Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 3 (or is it 4 now?!)

Well, its been a while, I do realize this. I knew I wouldn't be very good at keeping up a blog. Ah well! There's so much to talk about each week, that I get a little overwhelmed thinking about sitting down for so long to write it all out...when on earth do you find the time? So, Friday night it is!

So, going back to last week...we had lots of adventures! It was great! First of all, one of the nurses on the Texas Ortho team last week came across a lonely baby goat - which she "saved." Me and Leeann were soon the newly adoptive "aunties" and got to name him Blan (that means white in creole - that's what the kids yell at me in the clinic when they want to get my attention). Our little goat was loved by all, until night time fell. Apparently he cried/bleated, whatever it is that goats do, all night. So...the next night he was taken down to the Hope House, and put in a pen, which eh somehow managed to escape from about 5 times in the 15 minutes that I was there. Oh well! Now I'm told by all the kids at the Hope House that the goat is in Titayen (one of the local villages), not sure how or why, but I am no longer the proud auntie of an orphaned goat. So sad...

I guess I should probably explain the picture that I just posted on my blog as well. So this is a little girl that I met last week. She is the one that I think I would adopt on the spot...if only I was married. So, this little girl's parents died in the earthquake and I'm not sure if it was neighbours or friends or what, but a family had taken this child in. This is so common in Haiti - when there's a child without a family, they are usually taken in and "adopted" by a neighbour or someone. So, that was this little girl's story, but the family brought the child to the clinic with malnutrition and was asking to have someone take the child because they were not able to care for the child. I think they even asked a couple of the nurses from the states if they would take it - heartbreaking. So, while all the docs and nurses worked away at figuring out formulas for feeding her and correcting the malnutrition, I got to do the thing I love most, and the thing I haven't been able to do as much as I want, I got to hold the little baby. Loved it! I think the thing I get the most joy out of here is making a kid that looks so sad and sick, laugh. Its fantastic! So that is the picture you see above. She has the cutest laugh too - I wish I could impersonate it in writing, but…I can't. But a couple days later I was filling in for a nurse in triage, and this little girl came back in, and as soon as I got her giggling again, I remembered her. So, I slacked off again for a bit and just loved on her! Ah…bliss.

I’m sure there’s way more I can talk about from this past week…we ended up closing the hospital ward on Friday. That was hard, sad and yet a relief all at once for me! It was hard to do because we know there’s so many people that need that extra bit of care, to stay somewhere overnight for rehydration, or in our case, elderly diabetic women that need their sugars brought under control…but we just don’t have the nursing staff to continue to support a 24/7 hospital ward at this time. It was sad to close up because we often would go down to the ward in the evenings just to hang out. There was always something entertaining happening, or just fun people to be with…and we all loved learning creole from our patients, or learning new dance moves or whatever! However, it was also a huge relief for me…that was a huge responsibility to keep staffed and I often found myself running up and down the big hill at the mission until 9 pm just getting basic supplies for the ward like water, food, sheets, whatever was needed! Now, by 4pm we close up the clinic, go up to the guesthouse, have a coke and call it a day. It’s been a wonderful change this week!!! Now I have to clarify this, we’re not completely finished with having a hospital ward at the Mission of Hope, we’re just transitioning into another phase of the long term plan here. We just had a huge HOOP barn put up this past week that is going to be our new/temporary hospital ward, and then in the next couple of weeks we’re working on transitioning into having a surgical team use the OR one week a month, and then a second week to have the hospital open to recover patients after surgery. So, it’s going to be looking a whole lot different all over again…but it’s exciting! I think this week the Mission has been working on hiring new Haitian nursing staff, and we’ll be moving forward this week. So, keep us in your prayers as we transition because there’s always kinks to work out…or maybe there won’t be! It’s amazing how God has used the Mission of Hope, and how much good has come out of this place since the earthquake. There’s definitely a bigger plan and bigger purpose in play here! And I love it!

Ok, one last thing I gotta talk about it, because each week my heart explodes!!!! Haitian church is the best. Period. I mean I love my church at home – but here man…they just know how to do it right! Sunday mornings are good, but Tuesday nights…that’s where it’s at! At the Church of Hope they have a worship night open to everyone on Tuesday nights, and it’s so good. It’s quite a large group, and its so good because everyone that is there wants to be there, and comes just to worship. It usually goes about 2-3 hrs. and it is amazing! I’m starting to pick up some Haitian songs, then I have them stuck in my head all week long and end up singing them at the clinic while patients laugh at me…life is good. Worship here is so abandoned and whole-hearted, I’ve got lots to learn. But it’s also just so refreshing for me, in the middle of my week to look at Jesus and just love Him. I need that set aside time, and Tuesdays help me. I’ve also managed to figure out some quiet time in the morning, and it’s been a lifesaver so far I’m sure.

So, thanks again everyone for reading and being interested in what I’m doing here and supporting me in prayer. I’m learning to lean for sure in this place, and learning that my strength is nothing! Seriously. I miss you all back at home and pray for you often! Thanks again! Oh, and any suggestions on the blog would be great! I never know what to write about, and then I blab on and on I’m sure…so let me know!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two weeks into it

So, I've been here for two weeks now, and I'm still loving it! Life is busy and crazy here on the mission base with medical and non-medical teams constantly coming and going. And when I say constantly, I mean constantly! But it's a good thing! It's been lots of fun getting to know new people, and I'm really enjoying the new position that I'm in, despite my lack of experience...

I'm not really sure what to write in a blog, so I'll just kind of mention the highlights from the last two weeks... The first medical team that I worked with was short nursing staff for the first two days, so I got to take up the PACU (post-anaesthesia care unit), which just to note, I have NEVER done in my life. It all went pretty well, but I had a few stressful moments...but it was all good in the end:) It's funny here that when you're all there is, you're better than nothing, so you just have to dive in. I think it's been really good for me, and stretching, definitely stretching!

Oh yes, now I remember what else happened!!! So, I am living with two other (wonderful) girls - Leeann and Janine, and we are living in a building that is to be part of the new orphanage being built here called Hope Village. Well, while we were moving in we have had quite a few "experiences." I think we have found a grand total of 3 mice in our room - one of which was in my bag because, yes, I left granola bars there. Gross I know! I think we've woken up our neighbours a couple of times as well from our girlish screams...oops! Can't really help that one! The first mouse we found we screamed so loud that our neighbour (Klaudel) came RUNNING over...thinking we were being attacked or something probably. That was quickly followed by laughter and calling all of the other guys over that also live in the village...embarassing? Yes.

We also had an evening of exterminating spiders. Very fun as well. I couldn't sleep because apparently there are black widows here, so that job is now done. We also now have curtains up, candles in the window (which the interpreters are all very impressed by!). So it's beginning to feel a bit more like home, and we're liking it.

So this week has begun and I'm starting to settle in a little better. I still need to work on finding a good balance between working, sleeping and having time off. It's very hard for me to take time off when I live here and there are teams that are constantly working. I'm having to learn that it needs to be different now that I'm living here and in for the long haul (or a longER haul). So, if you think of me, pray for that I think. I still love being here and love this place and this country, but I need to learn to break and not exhaust myself! That's wise right? So ya, that's blog number two. See you in a few!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Only the Beginning...

Hey everyone! So, here I am, in Haiti. It's kind of random and crazy how I ended up here, and yet I know it was totally and completely from God that this all happened. I guess I'll just use this first blog to kind of explain how I ended up here.
Most of you who know me, know that I've been connected with Haiti and involved in missions trips here over the last few years. Well, this year was to be no different, until January 12th. Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area experienced a 7.0 earthquake that day, and it has changed Haiti forever. My immediate response was - "why wasn't I there for this?!" Within a couple of weeks, somehow, I was in Haiti. Through Feed the Children Canada I was able to get on a military flight into Haiti, and I worked at the Mission of Hope clinic/hospital for 3 weeks. It was exhausting work, but my heart was alive through it all. I love this country, and I love these people, and I know that for some reason God and put that in me, and all I can do is respond to it, and say yes to what He has put in me.
During my second week in Haiti, there was some discussion about the Mission needing a person here to help organize all of the medical teams that are coming through, as there has been a huge increase in the number of medical personnel post-earthquake. At first I totally discounted myself because I had "plans" and a job that I felt responsible for. Then, one day, surrounded by, oh say 5 super excited Canadian nurses and the medical coordinator here at the Mission of Hope, I got sucked in! They all laid out for me how this could all work, why it should work, and what I needed to do. As soon as I saw it...I had to have it! Usually huge decisions like this freak me out, and I take at least a week to think it through, but not this one! That night, I couldn't sleep at all! I was so excited! I woke up at 2am, and just couldn't sleep! That's when I knew. So in the morning I committed, and by the end of the day I had talked logistics! Now that took God!
So...I ended up going home for 10 days to sort things out in the northern frontier, and I also got to hold my super cute, super chubby baby nephew Owen that was born exactly 17 hours before my plane took off!!!! It was perfect!
So now, here I am in Haiti. I hit the ground running on Thursday, and I'll be running until June I'm sure! But it is so good to be here, and I'm really excited and expectant about what God is doing here in this country. I just want to be a part of it all, and live and walk with these people as they find their way, and hopefully, somehow, help.