Outside my door

Then, oddly, with a subtle sense of urgency I felt compelled to wait on the front porch, so, I grabbed a plastic chair, intending to park myself in my usual spot. Everything changed when I opened the door. Lying on the cement, against the tile wall of the office, was a thin, middle age man............. 

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Waterborne Poverty
The sun rises in Belen, and the dockworkers prepare to go home for the day. They’ve been working all night to carry in the day’s produce, charcoal, iron, petroleum; you name it, in time for the 7AM customer rush. “Dock” should be thought of in loose terms. It really means where the water meets the shore at any given time of the year. Banana carriers have to be the most skilled of all the laborers...
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Wine to Water
Wine to Water is an international non-profit organization that manufactures and delivers water filters to impoverished families without access to clean water. Wine to Water donated 15 water filters to People of Peru Project, through Dustin's Greenhouse, for distribution. We will keep adding pictures to our Facebook album as we finish distributing the filters. The smiles on the faces of the families tell the whole story.
Click here to view the Facebook album. 


 

 

Meet Jasmine and Count your Blessings
This is Jasmine. She is fourteen-years-old and lives in a small village up the river, about three hours from Iquitos.  At the age of ten she mysteriously became paralyzed from the waste down. One day she was fine and two days later she could not move her legs, feel sensation of any kind or control her bodily functions. I met her while visiting the private hospital we are partnering with and was struck by many things as we got to know each other. Jasmine had been there for fifteen days and according to the doctors she was, "So much better, but had a long way to go." They are getting the infections under control and she is gaining some much-needed weight…
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A Typical Night
Tonight we were in a meeting at the church where the group is doing the children's program and adult meetings. Every night the seats are packed. The pews are long and almost touch the walls on either side of the church. When there is someone in the aisle it is difficult to push past them. The inside of the church is terra cotta brick that is unfinished. There was an attempt at one time to whitewash the section of wall adjacent to the pulpit to make the front look more finished...
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Sarah
It was late afternoon and I had other work to do. As I locked the last of the tools in the storage closet I heard the words that always stop me in my tracks, “poppy poppy.” Sarah is behind me and when I turn around she is standing on her tiptoes with her arms held high. I can see the change in her countenance. There is no more interest in tools or torment she simply wants to be held...
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Father’s Day
I woke up this morning in a foreign land surrounded by people that are very different from me. Most of them will never come close to understanding who I am or why I am here. It is kind of an odd place to be on Father's Day, but I will tell you how my day unfolded with the people of a different culture who have taught me far more than I have taught them… 
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Elvira
I just spent an hour with a young woman named Elvira. She is 22-years-old and has a three-year-old son named Angel Joseph. She ran away from her humble home last night after the father of her child and his friend beat her....
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Stranger at the Door 
He was different than the typical Peruvian. He was taller than a usual Peruvian but less than six feet, thin but with a strong handshake. His eyes were intense and bright and made direct contact as he spoke. He wore a well-trimmed beard, which is unusual in this hot, humid climate, and he would partially bow as he spoke, almost Asian in mannerisms… 
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Rosany 
Rosany is a petite, brown skinned girl with a beautiful smile and the face of an angel. Her eyes are soft and wisps of black hair frame her fine features. An officer of the court guided her into our office.  Her head was down because she was shy, confused and too scared to contribute any details of her story…
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Vanessa
Vanessa is 12-years-old. She is tall and very thin. Her front teeth are beginning to turn black and rot away from lack of proper nutrition and brushing. Her clothes are horribly tattered and dirty. Most of the time she is barefoot and though her long black hair is combed, life without soap and shampoo is easy to see and hard to hide. Given the conditions she lives in, her appearance is understood… 
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Kayla
Now I will tell you about Kayla, our 17-year-old mother who is living in our foster care facility. Unbelievable is all I can say... She remembered seeing me in Palosaco, a small village five hours upriver. This was in March of 2001 which may not be such a big deal except she was 12-years-old and had been abandoned for two years.  She had been assaulted in every way, and survived it all. I will be interested to hear more of her story as time passes. She is special and is quickly winning the hearts of those she meets…  
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Come to my Father's House
Steffany, a 16-year-old mother of 11 month old Nicole, was banished from her small village on the coast while still pregnant. The father of the child then brought her to Iquitos. I don´t know how long the relationship was good or how quickly it deteriorated, but the father started beating them both. Steffany, to avoid the pain, and out of fear for her child's life, has been staying on the streets with all of her earthy possessions in a small plastic bag the size of a purse. Most of these belongings are baby related…  
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Olga and Sara Find a Home
If we will build it, they will come. Yesterday afternoon an 18-year-old girl, named Olga, was waiting for me outside our headquarters. Desperation had driven her to the church next door. She has been attending services regularly for the last six months and studying the bible with one of the members who lives near her house. This time it was neither worship nor bible study that brought her to the pastor. Olga wanted food for 2-year-old Sara. The months of struggling to provide had taken their toll and Olga's resolve to make it on her own was gone. The church had nothing to give, other than compassion, and to suggest that she try the organization next door because they “sometimes help poor mothers with babies…”
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It Must Be a Dream
We stepped off a marine repair dock along an Amazon tributary and moved to the shade on the first landing of the steep stairs leading to the street far above. Julio, Marcos and I were talking to the owners of a speedboat that we were in the process of buying. The discussion took ten or fifteen minutes, and during this time I saw a young man sitting on the next landing above me. At first I didn't notice anything about him that was unusual, but as I watched I noticed his repeated swaying, his head hanging low and an awkward touching of his cheek and right eye. My first conclusion was that he was drunk and had just found a shady place to sleep it off…
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Veronica
It is March and the streets of Cuzco are filled with people of all ages that live a life of poverty, hopelessness and day-to-day survival. I have a few friends here and I want to tell you about one of them…
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Abelardo
His name is Abelardo. He is a twenty-seven-year-old subsistence farmer that has struggled to provide for his wife Edith and daughter Allisa…
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Monica's Story
She sells candy on the streets to help the family survive. She was nine years old when I met her and now she is fourteen. She is not as little and cute as she once was. Charming a tourist isn't as easy as it used to be. You might say she is past her prime…
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Martha and Candy
I found two little orphaned girls tonight. Their names are Candy age 10 and Martha age 8. I kid you not; they look 5 and 7. Freddie and I were joking with the little one who was panhandling money from us. I said, “Didn't your mother tell you not to beg!” Of course in this place the parents instruct their children in the techniques of begging…  
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Hmmm…$200
The first call of the day was to pick up the sister of my friend Marina and take her to the eye doctor. She has had vision problems for a while and has been frustrated because she couldn't afford glasses…
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Nikko
I watched a man dance in the square for money. What made him unique was he had only one arm and one short stub for a leg. He sits on the sidewalk and kind of bounces.  He had wrapped tape around his leg stub so that the concrete wouldn't rub the skin off while he danced. The crowd was quite large, maybe 200 people…
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