Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's cold joke!

Saturday afternoons are craft days...the kids love to put glue on everything...the paper, the table, the chairs, their hands, faces,'s been everywhere!
This is Evan at almost a month...can't believe how different he looks everyday! We are still wondering if he is hydrocephalic..and praying he's not!
Things have been busy as usual. Our short-term teacher has been gone to the DR for a week and will be back for one more week. Minne, the other gal that's here for a year, will be taking over the formal schooling part and I help her with translation when she needs help. I've been doing a little bit of everything and I quite enjoy that, along with doing developmental play stuff with the kids. We took in a little boy named Richard(said the French way) who's about 21months and on the malnourished side. It's been interesting to see the text-book malnourished tendencies...avoiding eye contact, throwing everthing, not responding to stimulation, not's really sad and we don't know what's going to be happening with him yet, as someone who knows his family brought him in as he had been sitting in someone's yard crying for days...his dad has yet to show up and let us know what he is going to do. Please pray that God's will will be done in this situation.
My friend Louise Hudson and her brother Julian arrived on Friday and it's really neat to have them here. The kids love having a guy around to play with them...they are all referring to him as the "big papa". Julian is half black and everyone here thinks he's a Haitian should have seen all the people speaking to him in Creole in was very entertaining!!
Thursday night brought a very stressful experience. One of the little one year old boys got very sick with pneumonia and strep throat and was covered with some kind of rash and to top it all of was in respiratory distress. So, I spent the night up with Melinda holding this little boy and praying and watching...there were a few times that we were quite concerned. Praise the Lord by moringing he was much better as a result of O2, penicillin and a lot of God's grace!! He's still not in great health, but is definitely on the mend. Your prayers would be really appreciated!
One day I had this odd little rash of sorts appear on one spot on my foot. That evening it was a little swollen and very sensitive to the touch. Melinda put me on Amoxycillin right away and waited to see what would happen. Two days later it did not hurt but my whole foot was swollen, and I was kinda wonding what was going on. Then finally it started to look less swollen and now it's fine. Melinda had done some reading and figured that it had been cellulitis and we had just caught it in time....that's exciting!! I'm so thankful that it did not get any worse than that!! Other than that and being a little tired after that long night with a sick baby, I've been feeling great and really happy to be doing what I'm doing.
I've been hearing that it's getting cold at it's only 25 outside...and we're a little cold...who woulda thought!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bon Chofe(Good driver)...and other happenings

I have offically become a wide-eyed, overfull, precarioulsy dodging kids(both the human and goat kind), motorcycles, donkeys, wheelbarrows, driver in Haiti. It's been very exciting let me tell you. But, it's given me a sense of freedom and the ability to go to go and do things that we otherwise have to wait around for. However,I am not planning on hitting the pandemoneum of Port-au-Prince anytime soon!
Meet Levi...the third baby to come since I've been here. He's 19 days old and not super healthy, but he's holding on and starting to eat.
Some new friends and I out for a break!

Rainy Season in Haiti

The Cabaret river flooded last week and has killed 47 people and left about 7000 homeless. You can see how high the water was on this house under the line of mud. The Cabaret river affected the town of Cazale about 3 hours from here. The river near here is also very swollen and actually swept a little boy right out of his house. It's amazing that these things are happening right outside the gate...really makes you stop and think about where you are...
A photo taken in Cazale after the water subsided. The road as been completely washed away in places, and people actually have to drive as far as they can, carefully walk on the a narrow path to the other side where the road is good, and get on another tap-tap(Haitian taxi).
This flood has affected thousands of people and has taken everything they had, which was by our North American standards not much at all. Please pray for the people who are trying to pick up their lives and locate family members, and for the many mission organizations who are serving the area in many ways.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An afternoon surprise in my bed!

A rare smile from Derson
Ketteline looking pretty after surviving her favorite thing....getting her hair done!
Pat and the littlest man in the house, Evan.

Lots of way overdue news!

So, last night a little birdie informed me by hilariously delayed SKYPE(internet phone) that I had really been slacking on the blogging front! Consider my hand slapped! I didn’t realize how many people have been keeping up with me via my blog…maybe a few hello’s would help remind me!!(hint hint)
Anyway, things have been insanely busy here!!! We have had 5 kids leave in a matter of three weeks, so that means that we have had families here to pick up kids and that kinda throws everything into more of a loop than usual...though it's really neat to see kids bonding with their families and to see their personalities emerge that are hidden downstairs amongst 38 other kids!
Two weeks ago I spent the weekend in Port-au-Prince being a support to a lady that was here picking up her little girl and had been waiting almost 3 weeks for the passport to be released. It had been quite a stressful time for her, and I was glad I could "be a pal" and be there for her. I actually went to the Embassy with her all on my own and helped get her visa(I really didn't do much more than translate), after we sat in this stuffy little hot restaurant the Friday and waited for a number of people to get the passport released. Rumour was the machine that puts the emblem on the front of the passport was broken down...only in Haiti does such a thing happen, and only to people who have been waiting for two years to take their baby home! But, by God's grace and perhaps a couple "loaded" handshakes to get us in a couple doors, everthing happened in time for the ladies flight the next day. The day we were at the embassy, we got dropped off there and after we got the visa I realized I had to find a way to get us back together with our driver...only I don't yet have a cellphone, and there is no such thing as a handy payphone in the building!! So, we ventured down the street, as I know that everwhere are what I call "phone guys". Somehow or other they have these regular looking house phones all jacked up so that they are totally portable and are literally a walking payphone. I had no idea what the cost was or how to go about using the system, but with a wide-eyed very trusting adoptive mom in tow, I mangaged to get in contact with our people and not get totally ripped off!! Cedieu, one of the guys that works here was the one I had to get a hold of, and he announced that I was truly Haitian when he realized I had just gone and found a phone and got done what needed to happen without just sitting there for hours!! I didn't tell him that I was somewhat comforted by the big UN tank sitting on the street!!
Last week 4 girls arrived, one of whom is going to be staying for a year as well. They are all so nice and we've had a lot of fun these past couple weeks...the shower line has gotten a bit long, especially since two more girls arrived on Tuesday!!
School here has officially started and the kids are really picking English up quickly!! It's amazing how much they actually absorb when you think you just spent 1/2hr talking for no reason!! There is a gal here who is getting us started for 5 weeks and she's really great!! I am really sad that she is leaving in such a short time, not only because she's a great teacher, but cuz we mesh quite well together!I'm hoping she'll come back again this year while I am here!
We've started doing small group sessions at night, and that has made the bedtime routine so much calmer!! It's amazing!! Pat, Melinda, myself and Minnie(who is here for a year) each have a group and it's been neat to see how the kids identify with THEIR groups each night...they are quite particular that each kid is in the right place!
We've been doing a lot of crafty type things...really focusing on working on hand-eye
co-ordination and being able to follow directions. The kids really love being able to cut and color and use glue and then have something to call their own!! All those years of camp and Sunday School and other such things have really helped me with ideas!
We've been working on improving the kids' diet here, and with the improved changes has come a fount of diarrhea!! Peeheeww!!! But, they are loving the new food and it's been so great to have all these volunteers here who can help cook and show the haitian cooks how to cook new things!
Hmmm....there are a few projects going on here, such as cleaning out the plumbing system as things are not quite running as they should. As well, we have been getting a surprising amount of rain, and it has turned the back yard near the house into a marsh of sorts, complete with noisy frogs! So, we've decided to work it all up and make a big cement pad out there...this will provide a place to park the truck, and keep the water level down which will help with the mosquitos which have suddenly presented themselves in full force!! Melinda never ceases to amaze me with her know-how of so many things!!

Evan is doing well...he no longer looks like an alien! He's a really cute little boy, all four pounds of him! The rest of the kids are quite well...a few sick with colds and we've been fighting eye infections with some, but over all things are helathy here.
I've been doing really well as well. A few too many mosquito bites, and some tired days, but overall content and happy to be doing what I know I've been called here to do! It's been really neat to actually talk with the kids and get to know them so much better...I really have to work on not getting too attached cuz I love them all so much already...although I think it's too late with one little guy that calls my name up the stairs all hours of the day...
I'll try not too be so long between posts next fingers are sore!!