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Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 2009

Hello, hello
This has been quite an interesting couple weeks... I feel so much happened that I won't recall it all. When will I start journaling again?

The Medical team went well and we saw lots of patients. We had 4 doctors and 3 PA students/Nursing Assistants. We did a new venture this time since we had a big group, and half of us went to do a clinic in Arcahaie. Talking to the pastor in whose church building we saw everyone, on the phone in the morning, he said there were over 200 people waiting (we had told him 50) so he had to send some away. All in all, it went well.
These are cute triplets that came for a checkup.

"Our pharmacists"

It seems everytime the team comes, I get to learn one more "doctor skill". This time it was dental. Dr Ric's father is a retired dentist and before coming he gave Dr Ric a quick dental lesson and some materials. Then he in turn taught me. So if need be, I can now fill a tooth! Of course it's just temporary filling but it can last up to a year or two.

Filling the first tooth ever with Dr Ric's help.

We've had a really good Mamba week this week. It started last week with Peterson coming. He is from St Marc and our missionary friends there brought him. They had no idea he was like that, living in their own neighborhood because the family was ashamed to bring him out so they kept him strictly at home. He is two years old. He has since been taken in by our friends there who have this year opened an orphanage. Thankfully he is being taken good care of now. He came back this week and had gained a whole kilo more than the expected, which is 5 grams per child's kilo per day. Yea for Peterson!!
Then this monday this little 10 month child came to see us at the clinic. Note her swollen feet, hands and face. Her cheeks are bulging. But her chest and arms are skin and bones. This is a serious stage of kwashiokor. Thank God, there's hope for her. She also came with what sounded like croup and asthma.
Little Jufta also came on Monday. We were told she's over a year. Later her mom remembered she's not a year yet, she doesn't remember her age (very common here). No matter... you can tell right away she's very thin. Her arms and legs were so small. She actually looks better on the picture than in real life.

Another child in the initial stages of kwash.

We have over 40 children in our program right now. Somehow lately the word has spread, which we are real glad for. Some need it so bad. We had one child in Arcahaie this Friday (still haven't uploaded the picture) who is 2 years old and weighed only 6.25 kg (about 13 pounds). That's the weight of some newborns!!

Another special occasion last week was a visit from Karen from Victoria, BC. She's been coming every year. Made me feel like an old timer to have people come back for the second year since I've been here! (Karen's in the middle)

Bonnie, Bobi, and I took her to the airport last Sunday. After dropping her off, we headed to the grocery store (a must every time we go to Port). On the way we decided to stop at a restaurant we'd always wanted to check out. We stopped, got a layout and prices of the place and decided to come back later for lunch if we felt like it. Well, as we put the key in the lock to open the door, it broke on us. Imagine how that left us feeling!! Now what do we do, in Port, just us three girls??
There were a couple guys from the restaurant that came and started taking the door apart. Not comfortable with that, we called Steve (owner of the truck) but couldn't get him on. We then called Chris, at Clean Water for Haiti, who gave us 3 phone numbers of people in Port. One of them was for a man named Kurt. I have a huge respect for this man now. He and his wife have lived here in Haiti for 10 years. He has a mechanic shop and does mechanic work for missionaries. He has an amazing heart. Even on a sunday after noon, he came where we were and helped us out. And this is a man that when he wanted to come to Haiti, no mission would take him because he was never able to learn to read and write because of a hearing problem. So they came and are working on their own now. (Don't ever limit what God can do through your own limitations!) He was able to get the key out, but we decided not to try to find a shop to make a new key, since there would be the risk of it not fitting anyway, so after getting hold of Steve, we messed up his afternoon too, by his bringing a second key to us.

So while waiting for him, we had lunch at this place. And a good leizure lunch it was and as we were paying for the bill, Steve drove up. No waiting time afterwards at all! (that tells you either how good the roads are or how long it took to eat :)

Today, Bonnie, Bobi, and I took the day off and went to our "lighthouse beach" again. That is one amazing beach! Totally isolated and the clearest aqua blue water anywhere.
OK, this is getting long and it's getting late. Generator will go off soon. Such is life here. Please continue to pray for us. There are so many needs, and blessings here - with the people from the community, all the kids and staff here at Canaan, and also among us "Americans" who serve here. Pray that we can bless the people here always, and not be a hindrance to the work.
God bless!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hello everyone!

I'm back in Haiti after 3 weeks of a wonderful vacation. I always knew Costa Rica was a beautiful country but I was even more impressed this time. Even the houses are nicer now, the people seem SO well to do. OK, I realized always before I went there from North America. Funny how your view of something is clouded by what you're used to seeing, or by what you compare it to. Compared to Haiti, CR is "First World". When you don't see any starving children, when you see everybody dressed well, when you don't wonder if someone can afford the products on the grocery shelves.... that country is rich.

We had some awesome family time. The first week, Bobi came home with me, and some of us went to the Arenal volcano area (sadly the most she got out of the volcano was hearing it rumble a few times. It was drizzling most of the weekend!). We had a great time anyway, spending most of a day in natural hot springs. The next day we did zipline-ing - zooming through the air chained to a rope is quite exhilarating.

A Friday to Monday weekend with the whole family was also wonderful. We went to a camp in the mountains and had lots of fun - sports, sharing time, eating, etc. Some of us even did a scary canopy obstacle course. OK, that was scary! Imagine walking on a rope, holding onto another rope above you. At one point they meet in the middle, like a knot and you have to figure out how to cross the knot. You have to balance your body over a knot high in the air! Another scary part was walking on a 2-3 inch board with NOTHING to hold onto - ok, I couldn't do it by myself. 

I haven't been able to upload a lot of pictures but am starting. If you want to see them, you can click on the photos link on this site. This is my public photo albums.

Ok gotta go since I'm at Chris and Leslie's right now. Thanks for all your prayers and support. Please continue, as there is so much to do here and responsabilities that are always a challenge.