Wednesday, December 23, 2009

haiti update - december 20, 2009

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:8-11.

Hi! This week was a busy week with the school program. The students wrote their 2nd Controle Exams from Monday to Thursday. Also on Thursday the children made decorations in preparation for the Christmas party on Friday. They had a lot of fun. A team from the United States made a visit and treated the children to some treats and gifts. The children sang a couple of songs for the visitors and when the visitors left the teachers organized some games. The report cards were done and we had a parents meeting on Sunday afternoon. The children also sang some songs for their parents as well. There was a question and answer time with the parents and one of the parents stood up and said that some people look for a “big” school or notice that a school is a “small” school. But this parent says she is relieved that her child is in school and learning and this is what she looks at. It was good for the teachers to hear words of support from the parents. This week we received a blessing of some more Feed My Starving Children food from Love a Child and we shared this with the parents. The school program will be on Christmas break until January 4th and the children will miss their meal that is cooked for them each school day. The gift bag of food we gave to each parent will help them provide food for their children during the Christmas break. We give the Lord thanks for this assistance.
Kimosabee had some big problems this week. He broke his back (leaf springs). I knew there was something not right but I decided to take a chance because the truck insurance was due on the 15th and in order to renew it I had to get an “expertise” (verify that the motor and identification numbers are the same) done at the insurance office. When we left the expertise area there was some bad noises coming from the underneath of the truck and I pulled in at the CDTI hospital compound to get the truck off the street. The springs are normally stacked one on top of the other but the right side looked like a fan. We finished paying the insurance anyway and then went to the accident department and asked them for suggestions of who we could get for a tow truck. The friendly policeman there gave us a note to the police officer (Patrick) over at Circulation and Amos took a motorcycle to go find him. A little while later the tow truck came. It was a well-worn tow truck and the tires were a little bald. We headed up Rue Chretien, which is a steep hill, and because of the bald tires the tow truck driver could not drive straight up the hill. He zigzagged up the hill instead. I was sitting in front in between the driver and the policeman and I was hoping that they would not sideswipe Kimosabee against something. It worked out well and we made it home. The tow truck driver gave me his card so that we can just call him the next time Kimosabee has problems. Kimosabee was fixed on Friday and he now has a healthy back and new shock absorbers too!
While we were downtown we passed in front of the palace and they had a large Christmas tree on the lawn. We saw a group of people but they were not singing Christmas carols in front of the Christmas tree. They were in front of Aristide’s (ex-president of Haiti) statue, which is across the street, and were holding a banner. On Wednesday the Lavalas political party, which Aristide founded, had a march through the streets from the downtown area up Delmas and to the front of the CEP (electoral building). About 3,000 supporters were in this group commemorating the 19th anniversary of the year Aristide was first elected as president. The people were requesting the return of Aristide, denouncing President Preval and the resignation of the members of the electoral council. The UN and the Haitian police provided security and the march up to the CEP building was calm. There were some thieves mixed in amongst the people that were walking and the people handed them off to the police. We saw the police walk with one young man and put him into the back of their pickup truck. The people were telling the police to take the thief away. Aristide still has a large following especially amongst the poor. There were even some elderly and handicapped people amongst the supporters. As the group got near the CEP building the publicity truck started blaring Christian music from the speakers. Leaders of the group spoke from the microphone and after a while announced that the protest was over and everyone turned around and headed for home. The Lavalas and Lespwa (Preval’s party) are both barred from the upcoming elections, which will be held in 2010. Preval has created a new party called Unity. Some of the members of the Lavalas party are joining other political parties. Pray for the electoral process and for peaceful elections.
Coca Cola/Seven Up is offering prizes under their bottle caps. Sometimes a “free” drink sign appears or a $ sign shows up. Collecting 3 “$” signs means you can fill in one ticket for a draw. Manu and Benson are enjoying hunting for bottle caps in search of prizes. Benson came up to me one day and asked if he could look for bottle caps on the street in front of our house. A little later I drove down Delmas 31 and saw a child using a stick poking through the sewer water at the side of the road. It was Benson. I stopped and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was searching for bottle caps. I was embarrassed and told him to go home. People on the street were laughing. Every few days the children take their bottle caps with the “$” signs to the coke depot to fill out the tickets for the draw. Manu came back the other day from the coke depot excited about seeing an arrest on our street corner. He told me the story about the naked thief. The previous evening the police were patrolling and heard a sound. A naked man was removing the tires from a broken down vehicle near the mayor’s garage. The guy was naked because he figured with his black skin nobody would seem him in the dark. The policeman flashed a light in his direction and the man scooped up his clothes and ran. The police must have recognized him because the man who was arrested on the corner was one of the tire changers. Manu told me the man tried to punch one of the police officers and before he knew it his hands were behind his back and he was on the ground. Manu was impressed with the skill of the policemen. The Coca Cola contest will be over soon. It has been fun watching the kids hoard their treasure of bottle caps!
My nephew John is out of hospital. He spent a difficult time recovering from his surgery on the blocked shunt but was finally able to go home on Saturday. When John wasn’t doing so well the doctors had thought that he might be in the hospital through Christmas. That is a great Christmas present that he is not in the hospital.
Have a blessed Christmas from everyone here at Coram Deo!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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