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posted Jun 16, 2011, 6:49 AM by Ethan Shirley
It is with a heavy heart that I must write the news about our van, Bella.

Her motor was vandalized by (presumably) drunken miscreants who wanted to cause endless frustration and stress, not to mention who wanted to absolutely drain our funds.

Somebody broke into the engine compartment of our means of transport and put dirt in the motor oil.  This caused the engine block and all its contents (camshaft, crankshaft, valves, gaskets galore) to tear themselves apart (instead of lubricating, the motor oil increased friction).  We took apart the motor nearly in its entirety, and each time when we tried to put it back together, another something would go wrong.  Parts and repairs have added up and added up -- and I have continued to buy them because with each one, it seems like the end is in sight... and then there's one more.  It looks now that the end is really in sight, as the entire motor is composed now of only new pieces.

Deeming transportation necessary for both our American groups and the kids who may begin school in July (pending a visit by the state secretary of education to the site), and being in quite the catch-22 having already paid to repair 90% of the engine, I've gone ahead and replaced everything to get our van working again.  

Needless to say, these surprising costs have placed considerable financial pressure on us and the project.  We are and will continue to be doing everything in our power to get school started as quickly as possible for the sake of the kids who currently have nothing.  I feel now though that it is my duty to express explicitly that this project is run largely by private donations; and your continued support is necessary and always greatly appreciated.