Thursday, August 4, 2011
Juli, Tanya, Sandy and Diane
Nicole and Alexi watching a video of themselves.
Rene and Christine on first tap tap ride. Christine not so sure about it.
Juli with Lovenson and translator, Davidson
On the most recent trip to Haiti, I was accompanied by three teachers from Eastwood Pres. School. They were Juli Bethea (FBC), Sandy Stokes (Vaughn Forest BC) and Diane Cox (Redland BC). They were incredible! We traveled with Charley Elgin and ten accurately weighed large pieces of luggage that all hovered around 50 lbs. The B'ham airport didn't weigh any of them which made us wish we had added a few more things. Arriving in the PaP airport with 10 bags and getting them to a taxi was an experience like no other and one I hope to never repeat. To say you are bombarded by men in red caps trying to take (help with) your bags is an understatement!!! Trying to figure out which taxi to get in was just as chaotic.
WE finally made it to the chartered plane terminal and our 17 min. flight to Jacmel proved to be a little bumpy and may I say somewhat nauseating for some. Needless to say we were so glad to see Andy and the Schwindlings at the Alabama House after a long day of travel. The A/C was on our bedrooms, so that alone gave it the feel of a luxury hotel to us.
On Tuesday, we got busy with the 18 children by visiting them at the rental home. They enjoyed showing the teachers around the house. They waited to have breakfast until we had arrived. They all sat down to a plate of grits. After saying the prayer, they waited on Samuel to say it was okay for them to start eating.
We brought the first group of four to the Alabama House and the teachers evaluated each child, set up folders on each, and created a resource file box. All of this will allow future mission teams to work with the children on educational needs. All of this is kept at the AH.
Most of the children had their first tap tap ride to the AH. They were full of excitement and smiles; well, most of them at least. Some of the younger girls were a little scared at first and were hanging on with all of their might. While at the AH, most of the girls had their first experience with using an indoor toilet. They were amazed when it was flushed. We continued to work with the children throughout the week. We learned a lot about the Haitian education process and how much it differs from the US through two very exceptionally bright young translators. Edrick is 23 and recently came to know Christ. Davidson is 24 and will complete his last year of high school this year. He has one more year not because he was held back but because school cost money and it is a challenge to have extra money for school in their economy.
A high light was taking the kids to the beach for their first time ever. While Jacmel is on the coast, they had never been to the ocean. They loved it! They were dancing around and laughing. Some of the younger ones were a little hesitant at first but most all of them got in.
We had a picnic of peanut butter sandwiches and Sunny D!
Diane, Samuel and I took two girls to the doctor on Wednesday. While Haiti regulates you to death in some areas, the doctor's office didn't require any paperwork and never even asked the names of the girls. It seems when the welfare of the people are an issue, there are no regulations. This was a hard experience, because Elida had stitches that were supposed to have been taken out over two weeks ago. Something was lost in translation and they were never removed. As a result, infection set in. The doctor did not numb the areas (even though I asked twice), and Elida cried and cried and I just had to hold her down. It was terrible!!!
One big prayer request is for permission to "homeschool" and the right teacher. When you add up the expenses of school including uniforms and transportation starting in October, we think a teacher could be hired for the kids. We are late getting started with this, so we would appreciate your prayers.
Overall, the children seemed healthy, clean and happy. I asked Samuel if the children ever get sad about the loss of parents, family, etc. He said they are happy, because they have food to eat and a place to sleep. They consider themselves blessed!