Sunday, January 31, 2010

GREAT post about Malnutrition

This is Caroline's blog- the nurse who joined us a couple days ago at Real Hope For Haiti. She has been here before long-term and came as soon as she could after the earthquake to help. She's awesome and this post explains a lot about the two forms of malnutrition we see in the Rescue Center. The first kid in the post is Darlens, the little guy I've been hanging out with since he came. He is now 12 pounds- up from 11.5! :) The second girl, Rose-Guerline, has kwash and her legs were so swollen they were split and had to be bandaged...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Meet Darlens:

The thing about Darlens is that he is not like this because of the earthquake. This is much much more. Darlens' problems and the reasons for his malnourishment are not a result of an earthquake- they are a result of many, many more complicated things, all streaming from poverty. Haiti was in crisis mode before the earthquake... it just took the earthquake for the world to respond. Thank you for responding- hopefully the help in Haiti will not be a short term thing. Hopefully it will continue to pour in long after the news no longer covers it; hopefully the prayers, financial support, and donations will continue until there are no starving children...


HI! Just thought you could all use a new shirt which supports an AWESOME country... its good looking too! Please consider getting one of these, and if you have time to tweet Ellen to wear hers too, she has two in her mailbox! If you have twitter just tweet this message! (Hey @TheEllenShow! Dont you want a HELP HAITI shirt!

PS: This is a legitimate place, their profits go 1/2 to RHFH and 1/2 to two other amazing organizations in Haiti :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taking the boys to the states

We started out a little bored waiting to get into the airport, so we had ourselves some fun...
but soon enough we got in (soon enough being 2 hours later...)
While we waited for our plane we found some of our friends- faith and hope who are from the RC, going out for adoption :)

and like 5 hours later, we walked onto this plane: HAH!
There was trays of muffins, scones and croissants, as well as ice cold beverages...
but within 10 minutes of getting on our private jet, Henley, Trey and Carmelo were ready for some shut-eye...
and I couldn't resist taking pics of their sweet faces :)
don't worry, they did take advantage of the luxuries provided... mmm, chocolate croissants...
and overall they thought it was a pretty sweet ride.
once we arrived to the private airport, someone passing on a golf cart offered us a ride...

our crew escorted us to the private hotel, where we said our thank-yous and goodbyes and called a cab to get to the hotel where we would meet Uncle Casey...
and the boys got SO excited to get to ride a taxi. Way more excited than they were to get on the private jet... (hey- i guess its all about perspective)
while we waited for our room at the hotel the boys got their long- anticipated meal: cheeseburgers. Hey! I said no onions!!
mmm... french fries! They were so confused at why the ketchup came in little plastic sacs instead of a jar... quote from Henley "That's all thats in that thing? I'm going to need A LOT of those..."
we got "a lot of those" ketchup sacks and dug in...
and soon enough our room was ready... didn't take long to settle in :)

After a bath for the boys and a shower for me, I rented Monsters VS Aliens and went to work trying to get myself a flight back to Haiti...
And finally later Uncle Casey showed up. We ordered pizza, had a good time, went to bed and the next morning Casey took the boys with him to Seattle. I can't even tell you how smooth it all went. The boys were polite, patient (which is huge when you spend more than half the day WAITING!) , helpful and fun, and in the middle of the chaos of the earthquake we managed to have a great day. God definitely pulled this one off because none of us could have :)

and then I got stuck in Miami for a week...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Good News!!!!

.... Ernst is OK! He called and said that he went to Milot and got care :) Apparently they amputated the rest of his arm and he made it. He wants to come see us and get a copy of this picture from us:

PRAISE GOD! I seriously cant tell you how worried I was for him- and why him and not everyone else I met that night I don't know, but I do know his story and survival through this all is encouraging to me and I can't wait for him to come and visit us all!


For those of you who have told me you feel helpless and want to do anything to help- link to Licia's blog to find out where you can send donations. They are much needed and greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

heading to miami

well the boys left with casey for seattle and they were well rested and excited that this will be their last day of waiting in lines and sitting on planes. 6.1 earthquake hit haiti this morning... not sure of the damage but know that there were many unstable buildings in port that had no chance of surviving another aftershock, so I expect more damage and injuries.... i know for a fact people were awakened and scared by it as it shook their beds and homes- the ones who have beds and homes left- and the streets must have been filled withe fear and prayers. im about to head to miami to meet up with some people from the orphanage i volunteered at the first time i came to haiti to help with some stuff and possibly get on a plane to haiti with them :) if that doesnt work out i might come back for a different flight. right now i just know i cant sit here and do nothing without going insane, so im going to miami. soo many people are helping me out and i couldnt feel more blessed through this all. thank you so much and as always, ill do my best to keep you posted.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aaron Ivey

This is a link to a music video by artist Aaron Ivey who is adopting Amos from here. His wife Jamie and himself already have a little girl from here who went home not too long ago- who weall loved dearly. They are still anxiously waiting for Amos, who is close to leaving. They both have come to visit since I've been here and I enjoyed meeting the people who are going to love this boy for the rest of his life. Enjoy :)

cnn news link on RHFH

Sunday, January 17, 2010


In the next few days we will be moving all the kids out of the Rescue Center and into a house down the street which was not damaged by the earthquake. Every aftershock that came continued to damage the structure of the building and it has made it impossible to have peace in moving the kids back in. So we won't. It will be a huge task. There is no electricity or water at the new place and well be able to move our generator and pump water into it, but it is not an easy thing to do. Please pray for us as we figure things out. So far we havn't found more gas for the cars or generator. So far no food has come in. We are living off what we had before the earthquake and making a simple bread for some of the kids meals and putting peanut butter on it.
There is a word in Creole: Degaje. It means to make do with what you have. In Haitian culture it is not a word as much as a way of life. Just being born in this country guarantees the ability to "degaje." A Haitian's life quality depends on the ability to make do with what you are given. To stretch 2 dollars to feed a whole family. To make up work and get a house to cover your head when there is no materials other than what you can find on a mountain. To cook a meal out of rice every day and make every variation of it possible so your kids will eat. To be happy with nothing to call your own, and to make a church service in the middle of a field and without any instruments. The kids make toys out of plastic bottles and bend hangers and tops of cans. They can make art out of rocks and home-made paint and make that into a business for themselves. To make their clothes and shoes last years. They can wash a white shirt in a brown river and somehow wear clothes that look like they were professionally cleaned and pressed. Haitians have an amazing ability to take what life gives at them and still smile, still praise their creator, still help others, still get up every morning ready to walk miles to get their water for the day. I respect the people of Haiti so much and would die to know what it was like to live like that- because I can't even imagine. Haitians are amazing people and their spirit and hope is something life-changing to witness.
The tragedy of the earthquake did not change this. Haitians have proven through all this to be even stronger than anyone can imagine. They have hope and an ability to withstand the pain and suffering with extreme strength. I admire Haitians and couldn't be happier to be here during this event in their lives. To pray with them and try to begin to rebuild their country, their homes, their happiness.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Meet Ernst. He is 26 years old. He came to the clinic Lori and I went to desperately hoping for help. When I saw him first, he was sitting on the ground with most of his arm gone. His wound was open, flesh dangling off and bones sticking out. He had hemostats dangling off the stub clamping veins to help the bleeding. His arm was over a big plastic tub, dripping blood into a pile of medical garbage. He sat up, alert waiting to be helped. He was strong, young. Seemed very hopeful and determined. He was friendly with everyone, smiled and winked at me. That was at about 11am Thurs when we arrived at the clinic. He sat there all day, eventually got moved onto a table where he was able to lie down. There were Quite a few Haitian doctors who had come by the time we got there. They were prioritizing those who needed attention right away and those who's limbs they could save. Ernst at this point waited. Along side him was a man, probably a brother and his sister. They slept and sat with him all night. They prayed. They cried. They waited. I watched them on and off as I worked. Often someone would pass by and offer to pray with him- every time that happened the 3 of them would huddle into each other, heads touching and pray. They did not speak English, so I imagine they were praying in their heads their own prayer as the person with them prayed for Ernst. The sun came up, Lori and I hadn't slept and he begin looking worse. His sister kept telling us that his breathing was bad and that he needed medicine. Lori checked him and he seemed to be breathing ok.
Ernst hadn't slept very much and when morning came he was sitting on his table. He didn't want to lay down because he noticed it bled less when he sat. He began to bleed a lot more and you could see in his demeanor that he wasn't feeling well. As I watched him, I noticed he began to look at his arm often. It's like he hadn't seen it yet. He was in shock- he realized how bad it actually was. He was scared. There was a doctor who was supposed to amputate his arm, and Lori and I sterilized the equipment and got it all ready. At one point there were so many people there they had to clear it out. Only one person could be in there for every two patients. His sister got kicked out. I went outside to get supplies and saw her sitting in the grass crying. She called to me but I kept walking to go get the supplies. After I go the supplies I went back outside and saw Ernst's sister crouched down on the ground, and went and sat next to her.
I asked her if she was alright. She told me that she couldn't stand. Her stomach was sick-
she was so sad. I told her that the doctors were going as fast as they could and were going to
help him soon. She started to pray:
God, this is not right. He is so strong. He has so much hope. He works, he is in school. He takes
care of his family. He is so determined and works hard. There is so much pain in our country.
There are so many hurting. There are too many dead. We know you hear us now. Tell us what
to do now. I am listening- we are listening. Don't forget our country.
The whole time she was praying I sat next to her. I wasn't praying. I was listening, and
watching. And learning... learning how a Christian should pray. How to be faithful to our God
through the worst of the worst and through whatever comes at us. To be humble, and honest,
and real. I tried to comfort her as much as I can. Tried to fill her in on what the doctors had
talked about doing for Ernst (amputation) because she had notices them picking out a saw.
Told her that the doctors only wanted the best for the people here and they were going to do the
best for Enoch.
I went in and he was still sitting there. His wound open, he was obviously tired and hurting and
scared. Lori and I were both worried about the amount of blood he was loosing and Lori
dressed the stub to try to decrease the bleeding. Zach came and it was time for us to leave.
He let us take his picture. Ernst asked to come with us. We had to go. We hadn't slept, and
couldn't do anything for him but pray. It was not fun leaving. It felt horrible. I said goodbye to
his sister and told her I'd be praying for them.
We don't know if the doctor showed up. He was there earlier that morning and left. We
could tell he was not comfortable doing the amputation alone, but there was no one else
willing/able. We don't know what happened to Ernst. I do know that I will never forget him and
his sister and the way they prayed faithfully to our creator.

just a taste

There's no way to describe this week... these pictures are nothing compared to what I've seen and what's out there, they are just a taste:
Lori and I went to a clinic in Port to help out. We left here Thursday morning and got back last night around 3. We didn't sleep for 36 hours. I can't share that experience right now. There are few clinics and not enough supplies for the ones that exist. A jail collapsed and many of the inmates survived and are out on the streets. There is looting and stealing going on in port. People in many areas are starting to run out of food and water. Most Haitians are living in tents made of cloth and sticks or are sleeping in huge open areas. Many children are orphaned. Mass graves are being dug. One of those is between Cazale and Port, where they are trucking out thousands of bodies to. The stench in Port of death is indescribable. RHFH is so blessed to have a water system and food right now. Please continue to pray. Military relief is on its way and trying to find places to port and places to set up. People are coming together to help, and the prayers are felt. Donations are high, and are a blessing. Thanks for the support and prayers. I know that through all this God is good and am reminded that nothing on this earth is permanent. He has provided what we need through grace and sharing that with others is an honor and a Our focus is on God and all he has to offer; nothing else matters.

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

the day after, but the work is just beginning...

The earthquake took people's homes, families, and affected everyone. Last night short after the quake a woman was carried in on a bed from down the street and brought to the clinic. She was an older woman who died later that night... she has many more broken bones and internal injuries from her house falling on her.

Some pics from the improvised outdoor clinic in the yard today:

Thank God for the clinic here. For Lori and her staff in the clinic whom not only do their work in times of crisis, but every day of their lives. And for Licia- the kids and all of us evacuated to outside last night for safety and are tonight as well. Many of the walls have cracked in both the clinic and the Rescue Center and things were a mess last night. Aftershocks are still occurring now and then, we are all going to try to get some sleep tonight. Many of the staff have lost their homes and some family members were in Port. Many people all over Haiti are unaccounted for and the stories we hear of Port are horrid. People are dead and dying all over the streets and it is not pretty. A couple of the patients who came today had come from Port- it'll be a long time until this country even begins to recover. Please keep Haiti in your prayers- thats the best thing we can do right now.

"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."
Psalm 39:7

damage around cazale

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Medika Mamba Program

A part of my nightly routine has become measuring out Medika Mamba for the kids who are malnourished. Medika Mamba is made in Haiti and is a peanut butter packed with everything a child needs to gain weight. The kids on the program change SO fast- it is truly amazing to witness. It is measured out according to their weight and in the Rescue Center they are fed their bowl 6 times a day or until they are finished. If a child were to only eat their bowl of peanut butter and nothing else they would still gain weight- cool, huh?
So the chart for amounts is in kgs and tablespoons... before I left for Christmas we had 32 kids on the program. It took a long time to knead the peanut butter (it usually comes very hard with the oil separated from the peanuts) and then measure out each child's peanut butter in tablespoons as they get anywhere from 4-22 tbsp of it each day. A group had come and was helping me to do this every night and one member from the group made my job 100 times easier by sending me these measuring cups:
Medika Mamba- you have met your match! They are amazing... Thank you Karen!!!
While I was home I also got new bowls. The old ones were often cracking and tape didn't stick to them. The tape sticks to much better and also has saved me so much time at night! Anyone who got me a target card- Thank you so much! Don, nana, aunt barbara, peter and xandi- thanks :)
old bowls:
new bowls:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

a day at the beach

We went to the beach yesterday and had an AMAZING time. The boys were so excited, and so was I. It was the first time I've been to a beach in Haiti and couldn't have been nicer. Definitely a day I'll remember and I'm so glad I got to spend the day relaxing with everyone here...
Our God is an awesome God...
We almost all got lobster (I had never had it- and it was interesting... did you know you have to basically tear the creature apart to eat it?) Carmelo ate my leftovers.

Monday, January 4, 2010

i can't wait...

-to be in warm weather again
-to go back to where my heart is
-to love on some kids I've missed for what feels like months
-to teach again
-to go on daily walks after school
-to give kids goodnight kisses before I go to bed every night
-to eat rice and beans
-to go home...
13 hours :)
just one thing will be missing
Nickenson died on Christmas, he and 4 other kids died on Christmas eve and Christmas day... I miss him but feel blessed and honored to have been a part of his short life. He deserved more than what I could offer. Lori and Licia did everything they could do and I am SO grateful for their work in Haiti; and LOVE being even just a little part of it.

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