Benancio’s eyes opened wide and his mouth dropped open when I asked each Dreamer to pick up a bag of sugar for a picture. Right away, Benancio grabbed a bag and yelled quite excitedly, I get to eat a whole bag of sugar!! Trying not to laugh, I kindly explain how that wouldn’t be healthy and that the sugar was for our baking and cooking.
The women’s group at Christ Nation Church (our Dreamer’s local church), donated about a dozen bags of sugar to the orphanage. With our growing kids, we have bigger stomachs (and apparently with Benancio a larger sweet tooth), so we are always happy to receive surprise donations!
A while back, a group of volunteers visiting from the states decided to bring down some things for the kids. Amongst the various things they brought down were kites. The kids were really excited about learning how to fly kites. But I think they were even more excited about each of them having their very own kite, and not having to share with someone else.
For a while, they were all asking to fly them almost every day. But we really hadn’t gotten much of a chance to take them out because, as you can imagine, we need a lot of time and space to be able to fly 15 kites at once.
A few of the kids getting the hang of it.
One day recently, the kids all finished with their homework early, and it happened to be windy. So we decided it would be a good day to take them out and find a place to fly their kites. We were able to find a big open field in a nearby park.
The kids got to play with their kites for about an hour or so. Next time, we’ll have to see if we can keep them all in the air.
Today was the last day of the First Trimester tests!
In Bolivia, the schools divide their year in trimesters instead of quarters. So three times a year, our 15 Dreamers have a big test in every subject. There’s a big sigh of relief in the house when tests are over! Tomorrow they will enjoy their four day weekend, as the parent-teacher conferences are held on Thursday and Friday….party time at the House of Dreams!
We are so incredibly thankful to Steyning Grammar school in England for all the wonderful support they have given us over the years. Their fearless leader, Tim Treadwell, deserves a huge round of applause for keeping the kids, staff, and parents motivated. The energy and creativity they have put into extending such heartfelt generosity towards The House of Dreams Orphanage here in Cochabamba, Bolivia astounds me. From selling cakes, to running concession stands, to a day of sponsored silence they have truly rallied to assist us.
The efforts from the students of Year 7 helped in the following areas:
Covered one month of salaries for the caregivers, who are affectionately called “Tias” (Aunts)
Paid for one month of transportation costs… getting 15 kids to and from school and around town for their appointments and activities adds up
Bought one week’s worth of food for the orphanage
We really could not provide such a great home for these kids were it not for the individuals, such as the Steyning Grammar group, who help with financial donations. Thank you so much!
Enjoy this little video as a special thanks….
(The volume may be low, you might want to turn up your sound)
Please consider following the lead of these students and join us to help provide a safe and loving home for the Dreamers at The House of Dreams. Contact us for more information on how to give.
We have a special volunteer who can come only once in a while. Even though she doesn’t come often, as soon as she walks in the door, you can hear screams, “Lana!..Lana!”. With Lana its constant play time, catch is her favorite game. Lana is an eight year old poodle that is great with kids and can play for hours, it’s hard to tell who gets worn out first the Dreamers or Lana. Below are a few pictures from her last visit.
Lana is greeted with lots of love by the Dreamers
Benancio trying to get the ball before Lana does
Roberto asking Lana to give him the ball (She usually does)
Here in Bolivia, the Bible Society started a new program that consists of giving orphanages school materials and books. Last week we had a visit with two representatives of the Bible Society. They visited with the kids, and gave them a few school supplies (color penciles, paper, small notebooks and glue). Plus each child received a sticker album for them to earn stickers. With the staff, we decided that the Dreamers will earn a sticker with each book they read. We also received a Bible and each child received a small children’s book of The Good Samaritan. We also got a few coloring books.
The children enjoyed the visit and the Bible Society said they will be back some time this year with more books.
This month we celebrated the birthdays of two Dreamers: Jose Luis turned 9 and Jhamil is now 8! Next month we have two more birthdays, Roberto will be 9 years old, and Gabriel, our oldest boy will be 11! There’s lots of cake be eaten by our Dreamers these months!
Here in Bolivia, most people take pride in how clean they keep the area around their house. Early in the morning, you can see many people out sweeping the walkway in front of their house and washing away the dust with a water hose.
If you don’t clean up the area on the sidewalk in front of your house, it’s noticeable. Whether it’s leaves, dust, or litter that’s found it’s way in front of your house(usually do to the wind), it’s highly noticeable. Especially when your neighbors take special care to keep theirs clean.
With fifteen kids at the HOD, no one usually has the time to notice if the sidewalk in front of the house is clean or not. But a few days ago, as Marisol was leaving, she noticed that in addition to the tree that’s constantly dropping it’s flowers onto the ground, a lot of dirt and some trash had accumulated in front of the house. It looked a mess.
We grabbed a few volunteers from amongst the Dreamers and got to work. Two sweeping, one collecting the swept up piles, and another holding the trash bag. Between the four of them, the street was clean in no time. Now, we’ve made cleaning up outside a part of our weekly routine. No more messiness!
For a year and a half now, Isaura has been taking speech therapy thanks to wonderful family in the States that cover her sessions. This year, because of her advances her sessions have been reduced from 3 times a week to twice a week.
This gave us the opportunity to start taking Fernando to speech therapy to receive help his ‘r’, ‘s’ and ‘l’s. Isaura has always liked going to her sessions. Yet, now she is even more motivated to go and work hard because she has buddy to go to classes with.
The Dreamers have had four bicycles to share for quite some time. Up until now, the younger kids were too small to ride a bike, so having four bikes worked out well. But with the younger kids getting bigger and beginning to learn how to ride bikes, four wasn’t enough any longer.
One of our recent volunteers took notice and decided to donate a new bike to the House of Dreams to help meet the high demand. She decided to get a bike with pegs on the back so two kids can be occupied by one bike.
The kids were super excited to recieve the new bike and even more excited to take it for a spin. They say it rides a lot smoother than the old ones. The only challenge with the new bike is deciding who gets to ride on the pegs.