Beate here with Vivienne. John Tiberio and his daughter Janessa had planned to travel here with us, but then the lightning struck the transformer at the HATS Mission last week, which caused us to lose power and water. Fortunately, John and Janessa were able to work at a mission in PAP this week. So we met with Janessa in Miami, then handed her safely off to her dad who was already in Haiti. John and Janessa, we wish you were here, but know that your work is important where you are as well. Hopefully you can make it back to HATS in the future.
Vivienne and I arrived at HATS safe and sound yesterday (Monday) morning. Karen had to stay back to deal with the power/water issue and so Vivienne and I took a tap tap back to the compound…NOT…just kidding. We had our trusty security man and driver greet us, got through customs and only had to open one suitcase. Thank goodness for that. I think the customs officer took one look at the way I packed, and decided not to mess around.
The driving hasn’t changed much here in Haiti, so the ride back was quite exciting with our driver skillfully avoiding, goats, chickens, people, motorcycles, tap taps (imagine a colourful, beat up pick up truck, crammed with people, and goods and I mean crammed!), big trucks, dump trucks, wee trucks and more motorcycles! It was nice to see some new buildings along the way which is a small sign of hope. But in general, Haiti is still a very, very poor country.
When we got closer to HATS, we got more and more excited. I said to Vivienne “my stomach is all tight with excitement” and she said “so is mine!!!” We were over the top when we got to the see the kids’ smiling faces. I loved standing back and watching the joy on Vivienne’s face as she instantly bonded with the kids that day. I so love it here….I love Karen and the children, and the wonderful staff, and Germaine’s FABULOUS cooking and super bubbly personality. Yes, for me it was like coming home again.
|Two monkey doodles|
|Vivianne, Beate with Germaine|
|Vivianne with our little guy|
We had a chance to hang out with Karen (yes she sat down for 3 minutes ha ha ha…) and chat…then right to work to help with the water problem. We climbed up the water tower to check out the tanks, learned how to shut valves and control the flow of water to two of the tanks. The afternoon flew by, and before it got too late, we happily took the kids for a walk. The older boys, Vladimy, Moise and JJ were all at Luckner’s watching the World Cup. Yes, Haitians just love “football.” Gooooooo Germany….okay Brasil.
|Go Jonathan - go|
|If the other kids can do it - so can I says Ti Luc|
|A precious arm full|
Vivienne here: I just love this place. It reminds me of growing up back in Romania. Things were much simpler back then. As kids, we would find joy in simple things like running to a tree and back, or climbing a stump, or playing with rocks in the sand. No ipads, no computers, few toys, just the joy of nature and spending time with family.
Beate again: As you can see from the photos we ended up having to get water from the Albert Schweizer hospital compound, and everyone had a sponge bath.
|Off for water we go|
Unfortunately, we locked ourselves out of Karen’s place. Good thing I watch a lot of James Bond stuff and was able to jimmy the door open.
|Is Beate a burgular|
We want to thank all of our friends and family for your generous donations. It took us awhile to unpack and sort the special things we brought with us. There is a great need in this community as things are hard to find (like a ROPE) or just too expensive (gallon of gas $3.65 US!!!). Thank you for your warm wishes, and we’ll “talk” again tomorrow…hugs and more hugs.
|Beate & Vivianne sorting out the fantastic donated items they brought|
And please remember “it’s all about the children.”
Beate and Vivienne