49 Forever

It is raining as I write this so I am not tempted to sit on the deck and read–or to just sit on the deck I really have an accumulation of not-so-pleasant duties of life that I should attend to. You know the kind I mean: sort out the accumulation of mail piling up on the coffee table, then pay the bills, then sort out the pile of requests for donations and decide which to support and send cheques to them etc etc.

Somewhere in that pile I?ll find all the details about our new foster child which just arrived in the mail. (translate ?just? to mean within the last three weeks.) It seems that our previous one who has been going to school for some time can now get a job and help support his parents and many siblings. It seems that the residents in Joya Grande, San Salvador, have worked very hard to improve their living conditions and can now continue planning and carrying out developments on their own. Actually, we got a thank-you letter from Jose Salvador Diaz: ?I greet you with love hoping you are in good health with your loved ones around you. The reason of this letter is to thank you for the assistance you provided all this time. Thanks for the school supplies, the latrine, the nice and safe house we got, the schools uniforms too. Thanks a lot for helping me in my studies and at home. Thanks for being so kind to us. May God bless you and keep you well?. Actually Jose wrote in Spanish, by hand but a handy translator sent a typed translation.)

Don?t get me wrong and attribute our having a foster child to a generous donation on our part. Actually our niece and nephew-in-law pay the costs of a child in our name as their annual Christmas present to us (They also bring something we can unwrap when they come for Christmas!) What a generous and thoughtful gift.

We now have a new child, Deisy Aracely Castillo A. from Honduras. Her picture shows a cute, shy little child of five years old. Her parents both work, her father as a housewife and her mother as a bricklayer. Deisy has 8 brothers and sisters who all live at home and, together, make a small income. They feel lucky to have access to a stand pipe of clean water but have to walk 4 kilometers (each way) to get it. They are squatters in a small adobe house which is in very poor condition. However, the family and their neighbours live happy lives.

Imagine! Imagine no running water, two or three rooms for 11 people, scrounging in the forests for firewood, carrying water for 8 kilometers!

It is still raining as I write this. Our younger son Doug and his two boys will be here the last week in July and the first week in August. They were here at Christmas for a few days. As a grandparent I can say that they are lovely children and a delight to have around–no cross words, no fights, no boredom, actually very like their father. What a surprise!