November 7, 2011

Praise the Lord!

Filed under: General — ssherwood @ 10:43 pm

And your new Guatemalan president is…


Otto Perez Molina. (:

This is extremely exciting news. It gives us more hope that international adoptions will one day start again, considering Molina has a heart for orphan children.

Yesterday morning we had church here at Eagle’s Nest. It went well, other than the fact that we could not understand a word that was said during the entire service.

After church we headed to Panjachel and spent the rest of the day shopping the streets. It was quite an experience because you have to barter with the street vendors to reach a resonable price.

Today was spent doing REAL work around the orphanage. The guys on the work team welded railings for the school/church and us girls painted. Lets just say, be very careful when you’re painting with oil-based paint. And make sure you have running water to clean off the strong-smelling paint solvent, which was used to get the paint off of our skin. If you don’t have running water, make sure you have some sort of liquid on hand, and also a pitcher!

We are exhausted.


November 5, 2011

Already Dreading the Goodbye…

Filed under: General, Helping Hearts — ssherwood @ 11:49 pm

We know it’s long, but READ IT ALL.


After our good night’s rest last night, we were all rested up for the eventful day we had planned ahead of us today…

This afternoon, we took the children to a little village called Panajachel to celebrate the children’s birthdays (cumpleaños). They all were able to swim in Lake Atitlán, eat hotdogs & cupcakes, and open little gifts… The kids really enjoyed the time spent in Panajachel this afternoon and it really made me happy to know they were given the opportunity to travel outside of the orphanage for the afternoon and have the time of their lives! The village was quite the experience for us foreigners! We had several women and children come up and beg us to buy their colorful weaved blankets, bracelets, and clothing items. A few women from the village saw a few of us holding the babies and tried to take them away from us. The lake didn’t have much of a beach, it was mostly just sharp rocks on the shore and stairs that led into the water.. But after a few hours of splashing around in the water, the kids were getting tired and ready to go back home!

After celebrating the cumpleaños, the work team went back down to Panjachel to zipline through the natural reservoir’s jungle, which was a blast! The course consisted of 8 different ziplines. We had to hike 500 feet up the mountain to get to the first zipline & on our hike up, we saw a beautiful waterfall. Not only did we see a waterfall, but we were also able to see a few monkeys and some other strange looking animals that are related to the racoon family! It was my first experience doing a zip line course and I absolutley loved it!

After ziplining, we stopped at a coffeé shop in the village which was owned by an American named Mike. We rested for a little while and enjoyed some delicious coffeé. While sitting around in the shop, a very poor old man stopped by begging from some Quetzals.. It was very heartbreaking moment, so we had to help the old man out and gave him a few Quetzals.. Driving through the village, heading back up to the orphanage, we saw several people sleeping on the sides of the roads. We, Americans take much for granted and not often enough, do we think about how blessed we are to have beds to sleep in and roofs over our heads, providing us warmth and protection.

After our adventures in the small village of Panjachel today, we all gathered together to eat a warm delicious meal and discussed with Claire and Larry Boggs (the Founders of Eagle’s Nest orphanage) the history of how Eagle’s Nest came about!

These past few days in Solola, Guatemala have really changed my entire outlook on life. I have grown closer to God and become more and more appreciative of the many things I have been blessed with.. During these few days, strong bonds with the children have been created and we have all fallen in love with every single one of them.. It is going to be extremely hard to say good bye to all of them and leaving behind the amazing individuals here at Eagle’s Nest orphanage.

– Savannah


The only thing I want for Christmas is a plane ticket back to Gautemala. I have fallen in love with everything about this country. 

There are so many words going through my head, I don’t know where to begin. Discoveries of the day: Oreos taste better in Guatemala, there are invisible bugs here that leave itchy red bumps on your legs (Savannah woke up with over 40 of these bites,) the teenagers here love flaunting Hollister clothes, and Americans are pretty much…  greedy.

The smile can not be wiped from my face. The joy here is contagious. The orphans at Eagle’s Nest know why they’re at the orphanage; know they were abandoned by people that should have loved them the most, and the farmers work all day long, up the mountains, by hand, yet everyone in Guatemala is still so thankful. You can simply tell by their beautiful tan, smiling faces as you drive by them.

As Savannah mentioned up above, after dinner we sat down and talked with Larry and Claire Boggs, the founders of Eagle’s Nest. We started from the very beginning; how Larry and Claire met. We eventually were ready to talk about why and how they decided to move from Wichita, Kansas, to Guatemala. They moved to Guatemala simply because God called them to. And how? Simply by pure faith in the Lord. Their story was so inspiring. We adopted my brother, Jess, when he was almost 2. Now he is in the 7th grade. Larry and Claire have saved so many abused and abandoned babies, that have now grown up to know Jesus. It’s crazy what God can do.

I hope to someday live in Guatemala myself, whether it’s for a few months, or a lifetime. We’ll see what the Lord does. Someone needs to tell these people about Jesus. Why shouldn’t it be me?

Like Savannah, I have also fallen in love with the precious babies in the orphanage; one in particular though. I can not seem to leave her side. She is 4-year-old, Ophelia. She was brought to the orphanage only 5 days ago, after being sexually abused by her uncle. I find myself constantly wondering how someone could do something so awful to such a beautiful little girl. Ophelia is not shy, at all. She seems to fit in just fine, and her laugh is the cutest thing you’ll ever hear. (Check out pictures of her on my facebook.) I will be so sad to leave her, as well as the other 25 children.



DON’T FORGET, election day is tomorrow. We will let you know who wins as soon as we find out. We have been extremely anxious all day. We want these babies to be placed in their own homes more than anything.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers more than you can imagine.

November 4, 2011

Hola Guatemala!

Filed under: General, Helping Hearts — ssherwood @ 10:54 pm

¹¡Hola, mi amigos!

These first two days in Solola, Guatemala have been absolutely amazing. We have fallen in love with the children already!

Yesterday, we landed in Guatemala City at 11:00 A.M. Guatemala City, surprisingly, is a lot like back home; however, the air is very unsanitary. The fumes are ridiculous. The traffic is interesting. The streets are extremely crowded, and we don’t believe that there are speed limits, considering speed bumps cover the streets. There are guards standing everywhere with huge guns.

Once arriving in the city, we headed to Pizza Hut. Crazy huh? And then to Wal Mart. Differences in American/Guatemalan Wal Marts: You bag your own groceries, the meat is in open containers (sanitary huh?) fish are caught and immediately placed right on shelves, and milk and eggs are left on shelves, unrefridgerated.

We then traveled 3 hours by van, through the mountains, to Solola, Guatemala. This is where the orphanage is located. On our way, we were amazed by the trash on the sides of the narrow roads, the thin stray animals (including horses, cows, sheep, oxen, llamas, and dogs) roaminng the country, the women in brightly colored dresses carrying baskets upon their heads, the tiny tin shacks for homes, and the men and kids working the fields by hand.

The trip up the mountains actually went by quick because we were so fascinated by the culture.

We arrived at Eagle’s Nest orphanage at about 3 P.M. We were then sent to our bungalos to unpack. We were in awe of our view of Lake Atitlan and the surrounding mountains/volcanoes.

After unpacking, we stepped foot in the orphanage for the very first time, where we were greeted by many hugs and “holas”. We were overwhelmed with joy and knew we’d become attached immediately to the 25 beautiful faces. We spent 30 minutes or so getting to know the kids a little, headed to dinner, then got enough sleep to be ready for the eventful day ahead of us.

Morning came too quick. The altitude change wore us out, but we were ready to see the kids. We first had to organize the 16 trunks of items we brought for the orphanage, then got to head to the orphanage. We were again greeted with many big hugs. We played in the orphanage for a few hours; coloring with chalk, learning the alphabet, painting, doing puzzles, and playing outside on the playground. The kids love having their picture taken, and are fascinated in looking back at their picture.

At 1 P.M. 60 kids from the village come eat lunch at the orphanage 5 days a week, through the “Mana” program. For many of the kids, this is their only meal of the day. They walk from the village all by themselves, ranging in age from 3 to 16. Their clothes have a great amount of holes, and their faces are covered in dirt. It was a heartbreaking moment to see the kids walk home, not knowing what their home conditions are like.

Even though watching all of these kids suffer, there is great hope. Guatemala’s Presidential election is on Sunday, and we pray that the elected candidate has a big heart for the thousands of orphan children. It would take time, but the change in President may help allow International adoptions, which is very exciting news.

We are looking forward to the rest of the week, but we know it’s going to be very difficult to leave after creating these strong bonds with the children.

Please pray for the election process, the “Mana” and orphan children, the conditions the Guatemalan people are living in, and strength for us to make great changes in the short amount of time we’re here.

Thank you so much for your support.

Pallie and Savannah

November 2, 2011

The Journey Begins!

Filed under: General, Helping Hearts — ssherwood @ 10:01 pm

In less than 4 hours we’ll be headed to Wichita to board the plane to Guatemala City! Once we land in Guatemala City, we’ll travel into the mountains to Solola, where the orphanage is located. We are soooo very excited for this one of a kind adventure. Keep checking for updates, because we’ll keep you posted as much as we can. We’ll have lots to share. Please keep our work team in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the unbelievable support, (:

Savannah and Pallie

October 27, 2011

Girls gathering donations for trip to Guatemalan orphanage

Filed under: Helping Hearts — admin @ 10:25 am

Pallie Koehn has visited Guatemala twice — once when she was 3, and again as a third-grader.

This time, she’s a sophomore at Southeast of Saline and old enough to work.

Koehn and her friend, Savannah Sherwood, are leaving next week for a nine-day visit to the central American country, where they’ll be part of a 10-person work group from Kansas at the Eagle’s Nest orphanage in Solola.

Koehn’s family has numerous ties to the orphanage; her little brother Jess was adopted from there in 1999 when he was 2, as was one of her uncles. Her grandparents, who live in Inman, are on the orphanage’s governing board.

Read reporter Mike Strand’s full story at

October 26, 2011

Helping Hearts; Finding Homes

Filed under: Helping Hearts — admin @ 9:49 am

Giving to the Orphans of Guatemala: Pallie Koehn and Savannah Sherwood are sophomores at Southeast of Saline High School. A part of a work team of 10, they will be traveling to Solola, Guatemala for 9 days. They will be staying at Eagle’s Nest orphanage. Throughout the week and a half, they will be playing with 25 kids at the orphanage, cleaning and providing meals for the 200 children from the village that come receive a free lunch at Eagle’s Nest 5 days a week.

October 15, 2008

Journal Blogs are back!

Filed under: General, Political, Sports — admin @ 9:52 am

Bloggers – they’re back. A new version of the Journal Blogs is back online.  Please contact the Webmaster at [email protected] and include your username to have your blog access reinstated. We continue to make changes. Please bear with us.


The Salina Journal