the

Enjoying the views in Yukon's fantastic Tombstone Territorial Park! Photo taken yesterday.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Dawson City, Yukon, Canada.

Where are they going next? Chicken, Alaska!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shopping for the orphanage

We had a long drive yesterday morning and we hit the road at 8:00am. Well, not that long as in distance, at only 333 kms (206 miles), but we know that you don't get anywhere fast in Mexico and so we planned on it taking five hours with minimal stops.

There was no easy way to get from Villahermosa to Ocozocoautla. The most direct route at 230 kms (143 miles) is a curvy mountain road that goes through small villages. If Ruth and I were on our own, we would have done it, but with 12 rigs it would have been a long slow journey.

We decided to stick to the major roads despite the fact that it was 100 kms more in distance. The actual arrival time would be about the same.

Yesterday's drive 333 kms (206 miles).

Not posting too many pictures from the driving day because the internet is not fast enough here. And, I have to show you the most important part of our day... shopping for the kids at the orphanage!




I was trying to arrive at the orphanage for 1:00pm because I knew that we only have one night here and the shopping was going to take some time.  We did not bad, and arrived at about 1:45pm. Tough to get everybody parked up here, but we did it. There is an arch at the entrance gate and it has a height of about 13" 5" at the center. One of our rigs is 13" 2", so I climbed up on his roof to make sure he would squeeze through. He made it, but only just. Once again, smaller is easier when RV'ing in Mexico!

The local director was out, and so we spoke to Umberto, the assistant. We explained that we had about 43,000 pesos to spend that afternoon, and asked if they could make a list of priorities. He contacted the director, and spoke to a few of the other assistants and they made a list. By 3:00pm, we went to the local Bodega Aurrera.

We originally wanted to spend most of the money in the smaller local shops, but we simply didn't have time. Much easier to get it all in once place. Besides, there were two major items at the top of the list. 

Two new refrigerators!

Veronica is the lady who looks after most of the female kids staying at the orphanage. She had been called in to help us with Hector (who speaks a bit of English), and Umberto who had come shopping with us. Veronica had a better idea of what we should be buying regarding the personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies. 

When we were looking at the refrigerators, I noticed Veronica eyeing this washing machine. She explained that all of the children currently staying at the home wash their clothes by hand. There are 74 children here currently, so I'm pretty sure if they had a washing machine it would be in full time use!

This one was on sale, so we bought it.

New washing machine for the orphanage.

 Filling shopping carts.

Laundry soap and shampoo.

Ruth, with another cart. Toothbrushes, soap, and more shampoo.

Oh, and candies!

While not a necessity, the kids need to have some fun too! You'll notice that we also had new soccer balls and volleyballs in the first cart! Anyhow, we wanted to buy a couple of piñatas too. And, they need to be full of candy.

It was after 6:00pm by the time we got back to the orphanage.

All the loot! The new trash cans are full of stuff. 

By 7:30pm, they had the kids altogether getting ready for the piñatas. We all went up to see the festivities!


Youngest first!

The boys having some fun.

I took a video for you. Turn up your volume!



Umberto (the assistant director), Veronica (she looks after the girls) Alejandra (she is the youngest child here) and Hector (he is 18 years old and speaks a bit of English).

This morning, the kids presented us with a big thank you!

We had a lot of fun doing this, and you could tell that everyone (staff and children) appreciated it. Thanks so much to everyone who helped us accomplish this.

And, we're not done yet. We still have 12,000 pesos to spend, but we ran out of time and the shops were closing. We're headed back out again this morning to buy the kids some new shoes!






36 comments:

  1. Too bad you didn't have time to shop in the smaller local stores. However, I'm sure the caravan group had as much fun as the kids. Nice that you were able to buy some big appliances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did the next morning for all the school, crafts and office supplies though. Also the shoes and a few other items were bought yesterday afternoon and I believe they were bought in the local stores.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful! So glad you posted all these pics - made us feel like we were there ourselves. This might be one of the trip activities that is remembered the most by those of you in the caravan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carol! We wanted to document as much of the process as possible so that those who donated could see what was bought and how the money was spent. We have more items to show you in our next post as well.

      I am sure that many of the members of the group will look back on this as one of the memorable parts of the trip.

      Delete
  3. That is so great, Kevin. They will surely welcome future caravans with open arms. BTW we did take the shortcut in Fall, It wasn't really too bad except we did it in rain, only 6 rigs, however. I think it may have saved us about 1.5 hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul!

      Wish you had told us that the "shortcut" wasn't so bad, in the road log you made it sound like it should just be avoided or we would have done that route ourselves.

      Delete
  4. I am wondering about a gofundme page to raise some money for next season for them. With a link to this page, it may work well. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We could look into that for next year should we decide to lead a group again next year.

      Delete
  5. I am wondering if we could raise some money to raise that arch up 6 inches? With Mexican labour rates it could be cheap. Looking at a photo of it, it looks like it would just involve cutting some metal piping and welding another short section into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can raise money if you want but that is not what we want the money to go to!

      Honestly we keep stressing that the vehicles should be smaller, by raising the arch you are only pushing for bigger and higher rigs. In our opinion a height restriction should be added to the length restriction and that the maximum height should be set at 13'.

      Delete
  6. Good idea to buy refrigerators and washing machine....life would be so much easier i.e. ice cream, milk, etc for children and clean clothes! My siblings and I were orphaned at young age and we raised ourselves. No one stepped forward to help us. I think if we needed help, he would ask for two pairs of shoes each...good sturdy hiking type tennis shoes and a sturdy leather all around shoe for dress up and casual. I literally walked to school in taped up shoes which got my feet soaking wet and freezing. My school mate best friend saw this and the next day she gave me a pair of her tennis shoes which lasted the rest of the school year. High school was a bitch, although asked to school prom, I couldn't afford a dress or shoes so I declined. I also didn't buy a year book. My graduation cards were ordered via an aid in a magazine offering a thousand cards for less than $5.00, not great but it was great. I also developed my own senior picture from the negative the school gave us. Now I hold a master's degree in finance. I'm still very frugal at home and traveling. I bought a bungalow house that just fit my family instead of a MacMansion. This saving allowed me to keep my family well fed, clothed, and entertained. I still live in my little bungalow house now that my kids have flown the coop. My daughter choose likewise in a two bedroom/two bath home with no children and travels quite a bit. I hope some of the children learn English and other languages so they can broaden and excel their horizon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They already had refrigerators and some washing machines but the washing machines are old and don't work anymore and the refrigerators are because they needed more space as they have more children there at the moment. They also had one outside that wasn't working anymore.

      The orphanage has a very strong focus on education and to be a child at the orphanage the child must go to school. And one of the things that they want from RVer's staying at the orphanage is to talk to the children in English so that they can learn, and there are definitely some children there that now have a good grasp on the English language.

      Delete
  7. Oh I cannot image the joy you felt while shopping for these kids. This brings tears to my eyes. What a wonderful amazing thing you have done. Thank you for doing this, thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a lot of work but it was also a lot of fun. We were so happy that through the caravan group and the blog that we were able to raise the money that bought all these items for the orphanage and for the children themselves. So thank you Diana and thank you to everyone else that donated money. :-)

      Delete
  8. It's so nice to spread some joy. Congrats on a great initiative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice to be help to a well run organization and to be able to see the smiles on all the kids faces. It was worth all the effort. :-)

      Delete
  9. A washing machine was a great idea, it's unlikely they see such a large donation all at once like that very often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it probably doesn't happen all that often but they have had some. :-)

      Delete
  10. Thank you Kevin and Ruth for taking the initiative to do this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for contributing Croft and Norma!

      Delete
  11. Will you be doing something like this again? We missed donating this time and would like to send something. Can we still send to the paypal account? Even if you are using it for future endevours!!! Bless all of you for doing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorne and Sue, but at this point, save it for next year. Yes, we will be doing this again!

      Delete
  12. Hi guys - OUTSTANDING job!!! Like Lorne, we missed you on this one but we will donate when we catch up with you next year. Ruth, you are positively beaming!!! Wonderful work!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Doug and Nancy!

      If you still want to donate you can do it straight to the orphanage itself. There website is http://www.hogarinfantil.org/rv.htm.

      Delete
  13. So good to see this. Just a wonderful thing to do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Way to go - what a cool thing to do for those children!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think it was great that you could reach so many people through your blog and receive so many donations. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Contessa! We think it is fantastic that so many people helped the cause, including those in our caravan group. We were so happy to help the kids and the organization itself.

      Delete
  16. What a cause! What fun! Such kind people you are....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love helping out with a cause that we think is a good one, and this one definitely is. Thank you! :-)

      Delete
  17. Your photos and blog to help the orphanage made me teary......such amazing compassionate work! Great job everyone for doing it! Thanks for sharing !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lynnette! And, that wasn't all that was done here. Yesterday the men fixed or repaired most of the screens in the windows of the kitchen and common area in the big communal building, with supplies that Barb and Mark from the caravan bought. Yes, everyone did a great job helping out. :-)

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...