Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Hospital Search -

The emergencies that are too serious for our clinic need to go down to a hospital... and the nurses always have a challenge figuring out which one will take their patient... and with Matt taking over directing the clinic, he wanted to see what services some hospitals offered. So the nurses Matt, Kay, and Todd.. Keith and I (was so beyond ecstatic that I got to go...) went to Port to check some hospitals out.

The first one we went to – Ebenezer- was my favorite. The outside building does not resemble a hospital at all.. We walk through the gate and talk to the shotgun man at the front. He ushers us inside the waiting area. An open sort of room with a TV and all. Keith knows the doctor's name so it's an easy ticket to get to see him. Dr. Roberto. He is a fantastic man. Just an amiable person and. I don't know him but a very good doctor. So he takes us around the hospital and the surgery room> ok so turns out that my dreams for being a nurse ( or a nurse in the operating room ) definitely need to come true. It was AH mazing. We first go in the scrub room. And put green scrubs over our clothes and then walked through a glass sliding door and inside another room. Just pure white spotless tiles all over. And change our shoes into some white croc- like ones. And over the line and another sliding door into the surgery room! Not normal Haiti standards for sure. So clean and Keith told the doctor “cleanest hospital he has ever saw in Haiti.” made the Doctor blush. The whole sterilizing process was fascinating as well..Just amazing that here in this country.. the poorest in the Caribbean. This wonderful clean place to help these souls. I told Matt I would totally have a surgery here. But he knowing what he's talking about.. said it still looked a little dubious.

Bernard Mevs – maybe the best hospital in Port? Or so people have said. Doesn't seem like a traditional hospital because its a lot of different buildings all over the yard... but they have a BABY and CHILD building. And it was so lovely! So many beautiful faces and all just looking and looking at you. We couldn't go into the baby ICU, but we walked into the ER. And the saddest thing I saw. A little baby boy..who had a giant water head. His head was about three or many more times too big.. so sad. He was abandoned and the lady who was holding him had found him and brought him it get help.. thankful for people like that! I wanted to stay and work for sure with the children.. they stole my heart...(how many places can you leave your heart?)

Our Little Trip To America....

It's Keith's last week here..don't cry.. do not cry.. but anyway they wanted a little outing and so all the blans packed our bags for the BEACH. All the way down the mountain ( if anyone was wondering what this consists of – it's going about 40 miles that takes two and a half hours. And the road is definitely getting worse... but its a slow bumpy ride) through Port and then we headed north. I just love the drive... it seems more just little towns here and there.. all having market day and they sell different things than back in Oriani. Some very wanted peanut brittle was offered. Yum stuff. And then comes the coastline.. and many different beaches we can go to. I tell you, picture perfect! Just pure loveliness! God's. We got there in the later afternoon.. and quickly jumped in the ocean until it was dark.. just relaxing... and then the pool!! Yes, that is a main attraction at the beach. And spent till suppertime there. It's huge and kind of makes a swirly shape. And then Food..Food. So much at the buffet.. just amazing.. and I mostly ate fish. Right fresh! We stayed in a motel right on the beach.. if only we would have stayed one more night or I would have thought of it sooner... but I would have loved to sleep out on the beds they had out on the sand. My favorite thing about the beach is .Morning swims. 6 o'clock and the warm ocean water go together just fine.... and we spent the day kayaking.. playing tennis and swimming.. There was sailing.. that Matt, and Sherri and Bodie tried out.. paddle boarding. So many activities to do! And some memories I will never forget with the Toews'. Oh and one other favorite thing.... free Pina Coladas whenever you wanted one. Whenever.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Helicopter Returns > A mother and daughter came to the house late Friday night badly burned from a gas fire. They were locked in their house, unable to escape. So that made it all the worse. The girl was 90 percent burned and the mother had bad burns on her legs up till her waist. Sometime in the night Matt got a hold of Haiti Air Ambulance. This ambulance service had been to Oriani once to check it out and find a landing spot. They are willing to come get anyone that needs more help than the clinic can offer. And the patients they take down only have to donate something. One time it was two coconuts. So come Saturday morning, Sherri got the landing spot ( the town's soccer field ) ready with caution tape. And the crowds of people came and wondered what was going on today... the ambulance came with the two patients all bandaged up.. we waited for the helicopter. Everything is slower here. And soon the chopper came and the crowd grew very excited! And all waving at the pilot and it landed. Surprisingly the people stayed behind the tape and they drove the ambulance out to the chopper. Just like a picture you would see in a Samaritan's Purse magazine. Just a green field and the old off-road land cruiser ( Ambulance ) parked up beside the helicopter. And all the Haitians crowded around it see. Well me too! Only the daughter and her father fit in. So it came back a second time for the mother. We were all hoping it would be able to come back again before the clouds came in too thick. And when it left for the last time there was only a window of sky, and the helicopter going through it.

The last Sunday night service rather impressed me. It was Solo and Testimony. Any body can give a testimony and then have a solo..hence the name. Someone will get up and say how this song inspired them and then sing the song... or lead it as a congregational and this does not exclude the ladies. Well lead isn't the exact word but they stand behind the pulpit and sing while the rest of the church sings as well. On this one particular night, it seems the solos were abundant. Some beautiful and others....well God got them all the same. One guy got up there and started singing, half talking the first verse of the song. There's always a few faithful ladies that will try to help these poor souls out. He was crashing and burning all alone. And finally he just gave up and held up the songbook and called out, “ I need help! It's the first song.” and instantly the whole church went up in song and sang the whole song again and it was beautiful. So willing to help each other out.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Every once in a while in Haiti, the youth here has a party and all the youth in Haiti is invited. So it turned out that on Saturday, November 5th there was one scheduled. This one was to take place at Roch Blanch at the old CSI compound. It is a huge mansion there and a massive yard. Feels like you walk inside the gates of a small city. So Friday night comes, and the youth from Oriani and the white youth wonder how we are going to get down the mountain! “Bondye konnen” (God knows) Matt and Sherri had the Excursion down in Port-au-Prince and the transmission for the ambulance was laying at it's side. So thankfully Keith was willing to work on the old Excursion and get it ready for us to take. We were going to meet the Savann Mounton people in Forte about 20 minutes from our house Saturday morning. We met them and Quenton, one of the unit guys, drove our machin. We had about 10 people in ours and a totally chaotic ride down. We had just the craziest time! Singing the whole three hour drive. And many different CE programs..Charlette was a great instigator of it all. You have a solo...and you give a testimony..and you sing a song in Spanish (even though no one knew Spanish and trust me that didn't stop anyone)..and there was lots of sermons on movies and music and phones.. and Laughing and more Laughing. Almost more than anything else. Anyway a very entertaining ride down there. We arrived at the house around 2 o'clock. And even though the party was supposed to start at 12 I believe, we weren't a bit late. Actually almost the first ones. When life mostly consists of trying to survive and find food and that is your only mission in life, watching the youth let go and play like children made me so happy. We had races and people would just fall to the ground laughing. I also found out that Christelle does not like to be pushed very high in a swing. She started screaming and screaming at Mis Kay to stop pushing her!! I don't know how she is ever going to fly in an airplane someday. Made me laugh and laugh. Then more congregations started showing up. Each in their own unique vehicle. The congregations in Port are very similar to home and so the youth are extremely fun to be with. The guys all went behind the tree and changed into their soccer uniforms... they take this very seriously. And made up teams and you can just see that they love this game! And it's all about having a good time.. the girls tried to play some volleyball. But mostly that was a joke. Heather tried to teach them some but it just wasn't working too well. It made me miss my volleyball back at home so much!! We hit the ball back at forth though and no one at that point could dampen my was all just so fun! Lacey taught a big group of people how to play Duck, Duck, Goose. Boy, I have never in my life laughed so hard at that game. People just flat out tackling each other to get to the spot in time. And the short dresses flying up..and oh it was hilarious. Issac and Heather had made spaghetti for us all. I've heard there was about One hundred and fifty youth there. And she was just scraping the bottom of the bowl when the last person went through the line... and there was SWEET TEA to drink. A very special thing. Then everyone gathered around and sang a song and one of the youth guys announced the next party. December 27. A Christmas party. And Oriani is in charge of the cakes and drinks...and everyone has to bring a gift for it too... so I am looking forward to it! Well who wouldn't be! ….and now the ride home. Stopped at a gas station and Chase bought us all some ice cream! So this day was full of loveliness! More singing and laughing to follow... and it was dark and the way home is always enjoyable and everybody is kinda of sleepy from such a wonderful day. One of my favorite days for sure.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Last Wednesday we embarked on the journey to the beach. It takes about two and a half hours to get to Grand Gossier. So all twelve of us piled into the Excursion and went. The road there is quite washed out and rough. Someday maybe I'll go to the beach on a moto and it will speed this whole driving process up by an hour or more. The whole way you can see the ocean and so it taunts you....”I'm farther than you think!” Finally we enter the town of Grand Gossier and go right by the cemetery, with approximately 43 goats climbing all over the tombs. So now is where Matt's love for off roading comes in handy. The road was totally overgrown. Where there once was a road, there no longer is. And so Alice and the girls thought this would be a good time to burst our eardrums with their screams. Ok so exaggeration, but was very humorous. So we made the road down to the beach and found the most lovely spot on earth possibly. Although who am I to say....God created so many Beautiful things for us. The beach doesn't have much sand mostly just smooth small pebbles. White limestone cliffs tower hundreds of feet above us. And the aqua blue water, just calm and waves today. Another thing I love is that there is no people..none at all! You just don't see that in Haiti. Absolutely empty. Oh wait, here comes three men in a little motor boat up to the shore. They wanted to take us on a ride around the shoreline and back....and also wanted us to pay for the gas both ways. So it was decided not to go.. that was sad tho because I thought it would be great fun. But swimming was epic! So easy to float and suddenly I brought my head out of the water and there I was so far from shore. Then some of the girls wanted to go out there. The word -shark- was mentioned to much for my liking. But the only living creature besides fish that we saw was jellyfish! Once when we were way out in the ocean, there was a few 7 up bottles floating on the water. So we inspected them with goggles and there was a long rope with a trap of some sort sitting on the ocean floor. Soon a very Haitian looking boat all painted bright and Bon Dye (God) written on the side. The man was paddling toward us and just stopped and watched all twelve Americans be crazy people in the water. We seemed to be entertainment for him and we were all happy to provide that service. The hurricane changed the scenery some but it washed some cool shells up so we walked up and down the shore, grabbing whatever we could. Most places just looked like absolute paradise!!! made my heart so happy. And then back over the bushes, through the cemetery with approximately 43 goats on the tombs, over the rough road, with a stop in Thoit for supper, and then on to the lovely Oriani home.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Moving Day

The day of our visitors coming finally arrived and it forced Matt and Keith to build beds so I could move in with Christelle. I have been loving living with Matt's and so almost with regret was I moving in with Christelle. But then if you have ever met Christelle you could understand how excited I was. She is bubbly and so lovable, I couldn't wait to live with her. And since Alyssa was eager to have her own bedroom and company was coming that needed a bed, everything was finished and I could move all my belongings into my new room!

So come Wednesday morning we pack up to go down to Port – au – Prince. And yes, this is a whole entire experience all by itself. So all six of us climb into the Excursion, which is so spacious we can't complain. The ride up the mountain we will have added 6 more humans and 8 suitcases. And no small ones either. The humans are small tho. We reach the smooth pavement and rejoiced. So many sights to see here. We reach the city passing loaded down taptaps. They carry people and the occasional chicken and goat perhaps. Full to the max! And tour buses and gravel trucks...endless people... walking along the side. There are few traffic dos and don'ts. Use your horn as much as possible. You, in the vehicle of sorts, have the right away. And be aggressive in your driving or you won't get far. Today was the day for shopping. And I'm reminded again that I don't appreciate shopping. But since this is Haiti and the normal thing we see each day are hunger and poverty, the stores that cater to the UN and aid groups are exciting. Sometimes you almost forget that such nice clean stores can exist! Surely they aren't even this nice in California... and an Elevator!! the only one in Ayiti., in this store called Masion Handel. Home d├ęcor, office supplies.. anything you want, at a price of course. Once outside again it's Haiti. We were driving along behind the US Embassy and in this nondescript white building there was this nice restaurant. Totally modernly decorated and the smells coming from that place was a little bit heavenly. But we honestly felt out of place in there! You have to remember we are mountain folk. We journeyed on to Petion-ville. The richest city in Haiti. Right close to the airport actually. We went to Caribbean Supermarket. And I do realize that I'm talking about grocery stores and shopping but once you have lived in the farthest mountains of Haiti, far from “civilization” you treasure these moments. Inside so many blans!!(whites) We have pizza and chocolate ice cream in the little restaurant inside. You almost feel silly talking Creole to these Haitians. My stuttering around does not seem to impress these people. So I long for my friends back in Oriani. Tomorrow! We are always excited to go down for a vacation and always happy to go back home.

Friday, October 14, 2016


The mountains here are full of trails. Steep ones winding up and down the deep ravines. Today I walk to a high mountain behind our house. The deep ravines go down in a half circle around me. Soon Beatrice comes to me and sits beside. She is a Fre Julian's daughter eight years old maybe. She holds my hand and pinches my white skin and touches my arm. Just as much as I love touching her hair she loves touching mine. She has dirty clothes on and dirty shoes, soaked with dirty water and mud from the rain that just came. But here this is not a problem. Nobody looks at her with disdain or thinks her dirty clothes are anything but normal. Her mama will do laundry later this week and maybe her only clothes will be very clean. Beatrice's Sunday clothes will be quite the opposite of these. A crisp clean dress. With floufy socks and ribbons in her hair. Sunday is a very special day. Beatrice talks to me today and asks me if I would want to see her goats. We wander a little down the mountain side. I tell her I hope we don't stomp over too many gardens and plants. The goat is tied up on a rock and beside it two little kids are hanging around. They like their mama and so they do not run away. Beatrice catches the little brown goat for me and I hold it and pet it's soft fur. It's new I can tell. We walk back home and she tells me she is hungry...but I tell her to go see if her mama has food. I say goodbye to my friend. She walks away but I do not know if she will eat tonight or not. Makes me wish I could fix her troubles and everybody else's. But she is growing up in a Christian home and that's more than a lot can say.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I feel somewhat of a kindred spirit with Noah. Although what would we have done for 37 ½ days stuck inside the house while it was pouring down rain! But it seems the Haitians were not afraid to walk around in the middle of Hurricane Matthew. We always seemed to have someone sitting in our house. But our house not without its faults during the rain. The wind was pushing the rain under the ridge cap and it was leaking onto the plywood. Soon it was soaked through the wood and dripping or rather sprinkling into our house, mostly into the kitchen. Buckets covered the floor but it wasn't really collecting all the water. So much mopping had to be done. All night Sherri was on her knees mopping and probably praying too. So since Tuesday at 4 o'clock we were wide awake in this damp house. We were also conserving power since the solar panels wouldn't be collecting power on a rainy day. We lived by kerosene light, which makes everything more cozy. Most of the storm happened Monday night and Tuesday. I don't really have words to describe this storm. So think: WINDY and RAINY. Wednesday morning most had subsided and Matt Sherri and I made our way to the clinic. No school on this day. In the middle hall of the clinic we swept waves of water out of it onto the front porch. The clinic has a very leaky roof but only one room had some water in it. There was only one patient to see and then Keith, Matt Sherri and I went down to Forte de Pins 30 minutes from us to see how bad the road had been. The drive is through the forest and lots of trees had blown down in the road and also just on the ground. Luckily we could get around every tree, they will soon be taken by people and cut for firewood. In Forte, we went to another missionary's place. They have a small little clinic there. They had made it through the storm okay so we went back home. Deep rivets had been washed out in the road and the mud had all been washed off exposing the rocks. So it was extremely BUMPY. And it was already very bumpy before the storm so you can only imagine!

The poor houses around here. The ones that are only rocks held together with mud and the littlest bit of concrete fell down. And that means the poorest families too. Sometimes there will be eight or nine people living in one grass-roofed hut. The saddest thing ever. Lots and lots of chocolate children running around with big rounded bellies full of worms. They just are darling cute though! So Matt told the mama to please bring her children to the clinic to get vitamins and some medicine.

My Dawson was jealous that I got to blog so this is him from here on out....

My friends were like everything.. doing stuff to me.. and some friends were bugging that crazy lady! And they were my friends! I just have friends and love in my heart.. I don't have bad stuff in my heart.