We have almost finished unpacking, everyone has found a desk and chair and most of the computers are up and running!
We still have lots of kinks to work out in our new location but so far we all love it!!
It has a lot more space and we will be able to be a lot better organized!
Today we had a dental clinic in collaboration with Salud y Paz in El Barranco. They only wanted to see 50 patients ..they were doing extractions and fillings but unfortunately, their filling machine broke down and so about 15 people were turned away who only need fillings. A grandmother of several of our sponsored students had passed away the evening before and so most of the village was at her funeral. So we did not get a very good amount of people, only 25 for the dentist and then they packed up at midday to head off. Just as well, because it poured rain in the afternoon.
Once again the horrible story of hunger was heard again today.
One of our mothers came in ....she is not someone who comes in often and was desperate.
She is an abandoned mother...the husband left her and his six children for another woman .... he has now started another family...he does not support his first family and they seem to have stopped existing for him...unfortunately for the mother, the problems of how to feed the family have only increased.
She lives with her mother and sister. Her sister is a middle aged woman who was born with hip displasure... which was never operated .... and now in middle age...she is having terrible pains in her leg and her foot is swelling. She made her living washing clothes by hand in private houses...which means lots of standing up...she is now unable to do so...and is not earning any money... Her mother, who is in her 60's also made her money by washing clothes in private houses....they would earn a $1.50 US per day ...sometimes $2 US per day ...but the work is not steady and they only got work a few days a week. The mother was out collecting and chopping firewood last month when she had an accident and cut her foot badly with the machete. She has not been able to walk for nearly a month and now can walk a little but still cannot put on a shoe....so she also cannot work and earn money.
This leaves only the mother of the six children to be able to work to feed all 9 of them. She also washes clothes in private houses or washes dishes and cleans....but this also is not steady work....she earns the same as her mother and sister. ...
She came today to ask for help with food because her children are so hungry.
The family has taken to stealing 2 -3 onions from a neighbors field to make a thin soup for all 9 of them,
Not only will this cause problems with the neighbors ...but it is very dangerous, if the neighbor sprays his fields with pesticides, this could be fatal for whoever eats the food.
I asked the mother what the children had eaten last night for dinner...she told me wild herbs that they had collected in the mountains...and a tortilla each with a cup of weak coffee.
For breakfast this morning, they had a tortilla with salt each and a weak coffee.
For lunch they had another tortilla each with salt but now they had no sugar left and had only unsweetened coffee.
For dinner tonight, there was nothing to eat.
For breakfast tomorrow morning....there will be nothing.
We gave the mother and the young child with her lunch from the Elderly Care program.
We gave them some small bags of food from Feed My Starving Children that we have had donated.
But this will not be enough to keep them fed. But at least tonight , they have something to eat.
We had another mother come into the office today.
Her husband died from aids last year.
She now realizes that her two younger children who also died, had the same disease.
She has been diagnosed HIV positive.
She has three older children she is trying to keep in school.
But every month she has to travel to the city to be able to receive her anti viral drugs that are keeping her alive.
The money that she could use to feed her family or to pay for their schooling is now taken up with transportation and
paying for her medical care to keep her alive.
We are hoping that we will be able to get sponsorship for her children to help ease this burden.
If anyone knows of any friend or family member who has been thinking about sponsoring...this certainly would be a family that would appreciate the help.