Saturday, November 26, 2011

On the bright side

Since my last post wasn't exactly positive, I've been trying to think about what is positive in my life right now. The answer - I'm losing weight!

Now, that may sound ridiculous considering the country I live in being that most people don't have enough to eat each day and anytime you do gain weight you are greeted with cheers and "ou gwo!" (you're big!). But the truth is, I've been gaining weight steadily since the all inclusive, all-you-can eat buffet at our honeymoon resort! It was just too good to pass up - variety, three times a day! I didn't even try to stop myself. Dessert? Yes please! I was sure once I got home I would slowly drop the extra weight and get back to normal - wrong!

It was probably a number of things - adjusting to married life, adjusting to cooking for the two of us, the stress of waiting for Cal's visa, and it being too hot to even think about exercising. And then, we went to Canada for 5 weeks - pretty much the all you can eat buffet all over again! Not good. By the end of the trip, I could barely button up my favourite pair of jeans. But then I told myself, it's just "Canada weight". I'll sweat it all off back in Haiti. Guess what - that didn't happen.

After weeks of complaining to Cal, I finally bit the bullet and started exercising. It's cooled down enough now so that by 4 or so in the afternoon it is bearable to climb the mountain behind our house. Sometimes there is even cloud cover and the sun goes behind the mountain - bonus! I've been doing it 4 or 5 times a week for the past three weeks and this week I finally noticed a difference!

We've also tried to adjust our diet - less rice, more veggies! I think Cal is even dropping a few pounds! Just waiting for the day when I can put on my favourite jeans again...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where I'm at

I've been up and down and all over the place for the past couple of weeks. There's a lot going on around here and in my head.
  • Cholera numbers are down! We had up to 130 or 140 at the CTC just over a week ago and now we are down to 10 or 20. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Unfortunately, there were a few deaths, but they were due to other complications so we are pretty happy with the care that was received. 
  • With the cholera literally close to home (several children who live next door to us), it was a bit more emotional to see the crisis increase. I made several trips to the CTC to check on "my kids" and to their homes to make sure the remaining siblings had enough food and water while the parents were at the centre. I'm so thankful that the CTC was here and that we were able to get the supplies needed to treat these children.
  • There a lot of tough discussions and decisions to be made at the clinic. The clinic is going through some growing pains, trying to figure out how they can continue the mission of the clinic and work with partners here and abroad. Please continue to pray for the clinic.
  • I've been doing a lot of communicating with groups who will be visiting in the next 6 months. We have a ton of interest (6 to 8 groups) who would like to come. It's been tricky managing the calendar to find dates that work for them and for us here, and the reality is, there is only so much time and likely not everyone will be able to come when they would like. I know that for my own sanity and health, I need breaks between groups (at least a week) so that limits the amount that can come during the "cool" season here, and I'm trying not to feel guilty about that.
  • We have mice in our house. On top of everything else that is happening, it seems to be the last straw for me and my patience gets a bit thin (usually at Cal's expense). They are sneaky little mice. They have been able to eat the bait off of the rat traps (apparently they don't have mousetraps in Haiti) and get away unscathed. I've even made a homemade trap attempting to drown them, but they are too smart. Yesterday we put out poison - but they haven't taken it yet. Last night when Cal and I came home, Cal saw one go under the fridge, chased it out and killed it with his foot. I guess that works too, but I just know its brothers and sisters will be back tonight! 
  • Cal and I are discussing when we will return to Canada - its a hard decision and will require a lot of things to line up. Please pray for us.
  • My financial support is not at  the level it should be so that is an added stress as we make plans.
  • I've been thinking a lot of how it is best to help. Poverty is such a complicated issue in Haiti and unfortunately in the past well-intentioned help has often done more damage than good. It's a tricky road to explore and creates a great tension. Pray for me and the ECCC has we navigate our relationship with the clinic and Haut Limbe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Batay Vètyè

Haitian public holidays always sneak up on me here. I don't have a calendar for them so it seems that out of the blue they appear and surprise, no work today! That's what happened today (or last night when I found out).

November 18 is to remember Batay Vètyè - or the Battle of Vertières which actually happened basically in Cap Haitian and was the last major battle before Haiti declared its independence from France. 

As today is a holiday, Cal and I had a leisurely morning at home - cleaning and making breakfast, all the while listening to the local radio station from Limbé. They spent a lot of time recounting the history of Haiti's independence, giving commentary to the current state of Haiti and its government, and playing songs encouraging Haitians to rise up and have pride in their country and pointing out how in the past 200 years, Haiti has not become what they once dreamed of.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Update

The cholera situation is not improving.

Last night, the CTC received over 30 children from a local community school who appear to be suffering from cholera. It is suspected that the water at the school was contaminated. Please pray for the children and that we can discover how the water source became infected.

Up until this point, few people from the community of Haut Limbe had contracted cholera - this is hitting much closer to home. Many of you who have visited Haut Limbe will know or recognize the children who are affected.

Thank you to all who have already contributed financially to cholera relief. If you are still interested in giving, click here for instructions.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A quick update

  • The Plan was a success!! I can't believe it. Everything worked out very well - we got to Cap, got a hotel room, I got my nails done, we had a delicious supper complete with ice cream for dessert, and we got on the bus to the DR the next day! Amazing! We had a great, relaxing weekend in Santiago with our good friend Tammi and arrived back in Haut Limbe Monday night. I may have to make a "plan" again sometime!
  • Cholera is still here. The numbers have remained stable at 50 - 60 patients per day being treated. We were able to secure additional staff from Public Health, so that has eased some of the strain, but there is still a long haul ahead. Please continue to pray for this, and if you are interested in donating, please see this post.
  • Dr. Manno was in Canada for the past week and a half visiting a number of Covenant churches and supporters in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He is currently on his way back and we are looking forward to having him here again!