Friday, December 25, 2009



Christmas in Haiti is definitely different than Canada. It’s amazing how quiet it is without the constant consumerism being shoved in your face – that doesn’t even enter a Haitian’s mind. In many ways Christmas is like any other day of the year, people are working to find someway to feed their family that day. I’m sure there will be more celebrating in the streets tonight.
Last night, Christmas Eve, there was a live Nativity play at the church across the road. What a show! There are definitely people here that like to entertain. It was the longest Nativity play I’ve ever seen (2 hours) but it was complete with a live donkey, so that made it worth it!
The rain finally let up yesterday morning, so we’ve been able to enjoy some sunshine, and more importantly get some laundry done! The visiting group from the States is hiking to the top of the Citadelle today. I’ve decided to stay home as I am just nicely getting over a cold here. Tomorrow, if the weather holds, we hope to go to the beach.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 21, 2009


It's been quiet the past few days. There are a few reasons for that. First, it was the weekend. I've been away for part of the days on Saturday and Sunday since i've been here, and this weekend I didn't leave at all so I really noticed the quiet. Everyone disappears - to go to market, to Cap, to the beach. It was a weird feeling to have the streets so empty. Sunday afternoons are always quiet. After church everyone disappears to their homes to spend time with family. School finished on Friday for holidays, so the campus is bare. And today, well it's quiet because it rained ALL NIGHT and it looks like its going to stay around for awhile.

This week will be busy. A lab services team (3 people) arrived on Saturday and will be working in the clinic here as well as some clinics in the surrounding area so there is some logistics to arranged for that. Also, the container of med supplies has arrived in Cap and we are now in the negotiation phase of having it released from customs. Please pray for a quick release for not too much money.

Church was wonderful yesterday - 1 hour and 55 minutes of music and a 5 minute sermon - my kinda service! There were several special numbers and some familiar Christmas Carols to sing along to, so I was happy.

The lab team will be here for Christmas, so we need to work on making some plans for celebration as Manno will hopefully be in the DR with his family later this week. Boxing Day is hopefully going to be spent at the beach! No door-crashing sales for me!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Oh the things I am learning here! I spent the past 2 days in a conference for midwives in the area. Two women from the States, a doctor and midwife, are here to learn from and teach midwives here. The majority of babies here are delivered by midwives as most people cannot afford to go to the hospital for delivery. Midwifery is very much seen as a calling by God here – you do not choose it. The midwives have servant hearts as much of the time they get paid very little for their services. And here’s something I didn’t expect – there are male midwives! It was very fascinating to observe the meeting and see how much experience and wisdom was in the room of 20 people - one woman said that the first baby she delivered is now 50 years old!
This past weekend I did something that I thought I wouldn’t do for a very long time. I went to the beach, but I did not swim because it was too cold! It wasn’t so much the cold, but the wind was horrendous and the ocean was “mad” as Manno would say. It’s still fun to be at the beach, even if you don’t swim.
My Creole is coming along slowly. I am spoiled here with quite a few people that speak English, so I’m not forced to use my Creole all the time. I guess I’ll soon have to have an “only Creole” day.
School is finishing up here at the university. It’s exam week so the students are busy studying and looking forward to going home for the Christmas break. They get the whole month of January off. So it will be quieter here around my office for awhile. We do have a few visiting groups coming over the next few weeks, so that will keep me busy over the holidays.
Thinking of all of you back in the very cold weather – I’ll try to send some warmth your way!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Time is a strange thing here. Sometimes it can pass so quickly... sometimes so slowly. Sometimes it can be of upmost importance... sometimes it can be of no importance at all. Sometimes a day can feel so busy... but not be filled with much accomplishment at all.

I'm trying to figure time out here. In Canada, I'm generally on time, even a bit early. Here, promptness isn't as important, although sometimes it is. It's hard to figure out when "we're leaving in 30 minutes" actually means we are leaving in 30 minutes, not in 2 hours from now.

This past week has been quite full. Last Thursday I was able to go with Dr. Manno to the community of Dendas - a remote village in the country past Cap-Haitien. He visits when he can as the there is not a full time doctor in the clinic there. It's amazing how much the environment can change from here to there. Here I am in the mountains, with lush greenery surrounding me. Dendas is in a flatter area and is quite dry and arid and has a very different feel then Limbe - it is definitely the country.

Last week I also met with the heads of the English Department here at the University and it looks like I will be teaching a couple of English classes next semester, which will be a great experience I think. I'm excited to meet the students, help them with their English and have them help me with my Creole. Last night I was able to attend the English clubs Christmas party, which was very entertaining.

Weekends in Haiti are all about relaxing and having fun, so I was able to go to the beach twice! Of course I was the only one swimming as it is winter here and it is "too cold" for my Haitian friends to swim. Oh well, I had a glorious time in the warm ocean and laying on the sand!

We've also been working on the logistics of receiving the container of medical supplies due to arrive within the next week. We were able to find a broker in Cap who will help a lot with that process.

So, many things on the go and we have some visitors coming in the next week so we are preparing for that as well!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Today I love...

  • Sunshine
  • a weekend with 2 trips to the beach
  • omelets and fresh coffee for breakfast
  • electricity!
  • hanging out with friends
  • that the mosquitoes aren't biting me as much
  • that there is no snow!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finding a schedule

Making a schedule is very hard to do here. I'd like to have some sort of pattern to my life here, and maybe I am slowly getting one. Usually in the morning I come to the "office" to check email and such - it regularly has electricity in the morning. Then I wander over to the clinic for a bit to see what is happening. Today is vaccination day, so there are lots of babies and small children around. Around 1 or so I have lunch. I think will try to study Creole this afternoon before I have an appointment at 3 and then Creole lessons at 5. Yes, I did find my Creole teacher and lessons have been going very well!
I believe that tomorrow we go on mobile clinic, so I will be gone most of the day and get to see some new country!
I purchased my first cellphone the other day! I'm still trying to figure out how it works here. Everyone think i'm crazy that i've never had a cellphone before!