Saturday, August 30, 2008

photos - hurricane gustav

Before the storm someone held a voodoo ceremony at a crossroads in our neighborhood. They left a chair for the spirit to sit on and bottles of alcohol and cooked food. Maybe they did this to stop the hurricane? It didn't work.

Lukner is standing on the road the children take to go to school. The school was closed due to the stormy weather. In Haiti, water runs downhill at a quick pace.

This is one of the ravines in the Delmas 31 neighborhood. Water flowed well and there was no flooding in our area.
This is the Tabarre bridge crossing. It is well built with support pillars. Large trucks were banned from crossing this bridge. Normally the river bed is almost dry.

Here is another shot of the water passing under the bridge. Some homes which were near the river were destroyed and people had to evacuate.

photos - hurricane gustav

Normally the river basin is almost empty. Here it is full and raging. In certain areas this river caused flooding. This section of river is near the Tabarre bridge crossing.

Here is another shot of the river.

This is the Croix des Misisons bridge. The bridge was closed to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic but people still wanted to stand on the bridge to look at the river.

In the distance is the Croix des Missions market area. People are standing in the flooding river water not looking too concerned.

Here is what the river looks on the opposite side of the Croix des Missions bridge.

photos - various events

Monday was the first day back to school for Benson, Jacob and Manu. They enjoy going to school!

Dieunette came back from the United States on Thursday. She looks great and her head is now normal. She now has the opportunity for a normal life span.

The host family came with Dieunette . Dieunette's mother is standing next to the host family. It was a difficult time for them to say goodbye.

Lovinsky is an 11 month old boy whose mother can no longer look after him. We are going to help her to place him in an orphanage.

Outside the Food for the Poor mission this man was shot dead by the security guard after a disturbance by people waiting for cooked food handouts. 16-20 other people were injured by the shotgun pellets. I think that this man was just standing in the wrong place.

haiti update - august 30, 2008

“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:7-10

Hi! This week was a week of stormy weather. Hurricane Gustav hit Haiti on Tuesday and caused some damage over the next couple of days. 59 people died during the storms. The radios were announcing for people to evacuate low-lying areas and to be wary of landslides. The south coast got most of the wind. There was some flooding in the Port-au-Prince area. The people here at Coram Deo contacted their families. John Charles’ grandmother had the roof of her house blown away and she had to seek refuge at a police station. The village where Paulna’s family lives had damage as well. Most of the houses are “kay pays” (mud and stick huts with thatched roofs). Paulna’s family’s house is not damaged. The bridge in Bonnett is damaged and the road from the Dominican Republic into Haiti was cut in two by the floodwaters. Pastor Pierre lives in the Kenscoff area and the area where his church is located suffered a lot of damage. The church is a 5-hour walk over mountains. This area had wind damage that also damaged crops as well. The bridge crossing on route 9 into Cite Soleil is damaged and the mayor says it is unstable. The Croix des Missions bridge was closed due to the flooding river and the Tabarre bridge was being watched as well. Lukner’s brother who lives in the Croix des Missions area had to evacuate his house due to the rising river waters. The government had trouble getting people to evacuate from high flood risk areas. People waited until the last minute. The reason why there was this hesitation is that the last time when people left their houses thieves came in and stole from the homes. The people figured that if they left at the last minute then the thieves wouldn’t have time to steal. Also at the shelters that were set up last October in the Port-au-Prince area people suffered from lack of food and also had trouble with thieves entering the shelters. When we were at the Croix des Missions bridge I took one photo showing people still standing in the waters from the rising river by the market. They didn’t seem to be too concerned. The airport was closed for a couple of days and it was very hectic at the airport on Thursday as people who lost their flights on Tuesday and Wednesday were all trying to travel on Thursday. American Airlines booked extra flights. A bonus of the storm was that we were able to fill up our water cistern. We usually have to buy water to fill up the cistern and with Tropical Storm Fay a couple of weeks ago and now Gustav we haven’t had to buy any water.
The stormy weather also stopped protests from occurring here in Port-au-Prince. On Monday in Cayes there were protests over the high food prices. Things didn’t get out of control this time and the police dispersed the crowd with tear gas. Rumors were that on Tuesday Port-au-Prince would have protests but then the rains started and nothing happened. On Friday though there was a small protest that we passed near the Tabarre Road. A crowd of about 300 people that were ex-president Aristide supporters walked by us. They were not a happy group of people. They were calling President Preval a “rice thief” and saying some bad words that I can’t print. They were protesting against the high food prices and the hunger these prices are causing. The new prime minister Michele Pierre-Louis is going to have a difficult time. Pray for the government as they direct the country. Today was a difficult day in our neighborhood. Every day people line up outside the Food for the Poor mission (which is near the Cite Aux Cayes/Cite Jeremie area) for cooked food. A disruption occurred and the security guard fired his shotgun on the crowd and one person died after getting shot in the neck and 16-20 other people injured by the shotgun pellets. The injured went for medical treatment to a local hospital. The people were upset and asked me to take a photo to let people know what is going on in the country. They were saying that life is getting more difficult because of the food prices and that the people who were shot were unarmed. The dead man had a bag of cooked food by his side. I think he just was standing in the wrong place. I went back for my camera and did take the photos. The security guard who shot the people stayed inside the Food for The Poor compound and the people outside waited. The UN showed up an hour later and we left the same time they arrived.
Pray for the poor living in Haiti. Life is getting more difficult for them.
Tomorrow we are taking a mother and her 11-month-old son to an orphanage to find a place for him. Lovinsky’s mother is living with friends, as she doesn’t have enough money to afford housing or look after him properly. Pray for Lovinsky and his mother. Grace Hope (the baby abandoned in the Delmas 31 area last week) is still in hospital. She is being treated for a heart infection. She is receiving good care. Chris brought a judge to the hospital on Friday to have the baby officially declared abandoned. With this abandonment paper Grace can be placed in the orphanage. Continue to pray for healing for Grace and the paperwork process. Dieunette (the baby who had a bulge at the back of her head) came back from the United States on Thursday afternoon with her host family and is now back with her mother. Dieunette looks great. The neurosurgeon had said that if she never received surgery she would have died before reaching 1 year of age. Now Dieunette has the opportunity for a full life. The surgery itself was also fairly risky. There was a 55% chance of dying on the operating table. The part of the brain that bulged out was cut and removed and the opening in the skull was sealed with a bone putty material. The surgeon said that normally they cut a portion of the skull from another site but the company that manufactures this costly compound donated the material. Because part of the brain was removed there was also a risk that she might have breathing and other problems but nothing happened. We give the Lord thanks for His healing mercies.
This week was also the first week of school for Manu, Jacob and Benson. Benson is now attending the same mission school as the other children. They are attending the Christian Light School in the Delmas 31 area that is run by Sheri Fausey. The school program here at Coram Deo will start on September 8th. Please continue to pray for funding for our programs here at Coram Deo.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Saturday, August 23, 2008

photos - grace hope, smith jean

Monique found this abandoned baby in the Delmas 31 area close to Coram Deo. Her heart went out to this child and she picked it up from the ground and searched for help.

This baby girl is only 2 weeks old and had not been looked after well since birth. She was probably abandoned because she was born with crooked feet. Because she hadn't been washed properly she developed skin problems as well.

When getting blood tests done at the hospital everyone came up with the name of Grace Hope to put on her dossier. It is the grace of God that has kept her alive so far and into the hands of people who could help her and she now has hope for a better life. Here she is resting comfortably in her hospital bed.

Smith Jean had severe anemia and this caused heart problems for him. We rushed him to the hospital and he was put on oxygen and given a blood transfusion. The next day he was sitting up in bed, not on oxygen anymore and breathing normally.

haiti update - august 23, 2008

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on Him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him” Luke 10: 33,34

Hi! This was a busy week dealing with a couple of emergencies. On Monday morning a father came to the house carrying his son, Smith Jean. Smith is a 4-year-old boy and he was having breathing troubles due to being in heart failure. He had been this way since Friday. He was also having pain because of the heart problems. The father didn’t know where to get help for him, as he didn’t have any money. We brought him to Hopital Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs which is located in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince. This is a children’s mission hospital that treats children free of charge. They admitted him and put him on oxygen and did some tests and determined that he needed to have a blood transfusion to treat his severe anemia. The father went to the Haitian Red Cross and later in the afternoon Smith received his blood transfusion. The next day he was off of oxygen and breathing normally once again. Hopefully it was just the anemia that caused the heart problems and not a congenital heart problem that needs a surgical correction. Heart surgeries are not done here in Haiti and it is difficult to find hospitals to donate medical care for heart surgeries in the United States. Pray for continued strength and healing for Smith and for his father who raises his son by himself. Smith’s mother died a few years ago.
On Tuesday morning, a woman came with a baby to the gate. She is an example of the “Good Samaritan”. Monique is a mother of 5 children who lives in the Boston section of Cite Soleil. She is a widow as her husband was shot and killed a couple of years ago in Cite Soleil. Cite Soleil has a bad reputation and people who live in this slum are oftentimes looked down upon. Monique started her morning with no food in the house to give her children as well as having no money. She left her home in search of food assistance. Delmas 31 has a couple of large missions that provide food to the poor and she went into this area with the hope of getting some food help. Not too far from Coram Deo she passed some people looking at a baby that was lying by the side of the road. Somebody had abandoned it a little while earlier. She looked at it too and noticed the baby was still alive and then she moved on in search of food help. The sight of seeing this abandoned baby touched her heart and a little while later she returned and found the baby still lying there. She went up to the baby and saw it was dirty and soiled and removed the dirty clothes. She noticed the baby’s feet were deformed. She concluded this was the reason the baby was abandoned. Like the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, people had walked by and maybe even drove by the baby but nobody stopped to help. She decided that she would help this baby. She came to Coram Deo carrying the baby in her arms and explained what happened to me. The baby is a girl and she is only a couple of weeks old. Because she was never properly looked after or washed well since birth she had developed skin problems. Her skin was sloughing off in areas. By the condition this baby was in, this baby had been considered a reject since her moment of birth. I called a missionary who runs an orphanage and they agreed to take in the baby but we had to get a police report first. I thought this would be easy but it ended up being difficult. A couple of months ago one of the major news networks did a story on the trade of buying and selling of children here in Haiti. A journalist proved how easy it was to find a child to buy here in Haiti. This created quite an uproar with the Haitian people and government. When we went to the police station to make a report they told us that they couldn’t make an abandonment report. We would have to go to the court and ask the judge to do that. We then drove over to the courthouse on Delmas and the judge was not there (probably out for lunch). Somebody told us to wait and we sat on a bench in the waiting room area. It was then that the people waiting noticed a white person sitting with a Haitian woman and a baby. This is when the problems started. One person said that I was buying a baby and that this practice was wrong. I tried to explain that this baby was abandoned and that we were only trying to get an abandonment report so that we could find help for it but this person didn’t want to believe me. Other people heard and started in on the accusations too. I guess they didn’t want to believe my side of the story. They were also accusing Monique of selling this baby and telling her how could she do this. Pretty soon it was very noisy inside the courthouse as more people got involved in the yelling and I was beginning to get worried that the security would decide to put us in the locked room with the rest of the prisoners waiting to see the judge. I went outside to make a cell phone call to Vanessa of Angel Missions and told her that I made the mistake of trying to go to a courthouse as a white person with a baby and that I was being accused of trying to buy a baby. I asked her if we could go to her clinic to get formula and also if her Haitian worker could help to get the abandonment paper from the court. I went back inside to tell Monique that we were leaving and it was much quieter inside the courthouse. Monique got fed up with all the yelling and removed the baby’s covering and showed everyone her twisted feet and bad skin condition. That shut everyone up. We then drove over to Delmas 91 and a visiting American doctor examined the baby and thought that the skin problems might be caused by syphilis. A Haitian/American doctor agreed to have his nurse look after her until we got testing done on the baby. Monique didn’t head for home until 4:00pm. Vanessa gave her some things for her family and I gave her some food to take home to her family. She went home knowing that she did the right thing. She told me in the car that her mother had taught her the parable of the Good Samaritan and now Monique has an example to teach her children this parable as well.
The next day we went to the children’s hospital on Tabarre and they did the blood work. She didn’t have syphilis and she also doesn’t have HIV. She weighed 5 pounds. It only proves that the only reason this baby was abandoned was because it was born with crooked feet. When we were driving to the hospital we had to come up with a name for this baby. Everyone in the car decided that her name should be Grace Hope. It was the grace of God that kept her alive and into the hands of people who could help her and she now has hope for a better life. It is amazing how many lives she touched in that one day. Pray for Grace as she gets the rest of the blood test results on Monday and that an abandonment paper can be obtained so that she can be admitted into an orphanage. Pray also for Monique as she struggles to feed her family and for the unknown mother who abandoned her baby.
The Haitian/American doctor is a member of Lamp Haiti. They have a clinic in the Bois Neuf area of Cite Soleil. We were able to see the area where this clinic is located before taking Grace to the hospital. Now I know where I can send the people from the Ti Ayiti area of Cite Soleil to get medical care.
Here is a poem about the grace of God.

His grace is great enough to meet the great things –
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storms beyond our life’s control.

His grace is great enough to meet the small things –
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.

Annie Johnson Flint

That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Sunday, August 17, 2008

photos - tou kayman surrounding area

Tou Kayman is a village on the Tomazeau road. This is the creek area behind the walls of the spring. In the distance is the tall grass.

Tou Kayman is in the plain area. The lands are used for pasture and growing things.
This area is a view of the area left of the spring.

It is amazing how fertile that watered land becomes. This is a view across the stree on a hillside where the waters of the spring doesn't reach. Here only cactus thrives.

Here is a farmer looking after his cattle. This is a view to the right of the spring.

photos - swimming in Tou Kayman

This is the natural "sous" (spring) in Tou Kayman ("Crocodile Hole") where the local women wash their clothes and also where the villagers go to swim. The water was clean and not deep. It was perfect for the children.

Everyone jumped into the water with the water toys and had a lot of fun!

Paulna and one of the other children are sitting on some rocks in the creek behind the rock wall of the cliff. The water from the spring flows as a small waterfall over the rock wall.

Even John Charles bathed in the water with his mother. The family enjoyed this outing.

Here is another photo of the children playing in the "sous".

photos - fishing at tou kayman

Manu enjoyed trying to catch fish in his hands. He even managed to catch one!

The older guys are figuring out how to make a net out of an old discarded sheet that they found. Here they are standing in the creek.

Th guys got the children to help in herding the fish towards the sheet "net".

Once the fish got close they closed up the net.

Here are some of the fish that they caught. They saved the fish in a bucket with hopes of having a fish fry!

photos - dlo gayay, fish

Dlo gayay is the name that Paulna gives for this body of water. It is very shallow and the fishermen pole their boats to move forward. In the distance you can see flamingos.

I tried going out in the water by foot and everyone refused to go with me to get closer to the flamingos. I wanted to try and get a close-up photo of the flamingos but they moved further out as I got closer. Instead I turned around to take a photo of all the discouraged people on the shoreline who didn't enjoy "dlo gayay".

They were happy to leave and left with their water rings saying they didn't want to visit "dlo gayay again but were looking forward to visit Tou Kayman again.

When we got home the children cleaned the fish.

We enjoyed a fish fry! The fish tasted good.

haiti update - august 16, 2008

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Hi! This week was spent doing some traveling. We drove out to Tomazeau to pick up Guerdline (“Gerdie”) who was spending some time visiting her mother and sister. Gerdie is now 4 years old and ready to start her schooling. She needed to be back for pre-school testing this week. Dorothy has been looking after her for the last couple of years and she has thrived in her care. Gerdie was also the first and so far only baby born here at Coram Deo. Her mother Janine was staying here because she has a child with hydrocephalus. She went into labor and nobody told me until it was too late and then I ran and got Carole to come and deliver the baby. Now Gerdie is ready for her school age years! Janine’s other daughter, Ersila was one of the first children operated on for hydrocephalus by the Miami Neurosurgery Team in 2003. It is good to see how after surgery these children can thrive over the years. Ersila has some brain damage because of the hydrocephalus but her mother looks after her the best she can. When I saw her at her mothers’ house in Tomazeau she looked good and was trying to interact with Gerdie. She was sitting in a chair. Pray for Janine and her family and also for Dorothy’s efforts in looking after Gerdie and the other children in her care.
Driving back to Port-au-Prince with Gerdie and her mother we passed the village of Tou Kayman. In English this is translated as “Crocodile Hole” The village has a large “sous” (spring) where people go to wash their clothes and also to swim. It’s a nice area. We also passed a large lake area and stopped. There were several flamingos standing in the lake. This gave me an idea of a place where I could take the children to visit. It was also not too far from Port-au-Prince. I had promised the children at the beginning of summer break that before the school year started we would go to the beach. Private beaches in Haiti are expensive and you have to pay for each person who goes to the beach. Fuel prices are also high right now. This would be an economical place to visit because it was free! When I got back I explained to everyone what I had seen on the way from Tomazeau and of a swimming place in Tou Kayman. Jacob is the most cautious of all the children and his first question was why would someone name a place “Tou Kayman”? I told him that the village got this name because this is an area where the crocodiles live and that we would be swimming in their watering hole. I told him not to worry because the villagers took care of any crocodiles a long time ago and also built a wall around the spring. He told me to bring along the machete just in case. On Friday we took a Haitian holiday to the countryside with the children and other people of Coram Deo. 16 people piled onto the pickup truck. Everybody was eager to go except for Jacob because I didn’t bring along the machete. When we arrived at the spring everyone went with the water toys and jumped in. I reminded them not to splash the wash ladies. I told Jacob not to worry because any lurking crocodiles would be hiding in the tall grass of the creek that was behind the wall. He played in the water too until he got to the back of the spring and noticed an opening in the wall. This opening was there for the excess water of the spring to drain out into the creek. He climbed out and spent the rest of the time on the back wall. I think he was keeping an eye out for crocodiles in the tall grass. After a while the children and older guys started to explore the creek and noticed that there were a lot of fish swimming in the creek. Manu managed to catch a fish with his hands. Some of the guys and children decided they wanted to go fishing and searched the area for something that they could use for a net. They found an old discarded sheet and made a net out of it. Soon they were capturing fish in their homemade net. They weren’t very big fish but they put them all into a bucket. Only the smallest fish were let go. Jacob didn’t dare to put his feet into the creek. The older guys held the net and the children would herd the fish in the direction of the net. It was fun to watch them.
There was a group of Christian people walking down the road who were singing Christian songs and they stopped at the spring. They were good singers and sang for a while. They then prayed. One of the women had a walking stick and she went down to the large tree at the water’s edge. She reached out with her stick and tapped the tree with the stick and then her whole body started to tremble. Another man came and hugged the tree. Another man came and lifted his arms in the air and started speaking in a loud voice. I didn’t understand why they did this. I know that in the voodoo religion spirits come down from the trees. I don’t know if these people were thinking that this was how to communicate with the Holy Spirit but we left and didn’t stick around to see what happened next.
We started heading back and stopped at the lake to look at the flamingos. Paula told me it was not a lake but just “dlo gayay” (scattered water). It is very shallow but there is a lot of fish in it. The fishermen pole their fishing boats to move them forward. We went to where the flamingos were and they were standing at a distance in the water. I wanted to get a close-up picture of the flamingos and asked if anyone wanted to join me in walking into the lake. I ended up going into the water by myself because everyone refused to go. They said that they didn’t want to get stuck in the mud and that the flamingos would just move away once we got too close. While walking I noticed that every now and then the flamingos would move a little further and I could never get close to them. I ended up taking a close-up picture of everyone standing on the shore waiting for me to get stuck in the mud. It is a funny photo. They don’t look very enthused and are sitting with their water rings on the shore. I posted this and other photos from our vacation day on the blogsite. I headed back to shore and they told me that they never want to come back to “dlo gayay” to go swimming. They were eager to return another day to “Tou Kayman”. We then headed for home and there was only one time when everybody pounded on the back of the pickup truck to stop. The Tomazeau road is a bumpy road that you can’t drive fast on and I was worried that maybe somebody had bounced out but it was just the yellow ducky water ring that flew out the back. One of the older guys jumped out and chased it down. We arrived home and the children cleaned the fish and we had a fish fry! The fish tasted good. Everyone is looking forward to going for our next visit to Tou Kayman to get more fish and to swim.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Saturday, August 9, 2008

photos - cite soleil summer camp

Each classroom in the school was used with the children. This group of children enjoyed clowning around for the camera.

A meal is provided for the children thanks to donations of food.

This girl is helping to prepare the family meal. She lives in the Ti-Ayiti area of Cite Soleil

This is the typical home for the people living in Ti-Ayiti. The tin is not in good condition and the dirt holds a lot of bacteria due to the nearby canal.

The people living in the shacks have no toilet facilities and they use the nearby canal. When the rains come the canal overflows onto the ground and this sewage water reaches the people's homes. Pray for a solution for the canal problems.

photos - coram deo clinic day

Before the clinic we walked through the Delmas 31 area letting people know that there would be a clinic. Cards were given to present at the gate. Once inside they were given a number.

We set up a waiting area at the front where people could sit waiting for their number to be called.

After the number was called the parent and child went to the registration area and a dossier prepared for the doctor.

Dr. Karen McCarthy worked quickly seeing all the patients and prescribing medicines. Sheri is helping to translate in this photo.

After seeing the doctor the prescriptions were filled at the pharmacy table. Translators explained to the parents how the medicine was to be taken. There were also a couple of teachers from Sheri's school who did evangelism with the people while they were waiting. We rejoice that 3 people gave their hearts to the Lord. Now they will be followed up on and encouraged to attend church.

haiti update - august 9, 2008

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1,2

Hi! This week was a busy week with the medical program and also making preparations for the school program. A medical team staying at Sheri’s did a clinic at Coram Deo on Thursday afternoon. They were able to see 70 children from the neighborhood. It’s great when medical teams come in! A lot of people can be helped. Kimly Arisma, a 7year old girl was at the clinic. She is going blind. The mother had said that she had seen an eye doctor here in Haiti but he told her that nothing could be done for her here in Haiti. Pray we can find out what is causing her eye problems and what can be done to help her. She is a happy girl and not worried about her eyes. She is still able to attend school. A mother came to the clinic with her child and the mother was found to have an eye tumor. She will most likely need to have her eye removed. Pray we can find an eye surgeon for her here in Haiti.
We walked through the ravine area on the other side of Delmas 31 and in the ravine area by our street this week. We met Renaldo Lubin and his mother. He is almost one year old now and was born with clubbed feet. The mother had started going for casting of his feet at St. Vincent’s but then stopped when she ran out of money. The clubbed feet are not too severe so maybe they can still be corrected with casting. We’ll visit Healing Hands with him in September.
We also met another mother and her child. Wadson Louissaint has severe scoliosis. He did have surgery here in Haiti for this but still has some curvature in his spine. In Haiti sometimes other people can be quite cruel with the handicapped. His mother started to cry when she explained how sometimes the children at the school he attends tease him about his crooked back.
We received news from the United States that Dieuna Philippe had another brain surgery to place a shunt. Continue to pray for her recovery and that one day she can take in fluids normally. She still is on a feeding tube.
This week several mothers came with their handicapped children to the house asking about education for their children. Salome Dorceus and her mother came to the house on Tuesday. Youby Ladouceur was also there at the same time. Both these children had suffered typhoid when they were younger which caused brain damage. Their mothers worked with their children and never gave up over the years. They worked hard to build better lives for their children and pushed them to improve. A young mother came to the house with her 15-month-old daughter. She told me that her daughter had recently suffered typhoid fever and was left with brain damage. The girl just recently started to be able to hold her head up. Salome’s mother heard this young mother explain about her daughter’s typhoid and told her to not give up. She talked with her about how Salome used to be. Being able to see Salome and Youby gives this young mother hope that her child will one day be able to walk and go to school. It is frustrating to the parents to hear people say that the handicapped can’t learn anything. There were several older children who came to the house with their parents. They have never attended school. In a way this is a handicap too because other schools in the area will not take in children that are considered too old for the beginning classes. We are planning on forming one class with these older children and working on catching them up. With all the handicapped children that we have seen it would be ideal to have a class for visually impaired students, a class for deaf students and a class for mentally handicapped students. We are going to start the year with two teachers and pray that funds will be raised in order to break the handicapped class into its specialty areas. At the present time there are only 2 schools in Port-au-Prince who work with the handicapped. Pray for the school preparations that we are making. Pray that the Lord will allow the program to grow like it did from its first start in 2000.
We also visited Cite Soleil this week to visit the summer camp being held at Willy and Joel’s school. There were over 200 children at the school. Food was donated in order to provide a lunch for the children. The school is in the wharf area of Cite Soleil. Another section, which is nearby, is called Ti-Ayiti. This is one of the poorer areas of Cite Soleil. Tin shacks are built near the canal there. When it rains the sewage from the large canal overflows into the area. The children there are happy though and make the best of their living conditions. Pray for the development of Cite Soleil. One of the biggest problems is the large canal and all the bacteria it holds.
The Haitian people love soccer and during the summer months neighborhood soccer tournaments are held. Manu is a real soccer fanatic and wants to watch every game at the neighborhood soccer field on Delmas 31. It’s nice to see the community spirit. The winning team will hold a rara and walk from the soccer field through the streets with a music band. No raras are held though for a game that ends in a tie. As the summer ends the championship rounds are approaching. On Thursday, a team from Delmas 31 was playing a team from Delmas 33 on the Delmas 31 soccer field. Both teams had already qualified for the playoffs but were meeting to decide first place in their division. The game got quite heated and the referee lost control of the players. The soccer game turned into a “hockey fight”. The supporters on the sideline started to get involved too. In Haiti when people are angry things tend to get thrown and bottles and rocks were flying around the soccer field. The police showed up and then started shooting in the air. That stopped the fighting in a hurry and everyone scrambled away. The soccer game never did finish and maybe the match for first place will be decided another day. Hopefully there will be more security for the playoffs! There is a Haitian Creole proverb for situations like this. “Ou pa janm joure manman kayman jouk ou fin pase dlo”. In english this is translated as “You never say bad things against the crocodile’s mother until you have already passed over the water”.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

Saturday, August 2, 2008

photos - port glace, iliodor - part 1

Before meeting Iliodor we had to stop by Paulna's village and pick up a relative of Iliodor. He led us to Iliodor.

We stopped along the Malpasse road. The lake edge is beside the road.

Iliodor Noel is doing well after having his leg amputated.

His home village is across the lake in a place called Port Glace.

He made a cell phone call to someone in the village to send the sailboat across to carry Wilben's and his mother. Here is a photo of the boat starting out.