Last November 2011, Eskabo Daan held it’s first annual Filipino Martial Arts and Cultural Festival. One Child At A Time Inc. was highlighted for it’s work throughout the year. And for it’s sponsorship supporting youth membership.
Bob writes on May 18, 2011:
Sorry it has taken me so long in sharing Mary’s and my beautiful experience on our trip to Peru. We did not have access to the Internet in the mountains; thus the famous “yosqueenie somewhere in the mountains of Peru” could not get our message and wonderful stories about the children to you.
The children, the elders, Elbi Bravo and Tito La Rosa opened their hearts and shared their wonderful and very loving culture with Mary and I.
Their community is located 9hrs by bus northeast of Lima, surrounded by a protective snow capped mountains. One of which is Huascaran, I think it’s the 6th highest peak in the world. It is a very sacred mountain to the Quechua and Chaupin Community.The Mountain is called Matash in the Ancash Region. Their Native Language is called Runasimi; and Matash means huge white peaked mountain that protects this area of about 40,000 people. It is a very agricultural region that grows, corn, many different kinds of potatoes, chickens,and of course their main source of meat, guinea pig (which taste like chicken). The land is very sacred to The Quechua People of which they name it Mother Earth. Everything in nature has a very special meaning to these people, and is to be honored (dirt,water,plants,animals,and the Sun.)
This beautiful and very loving community opened their homes and hearts to Mary and I; and made us part of their family. Mary’s Quechua Name is “Rima Weta, which is the Flower of Lima”, and is very rare. Mothers pick these flowers and rub them on their children’s mouths which wakes up the words of the children.
My Quechua name, Matash Apu, means spirit of the mountain. It protects the area and gives the area good fortune, and abundance of food. So now since I’m a legend in my own mind, I was given a very sacred and special name, the beautiful snow caped mountain that happens to be the 6th highest peak in the world, “Matash Apu”.
One Child At A Time Inc., has put in motion one of it’s most wonderful, very productive projects. I feel so much for this community that I have made a commitment to go back to support the Chaupin School; and provide the children support for what is needed most for their education. We are putting together a plan that will help the children close the gap in their learning curve when they go to secondary school, which is taught in Spanish.
The children at the Chaupin School are taught the native language Runasimi,and their culture the first 6 years,then the government mandates they go to another school that teaches in Spanish only. Then they are at a disadvantage until they become proficient in Spanish. One Child At A Time,Inc is in the processes of raising funds for this project that will help the children learn Spanish, while studying and learning their beautiful culture,so they can pass their ancient culture onto their children.
One Child At A Time Inc., with the help of your donations and prayers kept this school from closing! Thus 80-90 children would have been without the opportunity for any kind of education; thus loosing so much of their culture too. The teachers had not been paid for seven months. So we provided the teachers, who were at a point of frustrated revolt, their salaries for the year. We also bought school supplies for the children for the rest of the year. We bought a TV, DVD Player and a complete computer system for the school. Many of the children and elders have never seen TV. We also bought allot of educational DVD”s, including those which show them many of the most beautiful sites in Peru. Many of which they have never seen such as Machu Pichu. And we gave them some fun educational DVD’s like Sesame St, Barny, Disney Cartoons, etc.
So Mary and I presented these gifts from all of us. To have seen the smiles on the children and the elders when they were watching these DVD’s still warms my heart.
Well I know I’m getting little long winded. But I have so much to share with you. These people truly represent to me what is so important in life. That is our families and friends. I wish everyone I know could go with me when we go back to Peru so that you could meet this very loving, compassionate and caring community, “My New Quechua Family”.
From my heart I want to thank Elba Bravo and Tito La Rosa for opening their hearts and their world and sharing it with Mary and I.
One final story, when Mary and I came down from the mountains at 11,000ft, in a double decker bus, going 60mph, on a road that makes Lombard Street in San Francisco look straight, for 5 hours, I, the legend in my own mind, thought I may be joining my parents in heaven. I knew we were in trouble when they gave us small plastic bags just in case we got sick. And, you would see a lot of crosses with flowers along the roadside cliffs.
Hope to see on one of these life changing adventures. They will bless your heart forever.
Keep on Rockin’ in in the free world.
Yosqueenie, somewhere on the road in San Francisco.
Yes, thanks to all of you, Teresa is doing much better!!!
She missed out on her childhood from years of neglect and abuse. So she needs continued support for healing and growth. From what we know, she is receiving education to bring her up from a sixth grade level to prepare for highschool. And from the years of abuse she now requires surgery.
Keep Teresa in your hearts. She is one child you saved from a horrible childhood bringing her into a new light of health, healing and opportunity to grow.
2011 Update on Teresa:
Our vigil for little Teresa is not over. But our hope for her is shining ever brighter now. Thanks to all of the guardians who continue to protect her.
“Teresa has completed the program with the Honduran Child Services Agency.
They have informed us that, while they do not see her as fully recovered emotionally, they have no more services available to her.
Normally they would move her to a halfway house, but, Teresa has begged for the opportunity to return to where she feels at home with the culture. We are making immediate arrangements for Teresa to stay within our gated, guarded property. We are also making arrangements for a longer term transitional living situation. We are identifying evening and night care for her as well. Teresa just needs the 24 hour support right now to ensure her safety and emotional support.”
Teresa is ALIVE with greater opportunity and difficulty. Please keep her in your new year meditations and prayers.
Well, I finally got alittle breathing room. There is a wild wedding party going on at the hotel along with trumpets and great costumes.
Last few days have been both a joy and some heart felt experiences. One I will never forget. A women who is a refugee from the war torn country of Afghanistan was at the RCVC. Her little girl was dancing and I asked if I could take a picture. Through my translator named Munra, I found out that this woman’s husband was killed by a roadside bomb. When she showed me his picture she just started to cry. Of course when her daughter saw her mom crying she became very sad, and said she missed her father and she started to cry. I was with some of the women from Heart to Heart. When they saw this they ran over and started holding this women, whom they didn’t know. The woman was he saying in Russian that she was so sorry for breaking down like this. All of these women bonded even though there was a language barrier. It was amazing to see the transformation back to a smiles; and to see her daughter smile again. These women from America were amazing and loving.
This woman from Afghanistan did not ask for anything. She was a teacher in Afghanistan, and her husband was a businessman.
So when I got in the RCVC, I showed a picture to Mavjuda; and she knew this woman. She is 1 of 5000 new Afghanistan Refugee’s trying to protect her family and get away from the fighting. Even Mavjuda said this woman never asked for help. So I asked Mavjuda if there is anything I could do. Mavjuda said with winter coming the children will need winter coats. Mavjuda said the woman’s name was Lailo Hoji. She and her three children had just arrived with nothing. So I told her I would sponsor her and her children. Get them all winter clothing and leave some money for her too. Mavjuda will make sure her and the children have food.
So we helped such a vulnerable family on the otherside of the world. Remember when I met this family the mom was trying to hide her tears from her daughter because she didnt want to worry her daughter. Now look at all their smiles because of the six months worth of food we purchased for them, and the beautiful winter clothe’s and of course the medicine we bought for the children.
There is an old saying, “stop and smell the roses”. I say, “stop and enjoy a child dancing, because it will always warm and put a smile on your heart”. We are making a difference one child at a time.
When I prepare for a project, I always pray to Mother Teresa to bring me the most needy. This woman was one of my miracles that was put in my path. So because of your prayers, many words of encouragement and donations, we are now able to help this women from Afghanistan, to give her a little hope that she will be able to support and clothe her family. Blessings to all of you from Dushanbe,Tajikistan.
Spent all day at the RCVC (Refugee Children Vulnerable Citizens) with Mavjuda and Saidmo.
The children put on a show of their cultural dance and song with a magic show too. The key board and speakers and other musical equipment used in the performance were purchased by One Child At A Time, Inc. back in 2007. At that time the music teacher was not being paid because they didnt have the funds. That is when I offered the teacher a 2 years salary if he would stay and teach the children. His name is Sharif, one truly talented and very honorable man.
When he saw me today he had the biggest smile on his face and his hug was truly from his heart. I invited him and his students to join the delegates on this friday to perform their cultural dances and songs. The kids are so excited to come and perform this friday.
Wanted to save the best part of the day for the end story; well here it goes.
Kudratollo, the 9 year old boy at the time in 2005, whom Dr. Rich, Dr.Zemke and myself arranged for and payed for his cleft palate operation. Well, he suprised me. He took the day off from school because he had heard his “father from America” was here in Tajikistan. Kudratollo is now 13.5 yrs old. Through my translator he told me that he ran over to the the RCVC to see and tell me the following. He wanted to thank me in person from his heart, that he can now open his mouth with no pain, and smile like all the other children.
That made my trip to Tajikistan. It lifted any cloud over my head, and brought the sun into my life. So you see miracles do come to those who believe in them.
Well time to jet, and remember Keep on Rockin in the free world….Abdula squeen somewhere in the mountains of Tajikistan
I just got back from Yavan, which is 2 hrs by car from the Capital Dushanbe. It’s up in the mountains,very bumpy roads and real dry. Lots of horse herds, goats, donkeys and corn fields.
The last time we visited this school orphanage we visited we painted and it’s still holding up well. We also visited an orphanage for the hearing impaired, where they teach the kids a trade, carpentry, rug making and ceramics. Many of these kids come from abused house holds; but most were born with this handicap.
We are going to provide them with material for their wood shop and sewing class. The children’s project will renovate two of the classrooms which are in pretty bad shape. This part of the project is run by one women who for a year works night and day in the good old USA, putting funds and supplies together for these projects. Pretty amazing to see her in action. All of her effort results in miracles. Her name is Ruth Osterguard, and her husband is Dr. Dan Osterguard are from the Academy of Family Physicians. Like Ive always said its such a blessing to see what goodness comes from our beautiful country, there is no place like it on this earth.
Also we visited kids today at what they called school number Four, with over four hundred children. Two hundred fifty kids live at the orphanage. The other one hundred fifty or so are from surrounding villages. We will be painting a couple of classrooms with murals; and also giving each child supplies for their schooling. These kids are high octane energy.
The problem is that there is no jobs in Tajikistan. The unemployment rate is 60%. Over two million men have left to work in other countries mainly Russia. About 40% of the men who have left Tajikistan for work elsewhere, send money back to their families. It becomes about 50% of the GDP. Without this money coming from outside this goverment would fold.
The priemer Rockman, with his 7 daughters and 2 sons, own everything. If your business becomes too successful; they just come in and take it over, with an excuse to throw the owner in jail. Just like in the Soviet Union days.
The main economy is cotton and aluminum and water. They are gross shortages of energy during the cold winter months because 60% of their energy consumption goes to the Aluminum factory. You guessed it, owned by the priemer and his family but it employs over 25,000 people.
There is a battle with Uzbekestan over Tajikistan’s main resource which is water. They are mortal enemies, very bad blood between these two countries. Tajikistan being landlocked and mountainous must import 80% of their food. Only 20% of their land is agricultural and most of that is used for cotton. This is a carry over from the old soviet union which told them what to grow, and that was cotton.
In Tajikistan 60% of the population is under 20yrs old! They have the highest birth rate in this region. It is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Well I made it. I left Tues morning @11AM; and arrived in Dushanbe Thurs morning 4am; finally got to bed around 7am; woke up 3hrs later. Now I’m ready to Rock In Roll.
Tajikistan is a landlocked nation, and the smallest nation in Central Asia. It’s covered by mountains of the Pamir range. More then 50% of country is 10,000 ft. above sea level. It borders with Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. With the trouble in the surrounding areas, Tajikistan is starting to see alot of refugees crossing into their borders.
Population is around 7.5 million already. The major enthnic group is Tajik, although there is a sizeable minority of Uzbeks and a small population of Russians.
Tajikistan was plunged into a civil war in 1991. It was backed by the Russians and Iran. The war cooled in 1997. A Republic formed that now holds election for a President and Parliament.
The economy is very poor, centered around cotton and aluminum and Internatioinal Assistance. International Assistance is much needed also because of the severe drought this country is having. The International Assistance has helped Tajikistan from falling into another civil war.
Most of the population follows Sunni Islam. And there is a sizeable number of Shia (Sadi Arabia).
Well enough of the history lesson. I made it! I’ve hooked up with Mavjuda to spend the day with the children at The RCVC (Refugee Children Vulnerable Citizens).
I’m excited to see Crudatollo again. He was the 9 yr. old boy whom myself and Dr. Rich and Dr. Zemke got him his cleft palte operation. Crudatollo is now 14 yrs old and doing great. He is the inspiration behind the name of why One Child At A Time,Inc.
Just want you all to know, it’s because of all your donations, prayers and words of encouragement, that there is in this wondeful, sometimes confusing world of our’s, a little 14 year old boy named Crudatollo, who now has a beautiful smile on his face. Thank you for your willingness to share from your hearts. Well must jet,
The names are changed to protect the innocent and the guilty. Teresa’s story is a sad story, so far. But there are some good people in it too, like you, that radiate compassion and healing. Keep on shining your light.
Teresa lost her childhood at birth.
Her mother, Maria, was raped as a young girl; and her traumatization was never treated or healed or educated. She was poor. She cleaned houses for work. And when Teresa was two months old, she was given up for adoption. The thought being that she would have a better life than Maria could give.
Teresa’s new family had a good income. Her “step”-father made good money transporting drugs. Eventualy he ended up in jail with a ten year sentence. Her “step”-mother moved in with the extended family.
When Teresa was only eight years old, her “step”-uncle began to molest her nightly. Teresa didn’t know what was happening or why. She knew that she hated it and wanted it to stop. He threatened to get rid of her if she ever told anyone.
This continued and escalated for five years.
Then at age thirteen, it became such terror that Teresa ran away for help. It was then obvious how much trauma Teresa had endured for so long. She had a friend who took her to a safehouse. As a result the “step”-uncle was arrested for raping this child. During the proceedings, Teresa stayed at her biological aunt’s home.
The step-uncle managed to get released from prison! He immediately abducted Teresa and abused her and raped her. Terrorized again, she ran for help to her aunt. They took legal action again. They had lab reports this time to prove he raped her.
But, somehow, her ally, her biological aunt, convinced Teresa to deny the evidence of her rape. This was so devastating. The judge gave custody to a “step”-aunt who lived in another area. When she arrived to that home they threw her out on the streets because they didn’t want to be involved.
Her biological aunt and a friend worked together to find a facility and a government agency the could rescue, protect and rehabilitate Teresa. Then they searched the streets and found Teresa. And brought her to the IHNFA safehouse.
She was suicidal.
It’s a long road for this one. It’s difficult for her to trust anyone. She could be sold down the river at any moment. She has tried to hurt herself several times.
So she had to be moved from the safehouse to an institutional facility. She’s been put on light tranquilizers to take the edge off. The focus of her rehabilitation is now to help rebuild her inner being. Once Teresa is stable, the goal is to bring her back into a safehouse that is more like a home.
Her allies are faced with the challenge that she desires to return back to the familiar island community, rather than living in a big city in Honduras. So they are thinking to create a safehouse , to rescue and transfer victims like Teresa. They understand they will also need a recovery and re-entry home that has a work program and socialization center. So a dream of healing begins.
Teresa is now receiving the care and protection that she needs. The special team of caregivers have brought her to a home that provides medical and psychological support. The home is sponsored by the President, Don Ricardo Madura and his wife. She has a chance.
But this is still a fragile situation. This little girl is tangled up in a mess that was created by some of the adults that bind her legally. We want her to be released from them. She has a chance. We’ll keep you posted.
Blessings upon all who are watching out for Teresa. Deep gratitude that she is in a better place today because of all of you. Every silent prayer of light and each contribution creates a positive intention and a constancy of support onward and upward for Teresa.
For those of you sending notes, emails and cards she is receiving them. Thank you so much for that. For Teresa to know about the many who care for her is giving her hope.
Continued blessings on all who are watching out for Teresa; for being our eyes and ears. It is with tears of joy and deep appreciation that she is in a better place today.
We will continue to update on the progress of Teresa. We humbly thank you for all of your continued effort that sees this one child through.