When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adopting a baby changes everything...

No not really on House Arrest. But I feel like it. Stuck inside with an almost 2 yr old! Somebody help me! No TV, very few toys for Odessa and no one else here to talk to...not like being snowed in with things to do in the states.

Today is the Presidential Election in Haiti. Odessa and I were going to go to church and then come back home to wait out and see if there would be rioting, demonstrations and violence afterwards. But after talking to some Haitians they ALL said we should stay in all day. There have been lots of riots and violence in Port au Prince the last couple days and we don't know how it will be here in Jacmel. Those of you who know me know I HATE being told what to do and especially what NOT to do.
Being told not to do something or that I can't has always made me want/try to do it that much more.

But you know how the saying goes, "Adopting a baby changes everything." Well it doesn't go exactly like that, but it does change things. I have Odessa to think about ABOVE myself now. Let me just tell ya this is a big role change for me. I even surprise myself sometimes in how I think about her before myself.

I have been bombarded with text messages on my phone asking me to vote for one candidate or another. I can't even vote! My dad sent me a panicked email last week saying that they just got 3 angry phone calls in Creole in a row and he thought I had been kidnapped. Then my friends who I have called on my Haiti cell phone started writing saying the same thing. When I turned on my US phone it immediately started ringing and there was a recorded election message in Creole. It didn't sound angry to me-it sounded like how everyone talks down here. But I remember before I could speak Creole I thought everybody was yelling at everybody too. So obviously Haiti doesn't have the same cell phone privacy laws that the US does. They had called everybody on my call list with the election message!

I have been taking care of a sick boy in Peredo this week. They called me this morning to tell me he is not getting any better and asked me to come see him. It is an hour drive though and on election day...I just can't do it although I really want to. I told them to take him to the Cuban clinic about 25 minutes away with the medication he is taking already so the doctors know what he is on. I called this evening to check on him and they didn't take him and are waiting on me to come to work in the morning. I am hoping the streets are OK and I can venture out.

There are so many Haitians who didn't vote b/c they were afraid to go out. We, Americans, truly are blessed. Others said that it doesn't matter anyways b/c all elections in Haiti are rigged. I would brush that off if I had just arrived here. But after working here on and off for 2 years-I don't doubt it.

Not for a second.

Well better go see what Odessa is into now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Amazon Wish List

Another missionary here (thanks Gwenn!) recommended I make a wish list on Amazon.com to let teams know what the Haitians are currently needing in Haiti-in the little village of Peredo. I started a small list to give some ideas. You don't have to buy the items off Amazon. I just wanted to show you what we needed and about how many.

Here's the link:


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So had a "Girls Night Out" Sunday night. Yep -that's right. Girls night out in Haiti. There are several American and Canadian women working in this town and one of them put together these much needed nights out for us. I can not tell you how much fun it is! I haven't seen my friends in going on 7 months. Sometimes I think I distance myself from them here b/c well....frankly it is easier. I love that they are happy and can't wait to see them. But hearing about everything I am missing out on stinks! I love living here but life is SOOOOO different than my regular life from back home. But the Girls Night Out brought some comfort.

One of the girls there literally is my neighbor here and I didn't even know it. Her organization does not allow her to drive or venture out alone (not even to walk in the neighborhood) and she is my age! She was quite shocked I live here alone and drive and hour to work and back everyday. So tonight Odessa and I were taking a walk in the neighborhood and we stopped in to say hello.


She was so happy to see us and introduced us to the other Americans staying in the house. But as soon as I entered the house I smelled Pumpkin pie. That's right. Baking in the oven. My stomach sat up straight. (I'm not really sure what that means but that's what it did).

I hadn't really thought about Thanksgiving. Since there is no Thanksgiving here and Odessa has school like regular tomorrow. It would be just like another day here. And it would have been if I had not smelled the PUMPKIN PIE.

How they found all the ingredients and made the crust I have no idea. I would have asked them but my mind was so preoccupied with the pie!

So I am thinking Thanksgiving picnic on the beach for Odessa's 1st Thanksgiving tomorrow...minus the pumpkin pie but with the sweetest girl I know.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Clinic pics!

Here ya go...lots of people asking how the Peredo clinic is coming along. See for yourself-looks great! The workers are doing a great job.

God is good!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Destressing with some Shoe Shopping!

Stressful situations in Haiti right now. Of course there is the Cholera outbreak. It has yet to reach this area but we are being told it is coming and to get ready. I spent one full day last week with 2 of our Haitian workers going through the depot in Peredo pulling out things we might need if/when Cholera comes. Alex, the houseboy here at the mission house and Usted, one of the young men from the Peredo community helped me search for IV supplies, Pedialye, wipes, diapers, alcohol, oral rehydration salts, and IV fluids. We found most of the supplies and I found Lactated Ringers IV solution in town and bought 2 cases. Please pray for the people in this area. Especially the young and very old.

Sunday we will have a meeting after church for all in the community to come and learn about Cholera and we will demonstrate how to make Oral Rehydration Fluid. There is a lot of panic in this area over this illness. You can visit the World Health Organization website to read more about how it is treated.


But on a lighter note...

We came across the clothes and shoes the team from Bishop Baptist Church in Georgia brought down last month and started distributing these items to the school children in Peredo. Let me take a minute to let you know something about these shoes and clothes. They are absolutely wonderful! They brought very nice, name brand clothes that were all laundered and neatly folded in the suitcases and the shoes!...the kids were so happy with the shoes! They name brand and in great condition.

Bishop Baptist did not simply send things that they didn't want anymore. These items were definitely in resale condition.

They truly gave from their hearts and helped dress these Haitian children how they would want their own children dressed.

Thank you so much! I was the lucky one (once again) to get to be here and help distribute. It was such a destressor to see the smiles, hear the squeals and watch them tuck their gifts into their book bags.

Notice in this last picture the little girl getting fitted for shoes but she is holding her peanut butter sandwich from the nutrition program at the school!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I came across a great Haiti info website today.
It answers so many questions people ask me about Haiti.


Lunch Program

Most of you know that I have been raising money to improve the school lunches in the village of Peredo for this school year. Also to provide breakfast 2 days a week. With the help of churches in the Newark area and Licking Valley High School, we are giving the kids a variety of foods with much needed vitamins they do not receive in their diets at home. I want to add also that most of the money was raised while I was here in Haiti so a big thanks to everyone back in Ohio who led these fundraising projects. This would not be possible without you. It always amazes me how people who have never been here, never seen the kids in their cute uniforms, never played with them at recess-will still step forward and help them. I just provided the facts and the needs and then you all "went to town!"

The enrollment is 165 kids this year! A big change from when I came to Haiti 2 years ago and there were about 60 kids. I had a meeting with the principal and school teachers discussing how the school kids were always sick and we talked about causes. One they came up with is the kids are dirty. As in, they don't have a way to wash their hands after using the outhouse at the school. I thought, "SCORE!" People ARE listening to the heath teachings in the village. So they made a handwashing station outside the outhouse with a bucket of water, a bowl to dip into the bucket to wash their hands and soap. This is moved from class to class to wash before lunch too. I didn't get a picture of it-but I will and post later.

Also we talked about the water the kids are bringing to school to drink in old pop bottles and containers they find. We have a large igloo drink container that we have here when teams come to work in Haiti. All the other times it was just sitting here at the mission house. So I gave it to them to use for the kids. They bring water from the well right outside the camp property for the kids to drink. Twice a week the kids get a kool-aid type mix with Vit-C in it with the money raised for the food programs. Once we get the food program going smoothly we are going to start making fresh squeezed juice for the kids the mornings they get breakfast. I have kinda spun the cafeteria ladies around with the changes so far so I am giving them time before I add something else!

Here are some pics of a lunch last week. It was rice and legumes. Which is rice and a bunch of vegetables all cooked down together with spices and oil. It is my favorite Haitian dish and has tons of vitamins in it. It has spinach, carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers and cabbage. I know it doesn't sound good but it is! The kids love it.

More school lunch pictures to come courtesy of me! More bellies full of nutritious school lunches and breakfast courtesy of you! Thanks so much. You truly are helping make a difference in these children's lives.