I’m happy to announce that our Dreamer boys now belong to the neighborhood soccer club! A short-term volunteer, on her way to the orphanage, saw a group of boys and a coach at the field close to the home. She thought it would be a great experience for our Dreamers if they join the club, so she paid for the boys tution until the end of the season in November!
They have practice three days a week and games on Saturday. This will not only be great exercise but a great learning experience in being part of a team. I can’t wait until the first soccer game!
practice starts with some running exercises
Then various skill building games and activities
Finally, the last part of the practice time is playing a game of soccer
Anne had complained that she couldn’t see well with her glasses. So even though her next check-up was a month away, we went early. Since she recently had a growth spurt, I assumed her vision changed and needed stronger glasses. The Dr. checked her eyes, and confirmed a change in her vision, but it wasn’t the news we expected. Her vision is improving! She needed a lower measurment, and the Dr. said that it’s quite possible that in a year or so, she may no longer need glasses! With 10 Dreamers using lenses, this was really good news!
Anne (the tallest) with Jose and Emelin
If you would like to help our Dreamers maintain healthy vision, please visit the Glasses link on the Projects page.
One of the most beautiful parts of running an orphanage in Bolivia is the liberty to create a family atmosphere. The regulations and laws allow us to have the final word about how many children we care for and the ages of the children we accept. Bolivian tradition also dictates that the caregivers in orphanages are called “Tias” and “Tios”. Tia is Spanish for aunt, tio is Spanish for uncle.
One of the Tias walking the children back from the park
We have a lovely group of Tias and Tios who care for the Dreamers here at The House of Dreams Orphanage. It is true that the stories we could tell about what brought the Dreamers through our doors are sad and could tear your heart in half. The minute they come to us they receive the basic necessities, but beyond that they receive a family. What was once a skewed term in their lives begins to be redeemed by the familial love which surpasses the bonds of blood.
Nope, that’s not a new Dreamer being held at the left in the picture. One of the Tias brings her newborn son to work with her.
Another family term very common in Bolivia is to call church members brothers and sisters, hermanos and hermanas in Spanish, respectively. So when the Dreamers come to church they are called little brothers and little sisters by the church folk, right along with all the other kids running around. This is another welcoming term that I am proud to be able to give them.
One of the Tias helping with the daily afternoon task of homework
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the most wonderful family bond we introduce them to. As they grow in the home they grow in the knowledge and relationship with their Heavenly Father. Whereas their earthly fathers may have let them down they come to know a Father who never leaves them. God our Father gives them great hope that they are not forgotten, that they are truly loved. Oh to be able to rest solely on the love of God in the purest form as these children do!
Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless
(Psalm 68, Message)
Join me in thanking God for creating a family for the Dreamers.
As the Dreamers grow older, they’re discovering more things about themselves. Maybe things they didn’t like before, and now they do. Or things that they thought that they weren’t good at, but are now realizing that they may be gifted in that same area.
As children, they are constantly presented with opportunities to experience and try new things. This was the case with Jhoselyn recently.
At times, Jhoselyn can be hyperactive and is susceptible to distractions. So it’s sometimes hard to get her to try new things if it appears to be boring. To get her to try something that’s complicated or detailed is sometimes a big deal.
Last week she came home from school and I asked her if she had any homework. She nodded and whipped out a piece of fabric from her bag. A part of her homework was a cross stitching project.
Jhoselyn, taking a break to show her progress.
She was exited about it, which surprised me because it requires a lot of focus and sitting still. I was curious to see her in action so she started stitching away. A few minutes passed and she was still at it, completely focused on the task at hand. Then almost an hour had passed and she was still at it.
I asked her how did she like it and she replied, “I love it!” She was beaming with pride. Not only did she like it, but she is good at it.
Tia Olivia studying with Jose
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 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)
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.
Isaura and Fernando
A couple of weeks ago, I told our older three girls how impressed I was with them. Our cook, had given the girls some knitting lessons, and after just a few lessons they were knitting away on their own. I told the girls how at their age (10 and 11), my mom tried to teach me how to knit but I had a hard time with it. They on the other hand, are knitting pros.
Anne and Estefan
For their first project, Anne knitted a skirt for her Barbie doll, and Estefani is halfway through knitting a scarf. Our three older girls can now cook, paint and knit….I’m impressed!
With summer coming to a close, we at the House of Dreams have been really trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer before school starts back up. This past Friday, it was the girls turn to go bowling. The girls were super well behaved at the bowling alley, so on the way back to the house I decided to treat them to something special.
The girls relaxing and enjoying their snacks.
We had the taxi driver take a minor detour and we went to a park a few blocks away from the house. There was a little store across the street so we bought some little cakes and juices. We took our snacks back across the street and parked ourselves on a bench to eat our snacks. We had a nice time in the park just relaxing, while eating, talking and laughing. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that are the most special.
With 15 Dreamers in school, we go through quite alot of notebooks and paper. Not to mention, textbooks in Bolivia are not reusable, answers are written in the book, cut-out projects etc. Instead of throwing it all away, our Dreamers recycle!
To prepare our huge stacks of paper for recycling. The Dreamers help seperate the colored pages from the black and white. They also have to remove all spirals and staples, otherwise the bags of paper won’t be received. At the recycling centers, paper is weighed and we are given rolls of toilet paper in exchange.
We usually turn in enough paper to get about two to three weeks worth of toilet paper for our family of 15. Plus, it’s a little lesson in taking care of the environment for our Dreamers.