January 30, 2011

Happy New Year (yes, it’s still a new year), 2011!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 2:43 pm

I know we haven’t posted anything in a while, but we are still here.  We are anxiously awaiting photos and a report from PLE’s 4th Annual Chupaca Children’s Christmas fiesta, sponsored in large part by our donors. MUCHAS GRACIAS!

In November and December 2010, Castle High’s Spanish and French classes raised a staggering $425 for us to send to Peru for PLE’s 4th Annual Christmas party. This is a little over $2 per child who was expected to attend.  Although $2 seems too small to do much, this amount helped provide a hot holiday meal and a new gift for every child there.

Even though the holiday season has passed, the needs of the children in Peru have not.  We are still raising funds for the needs of PLE’s school, as well as for Presli Balbin and Merardo Alvarado.  Won‘t you add to it? Even $5 goes a long way (use our Donation button for PayPal on our website, or send a check to Sherrill Sturm P.O. Box 94 Kaneohe HI 96744).

We have been behind on things, but be patient.  We will be getting new data and photos to our lovely webmaster, Katie, who will be updating our content as well as adding to our website’s functionality as a storefront for our fund raiser sale items.

We hope 2011 has been treating you well so far.  One month down…. eleven to go!

Aloha and Gracias,

Lisa and Sheri Sturm

December 14, 2009

Navidad Novedades (Christmas News) 2009

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:46 pm

Dear Friends of PeruDonations,                                             Christmas 2009

We have had quite an interesting year.  Despite only one benefit concert and diminished online sales, we have continued our commitment to our affiliate Peru Luz de Esperanza in Peru and “our boys,” Presli and Merardo.  After six frustrating months of lost contact, Lisa went on a mission to Peru to find Presli.  Armed with photos on her iPod, her recently unused Spanish and lots of luck, she found everyone the first day in their town!  Lisa spent the next two weeks making several important contacts, including a judge, and initiating required paperwork for Presli’s surgery and travel.

Lisa also met Merardo for the first time and gave him some medical supplies and other necessities.  She was very impressed with this young man and introduced him to Presli.  We are hoping that Merardo will act as an older brother to Presli and persuade him to return to school.  Since leaving the orphanage two years ago, Presli has been out of school, and currently is earning less than $2 per day working for a farmer.  Lisa bought Presli a new t-shirt and some proper-fitting shoes, which his mom could not afford.

Lisa and Presli meet Merardo for the first time at PLE home-base.  They boys hit it off right away.

Lisa and Presli meet Merardo for the first time at PLE home-base. They boys hit it off right away.

PLE’s (Ely and Nilton) economic situation has worsened.  They have had very few volunteers in the last year, and have just welcomed a new baby.  Despite these changes, they continue to work in five nearby villages providing free after-work classes for the poorest children.

We are presently collecting cash donations to send next week for PLE’s Village Christmas Party for approximately 500 poor children from the area.  Even a $5 gift through our website will go a long way toward providing each child with a gift of clothing or a toy.

We want to give our most sincere thanks to our donors, sponsors, bands, and supporters for their generous assistance at our March benefit concert.  Please support them with your patronage:

Mercado de la Raza on Beretania St.

Pass Out Records

The 808 Scene Zine


Jelly’s Music `Aiea

Glow Putt at Windward Mall

Easy Music Center in Moili`ili

Hawai`i Grad Nite

808 Tattoo in Kane`ohe

Life Rocks Productions

Nemesis Productions

Fifteen07 Music Studios in Honolulu

Oasis Skateboards

Adam Carr at STAR 101.9 FM

Jason Miller of 808

Don Ho’s Island Grill at Aloha Tower Marketplace

Kit Dylan

Doug Fitch



Pat Gartside

Christine Petersen Dickey

Brian Coleman

LJ Büsekrüs

Christine Wilson

Vince Rodakowski

Katie Whitman

Shawn Davenport

Lisa and Sheri Sturm

PeruDonations Corporation

A Hawaii Non-Profit Corporation

November 3, 2009

Travelblog Number 11.2.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 9:18 am

Today´s tasks are  to find an allen wrench for Merardo´s bike, change hostels and get some groceries and cash.

The first order of business was to change hostels.  I remembered seeing one online that fronts the Parque Tupac Amaru, but nobody, including the police guard at the bank, could tell me where one was.  I walked all the way around the wrong way, to find it at the corner where the taxi had dropped me off.  For 20 soles ($7.10) per day, I will have a more well-apportioned room, complete with a full-length mirrow, a hanging rack, a dresser, a little desk and an actual HOT shower in a small bathroom with a reasonalble amount of openness.  No kitchen priveleges, so I´ll have to eat out or get some non-perishables for the room.  No problem.

I rushed back to the Casa de la Abuela to get out of my 50 sol ($17.73) per night cold room so that I could get back on task.  I paid the full nine nights ahead at the new place, ¨Hospedaje San Cristobal¨, and got on the road to find a hex key.  I walked for about 2 hours up and down the crowded, filthy, poor marketplace, looking for a tool stand or hardware store.  One man stopped me when he saw me take a picture and asked if I was a ¨periodista¨ (newsperson).  I told him that I am  not with a newspaper, but that I am documenting my travels in Peru.  He told me that he needed help to find his 14 year old daughter.  She had gone to Lima to live with family friends, but he has not had contact with them for over 4 months.  I told him that I have no way to help him and that I was myself in Peru to find two people.  I wished him luck and told him that I cannot imagine the pain of looking for one´s own child.  I had to walk away from him.  His face was breaking my heart.

I have a problem here because everyone has a sad story to tell and they are real and true.  I wish that I had some kind of power to help find all the missing children, or to help bury those who have died (like the 9 year old killed by a car in La Oroya the same day and time my bus passed through there), or to take all the Presli´s of the world and give them a warm bed, clean clothes, medical care, education, etc.  There are just not enough PDC´s on this planet to help all the Presli´s and Merardo´s.  It is just too sad, but this is also only one country.  There are countries all over the world whose names I don´t even know where the life is even harder than here.

Anyway, the food costs here are embarassing.  For example, today I had a nice ham sandwich and fresh papaya juice for less than $1.50, two beef sticks with potatos on the ends for a sol (35 cents), a bag of giant roasted corn for another sol and dinner was a quarter of a chicken, a salad and a half a plate of large-cut fries and a huge cup of hot anise tea for 5.50 soles ($1.77).  I´ll be back to this restraunt for sure!  Total food costs for today: $2.30.  Shameful!

I had an ATM ¨incident¨.  I mistakenly asked for dollars the first time, so now I have $100 of US dollars, but what I needed was soles.  So, two transactions at $7.50 of fees per time to get 200 soles in my pocket.  I´ll be able to change the dollars, but now I have to make sure that my checking account does not go negative, especially with the added $!5 in fees.  Stupid ATM!

After being sent all over the place, I finally found the hex key.  A woman sitting against the wall had a blanket-display full of tools: scissors, vice grips, hammers, awls, and two sets of hex keys.  I got the most appropriate set and could finally concetrate on my main task for they day – to buy groceries. 

I went to the brand new shiny Real Plaza on Giraldez and got some bread, cheese, ham, ketchup, mayo, olives, etc. as well as a packet of diapers and booties for the new baby Condor.  After depositing my groceries at the hostel, I headed back out to the internet where I eventually met up with Jonee and Dani about how to approach Presli´s paperwork.  They both gave me some good ideas.  I have an appointment with Hilda tomorrow, since it´s her only day off, to take her and Presli to get his passport arranged.    Apparently it only takes two to three days to have it in hand, so that´s my next move .

After a day of walking around for 10 hours (the altitude still gets to me a bit), I am exhausted.  I did not get a lot of actual PDC business done today, but I now have house food, Nilton will be able to fix Merardo´s bike and I have a good plan for what to do tomorrow with Hilda and Presli.  Jonee and Dani gave me directions on where to go for what, so I should be all set to go.

Hot shower me, yo!

November 2, 2009

Travelblog Number 11.1.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 9:01 am

I got up at about 10 AM, still on Hawaii time and travel-weary.  I got some food in the street and grabbed a combi to Chupaca.  Armed with my iPod photos, an old address for Ely and the memory of a photo she had sent me of Presli´s mom´s house, I set out to look for him.  Using the information that the girl in Lima had given me, I got off in front of the Comisaria of Chupaca (from what I can gather, it´s like the Sherriff´s office).  Anyway, Presli´s photo was not posted there as she had described, nor did the two officers there know what I was talking about.  One of them went with me into the street to ask around.  I showed his photo to several people who told me that they had seen him ¨down that way, but mostly in the evenings¨.  Undaunted, I proceeded to walk down the dog, merchant and drunkard-filled road until I came to someone who swore that he visits the clinic at the end of the block.  So to the clinic I went.  The clerk did not know his name or his address, but she said she thinks he lives in Pincha and to ask the taxi guys at the corner.

I did and one of them, William Quinones, said that he knows pretty much where Presli lives.  I jumped in and he took me further and further into the farming village, asking people along the way.  We were led up a hill, past a little church to this very narrow lane.  He asked some kids on bikes and they told us to go to the house just near the top of the hill.  We went to where they showed us and as I looked out the window, I immediately recognized the photo of the mom´s house that Ely had sent.  Excited, I jumped out of the taxi and asked the kids if they´d go knock to see if anyone is home.  She´s not home, they said, ´but here she comes on the road´.  Sure enough, I looked to the road below that we had just been on and there was a lady and a young girl making their way up the hill.

When she got to to the top of the hill, I asked if she was Presli´s mom and she said YES! and gave me a hug without even asking who I was.  Turns out, she assumed that I was from the orphange.  I explained to her who I am, about my mom and I forming PDC for Presli´s cause and why I was here.  She was filled with emotion, but I could tell that she had a lot of pain and guilt in her heart.  We talked for a few minutes and then set out to look for Presli.  We went to a neighbor´s house where he sometimes hangs out, but he was not there.  Eventually, he turned up, having returned from watching the neighbor´s bulls (he works for tips keeping the bulls in line – how exactly a kid of 110 pounds manages that, I can´t figure). 

He was timid and didn´t recognize me.  I showed him a picture of mom and I that I had on the iPod and he had some spark of recognition.  The three of us talked for another 2 hours or so and I got more details of his life.  I told Presli about what we are intending to do for him.  I made it very clear to him that his whole life will change, not only because of the surgery and emotional therapy that will be provided for him, but also that during the process, he will be in pain, away from his family and friends, not able to go out and do whatever, and that he will be in a strange place where he will not be well-understood.  I told him to think about it very hard.  I reminded him that it´s not going to happen soon, because we lack the funding and the paperwork at this point to give him a date, but that it is in the works and that we have not forgotten about him. 

By the end of the two hours, I had gained his confidence enough for him to let me take his picture, including photos of the keloids that his 2007 surgery in La Oroya had left on his neck.  I am concerned that if he tends to develop keloids, that he might have a scarring problem when they do his face as well.  I am going to forward the photos to his surgeons so that they can make provisions to avoid this side-effect of getting him fixed up.

Having exchanged phone numbers and ideas, I then set out to find Ely.  The taxista had been with me for 2 and a half hours, so I paid him the standard 10 soles per hour.  Just under $9 is a very fair price, I think, to have helped me find Presli on the first day I am here, no?

Back in the main square of Chupaca, I hired a minitaxi to take me to Ely´s last known address.  He took me there, but the address did not exist.  Figuring that I´ll be able to find someone who knows Ely or her program, PLE, I got out and again set out asking everyone.  There was an older lady outside at the time who didn´t know Ely, but a young woman playing with friends at the corner not only knew Ely, but her uncle had rented them the house across the street.  She said that Ely and Nilton now live ¨in that house down there with the orange roof and the yellow trim¨.  I held myself back from running, when she added, that she hadn´t seen Ely in a few days. ¨Perhaps she is still in the hospital for giving brith¨.  WHAT!?! They´re having a baby?!  No wonder we haven´t heard from her! 

Not sure if they will even be home today at all, I went and knocked on the door.  Nothing.  I waited for a few minutes and knocked again.  Still nothing.  Well, I haven´t eaten for a few hours, I thought, I´ll just walk down that way to see what I find.  I walked down a few blocks and saw the smoke and heard the sounds of a festival of sorts, so I headed down the hill next to the river.  Down at the bottom of the hill is a cemetary, and being All Saint´s Day, there was indeed a small festival going on.  I thought that I might find Ely and Nilton here, but then I realized that their families are not from Chupaca, and that if they are indeed celebrating, that they would be in HYO instead.  Still with time to kill, I had a plate of cuy (photos to follow) and relaxed in the shade a while.

I walked back up the hill to their house, hoping to find someone.  Nothing.  I went back to the store and the girl assured me that it was their house.  Her father, Felix, showed up just then and confirmed that it´s their house, as it is he who takes Andre to school every morning and takes Nilton to the Village Schools every afternoon.  I asked for an internet place and spent another hour waiting there.

At about 6 ´clock it was getting dark.  If they were not home, I needed to head back because I didn´t want to be on the combi alone in the dark to HYO.  I went to the house and found the lights on.  One knock at the door and Nilton opened it tentatively.  He immediately recognized me and gave me the BIGGEST hug!  He took me to the room in the back of the courtyard, where Ely and just returned from a 10 day stay in the hospital.  Little Josue was laying there perfectly perfect on the bed.  The look on Ely´s face was unforgettable! 

We caught up for a while and exchanged phone numbers.  They explained to me that situation that they´re in due to having no volunteers and that they have had to move twice in the last three years to keep up with their bills.  Their website and email were hacked and their phone numbers have changed a few times.  They were kind of embarassed for having dropped out of touch, but they assured me that they were still working with Presli and Merardo.  She gave me some sad news about Presli that makes me even more motivated to get his treatments started.  Ely got a phone call just then and she left.  Nilton continued: As for Merardo, he had just seen him the prior Friday when Merardo went to visit Nilton to see if he could raise the handlebars on the bike that the French and Spanish classes of Castle in 2007 had bought for him.  Nilton did not have a hex key/Allen wrench, so he couldn´t adjust it.

Ely returned from her phone call and she said that she must be the most sought-out person in the world today.  I laughed and added that people come from as far away as Hawaii to find her!  After a humble dinner of undercooked rice and a fried egg with rolls and hot tea, Nilton accompanied me back to HYO on the combi.  During the ride, he shared more good news about Merardo.  His family has been given a peice of land and his father has already constructed two rooms on it.  They hope to finish it as soon as possible, since there are now 6 children.  Merardo wants to be an engineer, but he is horrible with math.  It took him three tries to pass the first level of basic math, two to pass the second level and now he is still struggling in the fourth level.  Nilton and others have tried to counsel him to change his aspirations to something more attainable.  The poor kid is very influencible by his peers and changes his mind literally day to day.  I suggested to Nilton that they have him take an aptitude test two or three times to accomodate for poor sleep, peer pressure, etc, take the most common results and go from there.  He is going to look into it.  

Nilton also shared that Presli is hanging around with older kids who give him cigarettes and alcohol, confirming what Presli´s mom, Hilda, and Ely had already told me.  I can totally understand why Presli would find a group who would accept him and do whatever they do to stay ´in´, but this is the wrong direction for him.  I need to impress on him the importance of avoiding these vices so that, with our help, he can find the best life for himself and his family.

Well, a very successful day.  Now for BED!  (No shower today, although I have Chupca dust all over me, I just can´t take the cold).

November 1, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.31.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 8:14 am

Bus to Huancayo day.  Not much to tell.   A pretty uneventful day except for nearly missing the bus!  Traveler´s note: when trying to navigate central Lima on a Saturday, plan to leave at least an extra 20 minutes earlier to account for traffic.  Even for Lima it was pretty bad.  Anyway, the bus was held for me as I got my bags weighed.  The ticket agent said that the first 20 kilos was free and one sol per kilo over that.  But the guy at the station said it was 30 kilos free.  My two bags weighed in at 33.40 kilos and I gave him a 20 sol bill.  He walked away as the door agent was telling me to hurry up.  I asked the kid for my change and he just gave me a blank look.  I told the guy at the door and he made a note, but I never got my change.  If the free weight is actaully 20 kilos, then I should have gotten 6 soles back, just under 3 bucks, but if it´s 30, my change should have been almost $7.50.  When I got to Huancayo, the ticket agents said I need to take it up with the people in Lima.  Traveler beware!

As for the ride, we got a nice little lunch, a pillow, blanket, (reused) headset and a cup of tea.  For some reason the attendant went a little goofy when I couldn´t find the pillow as we were arriving.  She said ¨Well, please find it.¨ Sheesh!!

I got to Huancayo (hereinafter HYO) to find that my waiting ride was not waiting.  Since I could not find where I had left my printout of the phone number, I had to call mom in Hawaii to find it.  She arranged the pick up and I was at the hostel by 9:00.

I called Jonee, our affiliate´s AOP representative in HYO, who invited me to meet with her at the corner of the Plaza de Armas.  Being Halloween, she would be dressed in costume.  She was headed out to the Taj Mahal, where her fiance plays in a band.  I agreed to meet with them and ended up spending all night in various places, taking in the night life of HYO.  Very early in the morning I returned to the hostel for some horizontal time.

The hostel itself ranks very high on cool factor: self-serve beer fridge with an honor system of paying, a foosball table, a dartboard, an outside area with a perpetually heated bowl to toast your hands or your rolls, a resident eclectus parrot, cat and dog, and even two Wurlitzer record players c. 1950´s, despite the fact that they had nearly 24/7 CD music playing.  There was a group of about 10 people who were awaiting word from their sponsors about when they were to begin their Honda bike race to Paraguay.  I think this is the same even that mom read about several months ago.  It seems pretty treacherous, but they are mostly young and have nothing much else to do, I guess.  (hehe).  One of them told me that one of the teams who had already left lost their bike in a ravine, but that they had jumped out just in time.  They are doing it to raise funds for charity, so I guess it´s all good.  As long as they are safe and the charity benefits I wish them luck.

As for the accomodations, since the only single room was occupied, I got the ¨Matrimonial¨which, curiously, had two twin beds on opposite sides of the room.  The ¨hot¨water was not, and the 15 foot ceiling of the bathroom, which incidentally shared a half-height wall with the ¨outside¨bathroom (whose door was nearly always open) did not allow for the water to stay hot, nor could you build up any steam in the room.  I shivered and chattered the whole time, and I did not DARE wash my hair.  I´d be freezing all night.

I slept hard looking forward to the big day ahead of me tomorrow.  The hunt is on….  (photos to follow)

October 31, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.30.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 12:25 pm

¨Minka Day¨:  I took a ¨combi¨ (a converted passenger van with the routes painted on the windows and sides, with a guy who hangs out the open side door shouting their destinations, and who later collects your money before you get off) to Minka.  Minka is a humongous mercantile Nirvana in the province of Callao in greater Lima.  OMG!  You have everything from a farmer´s market, to  hanging meats at the several carnecerias, to table after table of fresh seafood, to modern department stores with electronics, shoes, dress clothes, furniture, to indoor/outdoor kiosks and a miniature train for the bored kids and dads to ride around the center section, family dining, McDonald´s, cell phone stores, et cetera ad nauseum.  To see everything would be about a 5 hour day, that is if you don´t stop to watch a movie in the cineplex.

You can buy anything and everything at Minka, which is why I went there in the first place – I needed to get by bus ticket for the afternoon departure.  When my hostelier called the agency, there was one seat left.  By the time I got there, both the afternoon and overnight busses were sold out.  I managed to get the very last seat on tomorrow´s afternoon bus.  Since I now had time, I wandered around, looking for a scarf and gloves for my trip to Huancayo. 

Here´s where the story gets very interesting.  I found a scarf/knit cap set, but no gloves.  I went EVERYWHERE.  For about two hours I walked in and out of passageway after passageway.  There was one kiosk with gloves in the glass display, but each time I passed by over a period of over one hour, nobody was there.  So, I kept trying.  Eventually, I found a little shop in a hallway of vendors that had knit gloves.  While the girl went to get change for my 10 soles (about $1.77), another young woman came in.  I thanked her for having the only pair of gloves in Lima in the springtime, because I am a Hawaiian going into the Andean Highlands – to Chupaca.  Well…… she´s from Chupaca, she knows Presli, Ely, Presli´s parent and even Rocio, who she reports was the person who got Presli´s placement into the orphanage where mom and I met him three years ago.

She gave me a map practically TO HIS HOUSE!!!

On the way home to the hostel, I bought a ¨juanes¨, which is a food made in the forrest area (selva) that looks suspiciously like laulau (see photos to follow).  It is filled with yellow rice, a chicken thigh, a boiled egg, and two sour olives, wrapped and steamed (like in an imu???) in leaves that look suspiciously like a taro plant of some kind.  I couldn´t figure it out.

Anyway, one last hot shower, pack and get ready for my 7 hour bus ride tomorrow.  Wooo hoooo!

October 30, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.29.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:49 pm

After a bumpy last few minutes on the flight to Dallas, it just made 7 AM.  I´m at the gate waiting for flight #2.  And the sun.  It´s pitch black outside and a little rainy.  Weird.

I just scarfed a bag of granola trail mix and Diet Pepsi from the newsstand (the clerk was from Tonga).  Breakfast of Champions.

At DFW they have free wifi in the terminal and charging stations.  Thanks to T-Mobile and Samsung!

Boarding now.  Snoooooooooze time? Nope.  The son of the Argentinean lady sitting next to me is a traveling neurosurgeon who just returned to Dallas from a medical mission to S.A.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Not much conversation though, just trying to read my ASCP board exam study book.  Unfortunately, it´s not boring enough to put this sicentist to sleep.

Strange that I am terrified of heights, ledges and edges, yet here I sit at this window seat enthralled by the mushroom and anvil clouds over Dallas, above which the sun is hiding.

Oh yeah, there´s wifi up here, too.  Ain´t it great to be an American ?! ¨This message sponsored by gogo Inflight Internet¨.

Fast forward five hours…. Now I´m on flight number three.  I met a young girl working in the Atlanta airport who said I looked tired, which I should since I´ve had only ninie hours of sleep since I woke up Monday morning, and it already Thursday, I think….

We got to talking about all my flights so far on this trek and, of course, the purpose of the my ´mission´ came up.  She was so moved by Presli´s story and photo that she gave me a cash donation right there.  At that moment I realized that I´ve been living with this story and the knowledge of what PDC is hoping to do for him for so long, over three years now, that I´ve become almost completely inured to how truly horrifying Presli´s life has been, and what a very important thing it is that we are trying to do for him and for Merardo.  Her tears almost made me cry myself, which is maybe what I needed to experience, as I continue on the long journey to find Presli so we can give him a better, more healthy  life (Thanks Mary!).

Fast forward a few more hours:

Finally on the last flight and I´ve discovered one thing - my Spanish is not so bueno when I´m  zombie-tired.  Morpheus, hast thou abandoned me?  I will try once again to sleep but I hope I don´t miss the one free meal on this whole itinerary.  No wifi in these last three flights and Miami airport requires a $10 daily access.  I think not!

I have just realized that here has not been one crying baby this whole way. Strange.

Scrach that.   We have now landed and this poor little guy cried the last three minutes of our decent.  I got a cell phone at the airport for the month for 10 bucks and $1.50 per minute, with free incoming calls and text messages, but I can´t text back.  If anyone needs to reach me urgently, the number is 011-51-1-99-54-02-560.  51 is Peru, 1 is Lima,  an the rest is the cell number.  Check with your carrier how to text, but I´ll have to reply by email, so make sure I have that too.  For non-urgent messages, email me at

The hostel ¨Las Fresas´¨ is fine.  I  have a clean private room with a bathroom for 26 soles a night (about $9.20).  The two guys who run it, Paulino and Victor, are great.  I talked with Victor about Presli. Ely, tourism, conservation, culture, Hawaii, Lima and the farming town in the south of Peru where he will be visiting in February, until one AM.  How did I stay awake!?!

He invited me to go with him since he thinks I´d love the clear skies and pure lifestyle, but I told him that I can only take one 25 hour per way trip every few years!

Morpheus and I finally made a deal - I´ll take half a sleeping pill before my shower and he´ll pay me a 7 hour visit.

Buenas noches,

Lisa in Peru

October 29, 2009

Travelblog Number 10.28.2K9.1

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:15 pm

Well, it´s 7:22 PM.  I´ve been in the air just about 2 hours and I have just accepted the fact that I don´t want to be doing this.  Here is the progress of my mission so far:

Due to the requisite comedy of errors, beginning with me literally staying up all night packing according to a very carefully planned list, constantly checking for news from UH about my case, trying unsuccessfully all night to book my bus from Lima to Huancayo (hereinafter HYO),  constantly checking the various email accounts to check for any more donations, hoping to hear back from someone currently in Southeast Asia about taking their video camera with me, while simultaneously attempting to make the house decent for my potential house/mouse sitters, trying to fill the remaining 73 pounds I can take for FREE to Peru, finally putting the last load of laundry in at 6 AM after my last REAL hot shower for maybe a whole month, taking a four hour nap, going back home for my telephoto lens, making a stop to get traveller´s checks, and ending with my getting to the airport about 40 minutes late, problems with the self-check in process (of course it didn´t like MY passport), heading to the wrong gate (apparently a common problem due to the way the boarding pass is printed), renting a Smarte Carte and literally runing halfway back across HNL airport to get to my gate, getting light-headed in the heat, boarding the plane all out of breath, and ending with me realizing that I already miss the Diet Coke that the FFA made me throw away unopened.

When I caught my breath and stopped sweating profusely, I realized the importance and potential futility of my journey, and that I´d much rather be, well, not here.  After I was finally able to sit down long enough to contemplate what I´m doing for the first time since mom proposed the idea on Friday, it occured to me that just in trying to leave, I had an obscene number of problems in the US, in my own city, and that I´m about to be a woman traveling alone in a corrupt South American Third World country with a different language, where the Mafia and the Shining Path still have power,  to look for two people in ever-more remote towns that I have never been to, with only my scrubs, my language skills, some photos on my iPod, and my steel-forged American fortutude in my toolbox.  What WAS I thinking?!?!


 It´s pitch black outside and it has been for a while as we move against the path of ka la (the sun) and into ka po (the night).  I then land in Dallas-Fort Worth at 5 AM for a few hour´s layover.  I then board another plane with repeats in Atlanta and Miami, where I will board the last 5 hour leg of 17 hours in the air and arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru.  I will arrive at 11 o´clock on Thursday night, just in time to check into my hostel before their office closes at midnight.  I´ll try to sleep for a few hours before I go out looking for a bus ticket for the same afternoon (Friday), since I was unable to book the ticket for four days via their website.

I´ll hopefully get the afternoon bus with the 170º reclining seats and the 16-foot high view for the 7 hour ride into the Andean Highlands, especially since I have with me an exponentially better camera than the first time I was here.

So folks, I guess we´re really gonna´get to see what Lisa Sturm is made of as I look for the hidden, fight against corruption, and endeavor for the improbable, in a place where I have absolutely NO power, experience or contingency plan.

Those of you who know me know that flying blind – pun appropriate- is REALLY not my style.

Check in regularly on the blog for updated progress reports and photos:  There´s an RSS link if you want to sign up for auto-updates.  I will try to blog daily.

I am kind of excited that Í´ll be in a large South American city for the Day of the Dead.  I can´t wait to see the parades and costumes that first day while I get acclimated before heading into Chupaca to try to find Ely and Nilton so they can take me to Presli!


Donations are still appropriate if you want to help my mission be successful wihtout depleting all the funds we have saved for Presli´s transport (which is why we need to find him and Ely in the first place).

Now for some sleep???


October 24, 2009

“Finding Presli” v.09

Filed under: Lisa´s recon mission codename ¨Finding Presli¨, PDC News — Administrator @ 1:15 pm
Dear Friends, Donors, and Volunteers.
Exciting news!  Lisa is making a last-minute trip on October 28 (in FOUR DAYS) to locate Presli in a small rural village outside Huancayo, Peru.  Lisa is going there to set up financial assistance for him and arrange for his transportation back to the USA for his surgeries.  Lisa will be in Huancayo anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, and will be traveling by bus and taxi between Huancayo, Chupaca, and Lima as necessary to set things in motion.  She will also be visiting Merardo to evaluate his situation and possibly obtain the information needed to get him surgery as well.
Although we are using Sheri’s American Airlines miles to fly, the ”mission” is costing us.  The ancillary air costs are already $250.00.  Lisa will also need lodging, transportation and food while there, and she will need money to prepare documents, obtain medical records, investigate temporary custody, his passport and visa, internet access, etc. Our PeruDonations account has always been kept very small.  We currently have just over $1,000.  We are hoping this trip will not completely wipe out our treasury, since we have been saving for Presli’s trip to the US.
So, accordingly,we are asking each of our friends if you would be willing to make a $5.00 donation to help us out in this. To use Paypal, you can send via by simply going to their site and entering our email:, or you may click on the ”Donate” button on our website and indicate your donation amount.  We also will gladly accept donations of $10, $15, $50 - any amount!!  Besides using Paypal, if you prefer, you may write a check made out to Sherrill Sturm or Lisa Sturm and mail it to P.O. Box 94, Kaneohe, HI 96744.  In the comment area, write “Finding Presli” and we will immediately deposit it into our PeruDonations Corporation checking accout.  As always, your contribution is tax-deductable.
Also, we just found out that American Airlines is allowing Lisa to take two big bags for no fee!  That means for our O`ahu friends, any donations of clothes, school supplies, vitamins, medical supplies, toys, books, art supplies, (anything you think we can send along with Lisa that fits reasonably into her suitcase) will be taken directly to the recipients on your behalf.
Contact us by return e-mail, or call 341-4490 A.S.A.P. and we will arrange pick up between now and Tuesday evening.
Bless you all for your support in our mission. 
Sheri Sturm and Lisa Sturm

March 21, 2009

Did you hear?

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 6:29 am

March 11, 2009

Shortest and sweetest blog ever!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 1:23 am

Our concert planning is in full motion.  Donations of goods and services are still being accepted for our door prize/raffle/silent auction.  Pre-sale tickets available at our website or at for $8 ($10 at the door).

Please share the following poster:    (The entire poster album is here, should you feel like re-posting this message or printing out some fliers or posters yourself.  Note: “poster” size images are for 11X17 paper; for 8.5X11 paper, use the “flier” images
Lisa and Sheri

February 22, 2009

What have we been up to?

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 5:17 am

Well, first of all, we’d like to say Hauoli Makahiki Hou, Kung Hee Fat Choy, Feliz Ano Nuevo, and Joyeux Noelle to all our friends around the world.  We hope you are all well and that 2009 is smiling on you.

This year has started out with a bang.  Our online sales are still moving along.  We have recently opened our newest internet store of designer handbags.  Take a gander at

My For Sale At Webstore

We also have books, CD’s, Tori Richard’s aloha shirts, designer women’s shoes and other donated items for sale at various sites around the ‘net.  Send us an email if you’d like to see our latest offerings and we’ll reply with the links you will need.

We have been working with Life Rocks Productions on our 4th benefit show “Keeping the Promise”, to be held at Don Ho’s on March 27th at 9:30 PM.  This show will feature a variety of contemporary Hawaiian artists, including RODZ and Sione.  We are proud that “Keeping the Promise” will also double as Kit Dylan’s CD release party for her newest album “Cry on Cue”.

The funds raised at this show are dedicated toward transporting Presli from Peru to the U.S., where Rotaplast International surgeons will continue his treatment plan.  Our hope for early this year is to raise the $5,000 or more that it will cost to arrange for Presli and a chaperone to travel from the Andean Highlands where he lives, to the hospital where they will begin the 8+ month process of extensive reconstruction on his face.

On an organizational note, we have officially added Terry McCormack, the founder of our affiliate charity, the Andean Outreach Program, as one of our registered Directors.  Welcome, Terry!

Our website has been acting a litte strange lately, with links not working properly and graphics moved elsewhere.  We apologize for the strangeness.  It is currently under repair by two of our friends, Katie and Pat.  We will be sure to let you know when the new site will have its debut!

As usual, please let us know if you want to be removed from our mailing list.  On the other hand, if you just can’t wait to get our newsletters, feel free to sign up for the RSS for this blog (on the right of this screen).

If you would like to help out at the show or have anything to donate for our online stores or for the raffle/door prizes at the show, email us at  Cash donations may be made anytime via PayPal.  Simply send the funds to and add a note if you prefer to have your funds used for a particular purpose.

Mahalo and Gracias,

PeruDonations Corporation

August 4, 2008

Summer’s over and so much to tell

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:39 pm

But, I’ll stick to the highlights.

1 – “Promises: A Party With A Purpose,” our third benefit rock concert on March 29 of this year was a big hit! We had four rock/ska bands – Awry By Design, Breaking The Innocent, Busekrus and Pimpbot (for the third time!). We were also proud to present our openers, “Na Kane O Hawai`i,” a pair of Castle High Seniors with talent beyond their years. Despite some delays with the sound system, these two boys bounced back and got the crowd on their feet. They will be back on the scene, without a doubt!

We held a ticket pre-sale contest and Awry By Design (ABD) won both tiers: the first to sell 30 tickets and the most tickets sold. The first tier earned them recording time from Fifteen07 Music Studios. The Grand Prize was an opening gig for a major act (yet to be announced), and was provided by Sick Nick Productions in collaboration with 808 Shows and Life Rocks.

We had an amazing group of sponsors, including The 808 Scene Zine,  Hawaii Grad Nite,  Pass Out Records,  Quality Transmission,  Fifteen07 Music Studios,  Bananagrafeeks,  Jelly’s Aiea,  Oasis Skateboards,  808 Tattoo and Budweiser,  and of course,  the five bands. Between the ticket sales, our Peruvian jewelry sales, the silent auction and the calabash bowl, we raised $1,000 that night! This is an amazing amount, particularly when translated into Peruvian “soles”. We also had a mess of volunteers whom we’d like to thank again! In all, it took FIFTY people to put on this show. How crazy is that!?!

2 – Two months ago, we heard that Presli had left the orphanage and was living with his mom and siblings. Although it was great that he had been reunited with his family, it meant that we may not be able to continue our mission with his medical care. His family is quite poor and does not have email or a phone. We were very worried that we would not be able to find him. In addition, the orphanage had yet another “new” Director, one who does not know us or Ely.

After many emails to the Director from us, and a visit by Ely, we have discovered that Presli has been returned to the orphanage. This is sad for him, because he misses his family even more, but good in the sense that we will be able to continue to provide for his surgical needs and, hopefully, continue with his education as he becomes an adult. Both Presli and his family are in need of psychological services. We are not able to provide it at this time, but we have taken it into consideration.

The Director has made arrangements to get him to La Oroya for another surgery and Ely has made contact with both of them (the Director and Presli)! We sent funds last week for his transportation. Ely will not be able to go this time, as her own charity and school programs are keeping her busy about 18 hours a day! Instead, the Director and Ely’s friend, a Social Worker, are making the trip. In fact, they went TODAY (Monday, August 4)!!! We are anxiously anticipating an update.

Rotaplast is expecting him and, unlike last year, he does not have a cold this time. This means that during their stay in Peru, the Rotaplast surgeons may be able to do more for him than last year. We will keep you up to date as we hear news.

3 – Merardo is doing very well. Ely is taking him with her to Huancayo to purchase the vitamins, creams and gauze that he needs to protect his skin from the effects of his EB. Soon he will be able to do this on his own and leave Ely more time for her other obligations. He is also thriving at the PLE school and is involving himself more in the activities. We are very pleased to hear this. He has just turned 17 and will soon be of age to go to a technical school or college. His dream is to become a businessman, but he still has the problem of fused fingers caused by his EB. Ely is looking into programs or doctors who might be able to help. When she finds more information, we may be doing another burst of fundraising to make that happen.

4 – On that note, we have been quiet, but not idle, especially mom. She spends several hours a week posting (and re-posting) items we have for sale. We have diabetic supplies, designer shoes, designer or haute couture handbags and purses, CD’s, books, jewelry, and more. We have stores and listings on various websites, including eBay, Craigslist (Oahu) and, among others. All of these items have been donated by us or by friends and neighbors for the benefit of our boys. If you are interested in any item, or you know someone who may be, please let us know and we will send you the URL(s) that show you what we have. Please pass on the word.

5 – Dr. Bridgette Kuhn (Honolulu) has graciously donated to us a membership as retailers of Herbalife. Why does this help? Ely can order their highly regarded nutritional products online for Merardo, and they can be shipped from the Herbalife warehouse in Lima. This eliminates the waiting of emails, and the exorbitant shipping costs and delays of sending these items from the USA, and they are of much better quality than what Ely is able to find in her corner drugstore. It will also eliminate a trip from her home in Chupaca to the Huancayo P.O. during business hours by taxi to pick up packages – the Herbalife is delivered to Ely directly!

6 – Which brings me to the final point: PLE (our affiliate charity in Peru, run by Ely and her husband) has purchased land and begun construction on their Community Center. With plans and funding from our other affiliate, the Andean Outreach Program, a solar-powered oven is under construction which will facilitate the baking enterprise that Ely has begun with the mama’s and grandma’s of her village. In an attempt to both increase their skills and provide a form of “cottage industry,” this is the first of many steps to help the village of Chupaca be less dependent on farms and mines as they teach the women a trade and business management.

They have been working on hand crafts for nearly a year now and have quite an inventory. So far, the only customers have been the volunteers at Ely’s program, but they have nearly enough inventory now to try to sell them in a market. They are very excited for this opportunity to take a dip in the mercantile pool. Many of these women have never left their village, so this will be quite the adventure for them.

Well, that’s the last 5 months in a nutshell. We are potentially planning another benefit concert later this year, perhaps October or November, which will be just in time to help with PLE’s Third Annual Chupaca Village Christmas Party! If you are interested in helping out in any way for a show, or know of someone who may be interested in being a sponsor, please let us know so that we may get in touch soon.

As always, Aloha ka kou, Mahalo nui loa and Dios te vindiga!
Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

March 10, 2008

PROMISES and other news (continued from home page)

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 3:24 am

NEWS ITEMS: March 2008 – PROMISES: A Party with a Purpose – The long-awaited news has arrived – We are hosting another concert at Don Ho’s, Saturday, March 29. This show promises to be as happening as the last, with some of our most dedicated supporters, Pimpbot, Büsekrüs and Awry By Design entertaining us with their musical talents. We are also having for the first time, Breaking The Innocent, who are doing more than just playing – the band is also providing the entire sound system as well as running the board all night. Much thanks to Steve and the guys for taking care of this huge job for us. Their drummer, Larry, will also be filming the event for our archives and for the website. We are looking forward to having that available for our beneficiaries in Peru to see online!

We are also going to have as our openers “Na Kane O Hawaii” a very talented trio from Castle High School who are making progress in the Hawaiian music. These young men have a very successful future ahead of them from what we hear (pun intended).

Throughout the night, Guest DJ Fernando “The Love Machine” will keep things moving with his signature antics and Latin music collection. We will also have a merchandise and info table, staffed by our volunteers. The merchandise will include hand-made Peruvian jewelry, our Hawaii Music Award-nominated compilation CD “One Life At a Time” and a few other items for sale. We will also have door prizes and raffle items from The 808 Scene Zine, 808 Shows, 808 Tattoo, Quality Transmission, Jelly’s Aiea, Oasis Skateboards, as well as fine and costume jewelry. A few of the bands will also have some of their merchandise for sale. Please make sure to support them as well. There are a few surprises in the wings, so don’t miss this party!

The funds raised at the concert will continue to support our efforts in Peru. Presli has been selected for further surgery this summer by Rotaplast International. Dr. Capozzi has taken a special interest in Presli and we are grateful for his efforts. Merardo continues to need medications and bandages, as well as nutritional support for his disorder. Elaine Binkley has also been working behind the scenes on the East Coast, gathering more Kerlix and other hard-to-find items to deliver to Merardo on her return trip to Huancayo, Peru later this year.

NEW PROJECT – We are also excited to announce that we, along with our affiliates the Andean Outreach Project (AOP), are going to sponsor Peru Luz de Esperanza’s efforts to create a school/community center to serve the 5 villages in the Andes where they currently have educational programs for both children and adults.

PLE’s schools already provide classes in reading, math, science, history, crafts, geography, Spanish, English and other subjects. The ‘schools’ are run entirely by PLE’s volunteer staff, which includes locals and international travelers as well. The older children also join the adults in courses in knitting, sewing, crafting, construction, carpentry, masonry, baking, animal husbandry, gardening and the many other skills brought to he program by the volunteers. The children’s program is mostly run in the afternoons to provide a chance for the children who work in the factories and farms to get an education, despite having to work as young as the age of 6 to help their families.

All of the programs that PLE provides are free-of-charge to the participants. These programs are sustained solely by the contributions of the volunteers and their affiliated organizations. The classes are held in borrowed facilities, often with no flooring, desks, or water-proof roofing, much less having books, pencils, paper and other supplies which we take for granted. Our goal this year is to help PLE purchase the property necessary to create their own permanent campus, which will include a day care, classrooms, a weaving room, a soup kitchen, a library, a mini-museum of their Incan and Spanish history, and an office to coordinate their programs.

AOP is also working with architects in the Bay Area to create a building plan that will be both “green” and at least partially self-sustaining. Once these plans have been finalized, the funds will need to be in place, through fund-raising and grants, to break ground and begin building a more comfortable, safe and fun learning environment for PLE’s participants.

December 28, 2007

Year-End Letter 2006

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:30 am

Mahalo and Gracias to our wonderful supporters! Since our creation one year ago, PeruDonations Corporation has been blessed to fund three projects. We have raised $3158 through benefit concerts, jewelry and CD sales, and monetary gifts from donors like you. All proceeds have been used to send goods and provide for the medical needs of poor children in Peru. Your generous gifts have gone directly to those in need!

August 2007: “Project Presli” – In conjunction with Rotaplast International Inc., Presli Balbin Ordaya underwent surgery to correct severe deformities to his mouth and eye, both of which now function properly. We hope to provide more for more surgery for Presli in 2008. Many thanks to Dr. A. Capozzi, and Ely Tinoco Chinchilla.

September 2007: “Mission Merardo” in conjunction with Peru Luz de Esperanza, Doctors B. Kuhn and M. Lee of Honolulu, and E. Binkley, RN of N. Carolina, Merardo Pillpa Alvarado received specialized bandages, clothing, and nutritional support for his Epidermolysis Bullosa. Merardo now sleeps on a mattress with a pillow instead of on a dirt floor.

Special recognition to the world languages classes of Ms Oliva Lui-Kwan who have raised money for all our projects and now have bought a bicycle and Christmas presents for Merardo’s family. WAY TO GO, GUYS!!! We are proud of you!

Christmas 2006: In conjunction with Andean Outreach Project and Peru Luzde Esperanza, 400 children in a remote Andean village, most of whom never had celebrated Christmas before, were treated to a party. Babies through adolescents received hot cocoa and rolls, and clothing or a toy. The village “mamas” who donated the use of their kitchens also received a whole chicken and other gifts, so their family could have a nice Christmas dinner.

Thanks again to all the bands, businesses, promoters, sponsors, and volunteers who donated their time and talents at the benefit concerts in March and September of 2006.

October 18, 2007

YIKES!! Has it been over a month since “One Life at a Time”?

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 11:46 pm

I can’t believe the concert was 6 weeks ago! I still feel like it was just last week or so. Anyway, it occurred to me that I did not write a blog about it (brain fart), so here are some notes about the concert and other news:
There were a lot of familliar and new faces at the show, even bands who were not playing came out to support us. Erica Aloang, Keith Monzen, Dave Letarte of Missing Dave and Marcus Büsekrüs (of Büsekrüs the Band) of were all there to party even though they weren’t playing. Keith even brought some merch for the raffle – I did not know Missing Dave was going to donate anything. They are simply awesome! A new band “Awry By Design” got on the docket the week before, since Missing Dave had to cancel. ABD rocked the house and has been getting gigs fairly regularly through October. “One Life at a Time” was their first gig – Daena Dempsey of Missing Dave recommended them to take their place. It was really the place to be that night – even though we were competing with the Bone Thugs & Harmony show. All the bands who played were awesome.
John Holy and Keoni Maivela of GTA doubled up by running sound after I lost both my sound guy and my DJ. Katie Whitman helped me emcee and brought cheesecake from Sure Shot Cafe to celebrate the Dock Session’s birthday party (as well as making the fliers, going with me to KTUH to plug the show on DJ Nocturna’s show the week before, finding the sound equipment, and a reaaaaly long list of other things). Aaron Churchill and Brian Coleman helped me with the video camera, merch and door. Gilda Holy stayed at my merch/info table all night with Hannah (the graphic artist also known as hanasaurusrex / bananagrafeeks). Max Murdoch not only performed, but sang an acoustic song called “Lisa Peru” followed by some statistical facts about Peru (I learned!). The capoeira group (Capoeira Besouro Hawaii) was excellent, first playing outside to get people to come down to Don Ho’s, then inside. The crowd loved them! (and I got video of mom busting a move during the audience-participation Samba!)
Other volunteers were: Sarah, Debbie, Winter, Sharla, Karene, Chris and Francie (did I forget anyone? Sorry!)
We sold about half of our jewelry that night, and have ordered some more. We will offer them on our website soon – rings and necklaces from Peru. We also had a calabash box for people to donate cash to help Ely’s school after the post-earthquake looting at her schools. We got a good amount of cash in there in addition to our door take and jewelry sales. At the end of the show, Marcus Büsekrüs loaded up the all the Easy Music Center-loaned sound stuff in his car and brought it up to my apartment (second floor, no elevator) at 3 in the morning! The speakers weighed 66 pounds apiece (I know because I weighed them on my scale before carrying them down to the car myself on Monday!). He did this for me at the end of the night when I realized that my mom’s car (that brought the stuff) was gone and Katie did not have room. I called Marcus, frantic that he had left, but he was by the stage helping GTA with their amps and stuff. I could not believe that I had not planned out that detail, since all the other minutiae had been arranged days or weeks before.
And through all of this I felt drunk/dizzy. I think I had an inner ear thing. I was a little out of it, feeling like I might fall on my butt at any time. I didn’t know it until I parked my car on arrival and went to get something out of the back seat. When I stood up I stumbled backwards a few steps. I was like “Crap!! How am I gonna run a show if I’m out of it?” But mom, Katie, Shawn Davenport, and all our volunteers came through to keep it going smoothly. I got better after a couple of drinks (alcohol re-equilibrium? HEHE), but I could not drink much, mostly because I was seriously afraid I was going to take a header at any moment.
It was also John and Gilda Holy’s 25th Anniversary after midnight. John told me when we were outside taking a break. So, without warning, I called Gilda up to the stage and presented the couple to the crowd to roaring applause. They shared a kiss and Gilda was all glowing! (She’s from Lima, Peru) When I told her in July about my charity, what we saw in Peru and what we want to do for Presli and Merardo, she was practically in tears! She is one of the truly good and sweet people in this world. Mom spent a lot of time talking with her at the merch table and she was really impressed. Mom said that Gilda reminds her of our friend Ely in Peru by her attitude and sweet nature and I could not agree more! Te adoramos, Gilda!
And I can’t say enough about Eric Lagrimas, who not only produced a very professional CD, but he has arranged for reviews in the Honolulu Advertiser, Star Bulletin and Honolulu Weekly and will be shortly announcing the CD’s availability online at several sites (iTunes, Napster, etc). He did not let me see the cover design until that night. I was soooo impressed, especially since I had taken a picture at Machu Picchu that was nearly identical to the cover image! He really did a professional job and we are blessed to know him.
Pimpbot also donated 25% of their merch sales that night to PeruDonations! They were there all night because they were the last to play. And when the got on stage they played just one song and then Fernando said “Okay, this will be our last song”. The crowd went crazy “PIMPBOT! PIMPBOT! PIMPBOT!” In the end, they got in about 5 songs before we had to clear out. These guys are so unbelievably awesome!
Jason Miller, of was also a welcome face at the show. And, like for “Promise for Presli,” he had donated shirts and CD’s for the raffle and door prizes. He is one of our regular “sponsors”. (Can you say that after only two events…?)
Unfortunately, neither of our cameras were working, so if you were at the show and have pix, even if they aren’t great PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE send them to us. We have nothing but band and sponsor logos to post on the website. If they are dark or whatever, send them anyway. We have PhotoShop and mom’s a whiz!
There was a review of the CD “One Life at a Time” in the Star Bulletin a few weeks ago and Katie Whiman wrote an even better review in the 808 Scene Zine (October issue). If you have not seen it yet, pick it up at many music, clothing and coffee shops around town. Or go to The 808 Scene Zine October issue, page 5. You can purchase the CD through us directly (we take PayPal – $10 + S&H) or from, (click on “STORE”).
After this show mom said, “NO MORE!”, mostly because this time I assigned her a good portion of the work. And since she knew how much I did and how much Katie did, she realized how much work it took for me to put on the first show with Josh86, she did not want me to spend all that much time any more, particularly since I am in the senior year of my program. Our profit margin after each show is about 50% and she does not think it’s worth hundreds of hours on my part.
But I reminded her of three things: 1 – people are getting to know of the charity (via Rocky’s podcast, the Pimpcast, the Scene Zine article and CD review, the papers’ reviews, the KTUH interview, etc); 2 – nothing else is bringing in money except small intermittent donations from individuals; and 3 – even if a “small” amount of money raised, say $500, is like two-months wages for a minimum-wage worker in Peru, so it’s not nothing!
That said, we are considering having another spring show. Seeing as how I will have less time and mental energy to accomplish this task, but now I kinda-sorta know what to do…..any volunteers to help me set it up? We are thinking that a contemporary Hawaiian or other local genre would be good. Although you know I love the rock and ska, it would diversify our audience and help to spread the word to a different scene. Email me (my charity email box is not working, so use
In other news:
- There is a nurse from the U.S., Elaine, who is going to work with Ely’s dad’s program in Huancayo for a few weeks. She contacted us several months ago and we told her about Merardo’s EB. She is taking boxes(!) of Kerlix to deliver to Ely for us. That stuff is expensive, but she had the hook up and got them for free! His prognosis is looking better and better. We still want to try to get him surgery to separate his webbed fingers. But that’s down the road a bit.
- Elaine is also taking more medical supplies and medical emergency/First Aid information in Spanish for Preli’s orphanage. You may remember that I gave a First Aid and CPR “class” to the house mamas while I was there last summer. Most of them had no clue how to handle a lot of the more common mishaps that kids get themselves into (banging their heads, burns, bee stings, minor cuts), nor the more urgent things that might happen (broken limbs, neck injury, poisoning, respiratory emergencies/choking, impalements). They were taking notes and asking questions. Somehow I managed to demonstrate rescue breathing and CPR on this baby doll. It was okay for showing them the baby stuff, but it was comical straddling this little doll and pretending to give stomach thrusts to a full-sized kid to “dislodge” food. They wanted me to come back the next day and tell them more, but I had not prepared for giving a class and did not know what else I could teach them without better Spanish skills and more supplies.
However, Elaine is a nurse and is going prepared with First Aid kits and instruction sheets for all the “casas” and common areas. She is also taking other information that they should be able to copy and have on hand for all the staff. She is going to be veeery popular at Rosario!
- Natalie Lui-Kwan’s Spanish and French classes at Castle High School (Kaneohe, HI) are going to raise funds to get Merardo a new bike. His old bike is probably totally dead by now. He gets blisters on all surfaces of his body, including the soles of his feet, so walking is a painful ordeal for him. If he has a working and comfortable bike, it is much easier for him to get to school and be independent.
- Meanwhile, the Medical Director of Rotaplast, the wonderful Dr. Capozzi, has mentioned having Presli go to their clinic again next summer in Peru for a second round of surgery. We are beside ourselves. Mom though that it was a one-shot deal with them, but I didn’t think so. When I told her we got an email from him saying he also felt invested in this boy, she nearly cried.
All-in-all, things are going well. We are currently in the red in our books, but we are hoping to sell a few CD’s and get some into Jelly’s ‘Aiea (I have already arranged it, but have not taken the trip to ‘Aiea to do the deal yet). We are also going to have new jewelry on the website and hope that people will buy some, if only just to help us out. The wood rings are super cheap (like $5 or so) and the stone pendant necklaces are probably going to be about the same as they are now. All handmade in Peru (we are buying them directly from the artisans).
Anyway, this is a really long blog. Thanks for sticking around to the end. When I get the pix from Ely or any more news, I will write again.
Until then, cuidense y que tengan un dia maravilloso,
Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

August 21, 2007

Doctor’s report

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:37 pm

I have finally reached Ely. I could not get a hold of her from Wednesday until Sunday. We were desperate for news both about Presli and about the earthquake.

When I did finally get through, she told me that Presli was at the hospital and had slept through the whole thing! Meanwhile, she and her son were at the hotel in La Oroya on the highest floor she had ever been on – the ninth! Anyway, she felt the building go left then right then left then right, etc. She started to panic and her three year old son started to scream. She had never been in an earthquake that strong, nor ever been so high up. Understandably she was a bit freaked out. As her son later told the story, the man under the floor (the downstairs hotel “neighbor”) was a bad man because he was making their floor shake. Ah, kids!

Immediately, she got out of the hotel and went to check on Presli. He knew nothing and was peacefully lying there while the staff of the hospital was in emergency mode all around him.

So, back to Presli. He did finally receive his surgery over one week later than planned. In the meantime, he had a nice time at the clinic and bonded very strongly to Ely, telling her as he went under the anesthesia “I love you. I wish you were my own mom”. Of course, Ely was so moved that she was shooting tears (that’s how she described the moment). Presli’s surgery was about 3.5 hours long, from what I could make out on our crackly and tenuous cell-to-cell connection across the Pacific. There were a few other details that I could not make out, but she will be sending a full report in a few days.

Here is a letter to Dr. Capozzi from the lead doctor on the team (more to follow as it comes in): (FTSG is a full-thickness skin graft)

“After 2 cancellations because of illness I operated on Presley on the 16th. I did 3 FTSG’s from the supraclavicular area. One was on the right medial lower lid to repair a lower lid ectropion and release a medial canthal fold. The other two filled in the areas after a upper and lower lip release. The upper lip graft was the entire upper lip to the NL folds, a cosmetic unit graft. I spoke to a local surgeon about his aftercare and especially how to remove the stent dressings and when. I would anticipate a good result.
He will need a forhead flap nasal resconstruction in the future. Pehaps a tunneled subgcutaneous flap would be best t avoid having to cut and inset it.
Hal Rosenfield.”
I know that the letter contains a lot of medical jargon, but basically they opened up his right eye near on the nose side and they released some of the scar tissue that keeps his lips from closing by adding skin from just above his collarbone. If you want more info about FTSG, Dr. Capozzi said it’s easily found on Google.
We are so pleased that Presli’s treatments have gone this far and has been successful. We are excited about the prospects of future procedures and his future in general.
We would like to thank Ely with all our hearts. She really is the flesh and blood of PDC. Keep her and her family and their charity in your prayers and thoughts. Peru was effected all over, even as far in the hills as Chupaca. The damage to the buildings was not great, nor was there loss of life, but her school program was the victim of looting. Some of their student desks and other supplies were taken. As it is, they don’t have enough desks, seats, paper or anything else for the students they teach in the five schools free of charge. Ely and Nilton have given all they have to this community and some uncaring individuals took advantage of a tragedy for personal gain.

If you would like to make a direct contribution to Peru Luz de Esperanza, Ely’s volunteer program, please let us know and we will tell you how to wire them money through for a very small fee (it’s like 7%). In fact, the fees may still be waived due to Peru’s crisis. For donations to aid in the relief efforts for the cities that were destroyed, go to or and look for the trust account that they have established, or I can send you instructions that we received from the wire service. Remember, the dollar goes very far, so even $10 or $20 does make a huge difference.

On a lighter and happier note, the concert arrangements are just about 100% completed. We look forward to seeing you at the show on September 1. Hopefully we will have after-pictures of Presli to share with you!

Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

August 16, 2007

Surgery at last!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:42 pm


Thanks to the generous donation of time and talents of the Rotaplast International medical team, Presli got his first intervention today in LaOroya!!

Presli arrived at the clinic in La Oroya, accompanied by Ely, the social worker and the director of the orphanage. What an entourage. We did not know that the director would be going with them. Nor did we know that he is a medical doctor! He was able to do the paperwork necessary to be a part of the surgical team. As of yet, we don’t know if it actually happened that way, but how cool is that?

Unfortunately, when Presli made the trip, he had a cough. This resulted in a delay. They waited a few days for him to get over it, but in the meantime he developed an infection. Another delay. As a result of these two setbacks, he has been in the clinic much longer than his court-approved 7 days, so it was providence that the director of the orphanage made the trip with him afterall. As the custodian of record, he could authorize the extension without a judge’s approval.

While Presli was recovering from his health issues, he had a really great time! He shared a hospital room with two other boys, both being treated for deformities. Since most of the patients are treated for cleft palate and other birth defects, Presli was not the only person there who looked different. In fact, he probably felt more comfortable among the other patients than he does in his current home. Ely reported that they played outside, goofed off and even did a little production for the families. He must have had a blast. We are so happy for him. It must have been great to be surrounded by people who saw Presli the boy and not Presli the “monster,” as some of his orphanage siblings still call him.

Due to the earthquake earlier this week, we have been unable to communicate with Ely yet. We did, however, receive a message from Dr. C that the hospital felt the effects of the temblor, but did not suffer any damage in the facility (see below of an excerpt of a letter to him from staff in Peru).

We would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you who have supported our dream and who have helped to make this day come to pass for Presli!

This is only the beginning for him, but we are just so pleased we could get this far so fast! Through luck, hard work and continual support from all of you, his future is looking brighter already!

Most of all, we would like to congratulate Elizabeth Chichilla, our “funcionaria” in Peru for her hard work and dedication to this cause. Ely has spent EIGHT MONTHS attending to the minutiae of red tape and meetings to make this a reality. She met with lawyers, judges, social workers, filled out paperwork, scanned documents for the medical team and spent hours with Presli preparing him for this procedure.

Staying the course through the transition from Sr. Almonacid as Director of Aldea del Rosario, through a temporary director and finally getting the new director up to speed, Ely has worked tirelessly, depsite running her own charity in another city! And she did it all for love.

Ely, te agradescemos muchisimo. Sin ti, no hay PeruDonations Corporation. En ti tenemos toda la fe y un oceano de cariño.

*The “One Life at a Time” Benefit concert is officially on! September 1 at Don Ho’s Island Grill at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honoulu, HI, PeruDonations will join The 808 Scene Zine at a party to close out the summer! Four bands, including Missing Dave, Grand Theft Audio, Pimpbot and Max Murdoch & the Northern Soul Project will entertain you from 9:30 until the bar kicks us out at 2! Opening the show will be a capoeira demo by Capoeria Besouro Hawaii, and DJ Mano Lopez will keep the party going between set with his own collection of Latino rythms.

* Also, that night will celebrate the release our first compilation benefit CD, produced by Pass Out Records, entitled “One Life at a Time”. Seems like a running theme…

Check in often to see how you, too, can own this priceless treasure!

* Merardo turned 16 last month! With donations from our supporters, we were able to get him an orthopedic mattress and pillow (so that he no longer has to sleep on the bare ground), some books, refills for his medical supplies and even a get a Birthday cake! It’s true, a small amount of dollars sure goes a long way in Peru.


* We were contacted several months ago by a teacher from the East Coast who was considering a one-month stay in Peru, working at Ely and Nilton’s school program. Karen Doolittle did a bit more than that! She was gracious enough to purchase and hand deliver vitamins, protein powder and some medical supplies to Merardo. While she was there, she experienced quite an adventure, arriving in country to find her luggage lost and a country-wide transportation strike! Welcome to Peru!

Thankfully, her delay was short and she safely arrived in Chupaca to face a teacher’s strike, a farmer’s strike and clashes with police in the city square. Must be July in Peru! She soon acclimated (both to the political and seasonal) environment and went to work. Her month with PLE has ended and she is traveling more of Peru before returning to the US. Karen, thank you for going to help out our friends at PLE. We enjoyed the pictures of the parade and the view from the house. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. Thank you also for getting those supplies to Mr. Merardo. We hope you will return soon! See her blog for more details of her adventures.
*Here is the letter from Tom Fox (in La Oroya) to Dr. Capozzi:

“Well, things are constantly changing aren’t they. As I write, Presli, our burn patient, is having surgery. Hal Rosenfield is the primary surgeon. At the end of Wednesday, we had operated on 87 patients and completed about 150 procedures….Regarding the earthquake, we definitely felt it as a very long roll from side to side rather than up and down. No damage here that we know of, but part of the road between here and Lima has large rocks that need to be removed before travel. Hopefully, it will be open by Saturday pm when we travel to Lima. We have not heard anything about the status of the airports or flights.”

KUDOS to Rotaplast International, Inc.
for making this all possible, not just for Presli, but for the hundreds of families you served during you short stay in Peru. We know your efforts and your caring smiles will not soon be forgotten, nor will the effects of your mission.

August 9, 2007

Email from the director of Rotaplast

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 11:52 am

Quick note to add to yesterday’s post (the entry below this one).
I received this email from Dr. Capozzi yesterday afternoon:

I just got word that Presli was seen in the clinic and is the first surgical case scheduled. Exactly what they decided to do I do not know but rest assured if totally successful it will make him better. Your efforts have not been wasted.
I will send you any information I can.
Dr. C

Angelo Capozzi, M.D.
Co-founder and Medical Director
Rotaplast Int’l Inc.
San Francisco Rotary Club

I say again, small efforts from a lot of people can equal large changes for those who need it. What else can be said?

We will keep you update and add photos as we get them. YAY PRESLI!!!!

August 8, 2007

Presli meets the doctors!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:30 am

We are ecstatic to announce that at the moment that I am writing this, Presli has arrived at the clinic in La Oroya, Peru, and is in the process of getting registered and settled in for his week’s stay.

I have spoken with Ely just a few minutes ago and all is well. She will keep me posted on the progress of his treatment. They have made the trip with the social worker of the orphanage who will stay the entire week, leaving Ely free to return to her own organization’s 5 school programs near Chupaca. She will return to her home tomorrow and, if needed, will go back to Oroya on Friday to stay the weekend.

We can’t thank her enough for all her efforts over the last eight months as she has done a ton of legwork and gone to see the judge and orphanage director many times on our behalf. We are so blessed to have her on our team.

Meanwhile, arrangements for our second benefit concert are underway, with the fliers expected out of the shoot any day now. If you are on O’ahu, please join us on September 1 at Don Ho’s Island Grill at 9:30 PM. The party will be four-fold:

- Benefit concert to continue to support “Project Presli” and “Mission Merardo,”

- Celebration of Presli’s visit with the surgical team and perhaps some correction of his lips and eyelid,

- The 808 Scene Zine’s “Dock Sessions” first birthday, and

- Release party for our compilation CD featuring local rock and ska bands who have supported us in our efforts to raise funds (by Pass Out Records).

A few months ago Ely told us about a family of five who all have varying degrees of cleft palate. Since they are very poor, we told her that PeruDonations will pay for their transportation to the clinic as well, since the round trip is only about $7 apiece for the 2.5 hour trip! Dr. Capozzi assured me that since the main thing they do is repair this deformity, that the family is welcome and will have a place to stay during their treatment (all patients are being provided housing by Doe Run Company, who are well known in that region). Ely was not able to inform the family before she left today, but on her return she will give them the good news and hopefully they will be able to get surgeries as well!

We thank our supporters who have made these miracles possible. We truly could not have done any of this without the help and encouragement of our family and friends.

More to come later – including photos of Presli’s voyage!

Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

July 26, 2007

WOW! Long time, no write – concert news

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 12:48 am

PeruDonations Corporation is now in the final stages of putting together a second benefit concert. It will be at Don Ho’s on September 1, from 9:30 to close. We will have four bands, a raffle, door prizes and a capoeira demonstration. We are also hoping that this concert, which is also a celebration of the Dock Sessions’ First Anniversary, will additionally be a CD release party for our compilation benefit CD being put together by Pass Out Records.

If any of you out there would like to help out, these are the things we need:
-donations of goods or services for the door prizes or raffle
-small cash donations to help offset our printing and other costs of promotion
-volunteers to help at the door, with the raffle, and with our merch table.

If you, or any business owner you know, would like to provide raffle/door prizes (an oil change, a manicure, CD’s, gift certificates, a hotel stay, merchandise, etc.) please have them contact me ASAP at Anyone who makes a donation will be given credit on our fliers. The fliers should be getting printed next week, so donation commitments and logos have to be submitted post haste. The actual merchandise, certificate or whatever can be delivered any time before the show.

Thanks to all who supported our cause in the past, particularly the 10 bands, the promoter (Unity Crayons and the street team), the flier designer (Josh86), the many sponsors who donated prizes, The Taco Shop (who fed the bands), the venue (Anna Bannana’s), and our many volunteers.

We hope that this second concert will not only raise funds to help our two boys with their medical and other needs, but to help raise awareness of the situation in South America, particularly in the Andes; and to get people talking about how we as individuals can make their lives better by our small combined efforts.

Please mark your calendars so that you can be a part of the solution!

Muchos mahalos and Gracias Nui Loa!

Lisa and Sherrill Sturm

P.S. Presli is confirmed to visit the surgeons in August and will hopefully be staying at the clinic for one full week for his first stage of surgery!!!

P.P.S. Merardo just turned 16 two weeks ago. We sent funds to our representative (Ely) and she purchased a mattress, pillow and books on our behalf for his birthday. She even had enough left over to refill his medical supplies AND get a cake!! I love the power of the dollar in Peru. See the pix below…

Ely poses with Merardo and his new bedding.
Merardo and Ely

Merardo shares his good fortune with two of his siblings.
Merardo and two sibs

The Alvarado-Pillpa family with Ely and one of her volunteers. Mmmmm….. cake good!

May 17, 2007

Short note – summer projects underway

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 12:08 pm

First, thanks for clicking the link! This should streamline the newsletter process. As always, email me if you want to change your addy or be removed from the list:

Second, it’s official – we are two or three steps away from launching our two most exciting fund raisers for the summer. #1 – Eric Lagrimas of Pass Out Records is finalizing arrangements for a compilation CD. #2 – I am working with Katie Whitman of the 808 Scene Zine on another concert in August. Exciting venue and date TBA. By the way – we already have 4 super hot bands confirmed for the show!

Third, we are requesting anyone who is from Peru, or who knows someone from Peru or another Andean region, to submit recipes for a cookbook. We would like the recipes in English and/or Spanish, with a back story (i.e.”This was my favorite bread pudding from grandma’s kitchen…”, “My aunt’s house always had the smell of anise on Saturdays because she made a huge pot of…”), and a photo of the finished product if possible – you can even be eating it. Drink recipes would be awesome as well – Pisco anyone? Make it fun! We would like to have anywhere from 20 to 50 recipes, so if you have more than one to share, don’t be shy. We will arrange and upload all the pages to and they will print and ship directly to the customer per order and send us the profits for our projects. The buyer gets the low prices of bulk printing and we don’t have to front any cash or keep an inventory. A win-win.

Lastly, I spent all day yesterday working on the website (click the link above right) – moving things around, refining the format and adding…. our genuine “Alpaca silver” jewelry store. These items are imported from Peru and are all one-of-kind handmade pieces. They are priced at $6-$11 and you can get as many as will fit into one package for a flat S&H of $5 to any US address. For international customers, write to us for the shipping rates. All profits will go toward Merardo and Preli’s visit with the Rotaplast surgeons in August.

Let me know your thoughts about this new process and if there are any glitches or problems on the blog or the website.


Lisa and Sheri

May 10, 2007

Lots of irons in the fire for PDC, AOP and PLE

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:51 pm

Aloha to all, It has been a while since we have touched base with our supporters. Hope your Spring is moving along well and that your summer is lining up nicely. We have been a little quiet lately – I am in my finals and mom has a long-term teaching gig. Needless to say, we are both a bit wiped out these days. But that is not not say that we have been completely dormant. Our website was last updated mid-April featuring our new logo, an updated mission statement and a link to a “jewelry store” for fund raising, and photos from the March 30 show (more to follow and video montage to be produced this summer). Please check out our website: and take a gander at the fine emerald, opal, sapphire and ruby items that have been donated to us as fund raising items. These pieces are real, new and at amazing prices. Silent auction format (with super low reserve values). There has been great interest in some of the pieces, so don’t delay! You might lose out on a great deal – some as low as $25!

We also have some things in the works. We have been officially named as a partner with the Andean Outreach Program, based in Oakland, CA. Please visit their website:, to learn of their exciting projects. They have already issued a grant to a volunteer/traveler (Karen) in Peru to do some restoration and conversion work to a bathroom at a school for the blind in Huancayo, Peru. The project was finished in record time using a local contractor and the results are impressive. Now the wheelchair-bound students will be more independent with their bathroom use and will greatly improve their confidence as they learn more skills. AOP has also approved a loan through our mutual colleague, Russell Jenkins, to a local man to initiate mass-production of assistive canes for the blind in the city. These canes will not only provide a nice line of income for Adel, but it will bring relief to the blind citizens of the area and their families and caregivers. See the AOP website for photos. AOP has recently received a large donation earmarked for the school at Chupaca, Peru, run by our friends and affiliates Ely and Nilton. Their volunteer program, Peru Luz de Esperanza, will be hosting their first foreign volunteers this summer. They are beside themselves with joy and are madly preparing to welcome these Westerners into their home/homebase for a mutually enlightening experience! The donation received by AOP will be sent to PLE when it reaches the $800 goal mark – it is short of that by just a small amount. Please consider contributing even just $15 or $20 to help build it up so it can be sent off right away. Use the link on their website to make your donation.

Peru Luz de Esperanza (PLE) has really a lot of irons in the fire. Besides renting a small space for their school for working children, they have a small number of local volunteers who are lending a hand. They have also been working several times a week with our second beneficiary, Merardo. Ely continues to tutor him while also caring for his blisters and other health needs. I have INSTRUCTED her to quit doing the wound care. She has been showing his parents and Merardo himself how to properly drain and care for his all-over body blisters that are caused by his EB (epidermolysis bullosa). I told her that she can relinquish the care of his wounds to his family now that it is more under control and return to her main focus of providing him with academic tutoring. This will not only relieve her of the burden, but it will prepare Merardo and his family to continue his care if she is for whatever reason unable to continue. It will also be a way for them to take a partnership stance in controlling this previously uncontrollable disease.

Additionally, Ely is looking into initiating the legal paperwork needed to authorize Preli’s medical visitation in August, as well as beginning the process of obtaining the more long-term consents that will be needed if Presli will require surgeries outside of Peru and transportation to such place. Time is of the essence now that the Rotaplast team will be there in three months. She is making inquiries with the social worker at the orphanage as well as attempting to make contact with Presli’s father. Perhaps his father will be able to assign a temporary yet long-term limited power of attorney to Ely or to some other private party so that Preli’s treatments can proceed without red-tape issues.

Both Presli and Merardo will be seeing the Rotaplast team in August in La Oroya, Peru. A dermatologist at Rotaplast is currently reviewing Merardo’s case to see what could be done for him. It is our hope that at the minimum they will be able to surgically separate his webbed fingers so that full use of his hands will be restored. This will greatly improve his quality of life, his educational success and his nutrition. His father will accompany him on the trip, so the legal speedbumbs we may face in Presli’s case are not an issue with Merardo.

We are hoping to send vitamins, nutritional supports and medical supplies to Merardo via the volunteers who are going to PLE next month and July. If anyone has a contact with a hospital or medical company who disposes of expired gauze, Kerlix, nitrile gloves (not latex), Desitin, antibacterial creams/gels/soaps, ice/heat packs, etc. (in other words, non-invasive wound care supplies), please send have them contact us. I know that some of those things don’t technically “expire”, but through rotation of stock they may have surplus that they may be able to contribute.

AOP is planning to have a fund raising event this summer in the Bay Area for our Project Presli funds. If you are in the area, or have friends there, please go to the AOP website and register for their newsletter. We are also playing with the idea of having another benefit concert for Presli mid-August – right about at the time he will be seen by the Rotaplast team. Any bands, musicians, promoters, sponsors, photographers, videographers and graphic artists out there, please contact me at to volunteer your services or time or make suggestions for the show. The last concert was a nice beginning and quite a learning experience. I am hoping now that people are aware of our cause and there is more time to prepare (I did the last one is six weeks, which was clearly not enough time) that we will have a bigger turn out, better raffle prizes and perhaps a more accessible venue. We will have the services of Andrew (TRX TV) to create a television spot on his cable music channel, maybe have more newspaper coverage, and earlier posting of fliers in more places sooner all over the island. We will also have more time to approach potential sponsors and prize donors to sweeten the pot for our attendees. Suggestions?

Lastly, we are making inquiries about importing genuine .950 silver jewelry (and some gold) from Huancayo. This city has some of the highest quality, locally mined silver items, handmade by local artisans (or at least produced in Peru). We are hoping to purchase a quantity of this beautiful jewelry and sell it on our website as a fund raiser. Some of this stuff is truly spectacular, adorned with semi-precious stones and unique gemstones, as well as everyday designs that are suitable for every age, gender and occasion. Besides raising money for our own projects, this will help local artisans and mom & pop business in Huancayo by bringing American dollars into the city without the burden of tourism. Our friends Ely and Russell (now a married man, felicidades) will be researching the shipping issues and we will go from there.

Lastly, and perhaps most exciting, I was approached by a member of Pimpbot and LoveChile, drummer Eric Lagrimas, about a very exciting idea – his day job is in the music biz and he had the following suggestion – create a compilation CD with music from bands her represents and sell it for our charity! Not only would it be professionally produced at a low cost, but we could sell this CD through traditional sources, like music stores and our website, but perhaps we could also sell it online through our friend Francie at her BurnLounge website (please take a look at her music store by visiting: This online store is unlike the others, such as P2P and iTunes, etc., in that the artists have contracted with the website and they actually get paid for every download. In this way, any profits from the sale of our benefit CD can be directly designated to us by Francie and we can skip the middleman.

So, that’s what we have up our sleeves for the next few months. To recap:

updated website
AOP projects
PLE volunteer program
Merardo’s health improvements
Presli’s legal situation
gearing up for the Rotaplast visit
medical supply donations needed
Project Presli fund raiser in the Bay Area
Concert #2?
Possible silver jewelry fund raisers
compilation CD

PHEW! No wonder I have not had time to write!

Lisa and Sherrill Sturm
One life at a time

April 14, 2007

New fund raiser – JEWELRY!!! and our CHS supporters

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:57 pm

Aloha no,

Just in time for both Mother’s Day and graduations everywhere, PeruDonations is proud to offer super discount prices on a variety of fine jewelry items. These pieces are not costume jewelry, but genuine emerald, sapphire, ruby and opal gemstones set in both white and yellow gold. (

The items are offered silent-auction style, or you may chose to purchase them at a Buy Now price using Any amounts over the cost of the item will go toward our projects, which at this moment include: Project Presli – providing for plastic surgery for Presli Ordaya, who was burned as an infant; and, Mission Merardo – helping to minimize Merardo Pillpa’s pain and maltutrition caused by his epidermolysis bullosa. Visit for updates on these two projects.

If you don’t have a PayPal account or a credit card, the PayPal website will guide you through the process using your bank account. We are happy to combine shipping and all items will be sent in jeweler-quality gift boxes. We will even ship internationally.

On another note, we are continually surprised by the generosity of the Spanish, French and Guidance classes at J.B. Castle High School in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Every week students empty their pockets in an inter-class competition to raise funds for PD. The donations range from 5 cents (which is enough to buy a student a pencil in Peru) to $5 or more in bills (which is enough for one week of groceries for one person!). Every little bit helps, so we are so pleased that these students have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in a stranger’s life with no expectation of anything in return. We are so proud of them and we know that these are the youth who will make great changes in the world in the years to come. Gracias chicos!!

That is all for now,
Lisa & Sheri Sturm

April 8, 2007

Just a quickie – website update and news

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 4:47 pm

Please visit the website:

There are some news items, our mission statement, an actual logo (finally), some info on our new “kid”, and some updates about our partners and affiliates.

We have been uber-busy the last few weeks, but now things are a bit more settled (as you read in the newsletter I just posted). I am still collecting pix and vid from the concert (if you have any please let me know I we can arrange a way to get them to me). I will be putting some stuff up here and there so check the page once in a while. When the full video is ready, I will let you know.

Thanks for all your interest and well-wishes. It really goes a long way.


April 7, 2007

Post-concert news and stuff!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:30 pm

A long overdue update…..

Our fund raising concert “Promise for Presli” in Honolulu on March 30 went pretty well. There were tons of glitches before and during that gave me more grey hairs, but I am over it now. Despite looking for someone to create a flier for several weeks, in desperation I finally made one myself. Clearly an amateur effort. I was saved in the end by Josh Hancock (AKA Josh86) of Unity Crayons – he is also the singer for Black Square in the photos – who made a truly impressive and attention-grabbing poster design. Glitch #1 – Josh and I went back and forth for several days getting things right. Then he sent the file to the printer on the day that the large poster duplicator was out of order. Good thing too, because I found a couple of other little things to adjust. So the next day, I went to pay for and pick up 675 fliers of various sizes, delivered the bulk of them to the coffee shop for Josh and went home with a stash my mom and I to disseminate. Later that evening, I did my neighbor a favor and picked his wife (Japanese national) up at the Safeway. We chatted on the way home and when we got to the lighted garage, I showed her one of the 11X17 posters. “Oh, Saturday” she said. My heart fell right into my feet. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY!!!

Too late to do anything about it, I frantically texted Josh, whose voice mail box was full to alert him before sending his street team out with erroneous advertisements. His reply is not suitable for publication, but I’m sure you can figure it out. Here’s the funny part: Josh, mom, myself and the printer, all of us reasonably literate, did not catch it. But Junko, who has command of less than 5000 words of English saw the one error that could cause total disaster. If people showed up on Saturday, they would have missed the show! (Each person who distributed them had to manually fix that and one other remaining minor error before delivering their stacks to the businesses all over O’ahu). Note to self – check the details!

Glitch #2 – Then there was the whole fiasco of my internet not working all day, literally, until 10 minutes before I HAAAADDD to leave the house. However, by then, I was too late to go to the airport to pick up some raffle prize donations (or even take a shower), so I sent mom who had picked up the food donation with my friend Winter and she ended up being 10 minutes late for our own show. I got a call from both Josh and the bar wondering where we were and that they were not letting the first band in to play since nobody “official” was there. Hello….is it not still a bar and a show? ARRRGGGHHH!!! Note to self – drive faster?

I was there about 10 minutes after mom and by then she had things pretty well under control. The first band was going, the food was set up for the performers and the table out front was up and running. Glitch #3 – I heard the girl at the door ask someone how long they are staying to figure out how much to charge. Appearantly, as we were on our way there, the bar decided to change the age from 18+ after 9 PM to 21+, and some of the bands had advertised that there was a difference in the donation based on entry time, not based on age, which I had thought was pretty clear. Note to self – be more explicit!

The rest of the night was not so bad, even after mom left at about 9:30. There was a girl who had graduated from the school where my son attends, and where mom teaches. Somehow she had heard about the show and decided that since it was on her 18th birthday, she wanted to celebrate this special day doing volunteer work. Where did she come from and are there more like her!?!?! Stephanie was awesome and spent basically the whole evening sitting outside answering questions. We had never met her before. What a blessing she was! She stayed until mom left and the girl at the door and a friend took over all door duties. Come to find out later, the cash girl did not work at the bar, as I had assumed. She was with one of the bands!! I REALLY need to find out who she is so she can get proper kudos!

I Emcee’d as far as introducing the bands and thanking all the proper people every three bands or so, the kids did the door prizes and raffle and mom and a few others handled the door, guest book, info, etc. outside. Glitch #4 – Just when all seemed to be going smoothly, I discovered that I could not find a whole pile of donated gift certificates for the remaining band members. For about an hour and a half I ran around looking for those blasted envelopes, jumped up on stage between sets for announcements and intros, coordinated the raffle timing and content, checked on the video recording tape, that (thankfully) my friend Francie had graciously been handling, and changed the tapes when necessary, had a drink or two. I finally found the certificates, rubber-banded on the outside of the opened lid of a box, for safe keeping you know. Eventually, at about 11:30 finally made myself a plate of taquitos, beans, rice and chips (Gracias, Jaime!). My first food ALL DAY! Note to self – tell someone else where you store important stuff. DUH!

At about 9:30 my son had said to me that the party sucked and that he was bored and wanted to leave. I reminded him that for a teenager, 9:30 is the height of the night, but for adults, such as myself, we don’t even really start to show up till 10 or even 11. Hang tight, They will come. As expected, at about 11 the bar filled up a bit. There were close to 50 people inside when we shut down the cash box at about 12:30.

At just before 2 AM the bouncer told me that we had to start to wrap up. He told the last band, Black Square, that it was time. Josh said “One last song,” which the band cleverly turned into a prolonged song that was actually two or three different songs strung together. Isn’t ska grand? Bless him! He bought me and my crew some time to get things together and gather all the bands who were still in the house for a big group pic onstage, in front of the Peruvian flag hanging on the wall (donated by Percy Lau, a Peruvian who has lived in Hawaii for decades). At about 2:15 the bar staff was practically throwing us out, and we still had to pack up the car and the food and the people and …… PHEW! What a night. It’s no surprise that I spent most of the next two days sleeping!

So all told we took in just under $600, including our raffle ticket sales, with $72 being donated in a “calabash” box. In Hawaii this is traditional at weddings, baby luau’s, etc. for people to give money “just because”. This was awesome. We are now in the black and ready to move forward.

We still have some details to wrap up, including mailing thank you cards, updating the website, posting photos, etc. I also need to collect pix/vid from that night from other people so we can send them to a guy who will put together a video montage for us (Yeah, Nathan!). How cool is that!?! I would love to post it online and have Ely take Presli down to the gabinete by her dad’s house and let him see the concert and the people who came out to support him. That would be really great for his self-esteem. Especially if he can take a friend or two with him to see it.

So, that’s how I spent my Spring break in Hawaii! Oh yeah, I still have some hearing deficit in my right ear because, in my haste, I forgot to grab my earplugs and our “station” was just in front of the house speakers. Note to self – Keep earplugs in the car.

Now to the news, I have attached to this letter an original letter by Merardo Pillpa Alvarado and my translation. He receives tutoring, and now wound care, by Ely several times a week. Hopefully, by now his blisters are more under control and the family can be trained to maintain his care. Although his problem is DNA-related and incurable, we are doing whatever we can to treat the symptoms of his disorder, minimize his pain, increase his nutrition and reduce the disruption to his family. We have already sent money to Ely to buy him sandals that fit (he was wearing shoes that were too small!!), and medical supplies for his blisters, as well as vitamins and other items on a list we put together for her. He needs a new bicycle and other things, but we are very concerned about his family’s living situation. They live in an adobe home with no flooring. They also have no bedding whatsoever, so this boy with open wounds and no insulating fat tissue (i.e. skin and bones) sleeps on the dirt floor with his 5 siblings and their parents. When it rains, they put down plastic so they are not sleeping in puddles (of course they have a leaky roof). As if this weren’t bad enough, the landlord wants them to move out, probably because the place is condemned and is ready to be demolished.

Merardo is going to see the surgical team in La Oroya with Ely and Presli in August. Perhaps they will separate his webbed fingers at that time and he can learn to write normally and be more self-sufficient with his own feeding and wound care. It will be a great boost for his self-esteem and very likely a relief for the family as well. He really admires Nilton (Ely’s husband) and wants to be a professional. A professional what he has not specified, but it makes me smile anyway.

Ely said in a recent letter that there is a doctor nearby who is familliar with his disorder and said that the care instructions I gave her and the medical supplies we are providing are right on track. He has also provided her with other info that she will hopefully be able to put to use in his case. Sadly, Merardo’s condition comes with a very bad prognosis. A large percentage of patients with this particular type of EB (I don’t know the figure, mom found the data) develop a fatal carcinoma between the ages of 15 and 35. It is unavoidable and not at all like the kind you get from UV exposure. So keeping him out of the sun and slathering SPF 5000 will do him no good. It is a totally random and fierce cancer that he will not be likely to overcome. I have asked Ely NOT to share this detail with him or his family. There is no sense in causing them sadness and anxiety about something that they cannot prevent, will not be able to cure and may not even happen at all. I only tell you this so that you all can understand how completely serious this disease is. For more information, do an internet search for ‘autosomal recessive epidermolysis bullosa’.

To read his story in his own words (and my translation from Spanish), click here.

So, “Project Presli” surges on with funds now in the coffers instead of being in the red. Merardo’s daily agony has been minimized and his shoes fit. Contacts were made and bonds formed at the benefit concert. Offers of help in the future were received and people have been informed of the needs of the Andean people. We registered with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs as a charity (not a tax thing, just a business recognition). All in all March 2007 has been a pretty good month for PD.

Now, off to the website editor I go……

Aloha no,
Lisa & Sherrill Sturm

February 20, 2007

Big, no, HUGE announcement….

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 12:28 am

Hello to all,
We hope this short but sweet newsletter finds you well. This year has already been quite eventful for us and there are no signs of it slowing down!

So here is our big news: It’s official. I recently had the idea to ask some of our local bands if they would do a benefit show. I thought it would be a long shot but I asked anyway. BOY was I wrong. After just a few weeks of inquiries and phone calls, it’s a GO!

Go here for the scoop:

See you there!

Sheri and Lisa

January 23, 2007

Peru photos updated on website

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:48 pm

I have updated our webpage with photos and news from Peru. Please visit PeruDonations to see what’s new. We appreciate all the support you have given us as we work toward helping our friends in Huancayo and beyond. Again, if you would like to be taken off this list, please just let us know and we will take care of it right away. We hope this finds you and yours well in this new year. Mom and I are very excited about all the things we are planning for ourselves and for Presli. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to work toward these goals.

Mahalo nui loa, Dios los bendiga,

Lisa and Sheri Sturm

January 5, 2007

Some Chupaca Christmas pix

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 6:36 pm

Attached are photos of what your contributions brought to the poor children of Chupaca this Christmas. Photos are of Elizabeth (Ely), her husband Nilton, Ely’s mother, and some local people in Chupaca and Huancayo, Peru. If you would like to read Ely’s thank you letter in Spanish, email us and we will forward it to you also. They were very excited to present the party and wish you all a big Gracais.
Sheri and Lisa

(Photos may be found online at Chupaca Christmas)

December 28, 2006


Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:56 am
This will be the shortest newsletter ever. I PROMISE!
First – we hope your Christmas celebrations were full of peace and laughter like ours was.
Second – Check out our BRAND NEW WEBSITE!!

Lisa and Sheri

December 25, 2006

Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noelle, Feliz Navidad!!

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 5:55 pm
Dear Friends of Perudonations,We hope this note finds you all in good spirits, enjoying the holidays with friends and family, keeping warm, and finding peace in your lives. We are.While we are celebrating the holidays in our own ways, Ely and Nilton are in Chupaca, Peru in a much different setting, celebrating Christmas with the estimated four hundred children.

It’s the rainy season now in Peru. Nevertheless, these children are having one of the most memorable days of their lives, thanks in part to some of our generous friends and family who put smiles on those blessed little faces. Ely received the last of three transmittals of donations from us this week. This, along with the other moneys sent by us and other contributors, enabled her and Nilton to go to Chupaca earlier this week with gift and activities to brighten these children’s lives.

Sheri and I would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to those who sent donations, well-wishes and prayers to Peru.

Once the holiday season is over and the rush of activities has passed, we will be devoting more of our time and efforts working on Project Presli.

Wishing you the best new year ever, Lisa Sturm and Sheri Sturm

December 4, 2006

Chupaca party on its way and donor thanks you’s

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 7:47 pm
Good evening all,
This is just a quick update on our progress on the Chupaca Christmas party. Ely received our first transmittal of donations last week. Amazingly she received it in two days! Now we are collecting the last dollars for the gifts for the children. They will be going to Lima on December 12 to pick up gifts for the expected 400 children who live in Chupaca. Many of these children are either orphans, abandoned and living with extended family or live in homes with many siblings and work in local factories and farms. If you are thinking of sending some money to help with the gifts, please send it to through PayPal as soon as possible. It may take a few days to reach the PayPal account (if you use a credit card), and then 2 more days to get to Peru. We will be sending it out on December 10 at the very latest. If you miss our deadline, we can add it to their last transmittal before they leave for Chupaca.
Many thanks to the donors who have helped so far:
Thomas Pickett
Kathryn Livingston
Mauricio and MaryJane Oliveira
Justin Vncler
Michelle Marcos
Christine Wilson
This project has had many good surprises for us thus far. The generosity and interest of our family and friends has moved us. But by far the most inspiring thing has been the contribution made by my mom’s cousin. Living in Hawaii since 1970, we have been out of touch with most of our family. But because of letters my mom sent to her own mailing list, she received a very surprising email and donation from a cousin she had not had contact with in decades. Who would have thought that Ely in Peru could reunite my mom with her long-lost cousin? This thing has taken on so many wonderful ancillaries. We are excited about the unexpected turns it might bring in the future.
Speaking of the future, we will still be collecting donations for Ely and Nilton’s Chupaca Christmas party after they return from shopping in Lima. They have many supplies and food to purchase and we hope to help out as much as we can right until the end!
We hope you all have a nice and safe weekend. And for those of you on the mainland, stay warm…..
Lisa and Sheri

December 2, 2006

Donations safely sent to Ely and Presli update

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 10:39 pm
It is hard to believe that it is December already. Where has this year gone? Well, it was a very eventful year for me, so I can’t complain.We are very excited to announce that our first installment of donated monies has arrived safely, quickly and cheaply to Ely in Huancayo. The transfer took some setting up by mom, but it went off without a hitch and Ely is beside herself with relief. We were all worried that the fees would be exorbitant or that it would take too long or get lost or ‘red taped’. But Ely wrote back in just two days that she received it and there were no complications on that end. As contributions continue to come in, we are relived that she will be able to get it in time.I have also read the proposal for her Christmas activities in Chupaca. It’s scope is much larger than I had originally thought. She and Nilton have sent out this proposal, including an expected budget and requests for donations of goods, to several businesses, mostly in Huancayo and Chupaca. The proposal is comprehensive, requesting donations for food, tables, chairs, tents, paper goods, small gifts, decorations, supplies, etc. It turns out that she is throwing a Christmas party for an expected 400 children!!

Their main concern is the orphans, but she and Nilton are also focusing on the children who work at the local factories and those who have many siblings. These children represent the poorest families. She is also doing home visitations to see what other basic things she might be able to help provide for the family. With her background in Sociology, she will be able to act as an advocate and will have resouces and information about social and volunteer programs which might be able to provide aid and services to this community. This is part of their long-term goal, which includes relocating to Chupaca next year and the opening their non-profit volunteer organization “Peru Luz de Esperanza”. As she and Nilton wade through the process of securing the home-base building and obtaining their non-profit status, they are taking the time to get to know the community.

Ely will be making the trek to Lima in just over one week to purchase gifts and supplies, since goods in Lima are embarrassingly cheap, even for Peru standards. My mom and I quickly discovered that whatever you want you can find it in Lima at a fraction of the cost anywhere else. The “underground market,” as I call the three-story maze-like market area of Chinatown, is a veritable gold mine of bargains. You literally trip over vendors in the streets selling everything imaginable at prices that make you feel like you are stealing from them.

On another note, “Project Presli” is still moving along. At this stage we are securing more photographs for the doctors, and perhaps some video of Presli taken by Terry and Alison McCormick (Congrats! I just discovered that you have married since we met you ). Dr. Capozzi, of Rotoplast, Inc. Int’l has taken an interest in this case and I am very moved by the prospect of this dream being realized. Please, continue to keep your eyes and ears open and let us know if you come across any stories of similar situations or organizations who might play a part in this project. We have had some suggestions by our mailling list members and mom is putting out ‘feelers’.

If you have items that you would like to send to Ely and Nilton to take to Chupaca for the kids, please contact Terry and Alison at Don’t delay, as they will be mailing out their collected items pretty soon from Oakland. They may also need some help paying for the postage, so if you do send items to them, please throw in a few dollars toward the shipping fees. Please also visit their websites ( and to see what other work they have done and are continuing in Peru. Their hearts are big and they are truly wonderful people. I have probably not ever met a pair of human beings who are as genuine and caring as these two. May God bless their continued work.

That is all for now. Thanks again to those who have opened their hearts and sent donations. Those who have not sent anything yet but would like to, please be aware that PayPal payments do have a delay period and fees depending on the funding source you chose. If you know myself or my mom personally or would like to send a physical check, just let us know and we will give you the mailing address. We plan to send out that last of what we have collected next week, probably Thursday.

If you are not planning on sending anything for this project, we understand. The holiday season makes many demands on us. We feel it too. However, if you are able to send just $5 or $10 dollars, we would be happy to include it with our next transmittal. We don’t know when or if Ely and Nilton will be looking for help in the future, but we are going to keep these financial arrangements open just in case.

We wish you all a safe December and good times with friends and family. My brother is coming for a visit from Seattle for three weeks. It will be the most time he has spent here since he moved away nearly 10 years ago! He will be glad to be in the warmth of Paradise for a little while!

Aloha no,

Lisa Sturm and Sheri Sturm

November 27, 2006

Donation button now available

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:54 pm
Hello again,

Thanks to a suggestion from a friend of mine in Texas, I will be including an easy button in these letters to facilitate any monetary donations. Please make sure you correctly designate as the recipient since is at least one other similar email address with Yahoo.

Also, I have received from Ely their proposal for their Christmas project in Chupaca. It’s scope is much, much larger than I had expected. The amount of money they need for the day-long program is much higher because they hope to provide gifts and activities to approximately 400 children from the town. They have also requested donations and loaner furniture from local businesses and contributions of food and supplies as part of their proposal.

Although I know that she is looking for funds from a few different sources, but I want to help them as much as I can. As I have said before, the dollar is very strong and just a little helps. My original goal was to send about $150. But now I am thinking that the sky is the limit. She will probably not get every dollar (sol) she is hoping for, but I want to help her get as close as possible.

Please consider this my “official” plea for donations. I know that some of you are absolutely unable or already have regular donations to some other organization. If this is the case, I understand. However, if you can spare just $5 or $10 it will definately make a difference. If everyone on this list just sends $10, I will be able to send Ely over $600!!!

Please think about it.

November 26, 2006

Introducing Presli Ordaya

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 1:52 pm

Hello to all. I hope your long weekend was peaceful, safe and restful.

I am writing with some exciting news. First, we are days away from having all the red-tape taken care of to send money to Ely and Nilton for the Chupaca orphans. It took some doing, but my mom has been tirelessly searching the web for a way to send the funds without a large percentage taken up in fees. All the standard ways that we think of are too expensive for small amounts. By Friday it should all be set up and there will be only a few dollars lost as compared to the $40 fee of a standard bank-to-bank wire transfer. Who would have thought it would be so expensive. I guess as Americans we are used to things just working smoothly and assume other places operate the same way. Mom and I can tell you that is not the case. She found much worse conditions in other places she has visited, so she already knows what to expect. I am glad she is doing the legwork on this part, because I ran out of steam after only about 3 inquiries!!

We are still asking anyone who wants to help to please send a little if you can. Although $5 or $10 sounds like such a small amount and that it would not do any good, you would be surprised. In Peru the dollar is so strong that with just five dollars, Ely could buy one or two pairs of socks, a small toy and maybe even some other nicknack for a kid. It seems unlikely, but it’s true. The dollar goes VERY FAR. I ask you all again, if you can spare just a few dollars (skip Starbucks just once) your few dollars could make a large difference this Christmas for a child. It really is worth it. So far we have just under $100. This is close to the goal I had hoped for, but let’s see how many $5’s we can get for them! If you would like to help but don’t have a PayPal account, reply to this message and I will give you a physical address to send your check. I am closing out on December 10 so that I will be able to get it to Ely in time.

As for Project Presli, I have not really shared this one yet. So before I share the big news, let me give some background: Eleven-year old Presli lives at the Aldea del Rosario in Huancayo, Peru. My mom and I got to know him a bit during the one week that we spent working there teaching English and tutoring in math, chemistry and reading with the orphans who live there. Presli has severe burn scars on his face which make it impossible for him to close his mouth, he has no nostrils and his right eyelid does not work right. He also has extensive scarring on the majority of his face. As he is right now, he is subject to increased risk of respiratory infections, dental and oral problems, his speech is impaired and his peripheral vision is limited on the right side. Presli was born in Lima, Peru. His parents were extremely poor and lived in a small place with no water or electricity. They had to use candles to light their home at night. One night his mother fell asleep with him and woke their home in flames. This happened when Presli was six days old. After a few more children, his parents divorced. His mother remarried, but their home was a violent place. Presli suffered extra abuse at the hands of his step-father who could not handle his deformities. He and his siblings were all removed from the home, but his birth-father did not take Presli with the other kids, since he did not know how to care for him, and he too was abusive to the boy.

Through the work of various people, several years ago Presli was placed in the Aldea del Rosario, where he receives an education, peer support, healthcare, mental health care, life skills, etc. He is in a loving environment where he is truly treated just like any other kid there. However, with his extreme scarring and shocking appearance, I became concerned that once he leaves the orphanage that his life will suddenly become quite harsh. He will not be likely to find a job where his education will be useful. He will most likely end up working at a job that is essentially slave labor, if he can find a job at all, and he will most likely live a quite lonely life in the streets. The health care and dental visits that he has now will end and he may have to brave the winters alone, fending off pneumonia and bronchitis with no medication.

For this reason, my mom and I decided to see what could be done surgically to help him. Our contacts in Huancayo informed us that when he first arrived at the aldea, that some inquiries had been made, but there are no facilities in Huancayo that can help him. That was a dead end for them. When I met Presli, I knew that he could be helped somewhere, somehow. At first my mom and I considered some very grand and lofty ideas of sending him to a surgeon in Lima with a chaperone several times for surgeries, fundraising the monies and paying for what we could ourselves. (Little did we know that these ideas were not quite as lofty as we once thought).

Then mom sent out some emails…..

We had a response yesterday from a surgeon in Sacramento who is the Medical Director of Rotoplast, Inc. Int’l, a group of volunteer surgeons with the Shriners who do just this kind of work. He has taken quite an interest in Presli’s case and mom and I are working with him, Terry & Alison in Oakland, Russell Jenkins in Huancayo and Ely & Nilton on finding out what options are available. Mom has been glued to her computer, finding out some wonderful things that are out there and making contacts with organizations who can help put this project into full swing.

While we have not officially begun to ask for monetary donations from individuals or organizations to help with this project, we know that there are many things that will have to be provided somehow.

This is what we think we will need:
-transportation to the city(ies) where his assessments/surguries/recovery will occur;
-a chaperone for his travels, preferably bilingual in Spanish and English and with medical experience;
-room and board for both of them during their stays, wherever that may be;
-any costs related to the doctor’s visits and the surgeries themselves;
-nursing support while he recovers from each round of surgery;
-physical therapy as he gets used to his newly funcional body parts;
-mental health support to help him deal with these drastic changes;
-and probably more we have not considered.

Mom has found some exciting information on the web about a program with an airline which flies patients such as Presli wherever they need to go for treatments. She has also found an organization who provides chaperones door-to-door. The surgeon we are in contact with is in Sacramento. If we will be bring Presli to his facility for his many surgeries, we would like to have a home that Presli (and the chaperone) may stay in for the few days they are not in the hospital each time. If this home has a Spanish-speaking family, that would be an incredible boon to help Presli adjust the strange new surroundings. Mom has also heard that individulas can donate their airline miles for projects such as this. It seems the possibilities are endless, mostly since these types of things have been happening more and more; there seems to be some stuff already in place. We just have to get the word out as much as possible and know where to look. We are asking at this time if anyone knows of a non-profit/volunteer organization or ministry who can help with any of these things, please let us know as soon as it occurs to you.

I was assuming that we would not even be looking for a surgeon for another year or more. So to have one on board so quickly, even if he is just serving as an advisor, well, that is absolutely amazing. Both mom and I were nearly in tears when we heard that there is already interest.

At some time in the future, we may put out an appeal for monetary donations. This will be far in the future as there are so many things that need to be straightened out first. At this time, we are forwarding photos of Presli to Dr. Capozzi for he and his colleages to review. We will be sending more photos and video of Presli obtained by Terry and Alison and others who are still in Huancayo. The next step would be for an assessment in person. Since I don’t know how long these things take, we could be asking for airline miles or other kinds of help soon or several months from now. We will know much more as Dr. Capozzi guides us in this process.

I was hoping to provide Presli with these surgeries before he was 16. I assumed it would take several years to get underway. It seems that the wheels have been greased by the Great Beyond (insert higher power of choice here). Keep this project in mind as you hear news stories or read in the paper or a magazine of similar happenings. In this type of situation, there is no such thing as Too Much Information! Also, if you have any contacts in the media, please have them contact us. Perhaps we can get the word out to a very large audience and something surprising will fall into our laps!

I will attempt to attach some photos of Presli and his current home to this email. Please let me know if they did not come through.

Have a great week.

December is upon us – drive safe and, if you live in Hawaii, stay out of the sidewalks.


November 24, 2006

Christmas in Chupaca donations

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 12:34 am
Aloha again to all. Hope you had a nice and safe Thanksgiving.
I received an email today from Elizabeth in Peru. She gave me a target date to have all the funds for her to buy the gifts and stuff she will need for her Christmas party with the orphans of Chupaca, Peru.Given the time it will take to transmit the funds, I will need all donations for this project by December 10. I will be sending it to her right away and that will give her enough time to get when she needs before making the trip to Chupaca.

If you have not decided yet if you will give to this project, there are two weeks to think about it. If you think you will not give for the Christmas gifts, but are willing to help with our bigger dreams of “Project Presli” (providing plastic surgery for an 11 year old orphan’s facial burns), we will be working on that project very long-term, so there is no rush. Speaking of “Project Presli,”if you have any information about an organization that does or funds this kind of work, PLEASE let me know.

If you like, you can also be added directly to my mailing list. Send a note to (this is also the address to use to send money through – please use a bank transfer instead of a credit card because it is fee-free). You may already be on this list. If you would like to be taken off the Yahoo mailing list, just send a note and I will take care of it right away.

Here is a pic of Ely with some of the keiki in Chupaca:

Again, I hope you are all having a nice holiday with your families and staying off the rainy roads.


November 21, 2006

How you can help

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 5:42 pm

To friends of Peru orphans,
Thanks to you for your interest in helping the Chupaca village children in Peru this Holiday Season. Some of you have contacted us about what you can do to help our orphan project in Chupaca, here are some options: 1. If you want to send clothing, toys, or school supplies etc., we made some friends in Huancayo who are sending some donations of this sort. Terry and Alison are sending a package to Ely (Elizabeth) and Nilton for their visit to the village for Christmas. If you would like to add to the gifts, please contact them directly to make arrangements. Their email address is

2. If you would like to add to the monetary donations we have collected, (a much more efficient and cost effective way to help) contact Lisa or Sheri at this email address and we will arrange to have it forwarded to Ely who is preparing the Christmas party.

3. If you have an interest in joining us with looking into facial surgery for fire victim 11 year-old Presli (a very long-term project) we would love to know about it. Contact us about any of your interests and we will let you know what can be arranged. Any questions or ideas you have will be gratefully accepted. We will get back to you as soon as we can with each new change.
Sheri Sturm and Lisa Sturm

November 13, 2006

AOP and photo link

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:52 pm
Hello again. I hope this letter finds you well.
This is a short update:
Two of the people I worked with at Tinkuy have told me that they are also working with Eli and Nilton and other volunteers from Tinkuy Peru in their efforts in Chupaca. They also creating a volunteer organization called Andean Outreach Program (preview their website at ). Terry and Allison were in Huancayo for nearly a year and also know the area very well. They are also painfully familliar with the needs of these communities. They were integral to the operations of Tinkuy and were dearly missed when they left. Although I left later the same day, I could tell the that staff were very sad to have these two family members leave the home. In fact, their was a palpable mourning for days before they got in the taxi!!
Terry and Allison are hoping to reach out to as many people as possible in order to make their project a success, so I figured I would share their dream with my own mailing list. They are also planning to make Eli and Nilton’s Peru Luz de Esperanza a part of their service network. Please keep checking in to see how things are going.
Also, for any of you who have not had the chance yet, please take a look at my photos from my time in Peru. Visit The first few albums belong to my mom from her other trips, but she has one called “Sheri’s shots from Peru” and then there are about a dozen albums from the various places we visited. You will see Terry, Allison, Eli, Nilton and some of the orphans we worked with – look for “Aldea del Rosario” and “Tinkuy crew goes out”.
As usual, if you want to be taken off this mailing list, please hit reply and let me know.
Aloha no,
Lisa Sturm

November 12, 2006

Intro to newsletter

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:54 pm

Hello all. As most of you know I spent a month in Peru this summer. The last week we were there, my mom and I worked with an volunteer organization, Tinkuy Peru, who placed us in an orphanage teaching English to the students there. We had a classroom with children from the ages of 3 – 15. We also did some one-on-one tutoring in English, chemistry and math. These children at La Aldea del Rosario are very fortunate. In Peru school is not compulsory, so these 70 orpahan children in this very poor city will have the advantage of not just an education, but one which will place them above their peers who may or may not be attending school at all.The daughter of the director of Tinkuy, Elizabeth Tinoco, has a heavy heart for children in surrounding towns who are even more poor and suffer from malnutrition and other diseases of poverty. Many of these children live with extended family or just with their mothers. This is the result, in large part, of the civil unrest and terrorism that swept through Huancayo and other cities of Peru in the 80’s and 90’s. The terrorism is basically under control (if you don’t count the Mafiosos), but so many of these kids have to live without their parents who were assisinated during this dark time.

This Christmas, Elizabeth (who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology) and her husband, Nilton (who just earned his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering) are going to spend some time in one of these towns. The town is called Chupaca (like Chewbacca) and is situated a few hours by car over very bad mud and gravel roads. Elizabeth and Nilton are planning to move there some time early next year to begin their own program of volunteers and thereby extend the work of her father in this very needy area. Although I was only there for seven days, I could tell immediately that Elizabeth is a special person and that her heart breaks every day.I bonded very strongly with Elizabeth and Nilton while I was there. We started by talking about raising children, their work in Huancayo and music. They are both musicians and they have a rock band, he is the singer and she is the singer/drummer. As we were sharing the names of the bands we like in common, Nilton was pulling CD after CD out of the pockets of his jacket. It was almost like a farce. I began to joke that if I poke at a particular spot on his back that a U2 CD will pop out his chest! I was unfortunate to arrive in Huancayo one week after their last gig, but the other volunteers said that they are very talented rockers.

My mom spent a day with her mom shopping and teaching her to cook some American food for the family. This day was the most significant day in the whole month for her since we had had so little contact with “real” Peruvians. What mom saw and experienced that day really made the trip for her. She noted that so many of the things we take for granted are just not part of their lives. For example, that they don’t have a refrigerator in their house. They store their perishables in a sort of basement, like a root cellar, where things stay cool. NO REFRIGERATOR!! And these are the people who want to help the poor!

So, why am I telling you this? I know that we all have our obligations and priorities this holiday season. Everyone will be demanding of our time. Our kids will whine and complain if they don’t get just the RIGHT Christmas present. We ourselves will feel put out if our partners and families don’t read our minds and give us just what we want. We will measure our friendships by the amount we are willing to spend on the gifts. And don’t anyone dare deny it. It’s what we do.

I am asking that anyone who feels so inclined to send a very small amount to me to forward to Elizabeth and Nilton. The dollar goes so very far in Peru, that even if I send her only a small amount by our standards, those kids in Chupaca will have the most memorable Christmas ever. In fact, most of them have never received a gift of any kind from any one for any reason, so this will be a real treat for them.As an example of the power of the American dollar, one can get a 1 L bottle of water for under 30 cents, and one hour of internet in an “internet booth” is ONE DOLLAR! Imagine what as little as $50 or $80 can do for these kids.

Elizabeth said they need things like socks, clothes, dolls, toys, etc. They are also hoping to have enough to host a party for all the children so that they can experience one wonderful night of gift-giving and singing as a community.I know that there are a lot of organizations who use the the holiday season to pull on our heart strings. I am just asking for $5 or $10 dollars (or whatever) from anyone who wants to help put a smile on a child’s face, if even for just one day. I personally know Ely and Nilton. They will make sure that your donation will be maximized and used well.If you want to help, send any monies to through PayPal. Make a note including your name (unless you want to be anonymous) and a note that it’s for Peru. Elizabeth is setting up a PayPal account on that end so I will be able to send it all to her electronically when the time comes.

Whatever I collect will be sent early or mid-December so that she can buy what is needed before she leaves for Chupaca. (Or if you know me personally, you can give me cash or a check if you prefer, but PayPal takes credit cards if you like that better). Unfortunately I am not designated as an non-profit org, so I can’t give you a receipt for your taxes. ;-) Ely and Nilton are in the process of setting up their own non-profit volunteer organization, as I mentioned above, and in getting all the red-tape out of the way so they can begin as soon as possible. It is called “Peru Luz de Esperanza’.

I am in the process of translating their introductory page for their website into English. Their site is nearly ready to post – I will send out another bulliten when it is up for anyone who wants to follow or help their work in Chupaca.

On another note, I am also in the very fetal stages of looking into plastic surgery for “Presli”, a resident of the Rosario orphanage. I will put the whole story down later when I have more information and time. If any of you know of a plastic surgeon (anywhere in the world) who specializes in facial burns and reconstruction, or you have knowledge of an organization who provides this kind of service, please let me know. He is eleven now and I would like to help him before he reaches the age of majority or leaves the orphanage for any reason. I have two people in Huancayo working with me on this dream of mine, but they will likely be leaving the city at some point and I will want to have things under way.

If you feel like you don’t want to help financially with either of these projects, please don’t feel bad. But I will ask you to keep reading my posts regarding my projects in Peru just in case something occurs to you. And of course pray to the Higher Power of your choice to make the lives of these children better and to open the doors of their futures.Have a nice three-day weekend and make sure you drive safe!


Add PD to address book

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 1:34 pm
Hello again,
I will be sending you periodic updates and photos from Peru from this address, so please make sure it does not go into your junk mail. If you want me to remove you from this list, please send me a note and I will take you off. No harm, no foul
Que Dios te bendiga,

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