Ke Kontan

Ke Kontan

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Day 25- Teaching & Mountains !

      Well today was yet again another fantastic day in Haiti ! They just seem to be getting better and better.  We started off the morning by teaching the older kids because once again the teachers did not show up.  We did English flash cards with them and then did some mathematics.  After finishing the actual work we coloured and made necklaces.  The older kids are very difficult.. they love to hit each other and I swear the younger kids know how to share better then they do !!! After doing the crafts we did some more math.  The whole time I was teaching Phil was constantly pulling kids off of each other.  Although it was exhausting it was also fun.  School finished an hour early today since it is Friday. 
      After school we walked to Western Union to pick up some money to give Jean to help pay the teachers.   We then went to a shop and bought some white paint and wiring.  When we get back to the orphanage on Sunday we are going to paint the kitchen and the children's bathroom.  We are also hoping to fix the toilet.
      I contaced We Advance clinic is Wharf Jeremy today to see about volunteering this weekend.  I was able to confirm the plans and we will be staying there tomorrow night until Sunday morning.  Tomorrow we will be helping out with wash day (they bathe a bunch of kids in the community in inflatable pools) as well as helping with therapy.  Saturday we are helping to organize the medical dome.  I am definitely looking forward to this trip.  This is the trip that Caleb and I had planned.  I am glad Phil is here to do it with me. 
The main problem with arranging the trip to Cite Soliel was transportation.  Luckily Phil met a man on the plane ride to Haiti who offered to drive us anywhere.  He gave Phil his number but he is only in Haiti until Saturday.  His name is Amos.  He is from Haiti and grew up in an orphanage.  He now lives in the states and comes here to sell cars.  He was so glad that we are helping out in an orphanage.  We decided to call him today about transportation for tomorrow.  He did not even hesitate to say yes.  Not only did he tell us that he would drive us tomorrow morning but he also asked if he could come visit us at the orphanage today.  He came around two thirty.  It was nice to talk to someone who spoke English, Creole, and French because he can translate for us.  After talking for awhile he asked Phil and I if we would like to go see the mountains!!! We had talked about how we would like to go up the mountains yesterday so we couldn't believe that he offered to take us ! We packed up our bags with water, snacks, and of course our camera's.  We first stopped at the guest house he was staying at so he could change.  At the guest how they have a fridge with pop and beer.  Phil and I decided to try the Haitian beer called Prestige.  It was very good ! We had not finished our beer yet when Amos was ready to go so we were planning on chugging them but instead Amos told us that we can just bring them with us.  In Canada that would be against the law!  I have realized there are not many rules or laws in Haiti.  Driving is absolutely crazy here.. we drove through streets that were filled with people and Amos did not slow down but just honked his horn and they all scattered out of the way.  The scenery was absolutely beautiful and it was neat because we drove through a huge market.  When we got to the top we stopped and took some pictures and also bought some souvenirs. Another thing I enjoyed about the ride was the great music that Amos played. I had met Amos for five minutes at the airport (although Phil had talked to him for an hour) and right away he trusted him and let him take us up to the mountains today.. in Canada that would never happen !!! We offered to pay him but he would not accept the money.  I am hoping that I can stay in contact with him he would be a great friend to have !
      Amos is picking us up at nine tomorrow morning so we can arrive at the clinic for around ten.  He said if it wasn't for the traffic in Haiti it would probably only take 10 mins to get there ! I am very excited for tomorrow.  I think it will be a great experience. Cite Soliel is very dangerous (the kidnapping capital) and the poorest area in Haiti but they need the most help.  Amos told us tonight that when his brother went (who is Haitian) he was jumped and had his ear cut off.  That story scared me a little but it sounds like the area we are going to is pretty safe.  The clinic is all fenced in.  It is definitely a risk that I am willing to take. 
      Everyday I fall in love with Haiti more and more.  I can see myself living here in the near future.  It is absolutely amazing ! Not only the scenery but the lifestyle and the people as well.  It is crazy here but I love it.  Words cannot even describe it.  Pictures will not even do it justice.  It is something that you need to see first hand.  I wish everyone back home could come.. but then again it is not for everyone.  These last two days have been the best days yet (other than the beach, that was amazing too!) and I am sure this weekend is going to be amazing as well !
     I am beginning to improve on my French and I have also learned a few creole words and sayings. 
Well I am off to go play with the kiddies before bed ! Once again I am exhausted and tomorrow will be a busy day !
Mwen renmen Ayiti <3 (I Love Haiti) 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Day 24 !

Today started off to be an emotional day but ended great !  Mom departed for Canada this morning after spending six days in Haiti with me.  The kids were not happy to see her leave.  We spent the night last night watching the Jungle Book with the kids, jean, and his wife and then they all sang a goodbye song. We left the orphanage at six this morning and Djins Keith came with us to drop mom off (it is his birthday today).  After saying goodbye to Mom, we waited at the airport for Phil to arrive.  We had to wait two hours.  Phil arrived around eight thirty ! It was great to see Phil and he seemed very happy to be here.  I do not think he stopped smiling for the entire ride to the orphanage.  One of Phil's bags was lost during the flight change which contained a lot of clothes and shoes for the children.  Although he lost one bag he still had tons of things to give to the children. He still had two other suitcases full of clothes, shoes, toys, etc.  I showed Phil around the orphanage and visited the classrooms. We played with the kids during recess and then took a break and went and sat up on the roof.  The view is absolutely amazing.  It is great to have someone here who shares the same interests.  Phil came to Haiti last November to help build.  He has also gone to many other countries to volunteer.  We both have the same dream.. to one day build our own orphanages ! We talked for quite awhile about many things and also about how we both would love to live in Haiti or another country.  Canada is definitely overrated.  I love the lifestyle here, no drama ! They only concentrate on the important things in life.  The love and hospitality they have shown me is more then I have ever received before.  It feels like home here.  They are all now apart of my family ! I can't stop thinking about June 4th (the day I leave).. it does not feel like I have been here for a month.  I wish I could stay the rest of the summer.  Only ten days left.. everyday my heart is breaking a little more. 
After hanging out at the orphanage for awhile we headed to the supermarket to buy Djins Keith a birthday present and a cake ! He picked out a helicopter, remote control police car, and a football. During our walk to the supermarket a man walked by us; I was expecting a rude comment or him to ask for money (because of the look he was giving us)  but instead he yells out "God will bless you because you are not racist" and then smiled at us.  For some reason that comment alone has made today awesome.  After the supermarket we came back to the orphanage and ate some cake and played with the new toys!!! Phil brought a few soccer balls with him and we blew some bubbles.  Today has been a great day.
It is raining once again.  It has rained for the past six nights.  Tent City and the tents around our area are being completely destroyed.  There are so many belongings in the sewage drains and on the streets.  Hurricane season has arrived.  I feel horrible for those without shelter, I cannot imagine the fear they must have.  It is so sad to believe a year has gone by and people are still without homes.  There are probably more people living in tents then there are people living in stable households.
We are having a problem with the teachers here.  Jean has not been able to pay them since January.  I have given him a lot of money but he has lots of debts to pay off (including $5000 for rent).  They are refusing to write the exams for the kids and many are not showing up for work.  They cannot afford transportation to the orphanage everyday let alone food, shelter, and whatever else they made need ! I feel very bad for them since all of them attended University and received degrees.  Jean is very lucky that they are even still working.  Back home if we did not receive pay for one week we would quit and  take the employer to court.  Imagine going four months without pay after you worked so hard for a degree.
Jean is also hoping to put beds in the orphanage for the children and build a top level to the orphanage for classrooms.  It is a great idea since the orphanage is very small for all of the children he has that come for free schooling, but that is going to cost around $5000 as well.  
Michele Duguay has helped me to come in contact with a man named Danel Georges.  He works for MUCI organization and can help the orphanage out ! They may even help Jean complete his project of building more classrooms ! I have emailed Danel and he said he would love to help.  We are arranging for him to come and visit OREA.  Jean is calling him tonight !
I am feeling a lot better today.  My cold/respiratory infection is almost gone now ! I have a few infected insect bites but they are healing up as well.  My elbow was very swollen with pus a few days ago but I have been cleaning it often and using anti biotic cream.  My body has definitely adjusted to the temperature.  It was in the mid to high 80's today and I found it chilly ! I am going to freeze when I go back to Canada ! Hoping the weather will be nice by then. 
Phil met a man on the plane to Haiti who has offered to give us rides.  We would like to go to Cite Soliel on Friday to help out at the medical clinic with wash day and therapy for the kids.  We would stay over Friday night, help organize the medical dome on Saturday and then head back to the orphanage on Sunday.  I am hoping we can make these plans work ! I am really looking forward to visiting Cite Soliel even though it is the kidnapping capital.  On May 31st Phil and I are going to visit Hope Hospital and help Rigan (the head nurse).  We are going to stay until June 2nd so I am really looking forward to that as well.
Phil and I are both exhausted tonight.. we both had early mornings and busy days.  We are going to watch a movie with the kids and then probably head to bed ! Tomorrow we are going to buy paint, a shower head, and parts for the toilet ! Hoping to finally fix up the children's bathroom so they no longer have to go in a pail !
There are many things that I have learned in Haiti such as: NEVER bite your nails here, they are constantly dirty; Always wear sunscreen even when it does not seem sunny; bring wipes with you because after a day of walking in town you are completely covered in dirt and exhaust fumes; drink lots and LOTS of water, you become dehydrated very quickly; smile at people and they will usually always smile back; start conversations because most people think that you are a stuck up American, but once you begin talking they do not want to stop; never take a picture of someone on the streets (at least not when they are looking); do not travel after 5pm; bring lots of bug spray (although that doesn't help too much, you are going to get bitten no matter what); check your bed for cock roaches; do not touch any wires because there is a good chance you are going to get a shock; save everything you are doing on your computer and charge your camera,phones, etc when you can because you never know when the electricity will shut off and turn on next; shower in a bathing suit because they enjoy opening the bathroom door; make sure you go to the bathroom before seven thirty or else you may have to use the bucket; do not walk on the streets, cars will not stop for you; wear a Canada shirt; eat all food that is put in front of you or else it is insulting; if the food tastes horrible make sure you have lots of water near by; make sure you check the kids before you pick them up or set them on your lap, a lot of the times they have peed their pants; if the soccer ball is wet, do not pick it up, it probably means that it rolled into the bathroom area (the kids go in the bucket for number 2 but for number 1 they go right on the ground).  There are so many more but those are the only ones I could think of right now !
Being here really makes you appreciate things back home.  Although I know when I return to Canada I am going to feel very guilty and upset.  I wish I could bring all of the kids home with me ! I am going to miss them so much.

Hope things are going well back home !
Miss you all

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Day 20

Once again it rained through the night leaving a great amount of water on the ground and many streets flooded. 
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season begins and U.S. government forecasters expect it to be an above average season.
As many as 18 named tropical storms are expected to develop before the season ends Nov. 30, and three to six of those could strengthen into major hurricanes with top winds of 111 mph or higher, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.
Haiti’s extreme deforestation, from decades of over farming and the cutting of trees for charcoal, compounds the flood risk from even weak tropical storms, Read said, and hundreds of thousands of Haitians are still living in tents after the earthquake (information from Haitian 
We were up at five this morning to get ready to go to the beach.  Jean only wanted seven of the fourteen kids to come but when the others found out that they would not be coming they began to cry.  I felt so bad for them and went and spoke with Jean.  He said his only concern is having to watch all of them.  I told him I would give him some extra money and his wife finally talked him into it.  We decided to bring twelve of the fourteen kids and leave the two youngest behind.  All twelve children, Jean, his wife, Mom, and I all loaded up into the back of a Tap Tap.  The kids were so excited.  They had all kinds of questions on the way to the beach since most of them have not seen the outside in quite awhile.  We went through many small towns that have been completely ravished by the earthquake and Jean stopped the vehicle in front of the President House (like the White House) so we could take pictures of the damage caused by the earthquake.  It took quite awhile to get there and we stopped at two other beaches to see if they would be cheaper but they were not very nice.  We ended up going to the beach that I had previously gone to with Jean, Blaire, Josh and Sam.  We finally arrived at the beach and unloaded the truck.  We had buckets of water, bags of food, and bags of toys to carry to the water.  There was music playing when we arrived (English music actually! Such as Akon, Eminem, and Bob Marley).  All of the girls got up and danced.  It was so cute ! After that we got all of the kids into their swimsuits and headed for the water.  None of the kids know how to swim since they have never been to a beach before and they do not have swimming pools in Haiti.  A lot of them were scared of the water and would not go in at first.  After Jean and I jumped in they became more brave.  I always had about five or six of them hanging onto me and whoever I could not carry with me sat on the steps and waited for someone to go and get them.  The older kids ended up going off on their own.  Ricostah hated the water and cried when we tried to bring him in it.  We stayed in the water for a bit and then all got out and had snacks.  We had brought with us bananas, cookies, cheese, muffins, nuts, plantain chips and lots of water!  We played some soccer and skipped and then went back into the water.  I had a blast !! It was so awesome to see the kids having fun.  It was definitely worth every penny and I am glad we ended up bringing the other kids as well.  I have never seen Jean's wife so happy.  Jean ended up buying Haitian fruit for all of the kids and us as well.  It is kind of a mix between an orange and a mango.  We ended up staying at the beach until one thirty.  The kids and I were completely exhausted by then.  Many fell asleep on the way home.  The exhaust from the vehicles is very hard on your lungs and you get a lot of dust in your eyes when riding in the back of the truck.  We got back to the orphanage at three thirty.  I was expecting the kids to take a nap but as soon as we arrived at the orphanage they seemed full of energy again!  Mom and I had potatoes and hot dogs for dinner.  It was pretty good !!! Tonight we are playing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the kids (that's if the electricity stays on).  It has been a long but great day ! I am looking forward to bed tonight. 

Day 19

It started to rain last night around six thirty.  It continued to thunderstorm for two consecutive hours and on and off during the night.  It resulted in ten to twelve inches of water on the ground.  Tent city received the worst of it.  Three children drowned and many shelters and belongings were washed away in the storm.  There are eighteen hurricanes on their way to Haiti.  They are supposed to hit between June 1st and the beginning of August. However, there are 3-6 major hurricanes that are supposed to hit by mid June. Haiti does not need anymore devastation; they are still recovering from the earthquake and hurricane that hit last November.  The pain seems never ending for Haitians. 
Last night was the first night that I had a good sleep since being here.  I think it is because the rain prevented people from partying on the streets so it wasn't too noisy except for the sound of rain, wind, and thunder.  Mom and I were up at six this morning.  I took my bucket shower and then played with the kids.  At nine we left the orphanage to go to Western Union to pick up some money that my Mom wired before she came.  After that we went to a shop to buy paint and other supplies.  We ended up buying Jean a new saw, hammer, supplies for painting, and light bulbs.  I was amazed.  All of that only came to $25 US.
When we got back to the orphanage Jean had a friend come over to help build the new ladder.  Finally they no longer have to use that ladder that looks like it is going to fall apart any day now to get onto the roof.  Jean and his friend also went to another shop and bought more tin to build a roof over the kids bathroom.  After they were finished building the roof we put the new light bulbs to use ! We now have a light in the bathroom, in the main bedroom, and another light in one of the classrooms.  We got a lot done today !! We gave the kids some pages out of the colouring books and it kept them occupied for quite awhile.  Yvenson was very sick today.  He had a fever and seemed pretty lethargic.  I gave him some cough medicine and then he went down for a nap.  He seemed to be feeling better later in the day.  I really need to potty train him though.  He pees his pants constantly and then wants to be picked up.. half the time you don't even realize he has peed his pants until you are already holding him or he's already sitting on your lap.  A lady came to the orphanage at eleven to braid my hair again.  It took three and a half hours !!!!! My corn rows only took forty five minutes.  However, getting my hair braided this time did not hurt nearly as much as getting corn rows.  By the time I was finished my back and neck were so stiff and I was hungry.  We had chicken, potatoes, and macaroni salad for dinner.  When we were finished eating we sat down with Jean and arranged plans for the beach tomorrow.  Jean wants to only bring seven kids (the older ones).  He was unsure if we could go because of the cost.  We wrote down the cost for everything and it worked out to be $75 in total for everyone.  That includes transportation and entrance to the beach.  It is definitely worth it !!! Especially because most of the kids have not seen outside of the orphanage since they arrived here.  Jean and his wife seemed very excited about going.  As soon as we finished organizing the plans they left to go buy food and things for the beach tomorrow ! It is the first time that I have seen his wife leave the orphanage since the first Sunday I was here when we went to Church.  The two housewives had worked so hard all day and were now left with the children to tend to.  Mom and I decided to give them a break and put a movie in for the kids.  They were glad to have some time to themselves.  It started raining again tonight around seven.  The kids played and showered in the rain.  After they were finished showering we brought them into the orphanage and set up chairs and I played Ice Age on my lap top.  While the kids were watching the movie, Mom and I played Yahtzee.  The electricity ended up going out halfway through the movie so they were unable to finish it.  We decided to go to bed early since we will be waking up at five tomorrow to leave for the beach at six.  Although the sound of the rain helps me sleep, I am hoping that it stops soon.  I feel terrible for all of the people living in the tents.  It not only would be wet and cold, but it would also be scary with all of the wind and lightening. 
I am off to bed ! I am so excited for the beach tomorrow !

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Day 18

Tuesday night was the first night it had rained in approx. 10 days.  It rained so hard that the front room of the orphanage filled with water.  We had to constantly mop it.  My cold has not gotten better, if anything it has got worse.  Jean went to the pharmacy and bought me some medicine yesterday.  I spent most of the day sleeping and had a high fever.  I find that my Asthma is a lot worse here because of all of the dust in the air. .  After taking a nap and taking some medicine I was feeling better and went outside and played hop scotch with the kids.  I ended up finishing The Book of Negroes (most amazing book I have ever read).  I recommend it to anyone and everyone !!! I even began re-reading it (never thought I would enjoy a novel that much).  Later in the afternoon Jean asked if I could type up some documents for him.  I thought it would be easy work but it is a lot harder typing out documents in French.  Jean and I stayed up pretty late working on a welcome banner for my mom.  It gets dark here around seven so we had the kids holding flash lights so we could see what we were doing.  We finally finished it around 8:30. 
I did not sleep at all last night.  There were a lot of people in the streets and it was way too noisy.  Sometimes it is also scary because it sounds like they are hoping the orphanage gate.  Thank God for the metal bars and lock on my door !! 
I was up at six this morning and we put the finishing touches on the banner and hung it up outside.  My Mom's plane landed at 8:30.  We were at the airport an hour early so it seemed like quite a long wait.  It was good to see her though ! We took a tap tap back to the orphanage and unloaded her stuff.  She had a lot of the same reactions that I did.  She could not believe all the tents and all the people ! The streets are so crowded here.  After we unpacked her things we gave the kids some candy, clothes, Canadian water bottles, and gifts for Jean and his wife.  We gave Jean a new lap top donated by Microage.  I have never seen anyone so excited!! He spent most of the day setting it up. We did some crafts with the kids and played a few games.  We went to the supermarket to pick up some things for the orphanage. Mom did not enjoy the traffic and she cannot believe how hot it is.  I thought today was actually quite cool, guess I am getting used to the weather !
After the supermarket we came back to the orphanage and had lunch.  Jean's wife made an awesome drink.  It was kind of like a smoothie.  It was made from Banana and Guava. We ate chicken, potatoes and rice. It began to rain around six tonight and it is still raining now.  The kids took showers in the rain.  After they were finished with their showers I set up my lap top inside the orphanage and put on Caillou.  While they were watching that my mom and I taught English to Jean and his wife.  After Caillou was finished most of the younger kids were passed out on the floor and the older ones wanted to watch Peter Pan. 
There was no school yesterday or today because yesterday was Flag Day in Haiti.  There is also no school tomorrow so we will be busy with the kids once again.
Today was a long day and I am completely exhausted !!! Tomorrow Mom and I are painting the kids bathroom and hopefully getting the toilet fixed so they no longer have to use a bucket.  I am also having my hair braided again.  Saturday we are going to the beach and taking the older kids with us.  I am definitely looking forward to that !!!

Heading to bed now.  Send my love to everyone back home xoxo

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Day 16

Life does not always make sense.  It never will.  We are forced to adapt to the unexpected or unwanted things that life may throw our way.  Some people are unable to adapt or cope.  Others are grateful for these misfortunes because they learn from them.  The truth is.. life is messy.  It is not supposed to be perfect and it never will be.  Life is not supposed to be simple.  Life is the most difficult thing to understand.  The only thing we must understand is that life goes on.  Terrible things may occur such as death, natural disasters, and war.  Although it may seem like the pain is too much, it is not.  Things can always get worse. You will fall, you will hurt, you may feel like you no longer want to go on, but if you hold on and have faith, you will survive.  What you may find impossible right now, may become possible in the near future.  Everyone can turn their life around, no matter how hard it may seem.  You have to believe that, fight for that, and know that you will endure hardships along the way that may make you want to give up, call it quits, but don't.  Remember the quote from Edward Everett Hale "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do".  Even the people you trust the most, the people you love, your friends, your family, the one's that love you, are going to hurt you at some point. It is sad to say, but the truth is, some people find pleasure in others pain.  The one's that find pleasure in hurting you, do not deserve to be apart of your life.  They are only going to bring you down and make you feel worthless.  However, do not make the mistake of pleasuring yourself by hurting them in return.  Instead, forgive them, be the bigger person, let it go and move on.  People judge others before getting to know who they really are.  No one will ever understand another completely, because no one can walk in the shoes of someone else and witness all of the things that they have, feel the way that they have, or know the things that they know.  But do know that someone, somewhere, does love you.  And that one person is enough.  To have even one soul that cares is enough to pull you through the most difficult of times.  Remind the people you love how much they mean to you. You never know when they will need you, need your words of encouragement, and your help.  Life is not about who makes the most money, who has the higher education, or who is more popular, it is about doing everything you can to help another. To do all you can to improve the life of another human being.  You may only help one person, you may help ten, or a hundred, the number does not matter.  Even if you feel you have not succeeded, you may be wrong. 
Take a look in the mirror, is looking back at you everything you want to be?  If not, make the change now.  You have one life.. live it.  Do not let the past stand in the way.  Do not let others deter you from what you want in life. One day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure that it is worth watching.  Make sure that it is the life you wanted, that you did everything in your power to accomplish your goals and dreams.  You never know when your time will come, so live every day as if it is your last.
Make mistakes, make lots of them, but learn from them.  Sometimes the greatest lessons in life come from our mistakes.  Face your fears and be willing to take risks.  Although there is a chance you may end up with less, there is also a chance that you may gain more then you had imagined.  
For me, traveling the world is not about enjoyment, it is to learn.  To learn of the difficulties that others encounter, to learn of new lifestyles and to immerse yourself into those lifestyles.  Live how they live.  Feel how the feel.  Be apart of their culture and learn as much as you can from it.  Haiti is an amazing learning opportunity.  I still find it breath taking, I am constantly at a loss of words.  Seeing so much poverty and devastation, yet seeing them smile and show so much love towards each other and to anyone that comes their way.  They still believe in God and have more faith then I have ever seen.  This shows us just how strong we can be.  How much we need each other. Although the wounds may never heal, although the pain may always remain deep inside us, we can look to the future with hope and know that things can get better/easier with time.

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded"- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Send my love to everyone back home ! xoxo

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Trip Update

I apologize for not being able to post a blog lately.  I have been busy and whenever I am not busy there never seems to be electricity.
Today I said goodbye to Sam and Blaire.  It was very sad.  The children were crying and did not want them to leave.  This makes me realize how hard it will be for me to leave them.  I am going to be so torn.  My heart is already breaking just thinking of the day that I must leave. 
Two teachers did not show up for work on Thursday, and on Friday only one teacher came to school.  They have not been paid for three months and cannot afford transportation to the orphanage everyday.  On Friday I taught English to the older students using flash cards.  After that I gave them pages out of a colouring book and we spent the rest of the afternoon colouring.  Jean let the students out early since they did not have a teacher.  Yesterday I helped Jean sweep and mop the orphanage.   The housewives did not show up to work either.  It has been one hectic orphanage the last few days.
Last night we brought out the glow sticks for the kids and took some pictures.  We went into our rooms and sat around and talked before bed.  From the room beside us we could here the kids singing.  They were singing a goodbye song to Sam, Josh, and Blaire.  It was sooo cute!!!
I still have not been able to sleep.  I am very itchy.  We were unable to go back to the hospital to get my prescription because Jean had to stay and teach the children.  I am hoping to go sometime this week and bring the rest of the children from the orphanage to get them checked out as well.
I have been reading a lot while here, whenever I am not busy with the children.  I recommend The Book of Negroes to everyone !!!! It is an amazing and heart wrenching novel.  It shows what people went through in the days of slavery (although slavery still exists in some areas) and makes us realize how awesome we have it.
It seems like everyday I am getting weaker and weaker and more exhausted.  I imagine this is due to the combination of lack of sleep, being sick, and only eating one meal a day. I still have my cold.. starting to wonder if it is a respiratory infection.  Also, I have been sick to my stomach since yesterday.  It must be from something I ate.  Thank God for Imodium !!! 
Everyday I become closer and closer with the children and develop new bonds.  Jean's second oldest son, Hanskery, told me that he loved me today and asked if he could come back to Canada.  He is such a sweetheart, whenever he see's me he runs up to me and has to hold my hand.  All of the children in the Orphanage are amazing.  Jean has done a great job raising them.
I am looking forward to my moms arrival.  I have been speaking with Alison Thompson who volunteers in Haiti often.  She works at a medical clinic in Cite Soleil.  I have asked if I could come and visit and bring my medical supplies for them.  She said that I can definitely go visit her for a few days.  Cite Soleil is where Caleb and I wished to go to do the medical outreach.  It is the slums of Haiti and is known as the kidnapping capital.  It is located in Port Au Prince where I am currently residing and it is known as the poorest and most dangerous area of the Western Hemisphere.  The area is said to have no sewers, stores, electricity, health care facilities, or schools.  They definitely need all the help they can get.  I cannot wait to go and visit Alison. 
It will be very lonely here for the next few days having a room to myself !
Thank you everyone for all of your messages.. If I do not respond right away I apologize.  I will respond as soon as I can !

Miss you all back home !!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Day 10 - Hope Hospital

Today has been a long, but productive day.  I did not get any sleep last night.  My entire body is itchy.  I received a message from Michelle Duguay this morning (she is very involved with Haiti and OREA Orphanage).  I had previously told her about a few of the children having Scabies.  She went on to tell me that it is very contagious and usually begins in the crease of your arms or legs.  Of course, I realize now that what I thought were small bites/cuts in the crease of my arm, are Scabies.  It explains why I was so itchy last night.  Scabies is a parasite that borrows into your skin and creates an allergic reaction.  I contracted it from one of the girls at the orphanage (Abigaelle).  It has started to spread down my arm but I am hoping to get it treated before it spreads anymore.  I am glad that we had arranged to go to Hope Hospital today.  We had an appointment at ten but we had to arrange for transportation so we did not arrive until eleven.  Jean's friend drove us there.  We brought Abigaelle and Meetchgave with us to the hospital so I could have them checked out as well and so we could get treatment for Abigaelle's Scabies.  The journey to the hospital was interesting.  We went through many different parts of town.  I witnessed a man on the side of the road who could not use his legs.  To get around he was scooting on his bottom by using his hands.  I wish I could have picked him up and brought him to the hospital with us.  The Hospital is really nice, as well as the area around it.  Rigan met us in the waiting room at the hospital.  He brought us to the doctor to have the kids and myself checked out.  The doctor prescribed us all medication.  He then gave us a tour of the hospital which was very interesting.  He showed us the ICU, the Pediatric Ward, and the general rooms.  The cost for the examinations came to only $20 US.  I paid about $15 US for all of our prescriptions.  I paid an extra $15 for the children to have blood and urine tests done to make sure nothing else is wrong with them.  We are going back to the hospital tomorrow for the results and I am bringing Ricostah with us to get checked out.  Ricostah was neglected by his parents and looks as if he is starving.  He also has some sort of cold or respiratory infection, as well as a bump on his head.  When we returned to the orphanage Sam & I had our braids taken out.  We noticed that the Scabies was spreading to my head as well.  It took awhile to get all of the corn rows out of my hair but the kids helped me out ! It felt so good to be able to actually wash my hair properly.  After taking a shower I sat down Jean and had a heart to heart.  I needed to know where all of the money was going and what debts he had left to pay.  He wrote down all the expenses and explained so much to me ! He told me all about the kids and how they ended up at the orphanage.  It brought tears to my eyes.  So many kids have lost their parents, but lots have also been neglected by their parents.  One story in particular broke my heart.  Jean was the first person to walk down the street where the orphanage is located.  He was searching for a new place to keep the children.  While he was searching, he came a cross a young boy who seemed very sick.  This boy was Yvenson.  He told me that he should have been dead from the earthquake yet he survived.  His mother died but his father neglected him and did not want him anymore.  Not only was Yvenson neglected and starving.  He also contracted Cholera in February this year.  He had it very bad but also managed to survive through that.  He is one strong little boy and has the cutest smile in the world.  Jean told me how he could leave Haiti and have a better life but he chooses to stay and help out.  His family and friends do not always understand him but he said he cannot do anything but follow his heart.  These children are his life.  He has sacrificed everything to give these kids a better life.   He still owes money for rent, which if he does not pay the orphanage will be shut down in July.  He also owes money for food and has not been able to pay the teachers since January.  He owes the teachers $125 per month.  He also needs $20 a day to be able to feed the children and his family.  He is struggling daily to survive.  I wish I could help him more.  I have found a lap top to bring him.  My mom is going to bring it with her when she comes.  Rigan has also been a huge help.  Although we had to pay for our prescriptions today, he said that he will get medicine for the rest of the children for free and he would like to come visit the orphanage often. 
I currently am surrounded by five children who are all playing with my hair and hugging me.  I love them and will do anything to make sure these children continue to receive the care and love that they need.  I do not know how I will be able to leave them.  I miss the kids from Ghana like crazy .. but I have a feeling leaving the kids from OREA Orphanage will break my heart even more.  I am already planning my trip back to Haiti !
Everyday it seems as if I learn more and more and fall in love with these children and Jean's family more and more. 
I have to help teach Jean and his wife (mommy- she insists that we call her that) English.  I hope everything is going well back home.  Thank you for everyone who has given me donations and thanks to everyone who are still giving.  I appreciate it so much as well as Jean and the children. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Day 9- Life changing

We take so much for granted.  No one ever seems happy; no one ever seems satisfied.  We constantly want more and more even though we have more than the necessities which are required to survive.  We have a roof over our head, running water, electricity, vehicles, food on our tables, and access to unlimited resources.  Yet we still feel the need to complain.  As soon as something small happens, between friends, or family, we seek attention by expanding the story, gossiping, and creating drama to hurt others when you could just let it go, move on, and forgive.  We find pleasure in hurting others and it is honestly sickening.  We need to learn to let the little things go and learn from our mistakes. Being here and being immersed into a completely different lifestyle is mind blowing.  You realize how much you take for granted and how ridiculous or meaningless some of the things we say and do are.  People are struggling daily in Haiti and in many other areas around the world to survive.  They have lost everything, their homes, their family and friends, and most of all their dignity and pride for their country.  Although they lost so much, they still have the ability to smile, to love, and the ability to still appreciate what they do have left.  They have so little, but have given me so much.  I came here expecting to impact or change lives but instead the have impacted and changed mine.
I wish everyone could have the experience that I am having, and gain as much as they can from it.  It really does change your perspective on everything. These children and people are amazing.  They are more generous and kind then most people back home.
The Alneus' are like family now.  Jean has a huge heart and puts the children before himself (not only his children but all of the children in Haiti).  Jean has a dream to improve the lives and offer free education to children here.  He has said many times that it would be so much easier for him to do bad in Haiti (i.e. Steal) then good, but he chooses to do the right thing.  He prays to God that by doing good he will he will be able to keep the orphanage running and be able to continue to impact the lives of children.  He has no income other then the donations that he receives.  He is already offering free school at OREA Orphanage to approx. sixty children.  Jean is trying so hard to improve his English; he studies all day every day.  He would like to be able to present his dreams for the future to his friends on facebook and he would like to come and visit Canada.  I truly feel as if this is what I am meant to be doing.  I find happiness here and helping others.  I enjoy traveling to different countries and witnessing different lifestyles.  It truly does amaze me.  I will definitely be coming back to Haiti for years to come.
Jean pulled me aside this morning and spoke to me more about Hope Hospital.  He said last night that he did not want us to go but today he said he would like to come with us and bring Abigaelle to receive treatment for her Scabies.
My sunburn is starting to feel better ! I still look like a lobster though.  Now I am just waiting for this cold to subside.
This morning I made some more bracelets for the kids.  We even taught Jean how to make them.  I spent most of the day playing with kids and I took a nap with Meetchgave.  She slept on my chest.  I think we both were not feeling the best so the nap did us good ! After dinner we took some pictures with the kids and I helped Jean learn some more English.  Jean set up a game for the kids, kind of like pin the tail on the donkey but much more creative.  We blind folded the kids with a dish towel.  Drew a circle on the ground with chalk which they were to stand in. We set a water bottle on one of the ledges which they had to find and knock over.  If they succeeded then we gave them a sucker ! It was a blast.  The kids had so much fun with it.  We will have to play it again before I leave.
As I am writing this there is a fight going on outside of the orphanage. It gets pretty scary here at night.  I am so glad that nothing has happened yet.  I still feel safe here.  Jean locks our metal gate at night so no one can get in.  The only negative thing about that is if you have to go to the bathroom you must use the bucket.. I have had to use the bucket a few times now!! He locks the door around eight thirty.  He also never warns you before he does it. I guess it makes things that much more interesting !!!
To finish off my statement above... I really recommend emerging yourself into this kind of experience.  So many people tell me that they would like to do it.. if you would like to do it then make it happen !!! No matter what the age or gender.. it will still be life changing.  I wish I could have brought everyone back home with me.  Although their is much sadness here.. there is also so much joy ! Seeing the children smile is by far the most rewarding thing I could ever ask for.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Day 8

I was up today around 6:30.  I was not feeling well at all and I did not sleep last night; it was way too hot !!! I think I was also feeling upset because the dreams I had last night were about Caleb and people/friends back home.  This is the first day I felt pretty home sick.  I ran out of moisturizer this morning and my sunburn was hurting a lot.  I took another bucket shower this morning and it felt so refreshing.  After painting the bathroom it definitely looks a lot better.  We had eggs and bananas for breakfast again this morning.  I love the bananas here.  I spent most of my morning making bracelets for the kids, playing with a few of the younger ones, and trying to contact Rigan Louis on facebook.  Rigan was the first person I contacted when I decided that I wanted to come to Haiti.  We have been talking on facebook, skype and even on black berry messenger for the last seven months.  He is the head nurse at Hope Hospital here in Haiti.  Caleb and I were originally going to volunteer at the hospital until we came across OREA Orphanage. toutoring
Jean and Josh went to the shop today to get lumber to re-build their ladder.  The ladder that they have been using at the orphanage to get onto the roof looks as if it is going to fall apart any day now (actually the first step broke today).
After they returned from getting lumber we all went to the super market to get more supplies, food, and so Josh could go to Western Union to pick up the money his mom had sent.  I bought some crackers and juice for the children since Jean's wife had asked us this morning if we had any extra food in our room that she could give the children since they ran out and the kids were hungry.  They are definitely not getting the nutrients that they need.  I also found out today that Meetchgave (the baby) is actually eight months old and not six.  I really cannot believe that she is still wearing 0-3 month clothing.
Rigan ended up calling Jean before we went to the supermarket.  He found the orphanages number online.  I was so happy to hear his voice and he speaks perfect English!!  He is very sweet and asked if he could come visit the orphanage today once he was finished work at the hospital.  I was so excited to finally meet him and talk to him in person.  We all sat down outside and talked about Haiti, the hospital, the orphanage, and what we have been doing during our stay so far.  Abigaelle came and sat on my lap while we were talking.  I had noticed last week that she had a lot of small cuts/scabs covering her body, especially her stomach.  She also had a few infected sores.  I asked Rigan if it was anything serious and he told me that she has Scabies.  Scabies is very contagious and it is common in orphanages because the children do not have strong immune systems, they all eat the same food, sleep together, wash their hands in the same bucket, and even wear the same clothes.  I asked him if there is any treatment and if I would be able to take her to Hope Hospital.  He said that he would be able to get a prescription for her and also for the other kids that have it as well.  He told us that we could come and visit the hospital whenever we would like.  I am so glad that he stopped by and I am looking forward to going to visit him at the hospital.  However, Jean and his wife do not feel comfortable with us going to the hospital.  They are too worried about our safety.  We sat down and had a long discussion about it and we decided that we would not go because we did not want them to feel upset.  I think I will wait to save that trip for the end of my stay.  We had a big group hug and they told us that they love us and do not want us to leave.  They are absolutely amazing people and have such big hearts.  It will most definitely be hard to leave them.  They are looking into coming to Canada though! "The world is filled with so much sadness and seperation, but from that sadness and separation comes joy and happiness.  Without sadness there would be no happiness" - quote from Jean. 
After out talk, Jean asked us if we could help to teach them better English.  We brought out all of the dictionaries and flash cards that we brought and also some books that he has.  I had a blast ! It was fun spending the night with them and doing something purposeful.  His kids even participated.
Today was by far one of the best days yet.  I am looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.  We have a day of work ahead of us !

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Day 7- Church & Painting

I was up at four thirty this morning to get ready for church.  None of us had brought dress clothes so we definitely looked goofy and did not fit in.  Church starts around six but some churches begin even earlier then that.  We walked to church with Jean, his wife, and his kids.  I am still sick with a cold but felt even worse today because of my sunburn, I think I am just very dehydrated.  I thought I was going to pass out during the Church service.  It was really interesting and I am glad we went.  Church in Haiti is a lot different then Church back home.  There was so many people and the majority of the service consisted of singing, dancing, and yelling Hallelujah.  Jean asked me to go up on stage with him to speak in front of the church.  I was definitely not prepared or expecting that.  He explained to them why we are here and talked about OREA Orphanage.  I was then handed the microphone.  I was not too sure what I was supposed to say so I just thanked them for having us and thanked Jean for allowing us to stay with him.  Everyone seemed very happy that we were there.  It was by far a great experience. 
We did not receive breakfast this morning; therefore, my energy drained very quickly.  Thank God I brought granola bars with me !  When we returned to the orphanage Sam, Blaire and I washed our clothes by hand for the first time during our stay here.  It is a lot more complicated then one would assume.  There is about five different steps.  I think that it is the best way to wash your clothes though, your clothes come out cleaner then they would if you used a washing machine.  After finishing our laundry we decided to start one of the projects on our list.  Painting the bathroom.  We all took turns since there was only three brushes.  We only have one can of paint and we still need to paint the kids bathroom as well.  Jean thinned the paint by using gasoline.  The area in which we were painting is very small and enclosed, their is no air flow at all which made it difficult to breath in the fumes all afternoon.  Jean added another project to our list today.  He would like to be able to put a sink in the kids bathroom, which is a great idea since they are currently all washing their hands in the same bucket of water.  While Blaire, Josh and I painted, Sam helped to prepare the food and washed the baby. 
We only had one meal today which was around one thirty.  It was a great meal though, one of the best yet!  We had chicken, potatoes, and macaroni salad. 
I am glad that I was able to stay out of the sun today.
Tonight is the first night that we all sat down and talked about Caleb since being in Haiti.  It was very difficult, especially because he was supposed to be here.  I feel as if his smile would even light up the orphanage.  I think of him every minute of everyday.  I miss him like crazy and really wish that he could be here with us. 
Tonight is one of the hottest nights yet.  You are drenched with sweat just by sitting in our room.  Hopefully I am able to get some sleep tonight because all day I have felt absolutely exhausted.

Couldn't have done this trip without you.  See you soon !

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Beach day

I was up at five this morning.  I was so happy because we actually had electricity overnight so we were finally able to use the fans.  We left the orphanage around 8 a.m. The drive to the beach was breath taking.  It took about an hour and a half to get there.  We went through numerous towns which was exciting and depressing at the same time.  Every day it seems as if I see more and more devastation, especially from the earthquake.  It still amazes me how people can be so happy when they have so little.  We went by the presidents house (which is pretty much exactly like the white house).  It has been completely destroyed by the earthquake.  The area is surrounded by people living in tents.  There is garbage EVERYWHERE !  I found out today that the re-election is going to occur on May 30th which happens to be my birthday.  I am praying that this election goes much better than the last.  Fingers crossed that there will be no more riots.  My only birthday wish is that everything goes well.  This country does not need anymore chaos then it already has. 
The beach that Jean took us to used to be a resort but it has been destroyed by the earthquake as well.  There is a little gate that leads to the water, there is no beach, only stairs that lead into the water.  The water is beautiful.  We are once again surrounded by mountains.  It is the most peaceful and relaxing area.  You can  just float on your back and checkout all of the scenery.  I found a starfish to bring home with me and I also found another one for Sam.  I went with Blaire and Jean and swam out into the ocean.  It is the perfect place to lay in the sun, listen to music, read, and write.  The best part about it is watching all of the Haitians have a blast in the water.   Their ability to still find happiness overwhelms me.  Seeing them smile and laugh makes me feel so happy.  I wish I could do more though.  It is so hard knowing that you cannot help everyone. There are so many kind people and I wish they were able to have a better life.  It is the worst feeling knowing that when I return home I will have access to unlimited resources, a roof without any holes or open windows over my head, and a fridge full of food.  I cannot believe the amount of people still living in tents, especially families that have 5-8 people.  I cannot imagine living that way.  It would be so hot, crowded, you would have no privacy and most likely smell horrible. 
I got sooooo sun burnt.  I have had many sunburns but this one is the worst.  It is pretty much my entire body.  I am already starting to blister.  I won't be sleeping tonight !!! We all sat around the table tonight and made a list of everything we need to do around the orphanage to improve it. 
I am hoping that tomorrow I will be able to find shade.  
Jean has asked us to attend church with him tomorrow so we will be waking up at 5 since their church starts at 6.

I am looking forward to coming home and telling everyone about my experiences and how amazing Haiti is.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Day 4- Trip to the hospital

Last night was somewhat of a success.  No more cockroaches, however, I was unable to sleep due to the heat.  I tossed and turned all night.  I was up at six this morning.  I spent some time with the kids before school started and then took my second bucket shower.  It seems as if every morning I wake up with more and more bug bites.  Perhaps it is time to put the mosquito nets to use! This morning Jean asked me if I would go with him to take Meetchgave (the youngest baby girl about 6 months old) to the hospital to get vaccinated.  We left around 8 a.m..  Blaire, Sam, and Josh decided to come with us as well.  We walked for quite awhile then finally decided to take a bus.  I carried the baby the whole way and she fell asleep in my arms. The traffic is absolutely crazy here.  We fit 26 people into one small mini van and also had people hanging off the back.  The streets are so crowded, not only with vehicles but with people walking.  We finally arrived at the hospital and it was filled with tons of young mothers and babies.  I was in heaven haha ! I could not believe all of the babies there!  There was a huge line up so I had to sit in the waiting room.  I was the only white person there of course so everyone was looking at me.  Luckily, Jean had connections with some of the nurses so they allowed us to cut the line.  Meetchgave was getting hungry and we did not have any food for her.  Meetchgave is six months old and is still only wearing 0-3 month clothing.  She was given two prescriptions as well as her vaccination.  On the way back from the hospital we stopped at one of the streets which was selling canvas paintings.  They were pretty cool... I bought a few to bring back home! When we got back to the orphanage I played catch with the kids.  Jean called over a lady to come and do my hair.  She did corn rows in my hair and braided Sam's.  I am so happy I was able to get them done so I do not have to worry about my hair while I am here but it did hurt having them done.  It took her about an hour to do my hair and about two and a half hours to do Sam's.  I gave Jean some money so he and Blaire could go buy fans.  One for our room and one for the kids.  Hopefully I will be able to sleep better tonight.
These kids make me so happy.  It feels like Haiti is where I belong.  I already am dreading the day that I have to go home.   

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Day 3

Last night was my first scary experience.  Not only did we have double the cockroaches from the night before but we had people surrounding the orphanage.  Jean kept telling us to be quiet because he didn't want them to know we are here.  There were a group of Haitians outside of our bedroom window.  Our window is not covered, it only has a curtain hanging from it.  Therefore, if they wish, they could stick any object through our window or watch what we are doing.  We heard banging on the front gate and it sounded like they may have hoped over the gate because we could here footsteps in front of our door.  Luckily our room has a metal gate across the door and a very heavy duty lock that Jean locks every night around 9pm.  The streets are crazy in PAP, there are people yelling and playing music until probably midnight.
We also found out that cockroaches can fly.
This morning I awoke to laughter and the voices of the children and of course the hot humid weather.  I do not think I could ask for a better way to be woken up.  I love being surrounded by all the noise, bright colours, and the children.  Jean has set up internet for my laptop.  The internet connection is not very strong but at least I can still use it ! The government only allows the Haitian people to have ten hours of electricity a day so we are never too sure when it will be on or not.  Yesterday we bought wiring and light fixtures so Josh and Jean could put up some lights around the orphanage.
I am getting bug bites like crazy.  Not only do we have cockroaches but we also have a colony of ants.
We took our first bucket shower today (other than when we showered in the rain).  All three of us girls were crowded into one small shower.  We used a bucket full of freezing cold water.  It was very refreshing.  Josh, Jean, & I went into town today to pick up money from Western Union which my Mom had transferred to me.  We used the money to buy food for the children and to buy supplies.  It is very hot out today and we walked pretty far. We saw UN soldiers walking in the streets with huge guns. We bought a lot of food and some diapers for the baby.  We took a bus back home and drove through many streets which have been destroyed by the earthquake.  I am amazed to see how people live like this everyday.  Most people in the streets are very kind.  If you smile at them, this will usually smile back and say Bonjuour.   I came back to the orphanage and played with the children.  One young girl, about 5 or 6, was sitting alone and had the saddest look in her eyes.  Jean had told me yesterday that her parents were killed in the earthquake.  I picked her up and right away she hugged me and put her head on my shoulder. I asked her what was wrong and she told me she was sad.  I sat with her for ten minutes and tried to get her to play but she wouldn't.  I brought her back into my room and gave her some crayons and paper.  She would not colour.  I gave her toys and bubbles but she still did not want to play.  She sat there without moving or speaking.  Just stared at the ground.  I offered her some candy & water.. she took the candy and drank the water but she did not eat the candy, just held it in her hand.  I laid her on my bed to see if she wanted to take a nap but she still would not move or speak.  I feel horrible..She is so traumatized from the earthquake and her parents death.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Yesterday she was full of laughter but today she seems as if she is the saddest child in the world.  We had our best meal yet.  We had chicken, white rice, and potatoes.  It was so good !!!! We just finished putting up screens up on the windows so hopefully no cockroaches will come in our room tonight.  Yvenson, who is about two years old, is sick.  He cries and screams in pain when he tries to go to the bathroom.  Seems like most of the children here are sick; whether it is respiratory infection, stomach problems or malnourishment.  It is starting to get windy, most likely going to rain tonight but the breeze feels great after a long hot day !
I am still sick, hoping it goes away soon.  I am looking forward to my mom & Phil Kember coming down to visit.
Jean pulled me aside today and told me that one of his housewives (the cook) wants to quit.  She did not want to do her work and she could not handle the children so he asked if he could use some of the money I gave him to give her last pay.  I feel so bad for Jean and his wife. She prepared our meal tonight which we will be eating tomorrow, which was chicken.  I helped her mash up Garlic & Celery.
So far tonight we have not had any cockroaches.. looks like the screens have worked !
I think I am a little sun burnt tonight ! My knees and arms are the worst.
It just started pouring outside.  We were waiting for rain all day and it finally comes once we are already inside and ready for bed. 
Good night everyone ! xoxo

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Day 2

Today has been a busy day with the kids. I slept okay last night.  Woke up a few times due to fear of cockroaches crawling on my face.  I woke up around 7am.  The kids were up around 4a.m.  We had hard boiled eggs & bananas for breakfast.  We didn't have much to do today as the kids were in school during the morning.  The children go to school until 1pm.  I went in to help the kindergarten class.  I gave them crayons and some paper and we practiced the alphabet.  It is hard for me to teach because they speak french.  I am slowly learning some french ! Jean is helping me learn to speak French & I am helping him learn to speak better English. We coloured with kids & then skipped, played hopscotch, and catch.  The kids sure keep you busy.  There are quite a few children who have lost their parents due to the earthquake which has destroyed most of their country.  I also noticed a few kids that are malnourished.  The one boy in particular has a very big pot belly and you can see every bone in his body.  Jean takes very good care of the children and you can tell that he really loves them if they were his own.  Jean has four children, two boys & two girls.  The two older boys can speak a little English but not much.  Jean & Josh went to the store today to get supplies to fix up the orphanage.  They are currently doing the electrical work & fixing door knobs.  Tomorrow we are painting the bathroom (which is pretty much just a drain in the ground which they go over but has cement walls around it).  They shower with a bucket of water.  The bugs are biting like crazy here ! There are so many flies at the orphanage & ants as well (& of course cockroaches).  We have not seen any tranchula's yet so I am thankful for that.  I have been reading a lot while I have been here.  Mrs. Fung gave me the novel "The Book of Negroes".  It is a very good book, upsetting though.  It gets dark here by 6:30 and is completely dark by 7:30 or 8.  The sun raises about 4 a.m and that is when the kids wake up.  Jean has asked us to go to church with them Sunday morning.  Their church starts at 6 a.m so that will be an early morning for us !
It is hard being here without Caleb because I know how much he would have loved these children and would have helped out so much! I know he is here with all of us watching over. 
I currently am surrounded by 6 kids all trying to touch my lap top & one that is playing with my hair so it is time to go for today !
I send my love to everyone back home.. anyone who is thinking of coming to Haiti I definitely recommend it !
I found out this afternoon that my mom will be coming to visit on May 18th- May 25th. 

Take care everyone.. Keep checking for new posts !

Day 1- OREA Orphanage

Today has been a long and exhausting. With no sleep last night, and being sick, I am so tired ! But it was definitely worth it.  We arrived in Haiti around 8:30 a.m today.  It was beautiful flying over Haiti.  The scenery was outstanding.  So many mountains & tin roofs.  We were greeted with a wave of heat, vibrant colours, and smiling faces.  After we grabbed our luggage (which all arrived, thank goodness!) a bunch of men ran up to us and grabbed our suitcases insisting that they carry them. Jean met us while we were walking out of the airport his "Emily Hime Welcome" shirt.  It was a relief to see him.  When leaving the airport we rode in the back of a truck.  Traffic here is crazy much like in Ghana.  We went through the tent city.  It is amazing to see how people live like this.  Seeing all of the people who lost family, friends, and their property in the earthquake is heart breaking. We arrived at the orphanage around 9:30 a.m.  We realized once we arrived that there is an hour time difference.  The children greeted us at the gate yelling out my name and singing in French.  They are all so adorable.  We were given our own rooms.  They are very nice.. not what we expected.  The children sleep on the floor of the classroom, with only blankets on the bottom.  When we walked into our rooms there were balloons and welcome signs.  It is VERY hot here, more humid then anything.  We played with the children for awhile and then went for a walk to the super market.  We were expecting just a market where people sell things but it was actually like a grocery store.  We bought lots of food for ourselves and some food for the orphanage as well.  When we were leaving the grocery store it started to rain.  We are told that it rains here every afternoon. Today It was more like a downpour.  We got absolutely soaked !!!! They call this Haitian snow.  The cereal boxes that we had bought started to fall apart and it was raining so hard that you could not see. We came back to the orphanage and decided to take a shower in the rain ! It was so much fun.  After showering and changing our drenched clothes we ate dinner.  We had rice, cooked banana, and something else.. not too sure what it was ! Jean bought us lots of bottled water.  They are so kind to us and make sure that we are eating well, that our room is cleaned, and that we are having fun! I feel very safe here.  We laid out all of the donations for Jean.  He was so happy !!!! We gave the children skipping ropes and some other toys to play with at recces. We went to bed around 9:30 after playing a few games of cards.. we were exhausted !!!! I am sick right now so that doesn't help.  As we were arranging our beds we noticed cockroaches running out of them.  We spent half an hour trying to kill them but we couldn't even catch one. Sam of course spent the whole time standing on a chair (she is terrified of them since josh told her that they bite haha)
 Although I feel safe it is dangerous.  Jean will not let us leave the orphanage unless he comes with us.  He says that people here do not have good minds.  Everyone stares at you.  He is trying to make sure that people do not know that we are staying here.  I am happy that Jean is being protective ! He has planned to take us to the beach with his family on Saturday and next week we are going to Les Cayes for the weekend.  He is also planning a trip to Cite Soleil for me so I can hand out all of the medical supplies.

I am so happy to be here, I already do not want to leave.  The children & Jean are amazing ! I feel as if I could live here.