Lately, my life could be considered chaotic. Actually, that does not even do it justice. Within the last month we have endured many hardships and have had to make many decisions based on our futures, as well as our children's futures. However, the last two weeks have literally spun my head around. From Malaria, to the loss of my uncle and not being able to make it home for the funeral, to a moto accident that resulted in a broken foot, dislocated knee, and a burn on the back of my leg, and now having a bad case of scabies that is spreading throughout the orphanage, I have become so overwhelmed and overcome with stress and emotion. I think the chaos is finally beginning to catch up to me.
On Friday, my friend Seanna contacted me and told me her plans to travel to Cite Soleil in search for a young boy who she was concerned about that may not have eaten in two weeks. I jumped at the opportunity to go. I needed some excitement and I wanted to so badly to help her find this boy. Seanna, Brandon, and I decided to hop on moto's and head into Cite Soleil- the slums of Haiti- the poorest and most dangerous place in the western hemisphere. Yes, on motos. We had no idea what to expect going into this area, but we were prepared to take on anything. However, on our way to Cite Soleil we were not expecting to get into a moto accident. Seanna and I were jamming to "Moves like Jagger" with our moto driver while Brandon was speeding ahead on his moto. Out of nowhere we were struck on the right side of the moto as well as on the front causing our moto to crash. The moto tipped and both Seanna and myself were stuck with our legs exposed to the tailpipe as well as exposed to the impact of the moto hitting our sides. We jumped up and both held onto our legs but our adrenaline was definitely pumping as we did not end up feeling our injuries until we hopped back onto the moto and continued on our way to Cite Soleil. The first thing we noticed was our burns. The exhaust from the cars that were passing us caused us an immense amount of pain. We still continued onto Cite Soleil and had a successful rest of the trip, other than being in pain. However, the pain became unbearable so we decided we needed to stop and get ourselves checked out and fixed up. As the adrenaline wore off, the morphine kicked in. I became so high from the morphine that I couldn't even keep my eyes open, I just kept laughing. It was awesome though, no pain !!! Later that night when I returned to the hotel room, still high on morphine, I began to feel the pain in my foot and in my knee. Turns out my foot was broken in two places and my knee was dislocated. In totality, it was still a great adventure and it will be yet another great memory to look back and laugh at. But for the meantime I am in a cast and on crutches and will be for a few weeks!
Today, I feel as if I am on another planet. I am feeling angry because I am not able to do the things I would usually do- run around, play soccer, pick up the kids, and even just get around- in Haiti, it is difficult to get around on crutches- especially when the crutches are too small for you. I am upset because I really want to be with my family, I wanted to attend my Uncle's funeral, and I want to be able to hug and console all of my family members during this difficult time. I am stressed because I want nothing but the best for these children and right now we need so many things and I do not even know where to start. We are in desperate need of a new house on top of everything else, as the one we are currently renting is way too small for fifteen people to be living in. My apartment back home was the size of our house now, and I was the only one living in it. We are all sharing one small, dark, and dirty bathroom. Our toilet does not work, our sink is literally ripped out of the wall, we do not have a light, and we also do not have a shower head. Bucket showers are our only means of getting clean- although they can be quite refreshing after long hot days. Our kitchen is just an empty room. We have no fridge, stove, table, or chairs. All of our nine children are crammed into one small room with bunkbeds. They have no room for their clothes and the heat is unbearable. My room consists of an empty room with a mattress on the floor. We have one chair to sit in and one wooden stool. We eat our meals scattered across the dirty floor. I never really thought of how crazy all of this is... until right now. I guess you don't really realize it, you just make do with what you have. And that is exactly what we have been doing. Although we may not have a lot of material objects, we do have a family, and this family consists of lots of love and that's more than enough for us.
I have spent the entire day sending emails, text messages, facebook messages, and making phone calls trying to seek assistance and trying to find land to purchase or a house to rent. All day I have literally felt like breaking down and crying, but I am trying to stay strong and I am trying my best to think positively. I have to keep reminding myself, this is life, it is not supposed to be easy. Rome was not built in one day. Thankfully my hero once again came to the rescue. Alison Thompson has been helping me out immensely, not only with finding support for the orphanage, but also with encouraging me to keep pushing on when I am about ready to give in. She has not only done remarkable work in Haiti, but also in other countries around the world. She is the strongest and most courageous woman that I know. "I think you just have to sit there and have a laugh at yourself- I did many times, it beats sorrow, etc. I remember collecting bodies all day and I was exhausted and sick and was sitting by the road with my shopping bags full of dead bodies and a little boy was running towards me with an arm and he finally got to me and popped it into the bag and he run off and I looked at the bag with legs and arms out of it and I took the boys dead arm and rearranged it then laughed out loud at the most ridiculous situation I was in and how I must have looked.. its all great life adventures some are up and some are very low.. but it is living and sure beats sitting at a bar back in usa getting drunk...... this is a good time to teach the kids how to look after you.. tell them sometimes you will get sick and the roles will be reversed and encourage them to be good caretakers as when they grow up they will need to care for people.. make a life lesson out of it for them. Some will have to get you things more instead of you jumping up and getting it yourself.... they in return will feel wanted and also that they have an important role in helping and are valuable." - Alison Thompson.
She is absolutely right. Lately I have been having my doubts, I have considered just giving it all up, but I can't. I know this is where I am meant to be, I know this is what I am meant to be doing despite all of the challenges. I know that if I were to give up and return to Canada, I would feel the same heartbreaking feeling that I felt only a few short months ago when I was in Canada longing to return to Haiti. Yes, life in Canada may be easier, but just because it is easier, does not make it right- or at least not for me. Challenges teach us lessons, challenges show us who we really are, they test us, and in the end, challenges make us stronger, they make us appreciate when things aren't so crazy, they allow us to realize that no matter what, we must keep pushing on. My heart is here in Haiti, and it will remain here. With my children, with my family, and with my friends.
I would greatly appreciate any assistance anyone could offer us right now with funding and also with finding a new location for Caleb's House. Literally, every cent counts! I think that is is essential for the children's safety, health, and all around well-being for us to relocate. We also still have a few kids that need sponsorships !!!! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to overcome new challenges everyday. Life sure is exciting here, you never know what is going to be thrown your way (Hopefully no more moto accidents or malaria). Thank you to everyone who has been assisting us and offering us words of encouragement. Special thanks to Alison Thompson, Cindi Courbat, Rachel Girard Mattsson, Patty Higgins Blaise, Justin Parkinson, Mary Thompson, P.J Pitts (for helping me find a cast & crutches), Melissa Berman, Alexandra Genis, Convoy of Hope, Terry Kivell, Susan Steinhauser, and most of all my Mommy & Daddy.
Missing everyone back home. Much love.