Sunday, December 30, 2012

Two Days are Better than One

Christmas Day is celebrated on December 24th in Haiti. So this year, I got 2 days of Christmas! On Christmas Eve, we celebrated with Youv & our Haitian neighbors. Two magical things happened that day. One: we got power! We haven't had real power since the very beginning of November. And on Christmas Eve, Keziah decided to ask Santa (in Creole, he is called Tonton Noel, AKA Uncle Christmas) for power. Hours later, BAM! POWER. Two: pizza. Now, pizza may not be a big deal to most people Stateside. But it's a rare things here. So after sitting outside with our neighbors, I went to grab some coffee cake that I had made to share. Coming back, one of them said that they had called for pizza. Wait, what? Sure enough, 45 minutes later, a moto pulled up with a pizza box! Magic in the form of delivery pizza in Gonaives.
Christmas poppers from my Mom
Youv opening his present... full of Cars gifts!
Tug's present- leftover wrapping paper.
Christmas Crowns.
And on December 25th, American Christmas, we had a full day with our American community. Fluffy pancakes, a bonfire, white elephant gift exchange, skyping with family, & so much fun.
Merry Christmas Kisses!
White Elephant Gifts.
Roller Skates.
Cowboy Youv.
Brix chocolate & wine- sharing goodness from my Mom.
"Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."
~Psalm 37: 3~

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bon Fet Noel!

The Safehouse decorating for Christmas.

Snow in Gonaives!
Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
I am officially adding a new section to my blog. For my birthday, my sister-in-law & brother gave me a roll of Justin Bieber Duct Tape. So here begins the random uses of Justin Bieber Duct Tape. First, ornament hanging. Second, wrapping Christmas presents.

Justin Bieber Duct Tape
"O tidings of comfort & joy
Comfort & joy
O tidings of comfort & joy"
-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen-

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snow and Salt Lake City

Things that I have been enjoying during my visit to Salt Lake City, UT:
Hot showers with water pressure
Hospitality of friends
Christmas lights
Snuggling under multiple blankets to sleep
Milk, cheese, coffee, spices, granola, butternut squash- good food
Live music
Re-introducing my clothes to the dryer
Seeing the beautiful growth in Missio Dei Community
Fast internet
Advent Conspiracy (check out this video!)
Friends- old and new
"There is no improving the future without disturbing the present."
-Catherine Booth-
Co-founder of the Salvation Army

Friday, November 30, 2012

Run, hop, skip, or dance

For my lack of words this morning, I give faces. The faces are where I encounter Jesus. When I think of Jubilee School, I don't see the buildings, I see faces. When I think about our American community here, I don't visualize the big guest house, I see faces. When I think about Jubilee, I don't see trash, hunger, or a slum, I see faces. 
I remember stories- good and bad. Silly experiences. Sweating and swimming. Taking care of the sick, playing games with the healthy. Visiting. Picking up little kids as they come running. Eating by candlelight. Sharing- sometimes the same plate, spoon, and cup. Learning to give and to receive. And with those stories, the faces are so clear.

 "There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives: the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. 
The poor you may have right in your family.
Find them.
Love them."
~Mother Teresa~

 "All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance. Just don't tiptoe."
~Shane Claiborne

"Pay close attention now: I'm creating a new heaven and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, & pain
are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
Anticipate what I'm creating:
I'll create Jerusalem as sheer joy,
create my people as pure delight."
~Isaiah 65:17-19

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to paint a house

First find a house. Preferably one built with friends.
Next, find small bags. Sometimes the ones that usually carry street food- plantains, chicken, patat (Haitian sweet potatos)- work best. Fill them with paint of all different colors.
Grab the balloon launcher that just happens to be in the house...
And LAUNCH away!

 Oh, and make sure the colors are approved by the neighborhood POA.

"My heart is dancin'
To a November tune."
~November Blue~
Avett Brothers

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Destroy my complacency

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

"Oh God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me remember those who suffer;
And remembering,
help me destroy my complacency;
Bestir my compassion
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
~Samuel F. Pugh~

Monday, November 19, 2012

Werewolves and Powerless Days

After almost 7 full days without power, I am back! And let me tell you, when the sun goes down early, many odd discussions are had. I feel as though as the days without power passed, our silliness just grew. On Sunday morning, Keziah and I were prancing around the room being insanely ridiculous as Chris watched us, thoroughly amused. That is when I realized that we needed the power to come back. And, when I returned from clinic today, it was on!
Hanging out... changing skin graft bandages
Friend from this summer who has burns on his feet from a house fire.
I have moments here when I just shake my head and go "Wow, is this my life?" Today I had just such a moment. Our Haitian nurse, Vesline, had asked me to be present to evaluate a patient who she said has been having seizures. So today after we finished with general patients, I sat down with them. I am (and forever will be) learning Creole. But as I listened to her describe what had been going on, I wrinkled my forehead, and turned to our English-speaking nursing assistant, confused. 
"Did she just say that she has seizures when there is a full moon?"
 She went on to describe her symptoms, which sounded very crazy and super confusing. She was not describing a seizure disorder. She was describing being a Werewolf. My staff turned to look at me, waiting for me to respond. 
"Well, I think, based on looking at her, that we should send her for an HIV test." 
Heads nodded. 
"And I think we should pray for her." 
I treasure the time of prayer I have had with our nursing assistants and nurse. I love hearing Oscar pray because he speaks with beautiful words, knowledge, precision and authority. So as I walked over to the dirtbag house to pick up a friend to head to the market, I ran into Rusty. 
"I just spent some time praying the Werewolf out of a woman in clinic. Yeah..." 
This is my life. 
"The more I get to know Jesus, the more trouble He seems to get me in."
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
Shane Claiborne

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


This sweet little girl came to clinic with her grandmother because she has been abandoned by her mother. So small but beautiful. And no one had given her a name. So her grandmother asked if I had a name for her. After thinking, I came up with Marley. Bob Marley is on tshirts and jewelry, plus you hear his music blasted from speakers and people singing it on the streets. So it's a name that everyone knows and, for the most part, can pronounce. Welcome to Klinik Jubilee, little Marley!
Look at that head of hair!
Jubilee School, raising the Haitian flag and singing.
Oh Jesus, how I love your name: its power is every day the same.
-Common Prayer-