April Newsletter

Happy Easter Everyone.  On behalf of Embrace the Dream, we hope you will have a fantastic Holy Week celebration with your family members.

I am in a great position to report to you what is going on at Casa Hogar La Familia because I have spent two weeks in Quecholac and Tecamachalco with two different mission teams over the past three weeks.

Week #1 at La Familia

Our first mission team departed for Mexico on Wednesday, February 15 and returned to the States on Tuesday, February 21. Even though we began our journeys to Mexico out of four different East Coast airports, we all rendezvoused in Mexico City Airport to continue our journey via the most comfortable and luxurious buses, maybe in the world.

Six-member mission team #1 from L to R: Betty Herrin, Jeanie Fath, Shannon Lee Smith, Bill Lee,Yvonne Moore, and Sarah Baker in Sandy’s Restaurant, Quecholac.

Our project with the first team was to make tablecloths and and “runners” for the new tables in the dining room.  Here is a photo of the work in progress:

Jeanie Fath, Fairfax, VA ironing new tablecloths.

My daughter, Shannon, and fellow missioner, Sarah Baker removed all of the shelving from the kitchen pantry and first washed and then dried the shelving before putting a fresh coat of paint on the wood.

Shannon Lee Smith and Sarah Baker painting pantry shelves.

During our visit, a group of professional haircutters descended on La Familia and provided complimentary haircuts and hairstyles for the children.

Week #2 at La Familia

Our second team arrived in Teka on Tuesday, March 14 and returned to the US on Tuesday, March 21.  This team was made up of veteran missioners from Federated Church in Kingfisher, OK.

Led by GaGa Ball Court architect, Brian Walter, one of the projects the men from Federated Church undertook (with several of the children helping) was to build a “GAGA Ball” Court for the children.  Several of us had never before heard of GaGa Ball, but the new game quickly became a big hit for the children.

GaGa Ball Court

The new game quickly became a huge hit for both the children and the missioners alike.  One aspect of the game that appealed to everyone was that the games were over in a matter of a few minutes and another game quickly began.

The missioners couldn’t keep their hands off Akin.  He is “muy guappo.”

Missioner, Doug Baker, from Enid, OK holds the very popular Akin.
Patty and Tony Stroudemire finally wrestle Akin away from Doug Jackson.
Adam Click and Memo and his wife, Ana sitting at a dining room table with little David looking on.
Popocatepatl active volcano
Popocatepatl active volcano

New Bodega

If are facing the front of the Casa Hogar and look to the left, next to where the garbage used to be kept, you will now see a new bodega to serve as a storage facility for the Casa Hogar.

When we left La Familia last week, we left both money and instructions for Silvia to retain the professional talent to erect an all metal door (with keyed lock) in the opening and knock a hole in the side of the wall and insert a window to give us more light inside the bodega.  When Robert Sawyer originally envisioned the space over the new bodega, he was seeing either an apartment for staff or a dormitory for future children, so the first preparation for this vision is now in place: a stairway from the ground up to the roof.

This is as far as we are going for now, because we are preparing for the future, not beginning construction for the future.  I just wanted everyone to know that we are looking ahead and trying to envision what steps we can take now to reduce the construction cost in the future.

The casa hogar is looking great.  Silvia and her staff do a terrific job of keeping the home clean, neat and yet livable.

Bill Lee, Embrace the Dream Foundation, Inc.

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