed up on Saturday. Let's see there was Leigh, Adam, Nicole, Jen, Gena, Lu Lu, James, Andria and Jeff sans Emily :(, Denise and Sandy, Beau, Mehdi, The Perrones, Woodie, a couple of first timer friends of Nicole, and Eunice and some of her crew. I think that was everyone.
 
Friday afternoon, night and Saturday morning was pretty much getting the church, the salon and the orphanage prepared and decorated. The girls all had their nails and hair done in prep for the big day. Mehdi took them out as well to get shoes. Quite the adventure from what I heard, but a very grateful set of girls.
 
The ceremony started around 2:30PM. Leigh had the honor of driving the girls to the church. Needless to say they were all nervous and excited about the big day. Mehdi, Beau, Natalia's dad, Adam, and I had the honor of walking the girls down the aisle.
 
The ceremony went well with many photo opportunities along the way. After the ceremony was over a large majority of the kids returned to the orphanage to have their own little feast. Those that remained enjoyed a great chicken dinner and cake. Each girl gave a little speech about what the day signified for them. Very touching moment, as well as when Lettie got up and gave a moving speech about her daughter Ingrid. Natalia's dad did an equally wonderful job praising God for introducing Natalia back into their lives. Candy did the honor for Myra, Carolina and Fernanda.
 
Later that night while Beau was showing the kids a movie, Sara Jaye treated all the teenage girls to a night out on the town. Oh okay it was a buffet but the girls had a fun time getting out and acting silly.
 
Woodie was cooking up a storm all day Saturday. Not sure what he cooked since I was running around all day. He did a great job of improving a chicken noodle type meal for lunch on Sunday. From what I heard the kids loved watching his DVD about cooking.
 
On a bummer note. Adam was not feeling that great Saturday night and left for home on Sunday morning. Let's hope it's just a 24 hour thing and he gets better soon!
 
On Sunday Leigh, Ma Carmen, Woodie, Nicole and Stephen went to the Grace orphanage to visit David, Juan Marcos and siblings. The boys were very happy to see familiar faces. You can bet future trips are in store to visit them and to try and reschedule the corrective surgery for Juan Marcos.
 
Even better news.....Mr and Mrs Stephen Snedden are expecting their first child in the near future. Hannah will be a great mom, afterall she has had hands on experience for the last two years :). They will be having a special ceremony at the orphanage so that all the kids can bear witness to their marital vows. The special day will be taking place on May 20th so mark that down on your calendar and do not make any plans for that weekend!
 
Oh and who knows perhaps their will even be a second marriage in the not too distant future. older Carolina and Mateo Perrone are the hot new couple at the orphanage. I'm sure Savannah wouldn't mind having Carolina as a sister-in-law :) Just kidding!!! But it sure if sweet to see the both of them having a good time.
 
Hopefully good news to come.... Omar may be coming back. We should know better during the week. As soon as I hear something I'll update everyone. Elvia will be leaving for good on April 4th. She will be going with her aunt and uncle. Everyone is excited for her. We definitely wish her all the best and were glad to have gotten to know her over the years.
 
Great news! Sammy and his band will be signing a contract with an independent Christian music label in the upcoming couple of weeks. Things are starting to look up for his group. So far they have 14 news songs they have written so they will have plenty of material to create their CD. All their hard work and diligence is finally coming to fruition.
 
On a sad note, Nicole will be relocating to Washington DC in July. The kids sure will miss her as will I. She has definitely been a welcomed addition to the family. There is no doubt that she will be making regular trips back. I'm certain when she comes back permanently all the time away for her personal and professional aspirations will benefit us all.
 
I probably won't have a chance to upload the pics until late in the week. Once I do I'll send everyone a link.
 
Well until next week... oh yeah don't forget it's daylight savings time next weekend.
 
Victor


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February 19, 2006 -- New Boys Dorm!

Hola!
Ahhhhh good to be home again after another long and fun weekend with the kids. Hope everyone else had a relaxing time.
 
Good news. Dr Mehdi visited the orphanage where David, Juan Marcos, Nattie, Sammie and their little sister are staying at. He says they are very good spirits and doing well. I completely forgot to write down the name of the orphanage but I'm sure Mehdi can provide us the name and directions to the orphanage. I know of a couple of women who would be interested in visiting them.
 
On a sad note. Hermana Joab, his wife Maria, their kids and Jesse all left this week. Turns out the director of an orphanage in his hometown was removed from his office. They contacted Joab and asked for his assistance. They are being missed already by all the kids. The older girls were especially fond of Maria. We hope they were able to learn as much as possible of what it takes to run an orphanage during their brief stay.
 
We are very fortunate that another couple is able to stay and take their place. The new family consists of Hermano Edgar, his wife Alma and their two daughters Jimena and Amalide (sp). To help them out Miguel is staying in the new dorm. The little boys seem to be bonding well with him.
 
Visitors.... well it was that time again... yep Corazon de Vida bus trip. The kids were very excited to have Larry and Mike leading the trip and many of them recognized Norma. The bus was completely full so the kids had plenty of first timers to play with. The usual arts and crafts and lunch. They even got the chance to break four pinatas. The kids were a little bummed because two of them didn't have any candy inside.
 
Beau, Dr Mehdi Sandy and his wife Denise were the only other regulars to make it down this weekend. Beau and Mehdi went to the new nursery and commented that both Esmeralda and Alejandra were looking healthy. Mehdi is getting all the paperwork in order so that Esmeralda can have her operation.
 
True to form on Saturday night Beau got out his projection equipment and showed the kids a movie. This time around it was Sinbad. The kids definitely had a good time. They watched a second movie but I was busy eating tacos so I did not catch the name of it.
 
One more girl will be having her quincenera on March 25th. Besides Ingrid, Myra and Natalia, Carolina will also be celebrating her 15th birthday. I've already been assigned the kneeling pillows for the four girls and Beau will be bringing all the paper plates and cups. Ma Carmen will be making out a list next week as to what else will be needed for that day. So next week don't be surprised when an item is assigned to you for that day. The girls are very excited and looking forward to it. Especially Natalia. Her grandmother will be there. Natalia can't even recall the last time she saw her.
 
A couple of celebrations over the weekend. Little Daniela had her 2nd birthday on Saturday. All the kids in nursery enjoyed eating her cake and playing with the toys she received. Another reason for celebration was Victor and Carmen's 11th wedding anniversary. They had a fun time reminiscing.
 
Oh yeah they found Danny's minivan only a couple of blocks from Victor and Carmen's house. It was completely stripped. All that was left was pretty much the frame. He seems to be taking it okay and knows that he will eventually get another car.
 
Lastly looks like the three siblings, Rosa Araceli, Dulce and Joseph are over the chicken pox. Unfortunately baby Eduardo know has them.
 
Well that pretty much wraps it up. Hasta next time
 
Victor

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