Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday takes us back...

...to school and a busier routine than on the weekend.
Luckner's Aunt died and he was busy attending to details for the family and was in and out of the office so Karen was busier than usual there and because she has a bad foot and having trouble walking she stayed put. You know there is something wrong when she is sitting still for longer than 20 seconds and she has actually been sitting for a half hour at a time.

We got rid of the last 2 goats and now just have to send the photos to those who bought them.

Goats are gone

Jim is very busy doing computer work so we will wait until he is done before we send them out. Jim does get out of the office some BUT he does spend the bulk of his time there.

Shondi & Sandra went to school to help with the parachute and playdough and cookie cutters for Mariah's class. We had fun time on the field then back to class. The children did really well with their playdough and no one ate it. There was a new student there and the kids thought it quite amusing and then were impressed with his playdough skills.

The parachute

Dickie perfects his play dough skills

Mariah got her braids taken out and we went off to Verrettes to get relaxer for her hair and for other needed things at the Pharmacy. There is always a fight for the back of the truck...everyone wants to sit out there.

Losing the braids

Antionette came back to work on Karens' foot and leg and gave Sandra a good massage on her bad leg too.

Tuesday brought the construction crew to the roof of the Security Tower and it was interesting to watch them take the concrete up in buckets.

Pouring the roof

Shondi did the payroll and paid the employees, helped with Mariah's class and disappeared for a long time and no one knew where she was.

Payday

Dickie painted shelves for the children's bedrooms and went to Mariah's class to see the kids.

Cabinet Painting

Jim played soccer with Mariah's class in the field, and worked on computer all day again.

Mariah's class

Karen was at the school office and taught English to grade 8, albeit on one foot.

I had the awe full task of having 2 babies to myself....Jonathon & Sandra and then Ti Luc and I played for an hour or so before we walked along the canal.

Everyone watches the video on the camera at the same time.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday in Haiti

Sunday in Haiti is a day of rest for the most part. We all went to the School Building this morning for a very lively Service. In any language it is not hard to tell which hymns we were singing. Nearly 80 in attendance. One poor fellow turned up for the service two hours after it ended. Although it is not unusual for people to show up all through the service.

Sunday morning service
Morning service
Karena ready for church in new dress
Sandra carrying Sandra to church
Shondi carrying Karen
Mariah and Jonathan ready for church
Mama and her beautiful daughter
We spent a lot of time with the children playing and teaching rollerblading. They are a joy to be around and are very appreciative of any attention.

We Skyped with Blair, Danielle, Molly and Lexi in Kingston today. Without the new Internet Server this was previously impossible. You can hear Karen hoot and holler everytime an email goes out and one opens all in the same day.

We went for a tour of Deschapelles this afternoon. Our initial mission was to go to the Drugstore but it was closed.

On a personal note I have seen a noticeable difference in Haiti. By no means are things good but are at least going in the right direction.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday...a day off!

Friday evening Dickie, Shondi, Jim, Mariah, Vladimy and Karen went to Radio Creole for a while. Vladimy was going to spend the night there and the others went to visit and listen (those that could understand). I stayed here with Ti Luc (who was sleeping). They had a good time and after they came home Vladimy was talking and praying on the radio...we didn't hear him, we would have stayed up to listen if we had thought he would be doing something.

Friday night visit to Radio Creole.

Dickie presented four woman with caps at Radio Creole

Radio Creole visit.  Vladimy sang and prayed on the air

We (Richard, Shondi, and I) herded the goats from outside the house to the security for the night.....if not they would have been under Jim's tent. We took the goats back to the school yard this morning, one lady came for hers and we still have 2.

Blan goat herders

Little goat herders

We roller bladed again this morning and they are all doing better but Deuinel and Djemima are doing really well and can skate by themselves. They will all be doing it by next week I am sure.

We all went shopping today at the hardware store (3 of them actually) in Liancourt and then stopped for chicken on the way home. Jim, Mariah and I were in the back of the truck and we were noticed by all the men (young especially, but old looked too)...it must have been either my white hair or Jim's bald head, it could not have been the beautiful young Mariah who turns heads where ever she goes! This afternoon we readied the school for church tomorrow and Dickie put up clocks and calendars on office walls. Jim worked on internet at Seth & Jessie's house.

Internet being added to asst missionary house

We wish Jessie and Seth were here with us and we wish Seth all the best on his surgery on Monday. Today Karen arranged for the children to be able to see them on Skype. Thanks to real internet service, at the moment, things went well. They could see and hear the children and vice versa.

Kids talking to Jessie and Seth on Skype

The children had a video this afternoon and Mariah, Vladimy, JJ and Ti Luc went down to Luckner's to watch a football (soccer) game on television. Dicke drove them down and Shondi drove home...a new experience for her.

Goats are back on compound for the night.

We are off to play a game.....hopefully!

PS. Karen here. This morning we had a visit from Jofky's biological father who is blind. He asked to be able to hear his son. This was the first time since I took Jofky into this family. Jofky was afraid to leave my arms but he did look and listen. His father did the same as he did the day he brought him to me almost two years ago, he prayed for his son.

Jofky's biological father visiting him for first time since he came to HATS
Can't close without a photo of the two Sandras.

The hottest day yet....

Apparently no one slept last night except me. There was a voodoo service starting when we went to bed and apparently went on until nearly daybreak and the other 4 tent sleepers heard them all night.
Devotions here on compound today and us blan yo were not the best singers in the group.
Shondi just arrived from moving goats so she will take over.

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"...Men on a road with a load to tote heard
Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo..."

There were no lonely goatherds today though, since there were a bunch of us on goat duty. Twelve goats arrived around noon and 9 were picked up before dark.

Arrival of goats

Thanks for my goat

In between pickups, Sandra and Vladimy tried to milk a goat to see if they could do any better than Dana. Sandra wasn't very good at it, but Vladimy could be a real dairy farmer! The 3 goats that weren't picked up will be 'sleeping' over with us on the compound. That should really make things interesting!

Newest goat milker

Hey Dana - take note

Jim and Dickie continued working on wireless internet for the compound. They were caught hanging precariously from a ledge on the second floor, since workers were using the only ladder.

Dickie

Jim & Dickie

Sandra and Shondi assisted Mariah with her class's 'recreation period' and with lunch again. They sure are cute! They continued their sorting and organizing project. A 'booboo' kit was put together for Mariah to keep in her class. We have been called over to the school two days in a row to tend to booboos and ouchies, and it is apparently a common occurrence. So now enfimye Mariah can add nursing to her resume.

Sandra holding Shondi

Ti Luc and Karena

I'm off to water the goats, so have to sign off for now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 2 and We're All Done In

Day 2 and we are all done in......

Today was warmer than yesterday and Shondi and I are both sun burned, Dickie is not feeling well and Jim is a little off his oats today.

We went to devotions on the compound today and it was a delight as always. Karen was not there to translate for most of it so they didn't know what we said and we didn't know what they said. We worshipped together though. Computer work and carpentry kept the men busy. Cleaning and reorganizing started our work day.

Dickie & Jim - carpentry work

Soon, however, we were called to the school to assist Mariah in the field with her class and then Shondi & I supervised the lunch hour...what a riot. I came home beat, that was a BIG job.

Mariah's class

Back to the classroom

This afternoon we brought out the roller blades and you should have seen the kids.....Mariah donned a pair of skates and demonstrated.....they all thought they would put the skates on and do what she did. They required a lot of help. It was so much fun but it was hot and hard work at the same time. I even had to help hold Karen up as she tried out wheelies.

Dieunel on rollerblades

Ti Luc rollerblading

Ismyis

Moise & Vladimy

Sandra holding Karen up

We went to Luckner's radio studio for a visit and cold drinks, then home for supper. We had diri avek pwa kongo (rice & beans).

Off to Luckner's

Mariah is doing her class preparation work for tomorrow, Karen & Jim just visited the children's home and said goodnight and dosed up the sick ones. Dickie is resting and Shondi showering.
Tomorrow the goats come so it should be an interesting day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We Made It

Starting from both coasts of Canada and the nation's capital, we all arrived safe and sound in Deschapelles last night after a long and interesting journey. Our flight was unable to land in Haiti due to a disabled aircraft on the runway, so we circled around the Gulf of Gonave several times while they worked to remove it. The day was clear and sunny, so the view was quite nice for those of us (well, me) in a window seat!

Happy to be out of the airport

Happy Travellers

Friends of Karen's, Dave and Tammy, were with her to help us transport all of the luggage back to HATS. Karen and Sandra sat in the back of the truck catching up and Luckner let Dickie drive once we were out of Port-au-Prince. Both Jim and Dickie remarked on the changes they noticed since their last visit.

After saying a big hello to all the kids, a great meal of welcome-to-Haiti-soup (soup joumou) and some initial unpacking, we all headed upstairs to our mosquito tents for the night. Nobody slept very well, however, due to the nighttime cacophony courtesy of goats, guinea fowl, dogs, roosters, horses, drums, etc.

Sleeping quarters

This morning, we went to devotions over at the school. We got to see Mariah teaching her adorable, though sometimes naughty students, ages 3 and 4. Dickie worked on fixing various plumbing issues, such as a clogged drain in the kitchen and toilets that didn't have enough water flowing to them. Jim worked on computer maintenance and supervised a group of guys who were here to fix the internet connectivity issues on the compound. This blog is made possible because of their good work. Halellujah! Sandra and I sorted donations, cuddled baby Sandra, brought some supplies over to the school, etc. Karen was super busy as usual!

Sandra serving food to Mariah's class

Mariah with her students

Working on internet

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to Luckner's to see the Radio Creole station. It is quite impressive. Karen was teaching an English class there and she used us as teaching aids for a lesson on families. We learned why Shondi is not married! The class got out early as they were going to get to watch an important football (soccer) match on the television that was being simultaneously translated on the radio in creole.

Trip to Radio Creole

Father and son at Radio Creole

After returning to the compound, all the adults and the kids went for a walk along the canal. There is always lots to see and do and fun was had by all!

Family walk on the canal