Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fail - maybe not.

I seem to be failing at this regular blogging thing - sorry folks! I am still alive, and I will continue to try to keep you all updated as to the goings on here in Haut Limbe.

I do have a small excuse for not writing in the past couple of weeks. We were hosting a volunteer couple (who also happen to be friends from Canada, now living in Hawaii) for 10 days. Joel, is a nurse and spent his time in the clinic assisting Manno by doing wound care, putting on casts, consulting patients and organizing one of the back supply closets. Brooke, an artist, led a 5 day art camp for 18 children from the community. It was a great success! I had the privilege to help her out and it was so great to interact with the kids and watch them be creative with the different projects. We met every morning for a few hours, and by the end - we were tired! The kids enjoyed their time, even though it doesn't look like it in the picture below! Picture taking is "serious" business in Haiti!
I would post more pictures, but I'm way too impatient to wait the 5-10 minutes to upload each photo.

Besides the "work" that was accomplished during their stay, Cal and I had a great time hanging out with Brooke and Joel and showing them the real Haiti. One of the advantages of visiting in a smaller group - we have the flexibility to show people a lot more and have them experience more regular Haiti life. This included a nice little tour of Cap Haitian, including a couple of the fanciest hotels, some time at an orphanage in nearby Limbe, a street party in Lakil during their annual saint celebration, a leisurely day at the beach and a few motorcycle rides! It was great to have them here. Thanks for all your hard work Brooke and Joel!

After dropping them off at the airport Saturday am, we decided to spend some time in Cap running errands - I hadn't really been there since we returned from Canada. First stop, a treat for me - a pedicure! At $6 US, I couldn't resist a little pampering for my poor feet. While I was relaxing, Cal and Alin looked all over Cap for some light bulbs, with no luck. They found light bulbs, but not the kind I wanted. I prefer soft, yellow light instead of the harsh white light of most inverter, power saving bulbs. Oh well, better luck next time!

Next task, off to the grocery store to see what they had in stock so I could do some "Canadian" type grocery shopping. We found some items for a treat, but unfortunately not the white cheese I wanted, so it was off to the downtown Haitian market to find it. Cal and I walked up and down streets, asking as we went along which "store" had cheese. We finally found it. Now, the crazy thing is how this "store" worked. There is a counter with shelves and storage rooms behind it. You walk up to one window marked "fiche" or receipt and you tell the guy what you want. He rights it down, along with the price and then hands you your receipt. You then go to the window marker "caisse" or cashier, pay your bill and get a paid receipt back. You then go over to the large counter where there are 4 or 5 workers behind and try to get the attention of one of them while 10 other people crowd around you, so that they can find your items for you. 10 minutes later, you finally get your cheese. This is Haiti.

That about tired me out, so we decided to call it a day by stopping at the gas station for ice cream and visiting Cal's sister for a few minutes. On the way home, we stopped a second gas station which actually had a better selection of groceries that than the grocery store in Cap, so I picked up a few more treats and we were on the way home. By the time we arrived, my motion sickness got the better of me and I spent the rest of the afternoon laying down and resting - but, I had my cheese!

My sickness decided to stay around for a few more days, so I spent Monday and Tuesday at home, near the bathroom. Luckily, we had borrowed a friends 3G internet stick, so I could do a quick check of emails from my room! I never thought I would see the day I would have internet in my bedroom in Haiti, but alas, it is here. A company called Natcom has come into Haiti and offer cell and internet service. Using the stick isn't exactly cheap, but it sure helps when I don't want to make the journey to the University in the rain or when I'm not feeling well. We hope to have our own Natcom 3G stick soon!

Well, I think that's all for now - almost time to head home for lunch!