Journal Part 1
2-07-2000 – Monday
Well only two more day until I leave. Everything is focusing on my going. I am going to try to finish packing tonight so I will be extremely busy.
2-14-2000 – Monday
I haven’t done a very good job keeping notes yet, but I will get better. The country is very beautiful. The courtyard here at this compound has large trees including a mango and almond tree. The leaves are large and green. The weather is hot and humid, very hard to breathe in. Last night at church all the kids wanted to sit by me and feel my hair, face and skin. I wish I could talk to them. The pace of life is so munch slower it is hard to adjust to.
2-15-2000 – Tuesday
I woke up sick today. I threw up all morning and by noon there wasn’t anything left in my stomach. I haven’t eaten anything but I have been drinking lemon Gatorade. That stuff is awful. I really felt bad about not being able to work on anything with Darlene. We were going to make a bead bracelet today, maybe we will tomorrow. Darlene is a beautiful, 10 year old girl with gorgeous brown eyes and high cheek bones. All the women here are pretty but some strike you as exceptionally beautiful.
2-18-2000 – Friday
I am going to wash clothes as the Haitians do today with Mary-Rose.
2-22-2000 – Tuesday
Today I went and worked in city Soleil. It is the poorest section of Port-A-Prince. We were here at CSI and there is a team here that is building a school down there and they also have a clinic. I worked in the clinic with the medicine. I think we filled well over 500 prescriptions. The doctors saw at least 145 people so we were quite buys. Gayle and I are going again tomorrow but Thursday we go back to Montrouis. I really felt like I was helping the people today. It was well worth the time and energy to see them smile and say Merci. The children are so cute. The live in the worst conditions yet they can still find a reason to smile.
I have met the nicest family. their names are Jim, Myrice, Mychail and Christopher Cartwright. Jim is the pastor of a church here in Port. They are Haitians but came from the US as missionaries. The speak english almost perfectly and are just the sweetest most loving people I have met yet. The kids are 13 and 12 and speak english without hardly an accent. Linda has been speaking at his church so we have spent a lot of time together. The praise and worship they sing is amazing and wonderful to hear. I am catching on to some of the words and songs so that I can sing also.
Washing clothes with Mary-Rose was an experience. I never did get the hang of it but I am sure I will get another opportunity. After we were done she braided my hair into 16 braids. It looked really cool.
3-05-2000 – Sunday
I am definitely the worst at keeping notes! We picked up our first mission group yesterday so we shall see how this week goes.
I received a bite on my right foot which proceeded to swell until I could hardly walk. It was a mosquito bite that became infected. I am on antibiotic right now and we have been cleaning it. It still hurts a great deal to walk but I am managing to limp along. I wish it didn’t look so obvious, my ankle is twice the size it normally is.
I am really praying about staying until June but I am still unsure.
3-15-2000 – Wednesday
Well I wanted to write everyday that the group was here but by the end of the day I was so tired it made me sick to think of writing. We painted and painted. There were 7 people on the team, Buddy, Doug, Mike, Papa Glen, Grace and Kimi. We painted 2 rooms, parts of the house, and screens and benches for Rigaud’s school. (Andre Rigaud is the pastor here at the Baptist church and he lives on the compound here with Jimmy and Gayle.)
There was a bible conference going on for the Haitians at the same time so I made even more friends. I taught a song in English which was a blast. Enech translated for me but they still learned all the words in english. I loved working with the Haitian kids and I hope I get another chance. I worked one on one with Lalene and she really got it. Lalene is Rigaud’s niece from Port. Friday we went up to Andre’s school and handed rice and toys out to the kids. They were having recess when we first arrived so I played with them. I had no idea what I was doing until JR told me. By the time I was really getting the hang of it we had to quit. I had such a great time and the more I work with the people here the more I fall in love with this place. After we were at the school we walked around Montrouis and gave rice to three families. I was extremely blessed by one elderly couple. We entered into their house and right away they found all of us chairs and made us feel so welcome. We were going to pray with them but right before we did so they went to make themselves presentable to enter into the presence of God. That really touched my heart to see these people who have so little put on their best for Jesus, in the states we have people who go to church with out cleaning up hardly at all because it is to much of a bother. I am still learning a great deal but one thing that has struck me is these people have nothing yet what they have, if they are christians, are used in a profitable way. I am not saying everyone is that way but a great number of people are like this.
3-16-2000 – Thursday
We went to Port again today. There was one wreck that hadn’t been cleaned yet and then when we were almost to town we saw two bodies laying on the side of road. It looked like one had been shot in the heart but I don’t know about the other one. This is the second time I have seen something like this. It is very interesting and really makes you stop and think. The first thing that comes to my mind is: “Were they Christians?” It is sad to know that everywhere in the world people are dying without coming to a relationship with Christ.
We went to Batimat first. It is the large hardware store here in Port-A-Prince. I can’t believe how much hardware they have there. The process of buying is as follows:
Everything is separated into categories with number by the item. A sales person comes with a paper and writes down the number of the item being purchased and the quantity. They then write-up a sales ticket which you bring to another place and here you pay for the goods you are buying. After paying you hand your sales slip to a man who will go to the back a find what you need. To me this whole process takes longer than going in a lumber yard and getting what you need but this gives more people a job.
3-17-2000 – Friday
We went to work at the clinic again yesterday. When we got there, there was a man waiting to get stitches in his hand. He had been cutting grass with his machete but had missed and almost cut all the way to his bone straight across his hand. I don’t know how long he had been sitting there but they couldn’t help him right away because they needed to get everything in order. Finally the nurse, (Mitchell), started cleaning his hand. His hand was really bleeding and it looked like the man was in great pain but he never cried out. Before Mitchell started putting the stitches in he tried to numb the hand but couldn’t really get it numbed to the point it should have been. He then proceeded with the stitches and was having a very hard time getting them in. Finally he just quit because he couldn’t get the stitches close enough. All this time nothing he was using was sterile. The doctor there said he would do it but the man would have to wait until he was done seeing people. We got there around 8:30 and left around 12. The doctor still wasn’t finished seeing patients and the man’s hand wasn’t sewn yet. The man hadn’t even gone to sleep, I guess because he was in too much pain. I don’t think that I have ever felt a pull so strong to be a nurse. I wished desperately to be able to help but I didn’t know what to do. Right now at the clinic I am taking blood pressure and weight. It is quite interesting trying to get them to understand me but we manage. I think we are going to start working there more and I sure hope so. I enjoy working with the Haitians as it helps me understand them better.
3-18-2000 – Saturday
Darlene stayed the night last night so I stayed busy.
3-19-2000 – Sunday
Like I was saying…we stayed busy talking, making a necklace, watching movies and working. I had a great time and I hope that she did also. Later in the day Madam Julian, Betid and I had a creole/english lesson. I love those two women. We had a great time and I know there will be many more lessons. Harrington came today and gave me a creole book and said Betid and I could work on it together. Harrington is Pastor Rigaud’s younger brother. Both him and Betid don’t understand why I am not coming back next fall. To be honest with myself I don’t know either. Why am I getting a nursing degree? Why do I feel like I have to go to college? Is being a nurse going to help these people as much as something else I could do? Rigaud told me today that he wanted me to start out teaching music to the younger kids first and then move up. Jim told me that was very out of the ordinary for him to that, especially for a blanc. Was this of God? I am also going to write a play for the teens and youth. How can I do all this and only have been here a month and a half? Is God trying to tell me something? So many questions, so little time to answer them. Dear father, please show me the way, YOUR way for my life. Amen.
3-22-2000 – Wednesday
Well I went to Port for the 2nd time in a week. It is such a tiring trip as I have to hold myself in the seat. There are so many holes in the road to miss and cars to miss it is a wonder we are still alive with the way people drive down here. Anyway today in Port I got my hair cut. I just love it. I don’t know how I will tell mama and papa but what’s been done I can’t change.
I think we are going to paint Rigaud’s office tomorrow if it is clean enough. The more I am around him the more I like him. He is also starting to talk to me more.
3-23-2000 – Thursday
We did paint rigaud’s office today. It looks so much better it is unbelievable. He says that now he will have to put tile down.
Tim Kendall called this evening and wondered if we could help them move unexpectedly. They are another missionary family here in Montrouis. There were so many people watching it was unbelievable. The have such a mess going on it is so sad. I know that there is a reason for it somewhere but it is hard to see. Jim and Gayle went through the same problems and I wonder why. Why does God allow those who have given everything to serve Him be hurt like this? It is very puzzling.
3-24-2000 – Friday
We all went to Port again today. I could have stayed here but I would have been by myself and that didn’t sound very appealing to me. Besides since I have been here I am trying to keep track of how they do business. Today the all had another meeting so I wanted to see what it was like. It was interesting and I enjoyed being there.
3-25-2000 – Saturday
The family called tonight and I was able to talk to everyone but Jasper and Quynn. Bryan and Julie were visiting so I was able to say to them also. It really hit me for the first time how much I missed them. I don’t really miss living there but I hate not being able to talk to them. It is hard getting news two weeks old in the mail.
I also taught english class twice today, it was almost too much.
3-26-2000 – Sunday
We went to Rigaud’s church again today. It is really hard sitting there for two hours not understanding what anyone is saying. I sure hope that by the time I go home I will understand creole. By the way, I am changing my ticket and returning home the end of June. I really think it is the right choice even though it is hard.
3-28-2000 – Tuesday
Harrington called today and told us that there were manifestations going on in Port. Three people have been killed including a police officer. I am glad that Harrington works in an office and class room as a police instructor. Anyway they have also been stoning the cars. Jimmy and Rigaud are supposed to go to Port tomorrow but Gayle is trying to talk them out of it. I really don’t blame her. Jimmy isn’t listening.
Tonight we went over to the Kendall’s for supper. It was absolutely wonderful. We had french onion soup, caeser salad, peppered steak and cherry cheesecake. All the kids were in bed except Katherine and she was our waitress. It really was a nice evening.
3-29-2000 – Wednesday
Well guess who went to Port today and had to turn around and come back before he got anything done. Yeah, Jimmy and Rigaud left pretty early this morning and while they were gone we decided to paint Rigaud’s living room. What an undertaking. It took us all day. Mildred, Rigaud’s sister, called twice, once to tell Rigaud not to go to Port and the other to see if he was back yet. Harrington did the same thing. It is nice to see how they worry about their big brother. Harrington also asked me when I was coming to see his work place. All I said was soon. I really don’t know when we will go. Anyway, Jimmy got as far as city soleil when he met up with a road block. They were going to stone the truck but he paid their way out of it. Over 100 Haitian dollars. It is a lot of money but I say it is worth it if it save you from being killed or seriously hurt. Anyway he decided to just come home after trying another option and it also not working. While they were having all of the problems we were painting and rearranging Rigaud’s entire living room. It looks so much better but my feet were so swollen and my body sore I didn’t know how we would finish. But we did and Gayle said we would rest tomorrow. I don’t want to be a baby but I hope we do. Painting is a very painful business here, not like it is back in the states.
3-30-2000 – Thursday
Well Gayle lied. 🙂 We painted Rigaud’s bedroom today! It really wasn’t near as hard and it is nice to have it done. I am even more sore tonight though and may be immobile tomorrow. Gayle said we would take it easy but I don’t know if I believe her. Well, would you? 🙂
Jimmy and Rigaud are heading back to Port tomorrow. We have heard that there has been no problems today so hopefully it will stay that way for a while. They are getting groceries, money and picking up people at the air port. Pastor Bob has a daughter in-law and a grandson coming in. Bob is the one who started CDH here and Rigaud is now in charge of that. His grandson is around my age so that will be nice. It gets somewhat lonely not being able to talk to someone close to my age. Gayle and Jimmy are just great but it is still different. I hope he is a nice kid.
3-31-2000 – Friday
Gayle spoke the truth when she said we wouldn’t do anything today. We did absolutely nothing and it was wonderful. Tomorrow though we head to Port to work Agape. It should be interesting.
Did you know how powerful Luke 17:33 is? Harrington brought it to my attention today and what a verse. ‘What a day it will be when our Lord returns.’ Also verse 37 of the same chapter is quite interesting. ‘People can really try to figure out when He is returning and where but no one will know until the time comes.’
4-02-2000 – Sunday
My spirit feels like it is doing battle. I am stressed out and it hurts. It has to deal with the church. I received a letter yesterday from one of the guys there and although I appreciate receiving the letter, the content of the letter is such that I realize that he doesn’t really trust me down here. I feel like my dad doesn’t trust me either. They are so afraid that I will leave the assembly it hurts. I do feel I will leave when I return but it will be very hard.
4-03-2000 – Monday
My spirit still feels as it is doing battle. If I leave the assembly I will lose friends and I feel it will cause division in my family. I feel in bondage even this far away. Why is it that I feel this way? Why is it that I am so scared about leaving?
I had a really nice talk with Rigaud yesterday. He said that he doesn’t think that I will be able to stay away from Haiti for long. I think he is right. Today he was going to set up a time for me to start teaching music to the kids. I can’t wait!
4-05-2000 – Wednesday
It was a wonderful day again today. The weather has just been delightful. There is a light breeze that blows all through the day and evenings are also cool.
The meeting today was great again. I really enjoy the way Becky teaches. she has a way of talking to the women so they understand her. I am enjoying getting to know more women and Julian and Madam Alexis grow more dear to me each day. Gayle is going to start a bible study with these women which will be great. Just like anyone they need the meeting together to encourage one another and pray for each other.
I am getting my music together and trying to get my thoughts straightened out as the music class with start next week. I am excited but also nervous as I am not quite sure what to teach exactly. Especially to the little kids.
4-07-2000 – Friday
Well I met most of the kids that are going to be in the music class. The youngest is 6 and the oldest looks to be 13 or 14. I am guessing that there is about 20-25 kids. Only 4 of them are boys but that is okay. I really didn’t teach them anything today but I will start next week. Rigaud went over counting with them but that is all they know so far. I have to teach them how to read music, count, about chords, composers and much more. I hardly know where to start. Class is on Friday afternoon from 3-5. Rigaud will help me but man am I nervous. The only kid I know at the school is Jonas.
We were going to go to Port tomorrow but with the problems that have been going on we changed our mind. A radio announcer was killed this past Tuesday and the service is tomorrow. All businesses have been asked to shut down so it could be crazy in Port. We were also going to go to the Carwright’s church but decided against it. I am really disappointed about that because I wanted to see the kids. Oh well, next week is the agape picnic and they should be there. It will be interesting to see who I meet.
4-11-2000 – Tuesday
Boy am I tired. We worked at the clinic again today. I think I took at least 75 temps/pressures/weights and went back and forth from the clinic to Gayle a few times. I have a headache that I can’t shake. I just feel like it is draining me.
sometimes while I am here in my room I think tha tI am back home in the states. I expect to walk out my door and see someone close to my age that I can converse with fluently. I also think that I will see my friends soon. I told this to Gayle and she said that I do. I see Betid. Well yes she is a good friend and she is teaching me a lot but it still isn’t the same. I do get lonely sometimes for someone here my age. Maybe Hope and Beth will come. It would really be cool if Micah and Chet could.
4-12-2000 – Wednesday
We went to Port today and I am totally exhausted. We went to Batimat, (where I made sure I said hi to the guys so I wouldn’t get in trouble with them!), Caribbean and the market. Jim had an appointment with someone at the consulate which is down by the palace so we went down there to eat. That section of town is the old Haiti and the architecture of the buildings are great. With a little fixing up those houses could be absolutely gorgeous. The palace itself is also a beautiful building. Jimmy said that when there are problems in Port, down by the palace is where it is organized and started. It really isn’t the best or safest part of Port to be. The consulate is where they approve the US visa’s so we went to see if we could get one for Darlene. While we were waiting one of the marine guys invited us to a party Friday and then when we were getting ready to leave his Lieutenant invited me also. Of course we aren’t going but I still felt privileged to be invited. When we leave Port we pass by where Harrington works. Well today we were getting ready to pass and I looked out my window and there he was in his car leaving. It was really good to see him! We pulled over so we could say hi. Today was his and Rigaud’s birthday so this Sunday Mildred, Ramon, Latene and Harrington are coming from Port so we can celebrate. Rigaud is now 42 and Harrington is 28. Harrington told me today he felt older but he doesn’t look it. Anyway I am really looking forward to a time of good fellowship. Of course most of the conversation will probably be in creole so I guess I will just do a lot of listening. I am picking up new words though everyday.
Jeanette came yesterday and we had a good time talking as much as we could. There are also 7 girls and 3 boys in her family but she is not the oldest. She is 20 and her birthday is August 20th. From what I could make out she has really had a rough life.