Showing the love of Christ in terms they understand in order to present to them the Christ that died for them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sep 4-6

Sunday I spent updating the blog and not doing too much as it was the day of rest.
The last two days seems to have blended into one. Monday I awoke early with the baby and got him settled. The ladies were here and took him so I could have a break to sit down and eat breakfast with Daddy. It painfully aware to us all how much this morning ritual of ours will be missed very soon. We enjoyed the fresh juice and coffee and talked about what we had planned to accomplish for the days. This conversation would continue at dinner reviewing what came up, what got done, and all that is between. It is amazing how the luxury of sharing a meal with a parent is not appreciated until the ability to share that time is so few and far between.
The baby's caretaker arrived late so I got a last nap in with baby phillip before he was to go home. She arrived about mid morning and I made sure she knew that the ones she enlisted to help her care for him were not doing their job. I showed her how in the last 2 days he gained nearly 4 ounces and I would need to see him again Wednesday to show me she can take care of him. I am worried that taking care of a premie is just too much for her. We will see how he looks tomorrow before I make decision about additional aid.
For the rest of Monday I worked on the documents that needed updating, the office procedure guide, team checklist, and software updates. Only a few more days left and I need to make sure all is ready and up to date. Daddy had to work on the batteries that lost their charge, projects check-up, and other items in the shop as well as meet with some people. I would catch Daddy running in and out and would catch him to get some information for a form and zoom he was off again.
I also got my Ham Radio licenese renewed. I rarely use it except for here but I do keep a 2 meter radio in the states too. There are so many good memories associated with the HAM radio. It used to be our primary means of communication in the 1980's and 1990s. So many nights I would spent curled up in a blanket on the floor in my Dad's office listening to him communicate with people all over the world. We used it to communicate with family back in the USA. The way that worked was my Dad would call out asking for anyone in a given are who could make a phone call. The person replying would make the call and relay over the radio what the person on the phone was saying to my Dad, who then answered. There are all kinds of restrictions on what can and cannot be said. There is more than once these radios saved lives. My mom, when she and my brother were over taken by the river, was able to communicate with dad just before, so he knew where to go find her. They are still used when satellites are down and the in-country cell phones. Which is actually more often than you would like to think.
Last week I had decided I really wanted to take some Haitian coffee back with me but the factory has been out of commision since being distroyed last year. Well me and my WALL stubborness decided to tract down the owner and email him. Using the internet I was able to find the contact information for the owner down in St. Marc. Dad followed it up by trying the incountry cell phone number I tried and got ahold of the owners. Long story short.....I HAVE COFFEE!!!!!! The factory should be up and going again next year so the rest of y'all can get it again soon too. LOL
We took a brief stop for lunch and we were off again.
In the afternoon I showed Dad how to use some of the software to help speed up translation work and some of the other item I did. Dad has totranslate a lot of documents for the classes he teach. Through out the day we used skype to keep in touch with my mom and sister who were traveling in the rain from Storm "LEE". They made it safely home by mid afternoon.
I made dad and I some chicken and rice for dinner. I might be limited on resources but I can cook almost anything. I checked up on to ensure that YES the yankees are still beating boston. That alone makes any day better. My allergies were acting up from cleaning old files, books, etc (I'm allergic to ink) so I took two benedryl and wow did I sleep.
I woke this morning at NOON. Can you believe it?! 14 hours sleeping. Next time I have to remember only 1 benedryl. WOW I missed a whole day. The ladies were not here which is good. I would have bee so embarassed. Dad had already been well into the days projects, dirt was delivered, and so on. I quickly made us a sandwich for lunch and got to work. Over the next few hours, I finished the documents I was working on answered some technical question for folks via skype. I have been nick named "TECH SUPPORT" LOL. I cooked dinner.
Now I am sitting here wishing I could clone myself. I love being here so much and the thought of leaving is crushing my heart. The tears have already begun to fall. This is my home but more than that.
As an MK we learned that home can be where the heart is, where the family is, where your stuff is or where you live. You have to choose what home means to you. Does seeing the thing of your childhood scream I am home. Does being in a place you know you will be for years to come make it home. Home for me has been a house, an rv, a hotel room, or even a car (not that it is where I lieved but it was home).
We grow up overseas in a blend of USA traditions, Haitian traditions, and some we made up. We have things our parents brought that represent their past, things from our childhood, and we aquire things along the way. Some MKs like to keep thinking about when they are going back to the USA, some dread leaving to go back to the USA, and some take the back and forth in stride. I dreaded leaving Haiti always. This is something I never outgrew.
This country is my home and holds my heart. The people here are a source of joy for me. The land is a source of strength. The familiarity is a source of peace. The work is a source of purpose. The day a source of hope. The night a source of rest. When I am here the whole world fades away and  the USA seems just like a fantasy place I read about in books.
Just like many MKs I have migrated back to the US, went to school, started a career, and aquired a family. I am now sitting here contemplating and thinking of all the reasons I should stay. I think about those in the USA awaiting my return and I think of why I should return there. My Dad has threatened to hide my passport and I must say I am so tempted to let him.
The lump remains in my throat and I wish to stop time, but I have to put on my big girl panties and to what is needed. I need to get back and get a job (I have been unemployed over a year now) .  A job will  allow me to return again shortly. I never want to be separated from this place but its in going that I am to do the most good. Forever I am in two places, forever in two pieces, and forever trying to get home.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sep 1- Sep 3

Well It has been a few busy days around here. The Thursday plane was cancelled so we did not need to go to the airport. Construction on the generator house has to stop due to lack of cement. We are about 6 bags short. Cement cost about 8 dollars a bag. We should have enough sand remaining. The walls are about midway up. Next will be the doors which the major security measure and the most cost. All said and done about $1000 to finish the project. Now to protect the generator which would cost $15,000 to replace and to ensure we have electricity for the house, shop, depot, and clinic, you can see the benefit.
The sodas arrived today. We normally keep a few cases on hand so when the teams are here they can have cold sodas. They are purchased in a nearby town. There are no Pepsi products sold in Haiti unless imported. Coke (including sprite) is bottled here in country. We send the cases of empty bottles to the distributor and they exchange for the full bottles and cost just went up to $28/US for a case 24. So with transportation etc they cost just over $1.00/each. Today a friend allowed his driver who was hauling a load of sand to pick them up for us. The cases sat in the soft sand for the bumpy ride here with no breakage.
Dad got BIG RED working. The radiator may not look pretty no more but she runs.
Baby Phillip came by and he was looking ok, so I issued another 2 days of supplies. He weighed 3 oz heavier. It rained most of Thursday afternoon. I did some studying and read a book. It was actually a nice day.
Friday only one of the ladies came by as one had a headache and was unable to come. Right after breakfast we got into the truck and went to Gran Letanye where a team recently help finish building a high school which is to open in a month. The pastor of the church had called my dad to say the tin was pealed back on one side. We drove out there which took about 30 minutes to go the 6 miles to the location. When we drove into the yard on the far left side of the building the ridge cap was curled up.
My dad, who seem to be on the roof of a building every day lately, got the ladder out of the truck and climbed up with his tools and straightend it out and fix it. Turned out the folks hired to finish the roof neglected to put screws in the whole length. He only put 6 screws in the 10 foot length.
While dad fixed the roof, I chatted with some kids in the yard. We talked about the goats they were watching. A man walked by and tied his cow and calf up in the yard.Its common for the chuch folk to tie their animals in the church and school yards. It keeps the grasses low and gives the animals nice
The school is due to start in a few weeks and they will do so with no doors or black boards. Its a simple building of 7 rooms to house aproximately 50 students per class. Each room will house a single grade. They do not move about as they do in the US. While the government does dictate certain items that much be taught. The church can add to the classes but not take away anything. The minister of education sends out monitors to check out the schools durring the school year. Each year there is also a test to make sure the child can advance. These test are not given by the school, they are tested in government testing center. If a school has a high percentage of student failing three years in a row the school is shut down. Can you imagine if schools in the states had to ensure their students were learning or lose their license?
When we got back dad met with several people and a pastor from one of the churches he works with. The pastor's shoes were worn and we were able to find him another pair in those left by a past team. For those of you who often wonder what happens to the items you leave, this is it. They are past on to those who come from far away. Thanks to the simple task of you deciding not the pack them and take them home with you, a man's feet are now protected as he walks the hours too and from his home.
Friday afternoon we again had thunderstorms and rain. I worked on computer stuff and Dad worked on the newsletter.
Saturday I woke early and had an early breakfast. Baby phillip arrived about 10am. He had lost 3 ounces and his rash was getting worse. I checkes and he had not been cleaned properly after his diaper was changes and still had a speckeles of mess on this bum and leg. After talking to the caretaker she agreed to let him stay with me for the weekend so I could try and get his weight back up.
Dad worked in the shop today trying to coax life into some solar batteries we got from a missionary who left the country after a family tradgedy. Her husband who was very dear to us passed away suddenly. Dad put 3 gallons of water into them as they were near dry. After hooking them up into a sequence and charged them for a few hours, they seem like they might work. We will have to charge them periodically and equilize them to know for sure.
I looked after phillip and did some computer work. The baby was badly constipated and dehydrated again so I had to feed him every 1-2 hours. My goal for the day was to finish organizing and assembling information and proceedures in the office which had to just stoping to handle the baby. Because he was constipated he was VERY fussy. I used my Grandma's recipe for formula to fix that. I did not get much sleep as his body reacted about 11pm and kept working LOL. We had a nice BIG thunder storm last night and if flickr will be nice tonight I will get a video of it uploaded.
The roads are mud and this morning you can hear the yelling and gunning of the engines as a truck tried to get themselves out of the mud. So we were unable to pass the ravene to get to church. We spent some quiet time this morning. Baby phillip is sleeping and is almost back on schedule.
There is already thunder in the area and we are expecting more rain. The cistern has over 12,000 gallons in it and only 10 inches from the top. This is good as it will need to last most of the year. You should take a look at your water bill for house and times it by 12 months to see how much you would need to collect in a rain season. Just a fun math problem.
I am hoping to go get a shower before the rain and maybe a nap if Phillip will stay asleep.
Thank you to all who read this and pray for us. Thank you also especially to those who write me and let me know you are reading.

Bless you

New pics from haiti

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Aug 31

Today started out well. I got up about 7:30am after going to bed about 4am. I was up loading the pics and updating the blog. The drums and the uploads took longer than I thought. After breakfast I checked in with mom about what I am doing here to make sure I was on tract with my task here.
The ladies were here today and we caught up on the last few days and how the check up went with Baby Phillip. One of the ladies had gone by to see him. The mom is voiced her consideration of giving him up to the foster family. Lets hope she does. I have some concerns and would feel better knowing he is well cared for before I leave.
We finally got the satellite in alinement today. We found a pair of walkee talkees and were able to finally coordinate and communicate with Dad on the roof and me below. One of the walkee talkees had a battery exploid in it and acid had leaked. Its amazing was cetron (like a key lime) will do. I just dabbed some of the juices onto a Q tip and cleaned the corosion off and it worked. The walkee talkees will be a good system for the other things he does up there like the solar panels etc. It beats me running outside to yell up the settings while Dad makes the adjustments. It still took a few hours of tighten bolt, move dish, test. NO....Tighten bolt again, move dish, test, etc. But It is done and we are now good on the communications, the solar batteries are doing what they need to do until we can replace them, and the radiator is back in the truck and the truck is working.
The generator house was started today as well. The current one is plastic (as seen in the photos I posted) and not very secure. With the dramatic increase in residence from far away cities since the quake, the road in front is becoming even more heavily travelled and security is becoming a concern. For those who knew what Mom and Dad have been through with security you will understand this need. For those who do not know, Mom and Dad have been victims of break ins and even armed robbery while here. When ever there is a shift or influx of folks from the larger cities crimes tend to go up. Percautions must be taken. A simple building addition with vents is being added to the depot to secure and house the generator.
Its hard to believe another month is ending. Tomorrow will be September first already. Time does fly when you are not looking.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Aug 30 pics

Aug 30

I am sitting here typing this at 2:44 am. Yes I should have done it last night but too busy (I'll explain as we go).
Today Aug 30, I woke late yet again. My dad is determined that I get sleep while I am here. Another 9 hours for me. While I am in the states this is unheard of. There 5 hours is normal if I am lucky. But here there is just something about sleep that is a natural part of the day. There is no wondering about the to do list, stresses about bills, getting up and cleaning at 2am. There is a general acceptance that at night its a time to conserve energy. This is a time to have as many power devices (if you have them) turned off. A time to let the body recoop for you will need it the morning. A lesson I really should take home with me.
I woke about 9:30 am and listened to the sound of my Dad's voice in the other room as he greeted my mom on skype. They were sharing their morning cup of coffee. It always amazes me how they can stay so connected even while apart. For any of those who have or had loved ones in other countries due to missions or deployments, you can appreciate this more than most. I listen to them be serious as they discuss the households, laugh talking about inside jokes and the grand-kid, even flirt when my dad comments how cute my mom looks. Its such an honor to be able to call this couple my parents.
 I think how strong my folks were for coming and staying here so long. My parents brought 6 kids between the ages of 3 and 17 to a foreign country to help where they could. After 30 plus years they are still doing that work. I love that they allow me to come down from time to time and pitch in. My brother and his wife are now preparing to come over full time. Each of my brothers and sisters have returned multiple times. This may have started out as a place for my parents to serve, but it became our home. This land is tied to us, the people, the buildings, and everything here is part of who I am. When I leave I don't leave that behind and there is a certain peace in knowing it is all here. It allows me to go challenge corporate America so that I can afford to do more here.
This afternoon, we got to host some friends from down the road south of us. These are folks that are very dear to me. I have watched as what started as a chance meeting on a visit to Haiti turn into a family and a powerful work. I got to see the two Amazing young ladies that have grown up so much since I last saw them. They used to come and hang out here with me. We would play in the rain and sing concerts on the cistern which we called our stage. It has always been great to relive some of the carefree childhood moments as an MK (missionary's kid) through them. They are so bright and articulate it was great to see it in person again. This visit they were even able to bring their cousin.
We all had lunch together. Dad and I made tacos which is a nice treat for here. I used tomatoes out of the garden. We got to sit around talk about all the changes coming to our little mountain here. There are electric poles coming up and should be here in the next year or so. The country finally got its second cell phone carrier and the new one has internet on their handsets. This is a huge thing for here that back in the US is considered common place. The town close by (30 min or so) now carries liquid bleach which we were thinking we would have to send away to the larger cities (1-3 hours away) to get. We can get sodas in town but we have been able to for many years. its still new to me because I have not been here to enjoy this luxury. I am still getting used to having the indoor toilet here now and internet.

The friend we were having lunch with is an RN and agreed to look at Baby phillip for me.  Baby phillip is doing good. His skin was a little dry but not too bad Of course I was looking for all the reason I should grab him and run inside to keep him safe, but there was no cause. He was well fed and happy. He woke from his nap with his usual grin as he looked up at his audience. The girls all kept him company while I made up the next set of supplies. This time I gave two days supplies. I need to make sure they can manage getting the milk only twice a week before I leave. As long as he continues to progress then he will be able to remain with his momma. If not the foster family is still willing and will be checking in on him just to be sure. Our friends gave baby phillip and his caretaker a ride the mile back to their home. This was extra nice since the thunder warning of the afternoon rains had already started.
I cleaned up while dad when back to the shop to continue his work. The goal is to have the truck put back together by tomorrow (Wed). The radiator is currently still beside the truck and you have to see the pics of it. I am posting them in the link to follow this blog.  I cleaned up from lunch and prepared for our evening guess. The kind gentleman from down the road was returning to check on the inverter. The batteries had been boiling and there was an acid smell last night. Come to find out the batteries were getting too much charge. We got this fixed. Truth be told a lot of the issues the power changes etc is because the batteries are about 2 yrs overdue for replacement but finances being what they are have to keep on going. We hope in future updating the solar system can go into the budget or project list.

When looking at the project list and I see a few to upkeep and fixing the house here, I remind myself that my parents have been in this house for nearly 20 yrs. This building I call a house is a home and dorm in one. There is a men's dorm room, female dorm room, bathroom, my parent's bed room, kitchen, living room, dinning area, computer area/office, supply room, and battery room. Its not luxurious but it is functional and comfortable. My parents try to make sure those who donate their time and finances to come help out down here are comfortable during their stay.
While the men checked on the solar system, I made dinner. We got to visit over dinner and catch up with the town news. The town is a few miles North of us, but unless there is great cause, we do not make it up there. It takes about 30 minutes over the roads to make the trip. Between the roads, fuel cost, and time, there has to be a really good reason for going.
After everyone left Dad and I got to spend some time talking. We also got to visit with folks on skype and make sure family in the past of the hurricane were all back to having power and clean up was going well. I even got to talk to loved ones back in California. Before I knew it the generator was getting cut off and I needed to get to bed. This is why the blog is late posting but it was a busy day indeed.
Ok Its 3:20 and the drums are just showing sighns of stopping. The bugs on the computer screen are at the annoying level and the mouse in the file cabinet is causing me to jump every so often with his racket. LOL
I am going post pics in a hurry and dash back to bed. NIGHT ALL

Monday, August 29, 2011

Aug 29

Not sure where last night ended and today began. I was up most of the night with the baby, but the ladies came today so they took over about 7am and let me go back to sleep. And boy did I ever sleep in. TILL NOON. For you math fanatics, yes that meant a total sleep of just over 5 hours but still NOON!!! This is not a resort and I should have been up long before.
I got up and went to the kitchen. Everyone was making a fuss of baby Phillip and passing him around. LOL They were commenting how much better he looked. We weighed him today and he had gained 4 ounces. He has been eating. The milk substitute is just lighter so he was only sleeping 1 hour per bottle which made for a long night. We found another mix that enable him to get more substance and he began sleeping longer.
After a quick lunch, I got ready for the care taker of the baby to come and Dad worked on getting the ATV up and going. There was a flat tire and some spoiled fuel in a tank. It took a while but he flushed the lines and got it going. With the truck being down we are currently with no mode of transportation. The ATV are economical and can get some places the truck cannot not. Many of the places we go are nothing more than trails up into the hills. He got them working and I took a great video of him running one in the yard. I will try to post in the morning. It was a relief to know we had one mode of transportation going since we are expected at a church Wed in the outback.The truck would be best so we can take some supplies with us but something is better than nothing.  
In prepartion for baby Phillip to go home, we gave him a bath and I took note of the condition of his infected diaper rash. No more white heads and the skin is not nearly as red and inflamed. There was some pealing but not sever. I put ointment on the whole rash and make sure he got a good bottle and nap before the care taker came. He screamed enough durring the bath that he slept well.
The care taker came and after giving her supplies and lots of instructions, I watch my baby Phillip go back with her to his mom. I was so torn but I have give her a chance to take care of him. He is to return tomorrow by noon for me to see that she is following instructions and get another day's worth of supplies. Because I do not know this family I will only give 1 day's supply at a time. There is too much temptation to use supplies for others in the household or sell it for needed monies and I will not put the caretaker in that position.
After the baby left it was so quiet. I did some computer work and help dad work on some stuff on the roof. We had a simple dinner because we were too tired to chew much less cook anything LOL Its been a long last few days.
The radiator for the truck arrived this afternoon. WOW I forgot just how "creative" a repair can be. For those of you who do not know a radiator allowes water to FLOW and cool. Well the "repair" done is SOLID. There is no flow. I will be uploading pictures.
We are planning to be in bed early when Daddy realized the solar battery's water was boiling heavy. Somehow the batteries are now getting too much current. He is trying to resolve that before we go to bed. I am sending this early in case we have to shut down the computers for lack of power.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aug 28

To say it was a long night would be an understatement. We went to bed at 10pm when the generator cut off. At 11pm I woke with a start and realized baby Phillip was gasping for air and not getting any. I lifted him out of the make shift crib and realized he had thrown up and it's in his nose and mouth preventing him from breathing. I immediately cleared his air passages and relished in the sounds of his crying being assured he was breathing again. SCARED ME TO DEATH!
This would be the first vomit in a long series over the next several hours. After every bottle part or most of it would come up. I had to stay extra watchful in case his airways got blocked again. The light in the room never went off and I was lucky Dad and the kind gentleman down the road had fixed the batteries. We never lost power.  
I had to keep the baby right beside me all night so when he twitched I would wake and make sure he had not vomited again. He still ate and it was hit-or-miss  if he would give a simple spit up or a full vomit. This could happen immediately or as much as 40 minutes after he ate. This told me his stomach did not like what he was eating. No fever, no chills, no diarrhea, or other symptoms. I am not ashamed to say more than once last night, I said the words…"I WANT MY MOMMIE!"  
After being able to talk to mom in the morning via webcam, I learned the most likely reason is poor Phillip is allergic to milk. GREAT! All I have in formula is regular. So mom taught me the substitute with watered down powdered milk. So we tried that with great success. No more vomiting and he still ate it. The trick was getting the ratio right so it was filling enough for him to sleep. We have a good ratio and thanks to that and a pacifier, I am able to get more done. You should have seen me before the pacifier trying to make sandwiches for lunch while holding the baby. Tonight I made dinner, cleaned up a bit, made a surplus of bottles for tonight, and all while baby stayed entertained. YEA!!!!  I also managed to get a walk in today for just over 1mile. I am determined to lose more weight while I am here.
Someone sent me 6 ears of grilled corn and a request for diaper cream. I considered this a sweet offer and sent the diaper cream to him. LOL. There are certain treats I am just a sucker for.  I so wished kenips were in season.
Now the only problem is he eats a little less but more frequent so 1 oz every hour and a half. Guess who will get less sleep for one more night. Has anyone noticed that a crying baby at 2am is less cute than a cooing baby at 11am? The care taker had arrived to take baby home but due to the rain could not take him. This is not a bad thing as he is making progress but I would like to monitor his eating for another 24 hours. We had a major rain storm tonight and got 2 .7 inches in one hour. It was incredible the force in which it was falling.
Other than that the day was relatively quiet (between crying baby) and looking forward to a busy week.

pics for 8/27