Friday, 11 February 2011

Two Weeks In

It's been a very interesting two weeks, and I've got many, many things to share, many, many thoughts to express, many, many gifts and blessings to appreciate and praise God for. (Many, many is something my nephew says and it's not strange to hear the Kreyol equivalent around here: "Anpil, anpil"). But there is a risk of boring a few of you (you know who you are) with a long post, so I'll be brief-ish and save the rest for another day :)

The other afternoon I came up to Rachel's (the director of the orphanage and my supervisor) apartment to find her re-wrapping the arm of one of the Hope Village girls. The girl had been riding one of those wiggly car things (like they have at Chapters in the children's' section - you sit on them and wiggle to make them go - those things are super cool and can turn on a dime!). This girl had been riding where she shouldn't have - down a sloped sidewalk that ended in stairs. The result of the ride was a broken bone in her arm. That was last week. This day Rachel was wrapping her arm up because the girl had decided the cast was inconvenient and had taken it off (the way a cast works here is a bit different, it's more like a splint and not so permanent). The girl was annoyed that she was being restricted by this contraption again, but she submitted to Rachel's care.

As soon as Rachel finished this task, another couple of Hope Village kids arrived with an issue that required a cold compress. That taken care of, another boy arrived with complaints of sores on his hands (I found out that he gets infections that often result in sores on his skin - he doesn't have HIV, they wonder about some kind of poorly treated infection from before he came to the orphanage as a toddler because he always gets these sores). He was crying about the intended treatment (to prick the blisters on the sores) and I found myself overwhelmed by this picture of 6 kids standing around the boy and Rachel, encouraging him to listen to her, to mind her. This picture of family, with Rachel mothering the little group and all their bumps and bruises, brought me to tears.

This is a big place and there are literally thousands of people who come through the gates every day. Teams, usually from North America, arrive every Wednesday and Saturday to do all kinds of construction, medical and evangelistic work on the campus and in the surrounding communities. There are many, many Haitian workers who come to the campus to work - there are a lot of projects on the site (the building of the new two-storey guest house, a giant warehouse, the expansion of the clinic into a hospital with an E.R.) - and there are many other indigenous workers at other locations nearby (a project to build houses in a nearby town, for example). There is a LOT of activity here every single day. That's not even including all the church activities on the weekends and some week nights... OR the thousands of children who attend the school on the property (they added afternoon school after the earthquake to accommodate all the children from the tent communities in the surrounding area - families who left Port-Au-Prince).

And in the middle of it all sits Hope Village. Home to 62 children and 24 caretakers for these children. That's many, many.

So to make a family here, I've decided, is a crazy thing. To think that you could come together and provide for the needs of these children in the middle of all this - is nuts.

Unless God is in it.
And He is.

Oh boy, is He in it.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Another Post Already? Naw, mostly pics :)

Handiwork in the library - dig the bright colours:

This is the building in Hope Village where I’m living (that window below the arrow is beside my bed... I realize in retrospect that the arrow is too small... oops):

Last weekend at the beach:

It's quite beautiful here... 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Thanks for your patience!

I'm all set for using the Internet now! It took some finagling... not really, just some time...

This week I've been studying Creole and doing different things around campus while waiting for my Creole teacher to be arranged. I think we have someone lined up and I should start intensive lessons Monday - looking forward to it and praying that God will open up my brain in amazing ways!

In the meantime, I've helped out at some English classes with one of my roommates, another intern, Abby. She works with the Hope Village children and adults (Haitian men and women who work there with the orphans) to teach them English.
I also did some painting in the children's library getting shelves and tables ready for them to use the space.
Today I spent some time down at 3 Cords - an initiative started here for people who have had prosthetics fitted at the lab here at MOH - where Haitian women are employed hand-making head bands, hair clips, jewelry, purses and shoulder bags that are for sale here on campus. Very cool stuff and totally cute. All of the workers at 3 Cords have had some sort of amputation and now have full time jobs! A bunch of sewing machines have been donated so that should aid in their production of these goods.

I'm getting to know more people and what goes on here but have yet to do any Art Therapy sessions. I'll wait until March to start working with Haitian children, but I may have an opportunity to work with some North American children and families starting in the next weeks. A number of children and parents from Canada and the US were here when the earthquake hit last year and so I've offered support if desired. I'll meet with one family in the next week or so about what their needs might be and if I can help.

I've begun to build some sweet friendships and treasure these getting-to-know-each-other days.
I'll find some good pics to post this week... lots to see!

Bon Swa, Ya'll!