Thursday, April 21, 2011
Our last week in Haiti the electricity never turned on. (Except for a few times in the middle of the night for 30 second intervals.) Our inverter, internet, and phones were all without charge. It was a busy week researching water filtration projects for Les Bours and preparing all of the children and staff for our visit to Michigan. Our construction boss, Joseph, and his men have nearly completed the water tank. This week they have been adding a new storage room on the other side of the staff bathroom, and they have already begun digging the storage that will be adjacent to the water tank. Joseph and his crew have been part of our HOPE House family for over a year, and we have enough projects for them to stay with us another year! We hope to break ground on the new orphanage building this summer!
The rainy season has begun. It rained every night last week. The carpet inside our containers was soaking wet. It is so humid during the day that it never gets a chance to dry out. All of the kids have wet bottoms from playing inside. At first I could not figure out how all of them wet their pants at the same time! Speaking of going potty, Caleb almost fully potty trained (minus a few accidents) and Pierreline is well on her way. Most of the time she remembers to tell the nanny just after she goes, but candy is a great incentive to spark her memory. She will do anything for candy or a snack. She went without food for so long, she must think she needs to make up for the last three years of minimal eating. During snack time she shoves her snack in her mouth and runs around to the other children trying to grab whatever snack they have left in their hands. This usually doesn't go over too well with Mika, who we have nicknamed Vacuum! Most times we can find Mika eating dirt, rocks, paper, crayons.....you name it, she eats it! We have to keep a close eye on that girl! (See picture of Mika eating real food above)
Jivenson is making great progress on his muscle strength! He loves eating at the big kid table and putting his food in his mouth all by himself. (See Jivenson eating above) When Myslene calls for the kids to wash their hands for dinner Jivenson immediately starts cooing and scooting himself over to the kitchen. The words "food" or "eat" ever get past him! Caleb and Guerlens are both doing really well! Guerlens is laughing and smiling when he is awake and is much more alert than every before. Caleb absolutely cracks us up everyday! On our last day in Haiti we drove up the mountain to a place where a lot of Haitian art is sold. (Really we went so Orion could propose to Faith overlooking the city of PAP, but that's a whole other story!) Caleb sat in the front seat on Frentz's lap on the way home. His flip flops kept falling off and he was very concerned about them. Frentz took his shoes off from him and said, "What are these?" referring to the bite marks on the front and backs of both shoes. Mika had been eating them a few days before and they looked like a rat had gnawed away for hours. Frentz rolled down the window and threw them outside. Caleb's eyes got so big and his mouth went silent. "I'll buy you a new pair. Those are terrible shoes." Conversation in the car continued for the next 10 minutes or so as we drove down the road. In a scared little voice I hear Caleb ask, "Mr. Frentz? Are you really going to buy me new shoes?" "Yes I will." "Before we get home?" Caleb continuously gets in trouble for not having his shoes on when he plays outside. He was very concerned to be going home with no shoes at all. Jean pulled the truck over on the side of the road and Frentz and Caleb hopped out to go shoe shopping. You should have seem the smile on Caleb's face as he bounced in the truck with new black and white striped sandals. He was so excited to show the nannies what Mr. Frentz bought him!
Kimberlie is growing up so fast! She is so strong, I'm sure she will be crawling by the time I get back! She is more and more beautiful everyday! Sophonie and Naika are both doing very well in school. Naika has been learning some English and Sophonie is an expert at coloring! They are the best of friends. I don't know what they would do without each other!
The students in Les Bours just finished their exam period last week. I am still waiting to hear how everyone did. We have so many projects to get started on at the school when I return in May! Very exciting things happening in Les Bours! Water treatment, a new kitchen, a railing on the stairs, new preschool chairs, new cabinets in the office, and more! Our students in Les Bours are so precious! I can't wait until they all have clean drinking water and are eating a meal each day! It will be an exciting summer!
Frentz and I are glad to be back in Michigan for the next month. .....however we are not thrilled about the snow and cold temperatures! We thought we waited long enough for all of that to be gone! Ugh, Michigan! We are really looking forward to speaking at several churches, hosting two dinner fund raisers, and catching up with friends and supporters. Hope to see you while we are here!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Last week we lost electricity for 6 days! Conveniently, (not really) both of our generators were broken at the same time! We survived the week and still accomplished a lot, but it made communication very difficult! I will do the best I can to catch you on a weeks worth of events!
Monday our short term missions team enjoyed a morning at Les Bours School of Hope. They had an opportunity to meet their sponsored children and visit the classrooms. A small group of us also visited a school in LaPlaine and met with our sponsored children there. We have updated letters and pictures of most of our LaPlaine students! Only a few children did not show up, largely due to the announcement of the next president of Haiti. Monday evening the announcement was heard over the radio that Michelle Martelly, "Sweet Mickey," will be Haiti's next president. It was a preliminary result, but he is far ahead of his opponet, Mirlande Manigat. Shots rang out and shouts of joy could be heard all over the city. The majority of the people seem calm and happy about the results.
Monday and Tuesday our team helped us move all of our journal supplies and storage items into our new Gift of Hope location! We have a beautiful house just a few roads down from our property we were able to rent last weekend! It has been a huge answer to prayer! Our ladies have already begun their journal making at the new home! (See picture above) It has been a wonderful blessing to have extra storage space! HFAP's driver, Jean, along with his wife and daughter were also blessed that we had enough space for them to move in to protect and clean the house over the next year. We are so thankful to move our staff out of the tent cities one family at a time.
The men on the team last week had the task of covering our storm sewer! It was a hazard in the middle of the property with all of our little children running around. They put their heads together and did a wonderful job tastefully, yet safely enclosing it! (See above picture)
We also painted Lucienne's house, laid ceramic tile on the floor, and today she is moving in! Tomorrow we will begin breaking down her old house to clear the land for construction of the orphanage building! The staff bathroom was also completed this week! The shower was installed, the walls were painted, and the floor was tiled!
The team also had the opportunity to spend an afternoon at Sisters of Charity, and distribute rice, oil, and hygiene kits to 40 families Cite Jeremie. I am so thankful for their hard work and the passion that was sparked inside each one of them for the orphans in Haiti.
Yesterday and today I have been trying to catch up with an insane amount of paperwork so I can prepare to leave for Michigan next week! I know these next 6 days are going to fly by! We will be working on water filtration in Les Bours, preparing the Gift of Hope and HOPE House for my absence, and packing for Michigan! (Has the weather warmed up yet?!?)
Now that the electricity is back on, I am going to enjoy a nice cup of cold water before heading to the airport to stand in the sun waiting for a new arrival! Thanks Frontline team for leaving extra money to purchase a Culligan water dispenser! Now I don't have to spill the water all over the floor as I pour it into my bottle, AND it's cold! Double bonus!
Pray for efficiency this week! I need to cross EVERYTHING off from a nice long list I have going before I can leave. We have some very important loose ends to tie up! (Including renewing Frentz's passport that he realized last week expired in March! Oops! Paperwork in Haiti is always frustrating, complicated, and expensive!) Praying for safety and progress!