Friday, May 31, 2013

Working Day 2

The school looks absolutely wonderful as we were able to get most of the painting done today. The kids had a holiday today....well all except the Grade 9's that had a day of work as exams are coming in two weeks! What a surprise the school kids will have tomorrow when they arrive.

Elementary section looking good too now

Team leader Keith & Seth lying down on the job

Almost finished

We split up this morning and the 8 hockey bags have now been unpacked and we are so grateful to you for making it possible to get the things that the kids and the adults at HATS so need. Karen was so pleased with what we brought.

Russ, Louise & Joan with lots of fantastic donated supplies

The other part of our group was painting the school.  We all finished the painting listening to a group of kids practicing their singing for Sunday. Wow can they sing. Some of the kids were from HATS and some from the neighbourhood and they are all led by Yolene, one of the house Moms. Hopefully we get that on video on Sunday! It sure made the last of the painting go fast.

Lots of work happening at the same time

The kids love to see Louise coming as she has brought her books and was telling them stories today. She has talked to everyone on the compound and all just love her. She takes every opportunity to tell others about Jesus and His wonderful love.

Skipping rope fun

We just finished a walk along the canal with the kids. TiLuc is doing so well on his special bike and can he go fast. He had me nearly running behind him to keep up!

Late afternoon walk

On afternoon walk

N.B.  (Karen here - Joan does not like spiders anymore than Sandra does.  She saw this one last night - Wednesday - just before going to bed.   Joan was too close to it for her liking, and now it is waiting for Sandra's next visit.  It will be much bigger by then sister of mine.)

Taken Wed night especially for Sandra

Haitan spagetti for supper! Can't wait. Talk to you tomorrow night.  Love Joan

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We Made It!

So we finally have arrived at HATS and have put in our first day of work. We are: Joan and Keith Wight from Montreal, Russ and Louise Hopkins from Sherbrooke, Quebec and Seth and Jessie from Illnois. We are here for a week and the kids were so happy to see us. Keith and I and Jesse and Seth have been here before. It is so cool to see the kids growing and doing so well. Jonathan is walking, Sandra is talking and Anne was smiling within about a 1/2 hour of our seeing her this morning. God is good.

Joan and Russ. Waiting for Jessie & Seth to arrive

So it is my turn to do the blog today and I say we finally made it because our flight was cancelled on Monday because of a plane that had an accident taking off on Monday and blocked up the one and only runway in Port au Prince. What do you do with yourself when you are all geared up to go and you aren't?

Louise, Russ, Keith, Jessie and Seth heading for the mission

Karen and Luckner were there yesterday to meet us, after having gone in on Monday for us as well.  It is so good to be back. We are sleeping outside in those neat bug net tents and with ear plugs the donkeys and roosters and dogs don't sound nearly so loud! Now if the spiders would just stay away it'll be a great week!

First morning for team. Time with kids before school

Today was a painting and playing day, with a little time at school thrown in.  As I am writing this the older kids have a basketball game going with Seth and Jesse and Kieth and Brad.  Russ and Louise are getting to know the younger ones.

Team leader Keith

Team members delivering the meal to preschoolers

Russ with Ti Luc at school

Keith & Karen cleaning out drain at water tap at school

There is always something to do and Karen has decreed that we will be on the radio tomorrow night and sing! Yikes!

Louise with Josie and Jofky

Kids enjoying time with Jessie

Basketball

Thank you to all who helped us get here cause it is all about the kids.
God bless. Joan

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It is definitely blog time again.

It has been two weeks since I last blogged.  The only excuse I have is summed up in one word "busy".

Some things that we have done since Don and team left are being told here with photos:

-  A fun water fight/play day with the children organized by Brad and Lois.

Water fun. Brad helping Ti Luc get other kids wet

Sandra and Jonathan in water fight

-  Anne's 3rd birthday with a little party.

Sandra wishing Anne a happy birthday

This cake is good

-  Luckner has had a crew on site for awhile redoing plumbing lines that were never done properly in first place.

Luckner at septic tank entrance with his crew

JJ supervising

The boss giving directions

-  Constructing a bathroom in the Boy's Home.

Old kitchen in Boy's Home being turned into bathroom

Boy's Bathroom

-  Our school IMKH had our yearly fun day at the beach yesterday.

School trip to beach

- Normal antics onsite.

Two precious daughters caught in the act of doing what they should not

Four youngest playing hide and seek with Mama Karen

Now we are looking forward to a team arriving Monday being led by Keith and Joan Wight.   More blogging and photos will come from the team next week.

You will see from these photos that what we do here truly -

IS  ALL  ABOUT  THE  CHILDREN

Love and God bless everyone.
Karen and gang

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thank you Don and the Newfie team

Don was wounded in a ski doo accident some time before coming but was able to lead the team anyway as long as he promised to take it easy and not try to lift anything.  When he walked out of the airport in Port au Prince I was scared and upset when I saw him.  He was in bandages, including a tensor bandage, a sling, several bandaids on his face and hands.  His glasses looked taped to his face.  He was a mess.  I was scared to hug him so kissed his hand instead.  A short time later when loading the suitcases and tubs into the bus, to head to the mission, I saw that he looked much better  - he had his arm in a sling only.  He had been successful in greatly startling me and so removed all the extra things he had put on to do so.  I had been had. (I have a good memory so he will be had next.)   Despite his not being in top shape and having to accept lots of help from his team members he was Mr. Komic and it was a  successful week.   Thank you Don for coming and bringing the team in spite of pain and limitations.

The old couple who were left behind onsite

The rest of the team members arrived with a different problem,  not immediately noticable like Don's, but it did somewhat affect their week at HATS.  They all got sunburned in Miami enroute to Haiti and suffered because of it.  HATS now has a new rule for teams coming here - "stay out of the sun enroute."

The temperatures were quite high with a lot of humidity which zaps our energy and strength so it was extremely difficult on the team members.  Despite injuries and the intense heat and humidity they kept going and doing everything they could.  (By the way team members - the temperatures and humidity kept continuing to rise and yesterday with temperatures in high forties we were all in a total 'zombie state'.

Don and Luckner

Despite the injuries and the sunburn we did have a great week.  I was thrilled to have a team from my home town, Springdale, and surrounding area.  How very special is that!

Thank you Emma for returning to HATS-Haiti.  Thank you for being Don's co leader (his right hand man).  Thank you for helping show others the ropes and taking pressure off me.  Thank you for your immense love for Ti Luc.  Thank you for EVERYTHING!  Thank you for being you.

Emma aka Trouble 1 typing the blog

Ti Luc loves his special friend Emma

Thank you Cavelle for coming and joining in with everything.  Thank you.  Your getting here to the mission was a long time in the making and I am very glad you made it.  You supported behind the scenes for many years.  Finally you made it.   Thank you for your great photography skills.  No doubt you have a lot of gorgeous photos.   Thank you, too, for writing the second part of the poem you did for me 18 years ago "The Other Side" which I posted in a blog not long before you came.  I will be putting this new one in a blog soon too.

Cavelle aka Trouble 2

Alycia, I thank you also for coming back.  We are certainly glad you did.  You are a very special young woman who we will be waiting to see again next spring.  You are fun and easy to have around.  Thank you for accepting us all and helping everywhere possible.  Thank you for being a fantastic godmother (marenn) to Dieunel.  He is a blessed little boy and a very happy one because he has not only sponsors but also a godmother who loves him.

Alycia resting on the cement floor

Holly, this was meant to be your time to come!!  Thank you for coming.  Thank you for accepting everything and everyone as you did, on the compound and off.  Thank you for your encouragement.  It means a lot.  You, too, are a special young lady and  you were an important part of this team. Thank you for ordering people around because you cared for me and wanted to be sure I was safe.  You make a great sergeant, Holly.  A career in the military perhaps??

Holly

Doreen, I am really glad you came. Thank you.  It is a very long time ago that you told me in church (Living Waters) in Springdale that someday you would come down and help.  You did just that and we are blessed because you did.  Thanks so much for making it happen.  Thanks for helping in many ways, for teaching cross stitching to my boys as well as to the girls and Lois.  Thank you for your encouragement and prayer.  Both were greatly appreciated.

Doreen

Doreen with Karen's Ugly Stick

Sarah and Stephen, I put you together as you are a couple - two special individuals who have joined as one.  Recently married you had a honeymoon different than most couples - you chose to come to Haiti.  You gave of yourselves to the children and others, took part in everything you could, slept in separate mosquito tents on the roof with the other team members.  You were very easy to have around and most helpful.  I thank you both for choosing to do this as your honeymoon.  Hopefully you took special memories of your time here away with you.

Sarah with Anne and Sandra

Stephen with team leader, Don

On behalf of the children, the employees (especially Germaine), the Reimers, and Luckner, I say  THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU.

HATS truly is    ALL  ABOUT  THE  CHILDREN.    Thanks for your parts in making it thus.
Karen

Monday, May 6, 2013

By Emma and Cavelle - Trouble 1 and Trouble 2

Bonjou. Jodi se yon bon dimanch matan…and we wish we could share the magnificent sunrise that greeted Haitians this morning.  Then again, you experienced it as it greeted our wonderful Newfoundland family and friends this morning. As we prepare for church, we are alive with anticipation.

A little recap from some activities of yesterday. Yesterday, Karen’s camo-short for camouflage and really I am being sarcastic. I can only liken it to the excited faces of children decorating the route of Downtown St. Johns anxiously awaiting the guy in the white beard and bright red suit. A white truck filled with 9 vanilla wonders journeyed to Deschapelles where Hospital Albert S. is located. It was absolutely amazing.

Then after another wonderful meal served by our fabulous cooks, we headed to the market in Verrettes. We left the compound-our Wall of Love, and landed in Discovery Channel’s Sea of clothing, chicken, goats, jewelry, sausage, veggies and anything else one can imagine.

At the market

We were then taken to the parking lot to have our photo taken among the machin yo. (donkeys)

Parking lot of the market

And now a soccer story. I, Cavell, decided to play soccer with the children yesterday. I kicked the ball twice. The first time I placed the ball on the foot of an opponent and assisted on his goal. And then on my second kick, I sprained my ankle. Ouch! I know very little about soccer – hockey is my expertise. I am a Canadian fan so I have a dear friend who will surely state that I know little about hockey as well.

While part of our team enjoyed their market experience, those of us left at the compound distributed more gifts of food into grateful hands. Echoes of mesi anpil (thank you very much) rang throughout the compound.

Food for their families

Later this afternoon we enjoyed a memorable fashion show!! Each girl in the compound received a fancy new dress for church. We decided that Karen may never have to worry about electricity again for the smiles on their faces were bright enough to light up all of the country! AS each name was called the girls would come forward and quickly run off to put on their new dresses. Coming out on the catwalk beaming brightly and blushing with pleasure over the ooos and ahhhhs received from the audience. All prepared to wear their precious garment to church in the morning!!! Our evening ended with devotions, sharing a delicious (did I mention it was delicious) mango cake made by the lovely Lois, and a visit to the rooftop with the older kids(no, not the goats). We were amazed at the beauty of the stars in the clearness of the dark night and sat in wonderful silence in awe of the our celestial light show.

Anne & Karena

Josie in her new pink dress with Emma

It is morning again and a beautiful one!! Ti Luc asked Emma to feed him breakfast but much to her dismay she hadn’t placed the bananas, peanut butter and nutuella in the right places on the plate!!! My oh my, still so much to learn. I hope we don’t miss church because of this. Trouble #2 will have to deliver the message if we do and that would surely interfere with her photography!!!!

What an awesome church service we had! Many of the school children and their families as well as staff came to join us for worship. Our team choose the selection “he’s got the whole world in his hands” to sing as our selection. Emma’s message relayed that no matter how big or small, short or tall to Jesus it doesn’t matter at all. It was based on the story of Zacceaus and Karen translated into Creole. Much singing and prayer were blended with the children’s music groups to make for a memorable morning. Each person was treated to candy and a drink as they left the service.

Our church service

Sandra sleeping in Rose Lore's arms in church

We headed home to prepare the children for their Sunday treat!!! We all piled in the truck and headed to Papa Luckner’s to enjoy cookies and juice. Na we pita (see you later ).

Alycia with godson Dieunel

soccer uniforms made especially for a group

Two team members in uniforms

We spent a relaxing and fun afternoon before having to prepare to leave in the morning. We will go with heavy hearts that have been forever changed and the motto – “It is All About The children” resonating in our minds. We hope you have been blessed by our blogs this week as much as we have been blessed by doing them!!!