Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photo Blog

Alyssa just loves any attention she can get!
Richard came and stayed with me for 3 days. It was so great to see him looking really good though he was running a high fever and we treated him for malaria. He went home yesterday and was feeling a lot better. It was really nice to spend some time with him again, though now I miss him again!

Andre is getting to be such a big young man now and has become such a help around the house! He turned 13 in October and sometimes we have to take a double-look because we aren't sure who this big boy is in the yard!

1 hose+6 large basins+25 kids=a lot of fun and water everwhere!

Janae:c-section baby

She's already getting so big and loves, loves, loves her milk! She has the softest head of hair aall the Haitian staff comment on how dark she is going to be!
Minutes after I got to see her born by c-section. One of the most amazing things I've seen up to date!

Meet Nadieu(Jay)

This little boy came and joined us last week. Please see for the details about him. I help Pat to keep her blog updated and so don't always want to take the time to write things again when I could be putting something totally new on my blog!

Getting ready for his first bath here at HCH(Jay wasn't impressed with the shower head at all!)

Jay's been here for just over a week and is adjusting well. He has quite the attitude at times, but is starting to smile and interact with both adults and children and settle into the routine. He has had quite the time adjusting(and so have we when we have to change his diapers!!) to the healthy food he is now eating. He is spending some time upstairs while he gets strong and settled into the daily routine.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Minnie and her gardeners

Minnie planted some plants and flowers with the kids a month or so ago and spent a couple days last week preparing the garden and planting them. The kids are quite excited to see their plants thriving in their garden!

Comment about Comments

Just wanted to say thanks to all of you have been leaving little notes of news and encouragment for me on my blog! I really love reading them and even "meeting" new people! Just so you all know, anyone can leave comments. You just have to make up an account(even if you never use it except to leave comments) and then write me a little note!

It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad world

This week was another one full of surprises. Early Tuesday morning, we were informed that a group of people had broken into the hospital early in the morning and tied up the doctors and some staff and threw feces all over the whole hospital! Apparently they were angry about some staff that had been let go and were trying to make a point. They terrorized the hospital staff and patients and made a huge mess. So, later that morning while I was teaching school, we found out they they had taken us up on our offer to help them out and were sending all the pediatric cases down to us! So, the next while was spent running around trying to change the classroom into a hospital ward! Funny, cuz the classroom was originally built with a clinic in mind!
Anyway, the doctor came down with 4 patients...a new baby, 2 boys about 6 yrs old, and a 15 year old boy. In Haiti, families are required to provide all the care for their family members who are sick, as the hospitals here only provide nursing in putting in IV's, giving meds, delivering babies, that kinda thing! So, all these kids showed up with their mothers and little coal stoves and sheets and food and such in tow!! Which was kind of a relief as it was already so busy here! They were all stable and we were given a crash-course(though very thorough) in giving IV medications and the like. There was simply no nursing staff available to come and they were desperate.
Ok, all you nurses and docs and such, B-R-E-A-T-H-E! I know you are all freaking out right now! And trust me, it was crazy, but I had this peace about it all. Not that I plan to do that on a regualar basis! It has made me think more seriously again about pursuing nursing. Jury's still out though.
They were here for 3 days and then Dr.Toussaint started discharging them. They were all gone by Friday, and then we had one new lady come with her one month baby girl who she had out some weird powdery stuff on, and she stayed for a night so the doc could make sure she did not have access to the people who were doing that stuff to her baby. He really was frank with her about the danger she was putting her baby in and spent a lot of time educating her.
So, by Saturday moring, our ward was empty. Whew! It sure gave us a chance to breath again!
Well, sort of anyway, as it seems like everyone wants to get sick somehow...ear infections, pneumonia, one of the little boys got himself a huge problem while riding his bike, and jsut everyday "we have 42 kids here right now" stuff!

In the midst of it all, on Thursday we had a new little boy join us. His name is Nadieu(Nadjay..we're calling him Jay) and he is 21 months old. His mom died in May and he has been with an aunt who is not able to provide for him. His dad and the aunt came and asked if we would take him as they could see he was getting skinny. Jay is indeed a little skinny, weighing in at 9kg, so definitely a little small for being almost 2. But, he's settling in and doing quite well considering the huge change in his life! He loves to sing, and is quite independent, and we have been learning that he has quite the attitude at times! He has been displaying some of the typical indicators of malnutrition...getting mad at his food, throwing his food, inhaling his food one bite, and not eating it the next.

The incident at the hospital has really had people talking. Some doctors were really angry, others sad that it happened but all wishing it hadn't and wondering how they can avoid it happening again! They hospital has been cleaned(it took about 4 days it was such a mess) but remains closed until the security issue is addressed. The other patients are staying in the home of one of the doctors here until something else can be arranged. It has been so hard for us to understand wy things happened as they did. It's such a crazy thing to wrap your mind around! It also feels so much more personal as we all feel so much more connected there, due to seeing that c-section and getting to know Dr. Ulysse and having Dr.Toussaint so involved here at HCH. A lot of Haitian people feel very betrayed and angry and embarrased at the actions of their countrymen.

I was able to get a really good sleep last night. Then I stayed in my room and read until 9:30 a.m. and now I am up in Pat's nice air-conditioned room...and I don't feel a bit guilty! I feel much better already, and plan to take advantage of the kids being kept busy with their weekly movie this afternoon! There was a couple days this week when I could have fallen asleep on my feet! One afternoon I went to my room at about 3:00 to get something and woke up at 5:30! Somehow I fell asleep! But I was so thankful cuz that same night our night worker did not show up and so we had to do 2 hour shifts to take care of the kids. I just about died yesterday when I realized it was Saturday...I don't remember Thursday or Friday being Thursday and Friday! And December is one week away! Gotta pull out the Christmas music this afternoon!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

September Birthday Pics

Levi-1, Evan-1, Daniel-2
Daniel and his new duck
Levi wasn't too sure about the she-bang!

and Evan put so much energy into eating his cake he went right to sleep!

This week...

Melinda and Minnie left for the states for about 3 weeks.

I went to the hospital to pick up a baby, and ended up watching a c-section!

There was a mouse in our room...very eventful time trying to get it out!

Janae(c-section baby) joined our ever-growing family. Her mom had come to us before she was born and for a number of reasons wanted/needed to give her baby up.

Just two hours or so after our nurse(Melinda) left to catch her plane, I went to the hopital to pick up another baby. This one was a premature (28 weeks) baby, so very tiny and so very cold. This little boy was the tiniest baby to ever come to HCH. The wonderful pediatrician here, Dr. Touissaint, needed the use of our warming table and incubators for this little one.

For the first time in my life I performed CPR... on that same tiny little baby! I never would have thought that those CPR classes would be put to use on someone so tiny. Pat and I brought him back twice, but then the third time God decided to take him home. That was really hard. It gave me an even deeper appreciation for Pat and Melinda, who do this all the time, putting their all into a child and sometimes losing them. It's way harder when you've been hands on. However, seeing how that little baby struggled so much in his short life, there was also some comfort knowing that he is with the best Healer of all.

Levi stood up without holding on to anything!

Lineda 2nd front tooth came in the rest of the way! Finally!

I started teaching school while Minnie is gone. I don't know how she does it! I've learned that I can teach just fine, but how she keeps all those kids going in their books with all of them being at such different stages I DO NOT KNOW!! As well, there was a lot of "testing the waters" going on. I am not regularly in the classroom, and so many of the kids were trying to find out if I was the same Lori in the classroom as I am downstairs! Some of them didn't like it too much when they realized that I could(and did) put them on time-out even in school! However they did quite well, and they are all still alive (jokes) and I was very thankful for Hannah(one of our great volunteers) and all her help!!

I've acquired a nasty cough/sore throat/plugged ears..very annoying!

There has been much laughter over how the toddlers have all started to say "brush your teeth". Not "brush my teeth" but a perfect copy of how we say "brush your teeth" when we call them to do so.

In my preschool class I've been working on the kids' English vocabulary. One day I held up a picture of a bed and asked them what it was. Gerald responded "go to bed"!!!!! Then they all looked at me in sheer beweilderment as I collapsed into laughter!

I continue to be so blessed by being here. There are times when it's hard(especially cuz I am a wimp when I'm sick cuz I rarely get sick...except for this time it seems!) and I wonder what I am doing here. I never thought potty-training would be such a learning curve...and not just for the kids! I've finally re-adjusted to the weather, and thankfully November is slowly but surely bringing its gift of cooler weather! There was one day when one of the kids said "you bath again?" because my hair was soaking wet with sweat! Sick, I know!
Yet, despite the sweat and feeling like I look like crud almost everyday, and the very difficult days, and all the everday issues, there is so, so, so much joy in being here and knowing I am doing what God has called me to do.

I have called you and you are mine
-The Lord

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Visit to RoseEvelyn

This beautiful little girl was under my care the minute I stepped off the place back in August 2007. She had just come to HCH and had to be brought down to Pat in Port as she was doing poorly. It didn't take long for her to get back on her feet and be a happy little girl!

While I was gone after I cut my thumb, her dad(who was not really in the picture) decided that he would not agree to have his daughter signed over to an orphange. So, in Ferbruary she went home with her dad as her mom was very ill at the time. Recently we discovered that her dad ran off to the DR and left RoseEvelyn with her mother and 3 other children to care for on her own.

While we were there, RoseEvelyn's mom told me that Rose always calls me her "Maren" which is Creole for godmother. She then asked if I would like to be Rose's Maren. In Haiti, this is a significant thing, and so I was happy to be asked. Rose's mom also shared with me that she was having a hard time financially supporting all her kids, especially in regards to school. She had sent her 3 oldest to school, but two were sent home after a couple weeks as she could only afford to pay for one to stay in school. So, at this time only the oldest boy is in school. In Haiti, everyone has to pay to go to school, and when kids are younger it costs $100-$200 in addition to uniforms and meals. This is a big deal for the majority of Haitian families, when you think that the average annual income is $350USD. Some families are able to find extra funds to cover these costs, but there are still hundreds of children unable to go to school. There are a small number of schools that are supported by churches or other organizations where children can attend school free of charge, but they are few and far between, and the criteria for being admitted to these schools is necessarily rigorous. In Haiti, children start school when they are well able to sing and talk...which for most kids is about 3 years old. They are required to have three years of kindergarten and be able to read before they can graduate from kindergarten and start grade one. Some children in the free church school here are 12 and 14 years old and just starting school! Such a late though welcome opportunity!
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot since our visit with RoseEvelyn. About how difficult it is to access so many things here, and how easy it is for us at home in North America. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed on the behalf of the people here, especially when I really stop to think about how much they struggle for just the simple things of life.
I am blessed.
The children in this home are blessed.
And I hope that during my time here I can in turn be a blessing to the people of this country with my time, my heart, my funds, and my Jesus.

Fun, fun, fun!

Chris and Moise

These rocks made many, many trips!

"Can we play 'catch the ball' ?"(James)

Who is that anyway??

I get the funniest glares from the washing ladies when I pull out the chalk...but we just keep drawing...even on ourselves!

Our very own petting zoo!

An adoptive family purchased some livestock for the biological family of their daughter. The kids were more than happy to share our yard with them until we could get a hold of the family. The only thing that they decided they didn't like so much when the animals went home 3 days later, was the goat poo everywhere!

Checking out the cows

Worth dancing about!

They all had these silly grins all afternoon!

Can I feed it? Will it bite me? It's greedy!
Non-stop chatter for 2 days. Every child that can talk can now say goat and cow and recognize them without hesitation!

Happy Birthday:August in November

Due to a flood of new and fragile children, an actual flood, the activities co-ordinator(me) being gone, and a number of other reasons, we are just now catching up on our August/September/October birthdays, just in time for our November party!

James-tickled pink with his motor-cross cake!

Golson grabbed the Oreo nose right off the cake!

RoseLisa turns 1 year old!

A well as Golson-2, Robentzson-4, Amanda-10, Lineda-1, James-7, Jamesky-1

We are currently working on getting bikes for the older toddlers and children here.
Thanks to all of you who have been a part of this project! There are some kids who have been really happy this year, and we nearly have enough bikes for all!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Grandma Pat's Babies

Please check out Grandma Pat's Babies to catch up on what has been happening here at HCH. Things have been busy and every time we go to blog the power goes out or a baby shows up or something else!! So I managed to help Pat get her blog caught up and so now I will be working on getting mine caught up!
I am doing just fine except for a scratchy throat! Our house has recovered for the most part from the crazy sickness that we were dealing with and it's amazing what a difference that makes in the everday runnings of things!

Lots of great stories and photos to follow...and if you are not already going to the fundraiser on Saturday, you should get yourself on the phone and get registered!