One word cannot describe who I am. I am very complex but simple, loud but quiet... I am a constant contradiction to myself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reflections on Haiti

We when made it through custums and were walking to our ride to the mission I was overwhelmed. It was a shock to see so many Haitian's trying to get money or yelling from a fence. When we boarded the bus there was a Haitian man on the other side of the fence who kept yelling at me. "Misses, I love you, you are beautiful" lol. We then left the airport and started driving through Port-au-Prince to the mission, I was looking out the window thinking...what have I got myself into. There were children running up to the bus asking for money. I badly wanted to hand them a dollar but was reminded by our team leader it would not be a good idea because then they would all start coming at the bus. So, i simply told them no, smiled and waved.

I was surprised of how great the mission was. We were showed to our room, which had air conditioning and real mattresses! I was pretty stoked about that! At this point, I was thinking, Haiti does not seem to bad. So, we had dinner then off to bed for church in the morning. Sunday morning we entered the church and it was packed full of people. They started singing songs I did not know, and did not understand. However, my body responded to the music and I could not help but to sway with the incredible music, and knew God was in this place. I also got to sing for the congregation at the church and it was so amazing to just let my voice go. Many times I find myself making sure the pitch is just right, the words are what they are supposed to be, and so on. But this time I just did what I felt. On the second verse I sang the wrong words but I never stopped. I just belted out the words I felt in my heart and let my voice carry throughout the church. I felt marvelous after finishing.

Monday was day one of clinics and I was not sure what I would do. I am not medically trained, so I would be no help in surgeries, because of the language barrier I would be no help trying to find out what patients for the first couple hours I just stood around what??? But then Kelly was sterilizing tools  inbetween surgeries and I was like, oh I can do that. So, Kelly gave me some brief information on what I needed to do, so I began. Little did I know this would become my job in the clinic, but I loved it. You would thinking cleaning tools with blood on them would not be my thing, but there I was, just cleaning right along!

The next day, I asked Dr. Fogarty if I could watch her deliver a baby. She said, sure come on. Wow! What an amazing thing to watch. I got to watch twins born and I got to hold twin number one while twin number two was making her way into the world feet first. It was heartbreaking to me that they mother did not want to hold the babies. I tried to give her twin number one after twin two came out but she simply waved me off. There were no smiles from the mother, as one would expect. She never took the children into her arms until she was in the recovery room and had to nurse them. My heart was breaking for this two young infants we just began there life, and already were not greeted with a smile and hugs from the mother. They did however get many hugs and smiles from the team.

So, VBS was next were we walked into a concrete building were kids were cram packed into rooms. It was great to see their little faces light up as we walked in. Each child got toothpaste, tooth brush, floss, crayons, coloring pages, and some other things! They were grateful for those little things, we often take for granted. I got to thinking about my little man at home who has boxes of crayons, markers, and coloring books. I am not sad that my child has "so much" but happy that I can give that to him.

Thursday was another day of clinic but I did not watch many surgeries because I was talking with Johnny. He was one of the interpreters. Johnny gave me some insight about marriage. My husband and I have been having some rough times, and I thought i was just done with it all. I had divorce papers drawn up with division of property and custody arrangements already made out. But after talking with johnny I realized something...I was giving up too easy. In America it is so common for people to just give up on their marriage and get a divorce. But i didn't want to become that statistic, or that person who just gave up. Johnny told me, he would marry his friend,  then they would become his lover, and he would marry for life. He told me if his wife left he would follow her wherever she went. Married people have to work through there differences, not just give up on them. Thanks Johnny!!!!

Haiti taught me about another culture, about Haitian people, but most important it taught me about myself. I have always had a love for God, and known He was the reason. My relationship with God has always been good and I know it will always be. But I was beginning to lose myself a little. I became a woman who went to work, took care of house, had a three year old, and was a wife. But those things were just descriptions, they did not define who I was. Haiti gave me a chance to find me. I am....a mother, a wife, a friend of God, a woman who has the heart to give all she can, someone who is stronger than she knew, and many more things. You see, Haiti taught me about me. Our team helped many people, and we gave kids some hygience items, and we touched hearts. But nothing has ever touched my heart like the Haitian people.

When we first got there, many of the team who went the first time said they were glad to be back home. At the time I thought they were just a little silly....but boy was I wrong. I am here in home number one in Kansas but my home number two is in Haiti and I hope to go back soon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

saturday in haiti

Saturday in Haiti February 12, 2011:

We left the mission to go to the airport at 7am. We arrived at the airport not too long after 8. When we got to the airport we stood in line for a while then put our luggage through the security check point, these also included checked bags. Then we took our checked bags, and carry-ons to another line where we stood for….I am not even sure how long, at least a couple hours. Finally we had our tickets printed so we went to another checkpoint where they checked our passports. After this there was another security check point where we all got patted down, then ran with the wand! Whew. Finally we made it to the terminal!!!
So, our flight was supposed to leave at 1pm and we were there a few hours early, so we ate lunch and just hung out. Well, next thing we know we look up and our flight is bumped to 3 something…then 5 something…then 6 something. So, we sit around some more, got some more food, laugh hysterically at each other’s jokes; which those around us where not happy about! LOL Then I got sick, I had a fever, and was vomiting..umm…not sure if I caught something Haitian or not. J so, we finally boarded our plane at 6:15. Yes, it was 5 hours later than our normal flight plan so we missed ALL connecting flights.
So, last night we stayed at the Embassy Suites in Miami courtesy of American Airlines, we also paid for dinner and for breakfast. They paid because the reason our plane was delayed was because of mechanical problems. They were in the air and something went wrong so they went back to Miami. Yeah, it was an eventful day. The hotel was really nice though but they did not have Mt. Dew.
You see in Haiti all they have is water and coke. If you are in an “Americanized” area you may be able to get a Sprite, and on a very rare occasion a diet coke. Well, I am a mountain dew drinker and was very excited to get a mountain dew, but all the restaurant had was coke….just my luck!!! HAHAHAHA!
As of right now I am having my first Mt. Dew will I sit in the airport in Dallas, TX waiting on our next flight that goes to Joplin, MO. Yes, in case you did not know as of last week Joplin Airport is now flying American!!!! Yeah and the flights are supposed to be cheaper, so get some money and go on a trip!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday in Haiti

Friday in Haiti February 11, 2001:

Today was the day we planned to go to port a prince. We went there but got off to a late start. When we were all getting around this morning Dr. Fogarty was told a baby was just brought in, so they needed her to check it out. This baby was found on the side of the road. She was found with her umbilical cord still attached, in a paper sack, with a rock on her head, the father and daughter who found her brought her here to be checked on. The baby had a large bruise on her back, a bruise on the side of her face, and her head was misshaped possibly with a head fracture. The family who brought her in wanted to keep her but the doctor said she could not guarantee the baby would make it. She asked them to stay at least until the baby was keeping down formula. The baby was then taken to the midwives and we were on our way to Port-a-prince.
When you first entered Port-a-Prince you could smell trash, and stuff burning. There were people lined up all over the streets trying to sell stuff to anyone. Some were selling t-shirts, some crafts, paintings, pants, bottle soda, food, or whatever they had to sell. We drove several hours to a Baptist bakery in the mountains. The bakery had American food, which was nice, and it was good. So, we were there, bought a couple things, and then headed back down the mountain. On the way home we made another stop to sight see at this spot where you could see all of Port-a-Prince. There were several people who were selling stuff also. I bought one little thing when no one was looking but it did not stop us from being crowded at our van from people trying to sell stuff.
After that stop, we made another one at a store. It was a home supply store, and looked just like our home depot. It even had the prices in “American dollars.” It was interesting to see. The only difference was there was a security guard outside the store with a sawed off shot gun…..
So, then we headed back to the mission to pick up some stuff for the orphanage. After grabbing stuff from the mission we went up the road to an orphanage. It was more like a home. There was one mother, one father, and eight children. Two of the children were biological and the others were adopted. The girls shared one room and the boys the others, then the parents had one they shared with the smallest little boy. There is also a baby here at the mission that is about 6 weeks old who is getting ready to go to this house. Today Mrs. Betty bought a crib and we delivered it tonight.  The family was amazing and each child gave us a kiss on the cheek when we got there and one when we left. They were all so sweet and loved each little thing we brought them!!!!
Now, it is time for dinner…rice and beans…the bed…then off to the airport to go home tomorrow. Haiti Christian Mission has become my home away from home. I love it here and I can’t wait to come back when I can!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday in Haiti

So, this morning we all got up and ate breakfast. Breakfast was eggs with green peppers and some other stuff in them. Not sure what was in them but I thought they were really good. I never thought much about eating them until I looked around and Roseann and I were the only ones eating eggs and everyone else had a granola bar. Hmm...oh well they were tasty to me!!

After breakfast we walked over to the hospital and started surgeries. The first was a little boy who was supposed to have a hernia removed but he had reactive air way disease so his surgery was not performed. So from there we did another hernia, a couple hydroceles, and one abnormal growth removal. Wow, it was a busy day!!!! There were lots of tools/instruments that needed sterilized so I was busy busy all day! I also got to watch several surgeries but seriously now my feet hurt!!!
So, we just had dinner and I think it is time for devotions then off to bed because tomorrow we are going into port a prince and then to some bakery up in the mountains…not really sure about that, but I will let you all know!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday in Haiti

Wednesday in Haiti February 9, 2011:

Early this morning I was still tossing and turning but finally got some sleep. Got up early this morning and kind of rambled around the room for a while. We were supposed to leave at ten then it became 10:30, and then we finally left around 11. It was only about a 15 min bus ride to the little village. When we got there the bus was parked and we looked up the hill and saw the school. So bags were unloaded from the back of the bus and hauled up the hill, then up steps to the school.
We were broke up into groups of two to go to the classrooms. Anne and I were partners so we went into the classroom. When I say classroom I am talking about a concrete room with 8 small benches packed with children. This rooms where very, very small, and there were about 50 kids in one class. The ages of the children did not determine what class they were in. The classes were divided by intelligence. Some classes had small children about 5 or 6 and children who were about 15. The reason for this is because a family may be able to send their child to school for a little bit but then run out of money so they will be pulled out of school. When the family has the money again the child will go back to school. It is really difficult to see this tiny concrete rooms packed with children.
We brought toothpaste, floss, tooth brushes, crayons, tissue paper, pipe cleaner, coloring books, and other items for the children. At one point Anne and I separated so we could teach in two different classrooms since there was one class that did not get anyone. So when we separated the class I was in became very hard to control. The teacher left, the translator was with Anne, and the children began to get out of their seats and backed me into a corner so they could have things. It was very hard to get them all back in their seats; I had to go get the translator to tell them to all sit!!!!! But after they sat down it was much better!!! So, the lesson was given, and things were passed out. When we went to get back on the bus the bus door was barricaded with children everywhere. It is almost heart breaking to know these children are willing to run each other down for an extra tooth brush.
After returning we had lunch which was mystery lunch meat of some kind…(It is kind of like spam). Then it was back to surgery. There was only one surgery done today due to one nurse being sick, one other person being sick, and some of the nurses not really have a good day. So, after the one surgery I began to sterilize all the tools they used. The surgery was a hysterectomy so there were several tools!!!! After finishing all the tools it was passed time for supper so my two amigos and I went to eat. Dinner was salad, potato salad/macaroni salad, chicken (I think), bread, rice, and beans. So, it was pretty good1 Just now Mrs. Betty said she made cake, and yes she did. She made carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting, yum yum!!!

Tuesday in Haiti

Tuesday in Haiti February 8, 2011:
Woke up this morning in time to have breakfast which was bananas and pancakes! No butter for the pancakes but there was peanut butter and syrup. After breakfast I went over and began sterilizing instruments for surgery. It wasn’t too far into the day when there became a need for the instruments that were currently in the sterilizer. You see once the instruments are in, you start it, it gets to the temperature it is supposed to be at, then the 15 minute timer starts, after the timer goes off the door pops open but it still needs to dry. So really it takes 25-30 minutes to get one set done. So, it kind of became a rush to get things taken care of, but they were taken care of and done.
I got to watch a hysterectomy today and saw a tumor removed from a lady that was bigger than my head. WOW! It was really crazy. After watching two surgeries I went back to sterilizing tools, and running back and forth to the depot. The depot is where they keep over stock and I was the one in possession of the key today. Whew that was a work out!!! LOL Then it was time for lunch which was tuna salad sandwiches. Usually I would say no way to tuna, but here you eat what you get or don’t eat. (Well you would eat but only what you brought). Anyway, the sandwiches were good and spicy. I only had one because I could not bring myself to eat two….I mean they were good to satisfy the ache in my belly but not delicious.
After lunch we returned for surgery and one of the doctors was already in the process of one. This particular did not go very well and the patient was lost. It is not an easy thing to lose one, but there are so many things the doctors are doing that is so good, and one needs to focus on that sometimes. So, now we get the rest of the day off, so I think I am going to put on some shorts, a t-shirt, and go play some basketball!!
When I got back from playing basketball the internet was still down so I decided I would add a little! I played about three games of basketball, not really sure how many because when one ended another one started…lol. Then when we got together (our group) and got all the VBS stuff together for tomorrow. We also divided out all the rice to give out tomorrow also. So, as you can tell tomorrow we will be passing out rice and doing VBS in the evening. It is pretty exciting!!! Woot Woot!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday in Haiti

Monday in Haiti February 7, 2011.
Not sure what time we woke up this morning but it was early. As most know I am not an early riser. I like to stay up late and get up late. However, this time in Haiti has taught me to go to bed early and get up early! Definitely not what I am use to!!!
This morning I was wondering if I was going to be useful here because I am not medically trained. So, I started out in the pharmacy and I began sorting and putting away different medications we brought. When I was done with that, I walked over to the clinic and basically asked where they needed me. So, Kelly showed me how to use the sterilization machine, so I began sterilizing instruments. It was an interesting experience, some came in with blood still on them and other matter. So, after several hours of sterilizing tools, I asked to watch a surgery. I got to watch Dr. Cotton remove scar tissue from a wrist and do a skin graph. Also, I got to watch Dr. Sheryl deliver twins with the help of a midwife. WOW!! I also got to hold baby number one while baby number two was coming into the world butt up! Both babies were beautiful 8lbs girls!
After the baby delivery I went to fill up my water bottle and was coming down the stairs when I saw Tony playing with some kids. Of course I had to stop and play too! We ended up going behind the compound so we could play some basketball. Can I just tell you I have mad skills!
So, now we had dinner (chicken, rice, blood soup, beans, and bread). And I have some tools I need to get sterilized before I head to bed, so I am off to do that!
God is good ALL the time, ALL the time God is good!!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Haiti Day One/Two

Day one in Haiti was…intense. We arrived off the air plane, then went into customs where we stood in line to show our passports. Not sure if it was because my passport was fairly new or what but I got the third degree from the man who looked over my passport.
So, after collecting our bags with the help of some men from the mission, we began to make our way to the bus. On the way to the bus there were a few people outside at fence yelling at us. We then got on the bus and there were still people yelling at us. One guy told me I was beautiful and he loved me…hum.. LOL! So, we then began to drive to the compound. On the way to the compound we could see the devastation in Haiti. The thing I noticed most was the smells. There was burning trash everywhere, and many little vendors along the sidewalk. Not sure if you could call them vendors but they were selling stuff.
We finally made it to the compound after dark and began to unpack our bags. We decided not to unpack the night, and went to bed early. Some people decided they were going to sleep on the roof of the compound. I decided I was going to sleep in a bed, laid down and did not wake up till early this morning.
The start of today was breakfast of peanut butter and jelly, cereal, and coffee. Coffee was wonderful, and the sugar they had is real sugar, straight from the sugar cane!!  After breakfast was church, and it was fantastic. I could not understand a word they were saying but that in was okay. I could hear the music playing and it touched my heart! I also had a chance to sing the Haitian church, and it was a great experience.
After church we went on a tour to see the houses they were building for people who work here at the missions. We also took a tour of the clinic and their hospital. The houses were small concrete structures with four rooms. Not four bedrooms, four rooms all together for one family. One bedroom is for the parents and the other bedroom is for how ever many kids they have. The clinic is very small and seems to have many beds shoved into as many places as possible. The addition to the hospital is under the compound and does seem a little dreary, but it is the best they have.
I helped stoked the pharmacy with the medications we brought with us. That took pretty much the rest of the evening. Oh and we did have a break for lunch in between there. For lunch we had Haitian soup, mine had a worm in it, but I took it out and kept eating, it was pretty good stuff! For dinner we had rice and beans, salad, and chicken, YUM!!!
Now, I am going to bed (yes it is 8pm) so that tomorrow we can start clinic! Woot Woot

Friday, February 4, 2011

Scary Trip!!!

So, we left Joplin, MO today around 2:40 then arrived in Tulsa, OK about 3 hrs later...During the trip we spun out and ran into a snow bank on I-44. That was super scary! I really thought we were going to roll over, it felt like the bus was up on two wheels! WOW! Then we located the hotel, and couldn't get up the hill to the hotel. So, we tried another hill and got stuck in the times!!!

Then we finally got our rooms, and decided to go eat dinner! We didn't want to get stuck again so we walked up the snow covered road to Dennys! Love me some Dennys!!!!

Now, we are back at the hotel, and it is time to get some sleep! I will be up about 4:30ish to get in the shower, get dressed, and be ready to leave at 5 for Miami. Then from Miami to Haiti...WOOT WOOT!

Please pray for our team as we start this journey! Pray that God will work through all of us and let His light shine through us! For our God is such an amazing, wonderful God. He gives us so much in the world, and it is time to give some back.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard..Haiti Delays

Well, we have experienced our Kansas blizzard! We have about a foot of snow, with drifts that are 4 and 5 ft tall! Crazyness!!!

So, this afternoon I recieved a text saying our flight was cancelled and they were getting with a travel agent to try and figure something out. We were going to try and leave Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. However, I just checked the flight and it is no longer cancelled. Now it is scheduled to leave on time thursday.

Dowfall...the interstate we have to take to the airport is shut down. The have National Guard on the interstate trying to get people out of thier cars right now!!! So.....we were going to leave tomorrow night and stay in a hotel so we would be rested and ready for our flight. Since the interstate is now shut down we are praying hard that it will reopen and everything will be back on schedule!!!!