Well, I think I’ve finally made it through the “survival stage”. The kids are back in school, which has allowed me to settle into a schedule… although I use the word schedule very loosely.
So much has happened since my last blog update that I don’t even know where to start. I’ll start with a huge apologize. I promised many of you that I’d make it to the internet-café weekly and stay in close contact via email. That definitely hasn’t happened! I have been treading water (and barely staying afloat) since I got here and it’s just been in the past few weeks that I’ve been able to catch up on some of the things that I should have done my first few days! Just yesterday I finished unpacking my 2 original bins that I brought!
When I came here I choose my words carefully when describing what I would do here… I was to be the ‘big sister’ for the kids at H2H. Wow, was I naive! The hole that was left with Michelle’s passing was beyond my comprehension and I am still learning of the things she did for the kids. As much as it puts me out of my comfort zone there is no denying that I have filled a mother role to many of the kids here. The newest boy, Junior, came to us last month after his mom passed away & he was left with a father drank & beat him. He was miserable for days. Last week I was busy with a team who was visiting from Abbotsford and as I was leaving the H2H Compound I heard a little voice, “Momma, pa soti anko, m sonje w”. That was Junior saying, “Mommy, don’t leave again, I miss you”. It almost brought me to tears. There have been so many moments like this and I’d by lying if I told you the kids are more attached to me than I am to them. There is nowhere else I’d rather be right now & it is beyond my ability to think past my stay here.
These past few months have been filled with many ups & downs. I can’t express the gratitude I have for my parents & those others who have phoned me regularly. There have been times that I have counted down the hours to the expected phone calls.
What’s a blog update without some typical Rebecca stories, right? There are too many to mention… and a few that are too embarrassing to list, but here’s one for you. Last Sunday I was teaching Sunday school to way too many kids, for way too long in a classroom that was way too hot (hopefully you can sense the mood I was in at the time) and there was a little boy who refused to listen. I had had enough and made him stand in the front of the classroom on one foot. Hopefully that doesn’t sound too cruel because it’s a very effective punishment. I’ve seen the other teachers use it often but this was the first time for me. It had been a very long morning with this boy so when he told me he had to pee 30 seconds into the punishment I was quick to refuse his request. Well, he certainly proved me wrong… what can you do but laugh.
I have received many emails asking if there are ways you can help now that I am here. YES! I have received enough monthly sponsorship to cover my living costs (THANK YOU!!!) but there are many others things I’d like to do while I’m here. The youngest kids are in need of clothes & sandals. There are beds that need new mattresses. There are kids who need medical attention. The older girls need feminine products. The regular diet of spaghetti & rice could use some protein treats. Our supply of band-aids, polysporin, Tylenol & common medication is quickly depleting. Some of these things can be collected in Canada & brought down with people who are visiting but it is usually more cost effective (& better for the economy here) if the items are bought here. One Canadian dollar is 35 Haitian Goudes and that can go a long way here!! My parents send me regular packages (with people who are traveling to H2H) and if you’d like to help by sending money or needed items, I’d really appreciate it. I can give you tax receipts for the money if the check is made out to H2H. You can reach my parents (Larry & Dorothy) at 604-288-2292. Speaking of care packages, I definitely won’t say no to any peanut MMs or chocolate almonds ☺
I hope these pictures will give you a glimpse of some of the other things that have been happening here.
A day at the beach:
Junior & his “Momma”
Making spaghetti for 100 kids at 4am after you’ve ran out of gas:
The last time I’ll ever be allowed to do Frencia’s hair:
Another exciting English lesson: