Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Borto Orphanage- Donations

For those of you wanting to help with Borto Orphanage, here is the details I have worked out so far.

they have NO NGO's that support them, and the Missionaries that helped them organize and start the blog have returned home and stayed in contact, however have not kept up with the blog. I have asked to be allowed to update the blog, and the other 2 ladies who went with me, (Kelley & Kristi) are also willing to support the children in every way they can.

Donations of GOODS rather than money are WELCOME- we are working on 2 separate leads that have shipping containers scheduled to leave the midwest and arrive in Monrovia port.

These 2 containers are shipped via two individuals who ship frequently, and we hare hoping they will allow us some space for when we do find materials (Especially School supplies)

I have been looking into areas that sell the supplies to manufacture items here (specifically Aquapoinics) And for the most part I believe we can get these items in country. (Close to US prices, so long as a Liberian represents us in the purchase)

It is my sincere hope that many of YOU will plan a trip here to see the need, and to implement YOUR own program, for now, I am the only contact for the orphanage, and if you have concerns about the integrity of the donations, please let me know, i am working on a system of accountability to ensure your donation is used for EXACTLY what you intend.

The more people that come here to inspect and verify on their own, the more we will be assured our funds are being used appropriately.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I met this sweet tiny little guy the first visit to the Orphanage (they call it a foster home, and they run it well, but it is still for Orphans, and it is still bleak)

Divine was hiding off by himself, and Kristi in our group scooped him up, and he nuzzled into her.
I felt a pang of jealousy as I was smitten with him, and wished I had been able to snuggle with him.

Of course i enjoyed holding all the other special needs babies, and meeting all the people who had been a part of Peter's past.

but I could not get his face out of my mind.

We visited with the babies several times, and each time Kristi would pick up Divine, and claim him ;)

She even started talking about adopting him, I spoke up then, that if she was not able, I would love to step in.

Kristi spent time in serious prayer, and with a heavy heart knew that she was not able to adopt Divine at this time.

I waited until the evening to ask her if she was sure of her decision, and then shared with her my thoughts.
God Works in Mysterious Ways Slideshow: Deanna’s trip to Monrovia was created with TripAdvisor TripWow!
Between the two of us, we were captivated by this very timid, very tiny little boy.

Then I had to start campaigning to my husband. With all the government issues that were taking place, and all the uncertainty, he was not ready to have a conversation about more children. (At least not more $10,000 children)

It took a few days of scattered conversations before he realized I was serious.

We had late night conversations about the technicalities, and complications, then we had EARLY morning talks about the Path God has chosen For us.

It is undeniable that once you have walked with these children and fed, bathed, and prayed over these children, you can not go home at night without the feeling of responsibility. You NEED to help them, and all the luxuries of life loose their luster.

How can I NOT reach out to a child, a child that so desperately wants to be loved, held, protected.

How can i not?

So here I am. Willing and yet, unable to move forward. It will take $5,000 up front to begin the paperwork.


ing out on faith. again.
Praying for the loving support of our friends everywhere!

Friday, January 18, 2013

redundant & impotent

The story in Afirca is redundant. The need is astronomical, the poverty is gut-wrenching.
The majority of Africans are lucky if they get one meal each day.
They are accustomed to going without, of making do, of building from scratch. They take the wild grasses and sticks and make a hut, they take the fabric and make dresses (Called Lapa)

They are simple, and quiet people.
Most would be mortified if they knew you felt sorry for them.
Most would never ask you for anything, although they look at you longing and hope you can FEEL the pleading in their hungry eyes.
My morning started out with a vis

it to Al. he is the 7 year old boy that started having leg tremors and eventually lost his ability to walk. He has an enormous head, the Dr.’s have said it is a ‘brain infection’ so ambiguous. But honestly no one here has the technology (nor the power and knowledge) to do more than the very basic.
His mother asked me to help her save her son. He is loved, he is cared for, and he is slowly dying.
Next we visited a school in Coca Cola factory village, it is a neat little subdivision of homes that are cared for by people who CARE. They keep the lawns swept, and the yards clean, of the 150 homes, only 2 or 3 own a car. These are very simple humble people.
Quita my good friend has started a school in her neighborhood; she and her husband are the caregivers to many in need.
The school was organized, clean, and well run. The few books and supplies they did have fit onto one table less than 4 ft long.
The children all wear their uniforms and come HUNGRY to learn. They arise early in the morning, (most have never even heard of breakfast) and walk to the school, where their parents have paid $1300 Liberian dollars for tuition. They meet from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. when they get home, they clean the yard, house and do the laundry by hand, they begin the preparations for dinner, and then the nightly dinner dishes. This is their one meal each day. 6 o’clock.
The kids are cheerful, helpful, hardworking and appreciate affection and attention. The staff is loving, giving and dedicated. They have given everything to protect and serve God’s children.
Looking through this album is surreal to me.
I have touched their faces, I have held their hands, and I have honestly fallen in love. (with more than a few)
What can I do? I am only one person. I am NOT wealthy, influential or powerful. I am only me. A mother, a neighbor and friend.
One thing I cannot deny is regardless of the gross discrepancy between the needs and the resources. I will continue to be their voice. I will continue to pray for them, and I will hope that you will join me, in any way you can.
A master plan on the needs, and future of Borto Orphanage :
Finding a permanent location for the children and staff to live. (at the present they are squatters)
Find the funds for building the home and dormitory for the 41 children they presently have.
Encourage the Liberian government to LIFT the moratorium on adoptions.
Find the resources to bring sustainable food sources to the orphanage: including
Goat herd
Chicken flock
Some way to produce income in the country to provide for their ongoing needs.
Sponsors for the children’s school needs and daily meal.

Here are some items that are needed and their costs to purchase in country.
41 Mattresses $30 each
6 loads of zinc to roof finish the roof $150 each
One acre lot to purchase from the government $2,000
Salary for each person who works at the orphanage
House mistress $100 (x3)
Cooks $50 (x4)
Security Guards $50 (x4)

It can feel like a black hole of hopelessness.
Trust me. If I spend too much time thinking about that, I may give up.
But if we each take a little portion of the garden, and tend to it with our love and attention, it will matter to those we serve, no matter how small our plot is.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Accra, Ghana

We made a stop in Ghana when the Delta flight was canceled due to mechanical issues.

Needless to say, all 200+ passengers were scrambling and unhappy. Delta offered to put up everyone at local hotels, which were surprisingly nice.

I ended up bunking with wonderful Dr. Faith Lamb-Parker. She is brilliant, compassionate, and funny. We had a great time.

The day we arrived in Ghana was the day before their Inauguration of a new President.
The streets had colorful ribbons, and UN diplomat planes on the tarmac.

It was very exciting.

After Ghana, we arrived in Liberia. (My original arrival date was Jan 4th, I arrived on Jan 8th) I had lost my phone on the plane during our disembarkation in Accra. Every phone number I needed was on that phone, and I had no way to contact either the Hotel, nor the friendly Quita who was to pick me up and deliver me to the hotel.

Again, Dr. Faith to the rescue, she helped me file the paperwork for the lost bags, and then had her private driver deliver me to the hotel. (after we had to stop for diapers and water at the supermarket)

I finally arrived at Moko's around 7 pm. local time.

Peter and I were HUNGRY and anxious to get showered and fed.

Moko's staff was wonderful, they ordered us a pizza and brought it to the room.

Everyone here in Liberia is friendly, helpful and kind. I have been so blessed by the Agency staff, and by all I have met.
I do have to say; I already have 2 mosquito bites, and Peter & I are both feeling a bit under the weather. But we made it to the pharmacy yesterday and hopefully our meds will help us to feel better soon!

I wanted to make a list for anyone who is traveling here; things NOT to forget at home, because even though they have a super market, they do not stock things like we have at home.

Items we are missing:
Huggies Diapers (the diapers on the shelf here have plastic exterior and tape tabs)
SHOES my flip-flops have broken and I have not seen a great place to buy better shoes. (they have wheelbarrow carts selling shoes made from recycled tires, but i have worn those in the past and they can be uncomfortable)
American Clothes are a premium around here, you wont find an easy place to replace your lost luggage! (there are NO shops/malls here)
A good hamburger! (I ordered a burger yesterday, and honestly it reminded me of the scene in Les Mis during the song "Master of the House" if you get my drift?
the french fries were good, but Peters plate of Chicken & Rice was $13!!
For now that is all that I have compiled on the list, mostly because I figure, we can live without anything else. I have not even tried to find a swim suit, as that was also lost in the luggage, but I suppose I can swim in my leggings and tee shirt.

Friday, January 04, 2013

New York, New York 2013

Our unplanned visit to NYC has been an adventure! The tickets to get to Liberia today were ONLY routed through Ghana, and I do not have a visa for Ghana, therefore I would not be able to fly there. Lame. So we made the best of a batch of sour milk! Peter and I checked back into our hotel room (that we checked out of 4 hours earlier) We charged up the cel phone, and hit the streets of NYC. Our shuttle driver (Henry) was AWESOME. He told me which train to ride, and where to get off, told me how to find yummy food.... New Yorkers have a reputation.... Let's just say the newspaper vendors can be RUDE. (one hawking papers sounded JUST like Rosie O'donnel...with attitude) any Who.... the NYPD are GREAT, and the professionals I have met with are some of the nicest folks I have ever met, Delta ticketing agents (known for ATTITUDE!) were SUPER kind and helpful!!

Unplanned visit to 9/11 memorial

As Peter & were delayed at FJK airport, we decided to go on an adventure! We hiked to the subway (yeah!) and walked to the 9/11 memorial site. We were going on less than 3 hours of sleep, so we honestly did not take much time, just walked through the 16 security check-points, looked into the 2 vast water falls, and then scuttled our way back towards the subway. i had to carry Peter almost half way, as even HE ran out of energy! (hard to believe!)