Thursday, September 24, 2009

Almost done with week 1!

Wow, this week went quick! School has been good- a lot to get used to for both the boys and I. Carmelo (7th grade) has done ALL of his previous schooling online with a video teacher talking him through it all. Now he has to read all of his instruction and read the text in his textbooks and workbook. A lot of reading to get used to. Henley and Trey are not strong enough readers to read a direction and comprehend what it is telling them to do. They are amazing students but until we get to the point where they can read a problem I will be making up the curriculum to strengthen their reading comprehension. It's fun and weird making up kids school- I didn't thing I would actually be doing any lesson plans, but its another new thing that I get to tackle. We do a full hour of art everyday which the boys LOVE and so do I, its a good break from all the bookwork.
Two babies have died since I've come, neither of which I had spent time with- the one was only a couple months old and died of heart failure. The other a little girl, came in two days ago and died yesterday. Licia told me before she died she was tending to her and saw that her fists were clamped shut. Her fingernails had grown so long that they cut into the palm of her hands and it was all scabbed. When Licia pried her fingers open she saw that her fingers had begun to rot- she could see all the way to her bones on the inside of her fingers. She told me only once before had she seen a babies body literally beginning to decompose before they actually passed. The little girl died yesterday. This is the reality of Haiti. Kids are literally dead before they die here. Body and mind- they don't get the amount of nutrition they need if they even get food at all and their bodies wither away. They dont get the attention a kid should get and stimulation enough for their mind to even have the desire to live. It's horrible what happened to this little girl but I know her story got me thinking... and hopefully her life will touch others too.
Tomorrow instead of having school we are going, with 27 Haitians packed into some sort of bus, to a fort that was recently discovered up in the mountains. When Haiti rose up for independence from France they built many forts all throughout Haiti to fight if they needed to... they never did so in Haiti history books it speaks of these forts. Ive been to one, close to where I was last time in Haiti but this one was in the history books and no one knew where it was. It will be fun to get to be one of the first to go see it- apparently the community around it is now making a road so it will be accessible and everyone in Cazale is prideful and excited about finding it. So it should be a fun trip!
Two days ago the generator died so weve been running the house on and extention chord hooked up to a small generator downstairs- it gave us one fan at night to sleep with. Because there arent any plug in lights it was PITCH dark. Ive never experienced that kind of darkness. there are no streetlights or anything here so literally I felt blind. Once I found my cell phone I had that, but when it ran out of batteries I went to bed. The sound of rats running around was enough for me to turn it in... haha. About an hour ago the generator was fixed and its amazing. God is good! It makes me appreciate lights and fans and computers and refrigerators so much more :)
Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cazale- my new home.

I'm back in Haiti and already can tell I am going to love the year ahead of me. The family is great and the kids are so fun. I will be homeschooling 3 boys during the weekdays, we are starting school this Monday:
Carmelo (7th grade)
Henley (2nd grade)
Trey (1st grade)

Henley and Trey are both biological children to Enoch(Haitian) and Licia(American). Licia has lived here now 15 years working side-by side with her sister, Lori, and their Dad, Zach. I have not met their father yet, as he's in the states. Carmelo is Haitian and being adopted by Licia and Enoch; and he just received his visa to go to the states and he and Licia are both ecstatic. He has never been and is full of questions and excitement. They will leave next Monday and he'll just take school with him. Hes excited for certain things he has heard about from the rest of his family; his eyes twinkle as he talks about eating a cheeseburger from McDonald's and going to Wal-mart for the first time. Licia tells him Wal-mart is a place where you buy stuff and its so big that you can't see the back of the store from the entrance. He is shocked and amazed that they give you food on a plane, and there's a hole where you can hook up headphones into in your seat! He's so cute with his disbelief and I am excited for him- what a crazy week they'll have! Can you imagine not even being able to wrap your head around where the toilet takes the flushed water? Or how a store could be bigger than you can see from the entrance. Or the fact that you can buy any kind of food you want- and not even that, but most of the food he has never heard of. It will be the trip of a lifetime for Carmelo!

I am at a place where they have two main ministries going on. There is the rescue center where kids are taken in, severely malnourished, burned, injured etc and they care for them until they are healthy enough to go home to their families, or get adopted (Guess where I'll be during my spare time). Then there is the clinic, which is open Mon-Thurs form early morning to 5ish where people come in from all over for anything and everything. People come in who need cuts sewn up, help for their sick family member or themselves, pregnant woman about to go into labor, and anything you can and can't imagine.

Yesterday I was up in the school area getting myself familiar with all the subjects and figuring out a schedule, I got called down to the clinic where Licia asked me if I liked blood and gore. I followed her into a small room where a 19 year old young woman (so... my age last year) lay spread legged ready to have a baby. They don't often deliver at the clinic but this woman was extremely swollen and contracting, and when I came in the baby had already crowned. The mom had only seen a doctor once when she first was pregnant and had no care since then. Her family was mad at her for getting pregnant and left her at the clinic, so Lori had no choice but to deliver. Scared she would tear and loose too much blood Lori cut her and short after the baby was born, a little girl. Mom was trembling and hurt but Lori and the Haitian staff were able to talk her through it. It was the first time I saw a birth in person. They let me cut the umbilical chord and I sat with the seconds old child while Lori felt the mother's stomach for the placenta. She felt a hard spot and after a few seconds realized moms not done.

There was a second child- they were fraternal, so in different sacks. The baby was positioned on the mothers right side and breach. Lori was able to push the baby down but worried that there would be complications with the baby coming out feet first. She cut the baby's sack once it was in sight and two little feet popped out. After some pushing, the torso and one arm appeared. Not good news... Lori explained to all of us that the babies arm could be caught over it's head and when coming out could possibly break it's collarbone. We all prayed as she delivered the second girl and one we heard crying, everyone knew a miracle had just happened. The mom then delivered the placenta (nasty) and Lori sewed her back up. By the time the twins were born, the woman's father and sister had come back and helped name them: Mirlanda and Jolanda. Please pray for this new mother and her girls- that they are healthy and strong. Pray that the mother of surprise twins finds food for her family every day and that she is able to care for them. Pray that her family stays by her side and that they see the miracle that God gave them in these two baby girls alive, and that the mother realizes how lucky she is to still be alive. It was definitely a cool way to be "initiated" into the lifestile this family lives...

It is beyond hot here, and for those of you who know me well that says a lot. I am constantly sweating and can't get enough fan time. The family takes a walk every day, and the surroundings are beautiful. We walked about 3 miles yesterday along a road that went through mountains, and we watched the sun set behind the ocean in the distance. We are going on a 7 mile hike in about an hour... Licia and Lori are full of stories about the flood that happened not too long ago, and the Haitian culture and their neighbors. Its so cool that they share so much already.
Well, that's about long enough for today, I will continue to post as time allows
here is the blog website for the rescue center... Licia posts often and is far better at it than I am :)

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