Hi all. It’s Ronnie, with great news about our progress with Pedro’s housing. We have thus far received over three months’ rent for Pedro’s new room and pledges for at least ten more months, for a total of over a year’s worth of rent! We’ve also gotten the money to buy Pedro a new bed, mattress, water filter (no more parasites!), blankets, pillow, table, chairs, and perhaps a dresser–a fully furnished room!
I just came back from looking at the room that we’ll be renting for Pedro, and it’s lovely. There is light, an electrical outlet, a window, a solid door, a cement floor and cinder block walls that actually keep out the wind and rain, and access to a clean (and almost private) bathroom and shower–not to mention a bit of color and sunshine! Coming from his old place, I think Sharon, Mayan Families’ director, put it right when she said that Pedro will likely feel like he just won the lottery. What’s more: The new place is right by the shed that he currently lives in, and so Pedro will get to stay close to the kind neighbors who have been looking out for him (helping him take his medicine, giving him extra food when they can afford it, washing his clothes, etc).
Tomorrow we’ll be buying the furniture and setting up, and on the 1st of November we’ll be moving Pedro into the new place–And it’s all a surprise! (We didn’t want to promise Pedro anything until we were absolutely sure we could offer it, and since there are now just a few days left until move-in is allowed, we thought it’d be nice to wait a bit longer so as to present the room in ready condition.) Along with the Mayan Families staff members who have been helping with this project, I cannot wait for the big day and to share it all with you.
Today during the lunch run I asked Pedro if he needed anything. I was referring to medicine refills, but I wasn’t very clear and so Pedro misunderstood. He told me that, if I could find one, a piece of furniture to put his clothes in would be really nice–Pedro currently keeps his clothes in cardboard boxes on top of his bed, which is very small to begin with. One of his neighbors, a bubbly woman, jokingly asked if the dresser was really for a lady (75-year-old Pedro has never been married). Pedro nodded and then laughed and laughed with the rest of us. I told him that tomorrow I’d look for a dresser.