Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Through the week

We spent the week between the nursing school and the orphanage.  When we went to the orphanage we spent time playing games and activities with them.  We brought them candy and treats and it was so great to see all of them again.  It was so much fun to see how far along they all have come.  They were speaking English and it was such a joy to see!  Most of the children are in the process of being adopted and it is so wonderful to see how great the orphanage is doing. 

At the nursing school we spent time with the students.  We spent time teaching them English and helping them raise funds for the school by selling food.  We also went to clinicals with the students.  We helped them with calculations and tried our best to teach them how nursing should be done.

When we went to clinicals we spent most of the time in the pediatric ward.  We played with the children, gave them candy, and had stickers and coloring activities for them.  I always thought that when people got to a hospital in Haiti, they got cared for.  After spending several days in the hospital I found that this was not true.  Every time something is done they need to have the money first.  There were several children that we just waiting for antibiotics, IV placement, or a blood test to be done.  They were laying in the beds very sick and nothing was being done until the family could pay for it.  It was very sad to see and I felt helpless there.  One kid in particular is still on my heart.  He was HIV positive and you could clearly see it.  No one was paying any attention to him.  When we picked him up many people ran to tell us not to touch him because he had AIDS.  It took a lot of time to tell the people that you can still hold and love a child with HIV.  The mom of the child was 14 years old and also had HIV.  She did not care about the child and did not seem to care about life.  There was a very bad plan in place for the child and it was very frustrating to watch.  Lisa provided the child with a bath, food, and water every day we saw him.  There were many other stories like this that just broke my heart that I still cannot wrap my head around.

First few days in Haiti!

We did many thing while we were in Haiti and it was such a great experience! 

The first weekend we were there we spent time at Shirley's home town.  We put on a health fair at Shirley's church.  Lisa and I presented an education piece which included topics such as cholera and nutrition.  Then the children that were sick were seen by Kern and the ones who were not we provided games and activities for them.  Then Shirley talked with all the people and gave them additional education on topics that they had questions about.  We provided all the people with breakfast and lunch which was such an amazing thing.  At the end of the day we took time to talk and pray with all the people that wanted it.  Their prayers and life stories were all different.  Each person had a unique journey and their own personal struggles, but they all shared one similarity and that was the prayer to survive.  All were struggling for food, shelter, money, and their health.  It was incredible to hear and so sad that so many people are having issues with basic needs. 

We spent a couple of nights with our friend Shelia in her home.  She had requested that we bring some clothes and toys for her next door neighbors children.  Lisa had meet the boys before so we had an idea of their size.  While in the United States we bought them clothes and some toys.  When we were at Shelia's house we gave the three little boys baths, dressed them and gave them some toys.  We had so much fun and the kids went crazy with the candy, toys and all the new clothes! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where has the time gone?

It is Saturday the day before I take off for home to the United States.  It feels like I just got here.  So many days were jammed packed with things to do. 

I wish I could have updated the blog everyday so I could have kept you more in the know of what we were doing here.  We really did not have internet which was unfortunate because I could not tell you all about my trip, but also really good so I could focus on the task that was put in front of me each day.  When something you use so frequently is suddenly gone you realize how unimportant it is and how you can still function without it!

Every day was different then we planned, every day had moments of joy and moments of sadness, and every day was filled with hope.  The hope that I felt was hope for the people and hope for the future of this country.

I will continue to blog when I get back in the states tomorrow.  I will blog about each day that I had in Haiti and everything that I experienced and went through.  I will also post pictures for you to get a better idea of what we saw.

I hope you continue to follow the blog so you can get a better idea of the country and culture I was a part of and the help that they truly need.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Here Again!

It has been one year since I have been to Haiti.  Almost a year and a half since the earthquake hit, and three years since I stepped foot into this country, and still things are the same.  Even though relief has come, missionaries are at work, and support is here, buildings remain down, and people are still living in tents. 

As I get my bags dripping in sweat and walk onto the streets with the smell of urine I am reminded of all the work that is so desperately needed in Haiti.  Yet through all of these thoughts a huge smile comes across my face as I realize I am back in country that I love so very much.

I am greeted by my wonderful friend Sheila and her brother and we are off for a two hour drive back to her house that is around 20miles away from port-a-prince.  The roads remain broken, but I am hopeful as I see the work that is being done on them by the Haitian people.  I was exhausted from a long day of travel....so a good Haitian meal and shower were done and then off to bed I went.

The second day in Haiti was filled again with travel.  Lisa is looking for jobs in Haiti as she wants to move to Haiti soon.  A job opportunity is available for her in the city of Kenscoff so off we went to visit the orphanage that she could possibly be working in.  It was another adventurous day of travel.  We took three tap taps and one moto to get to the city. It took a total of 3 hours to get there not including our stop to eat lunch.  Lisa and I were very fortunate to have such kind friends come along with us on our travels.  The place we visited was a beautiful, but Lisa will need to pray about what to do.  When arrived back to Shelia’s house we prepared for the health fair that we would be doing on Saturday.

The day was spent learning more about Haitian culture, possible future plans in Haiti, and building stronger relationships with the people of Haiti.  The plan is to leave really early for Gonaives on Friday.

Hopefully more later cannot guarantee when!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Almost there!

Lisa and I have just landed in Miami.  We are at the airport and have about a four hour layover.  We were able to eat some good food and just relax before the next and final plane takes off!  Everything so far has gone smoothly and we are very thankful for that.  Dan drove us to the airport this morning at 3:30am and I am sure he was very happy about that.  : )

I have been preparing for this trip over the last couple of days by not having the air conditioning on at home.  It has been 90 degrees in our home and Dan and I have been sweating a lot!  While Dan says I am getting ready for Haiti, this was not planed.  Hopefully someone will be coming today to fix our air conditioner or Dan will be feeling what I am feeling in Haiti! 

Lisa has talked to our wonderful friend Sheila who will be picking us up from the airport.  She is already for us, and we are eager to get there. 

Hopefully good stories and pictures will be posted soon! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blessings from all…

We have been blessed in ways I cannot even describe and I am unable to express our gratitude for it!!!  Numerous family members, friends, and my coworkers have been extremely generous towards supplies, donations, and money that will be needed to make this trip possible. 

I would to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and support.  I am blow away by the faith you have in my passion for helping Haiti and how much you trust what we are doing there.   Your money, donations, and supplies will be put to excellent use and I will continue to let you know about the differences you are making to the people of Haiti.

This is my last day here in the states before I am off to Haiti. I am very excited to be going, but sad to be leaving my wonderful husband Dan in Minnesota.  I have been packing today and making sure all the last items are in place before we go.  Our plane takes off at 6:00am and we will arrive in Haiti tomorrow! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yesterday I met with Lisa to continue planning our trip.  Most of our time was spent working on our educational pieces that we will use to teach them about disease and how to prevent it.
 The focus of this trip will be two community health fairs.  The first, in the North of Haiti, in our friend Shirley’s home town of Gonaives and the second fair in Leogane. We are planning a day that will include two seminars, one on hand washing, with a focus on Cholera, and the seminar on nutrition. After many health fairs in the past that have been focused on providing medical care, we would like to teach the Haitian people how to take a stand against the spread of disease and the malnutrition that effect so many. After the seminars, we will have games for the kids followed by prayer and worship. We will conclude the day with a large meal for all, music, and socializing.  
Planning is something that we always do before our trips, but you never know how it will actually work into the unexpected of Haiti.  Haiti is a place where time is not of the essence and plans do not mean much.  But yesterday we plugged away to be as planned as we possibly could for whatever will take place!