Thursday, January 10, 2008

haiti update - january 10, 2008

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”
(1 Peter 3:15)

Hi! This week has been busy with medical cases. We received an updated photo on Emerson. He will undergo surgery again in February to correct his cleft palate and possibly another surgery in March on his eye. Pray for continuing healing for him. Brenda had her hydrocephalus surgery on January 3rd and is doing well. Angel Missions directed by Vanessa Carpenter has found a neurosurgeon and hospital willing to perform 25 hydrocephalus surgeries. This is a real blessing for these kids as they get to have good follow up care while they recover. We are working on Pharah Simeon’s paperwork. She is scheduled for surgery at the end of January. There may be a surgical team coming to Haiti in March to do cleft lip surgeries. I am hoping that Jameson Glezile can be part of this program. Pray for the arrangements being made by this team. It’s amazing how many doors are opening for these kids. There was a medical team conducting an eye clinic in our neighborhood on Tuesday and Manu and Francois (the gatekeeper) both got their eyes tested. They both need glasses. The team will be returning again in February with the eyeglasses.
The schools reopened after the Christmas break and the children were happy to be going back to school. Jn. Eddy Alexandre re-wrote his rheto exams and according to the results announced on the radio did not pass. Only 7% of students who wrote the exams passed. There is something wrong with the rheto exam process. Some of the official results show students being given marks of zero which shows that the exam marking process is not working well. This has always been a problem in the history of state exams. This is now Jn. Eddy’s 3rd effort at writing these exams but he is not giving up. We also enrolled Junior Pierre at Pastor Octave’s school across the street. This makes him officially our first sponsor student as we renew the educational program here at Coram Deo! I am also giving English lessons to the people who live here.
I checked back with the police about the break-ins and told them about the information on the computer. Because the user name was changed to Franco (*name changed) we know who probably has the computer. I told the police about tracking the use of the computer but they say that these results would be difficult to use in court here in Haiti and they don’t understand the technology. Because nobody actually saw Franco take the computer he could always say that he just bought it from somebody. If this would have been Canada they could easily have been arrested. We also have the bloody knapsack. The police weren’t interested in this as well. The police need to do a lot more work to reach the police standards of Canada! They suggested talking with Franco and ask about purchasing it back so that is what we did on Saturday morning. I went with the guys to find Jack(*name changed) in the Cite Jeremie area and had a conversation with him and explained to him that the user name on the computer was changed to Franco and didn’t accuse him of stealing it. I told him that if Franco has a laptop it is probably my stolen computer that he bought. Within an hour Franco was at the gate to talk. They both denied having the computer but would make every effort in searching for it. They both said that they were shocked when they heard about the break-in and thought it was a terrible thing that was done. They said that if they find the person who has the computer they will talk with them and negotiate a purchase price. Maybe these guys will be scared off of stealing computers now and that the computer I now have will be a whole lot safer and secure in my home.
My family thinks that the best way to show the love of Christ is to help those involved in the robbery. Vera (*name changed) went to the United States several years ago to remove the tumor that was eating away at her arm bone. The doctors at the time said that they couldn’t remove all the cancer cells and that it may return. A few weeks ago someone told me that Vera had gone to someone for medical help about her arm. They told her no and my sister Tanya wants to make sure that she gets help. I sent out word and later in the evening her brother came to the house and we set up an appointment to go to Healing Hands so that the doctor there can check to see if the cancer is growing again. I am also going to keep talking with Jack and Franco on a regular basis. These young guys follow the gangster image. Pray that their hearts and those of their friends are changed. Hopefully there won’t be any more break-ins.
On December 20th, 2 cases of avian “bird flu” were discovered in the Higuey area of the Dominican Republic in 2 fighting roosters. As a result the Ministere de l’Agriculture des Resources Naturelles et du Developpement Rural (MARNDR) has banned the import of chicken products from the Dominican Republic into Haiti for the time being. The viral strain was identified as H5N2. This is not the strain that can be passed to humans. The strain that can be passed from birds to humans is H5N1. The government is announcing that an importation permit is necessary in the future for avian products. It is believed that migrating birds introduced the virus onto the island and these are the first diagnosed cases of H5N2 avian flu on the island. Imports from the United States and other countries are not part of the restrictions. We always buy our eggs from Mdm. Elie who goes once a week to the Dominican border to buy them and then resells to people in the neighborhood. We got eggs Wednesday morning so the ban is not very well enforced. The Haitian and Dominican people are very resourceful to get around the ban. It took Mdm. Elie 2 days to get her eggs. In the village of Le Tant there is a lake where canoes are used to transport products from the Dominican Republic. Boatloads of eggs that tried to cross the lake in the daytime were not able to arrive in Le Tant because there was someone watching the lake. Under the cover of darkness the boats were able to cross the lake and Mdm. Elie arrived at her home again around midnight. The economy in the Dominican Republic will take a big hit if this ban is enforced. It is estimated that $117,000US will be lost in sales each day of the importation ban. Some of the Haitian people I have talked to are now scared to eat eggs and chickens coming from the Dominican Republic. Others say that the “bourgeois” want to corner the egg and chicken market and eliminate the small sellers. Pray that the virus can be controlled.
The UN is now deployed to the Haitian-Dominican frontier to help deter drug trafficking and smuggling. 4 observation posts are being built to monitor the frontier. It looks like they will have to keep chickens and eggs out of the country too! The UN’s priorities for 2008 will be continuing police reform and also improving the judicial and penitentiary systems. Pray for their efforts.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good day!

Karen Bultje

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