Saturday, June 16, 2012

Back from El Salvador

I'm back from El Salvador. It was a very tough trip, working 12-hour days, but rewarding as well. We met many families and cases of extreme need, and I talked with some orphans who had horrific pasts. The stories of these children would break your heart. Two girls I interviewed had been locked in a closet and left naked and alone by their mother when they were only 2 and 3 years old. She'd then go out for the day, not even giving them any food. They were so hungry that they defecated on the floor and then ate their own feces. Oh, and their grandfather? He'd come over to the house once in a while and rape them.

When police found out their case, they brought them to the hospital. The girls were so ill and malnourished that they spent several days in the hospital before going to the orphanage.

Today they are in an orphanage where they are loved and cared for. I just don't understand how a mother can do that to her children. These are the stories that drive me to work hard at my day job by raising money to keep children safe and secure in orphanages so no one can abuse them anymore. And these are the stories that drive me to write fictional romance with happy endings, so I can decompress from the horror of how they suffered.

The photo is taken from the shores of Lake Ilopango, a crater lake formed by an ancient volcano, which is 60% polluted with chemicals from factory runoff, wastewater and other delights. We are doing a water project for the two communities who have to rely on this water for bathing and cooking and sometimes, even drinking. It's odd because it's such a beautiful and peaceful lake on the surface, with such deadly contaminants lurking below.

Now it's back to trying to catch up to stuff at home...I need to return to writing the next book, which I'm titling The Phantom Wolf. DH and our dogs were so happy to see me after all this travel. I think they may have taken my suitcase and are holding it hostage so I can't leave them any time soon.

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