Friday, April 24, 2009

Love in Action

Love in Action is an orphange in Chapala.  Mexico has many orphanages, unlike in the US.  Many are sponsored by brothers and sisters from the Catholic church, not surprisingly.  Many children are put into orphanages because their parents have died or are otherwise unavailable. Sometimes, the parents, or the single mother, cannot care for the children and has to put them into an orphanage where they are will cared for.  The orphanages around this area benefit from the generosity, time, energy and money of the American and Canadian ex-pats who live here. This young fellow is Nohei (5), who, along with his brother, Jose (3), was found living alone in a cave!  Both brothers were brought to a wonderful new orphanage called Love in Action in Chapala.  

When Pixie went north to attend the memorial service for her mother, I stayed with our friends, Fred and Mardele Harland.  They have recently become "Godparents" to a Love in Action boy, Kenny (8).  Being a "Godparent" means that you agree to pay money for the child's education each year and become a part of his or her life by doing things with them as often as possible.  While I was at Fred and Mardele's, they brought Kenny, along with two of his friends, Nohei and Jose, to their house for a swim and botanas (snacks).  Everyone had a wonderful time.  Here are more photos.  The top left is Kenny with a mask.  To his right is Jose.  Below is our friend, Fred, with Kenny, then all three boys playing together:

There are so many needs to be met here in Mexico.  Many families live in abject poverty, often with only the moms to look after the children because the men have all gone to the US to work.  Many homes have no phones, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and little hope for improvement.  The Love in Action orphanage was located in a small woefully inadequate space.  But due to the expanding size (60 children now) they were given the opportunity to moce to a much larger compound, which they now occupy.  Here are two photos of the new grounds:                                                         

On another subject, we are having some minor tiling done.  Everything in Mexico, it seems, is tiles.  The floors are all tile.  The kitchens and bathrooms are all tiles.  There is tile throughout all buildings, commerical and residential.  There are two main types of tile.  Ceramic tile is the kind we see frequently in the United States.  The tiles are often larger, a foot square or so, and the designs are printed on each tile using some type of standardized manufacturing prosess.  The colors are more muted, even pastel.  The floor in our house, as you can see in the photos below, are ceramic tile.  The other type of tile is very Mexican: Talavera tile.  These are smaller, very colorful tiles usually painted and glazed by hand.  We already have our kitchen done with yellow tile of this type.  Now we are in the process of tiling the front of our fireplace and our coffee table with Talavera tiles.  In the photos below, you can see the tile work being done.  Pixie was not pleased with the fireplace colors, however, despite its clear University of Michigan theme, and we are having it redone in all cobalt blue with the sunflower decorative tiles.  I'll include the finished product in the next blog.  Here are some photos: 


Our friend and contractor, Antonio, is tiling the table himself.  He does not have any other work at the moment, so he is picking up little jobs to do on his own.  

Pixie is back from her trip north to attend her mom's memorial service.  It was a long illness for the entire family, and I think the service, led by our UU friend from Auburn, Kitsie Claxton, helped bring closure for everyone.  The really sad thing about the memorial service came when Corrine's (Pixie's mom) brother, Everard, who was especially close to Corinne and had come up from Massachusetts to attend the service, died in the motel the morning of the service.  One more grief upon all there was already!   Here is a photo of Pixie taken today before she went to her "Red Hat" party! 

I am doing better each day.  I have permssion to drive again, to my great relief.  My  calf with the blood clot is healing slowly, but I am noticing a big difference in the pain this week.  I am exercising it more and following the doctor's instructions.  My energy is coming back, and I am starting to write some poetry again.  I still have no smell, which I address in the following poem:

Losing Smell


It seems to me

I’ve lost my smell

I noticed it one night

While using Ben Gay.

I couldn’t smell

It’s strong minty odor.

“Does this smell?

I asked my wife

Who looked at me

As though I’d lost

More than my smell.


I opened the door

Of the refrigerator.

I couldn’t smell fruit,

The vinegar, the dressing.

So that’s it.

I smell nothing at all.

Some days I test

My nose again

With Ben Gay.

No luck.

What does this mean?


Not all bad.

No septic smells.

No bad farts.

No smells like something died

Across the street.

But then again,

No bakery smells,

No perfume, no bacon,

No coffee, no wet soil.


The doctor thinks

I’ll smell again

When my brain is back

To normal.

[Does he know

My brain has

Never been normal?]

It will

Or it won’t.

I can live with it

Either way,

For I can remember

Those smells,

But it’s not quite the same,

Of course.

I would miss the smell

Of my wet dog. 


judi moreno said...

Bill and Pixie,
I am so terribly sorry to hear of your loss and illness these past few weeks. Pixie, my most sincere condolences to you. Bill, I wish you the speediest of recoveries. Its nice to see you relaxing in the pool. Thinking of both you you,
Judi Moreno
(currently slacking off in the CMCC library!)

Bill said...

Hi Judi,

Great to hear from you. We are surviving and enjoying retirement when you can slack off officially. Glad to hear you're still at CM, and I guess, a busy mom. Say hi to Dan for me!


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