Starting with the drive here, with 5 newcomers. The look on their faces from the stories we had told them, to the realizing look. The omg look - this is real. You never know what you are going to experience, but as it unfolds its all good.
You can come here, in my case 13 times, and every trip is different .The people we bring, the jobs we do, and the children and their families we help.
I'm writing this on our last day as I look at our team like all teams we bring here.
I'm seeing changed lives, new interests and also new friendships like no other. Anyone who goes on these missions cannot, not be changed . As it stands we have 5 new children sponsored through this group. Is that not worth the trip right there? This team has bonded with the Haitians very well. Last night we were on radio Creole. I think we did ok no one said there was any lineup of people to escort us out of Haiti. So I think it was ok.
We started on the Church but the heat got to me early - its normally two or three days in but I listened to my body and I stopped, lesson learned before. I'm ok now, well as ok as I can be !! We are painting windows first then if we have to wipe latex paint off of oil paint its easier.
Now we deal with people everyday and I have yet to hear any complaints from anyone.
About the government owing someone a living, people here learn that a living is earned. In plain words you work you eat, you don’t you starve. I seem to compare Canadian living with Haitian living. I see more and more selfish people in our society then I have ever seen before. Some people think the world owes them a living. My only hope is that some come here some day for a reality check, it would make them appreciate what we have, and waste.
Our new people are to my knowledge getting that very thing. The understanding of the Haitian lifestyle.
Once you have been here you learn to LOVE and RESPECT the Haitian people and what they have to do to survive on a daily base. Understanding the different rules and way of life for these people sometimes did not make sense to me. The more I come and see It, it makes logical sense - it is survival .
AS FOR KAREN
To dedicate 20 years of your life to Haiti being from Canada is amazing. How much hardship and tears can one person handle? The only way is total dedication to God, and total trust. In my opinion I don't know too many people who have that much trust . If I could have half the trust this lady has I would consider myself good with God. Karen put all her eggs in one basket, but she found the right basket. A lot of people go through life never knowing what it is all about. We should only hope to find that basket, this lady is a true Christian. So my HATS off to you for seeing outside the box and believing in our Lord and Savior and in what he has called you for. GOD bless. Bob
What a great day to be here in Haiti ! Today we celebrate Karen's 20th anniversary here in Haiti ! Thank you Karen for all you do and for letting us all play a small part in what you do here! They asked “the veterans” to write the blog for our last day and (I guess that means Bob and I are old) and as a veteran I can tell you this has to be the hottest I have ever seen it here! It’s pretty much a given that it will be 40 degrees + and high humidity most every day ….thankfully it goes down to a chilly 25 degrees some nights ! lol.
Today started like most with everyone up early (5:30 ) and downstairs for coffee and breakfast ….which by the time we get downstairs is already being prepared by the lovely Germaine, and it doesn’t matter how early you get down there she’s there working!
As the blog writer we only get a few short minutes to put down our thoughts for our time here and there is just too much to say to be able to get it all out ! We have all seen and experienced so much that finding “right “ words to get our points across is just about impossible …..until you’ve been here to see it for yourself you’ll never fully be able to understand . You need to come here ! We work hard and bring as much stuff with us as we possibly can but it’s the most rewarding experience you could ever ask for.
There is a new three burner propane stove for the kitchen at the school, which they hope to have in place and hooked up, etc for next September.
One of my most favorite things every time I come to Haiti is to be able to watch the 1st timers try and take it all in. Their eyes are wide open and their jaws hang down in absolute amazement of what is going on around them. It is literally sensory overload and no matter how much we try and prepare them for what they about to see I still end up hearing a lot of statements like “This is Unbelievable “ or “No way” and “I can’t believe it.”
Before the kids head off to school we always have a prayer time with them, well actually it’s a few of the kids praying for us and you have never heard anything until you’ve heard little Jonathan praying his little heart out for us ....I do believe he could be the next Billy Graham , the boy can pray !
As Bob said we were on Radio Creole last night and I think we will have a hard time topping that ! What a great night, we sang praises as a group, most of us got to speak and Pastor Jason delivered a great message all translated by Luckner . Keith told us after we were done that the minute we started singing the phone lines lit up and they were calling in to see if we would sing some more !
I’ve been here a few times now and as most of you know, my very first trip to HATS Haiti was back in January of 2010 when this country was hit by a devastating earthquake so for me it’s amazing to come back all these times and to watch the changes and the improvements. I remember telling people when I got back after the earthquake that it would take a decade for Haiti to recover from this and although there is still a lot of work to be done you can see the great strides that are being made.
Just as a little background, after the earthquake hit one of the children here at the orphanage was very ill (diabetes ) so she was taken to the hospital but with the tremendous amounts of casualties that they had to deal with they put her off to the side and as it works here in Haiti a family member has to look after a patients’ needs (you even have to hold up the IV bottle ). The doctors and nurses have too much to do so as a HATS family member I took my turn looking after Serlande and I saw some of the most horrible things I’ve ever witnessed as results of the earthquake (images that I’m sure will never leave my mind) , injured people lined both sides of every hallway and every room was full, pretty much a war scene.
This week Karen graciously took myself, Dr. Laurie and Jocelyn to go see the inside of the hospital, so five years later I finally got to return to the hospital and walk down the very hallway I was in where I witnessed everything. I fully expected to see a clean, sterile environment that was “put back together “ since the earthquake ….what we saw were just about the same conditions that I was in five years earlier, and not the horrific injures but certainly more than enough sick people to fill the halls) and if you are one of the lucky ones to actually be in the hallway then it’s because you have already gone through the long wait, sometimes a couple of days, it takes to wait to get seen by someone! Imagine sitting in outpatients and you have to wait days (not hours ) just to get your very basic medical needs met ….that’s life here in Haiti. As heartbreaking as it was to see I think I needed to see it again and get some sort of closure and while it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be ……nothing ever is here in Haiti .
Next time any of you are at our local hospital ….don’t be afraid to stop and say hi if I’m there …..I’ll be the one smiling inside and outside at how wonderful our health care system is and by how truly blessed we as North Americans really are.