Saturday, November 30, 2013

The funeral was held for Daliothy this morning.

The teachers and a lot of our students met at the school at 8:00 a.m.  Luckner had difficulty finding trucks to transport our students due to today being Saturday - a market day.  He eventually talked two TapTap drivers into driving the students and he filled his truck as well.  My truck was filled with teachers - elementary and secondary.  Our school was represented beautifully by all the students and teachers in their school uniforms.  When our teachers stood in the front during the service in their school uniforms and sang it was very sad as it was obvious Daliothy should have been standing there with them. 

Luckner trying to decide how to transport all the students who turned up

Putting elementary students in the TapTap that has the best protection for keeping them in

TapTap hired to transport students to the funeral

One TapTap filled, now going to fill the second one and Luckner's pickup

Three pickup trucks filled with students heading to funeral

Heading to cemetary. Taken through truck windshield

Our school IMKH was not only well represented today for our friend, Daliothy, but it was well received and many very positive comments were overheard.  It is obvious that this mission and our school has a good reputation in the area.  Let us all give God the thanks for this. 

When we left the cemetary we returned to the school where everyone received a meal and a cold drink. I dropped the teachers at the school and ran to the main compound to check on our sick kids and especially Ti Luc .  Two of the five who were still ill last night, when I wrote the blog, are doing better today.  I hope and pray that the other three will be okay by Monday to return to school.  

Last night when trying to get a little badly needed sleep I felt a very hot little boy climbing in bed with me.  Yikes, during the night Ti Luc had come down with it.  He thrashed and moaned all night long, and his hot little body stuck to me.  My body, that was already in need of a fan,  found it unbearably hot - but then when a child is sick nothing is unbearable.  In the heat in Haiti one does not need to sleep with a really hot water bottle stuck to one's body - human or otherwise. 

Being Saturday there was no one working at this house this morning so I took Ti Luc down to lie down in the house mother's room while I attended the funeral.  On the way to the cemetary I called to check on him and was told "Li cho anpil."  (He is very hot.)  "Come home please".  I was at the cemetary for 2-3 minutes only.  Teachers piled in the truck and we headed for HATS.  I've been bathing him and giving him meds all day. 

Ti Luc now with a high fever

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement in comments on the blog itself and in emails.  Appreciate it very much.   Dickie asked on his comment on the blog if I had worked with Florence Nightingale.  She was someone very special who helped a lot of people.  A tremendous difference in what she did and the little I've been doing.  This past week, however, she came to my mind often as twice every night I left my bed and went to both children's homes in the dark with a little flashlight and a basket of medication - different types for different children.   I needed to keep on top of things and as mentioned yesterday I cannot put distributing the  medicine in the hands of others here.  Two people who work with the children do not read.  Others, due to not having experience, tend to think the same medicine and the same amount is just fine for all of the children no matter what the problem is. 

My friend Beate asked on her email today "Karen, how do you do it?"  There is only one answer for that -  "God".  It is not Karen.  It is Him.   He gives the strength and the ability.

These children he has placed in our hands, living with us here on site and attending our school, are very precious.  Precious in our sight as well as His.

It is and has to remain     "ALL   ABOUT   THE   CHILDREN"

God bless you all.   Karen

My last blog showed photos of a happy day with the children.

Today's blog is different.  It is about sadness over a death of one of our teachers and sickness of my kids.  This week has been very sad, very stressful, and very difficult.  I am extremely tired but I want to get in touch with our followers before falling on my comfortable bed.  

Last Sunday one of our teachers at the HATS school, IMKH, died unexpectedly - a shock to everyone. This was her forth year working at our school in preschool 2. Her 4-year-old daughter attends our school.  Her death leaves a hole and a lot of sadness and grieving. 

To make matters worse the leader of our school, IMKH's director Luckner, was in Canada when it happened.  He was badly needed here but could not return before Tuesday night.  He and I did a lot of phone texting and talking because of what happened.  We closed the school, preschool 1-3 and grades 1- 6 for two days, Monday and Tuesday.  We reopened on Wednesday with Luckner at the helm once more.   I was extremely thankful to have him back.

The funeral will be held tomorrow morning, Saturday.  Our teachers, in their school uniforms, will be singing in the service (hoping they can hold it together to do it).  A large number of our students, which includes JJ, Moise and Djemima, will also be attending, also in their school uniforms.

This week I have also been dealing with most of my children sick with high fevers, headaches, colds, and some of them vomiting - for 5 - 7 days.  I have had 11 of 15 children sick this week at the same time.  I was needed at the school and I was needed at home - so I ran back and forth, and I mean ran.  You can probably imagine it was not easy to handle without having someone here to help.  Our housemothers have been great but I can't give them the responsibility of giving medications.  I was Dr. Mama this week with her own clinic - a modern day Florence Nightingale - but with a flashlight instead of a lamp.

I have continued to give God thanks that I do not have it, and most of the employees have avoided it.  Am giving thanks too for the children that have come through and those that are nearing the end.  As of this afternoon I was still treating Dieunel, Jofky, Josie, Karena and Anne.  I thought for sure I was on the homeward stretch, but tonight Vladimy went under with it. 

I am including some photos of the children when sick.  They all chose the floor over a bed as it is cooler there.  Being a blan and feeling sorry for them on the cement floor I would stick a piece of foam underneath them.  They would wake up and throw it to one side as it made them feel hotter.  they like only sheets on the cement floor.

Jofky - his first day feeling sick

Jofky Day 3 being sick

Dieunel, Judel and Jofky - all with fevers

Judel with a high fever

Day 5 Dieunel made it from the floor to a bench

Jonathan - vomiting and fever

Judel - Day 5 - with fever down due to meds

Fevers up and down. Can now sit up for awhile and look at books

There is never a dull moment here at HATS.  You have no idea what is going to hit next or where.  One thing, however, I absolutely do know is that God is good - all the time - and I need to give thanks all the time.  

Right now I am thanking God and I am thanking you.  Thanks for the words of encouragement on emails which let me know you are with me even though not physically .  It means more than you will ever know.

No matter what happens, where it might happen, or how tired our bodies become in the midst of difficult circumstances, we will always keep putting one tired foot before the other for the sake of the children.


With love and blessings from the HATS-Haiti Mission.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This blog... about a good Saturday spent recently.  My days are certainly not all like this but when we do get this kind of day together it cements our love for each other and helps make precious memories.  The photos themselves will do the talking.

Sun is starting to come up

Dieunel and Judel at sunrsie

From the rising of the sun . .

My kids love walking with me early mornings

Flowers always picked for Mama's house upon return

More flowers for Mama

A short break on the walk

Precious Leica not feeling top notch

Peaceful scene on our walk

Our walk

Harvesting what is ready so a meal can be prepared

Late afternoon walk the same day

Loving sister and brother

Almost home from our walk along the canal

The HATS-Haiti Mission is          ALL   ABOUT   THE   CHILDREN

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wow, Karen really has quit her blogging strike - here she is again.

Today I am writing about Mr HATS-Haiti - Dickie MacDonald.

This Mission would not be running properly, or perhaps not running at all, without this man. 

Dickie MacDonald just happens to be married to one of the best ladies on earth.  Because he has good taste in women, because he chose a good Newfie woman to be his partner in life, and because he is my brother-in-law has nothing to do with me giving credit where credit is due.

Dickie and Sandra have been involved with this mission since I moved to Haiti 18 1/2 years ago.  This blog today, however, is featuring Dickie.

A few facts that perhaps you do not yet know:-

Dickie is one of the hardest working men I have ever met.  He tends to walk through, over, and around illness, pain, fatigue and other things that slow others down, to do anything and everything that needs to be done. 

Dickie - where angels fear to tread - but not him

Working on Karen's family wall photos

Work, work, work

Dickie cleaning up the tool room once again

His heart is as big as he is and is open wide to help anyone who needs help - be that in Canada or in Haiti. 

He is well loved as a husband, a father, as # 2 father to Dana Kayal in Kelowna and to Liette Wilson in Calgary, as a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a friend, and very importantly as a 'brother-in-law'.

He is well loved by all at this mission HATS-Haiti, by all the children, all employees, and by the director and assistant director for sure.

Dickie and Luckner at the party for Luckner

He is known here at the mission by two names "Mr Silly Goose"  and "Mr Fix-It".   All the kids love him and miss him a great deal when he leaves.  All employees, too, and they have a great deal of appreciation for the things he takes care of when he is here.

A fan is needed always when in Haiti

He is appreciated and not just for all that he does - but for who he is. 

Dickie & Sandra sponsors of our own Dieunel

If you see him sometimes in person, or in photos, and do not see a smile - just know that he is really smiling on the inside.  Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves more than others.

Hard work needs an occasional rest

One wishing he could stay longer and one wishing he did not have to leave at all

There is, however, one thing that you need to know about this wonderful man, Dickie MacDonald.  He has two special women in his life.  Two special women and both are called Sandra. What gives with that you may ask?   One is my sister, Sandra, and one is my little girl, Sandra, here at the mission, now 2 1/2.  He is loved and adored by both. 

The love started here

Ti Sandra looking for Dickie here too. He was in the yard

Dickie and Sandra left the mission here on November 4th.  Every single day since Dickie returned to Canada three weeks ago Ti Sandra has come to me and asked sweetly and quietly for Dickie.  If we are walking, playing, at devotions, in church, in the truck, or wherever we may be she always asks when Dickie is coming back, why he left, and sweetly tells me she misses him. 

Wonder if she is thinking about Dickie here. A little older Sandra still looks up at me the same way now and says- Mama, where is Dickie
Dickie and his second precious Sandra

Dickie never stops when he is here but folks, but he works like this for HATS-Haiti in Canada too.  He is an active board member, he takes care of all donations for this mission (running a tight ship with the funds), he transfers funds regularly so the work here can continue, he encourages, he supports, and he helps make sure the HATS-Haiti Mission is:                                                       ALL   ABOUT   THE   CHILDREN

Blessings to you all.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday November 21 -2013

Hi everyone.  Karen here.
I just love getting this blog to send off to be posted.  I am glad he has not quit his 'blogging duty' just because he returned home to his wife.  Little did 'Mr. Pilot Keith' know that my blog strike ended last night when I started blogging to thank him. I sent mine off this morning to be posted and just came home from the school and found this one of his.  So now you guys will be blessed with two - one from me and one from Keith. 

Yup – I am still doing the blog, but from Montreal. Apparently Karen’s blog strike continues.

I flew home on Tuesday and yesterday I was putting around my house and prioritizing Joan’s to do list for me:

·         Painting

·         Yard work

·         Put up Christmas lights

·         Fix computer

·         Plumbing

Eerily ,a list not unlike I just completed in Haiti.

Anyway I was also going through my e-mails from the last few weeks when I got one from Karen!!

Where are Dickie, Keith, Luckner when I need them??????????????

“Germaine called me and asked what I have been throwing/dumping outside my house today.  She, of course, knows I throw nothing outside that is not properly in a garbage bag and then garbage can.

Anyway, there are three people I would like to ask for help in understanding what is coming out around the plumbing in my bathroom.  None of the three - Luckner, Keith or Dickie are around to be asked.  Thus, I took some photos and am attaching for Dickie and Keith.   I have questions and ideas in my head but I might be so far off base that I am only going to ask for the help of you two men.  Help please!! “

This stuff looks like a custard pudding but is hard like plastic

One of the pipes from my bathroom

Another pipe from my bathroom

It looks like it has even spattered further away.

Anyway, it was one of my projects to close up the holes around the pipes at the main house to keep the bugs and rodents out. I forgot to put it on my nightly work sheet to Karen. I used expanding foam which expanded much more than advertised. The splatter on the walkway was due to help from my 2 unnamed helpers who tracked it all over the place. They are still in training so my fault not theirs.

The mystery is solved and my apologies for alarming Germaine and Karen.

Now back to my local job list while Karen compiles a list for my next visit.

Good night from Montreal.



Keith may no longer be Captain Of the Sky but we saw him, and hopefully will again, as Captain of HATS.

Saying thank you is not enough. But our thanks does come from deep within our hearts. The other thing we can say is "We are waiting for your return." Thanks also needs to go to my friend, Joan, who was willing to lend us her husband for almost three weeks.

Keith was not someone who sat around in case something needed to be done. He was someone who constantly found the things that needed doing and just moved in and did them - quietly and quickly. I noticed on a few of his blogs things like 'he was just hanging out with Jonathan', 'he was looking busy', etc. Keith did not just hang out, just amuse the children, or just look busy. He was, as I mentioned before, like the 'Energizer Batteries' that keep on going, going, going. He won the hearts of the children as well as the employees. He was a tremendous blessing to me, by helping with my work and fending off those who 'thought' they needed my time.

Keith - the painter

School roof repairs


Can fly a plane. Can ride a bike. Lots more to this guy than meets the eye

The master at work at another project

Taking care of something else for us before he leaves

Putting up Christmas lights

Putting up more lights

Blogging was a huge help. He did it daily and he did it well. By the time he was ready to leave he even figured out how to take all the blogging work from my shoulders - photos and all. For that I did the happy dance. Now I am trying to figure out how to take it back on my shoulders again, along with everything else. It is not possible to fill his blogging shoes. I will, however, blog 2-3 times a week until more family members arrive for Christmas and then again until Keith rejoins his HATS family here again in January.

Mr. Blogger himself

He had a fantastic rapport with all the children - age 2 to 18. He helped train those who were at an age to learn many varied things. He spent time teaching some of our overly competitive children to enjoy sports, to enjoy fun in playing. When the parade of people came constantly, thinking they had to have my attention, he knew when to send people away and how to do so. For this I owe him a huge thank you.

Amusing the children

Ti Luc misses his buddy

Last morning of devotions with Keith for awhile

Farewell Keith - until January

Thank you to Keith for helping us keep everything at HATS   -

Blessings everyone,