July to December 2005
Welcome to the latest mission adventures, and boy have we had some adventures over the last six months….
I arrived home on the 2nd of July to a great welcome.
It was good to be back with the family, but it was not long before I was bombarded with all the problems that they had over the couple of months I was home...
My biggest problem was that I had entrusted the store accounts to Aldrin.
Clara had great problems with them last time I was away and I thought Aldrin would be a safer bet…
Wrong… very… very wrong… he seemed to have more problems than Clara!
In fact he only kept records for three weeks and then didn’t bother at all!!!
It took me several weeks before I managed to sort them all out.
However I must admit when ever I start to work on them I always manage to find something more important to do…
like sweeping the floor and dusting, really important jobs as we all know… hehehe!
Now for now the news from Bahay ng Pag-Asa.
There is a lot of news in fact the mission has been non-stop since I returned.
It has not been all hard work though, in fact we had a fun time when a student nurse called Jenny from London, came to spend a few weeks with us…
We had a wonderful time and the kids were soon captivated by Jenny’s great personality.
As were half the population of Santiago, when on one occasion our tricycle broke down.
Jenny decided that she could push the tricycle and the patients along the main highway solo and at running speed…
The sight literally stopped the traffic, whilst yours truly stood in the road hysterically laughing.
It’s a wonder we were not arrested for bringing the City to a stand still…
How I wish I had had my camera handy but that’s another story!
It was very sad for us to say goodbye to Jenny and we all hope that she will return before too long.
On the 21st November 2005 Bahay ng Pag-asa (House of Hope)
became a U.K. Registered Charity No. 1112167…
I would like to thank everyone who has helped so far with this wonderful achievement;
especially my dear husband John without whom none of this would have been possible.
But most of all I would like to give glory and praise to God for his many blessings that make all things possible…
It is truly amazing what buying just one raffle ticket could lead to!
I hope you will find it interesting and if so please introduce a friend to the web site …
The House Mates
Again they had big problems with Rommel while I was away.
It seems that he only behaves himself if I am here.
The problem is that I can not spend 24hours a day with him.
Apparently he kept fighting with his sisters, and getting drunk… he is 18 years old but, mentally he is about 9 or 10…
A child in the body of a man is very difficult for people to understand!
He also broke lots of things in the house and was up to his old tricks of stealing…
He even sold all the bottles that Clara had been saving to use for her home made soy sauce and vinegar.
He really was too much for them to handle so sadly they sent him out again.
I am sad to say that I have made the decision that I will not allow him to return here.
Bullet & Jenny
The girls started school in June, at Our Lady of La Salette in Ramon.
It is a private school; I thought it best as the public schools leave a lot to be desired.
And as the girls have not been to school before and they are now 8 and 9 years old
they have some catching up to do.
I must admit I was annoyed with the teacher when in July, she was complaining that Bullet could not read.
I explained her background and that she had only been in the school six weeks.
So she could hardly expect the child to be able to read…
Anyway Bullet is now making fine progress and really loves going to school,
even though it means that they have to get up at 5.30a.m. and leave for school at 6.30a.m.
School starts at 7a.m. and finishes at 4.30p.m. Yes!
I can hear you groaning… and we used to complain about starting at nine… lucky weren’t we?
They even have practices for special events on Saturdays and Sundays!
In September we celebrated the feast of La Salette and the school put on a wonderful show...
Our kids were best of course… not that I’m prejudiced in any way!!
Jenny is not doing as well as Bullet at school.
In fact we have had big problems with her as she keeps stealing. She will take anything she sees.
She even brought home a fork from school… and everyday she takes things from her class mates.
The first week I was home the teacher asked to see me about it!
Can you imagine how embarrassed I felt!
She had only been there a month and already the teacher was asking me to take her out!
I explained Jenny’s problems to her and asked them to give her time to settle down.
I then took Jenny to see a psychiatrist.
The doctor said that she appears to have some sort of attention deficit problem along with some retardation,
which would account for some of the behaviour.
Anyway she is now on medication and thank God she seems a lot better,
and the stealing appears to have stopped…
but I won’t say that too loudly just in case…
I am going to take her to see a specialist in Manila but the waiting list is three to four months.
So hopefully by this time next year we will be making even better progress with Jenny…
in the mean time I have transferred her to the public school where there is no pressure on her…
She is very happy and has settled in well.
Alvin & Gerome
The boys are doing very well at school; they are also at La Salette.
So as you can guess trying to get four of them out of bed and off to school at 6.30a.m. can be a nightmare
but, we manage somehow and most of the time without too many tantrums.
Alvin is very artistic and made a wonderful costume for the feast day celebrations.
He loves school and studies very hard.
I am very proud of him even though at times he can be very tactless and selfish, I am sure he will go far.
Gerome on the other hand is not doing quite so well; he is very playful, kind, loving and helpful, and will avoid
homework in favour of play any time…
Quite a normal kid I guess really…
Grace was one of the children in the “Orphanage from Hell”.
In fact it was Grace who first came and told me of the problems there.
She was one of the first children to very bravely give evidence…
Now Grace is eighteen years old and has left the care of the social services.
She is living with us at Bahay ng Pag-Asa…. Grace is a very sensible girl and is a great help in the Mission.
She helps in the house and shop and also helps with some of the clients…
Grace loves helping with the clients and wants to go to college in June and study social work….
I had only been home about a week when Patricia arrived in a pitiful state.
You remember I had to send her back to her aunt when her jealousy became out of control
and she threatened a child with a knife.
Anyway she begged me to let her come home.
I told her that I would take her for check up when I took Jenny and we would see what the doctor said.
The doctor wanted to put her back on medication.
I explained that the family would not give her it and even though I wanted her to come home
she could not stay with me because of her jealously.
The doctor was wonderful and understanding all the problems I have here.
She told Patricia that if she went back on her medication and was good she could stay with me for two weeks until
her next check up, but if she was bad or jealous then the doctor would have to confine her in the mental hospital…
It worked a treat and since then she has been as good as gold.
Lenlen is an 11 year old girl with a very bad skin disease.
She was covered with black scabs and was no longer able to walk or attend school.
I took Lenlen to the hospital last January and was advised that she had an allergy.
Since then I have been providing medicine.
The hospital gave her a diet to follow, but the mother seemed unable to understand the importance of it and as soon
as I managed to ease the skin problem it returned.
In the end I suggested that maybe she should move in with us here and I would monitor her diet.
The problem certainly seems to be getting better albeit slowly.
Lenlen is a very happy child and has fitted into our very strange family very well.
I am sure we will all miss her when it is time for her to return to her own family.
Clara & Aldrin & Mae
Sadly Clara left Bahay ng Pag-asa at the end of October.
The work just seemed too much for her advancing years…
sad as it is none of us are as young as we used to be are we?
But the good news is that Aldrin’s wife Mae took Clara’s place and is doing a great job, she has settled in very well;
so well in fact that they are expecting their first baby in May, how exciting to have a baby born at Bahay ng Pag-asa…
we are all so excited and the kids are having problems waiting for their new baby brother or sister to arrive…
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