Thursday, July 31, 2008

Octopus - I meant Squid!

A local fisherman made an agreement with God. If he had a good catch out at sea, he would bring his best to the orphanage as an offering. His last gift gave us lunch and dinner for two days! Here's some pictures of our SQUID with Joy (volunteer from England) and Elias, our Peruvian McGyver.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Training on Preventing Sexual Abuse

After attending a national conference for orphanage directors last fall, our own director, Elizabeth Bernuy, was selected to implement training on Sexual Abuse throughout Trujillo. She first brought the training to us this past month and it was a important day learning how to deal with this serious issue and the precautions we can use to protect our children.

Many of the children in Peru have suffered from sexual abuse in their past. It is a horrible violence that they deal with in silence. This training was first given to our entire staff providing them critical information on how to identify the signs of sexual abuse, preventions and ways to communicate with children about this topic. The next day we spent with the children at the orphanage talking about the importance of speaking out against this abuse, how they can protective themselves and building trust with the adults currently working with them.

The most difficult training was given the last day to the biological families of the children who are in the orphanage. Many of the biological parents and siblings, themselves, have suffered sexual abuse. It is a common problem, especially in the poorer areas. People are ignorant of it's destroying power, how to stop it or take precautions against it. Many of the parents were teary eyed as they shared their own experiences. The timidly listened to the training and thanked us for approaching such a difficult subject.

There is hope and a beginning step of healing. The training is still being talked about and there are windows of hope with some of our most difficult cases. Our director will now help instruct and train other orphanages throughout Trujillo. It is an honor for our orphanage, privately run, to be selected to implement this training.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today, I opened my email and read about Laura Genelin's passing - after a year long battle with cancer. I had Laura's daughter, Morgan, in my 3rd/4th grade class 2 years in a row and Laura was one of those amazing parent helpers and eventually - friend. Morgan, 11 years old, has been faithful at keeping in touch with me over this past year. She sends emails, silly stories, memories of my class and also her struggles with her mom's sickness. Laura sent me an personal email about a month ago, asking me to continue being a support to Morgan and asked if I would promise to see Morgan when I return to the states. It has been an area of immense sadness for me... and point of reflection of our year here in Peru. After only being here a week, Joel's long time, close friend, Justin, passed away in a car accident. Then, a few, short months later, Vickie Miller, passed away to her second bout of cancer. Now, we are dealing with our third loss - Laura. There are never easy answers or ways to console. Our comfort is in God, the hope of eternal life and His never-ending love for us in the midst of our sorrows. It's hard to deal with the losses being so far away from home. We pray for the Genelin family and all those who knew and loved Laura.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our nephews and their 42 new friends...

In writing a letter to his cousin, Jonah remarked, "I have 42 new friends..." in Peru. Here are just a few of them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Darrel came to us from Texas and was here while Joel's brother's family was here. He came as a stranger and left as one of our dear friends! Even though he didn't speak much spanish, he had a way of communicating and making everyone feel appreciated and special. He told great stories, was always at work and ready to fix anything! Darrel became great friends with our own maintenance guru, Elias and made all the kids smile by fixing all of our bicycles! Darrel has a passion to serve and left fired-up and ready to tell everyone about Hogar de Esperanza and the work going on down here. Some of his last words blessed us - "I want to come back next year and bring my grand-daughter with me." We look forward to it!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The 'other' Hansons & friends...

Joel's brother's family came to volunteer and visit us at the end of May and brought along two awesome guys from their church, Ben and Bryson. We were also blessed to have two of our closest friends, Travis and Bonnie, come and volunteer as well. Bonnie was the friend who traveled with me the first time I came to Peru in 2006. Having everyone here was a HUGE blessing and a blast!! Joel and I are overwhelmed by the people who traveled all the way to Peru to see us and share this experience first hand with us.

A few volunteer highlights: painting the casitas, setting up horseshoes, teaching in the school, playing soccer, reading books with the kids, helping in kinder program, fixing soccer goals, playing soccer, entering data into our library database, giving out new clothes to the kids, playing soccer, new crocs for all the kids, covering books, cutting down trees, making spinners with the kids and playing soccer

Fun times: Huanchaco beach (our nephew's and Bryson's first time to see the ocean,) Huaca de la Luna ruins, eating chorihuevos, visiting our church, dancing with Lurdes and her uncles - the Los Caimanes, crabs at Delicias beach, surviving the hike at Machu Picchu, singing during morning devotions, long talks and playing games before bed

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Art Class

I still get to teach art in Escuela de Miller. One week we designed picture frames and drew a picture of someone important to us. The kids drew great pictures of their moms, favorite volunteers, madre tutoras and tias. They were so proud of their work and excited to take the pictures into their casitas and put them up.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

U.S. Navy Spends the Day Volunteering

Men and women from the USS MCINERNEY FFG-8 COMREL TEAM came to our port of Salaverry and blessed us by volunteering with us for a day. They purchased a ton of supplies and did 4 projects during the 8 hours they were with us! What an amazing work crew! They repainted the outside of the children's casitas, fixed our main doors, restored our outside gate and found a underground pipe that was buried under a hill of sand. Along with all of their work, they brought a ton of hugs, candy and military boots for the kids! They also had a few push-up competitions in memory of Haley!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Adoptions and Reunions

It's been a whirlwind of teary-eyed, smiley good-byes. I know it sounds strange, but we are sad to say good-bye to kids, but overjoyed to see them leave with their new family or be reunited with their own. God has blessed these children by providing them a home and we continue to pray for God's help as their new life begins.

Our baby, Luis, left to go to another orphanage that specializes in the care of babies.

Carolina was adopted by a couple from Italy.

Vanessa was adopted by her aunt, who lives here in Peru.