Google+ WTN Haiti Partnership: December 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grieving

Our last day in Haiti  is bitter sweet as you can imagine.  Thoughts of leaving these children behind crowd in your mind with watching them play and smile and steal your heart.

John Mutin has made a particular friend of a boy at the school.  His name is a difficult Haitian name for us Americans, and I believe he is the same boy who captured Dr Sue Trzynka's heart on her last trip.  His name is Benissoin, or something like that, but Clark (a CBU nurse) apparently nicknamed him "Bennie".
A year ago, Bennie first met John when he crawled up into his lap during the Sunday Eucharist.  Bennie has no arms, and he found the welcoming arms and big lap of John Mutin to contentedly spend the rest of the service.

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beer and Benadryl

Sleeping in Haiti is always a challenge.  I am a light sleeper by nature, and an early riser even in the States (hence my occasional blog posts at 4 AM).  Add to that the excitement of being in Haiti, not to mention the barking dogs, crowing roosters, and strange cries of the "monkey birds".  Falling asleep is difficult under a mosquito net with bug spray on my face.

This was my tenth trip to Haiti. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blessings and Thanks from Haiti

Dear brothers and sisters,

It is with great honor and pleasure that I am writing you today, on behalf of the coordination of the Partnership Program of the Diocese of Haiti. As I think about the past year with the Partnership Program, I am overcome with gratitude to you as our partners for having a huge hand in making this year as successful and wonderful as it was. I cannot begin to express how thankful I and everyone here are for all of your continued love and support. You have shown us how important our mission is to you, and how much we mean to you in many ways. We have thoroughly enjoyed your visits, and there are not words for how thankful we are for your support with tuition for the students, the support in the feeding program, the healthcare, and not to mention all the thoughts and prayers we know you are sending each day. As we close out 2012, and move into the next year, we are so filled with hope and excitement. We cannot wait to see how God uses all of us together to change lives in Haiti in the coming year.

I wish you and your families the very merriest of Christmases and a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Kesner Ajax

Rev. Dr. Kesner Ajax is executive director of BTI, a high-quality post-secondary school in Les Cayes, Haiti supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and ER-D. He also coordinates the Partnership Program of the Diocese of Haiti.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NYT: Haitian Govt Campaign to Close "Orphanages" Full of Non-Orphans


Trying to Close Orphanages Where Many Aren’t Orphans at All
The Haitian government has started a campaign to try to keep parents from sending their children away simply because they cannot afford to support them. We know at least a few of children in this situation at St. Vincent. The campaign is part of an effort to comply with new rules on adoption by the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions. Many of us remember the story of Americans arrested after trying to adopt several dozen Haitian children who were not actually orphans. Emily Brennen reports, "Of theroughly 30,000 children in Haitian institutions and the hundreds adopted by foreigners each year, the Haitian government estimates that 80 percent have at least one living parent." Read more below, and leave your comments on our page.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/world/americas/campaign-in-haiti-to-close-orphanages.html?smid=pl-share


Mission Trip Photos Nov. 2012

The best of our photographs from our collective cameras will be available on this online photo album. More may be uploaded later, so keep an eye on it. There is a lot to find, including pics of the team and the kids at St. Vincent's learning, relaxing, and playing.

This cover photo is one of the older students who is reading from the New Testament on a braille sheet during the Feast of St. Vincent. If you look closely, you can see she is blind.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sanctuary

My last morning in Haiti.  The guest house is quiet, not even the cooks are awake yet. I think it was the dogs that woke me up this time, for some reason they start barking between 3 and 4 AM every night. Stephen is sleeping on the couch across the room from where I sit at the computer.  He does not like to go to bed, even in Haiti.  So he falls asleep on the couch, like he has since he was a little boy.

At supper tonight we talked about our favorite things in Haiti, and our least favorite things.  The group had  few items under the "least favorite" category.  They miss hot baths and water pressure (the shower sprays a half-hearted stream of water that is anywhere from ice cold to tepid).  Andrew says his first meal in America will be a Big Mac.  He says he doesn't even like fast food, but says, "I love America, and I want a Big Mac".  This is Andrew's first trip overseas.  What a way to experience the world outside of the United States.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dimanche

Today is Sunday, or Dimanche in Kreyol.  We will attend services at Holy Trinity Cathedral, in the open pavilion next to the crumbled Cathedral.  Lots of singing in French (and certainly a long sermon in Kreyol, I already warned the group).    Then we will walk to St Vincent's, eat our usual granola bar/fruit snack/summer sausage lunch, and visit with the children.  Adam is our "activities coordinator", and plans for us to make prayer beads  with the children, play with balloons and bubbles, make bracelets, color, paint fingernails, and anything else you can imagine with suitcases full of goodies brought by the team and a schoolyard full of kids.  Probably we will have about 50 kids with us today, only the kids who live at the school will be there.  There will be struggling Americans trying to speak Kreyol and some of us learning sign language from Sherye and from the deaf kids.  Not me, I vowed to try to learn only one language at a time!

Clinic Day 2

It's 4:30 AM in Haiti.  I am sitting on the couch in the guest house, listening to the rooster (Haiti taught me that roosters don't only crow at daybreak) and the crickets, and some distant traffic sounds.  Also one of the beds in the girls' room squeaks whenever its occupant turns over.  I think that may be what woke me up.  I enjoy being up early here, listening to the night and thinking about everything that has happened during the day.

Last night we had a rainstorm,