Saturday, February 28, 2009

The dream becomes reality

Welcome to Pedacito de Cielo NCV's daycare and orphanage with children with compromized immune systems. This transition into an orphanage hasn't been "smooth" but it has finally been successful. We currently have 3 babies staying in our home around the clock. For the sake of privacy I can not list their real names. However I can tell you a little bit about them, so here we go.

First of all we have Guillermo.

Baby G is currently in the hospital recovering from an infection that he had before he even came to stay with us. Here is an excert from a friends entry about his condition.
"He was abandoned early on by both his mother and father and then shortly after, his grandparents. He has battled chronic pneumonia and malnutrition. Guillermo just turned one year this month, but he is small and underweight for his age (about 16.5lbs/7kgs) due to early neglect as an infant, and also because of a heart condition he has, tetralogy of Fallot. This is a rare congenital defect that causes blood to not be oxygenated properly (find out more here- There is a connection between alcohol and drug consumption during pregnancy and tetralogy of Fallot, and since Guillermo was originally found lying on the street next his passed out mother, this is a definite possibility.

On Sunday, Guillermo started turning blue, so we brought him to the hospital so he could be put on oxygen. He had just left the hospital after having been in for four months battling pneumonia, so we were very sad to have to put him back in, but his blood oxygen levels were dangerously low, compounded with a severe infection. He is doing better now, but is in poor spirits as he’s very bored and uncomfortable. We have round the clock staff caring for him in the hospital, trying to keep him happy and distracted, but it’s a difficult task.

Guillermo is in desperate need of surgery. We knew this was going to be a reality for him, but we didn’t think it was going to be needed so soon. Because he is so underweight, we wanted to get his weight up, and then plan for the surgery, but after several consults, we’ve been advised that the risks of operating on him sooner outweigh the risks of waiting for him to gain the weight.

While we are looking into several charities that provide services at a lower rate, there are long waiting lists for these, and we do not have that kind of time. We’ve been advised that the costs will be at least $5000 for this surgery. This is an extraordinary cost here in Bolivia, but as we are working with the best cardiology department in the country, and this is a very rare surgery, we knew that the costs were going to be high. The government has already stated that the universal healthcare for children under 5 will not cover the surgery, so we must cover the costs."

Even with all the hardships in his young life he is such a happy baby and I want to see him have this surgery and get better and live a full long life. His smile is worth a thousand words don't you think?

And then we have Pablo.

He is 8 months old but very developmently behind. He can't roll over or sit up by himself. He is one of our babies that is at-risk for having HIV but its to early to tell. A doctor came to visit all our kids when they first arrived and then came to check on them again just yesterday. He didn't recognize Pablo as the same baby! Good, that means he getting chubby :)He is currently struggling with a very bad cold and is not sleeping well. It doesn't seem to have affected his appetite though! He also has a smile that will steal your heart :)

And lastly we have Raul.

In this picture he is holding hands with his "girlfriend" who is one of our girls that comes for daycare. He is almost 2 years old and I often feel like he is a big boy trapped in this little body. He is about the size of a 12-18 month old. At other times I see a glimps of just how much of a "baby" he still is. He is very thin, quiet, and stubborn too. Sleeps like an angel though, thank God for that. He has a tendency to throw himself backwards when he is having a tempertantrum, and not always on a soft floor. He had severe intestinal problems when he was a baby and is malnorished and develpmentally delayed. He doesn't speak at all.

Good News! Our daycare kids are slowly starting to come back! Th mothers recognize that their children were fatter and healthier when they were coming to us. There have been issues with a partnering organization and so they stopped bringing us their kids. And now nearly half of them are back again, Praise God!

I love this baby home more than I can say. I have been taking my turn on a rotation and sleeping at the home. Sleeping is a bit of stretch though as Pablo wakes up 2-3 times per night. And when he looks at you with a huge smile on his face at 4:30 AM... yeah, thats not so cute! If you would like to contribute financially to this home please see for more details!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

La Moda Loca!!!

"Crazy Style" really does say it all! Yesterday, Ninos con Valor had their third annual Moda Loca and it was quite possibly the best day I've had in Bolivia yet. What it really is is a fashion show but with the craziest clothes we could find. NCV also hired a DJ with loud speakers. These pictures say more then I ever could! BTW, I took almost 70 pictures, these are just a sampling. First there was the prep time This is my crazy fashion getup. And this is our director, Tyson. And a couple of our girls.

And there was dancing, oh yes, there was dancing! This is one of our Tias This is the girls' psychologist Doin' the train And one of our short term team members

And after the craziness died down and we had the girls walk the fashion runway we were all starving. We had homemade pizza and icecream sundays At the end of the day we were all exhausted but very very happy!