Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pictures...and another notable achievement!

We forgot the CD player in the playroom last night. 9 months ago that would have meant in the morning we would have had a replica of a machine that used to play CD's , san buttons, cord and any other removable parts!! Instead, I got up this morning to one of my little informers telling me that I had commited such an irresponsible crime, and that they had had one of the workers put it on a shelf until I got up! Once again I am in awe of how God is changing the hearts and minds of the children here at HCH!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Look how far we've come!

So, I've been back in Haiti for just over a month already! Hard to believe!! It seems that just yesterday I was arriving back in Edmonton, woeing about how many weeks I was going to be stuck in the snow!
It didn't take long to get back into a routine and find my niche, and it feels like I've been at it forever. The noticable difference is that I am fresh, and I know the Lord had this up his sleeve in all the nonsense of cutting my thumb. I love the fact that now I notice everyday how far the kids have come, the mountains we have climbed together(and don't get me wrong, we still have a lot of mountains!), and how some things that used to be such a chore are not even an issue everyday! For those of you who have heard about the things we've had to work through, or have been here to work through them with us, here are some things I've been amazed to realize have changed.
1. We hardly ever have to chase kids out of the kitchen! You have no idea what a huge feat this is! Thank you Steve for the door that has helped us a lot!
2. Very rarely do I have kids banging down my door in the morning, yelling "Low-wee!". Don't get me wrong, knuckles still fit very well into the groove worn into my door, but it is not an incessant knocking starting at 5:45 a.m! Sometimes I catch myself missing it, and then I slap myself and roll over in my bed!
3. We can now leave children in the bathroom unattended for a few minutes to brush their teeth, and still have a tube FULL of toothpaste!
4. Time-outs have become the correctional tool of choice, as the kids now respond to this and avoid it at all costs...except of course when they are pretending to be me or Minnie and are standing kids in the hallway with their noses to the wall, saying "You need to stand there until I come and tell you you can go!". Very humerous!
5. The kids now know what our expectations are for them, and are willing and able to obey them...for the most part of course...they are KIDS! This makes a huge difference in how they interact and respond to situations.
6. Because they know what is allowed and what is not, they have started policing themselves, which makes for much less intervening, though my job as(excuse me, reporter Johanna has just arrived to inform me that James and Chris don't have their noses touching the wall) the downstairs problem solver is by no means even close to being phased out! At this point in the game, there is a lot of "M' ap di Lori sa!" ("I'm telling Lori that!"), which sometimes drives me nuts, but shows me their growing understanding of right and wrong!
6. Right now we are learning to say "I'm sorry" in the right context! They have not yet totally wrapped their heads around the concept of not bopping someone on the head and just saying "I'm sorry!" However, they are learning how it works, as well as the whole "not hitting someone in the first place concept". I thought we would never make it to this point!
7. The attention spans of the kids have increased dramatically. One significant area that I've noticed in the last weeks is when we are coloring! In the fall a coloring activity consisted of 20 some children holding one crayon, rarely actually sitting down, more concerned about what everyone else was doing, and not all totally sure what to do! Now, we sit at the table, each child with a cup of crayons(and they will tell you if any colors are missing!), coloring beautiful pictures, "pa deyo"( not outside the lines...that was a steep learning curve for them), for an HOUR at a time!!

Reading this brings to mind that these things were so significant and frusterating not so long ago! It's funny because some of the issues seem to be so trivial, but when you multiply them by 20 something, they were very BIG! I am so thankful for the wisdom the Lord has given me in regards to working with these kids, because the many tears of frustration that fell quickly showed me I could not do any of this on my own!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The rest of the Pablum Gang

Meet Vens(Vince). His real name is Lovensky(as in lovin-ski...crazy Haitians!) He's 5 months old and growing fatter everyday! He's really started talking a lot and is our little Huggies model baby
The thumb/finger/whatever suckers:Danae and Lineda having a Bumbo chair hen party.
Jamesky:we're in the midst of signing his NFL contract...our BIG little boy, came to us at 5 months, now 7 months and as big as the toddlers downstairs!

The Pablum Gang

Well, we have a room full of babies upstairs again, and the six of them keep the upstairs nanny quite busy!! They are all very interactive at this point, and bring lots of laughter to the house, as we chase them back down the hallway or get caught up in the world of baby talk. They are all doing great and need a mommy and a daddy!

Levi: all about scooting on his belly, backwards!:now 7 months

Danae:a chubby little pumpkin at 9 months

Evan: I didn't recognize him! Now 7 months

Lineda: came to us in Jan. now 7 months:all about clapping and raspberries

Julie: she's a grown up girl now at 10 months and moved downstairs last week:still screams as ridiculously as usual!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pottymouth "Cringlish"

So, the kids here are learning English,and often we hear very funny sentences made up of English and Creole words. Sentences like "Kote shoes mwen?", ("Where are my shoes"), are a regular part of the day. We ourselves use a lot of "Cringlish", a mix of Creole and English, when talking with the kids to encourage them to use the words they know in English, and to ensure they are still able to understand. Then today, I was in the middle of directing some toddlers to sit, and mixing English and Creole together completly, I combined the English word "sit" with the Creole word meaning sit, which is "chita"(prounounced sheet-a), and loudly blurted "shit!". They did. Sit, I mean. Never have I been more thankful that the toddlers are only beginning to understand English, and have no idea what I had said. But, boy did it cause some laughter at the dinner table, as it was just to funny not to tell!!
On the same note, there is a little girl here who is a beautiful chubby little one year old, and I call her a little Budddha all the time...she resembles one to a tee! I was informed over some more tears of laughter that "bouda" is the profane way to say bum in Creole!! Me and my pottymouth!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thing 1 and Thing 2

So, officially you are supposed to call un-named twins Twin A and Twin B. But I had a lot more fun referring to them as Thing 1 and Thing 2 (thank you Dr. Seuss). They have names now, Samuel and Simon, and they are one week old, yesterday. They arrived to us the day they were born, having been birthed in the back of a car on the way to the hospital. Their mother died, and a very sad aunt and cousin brought them down to us. They are about 4 lbs each, and doing quite well, though we are noticing a little jaundice. The amazing thing is that just a few days before they arrived, we had an adoptive file orrive from a family wanting to adopt siblings...but we had none! Talk about a gift from God!

Friday, April 11, 2008

My stylin' boys

Eye opener

This is what much of Haiti has looked like at various times throughout the last 4 days

Things seem to have blown over in Mirebalais. Town was quiet yesterday and we even were able to go and get water.Praise the Lord!! What seems to be happenening is the riots are moving from town to town across the country, though the unrest is continuing in the bigger centres.

I have to admit it's an odd feeling to be in Haiti when things like this are happening! It makes the reality of being in a 3rd world country much more real! There have been reports from nearby orphanges and clinics that they are being flooded with children. People are finding themselves unable to feed their families, and are giving up their children. Here at HCH we came to the conclusion that we are not going to take children unless they are babies, as until we know what is going to happen with food availibility, we have to ensure that we can properly feed and care for the children we already have. This was a tough decision, but Pat and Melinda have been through hard times before in this country, and have experienced being unable to provide for the children as they would like.

Here are some shocking numbers that might give you an idea why things are so tense in Haiti:

(thanks to the Livesays for this info)

1 bag of rice (50kg) 1200gds ($31.37us) is now 2000gds ($52.28us)

1 bag or beans (50kg)2000gds ($52.28us) is now 3000gds ($78.43us)

1 bottle of cook oil 175gds ($4.57us) is now 300gds ($7.84us)

1gallon of gas 175gds ($4.57us) is now 230gds ($6.00us)

1 can of powder milk 1000gds ($26.14us)is now 1800gds ($47.05us)

These numbers are very significant when you think that one of our workers makes on average 2500gds(~$50)/month....doesn't go very far in the first place! The people in Haiti simply cannot absorb the cost of living!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

News from Haiti

So, as some of you have started to hear, there are some hungry, angry people in Haiti. Prices of food here have risen about 40 percent since last summer, and many people are at the end of their rope. I can't say I blame them.
Things got a little testy here in Mirebalais yesterday. There was a roadblock on the bridge to town, and thankfully Melinda was able to get back after the weeks market shopping...nothing like pulling the "I'm feeding orphans" string! The rioters warned the market sellers to be gone by noon or they would steal and rampage the market. The police did manage to break up the roadblock, but the word is the rioters in turn went to the market and created havoc. We sent our Haitian workers home early, but things seem to have quited down here overnight.
Below is just one of news stories out there. There's a lot out there to read, most of which is true. Especially the reports of food rotting in containers in the ports...that has a lot of people wild around here!

However, in all of this please pray for us, but do not be overly concerned. We are not concerned for our safety, however the reality of food availibility may at sometime be a real issue. Please keep us and the hungry people in our community and this country in your prayers.

Uneasy calm in Haiti after food price protests International Reuters

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In our Sunday Best!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mum's the word

So, yesterday I woke up and started out the day normally, and then I tried to talk. I couldn't. Nope. Nada. The first time in my life I totally lose my voice it has to be at an orphanage where talking is a necessity of life! I had to whisper what I could into some kids ear, and have them say things for me! They thought it was quite funny, and there were definitely some kids prancing around saying "Lori pa kab pale!"(Lori can't talk). But surprisingly, most of the time they would do their best to listen and say what they thought I was going to say even before I said it. But, there were definetly some times when it was super doesn't realize the power of a voice attached to a stern face! Today I was able to talk a bit better, though definitely not very loud...and the toddlers were very disgusted when I could not sing "the wheels on the bus"!
Richard came to visit today. He went home about 3 months ago and has been coming for check-ups every 15 days....or is supposed to be. He hadn't been here for six weeks, and today he showed up with sores all over and looking kinda droopy. He hadn't lost any weight, but we were so not impressed. He was here for the afternoon and eventually started to perk up a bit. We got a few of those great smiles we know so well! He's supposed to come back in one week...and we really razzed his grandma about making sure she bring him!! So frusterating when service and care is being provided, free of charge, and they just decide to ignore it. Aarrrggghhhh! Ok, venting done!
Jessica and Jarod's mom and grandpa arrived yesterday. Last night they weren't too sure what they thought about these new folk, but this morning Jarod pointed at the gate and said, "Mama vini?" (Is mom coming?) We were amazed he had the idea down already!! They'll be going home next week along with Judite...our house seems to be emptying by the minute!!! Soon, we're gonna be down to just boys for the most part!! Oh, and for some reason we keep hearing that we have no babies to adopt out...which is funny as there is a room down the hall chalk full of 7 little chubbs under 8 months...just a note!