Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lon in Peru April 2008

I just wanted to give you some quick updates before I go to Peru tomorrow. I will be traveling all night and arriving Monday morning at sunrise in Lima. I have a bunch of things to check out in Lima concerning our tours in November. I will be meeting with our local guides who will help with our stay over in Lima before traveling into the jungle towns.

I will also be going to see the little girl Arasely at the Chosica Foster Home. It is Arasely's 9th birthday this week I we are going to arrange a party for her and 20 other girls at a restaurant with birthday cake and balloons. Arasely has been taking some extra English classes at a private school so I hope she can speak better English when I see her.

On Wednesday I will be flying into the jungle to Iquitos. I will be going to visit the School of the Dolphins we helped build four years ago. Vioricka said the new teachers and directors are working together better. The country of Spain has helped donate more money for school repairs. Since there are 500 kids there now they have expanded to morning, afternoon and night classes for different age groups.

I will also be scouting the progress of the new school at KM 46 which is 30 miles further into the jungle. The rainy season has slowed the work making cement but the construction continues everyday. Classes started April 15th. I will take lots of photos and find out how much working is needed to finish the school.

There are two college age teachers from Boston (Sybil and Joe) who will be going to teach English at the KM 46 school starting May 27. They will stay and live at the village for three months. I want to see the house and living conditions in the village. The village is very friendly and helpful to provide housing and food from the jungle for Sybil and Joe. However the village reminds me of being on the television show SURVIVOR. I am sure Sybil and Joe will have a some good stories from their stay in the jungle.

Concerning the tours for next November, I will have a lot more details ready when I return home in two weeks. I will start sending you updates about the tours and what to start planning for. If you need to reach me in Peru before May 1st you can contact me at...

More updates later.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

I received the following letter from my daughter Rebecca on my 50th birthday March 27, 2008. It was the best gift she could have sent.

My Dear Father,

I am writing to you to wish you a very happy birthday. On one hand, it
is like so many others that you have celebrated since your birth, but
on the other it has a certain greater significance that is forever
monumented on greeting cards, tee-shirts, bumper stickers. Over the
hill? Or not quite, maybe that is closer to 65. Whatever the case, you
have now reached the age that people seem to view as the halfway
point, a very important landmark on our timelines.

This causes me to pose the question of when this phenomonea came to be; when we began to view this particular number as so imposing and meaningful. It is especially puzzling to view it as the halfway mark between our birth
and death when considering that our average age tends to fall around
the 80-85 mark. Your genes might be the exception that you might have
only lived half of your life by now. Regardless, whether we celebrate
our halfway mark at 30 or 70, you have now another lifetime ahead of
you. Or perhaps just the same amount of lifetime that has laid ahead
of you during the rest of your life that you have previously lived.

Perhaps it is now the time when people begin to assess what is truly
important and what they would like to accomplish before their final
chapter, but I believe that every moment should be considered with
this assessment and we shouldn't have to wait until we are 50 to begin
tackling our goals. Maybe we just have to wait until we are 50 to have
the time for them.

The ratio of our ages, as father and daughter, are approaching every
year; at one point in time I was only one thirtith of your age, now I
am nearly half. We are exponentially approaching zero and will someday
reach that axis, but for now I sincerely wish you a happy birthday and
hope you give yourself a moment to reflect on your most joyful moments
of the past half-century, of the past half-lifetime, and that you
continue to live this joy for the remainder.

With exponential love,

New Peru Jungle School Almost Ready

Translated letter from Vioricka Rodrigues who is the manager of the Peru school building project at KM 46 located 30 miles from Iquitos Peru.

April 6, 2008

Good morning LON,
Responding to your question of the school of the km. 46. I expect that the school will be ready for classes on the date April 15, that I told you. The climate here rains every day. I think that you are you going to come here to find the work at the school has advanced a lot with the construction of the school. It is possible that the school is not finished because of the rain. We will be prepared for all and adapt to the circumstances. The children go for the classes therefore it is expected that the school have the roof and we begin with the classes even that the school is not finished. The children will continue studying in a space that was arranged for the classes. We be able to continue with the construction and working at the school without interrupting the studies of the children.

For the moment we have 110 children that are going to continue in the school. They are very poor and they do not have school equipment. The children come from very humble families that do not have notebook neither pencils. They write with the leaves of the banana for their pencil. I think that your friends admired themselves a lot for how they help the education in very poor zones. The children do not have anything but the school will begin a new history. Lon it is good if you bring more equipment for the children of the km. 46 school. I think that that will be a good surprise for the children of the school in the forest. They are going to be very happy when they return to its houses. They are going to show their parents all the pretty thing that the school gives them for their classes.


I (Lon) will be going to Peru next week to check the progress at the KM 46 school. I will be transporting as many school supplies as possible in my luggage. There is a school supply store located in the city of Iquitos located 30 miles from the new school. I hope to buy more supplies there and try to get the school up and running before I return home April 29th. I will post more updates when I return home.