Saturday, March 24, 2012

So Blessed

It has been an adjustment not having Dan here. I have really enjoyed having him and I miss him a lot.  We both were blessed with the time we spent together here and are learning so much about our relationship.

A lot of my time the last couple of days has been sorting through all the donations that we have gotten from all the Healing Haiti teams.  Since I was not here for awhile I have been trying to catch up!  It is incredible how much things people donated and buy for these children. I feel like they are starting to get spoiled!  I hope the children know how much people in the States care for them.  I was able to give them backpacks and zip up hoodies.  I know that seems crazy to give them hoodies, but it does get cool here and they do get cold.  They love the hoodies and they were all walking around with big smiles today.

When I left for FL one of the boys seemed to have ringworm on his head.  When I got back here it was still there even after washing the hair with special shampoo and putting cream on it.  In addition to him still having it 6 other boys seemed to have the same thing!  I did not know how I would transport that many children to see Dr. Sem, so the wonderful Dr. Sem came and saw the children today. I was so grateful and appreciative of his willingness to come.  The children were happy to see him and he of course did a fabulous job.  The children will now start on cream/shampoo and oral medication.  Please pray that it will go away and it will stop spreading!

I am continuing to have so much fun with the children and keep learning new things everyday.  Please pray that I will enjoy the rest of my time here and give as much love and guidance I can to the people here.

Girls in their hoodies

Boys in their new hoodies

So Happy!

Straitening Shersunn's Hair, it was fun

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back "Home"

I arrived back to Haiti on Saturday.  I was so excited and happy to see the children!!  Jeff and the host family were in Haiti and I was able to see them for a short while.  They seem like a wonderful family to have at Grace Village and I am looking forward to getting to know them more and see how God will use them in Haiti.

When we arrived to Grace Village on Saturday a Healing Haiti team was there to greet us.  We were able to spend some time with them on Saturday and spent the afternoon with them on Sunday.  It was so much fun to be with them and Tom and Shelly defiantly kept Dan and I entertained!  I laughed so hard and had a blast listening to their stories.

During the week I have had my husband Dan with me.  It has been so amazing and so nice to have him here.  He is leaving tomorrow and I am so sad to see him go.  He has been a source of refreshment to me and has supported me so much this week.  I really wish he could stay.  We had fun playing with the children.  Dan and I played a game with them that entailed hiding eggs for them and then giving them candy when they found it, sort of like an easter egg hunt, but slightly different.  Dan made two special eggs for the children.  If they found them they got a big prize.  He called the eggs the bull egg and mama gretchen egg.  They now call the game mama Gretchen lol!  They absolutely loved this game and had so much fun with it. We also played heads up seven up, soccer, and many other games with them.  Dan helped me organize and distribute things to the children.  It was such a great time with him and I am so blessed to have had this time together.

We still are working on listening skills at Grace Village which continues to take time!  I am trying to get better with my creole so the children start to understand me better.

We have a few children that are sick and I ask that you continue to pray for them and for all the children.

God continues to bless Grace Village with safety, support, love, and encouragement to all of us.  So many Healing Haiti teams have brought such wonderful stuff to the children.  I got to give the children backpacks two days ago which was such a blessing and give them shoes that were needed.  I cannot tell you how grateful everyone here in Haiti is for all the teams that come and all the people that give/donate to these children.

I have not updated the blog lately due to not having internet at GV. I am in Port-au-prince tonight with my husband to see him off tomorrow so we are getting internet at the guest house!  Hopefully more to come soon!

The pitch!

And the hit with Idamene!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Update from FL

So right now I am on a family vacation!  I am enjoying my time with my family and husband, but am missing the children.  I have called them every night and mostly just hear each of their voices as I get passed from one child to the next!

They seem to be doing well and still maintaining their schedules.  Two of the children are sick and I just ask that you keep Jessica and Chrisaline in your prayers.  It is hard to be away from them and not there with them to help them.  I wish I could comfort them and give them hugs each day.

Jeff is there right now which is so wonderful!!  I am so glad that they have him with them, but I am sorry that I will miss out on spending time with him.  I am excited to head back to Haiti with my husband and get to see the amazing children!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quick Update

This is my last week here before I head to Florida for a family vacation. I am so happy and excited to see my family! I am going to miss the children here and wish that I could bring some of them with me.

We had a good weekend and got to spend time with a Healing Haiti team on Sunday. The children had a lot of fun with them. Ironing here is a priority and takes so long to do! We spent the rest of our Sunday after the team left doing this. They brought us some wonderful supplies and we are always so truly grateful for what they bring to us.

On Monday I organized all the supplies that was given to us. I had three children here with fevers and they stayed home from school yesterday. They were able to help me, and able to play, so today they went to school and are feeling better!

I started to have some itching of my eyes on Sunday and today they are really red! I know I have pink eye I am trying to treat it with eye drops. I believe I got it because of all the dust and chemicals here, but also could have gotten if from a child that cam to church on Sunday! Please pray that it would go away and that I would not pass it on to any of these children!!!!

We have a couple of sick children so please pray for them as well!

I know this is a short update! I will write more soon if the internet allows.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A "typical" day in my Haitian life.

I start my morning by waking up at 545am.  I have been tossing and turning and falling in and out of sleep since 0500.  I can hear the music outside from the workers and the traffic starting in the city of Titanyen. I go into all the rooms of the children and start waking them up.  Kisses and hugs are given, but not appreciated this early in the morning.  I quickly get ready which only takes me 15 minutes, I shower before I go to bed and do not really need to do much in the morning. I check to see if the internet is working, it continues to not work so I start giving out morning medications.  I have three children with fevers, a baby with an infected belly and a girl with parasites.  They all do wonderful with taking medications and I have no complaints.  As the children pass me as I sit outside I continue to encourage them to get ready and that they need to be on time for breakfast.  I help change and shower two of the girls who seem to struggle the most with getting ready.  I run and grab things that are needed, but for the most part they are doing very well getting ready on their own these days.  At 0700 all the children are in the cafeteria and ready to eat.  Vitamins are given and praise is given to God.  They children line up for food and sit quietly as they eat. After being here almost a month they are starting to get this as part of their routine.  When finished water and snacks are given for school.  I drive some of the children to school while others walk.  As I pull into school I wait for the others to arrive.  I observe what is going on around me.  One boy is peeing right in front of me with no privacy at all.  A girl is hitting another girl with a belt and hard.  I shout and ask why this is being done and the reply I get is because she is bigger then the other.  As I observe this behavior I start to understand more things about the children at Grace Village.  I cannot comprehend why the children here hit each other so much and why when something is given they all crowd.  I am learning that hitting is what is done in Haiti, and it is accepted by all : ( hopefully change will be happening.  I also learn that when something is being given you run to it, not knowing when you will get or see it again.  I always tell the children that there is enough for everyone and you need wait your turn.

We arrive back home around 810.  I greet all the workers and take their bags.  I make sure things are being cleaned and everyone has what they need.  Guilliume and I need do some errands and head on out.  Since we do not have a car our adventure begins by walking to the taptap station.  Here we load in the taptap.  I watch all the people as we pass and still in amazement of the garbage and poverty here.  We make our first stop at a doctors office for Guilliume.  It is run down and dirty I cannot imagine what people in the states would think of this place!  He gets an examination and some tests done.  I am thinking how people here continue to live and for so long due to their health care being this poor.  We finish with this and are on our next trip.  We get on a moto and travel to our next stop.  We buy some things needed for the children and then make a couple other stops.   It is time to head back home.  We take a large bus, which you hang onto some rope as you ride.  It feels like we are on a roller-coaster, which puts a smile on my face.  Somehow I find this super amusing.  We suddenly stop and someone leaves, there seems to be arguing, and then we leave again.  I ask what the problem was and Guilliume says she had no money.  I suddenly have a heavy heart, I could have paid for her!  So frustrating how such simple things are so hard to come by here. 

As we arrive to our stop we see the kabuta picking up the women in the market and their food. We join them and head back to Grace Village.  I get to see all the food purchased and what they are going to make.  I eat all my meals with the children, so I get excited about certain food we get to eat!  I try to get some questions answered and sort out some details.  The kids are finished with school and I go to get them.  It is so good to see them again.  We have lunch and two additional children join us who are very hungry.  I wonder when their last meal was.  They do not go to school nand are dirty.  Then they have a tutor come and then play time!  Play time is by far my favorite part of the day.  I can run with them, play soccer, or just sit and observe.  The weather at this time of the day is magnificent and the sky is beautiful.  A child arrives with his Grandmother and she is ready to drop him off and leave him here.  He has a bag packed and no mother or father.  My heart breaks, but I know we need to verify everything that we hear in Haiti.  I invite him to play and come back on Sunday for worship services.  I take his name and know at this time we are not yet ready to take more children.   Soon it is time to shower, just before they go to shower the sunsets and I get to take in God’s amazing work.  After the shower it is worship time and the last meal supper.  Sometimes this goes on way to long and getting the children to bed can be a struggle.  Giving hugs and kisses at night are very much appreciated and reciprocated back!  After this I try to email people, clean up, shower, read my bible, and finally say good night to my husband.  I am exhausted at the end of the day and always very ready for bed.

This is my typical day in Haiti, but then again nothing is ever typical in Haiti!  Every day brings new adventurous, new happiness, new pains, and new discoveries.  I would not change what I am doing right now for anything!  I love it here and love the children.  They have so much energy and they all just shine with the greatest joy I have ever seen. I cannot wait to share in this experience with my husband and show him God’s presence and love at Grace Village and around Haiti.

Having Fun

Funny girls.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunsets are the best!

So today was a beautiful day in Haiti.  It stormed really bad last evening and we were not able to go to the cafeteria for worship due to the down pour.  The girls entertained themselves by doing my hair and taking lots of pictures!  It was a fun time. 

God presented the most stunning sunset tonight and I just sat in awe over it for about 30min.  I just cannot believe how beautiful it is here and how I get to enjoy it everyday.

We still have a few children on medications and the fevers have gone away.  I am hoping we keep up with being healthy!

I am trying right now to balance between being the fun person here and disciplining the children.  They were not allowed to play again today and they were very upset.  I do think though I finally got to them that I am serious about the rules!  They said they will be on their best behavior tomorrow, lets hope so.

We will be having another wonderful Healing Haiti team come visit soon and I am excited about that. 

Jeff is currently trying to raise support for Fanfan and getting him a car. Well last night really made is so clear that he needs the car.  It was pouring outside and a really bad storm and he had to travel in it.  He tried to find a taptap and was not able and finally took a moto home, which can be very expensive here and dangerous to take at night.  So please pray about him getting a car, and if interested check out Healing Haiti’s website which is linked to my Healing Haiti page.

Much love to all of you!

Some of the children

My breakfast, yes spaghetti!!! Haitian way!

Just got finished getting my hair done!