Friday, February 29, 2008

How could I forget?!

I keep forgetting to mention my exciting news.....Karla and Marissa will be arriving in Haiti TOMORROW at 1:40!! I am excited to have them here. We are going to do lots of day trips to visit different missions around here as well as spend a lot of time with the kids in our home. They are staying until the 13th! I believe we are heading to Les Cayes on Saturday and going to the beach then staying the night. Marissa's mom grew up in Haiti and spent a lot of time there so she really wants to go and visit and I love being able to see more parts of Haiti.

This photo is from the last day of camp. Karla
and Marissa are on the left and Jess and Kelli
(who were here visiting over Christmas) are on the right. This was our "we're all going to Haiti" photo although they didn't end up all coming at one time.

Tara and two of her kids, Tess, and Jen all came in from La Digue and had lunch at Beth's house. We then went off on an adventure to find Missionaries of Charity Sanfil. Sanfil is loosely translated to House of the Dying. Beth's daughter is coming to Haiti next week and is wanting to volunteer there so we went to check it out and see if they would let her volunteer. It's a very sad place and I would never be able to work there. While we were in one of the rooms Sheila said, "Um, I think we need to pray for this lady!" A couple seconds later she passed away. The people around her bed were crying but it wasn't made into a big least not while we were there. It's so common for them to see death that it's almost like it doesn't bother them. I suppose you get immune to it in a way, after awhile. It's so sad. Beth made a comment on the way home that no one should have to die like that. Everyone in that hospital is from about 7 yrs old and up and all are terminally ill.
This place is linked with Sisters of Charity which is where I was supposed to volunteer at in 2005 when we had a trip planned through Cornerstone University. I have gone to Sisters of Charity once (while Jessica and Kelli were here) and it was very sad. We spent most of our time in the second room and the kids were all SO sad and skinny. 11 month old kids that weighed 8lbs. a 5 year old girl that was so white from lack of oxygen that I doubt she will be there the next time I go to visit. The little girl that really stole my heart was 3 year old Christianise. When we walked into her room she was sitting on a folding chair and reached her arms up to me. She was very puffy from malnutrition but could walk. A few minutes later I put her down to pick up a tiny girl who was all bones...I felt like I was going to break her as I picked her up. This whole time I am fighting tears because it is all so overwhelming. Christianise was not happy that I had put her down and I as I sat in a chair with this other little girl, Christianise walked over and laid her head in my lap just waiting for me to give her attention. After the other little girl I was holding fell asleep, I laid her down and picked Christianise up. I was surprised at how smart she was. She counted to ten with me in kreyol, told me she was three years old, and was able to talk to me like a fairly typical 3 year old. At one point she made a comment about 'mama.' I asked her where her mama was and she pointed at me. I asked one of the nannies if her bio mom ever comes to visit her and she said that she does but they are only allowed to come at certain times. When it came time for them to eat lunch a nanny took Christianise from me to set her in her bed (which is where they eat) and she was screaming, "I want mama!" and reaching for me. I went over to her bed and she calmed right down. She looked up at the nanny and said, "My mama is going to feed me."
I didn't know what to say. I fed her her lunch and then it was time for us to go. I told Christianise that I needed to leave and she started to scream and wrapped her arms around my neck. She kept saying, "no, no, no." It broke my heart to have to leave her there. I kept telling her that I would be back but that wasn't something her little 3 year old mind could comprehend, she just didn't want me to leave.
As we walked out of the gate I could still hear her screaming. I think about Christianise all the time and can't wait until I get to go back and see if she is still there. I plan on taking Karla and Marissa next week.
Unfortunately the nuns at the hospital don't allow you to take pictures because I would love a photo of Christianise! Well actually I would just love to take her home with me :) I don't know if that would make Beth too happy though ;)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Short hair and Women's Program

I finally decided I was tired of having long hair and Lisa chopped it all off for me today! I think I am going to like it so much better than having to wear it up everyday now that it is getting even warmer here.

We have had so many women interested in our Women's Program that we had to spread it out on two different days. Now, the women that have already given birth come on Tuesdays from 1-3 and the women who are still pregnant come on Thursdays from 1-3. We also have sewing school going on at that same house Mon-Fri from 9-12. The ladies are LOVING it and doing great work. AND soon we will be having literacy classes on Mon-Wed-Fri from 1-3. It's a busy, busy house but we are all encouraged by how much the ladies are getting out of these classes.

This is an example of the purses the women are making out of plastic bags! They are great! Venette has been making purses like crazy and all of us that work with her have put in orders for the style of purse we want too! Eventually we will have a store set up for people to buy these things. The money will go into an account for the lady that made it.

This is the daughter of one of the women in our program.
p.s. now that I am using blogspot it is much easier for anyone to leave comments on the entries (hint hint!) So far Tara (thanks Tara!) is the only one who has left a comment!

The ladies of the house

We had been wanting to switch around the kids' houses and it finally happened while I was gone. The 6 girls plus Nadia and Salinda live at the baby house (where I live) and the 12 boys live at the toddler house. I must say that I am happy to be at this house....12 boys makes for some craziness! I've enjoyed having the girls here and having lots of movie nights in the evenings. We pull mattresses/pillows off the beds and make lots of popcorn!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Switching blogs

I am hoping that using blogspot will make it easier to post photos and videos so what is why I have switched my website to here :)

I will try and post again tomorrow with more information (and photos) on all the new developments in our Women's Program. It has really taken off and we have a lot of new, exciting news!