Friday, February 20, 2009

haiti update - february 20, 2009

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Hi! This week has been a busy week with a visiting team from the Hamilton, Ontario region. Tim of Mission of Tears and James, Dan V., Dan H., Bill, and Len arrived on February 11th and stayed until February 18th. They are all skilled tradesmen and were kept busy doing repairs at the house. Dan V. is a mechanic and he fixed up Kimosabee the pickup truck. Now I can drive in 4th gear again without worrying about the steering wheel shaking and I have more control on the steering with new tie rods in place. The truck also has a new sound! A new horn was installed and hooked up together with the siren. The sound is like the horns from the days of the first vehicles with a siren added. People really notice the sound and it’s fun to watch people jump at the sound! It is good to have a unique sounding horn here in Haiti. A business in Canada donated a security system and now I have a couple of security cameras around the house and a monitor that can record the activity. It’s nice to have this in place. I am going to put a sign on the door that says, “Smile, you’re on candid camera!” Jacob and Manu had a fight this week over leftovers. One of the guys told me about this and when I talked with Manu he was really impressed that I knew about their food fight when I wasn’t even around. I didn’t tell him that someone else had told me about it. Stealing is always a problem here in Haiti and some of the people living here at the house steal from each other, so the team built a set of lockers each with their individual locks. The generator is working better now that a chewed up wire caused by a mouse is fixed. Wireless internet at the house was set up as well and the old computer was set up in the living room. I want to teach the children how to use the computer and this will help. Another school table was built as well as some more benches so that we can have combined school and medical clinic days in the future. With all the extra dishes from the school program the sink in the house is too small, so an outside sink was built and plumbing installed. The sinks were made out of plastic barrels that were cut down to size. The remainder of the barrels was used to make a couple of garbage pails. The tile on the kitchen counter inside the house was repaired. We couldn’t find white ceramic tiles so we found the closest available color, which is navy blue. It looks good to have some extra color to the counter. There was also some plumbing and other repairs done too. Manu is in his climbing things stage. It’s not too bad climbing the tree but when he tried to climb up the bars on one of the outside windows the frame came crashing down. This was fixed as well. I told Manu the next time he goes to the roof to chase after a ball to use the stairs. It’s great to see all the improvements! We give the Lord thanks for the funds that were raised to do these repairs! There are still more repairs to do. If a team wants to come down there is plenty of room for them to stay.
We made a visit to Paulna’s village with the team. Bill had a bunch of soccer uniforms and shoes that were donated and they were handed out to some of the older children of the village. Now they can have soccer uniforms to go along with the soccer ball that they got last week.
The main road of Delmas near the CEP offices still remains blocked off by the Haitian police and UN. Last Friday I was with Dan to get a part for the pickup truck exchanged and we couldn’t get near the auto parts store that we needed to get to. The blockade was extended to Delmas 33. We parked the truck on the side road and walked to the store. The visitors got a chance to see some of the things that go on here in Haiti. We were the only customers and the woman who runs the business told us she was going to close up shop for the day. Shortly after we left there was a “manifestation” of Lavalas supporters that came to protest. They knocked aside the first barriers by Delmas 33 but got turned back at the next barrier by the UN and police. We met up with them by Delmas 2 as they were heading back down to Cite Soleil. The police were at the front escorting them home. We had just come back from buying the plastic barrels at the base of Delmas. This week the CEP reviewed the appeals of candidates that were disallowed and accepted 13 of these appeals. Now there are 78 candidates eligible for the senatorial elections in April. The Lavalas party candidates appeals have been denied. There are some questions as to who the official leader is in the Lavalas party and there is a split in this party. It won’t be any time soon that the blockades around the CEP will be removed and traffic will continue to be detoured to inside roads. A rumor that has been circulating around for the last couple of months is that the ex-president Jean Bertrand Aristide will be returning from exile in South Africa sometime in March. He founded the Lavalas party. Next week is Carnival and the country shuts down for these festivities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Pray for stability for Haiti.
In our visit to the ravine area on the other side of Delmas 31 the other week, we met a family that we knew. One of their children is on our waiting list but when I saw how they lived I opened up a place for him in the school program. Lenel Laguerre is 11yrs old and didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. He started attending school here at Coram Deo this week.
On Saturday morning a 4-day-old baby came to the house with his parents. They are members of Pastor Pierre’s church in the mountains of Kenscoff. Shortly after birth the baby developed a bad eye infection. The baby was born at home. We brought the family to Nos Petits Freres et Soeurs Children’s Hospital on Tabarre and they treated the baby. Untreated eye infections can lead to blindness in newborns here in Haiti. We also got a call on Saturday from Mimi who manages a medical clinic in Cite Soleil. Somebody abandoned a hydrocephalus baby on a street inside Cite Soleil. She made a report at the police station and took the baby to Dr. Joey’s clinic in the Delmas 33 area. We visited him on Sunday afternoon and he is in good shape. The head hasn’t grown much and he has good neurological signs. He looks to be about 5 months old and he has been well cared for. Hopefully he can be a candidate for surgery in the next round of hydrocephalus surgeries. It is common in Haiti for hydrocephalus children to be abandoned. The society in a way treats these children like a curse. It was good that Mimi just happened to be in the area at the time. Pray for the health of this abandoned hydrocephalus baby.
Solyvien Favra has been accepted at a hospital in the United States for orthopedic care. Pray for the visa paperwork process.
My nephew Matthew is doing well in his recovery from his auto accident in the London, Ontario region a couple of weeks ago. His friend Kevin appeared to be improving and coming out of his coma but his heart stopped suddenly in hospital this week and he could not be revived. Pray for Kevin’s family and also for Matthew as he has lost his best friend.
That’s all the news for today. Have a good weekend!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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