Wednesday, July 10, 2013

THANK YOU TO BEATE, KATHLEEN, EMILY AND HANNAH

It has been a fantastic week with these four ladies. I am glad and thankful they came. They were a lot of fun, helped in many ways, spent a lot of time with the children - in the sun as well as the shade. Too, they spent valuable time with me and were a fantastic encouragement to me. They helped a lot with Ti Luc, and were glad to do so, which was a tremendous blessing to both Germaine and I - not to mention how much Ti Luc loved it.

Beate - you are a gem. You are a special woman and I am very thankful for your friendship. You are an awesome team leader. When you come it is good for all of us on site. Thank you for coming back last week and for bringing Kathleen with you again and bringing Emily and Hannah for the first time. I will see you here again same time next year.

Beate - loved by all the children

Jofky sad as Beate says 'Bye'

Kathleen - thank you for coming back. You are special and important to us all but especially so to both myself and Ti Luc. Kathleen's parents already know how highly I think of their daughter. Since she came a year ago for the first time Kathleen has been an important part of HATS-Haiti, and no doubt always will be.

Kathleen -our 'Special Protective Services' at HATS

Early morning goodbye with Ti Luc

To the parents of Emily and Hannah - first timers with HATS - you have done a great job with these young ladies. They accepted everything, they were willing to try new things, they were sensitive and caring, they were fun, they were very helpful and . . . . They were loved by all. Thank you Stephen for thinking of me and this mission and sending them to us.

Emily battling tears as she says 'Bye'

Bye Hannah

It was sad to see them enter the airport but Luckner and I both hope they will return to us again.

Luckner & Beate at airport

Come back please

Bye - really going to miss you guys

HATS-Haiti is truly       "  ALL  ABOUT  THE  CHILDREN  "

This team helped us to continue to keep it thus. God bless all of you and thank you again for coming.

Karen and her team

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It’s Kathleen again!

Well our time here at HATS has been amazing and gone by WAYYYYYYYY too fast!!!!  All week anytime someone has mentioned “Monday” I have said “NOOOOOO WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT MONDAY!”  Well now it is Monday, we still don’t need to talk about that though.  Instead we can celebrate all of the wonderful things we have done!  We got the opportunity to love on the most wonderful kids ever, play soccer until the cows come home, hugs and squeeze the kiddies, lots of cuddles, and meet new friends.  We painted black boards, moved rocks off the road for a local; took a billion and one photos.  We ate the best food in the world, got to worship together, pray together and laugh about nothing together.  We celebrated Canada day, we played dice and made drums.  The list could go on and on forever!!!

Yeah. Kathleen is back

This mission through and through, like Karen says is “all about the children”, and this week we decided to help out in which ever ways we could and knew how.  We may have held some hands while walking and moved some stones, but at the end of the day I know for me personally the people here (Karen included tenfold) have helped me and blessed me!  Thank you too all of those who works here at HATS for putting time and energy into the lives of the next generation of Haitians.  Thank you to the board members, I cannot even begin to think of all the behind the scenes work that you guys do!  Thank you to Karen’s support system (friends, family, Luckner)!

Bringing the blocks upstairs

Beate, Ti Fi and Hannah

Helping move rocks into a man's yard so we could use the road

Thank you parents of Hannah and Emily for letting them come down so I could get to know the beautiful daughters you have inside and out! Thank you Shawna and Carmelo for letting me hang out with Mama Beate yet again!

Sandra & Kathleen

Leica & Djemima

Dieunel

Drum making

Thank you Karen for everything you do, all the hard work and dedication that you put into this place, all of the work behind the scenes. Thank you for putting up with all the craziness that we bring when we come to your house for the week, just thank you times a million and one for everything Karen. 

Emily's suitcase will be carefully checked by Mama Karen before heading for airport

Some of the kids waiting for Maman to give a morning snack

After evening devotions - time on roof top with kids

I can write about my week until I am blue in the face (maybe not write that long but if you know me I can definitely talk for that long), and can sing about kit kat bars until my voice gives out, but I cannot even begin to try and articulate in song, dance, or other random art forms how thankful and blessed I am to have been given this experience not only once but twice!  Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Emily here.

We got to sleep in today, Saturday! However, the roosters made sure we weren’t taking advantage of this ‘sleep in time’ so we were all up by 8. We had another delicious breakfast by the best cook in the world, Germaine: Pancakes! Yummmm so good.

After breakfast we decided to try and make a nice little wall out of some cement bricks to try and stop potential rain from washing our tents right off the roof. We figured if we could get a wall up, we might not have to sweep the water off the roof again so we went for it! After Beate VERY carefully inspected the cement blocks for any crawly furry friends (cough cough tarantulas) we started loading up the blocks. We had two wheelbarrows and after a bit of help from Brad (Mr. Wheelbarrow Expert) we had quite the little system going, especially when JJ and Moise came to help. Then the wall was up!

One working,one touching the wheelbarrow and one supervisor

Trying desperately to keep the rain from the sleeping area

After building the wall, we had a super delicious lunch of kalalou (best word ever) sauce and rice. Then we ventured to the hospital tap-tap style and had a great tour from Karen. Hannah, me (Emily) and Kaeli rode in the back of the truck (soooo hot). (A sample of temperature can be seen from photos attached - 43 in the shade and well over 50 in the sun. Can't get an accurate temperature as thermometer does not go that high. You can see that it is very wise to stay out of the sun.)

Temperature in the shade

Temperature in the sun

Lois, Beate, Kathleen and Karen were inside with that nice air-conditioning. When Hannah and I went inside the truck to get the tour from Karen, well that air-conditioning was just the best thing ever. We saw all the gorgeous stone houses built many years ago where the doctors and other employees of the hospital and their families lived when they had been here as well as where the pool was, the soccer field (my faaaavorite) and even a tennis court.

Earlier we had started some really cool drums that Beate had made with her kids at school before. They were so fun to make and such a great idea. Kaeli, Hannah, Ti Luc, Beate and I colored the boards to add some nice colors and designs to the drum. Then we wrapped them in clear duct-tape to make a spot to hit and nailed them together before heading up to Luckner’s. Best looking drums ever, and so simple to make! Ti-Luc loved his new drum and was so good at playing it… he has SUCH a great beat and couldn’t wait to show Papa! Once we got to Luckner’s, Ti-Luc showed Papa and Rose Lore how to play his drum and we all loved the excellent music.

Drum making

After Luckner’s the older kids went for a nice walk along the gorgeous canal. I stayed here with the little kiddies to play on the swing set and bike around the yard. Sandra was giggling away on the swing as usual, too cute. I’m thinking there must be a way to sneak her in my carry-on… When everyone was back we had a nice big plate of the world’s best spaghetti.

Now devotions were pretty exciting tonight. We sang and danced and had a great time as always but in the middle of one song Gemima spotted something in the driveway… Well at first, we had no clue what was going on. And then we saw it: This furry black tarantula had come out to say hello! Karen and Beate ran over with the camera (of course, pictures first!) and Beate wasn’t scared one bit to get VERY close (too close for me). Quite the thing to see. Of course everyone sees pictures but there’s nothing like seeing something up close and personal!

Lastly, we ventured up to the roof with the older kids. What a GREAT view. The sky was a mix of purple, dark swirly gray, light robin’s egg blue and rosy pink clouds. One half of the sky made us think the rain was seconds away from down pouring, while the other half couldn’t have been a clearer blue! It was kind of like we were in the middle of the world with the mix of clear and stormy weather in the air. It was beyond cool to see. You could also see all the tall leafy green palm trees and endless tall mountains in the distance. Definitely post-card material. Good thing Kathleen was there with her amazing camera to snap the pics. We all loved it!

Finally after all the kiddies were tucked in to bed, Karen told us some more of her edge-of-the-seat stories. These stories… well they easily beat any movie or book I’ve ever seen or read. I’m going to miss her stories so much next week, I think they were one of the big highlights of this trip for me.

Sunday J

Today was also, of course, so fun. We had a great church service. We had lots of singing and WOW everyone was so into it: clapping, jumping, dancing, using tambourines. And so happy! Everyone had a big smile on their face and it was so nice to listen to. We found even though we didn’t know Creole, it was a great service and we could definitely understand enough. Then we received an awesome message from Kathleen about integrity. She’s so good at speaking and I think she definitely got the message across (at least to me she did!). Karen was there translating so it was really great to listen to.

Drum making

Sunday morning service

Ti Luc playing his drum in church

Then there was some more singing from some little groups that was so beautiful and yes… the four of us went up and sang This Little Light of Mine! (I don’t think I would call it beautiful but… we did do it that counts for something!)

Beate's singing group

Then “Maman Karen” announced the trip to Luckner’s. WELL there wasn’t one kid who didn’t have a smile stretched from ear to ear. We piled all the kiddies into the truck and rode up to Papa’s for cookies and juice. On the way, cutest thing ever, Anne says “I love you Maman!” and then Karena followed with another “I love you Maman!” and finally Jofky with another “I love you Maman!” This was repeated about 100 times over until we got to Luckner’s. Such sweet kiddies who love their awesome Maman! They all had a grand time with the cookies and juice. Another cute little episode from Sandra: She was eating her cookies and decided she only wanted the icing. So when told she had to eat the actual cookie part before having another one… she waited until she thought no one was looking and hid it in her dress! Absolutely adorable and quite the smart little cutie.

We came back and had some lunch followed by some delicious brownies from Kaeli that we all enjoyed. We told a few stories too… I think Kathleen was definitely #1 story teller today. She had everyone crying from laughter by the end of her crazy tales!

I can’t believe the week’s already over. So much fun and so many interesting experiences I will never ever forget. Karen put together such a terrific week for us all that we enjoyed so so so much. This is definitely going to be the biggest highlight of my summer. I’m going to miss these kiddies and everyone here SO much. I think I might just have to come back.

Off to play some soccer now!

Emily sure knows how to play soccer

The rain is not far away

Water coming down and water to drink

Karen here. A great game of soccer was enjoyed by our kids, and kids from outside as well. Emily is a good soccer player. Leica told me she wants to be able to play soccer some day as well as Emily and Mariah do. She has seen these two young ladies play soccer very well and she now has a goal for herself.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Beate here,

It’s hard to believe that it’s Friday already.  The time goes by so quickly.  We’ve been a busy bunch for sure, but also have had time to relax and get to know each other.  Emily and Hannah made it through the night at the sleepover (two nights ago) even though little Jose kept them up all night snoring.

We finished most of the black boards yesterday and only need one more coat on a couple of them. It was a small job, but rewarding to know we helped in some small way.

Usually in the afternoon we have to go inside for a few hours because of the heat. I spent some time with Ti Luc on the computer. It thrills me to no end to see how he is blossoming. I thank God for all of the people who create technology (even though we curse it all the time).  I only had to show Ti Luc once, and he learned how to create a file for his documents, use Word Art to make funky lettering, insert a clip art picture….but remember this folks…here is this young boy, maneuvering the mouse pad with his toes and managing to find the teeny tiny arrows on a word document that allows him to change the font colour.  I wish you could have seen the excitement, the jumping up and down, when Ti Luc sent a letter to his momma who was in the office behind us, via email.  He also created the last blog with JJ…

Ti Luc writing the first page of a book for Mama

There are a lot of things to be grateful for. I try to practice gratitude each day by listing things I am thankful for and coming here to Haiti and seeing all of the wonderful things that are happening at this children’s home and in the community  increases my list a hundredfold.

Here are some of the things that we are all grateful for:

Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen,

smiles and hugs from the kids,

Yeah. Kathleen is back

Emily with Ti Luc & Moise

Smiles and hugs galore

Sandra and Hannah

Germaine and her wonderful meals,

the house mothers who care so much for the children,

Playtime at Kid's Home

no tarantula’s so far,

Nothing like this yet!!!

the cooling rain,

water fights,

Water fights are needed in 40+ temps

God isn’t bound by language!

hugs from all

 JJ (JJ put that but it is true nonetheless),

J J.

our tents,

5 star accommodations at HATS

the wonderful gifts people sent with us,

smiles,

any breeze,

the school next door,

beautiful singing voices at devotions,

Beautiful morning devotions

the sunny skies, trees and flowers,

frogs we can scare Cifila and Magalie (two of the house moms) with,

Two housemothers terrified of this little guy

our friends and family at home….AND SO MUCH MORE

Last night we had another torrential downpour and thankfully, JJ and Moise, came to rescue us brooms in hand. We pushed the water away, and therefore had a dry sleep.

Vladimy came up to play dice games with us. Talk about laughing our heads off. I’m not competitive, but I did win both games…yooooo hooooo! Bye for now.

This is it!!!!

Kathleen here,

We started off the morning with devotions of course, and they were WONDERFUL!!!!!  The dependence that these people have on the Lord is something that makes me as a North American woman look at my life and how I live and try to reevaluate accordingly.  Everyone here at HATS is just so thankful for everything and God is the center of everything, they are fully reliant on God and thankful for everything that he is doing.  It is so easy for us to live our lives worrying about everything and relying only on ourselves and being so consumed by life itself that we do not take the time to realize how much God loves us and wants what is best for us.  No matter what happens we do not need to rely on our own strength, in life all we need is God, with him all things are possible.  It is easy to say but a lot more difficult to live out from day to day when we live in a culture that has so much stuff.  This lesson was evident today in devotions that is for sure! 

After devotions Beate and I finished the chalk boards over at the school, which are looking beautiful I might add.  After that we took the kids down to a roaming clinic where they all got some medicine.  It was a short walk but a nice time to be with all of the kiddies.  As for the rest of the day we are headed to Verrettes.

Hopefully all goes well!  Thank you to all of the people who have helped all of us be able to get to Haiti this year, it is really something amazing to be able to come down to HATS and spend time just loving on everyone.  So to you thank you thank you thank you!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Blog by Ti Luc

GOD  BLESS   YOU

GOD      MADE    ME    SPECIAL

GOD     MADE     YOU    SPECIAL    TOO

HELLO      FROM      TI  LUC

Our 'special' boy typing his first blog

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Well hello blog land!! Kathleen here!

Today we woke up and the sun was already shining, guess this means we are in for a REALLLLYYYYY hot day!!! Off to devotions with lots of singing and dancing and then a yummy breakfast of fruit, peanut butter and toast!!! (Ti Luc of course helped me out with the bananas and peanut butter side of things). This morning Hannah and Emily are going to the market!!!

Emily & Hannah at market

Market parking lot

Beate and I went last year so instead we are going to get a head start on those black boards!! The kids helped us get all of the chalk off them yesterday but today we are going to give them a final scrub down before we start painting!

Preparing black boards for painting

Speaking of painting we are going to go get some painting done right now and while you wait for more exciting news about our day here are some pictures from yesterdays cheese fiasco!!!

Clown Hannah

There is just something about your nose Kathleen

Well as it turns out Beate and I only had time to give them the boards a good washing. We had quite the system down! By the time we were done with the black boards it was time for lunch!! Yummy spaghetti for lunch!!!! SOOOOOOO GOOOD!!!!!!

After lunch we went to Luckner’s to drop off his suitcase and take a look around. Traffic was heavy, Emily had to get out and push a "vehicle" out of our way. When we got back we went and got some water and had my first experience riding tap tap style!!!! Too exciting!!!!

Heading to Papa Luckner's and Liancourt

Emily's new job - holding goats so I can drive past in truck

Kathleen, Hannah & Emily filling truck with water

We got back and played with the kids, a lot of red light green light and what time is it mr. wolf. Then it was time for supper: Rice, bean sauce and some kind of yummy meat to go with it all. I don’t know exactly what it was but it was amazing all the same!! After supper we went back outside to play with the kids. They love thumb wars and arm wrestling, but they win every time, and not because I am not trying they are just all very VERY strong kids. I got to have a great talk with Vladimy, it was great for him to be able to practice his English asking lots of good questions about where I live where I work and my family. Not only a great opportunity for him to practice English but also a good time to talk about all of the people in North America that I love (yes that means all of you!)

Wed evening devotions

Evening devotions

I said good night to all of the kiddies and head up stairs, next thing I know Beate and Hannah are taking everything out of the tents, I thought it was raining again, however Emily and Hannah were taking their mattresses down to the kids home!!!!!!!! Oh it was so cute, and the kids were thrilled.  They moved their mattresses into the kids rooms, but when Beate, Karen and I went back down to get pictures off of them were in the main area with their mattress on the floor… MASS SLEEPOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So great!!

Sleepover with Emily and Hannah at Girl's Home

The great night was ended with a little bit of a terrifying time and I am going to try to paint this out for you guys as best I can. For those of you who know me know that I HATE spiders, hate is a strong word and I use it in a VERYYYYYY strong way when talking about spiders. For those of you who know Beate you know that she too does not like spiders. So as you can tell we are going to be a GREATTTTT team when it come to dealing with anything spider related. Beate goes to use the bathroom, comes down starts and says there is a “small spider” in the bathroom. Kathleen is then on high alert, but does not realize that “small spider” means one about the size of a Josie’s hand!!!!! Kathleen, Karen and Beate discuss possible POA (Plan Of Action). Kathleen wants spray, Beate doesn’t… Kathleen wins. Beate takes flashlight, Kathleen takes spray. Both run upstairs on EXTREME HIGH ALERT!!! Beate goes through door, spider is no match for Kathleen though, Kathleen sees spider on door, BEATE STARTS JUMPING ASKING… “ WHAT WHAT, WHERE IS IT!!!!” Beate runs back outside, Kathleen takes flashlight, Beate takes spray!!!!

Now to take a quick aside from this beautiful story, I know you are all on the edge of your seats. I am VERYYYYYYYY grateful for Beate, I would not have been able to sleep with that thing alive! I would not be able to close my eyes or anything! So here is my massive shout out to Beate!! And now back to the story.

Beate sprays, it runs, she sprays some more, more running, more spray, more running, MORE SPRAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! IT STARTS CHASING US, KATHLEEN AND BEATE ARE RUNNING AND JUMPING AND SCREAMING (trying to do all of this quietly). KATHLEEN WANTS IT DEAD DEAD AS DEAD CAN BE!!!! KATHLEEN SCREAMS FOR CINDERBLOCK (however Beate again saves the day as Kathleen does not want to let that foul thing out of her sight!!!!) In comes Beate cinderblock in hand (the grand finale folks say goodbye to the eight legged terror!!!! Oh happy day!!!!!!) and SMASHES THAT SPIDER INTO NOTHING!!!! (accidentally smashing cinderblock into pieces at the same time - oops!) and the world was yet again safe and peaceful, no more creepy crawlies to keep the Ontario and New Brunswick beauties from getting sleep, and all was well again in the land of HATS. (nothing like a good adventure to get the heart a pumping before bedtime!!)

All that fuss for that

PS, Beate says Hello to everyone!!!!

PPS Karen says there was a lot of noise coming from two women upstairs last night when she was trying to shower. Too bad she was not able to get upstairs with a camera. By the time shower was over and she was able to get outside the house to check on them those two ladies had calmed down somewhat. Fun and games at HATS.