Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24th – 2015 - Tuesday Tidbits


With all the bicycles traffic on the compound it was time to go over the rules;
driver’s education with Djemima – the responsible one.

The swings are fun for all ages from the youngest, Sonson, to Karen the…. well you get the idea.

The school sponsorship pictures and letters only got done thanks the leadership and organization of Liette and her committee of Karen and Joan and some unseen hired help, Jim and me.

OOOOOh these coconuts are soooo good.

Joan is Christmas shopping for gifts for the school kids in the depot.

What do you think????

1.     Kids have been evicted? Or

2.    Spraying for cockroaches? Or

3.    Tornado? Or

4.    Time to switch over from summer to winter clothing?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22 - 2015

By Heather

Today is my last day and I am sad.  It seems like it has gone so fast but I am also happy that I can catch up on all the stuff I have to do at home. Today is Sunday and I am preaching so as I went to get ready earlier I went to put on my shoe but my foot would not go in so I looked in my shoe and saw mud! When did I get mud in my shoe? So I pulled out the mud to find out it was not mud but a spider’s nest with ten of them sleeping in my shoe. I hope that’s not a sign of the kind of day I will have. I read my sermon to Karen last night and she said it was really good but a little long so please pray for patient kids. More later!

I am now finished church and I think it went well. We had 118 in attendance. I love Haitian church with all the singing and almost everyone gets a drum or a tambourine. So much fun and all the kids want to sit next to the blancs so we sorted it out and I had a few Haitian kids on either side. I was worried my message would not translate well but they all said they liked it.

Church at HATS this morning

church service

Heather's message with translation by Liette

After church we went over to Papa’s or Luckner’s place for a treat of soda. Little Sonson is so cute, so Mom, do you have the room ready for him at home, he’s coming with me!

As soon as we came back more coloring and I drew some pictures of the kids and they were so pleased to give them to Mama, so Karen is going to keep them to hang them on her wall. So cool.

What do you think happened next? More soccer but this time people from the church came to play with us.  I couldn’t keep track of the goals but it seemed like fun and  even Judel got some good kicks in playing with the bigger kids. They all grow up so fast, the first time I came he was a baby.

Fun time for Ti Luc with big sister Liette.

Liette trying to stop Ti Luc's kic

Vladimy has the ball.

Oops Moise, looks like a goal.

Djemima has an armful when returning from the soccer match.

Now I am ready to eat, check the rest of my suitcase for spiders and get ready for an early morning and long day of travel.    

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It's Liette here writing the blog today.

Great news!  The sponsor letters and photos for the 2015-2016 academic year are done!  Yay!  Thanks to a great team, we have gotten 99% of the children done and the letters/photos sent out to sponsors.  Heather kept the kids busy colouring, crafting and playing.  Keith took & labelled photos and scanned and labelled letters. Joan helped with herding children, letter writing & translating.  If you have not yet received your sponsor child's photo/letter, please first check your Junk Mail, then drop me a line at liette.hatshaiti@outlook.com.  You may have to add me to your contacts to be sure my email will get to you.

Challenging news:  We have 16 more high school students needing sponsors.  If you are interested in sponsoring another student, we would love to hear from you.

More challenging news:  Due to the sinking Canadian dollar, your sponsorship donations are not going as far as they used to.  In order to continue to provide a high quality education to all of our students, a healthy hot meal each day and a living wage for our employees, we need to increase our sponsorship amounts for next year.  Beginning Jan 1 (or sooner if we can get the website up and running), you can make your donation either monthly by signing up with Paypal or yearly by one of the methods that has always been available.  As of Jan 1, 2016, elementary sponsorship will be $300 or $25 per month and secondary sponsorship will be $420 or $35 per month.  We don't want to cut services and we appreciate your incredible generosity in continuing to partner with us.

Today at the mission, the fun started out with a 10km hike up the mountain behind Deschapelles with a large group of excited kids.  Besides a couple of skinned knees, one briefly missing Josie (on the wrong side of a large scratchy bush) and a few thirsty children who didn't feel like carrying a water bottle, it was a wonderful time.

The afternoon brought a visit from Valerie, one of Karen's UN friends from Quebec and her two colleagues from France.  The kids enjoyed spending time with them, especially riding bikes with Valerie.

Our UN friend Valerie from Canada bike riding with our kids

Valerie with Judel, Jofky and Ti Luc

The little children are all tucked in their beds and the big ones soon will be too in preparation for church tomorrow.  One more day before we head home to cold and snow in Calgary!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Karen and Heather have both written a part of this blog.

Karen here.

Yesterday was another busy day at HATS.  It was a holiday in Haiti which meant the school was closed and most employees did not have to work due to it being 'Batay Vètyè'  or 'Jour de Bataille de Vetières'.

School being closed and many employees being off did nothing to slow down the children, Liette, Keith and Joan, or Heather.  It was certainly no holiday for us, but it was a full work and fun day.

Ti Luc doing schooling in English with Joan.

We started our day with an early morning walk along the canal.  Liette followed her walk with an exercise period on the roof of the admin building.  She invited Djemima and Leica to join her in her exercise class.  Seeing our two girls trying to do what Liette was doing was extremely funny and also a fun time for the girls.

Leica and Djemima trying to exercise with Liette.

Along with a lot more work being done on the school letters and photos we celebrated three November birthdays in fine form - JJ 14, Moise 13, and Karena 7. A chocolate cake was made for the party and Liette let our little Sonson taste cake batter for the first time.  Wow. He was a happy little boy.  He was not leaving Mama's kitchen after that so Mama Karen gave him spatula and beaters to lick also.


Sonson is very happy licking the beaters

The actual birthday party was followed by two soccer matches with Liette. First she played with the younger children which included kids Markenson, Jofky, Anne, Karena, Josie, and Ti Fi.  That was followed by a game with JJ, Moise, Vladimy, Djemima, Leica, Dieunel, Judel, Estradson, Starben and Shelben.

Soccer with the young ones

HATS - School and General News :-
Recently Luckner needed to start some work on the school to block the openings into the school - between the top of the classroom walls and the tin roof -  from the outside areas, especially from the area directly behind our three preschool classes, where there are huge trees.  The cement block windows into the elementary classrooms are being screened too because of the same problem.

The reason for these necessary changes is to alleviate or reduce the fear level of  our teachers.  They have become terrified to enter their classrooms due to snakes entering through the areas that are now being worked on - being blocked.  The week before last saw two snakes in two of our classrooms. Bedlam was the result.

One reason, of several like it, why our elementary teachers and students are fearful about going into their classrooms.

You have been following our blogs this week and getting a peek at all the work that has been done by Liette since she arrived with the tremendous help from Joan and Keith.  They have been busy beavers in getting the photos and letters done for all our sponsored students. Getting the photos taken and downloaded into the computer, getting the letters written by all the students and matched up to go with the photos and put into the computer data base, getting all letters translated into English, and all changed to PDF files and sent out to every sponsor is a monumental task.

 Liette is in charge of all the  sponsoring of students and does a fantastic job of keeping it all organized and running properly all year long for us here at HATS-Haiti and for the sponsors in North America.  A huge thank you to you Liette which is well deserved.

Last students to be done - preschool 1

Speaking of students being sponsored and sponsors being willing to help a student here receive an education, leads me to the fact that we do not have enough sponsors for the present school year 2015-2016.  We are in need of seventeen sponsors for our secondary students. Any one willing to help a student from grade 7 - 11 please get in touch with Liette Wilson at liette.hatshaiti@outlook.com.  The cost to sponsor a student in these grades is $420 per year.  As of January 1, 2016 a monthly payment option will be available for the payments of sponsoring fees.  A gift of education is a gift of hope to the students and to their families.

The new project for HATS-Haiti is to build an apartment on top of our multipurpose/devotional room so HATS  can be looking for more help.  Recruiting people to come long term to work with Karen and Luckner is an important project.  Thus we have asked all our teams for 2015-2016 to fund raise for this project.  Recently Luckner was standing on top of the devotion room, thinking, planning, and measuring for this apartment project.

We are hoping and praying for the funds for this project.  This is not a 'want' but a very real 'need' for the continuation of this mission.

Luckner thinking, planning, measuring for an apartment.

Today HATS was able to bless several people with a gift of a suitcase.  It is very difficult to find a dresser to hold clothes so a suitcase can be a useful gift.  Many thanks have been received for the suitcase gifts.  Luckner and I would like to pass the thank yous on to all who bring donations down in suitcases and then leave them here to be a blessing to people in our area.

Hold on Liette.  We are not going far

Thank you one and all for all you have done and continue to do for the work of the HATS-Haiti mission.  We solicit continued prayers for the ongoing work with the people of the Artibonite Valley where we are located.

Blessings everyone.  Karen

Heather here:

Sorry, no time to get the blog up on Wednesday so I’m writing the blog for yesterday today. Wednesday  was a holiday so all the kids were home from school, so much fun.  I had brought  coloring pages from Canada for the kids to do and they loved it, even JJ and Moise enjoyed coloring. After that all the kids just hung out until the birthday. We drew with chalk and played with rocks. I did not know that you could have so much fun with rocks but here the kids can have no toys at all and entertain themselves all day long.

Happy birthday to JJ, Moise and Karena. We were so excited to celebrate with them as they all turned a year older, JJ now 14, Moise 13 and Karena 7. We ate cake which little Sonson helped make and he was too cute doing it. He did not help too much with the baking part  but was great at licking the spoon and the bowl and anything else with chocolate on it!

Birthday trio - JJ, Moise, and Karena.

Then came the party! Mama Karen put  Sandra in charge so we sang happy birthday about a dozen times in three different languages. The three birthday kids all got their presents and Karena loved her set of plastic food and dishes. At first she was trying to find out why it looked like food but was inedible, then she got it and immediately filled the teapot for a party with all the kids. She also got a Barbie from her godmother Mariah. Karena thought it was the prettiest thing as she took it out right away and then put it away for safe keeping from the other kids.

Birthday party

Then of course JJ and Moise got toys and not just any toys, but motorized guys sitting on a quad and we had to call them back for the cake cause they were so engrossed in those things they were halfway down the long driveway. Cake was enjoyed by everyone with crumbs everywhere including on Magdala who was covered from head to toe and ended up licking her dress clean. While I was holding Markenson most of his cake ended up on me but he’s so cute I didn’t mind.

Heather has an armful

After all that we went to play soccer at the school. First with the little kids and the best part was watching Tifi get the ball and carry it closer to the goal so she could kick it. She was laughing  and had a giant smile on her face. She seemed truly happy. Then the big kids had a go and Vladimy was in goal on one side versus little Judel on the other. So for the first part Vladimy’s team was pretty far ahead but then Keith relieved Judel so he could play and it wasn’t long before Judel’s team won!

Soccer with older kids.

The best part of this game was Leica as she was trying to act so tough to get the ball from the boys but she ended up giggling and missing it all together. Her laugh is so contagious she can make anyone laugh! We had a full day as you can tell and so it ended with dinner then bed but not before we played a game of snakes and ladders, another gift Moise received for his birthday. Then finally a much needed shower.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Heather's Update

Today I slept in.   I must have been really tired.  I got Haitian oatmeal this morning so my day started off great again.  It was me with all the young kids and the ones home from school.   Less stressful as we just colored all day including me teaching Jofky how to draw Spiderman. Then a game of soccer with Ti Luc and he is so much better than me at keep away.  I get tired before I even have the ball.

Heather playing soccer with Ti Luc

I then proceeded to walk back and forth between all the kids on the swings pushing them higher and higher including little Magdala who would take her hands off the chains every time I pushed and laugh.  I stand behind her scared to death she will fall!

Keith also just put in a tire swing and the kids can’t stay off.  I asked Moise, one of the older boys, if he had more fun on it than the younger kids. He said no but every chance he gets he’s swinging that thing so high I’m afraid he will flip it over the top.

Liette, Joan and Keith did a lot more work with sponsored kids today including the preschool who are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  They all walk in a line holding the shoulders of the one in front and then you see the little ones running behind to keep up. I admire those teachers because in Haiti it's not just nap time and playing with blocks. They start learning at that age. How do the teachers keep them all focused?

Preschool and Grade one

Preschool Two

Photographer Keith

Later, we had the high school students who are too cool to smile in their pictures.  Last year I tried everything and still only got a few smiles. They always think the picture is better without it and if you make them laugh they will cover their face.

Grade 8 and 9

Grade Nine

Liette, Keith and Joan were pretty tired after long days of staring at translating, labeling and updating lists of students and sponsors!

End of a long hot tiring day working on school letters and photos with Liette

We both need a break from this school photos and letters work

This afternoon, we got to walk along the canal. It is so beautiful and so much fun seeing all the cows, horses and goats. We got back thankfully with no kids in the canal though there were some close calls.  Immediately they want to play soccer again I don’t know how I am going to keep up!

Sandra and Anne ready for the canal walk

Karena and Jofky. Ready to walk

Heather with our two youngest

Our little Sonson

Heather reading bedtime story to Dieunel and Ti Luc

Monday, November 16, 2015

The blog today is written by Heather.

We have arrived!   The wait was endless, but I was so excited.  The first thing I saw when I arrived was a beautiful sign made by the kids to welcome us back.  Then I was given a big group hug that almost toppled me over.  There are two new faces in the group - adorable little boys.  I am so happy to be back, I can’t believe it’s real.

Our sign maker - Dieunel.

Last night, we arrived late due to our missing luggage so we didn’t do much but say hi and eat then straight to bed. I woke up at 5am with the roosters then just laid in bed but did not manage to get back to sleep as it was too noisy. But I would take the noise any day verses the snow in Calgary.

Just arrived.

Lots of work was done today by Liette and her two assistants for that job, Joan and Keith.  Grades 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 had letters and photos done.

Liette off and running with Grade One.

Gr 1's on their way for letters and photos.

A class of 11 Rheto students who are being educated outside of HATS school, IMKH, due to HATS not yet offering the Rheto class came and did their photos and letters as well.

Secondary - Rheto students.

Today was great for me!  I got to keep track of all the little ones and the ones who stayed home from school. What a task to keep all of them entertained. I also got to meet the new HATS darling, Sonson.  He is the cutest little guy - I hope I can make it through customs with him in my suitcase. We started out with a bit of colouring and soccer and finished with some new hairdos for me and more soccer.

Liette with our youngest

Then comes my favorite part: the Slip and slide.  It’s so nice to be in the cool water and those kids do the craziest things. Not all of them understand the process so some walked and some crawled.  And of course there’s Magdala, the water baby  who wanted to run and splash continually.  She cried every turn that wasn’t hers.

Leica enjoying the slip and slide

Jofky's turn on the slip and slide

Then more soccer.  Boy am I tired!  Keith and Joan, the missionary couple, said they got tired just watching me. Finally for dinner, we had Haitian spaghetti which is way better than Canadian.  I'm hoping for Haitian oatmeal tomorrow.  Good night!    

Our blogger Heather