Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Waiting

Cal had his appointment at the Canadian Embassy this morning at 8:10. I just talked to him and they gave him another appointment for July 7. I pray that this is a good sign. Nevertheless it's going to be a long week of waiting!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Saturday morning we were up early (3 am) to make sure Cal was up and ready to wait for the Port au Prince at the Haut Limbe "bus stop". After getting him out the door, I was able to sleep again for awhile and when I called at 7, he told me that the bus picked them up at 6, not 4 (this is Haiti after all!). They made it to Port by noon and all is well and good. Cal is staying at a friend's that is apparently not too far from the Canadian Embassy, so he should have no problem getting there tomorrow am.

I had a pretty relaxed weekend - did some baking, reading, writing and visited with Cal's family. I thought I would have a super sleep last night, but my body decided to wake me up at 3:30 and I couldn't fall back to sleep! It's going to be a long day added on to the anticipation of waiting to hear the results tomorrow.

Please pray with us that Cal gets his visa and has a safe trip back.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Learning to cook in Haiti is a challenge. Learning what fresh fruits and vegetables there are, where to buy meat, storing things... I was doing pretty good when we had regular electricity. However, in the last 2 weeks we've had barely any EDH (state power) and so the inverter batteries do not get to full charge so we only have power for 5 or 6 hours at night, or sometimes none at all, like last night.

We just have an apartment sized fridge, and don't keep much in it at all except for some cheese, butter, mayonnaise, processed meat (ham, salami or hot dogs) and juice or pop to treat ourselves to a cold drink. If we get regular power, the fridge can stay fairly cold - but this morning when I opened it, not a pretty smell. I think the ham is done - boo!

It also make it difficult to plan creative meals - we do our best to eat up the lunch leftovers at supper so that they don't go bad or to waste. We also can't store fresh meat. Luckily, the local butcher didn't kill a cow this past Saturday, so we didn't have any beef to store - but it does limit the variety of our meals. Chicken or fish - those are your choices.

Every night when I lay in bed I pray that they will give us EDH - seems silly, I lived without it before and millions of people in the country do it everyday. But I got spoiled with regular power for an extended period of time and now I miss it. Hmm...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On being anxious

I've been anxious this past week. For a few different reasons:

  • Cal's Canadian visa application appointment on June 28. We've been getting all the documents ready for that hoping that they are enough for the officer to grant him a visa. I'm also praying that he has a safe journey to Port au Prince, is safe in Port au Prince, and is able to make his 8:10 am appointment without sleeping in or getting stuck in traffic!
  • Thinking about if Cal doesn't get the visa and going to Canada on my own. How many weeks should I stay? We already bought both of our tickets (you have to present them at the embassy for your visa application). Also, we booked with Air Canada out of Puerto Plata, DR and now they are on strike - hopefully that doesn't affect us!
  • Thinking about money. My support level isn't what it should be - it'll be a tight couple of months. I feel ridiculous worrying about money here, considering how everyone lives around me. Cal reminds me on a daily basis that we need to rely on God to provide all of our needs - but he's better at it, he's been doing it his whole life. Honestly, I've never had to worry much about money. Sure there were times when I couldn't do all the extras, but I've always had enough for food, shelter and much more. One of our devotions last week was about trials and hardships, and Cal reminds me that this is a trial, and we just need to put our faith in God. Much easier said than done!
  • Thinking about making sure our refrigerator stays cold enough during the day (when we don't have power) so that our meat doesn't go bad. Seems silly - but I would hate to waste meat!
But, there are many things to be excited about as well:
  • A youth group from Malmo Covenant Church will be coming the first week of July. I'm excited as we plan activities for them with the young people from the Scouts here in Haut Limbe. I'm excited for them to experience a world so different from their own, but interact with young people here that are probably more similar to them than we think.
  • This fall we are preparing to host an art program for children in the area. A volunteer (and friend) will be coming to lead a program for about 15 kids ages 9-12. We spent some time brainstorming about it over Skype last week and I'm excited about the possibilities of children here a new opportunity.
  • Going to Canada! One way or another I will be going to Canada this summer. I'm excited to see family and friends, drive on smooth roads, eat BBQ'd meals and fresh vegetables from the garden!
Please join me in praying about these exciting upcoming events (and also that I would remain focused on the good, rather than worrying about potential trials and hardships).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random Bits

  • It's hot in Haiti. Duh! The past two weeks have been cloudy and rainy, so we haven't felt the heat as much. Then yesterday morning the sun came out! Hallelujah - maybe my laundry will dry in less than 3 days! With the sun, came even more heat and humidity. It gets up to about 33 degrees Celsius during the day, and down to a cool 30 degrees at night. While I have no idea what the humidity is, I can say it is high by the perma-sweat on my face. Ugh! Oh well, as long as there is water for showers, I'm a happy camper. I'll take it over -40 and snow!
  • I'm getting used to being called Mme Cal (pronounced Man Cal). In Haitian culture, once a woman is married, and a lot of times even before she is actually married, she is called Madam whatever her husband's name is. At first I wanted people to still call me Janelle, but I've gotten used to answering to Mme Cal and kind of enjoy it. Even family and close friends do this - not more than 10 minutes after the wedding ceremony was finished, Cal's mom was calling me Mme Cal!
  • I'm also learning that cooked meat (beef) doesn't need to be stored in the refrigerator all the time. Last week, Marlene had come over to cook up some of the beef we had bought from the butcher on Saturday and she left it in a covered pot on the stove. When we got home, I asked Cal if we needed to put it in the fridge, he said no. The next day, Marlene came, fried it up and we ate it. Nobody got sick! I know that people do it all the time here because very few people have access to refrigeration with consistent electricity, but I just wasn't used to seeing it in my kitchen! Also, did you know that eggs don't need to be stored in the fridge either??
  • I learned how to make peanut butter the other day, well, partly. I came home after work and Mama (Mme Isaak) was getting ready to roast a bunch of peanuts in a big chodye (pot) over the richo (charcoal grill) on the porch, so I stayed out to watch her. We SLOWLY roasted the peanuts in the pot, stirring them almost constantly, adjusting the temperature of the pot by removing or adding pieces of charcoal). Once they were roasted sufficiently, she spread them on a large tray to cool and we started shelling the skins off. After that, she was going to take them to be ground and turned into peanut butter (of course with a little pepper added)!
That's all for today! Hope you are enjoying a sunny Saturday wherever you may be!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oh how the days go by

Sorry! I've been a real slacker lately and haven't taken the time to write blog posts or letters. I think of ideas for great posts when I'm walking around town, doing the dishes or sitting in church (I admit I sometimes daydream with speaker is talking too fast!), but I promptly forget them by the time I come to the internet in my little closet office at the university. So, please accept my apologies! Here’s a little update.

Things are going well here. The humid season, or should I say more humid season has arrived along with hurricane season. After going for months without rain, a couple weeks ago a system set in that gives us rain almost every day and not much sun. It's good to have the moisture, but I am missing the sun a little bit.

In mid May, we had a group of 12 from Strathmore (and other parts of Alberta) here for a week. Boy were they busy! During their time here, they were able to help continue the construction of the living quarters above the depot, create an inventory for the pharmacy and depot and build a house for a very deserving little girl and her family in the community of Danda - a couple of hours from here. They did have some fun as well - we went to the beach, had a Creole class, had a private concert, watched a futbol game, and participated in Flag Day celebrations.

The next group from the Wetaskiwin, AB area arrives at the beginning of July. It's a youth group, so I'm looking forward to connecting them with the youth in the community and building some of those relationships.

Work at the clinic keeps on going! It's been busy, especially since Dr. Joselie has been away in the States to have her baby boy, Joey Andrew Monel Jules, who arrived on June 6th! We excited for them to return and to meet little Joey. We've also been working on expanding the water distribution system in the community. Now, even more families will have better access to water for their daily needs. Our hope in doing this is to prevent diseases like cholera as well as other waterborne diseases.

Married life is treating us well! We are settled into our apartment now and are getting into a routine of life together. I'm having fun cooking some Canadian dishes for Cal (he's been pleasantly surprised that I actually can cook) and taking care of the house. Marlene, who cooked for me at Mme Isaak's house, still comes to cook our lunches Monday to Friday, which is a blessing as she is a great cook and it frees up my mornings to do work at the office and clinic.

What else is coming up? Well, on June 28, Cal has an appointment at the Canadian Embassy in Port au Prince to make his application for a Temporary Residency Visa to come to visit Canada with me this summer. If you could be praying for that, we would greatly appreciate it. We are feeling positive about his chances of getting a visa, but you never know. If he gets it, we plan to be in Canada from mid July to mid August. If he doesn't get it, I will still come, but for a shorter time. While we are there, we will visit with family and friends in Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as visit some churches giving support.

There are a few prayer requests:

• Please pray for the clinic staff and committee that they would be unified and work together for the betterment of the community.
• Pray for Dr. Joselie and her family as they welcome Joey into their family.
• Pray for Dr. Manno that he would stay healthy and get the rest he needs.
• Pray for the students in the community that are writing final exams.
• Pray for Cal and I as we apply for his visa and make plans to visit Canada this summer

Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement - it means a lot to both Cal and I.

Bondye beni nou! God bless you!