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Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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This is completely off-topic and not nearly as much fun as the poker threads in this spot, but I've been off the forum for most of the week and I thought I'd share where we've been.

Our son David is originally from Juarez. This past year, he's been really driven to remember his roots and has organized trips to Juarez with local area high school students. They stay at the orphanage David came from, do a project and play with the kids. This last time they taught the kids the "Soldier Dance" - does anyone know what I'm talking about? I might have the song wrong. Anyway it was hilarious to see them recreate it - with the kids going right when they should have gone left and everybody was running into each other.

The most sobering thing this trip was a visit to an orphanage I haven't seen in over 2 years. It's definitely in better shape then it was back then, but it's still tragic. David and I were playing tour guide to the board of El Paso Community Foundation and we put the "Jovencitas" orphanage on the tour. They have a new building under construction, which is good news. The bad news is that there are still 34 girls (and the director) in a building about 1700 SF. They are in a very scary part of Juarez and so can not go outside. Their one car is broken, so the girls have all been in this tiny place for months - never going outside. They put mattresses on the floor between the bunk beds, so there is no place to walk when they sleep. During the day, the mattresses go under the bunks and the girls can only stay on their bed (to study, read and write), go to the kitchen (they have meals in 3 shifts) or go to the bathroom. There is one bathroom and one washing machine. The girls were well-beheaved, the place was clean. The plan is for them to stay for 6 months, but most beg to stay longer - there is just nothing else for them. They've been pulled off the streets (by the police) where they were working as prostitutes (age 7 - 14) or taken away from horribly abusive families.

It's one thing to read about places like that...but to actually see it. I have to say, I think I'm pretty tough. I've been through some horrible spots. When I lived down there during the adoption process (3 years ago). I helped out with the orphanage and one day ended up holding the hand of an 8 year old girl during her gyn exam after she had been violently raped by an orphanage director. I couldn't cry because if I wanted her to be strong, I certainly had to be. (She wouldn't let go of me and so I just went along as she went through all the med exams. She came to Sergio's orphanage, got therapy and was successfully adopted.)

So, I thought I could handle seeing this orphanage. But, when I saw their pantry I just broke out crying. 34 girls..... all they had was potatoes and canned tomatoes. We made arrangements to make sure there was food at Costco yesterday for a week or so. But, what then? And what of the girls who again, today, had no chance to feel the sun on their face?

Now, we're back in Phoenix. But, a big part of my heart is still down in Juarez.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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Jul 23, 2007
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Diane,

I was at a charity two weeks ago called "Friends of the Orphans" which builds orphanages in Mexico to support these children. It was really moving and sad, yet, they had a few kids who spoke and their lives have been touched in ways we cannot believe. Its amazing how far $500 goes down there.

Were you there by chance and I missed you?

http://www.friendsoftheorphans.org/
 

aptohosting

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Aug 16, 2007
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This last time they taught the kids the "Soldier Dance" - does anyone know what I'm talking about? I might have the song wrong. Anyway it was hilarious to see them recreate it - with the kids going right when they should have gone left and everybody was running into each other.

Diane,

I believe you mean "The Soulja Boy Dance" :)

[ame="http://youtube.com/watch?v=sLGLum5SyKQ"]http://youtube.com/watch?v=sLGLum5SyKQ[/ame]
 

Russ H

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Bumping up some classic Diane Kennedy posts today.

-Russ H.
 

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