Wednesday, September 24, 2008
We have been matched for four months and the kids have been in the orphanage for five. We are still waiting to get to the first step. We had hoped that because we meet all the country's qualifications (at least 35, married 10 or more years and no biological children) and because our dossier has been there a while and our children are biological siblings, that we would be one of the "easy" and "faster" families. It does not look like that is the case at all. We were not "in" before the storms so I think we are experiencing a "rain delay" and hoping to be out on the field soon! (That was my one sports reference for the year. Just thinking of you, Kyle.)
Pray for sunshine.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
One of the ways I have been trying to learn what it is like in Haiti is to read the blogs of those who are there. This is one of my favorites. If you can have "blog friends" (people you care about and pray for that do not even know you are on this planet with them), these people are some of my closest "friends". They have taught me so much and I admire their courage and pray for them. This is what they had to say a day or s ago about the flooding in their part of Haiti.
*It amazes me as I walked down the river bed to the our old school in Raymond, how strong, resilient, and beautiful the Haitian people are. A stream, that used to be about 10 feet wide a year ago...is now a river that is closer to 80 feet in some areas. I remember driving down the road and there being huge trees, banana trees, corn, plantain trees...everywhere. Raymond area wasn't some desolate tree stripped area...it was a green valley with life. Now it's slowly turning into a huge river bed of rocks. As Danny and I walked, I could remember homes of our students everywhere. They have all been washed away some with bits of foundation left and other not even the ground is there any more. But the thing that amazes me is that people would still come out and greet us with smiles and hope. Most of these people are in two catorgories: 1)Their home was swept down the river and they can't even rebuild because there land is a river bed. 2) Another storm comes, their home can be next.*
Why is this kind of home better in Haiti? Because nothing is permanent. Why do I feel bad for a family raising 6 kids in a house like this in Haiti? Because I only know what I have lived and I like my bed and the "play room" in the basement and... that brings me back to the lesson about the temporal and the eternal. "Oh dear Jesus speak to me!"
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In an attempt to do something productive and time efficient, I am learning to do my scrapbooking on the computer. Although it has some great applications i do not find it nearly as therapeutic as real scissors and paper. So, there is no real hope of replacing the tubs of supplies and a big mess on the craft table with a neat little lap top.
(Shift + click on pictures to enlarge them.)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The latest storm, Ike, killed at least 61 people on Sunday, including more than a dozen children swept away in the town of Cabaret, north of the capital of Port-au-Prince. But the greatest misery was in the northern city of Gonaives, which has been repeatedly flooded, leaving its residents without food or clean water for days. On Sunday, the last bridge to the city collapsed, preventing the delivery of supplies. Though water levels reportedly receded somewhat yesterday, runoff was still pouring toward the city from the country's deforested mountains. "After 25 years spent working in Haiti, and having grown up in Florida, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as painful as what I just witnessed in Gonaives," reported the public health activist Paul Farmer, "except in that very same city, four years ago." Disaster has become chronic in Gonaives: in 2004 some 2,000 died in mudslides following a tropical storm.The latest storm, Ike, killed at least 61 people on Sunday, including more than a dozen children swept away in the town of Cabaret, north of the capital of Port-au-Prince. But the greatest misery was in the northern city of Gonaives, which has been repeatedly flooded, leaving its residents without food or clean water for days. On Sunday, the last bridge to the city collapsed, preventing the delivery of supplies. Though water levels reportedly receded somewhat yesterday, runoff was still pouring toward the city from the country's deforested mountains. "After 25 years spent working in Haiti, and having grown up in Florida, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as painful as what I just witnessed in Gonaives," reported the public health activist Paul Farmer, "except in that very same city, four years ago." Disaster has become chronic in Gonaives: in 2004 some 2,000 died in mudslides following a tropical storm.
The U.S. Navy dispatched an amphibious ship to Haiti, where it arrived yesterday with a badly needed complement of helicopters that can carry aid to Gonaives and other flooded areas. The U.S. Agency for International Development also pledged $7 million in relief, and Venezuela said it was sending 20 tons of aid. But Haitians will need considerably more help to recover: not just emergency supplies of food and medicine but help in reconstructing homes and in carrying out public works projects that could prevent such flooding in the future. The Red Cross, Oxfam and Direct Relief International are among the private humanitarian groups working to provide relief in Haiti; Partners in Health sponsors a community health-care network. They need help. As President René Préval told the Miami Herald, "this is Katrina in the entire country but without the means that Louisiana had."
We continue to pray for all of the people in Haiti as we can not even comprehend the disaster and desperation the storms have caused. Additionally, we are concerned for the biological family of our children as they are from a coastal city north of Port-au-Prince (the red star).
Friday, September 12, 2008
Hello Worried Parents and Agency Representatives:
We received news from Gina today that there has been heavy flooding in Lamardelle (the village where the CEJ orphanage is). Attached you will see pictures Gina sent along. One shows how washed out the road is. In another picture you can see how the water levels on the sides of the roads where people can sometimes be seen washing their clothes or bathing are completely flooded also. Finally, there is a picture of the water outside the metal gate at the orphanage, the actual compound is not as flooded, or at least does not appear so.
Here is some of what Gina wrote: “The white river since Tuesday night has flood the village. Access is impossible via vehicle only can get through with donkey. Lucien has been able to get some food and supplies to the crèche via donkey. The children are safe but stuck inside the compound. The village people are without food and drinking water.”
The Duncans, including Mommy and the staff at FEJ have been distributing relief packages to the village as they have been able, but certainly the need in Haiti is only increasing with these storms.
Please know that thanks to the many donations of many of you and a lot of your efforts (and those of April), the creche has many supplies already in storage there, primarily in the way of food, medication, and urgent supplies. Please know that the Duncans will always do everything they can to make sure the children’s safety is maintained. As you have read, they have used donkeys as a means of transportation this week as needed. This only goes to show how much life in Haiti is impacted by things that don’t affect most of our lives in the US nearly as much.
Along with the children that are constantly in our minds, hearts and prayers, please keep the village of Lamardelle, the creche staff, and the Duncans there too. We know how eager each of you is to bring your respective children home, and how long the process is even when there are no “acts or disasters of nature” to worry about. Unfortunately, this hurricane season has slowed things down further for obvious reasons. We are hopeful that things will subside soon in Haiti and that we will be providing you with news of progress and good health.
Monday, September 8, 2008
The girls are busy and loud and tons of fun. Beth is talking lots and holding her own. Anna has started "home school Kindergarten." Not because we are homeschooling, but I needed a better way to "teach me something" than my spur of the moment creativity was providing.
Today I was asking her if she remembered what CD a particular song was on. She said, "I think it's on "This is My Father's World.'" I thought out loud, "hmm, I don't think so because that CD is all hymns." Her instant reply, "and we need hers?"
I think I am figuring out our communication gap. I do not enunciate vowels well and she does not hear consonants well. Thus the constant "what you say'n ta' me?" for all of her third year of life.