Wednesday, June 01, 2011
We hit the ground running again today and Dann and I headed back with Rachel to the Depot to finish going through boxes and putting things away, then making a master list of what was on each shelf. Cloths closet group sorted through the last of the items there and the painting was finished at the boys house. The day care center with the youngest ones, mostly toddlers is at the same location as the depot and about late morning each day these darlings are given their baths outside in two wash tubs. We asked if we could do the bathing for the staff...you know to give them a break today. It was an easy sell and I do believe we had far more fun then the children! Nothing cuter than a 2 year old baby, than a soaped up soaking wet bronze skinned bundle of energy and smiles! I know...right?
After lunch we walked to the transition house, where the older kids are taught skills like sewing, carpentry, baking and screen printing. Just blocks away, we saw an entirely different kind of people. I could feel myself on high alert. The Deeds was with us and just beginning to feel the symptoms of some bug. He went to the community feeding program, but didn't stay long when his fever and aches developed. Dann and I stayed and the door was opened to let them in just as the sky opened with a moderate rain. The kids were not one bit deterred. They still played soccer on the concrete, jumprope and basketball. It was refreshing to us and again they were given a beaded project to complete and taught from the bible, sang some worship songs and had a meal. Dann was back at the guest house with Micah when Ashley the nurse asked if he could come to the clinic with her to stitch up the back of one of the boys heads. It has rained steadly the rest of the day and has cooled everything down a bit tonight. The Deeds is feeling better but he and I stayed back from the worship night to lay low and make sure. Dominoes, the Matching game and Go Fish seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. I am praying all the stomachs settle down by the morning as we might just venture out into greater Port Au Prince tomorrow or possibly do some painting at the new staff house. I do know we'll begin the day again, singing praises to the King of Kings everything after that is up for grabs. Makes for a great sense of adventure and I am always up for that. Sorry there aren't more pictures, I am the mercy of someone else lending me their camera and then downloading what I can. Until tomorrow!
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Tomorrow we head to the transition program building to paint, organize and build some shelves, then at 2pm we'll head to the boys house for the community feeding program. Off to the shower and then headed for bed, night all.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
We left the house in Ventura about 5:30 and reached LAX in great time, despite the holiday weekend, boarded the plane and left LAX at 11pm. After a few hours of layover in Miami, some bad coffee and meeting up the the rest of the team, we left for Port A Prince. Haiti greeted us with a blast of heat and humidity
and we boarded the shuttle to the terminal. The smallest blonde member of our team, the Deeds, was immediately under the watchful eyes of just about all of us. His mama, had such a tight grip on him, I'm surprised we didn't hear him squeel. We were given and had read over and over in the airport procedures not to give anything to anyone and say "No Merci" to anyone asking to help us. From the lines were ushered into, each took his/her turn infront of the immigration desk officer. Their presentation behind the glass must be intended to break us down and show us right from the start that we are guests and can be removed from the country at the hint of a problem. I admit I am always intimidated as they look at the visa paperwork, look at me, look at the passport, back at me, back at the passport and then slam the stamp of approval allowing us to move about 10 feet to the baggage claim area A uniformed guy approached us asking how many carts we needed and though we remembered to say "No, Merci" it came out 4, 4 please! Dang! That lapse in memory cost us the first $20.00. In our defense, the US has effectively taught its citizens that when a uniformed anybody in the airport asks a question, we answer. Period. No hesitation, no questions. No body wants to be "that guy", the one who shuts down the airport for some security situation because he hesitated in answering the "uniform guy's" question. So we did. After all 23 checked bags, with nearly 1200 lbs of supplies and 12 carryons, we headed out. Uniform Guy asked for our gate passes and our luggage claim tickets. I'm pretty sure the correct answer was "No, Merci" but instead we each handed over the small claim tickets because "Yes we want to take our bags with us and your uniform has "obey me or go home in a box" written all over it, so here". It took all of 20 minutes for the real baggage guy to find Uniform Guy and give him another $20.00 to buy back those baggage claim tickets. We Americans are sharp like a tack we are! "Big" wearing a hat that said "Jesus is the Boss" picked us up, and all 25 of us piled into the back of a caged truck bed with benches on each side and 2500+ lbs of luggage piled on top. A bumpy potholed road lead us to the guest house and we listened to some information about the area, tent cities etc... while said Americans sweat the equivalent of a small swimming pool...and oh how I was wishing for one earlier today.
We were given an orientation, introduced to staff and then taken on a tour of the boys' home, girls home and sports center. An afternoon full of darlings whose smiles could light up the darkest night. The Deeds and some of the young boys traded water bottle sprays and touching each other's hair.
Back to the guest house for dinner and some cause conversation explaining the history of the Manesstero family story of coming to Haiti. Tomorrow, church then lunch and planning for the week. Its been great so far. We are all exhausted and as I finished this up at 9:30, I am pretty sure I am the last one standing and that is just about to end. Thanks for praying. I'll try to get on tomorrow.
Sorry, no pics...my camera is having Err 99 issues. Pretty sure a local repair shop would have a guy wearing some sort of uniform that I am helpless to stand up to. We'll see what a good overnight charging for the camera and recharging for us brings..Night all.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Cousins and their grown children have hurried home from their jobs each evening and the 3 of us have been trying to be ever so charming so that they might just decide to pack up and follow us home. We have shared great food and such fun conversation. We heard some Roger & Betty stories, visited the park and the Space Center and were reminded of the joy of a stolen cookie in the middle of the night.
Seaborough Lane has some territorial issues we learned last night. The Deeds might have been crawling on the floor right along with the herd of Dachsunds, when he got a little reminder that he is not actually a dog. The morning has brought a near complete recovery of the reminder and a good story to take back to California.
League City...thank you for everything. We could move here, no doubt, with the feeling of home that we experienced over these 2 1/2 days. Let us return the favor as soon as you are able, we'd love to have you, all at once would be a dream!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Fireworks are legal in Wyoming and I am hoping Nebraska and Iowa because we stopped to purchase some sparklers to light up a parking lot in the next few days. Memories...we're making a few.
Dot looked up a great Rodeo Museum and we stopped there for an hour or so and the sweetest grandma in Wyoming sold us tickets and made me want to bring her home with us. Frontier Days...not this week, but worth planning a trip around in the years to come.
Then we hit the road and headed for Lincoln Nebraska...7 hours in the car and we were pushing the limit on exhaustion. Nothing though that can't be cured by an awesome hotel room and a good night's sleep won't cure. The Deeds celebrates each time we get to go to the breakfast where "you can get whatever you want and you don't have to pay." That way we can save our money, he tells us, which I believe illustrates he knows our LOVE LANGUAGE. A morning swim, showers and we were off to the Lincoln Children's Museum...just google "Heaven on Earth for Kids" it was awesome! Anyone of the play areas would have entertained our early childhood traveler for hours...he was like a ping pong ball with so many options. If I won the lottery, I would build one at home...so great.
We hit the place next door for our first restaurant meal and had the best macaroni and cheese since ever to ever. Amen. Then hit the road cause we thought we had about 2 1/2 hours or driving to Humboldt Iowa. Except that it was really 4 hours+ but worth every last minute. This is the place my dad was born and raised and his family is wonderful. Makes me so wish we had stayed more connected with them after the death of my father and so glad we still have now. So genuine, kind, unpretentious and loving and a sense of humor that feels familiar. I am looking forward to a tour of the town tomorrow. Perhaps I am trying to recreate days long gone and the history of my Dad, but there is a little feeling of home in my heart tonight.
Until next time..
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Each one in their own way, and on their own path have and continue to face challenges that require an extra measure of fortitude, and they keep walking. Sometimes the call is to make the right decision and sometimes, to make their decisions right. It isn't unlike what their parents have also experienced and the grandparents before that...its just different to watch it in your children, and its hard in the dark and the quiet, not to soak a pillow with early morning tears of gratitude and love.
2011 will be marked as a year of great adventure and new things, and the grace and manna God has stored up to serve us each day is more than sufficient!
This road trip adventure began with a marathon of driving and we tried to figure it out last night, but I was way too tired to calculate the number of hours we had driven in the last 24 or ratio of sleep to awake considering time zones and trip odometers and gas stops.... this would I think require something above Mr. Rigsby's Algebra 2 class in 1978! I do know we recorded 1000 miles and 4 states, 2 sandwiches, 2 salads, way too much coffee and gas prices ranging from $4.99 a gallon to $3.67. We played the guess who game, the matching game...an eye spy game of sorts, watch Franklin videos, heard hours of legos going on in the back seat, road an Alpine roller coaster...twice and opened a couple of items from the prize box as the eye spy points accumulated. A 4 year old is good for me. Who else, but a grandchild could make be go from Jacuzzi to pool at 8 oclock at night, performing a dive move from the 70's?
Today we are headed to Cheyenne. Can I just say God and I had a moment yesterday driving through Wyoming...I'm not sure what he was intending for this flat, brown state, uninhabited for miles and miles... no animals, no homes, no plants really...except perhaps he wanted to keep some land for himself, as though he is perhaps some sort of "green" wanting to preserve some creation from the development of an industrial people. Mission accomplished, Lord, what you claim for yourself is yours to admire, though I have to say it reminds me of the Israelites desert and makes me want to stay on course, lest I be sent to Wyoming for 40 years to wander!
We woke to a car covered with about 2-3 inches of snow, the roads look clear, but we are hoping the Ranch in Cheyenne full of the promise of animals, a train and a pond stocked with fishing success, is open and waiting to greet us.
Until next time...