Tuesday, July 28, 2015

VBS awesomeness underway in Haiti

Two team members carrying water for a boy we saw on our walk on Sunday.

The VBS team arrived in pretty good spirits, albeit very delayed, late on Saturday night. They are a repeat group (their 4th year this year) that comes from a church in Maryland to do VBS for kids all week. They are joined by a few newcomers to PID from a church in New England also. Because of the Maryland church's experience, they are very flexible and very organized with how they do VBS here, and judging from the first day and half -- I can see that they run it so well! On Sunday after service at Mr. Phele's church, they organized their (zillions) of craft supplies, etc. Some of us went on a walk later on in the afternoon. I showed the new folks our PID houses, and we met some PID families as well. I shared some of my new knowledge about wells and water access in the area that Intern Evelyn has been teaching me.

David and the VBS kids at morning worship.

Markenly and his flower craft on Monday.

Yesterday (Monday) was the first day of VBS, we had a group of about 75 kids in the morning and 75 in the afternoon, from Blanchard. Today is Cite Soleil kids - with the same amounts of kids. If you are thinking that that sounds like A LOT of kids... you're right! The team handles it really well.

Brian and translator Johnny teaching a devotion to the kids.

For VBS itself, the kids do a worship session all together where they meet the American VBS leaders and the Haitian VBS leaders/translators. They sing and worship, and one of the Americans plays guitar. Then they split into smaller groups where they all get a chance to do yoga/music, Bible story time, and a craft. Then they all get a hot lunch and juice, a gift bag, and they head home. Then in the afternoon the team does it all over again. Yesterday at 4pm I was POOPED. The team is amazing, I don't know how they will do it all week - but I can tell they will. :)

On Sunday another team member (a Licensed Nurse Assistant) and a good friend of Intern Emma, joined us. She is working with Emma in the clinic triaging patients with Suze, shadowing in the Pharmacy, and giving feverish babies cool showers, etc. She has a happy attitude and we are glad to have her.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mississippi team

I arrived in Glendora around 5 last night . I was followed by the man we have come to call superman(Brad) in Haiti, Guatemala and now in MS. He drove from midnight Friday until 11PM to get to MS, 23 hours straight and alone. His truck was loaded with supplies , tools and thrift shoppe donations. He was up at 7 wanting to get started on his underground plumbing work. Patrick and Brad worked all day in 100 degree weather. The pipes are laid and they are ready for phase two of the foundation. Meanwhile,  Jesse and Sophia went to meet the team in Memphis . They arrived back at 7 tonight. After a great meal cooked by Lady everyone went to bed. Construction team will be up at 6 and kids team will start later. Long, tiring but rewarding day. Brad still reigns as super man. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A long-awaited meeting

Nurse Gerri and her family sponsor two little boys that were urgent needs. Julio Antonio has epilepsy and was having seizures up to 3 times a day! Sponsorship means that he has appointments with a neurologist and receives anti-seizure medication. He is growing and his little brain is now protected from daily seizures. He came yesterday with him mom, two of his brothers and his oldest sister to meet Gerri and her kids. The mother was very thankful for all the help that sponsorship provides. Apart from his medicine, the family receives food monthly and also got a house built by PID last year to replace the tin shack they were living in with 10 kids!
Yefri needed a sponsor to help pay for special schooling and hearing aids because he was born deaf. Gerri and her family stepped in to help. Yefri attends a school for special needs children in Mazate and is learning sign language. He came today with his oldest sister Maria Francisca. He was very excited to see that Gerri had brought him presents with his name monogrammed - pencils, tote bag and pencil case! It was very sweet to see his sister interacting with him and signing to him to explain everything.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good day of work in Haiti

The team got their wish. Today was more work on the foundation of the next house, instead of more painting. Also, the house next to the new foundation (not the house across the yard that the team painted last week) is almost finished being constructed. Its mostly skilled work that is required at this point of the construction, so the team works on the foundation project, which means tons of shoveling and bucketing out rocks, while the Haitian workers do the finishing of the walls, etc. of the almost-complete house.

Tonight, Adline came to give the group her political history of Haiti talk, while Gale and her grandkids, and intern Evelyn, worked on making a few examples of the new bracelets for the Gem-Cutting program. Tomorrow Gale and JeanOnes (the small business manager) are going to show the Gems staff how to make them, and then they will be available on our Etsy store. A lot of Haiti-made bracelets are already on sale on the PID etsy website.

Tomorrow is the team's last day of work: pretty hard to believe. They have been an up-beat and hard working team. 

More painting and Mayan Ruins

This weekend the team worked in the village on Saturday morning. They finished painting the clinic and moved on to Dulce's house - a lovely shade of mint green. Nurse Gerri even joined in the fun after seeing patients.
In the afternoon we went to visit the mayan ruins of Tak'alik Ab'aj. We learned about the Mayan culture and the transition from Olmec civilization to Mayan.
On Sunday we ventured to Antigua. Everyone enjoyed the cool mountain air and the colonial architecture. They especially enjoyed the chocolate musuem - with free samples who could not enjoy it?
Monday was back to work in the clinic. Gerri had a busy day and they were able to meet the family of one of the little boys that they sponsor. Julio is one of 10 children and their family is struggling. Sponsorship has greatly helped them and continues to help them every day.

Mississippi Children’s Summer Program

This week brought to a close the six week summer program at the Lighthouse Learning Center for children entering pre-Kindergarten up through 6th grade. Monday through Thursday the children played reading and math games, read stories, made crafts, played outdoor sports, and performed science experiments. With the help of our awesome tutors, Pintoris, Shirley, and Conswello, the kids learned a lot and had a ton of fun. 

Thrift Shop open in Mississippi

Our very first customer in PID's new Thrift Shop in Mississippi! Thanks to all who have donated to help begin this new venture. Click here to learn how you can get involved...