This is Magaly

She came knocking on our door around 11: 30 pm a week and a half before Christmas. Sometimes people cry from pain or emotional hurt but then there are times when people sob. Magaly was sobbing.

We tried to understand the story and it became more clear as the days past, but what we understood that night is that she and her children had been put out of her angry aunts house two nights before. They had slept on the streets the first night and now she was here with two-year-old Dali, but where was the baby?

Out of desperation she had left baby Magil on the front porch of his fathers house where he lived with his original wife. I asked her why she left the baby that was breast feeding and not the two-year-old and she replied, "His other woman won't tolerate Dali but she will allow Magil in her home and I couldn't manage both of them on the streets."

Juan, our social worker from Walla Walla University, my daughter Martha, Magaly and Dali climbed into the truck at midnight and drove thirty minutes across town to retrieve her five month old son.

That is how it all began and what transpired was nothing less than a Christmas story. Our December groups was slowly trickling into Iquitos and the next morning those that were already here were surprised to see a little family sleeping on a roll-away bed in our clinic area.

They became a part of everything we did for the next three weeks and I will let the pictures tell the story.

Magaly and the kids found a temporary home in our clinic area. We found clothes in our donation center and after some baths and food it was bed time.

Here, Papa Dan tries to remember the art of feeding a moving baby.

Papa Mike concentrates on the putting on of clean pants while Dali throws all cooperation to the wind.
Do NOT let this angelic face fool you! Dali either loves you and insisted on being picked up, or wouldn't have anything to do with you and it could change in a split second. Nobody decided anything for Dali unless she was consulted and approved the plan. EVERYTHING else was a challenge.

This one actually was a little more angelic
The problem is that she was sooooo sweet when she was sweet that you would forget all about the other stuff! Here Joey was having one of those moments!

This was the look she would give you when it could go either way.
Because Judy is bilingual she spent a lot of time with Magaly encouraging her and teaching things she had never known before.

Monica was spending some quality braiding time with Dali. In Bermuda Monica is a licensed beauty consultant and she brought some of that expertise to Iquitos.

Here Judy and Dali discuss the contents of the Christmas gift bags. Joyce and Monica listen in.

Tanya enjoys a mothers favorite moment
Magaly has a lot of personality. She is smart, motivated and has a plan to support her family.
This turn of events just took her by surprised and we were happy to be here when she need us.

This little family came to us with little more than nothing. The volunteers opened their hearts and received them in ways that left Magaly speechless. She had many conversations with people from all over the United States (and Bermuda) who were rich with parenting skills, life lessons, spiritual wisdom and practical advice. After three of four days she commented that she never knew it was important to be so affectionate with her kids. She had never seen it done before and of course the volunteers were giving doses of epic per portion.

The organization was able to provide some of the necessities that were lacking and Pil, Maria and family took them Christmas shopping just like she was one of our girls. I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said, "I just need a place to raise my babies."

I asked her if she would like her front tooth fixed and......... she just cried. She had been flashing a broke smile for several years and was unable to pay for the restoration of a bad tooth. Since she sells health and beauty products for a living her smile and presentation were important to her. Now she has a million dollar smile to go along with her new life and opportunities.

People of Peru Project has since placed her in our transitional house in Belen. Magaly has been working and is plenty able to continue, she simply needed some help getting her feet back under her.

One evening Magaly said to me through tear-fill eyes, "I was just begging God for another opportunity to be a good mother to my children."  "I don't know how He ever gave me the courage to knock on your door. I thought maybe you would help me a little but this is beyond anything I ever imagined."

What a blessing to our group this last Christmas season. A homeless girl, a feisty two years old and and happy baby boy reminded us, again, of how blessed we are.

 I see them often. Magaly sends her greetings to all who became a part of her life. It is the support of the rest of you who make it possible for People of Peru Project  to be here when a frightened young woman knocks on the door.