Saturday, January 28, 2012

JAN 25- New Clinic Staff!
JAN 26- So, I didn't take a picture this day. But these are the remnants of my shoe after our dog got a hold of it this day. Yep, she's now an outside dog.
JAN 27- Friday night with some wonderful ladies

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My name is VenDis

I have a new nickname: VenDis. Now if you know Creole, you know that this is not a word. The story goes that I was practicing some of my new phrases in Creole, asking a kid how old they were. He answered "Dis" which is 10. He then asked how old I was. Instead of saying vensenk (25), I got flustered and said "Vendis" which literally means 20 10. Well, Weisgeur, one of the teenage boys here who was with me, literally fell over laughing. And from here on out, I am VenDis. I've always wanted a sweet nickname. And I'm hoping that everyday it will break down a little bit more of my pride and remind me that I'm wrong quite frequently. Maybe God knew that I needed to be reminded of this. And it makes all of the Haitians chuckle- or laugh out loud- so that's a bonus.

Teenage boys hanging out after helping us scrape and paint
This week, I've got a little cold. Part of being here, especially initially, is letting my body get used to all the dust, germs, and other wonderful things that comes from living here, kissing snotty faces, and eating new food. If you've known me for awhile, you know that I lose my voice on a regular basis. Usually when I'm getting better. So I've been hoarse for a few days. Learning to listen more than talk.
JAN 21- Julie is home!
JAN 22- Painting and scraping
JAN 23- Homemade tomato soup. April had a spiritual experience
JAN 24- Meal planning with fresh fruits & veggies is GOOD
JAN 24- Beginning of Jubilee

Saturday, January 21, 2012

First night without lights

Last night was the first night here that I was without electricity. Probably about 15 hrs or so without it. Believe it or not, it is something that I wrestle with. It's a gift- because it left 4 girls on the roof eating street chicken and avocados, feeding their leftovers to our little dog. It took out distractions of internet. It left us praying on the roof, appreciating the wind in a house now without fans. But then the night really started. It was a hopping night of getting up and down- trying to decide if I wanted to be hot or eaten by mosquitoes. Of having 1 AM conversations after showering- because the power is out, what else is there to do? Of tossing and turning in my bed, thoughts ranging from how to arrange my room to what would be relaxing music to listen to help me sleep. To waking up at 550 AM, sharing a french press full of coffee over sleepy eyes. And then continuing on to do life. No nap, no coffee shop run midday, no catching up on emails. No shower because our water pump relies on electricity. A day full of interviews for the clinic, shopping downtown with a friend for some shorts, using my slowly growing creole to buy food from the market, walking through Jubilee to visit a patient, to return to internet, music, power, fans, and more community. I love having power but I love not having power.

JAN 20- Osteomyelitis

JAN 19- Hitchin' a ride back with some kiddos from school

JAN 18- The canal we've had to pass through quite a lot. Reminds me of the Oregon Trail Game.  Do we ford the river, caulk the wagon to float across, or pay for a ferry?

JAN 17- Joy and laughter in Jubilee
JAN 16- Classes have started once again.

JAN 15- Tia is home! Taptaps are a cheap, easy way of getting around. Here we are riding the "Party Taptap", colors, streamers and FUN. When it goes past, you HAVE to jump on, regardless where it is going.

JAN 14- Youv just laying on the floor, loving Saturday morning pancakes.

"The more clearly we learn to recognize that the ground and strength and promise of all our community is Jesus Christ alone, the more calmly we will learn to think about our community and pray and hope for it."- Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Every day brings something new

JAN 11- Haitian sunset at the house

JAN 12- Getting a little help with my Creole from a friend

JAN 13- One of the beautiful faces at an orphanage nearby. 
I've been reading the Tim Tebow book Through My Eyes and have been enjoying it. Quote of the day: "People often seem to think that when you're following the Lord and trying to do His will, your path will always be clear, the decisions smooth and easy, and life will be lived happily ever after and all that. Sometimes that may be true, but I've found that more than often, it's not...When it comes to making our decisions, the key that God is concerned with is that we are trusting and seeking Him. God's desire is for us to align our lives with His Word and His will."

This week has been one of transition. To a new location, new language, new house, new "job" new new! The clinic is in a point of transition which is scary but has potential to make things even more beautiful in the longterm. I've been thinking, praying, and discussing the practicality of being a nurse here with the community here. Serious stuff. But amidst all of that, there is Monday night basketball, Creole lessons, quality time with Youv, ordering chicken on the street, pancakes made with love from April on Saturday morning, figuring out my Haitian phone (that talks to me in Creole), and so much more. 

One of my favorite moments of the week: 
The guys here built a house that looks like a wasp nest (just take my word for it). Keziah (fellow nurse here) was showing me the inside and one of my favorite faces peeked around the corner. I picked him up and he gave me a hug- but not just a hug. A hug that involved him holding me tightly around the neck, rubbing his beautifully snotty nose into my neck, and it lasted AT LEAST 5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

JAN 10- Youv, my partner in crime for the day.
JAN 9- Life back in Jubilee
JAN 8- Bongo, the house dog (this one's for you, Emily)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Home to Gonaives

JAN 5- Liana & I always having fun
JAN 6- Last night in Charleston. We made egg rolls and drank wine
I made it! I got to Gonaives yesterday evening. Fun that I experienced includes: getting the airport at 430 AM only to find out that I could not take all 3 of my bags in due to an embargo. How do you figure out exactly what is necessary so fast?? Sitting by a guy in the Miami airport with a Survivor buff on (ahem Tim Golden, Lisa Barker, & Adrian Fry). Relief when all my stuff makes it- and I didn't lose anything in my trunk despite the fact that one of the clasps broke. And on the drive back to Gonaives, watching 2 guys hop on the back of a moving bus, knock till they're let in the back, and sell foods/drinks only to hop off at the next village. So glad to be back.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

JAN 2: Ruby- my early morning friend. Please note the crazy eyes.

JAN 3: Backyard- it's been COLD

JAN 4: Visiting one of my favorite 5 yr olds

Monday, January 2, 2012

The countdown has started!

It's official! I leave the U.S. on January 7th- which is Saturday! I'm so very excited to head back to Haiti.

December has been a crazy month of festivities, friends, family, & fun. I left Salt Lake City and have spent the holidays with my family in Charleston, SC. I've learned to play a new card game- Dutch Blitz- spent some quality time with my brother & sister-in-law's dog Ruby, eaten great food cooked by my Mom, and been introduced to some amazing little people named Charis & Matt Jr (the kiddos of some of my dearest friends).
One of the many faces I'm excited to see soon!

Last week in SLC with Emily & Lisa

Fundraising dinner at Carol's house. I will dream about that food for months to come. Such a wonderful gift.

Classy family time- boys went to the shooting range, girls took a belly dancing class.

New Years Day Tradition- homemade egg rolls & fried rice

I have also decided that, in addition to starting a blog, I am starting my own 365 Project, attempting to take a picture a day this year. Here goes nothing!

January 1- reunion with Maegen & Suzanne in Summerville

I had the privilege of getting to talk Haiti with my friend Rusty, who will also be in Haiti, at Journey Church. So fun. I'm very thankful for all the support. For listening to me chat on and on about Jubilee. 

So set your calendars- January 7th! Flight leaves 6 AM from Charleston & I'll be in Haiti by noon.

Give us grace to trust your presence even when we feel your absence