Friday, August 31, 2012

I think it's going to rain today

It turns out, Tropical Storm Isaac involved lots of wind & rain. I stayed out at LaLa's house in Jubilee where on Friday night we experienced the house shaking because of the wind. I remember stepping outside & looking at the trash &, for some reason, the fire was still burning despite the wind & rain. On Saturday, we ran into quite a lot of flooding closer to Port Au Prince, plus a manifestation. The town had called the U.N. to come fix a plugged pipe before the storm hit. But no one showed. So the water came & people were stuck in about 8 ft of water, waiting in or on their houses. So we waited at their roadblock for U.N. to show up and fix the drainage. Which they eventually did. 

On our way home from Port, we came upon a bus crash between Saint Marc & Gonaives. Ended up stopping, sliding down the bank, & joining in the search & rescue. I do not think that I've really begun to process this so I'm not going to even pretend to blog on it. I'm really good at answering questions about it right now, but can't yet do any more than that. I will, however, share the blogs of two others who were with me.

Watching the storm come at LaLa's house.
Bridge leaving Port Au Prince. More water in it than I've ever seen.
"Bright before me the signs implore me:
Help the needy and show them the way.
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's going to rain today."

~I think it's going to rain today~
Norah Jones

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Well hello, Isaac

Hurricane prep is something that is very normal to me. Growing up in South Carolina, I have memories of my whole family sleeping on futons in the living room, evacuating & sitting on 1-26 for hours (and never leaving Charleston), & buying Teddy Grahams for our evacuation during Hurricane Hugo. No big deal, right? That was when I lived in a country full of closing windows, paved roads, & reliable power. Not in the Caribbean. Enter Tropical Storm Isaac. As of right now, it's poised to hit us tonight & tomorrow. Possibly being a Category 1 Hurricane. So today is full of prep.

Clinic ran as normal today- except that when we were done, we covered out shelves with plastic, put down the shutters, and moved everything away from the windows. I said a special prayer as I taped the filing cabinet, knowing that water damage to our files would be devastating to me. Then we made a place for our little elderly people to come stay- away from their mud huts in Jubilee. And while all of this was happening, no one I talked to actually believed that the rain was coming. And I hope that they are right. 

So tonight I'm going to grab the E-pack (emergency pack), head to Lala's house, get wet (of that I'm sure), play some games, & wait out the storm. Going to join the hurricane party happening at the Jubilee school, hoping that it's completely unnecessary. Pray for the hurricane to turn. 
Filing cabinet- taped up and waiting
Thank you, Scott & WD40

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Have you ever noticed how quiet things tend to be in the US of A? Really. Take a minute, walk inside your house, turn off all your electronics, & listen. No one shouting outside to come buy water, no rumbling of tap taps & motos, no dogs barking, no generators rumbling, & no Haitian doorbell (taking a rock, tapping it on a metal gate). When it rains, you can sit inside your house, in the air conditioning, & enjoy power despite the storm blowing outside. You can actually do laundry while water is falling from the sky! And your clothes dry. Candles are for decoration & scents not for practicality. Toilets flush without the help of a bucket of water. You can drink out of the faucet- without adopting a little creature into your body. Crazy!

This week I am enjoying some quiet. Seeing friends, road trips, reading, new movies, & eating good food. And I'm very thankful for it.

Friday, August 3, 2012


I was sitting in Jubilee the other day and watched some kids play their own version of soccer. It involved one goal, rotating goalie (depending on who scored), about 5 players, & a very serious referee. The ball was a busted tennis ball that had been rolled up with some cloth. The referee had a whistle, red & yellow cards made of some sort of plastic, & he was very animated in his calls. He would stand up, wave his arms, toss cards, & even sometimes step in and separate a brewing fight. These kids proceeded to play this game for almost two and a half hours. 

Yesterday, the kids taught us how to play a tic-tac-toe like game using white & black rocks.

I currently have a friend's 4 year old staying with me for two weeks. We've watched him use a box as a car for hours. Play with my growing rottweiler for a whole morning. Sit and look at books he can't yet read. Use a Candy Land board as his own keyboard/laptop. Sit in buckets full of water & soap and splash, play, & laugh. The laughing is the best.

Windy days in Jubilee, kites fill the sky. Made of trash.

I've been told that play is the work of children. 
The kids here may work harder than anyone else.

Simplicity can be a blessing.

"The abundant life Jesus offers is freedom from the poverty that says some people are worthless and freedom from the wealth that tempts others to forget God. Beneath the illusions of the power called money, this is our deepest hunger: to know we are loved unconditionally and to know our neighbors in light of that love."
God's Economy: Redefining the Health and Wealth Gospel
by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

"Love & Love
And nothing else
It's all I need"
Midnight on the Interstate
Trampled by Turtles