"Fill in the circle completely and make your mark heavy and dark. If you want to change an answer, completely erase the mark you made and make a new mark."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Psalm 31:14, 15
On top of all the drama at school, I've been considering becoming a missionary and moving overseas. Maybe "considering" isn't the right word to use. A more accurate term might be "tentatively planning." The Haitians captured my heart, and there is a need for someone to teach English at the Haitian school and to the 12 orphans living in the children's home. I don't know that God has said, "Britney, move to Haiti." but he also hasn't said, "Britney stop pursuing this."
So during this time of waiting, I just keep repeating my new mantra, "My times are in Your hands."
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
These verses have been rolling around in my head for the past few months...
Then my daily reading of Scripture just happened to include the following passage from Acts 4.
32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This week one of my friends was detained by the department of Immigration and Naturalization Services. He's in the United States legally and has all the proper paperwork. He had applied for permanent residency status, so when INS sent a letter saying he needed to come to a case review he was excited. However, his case review appointment quickly turned into an arrest. He's been in jail for 7 nights now, and is worried sick about his family. He hasn't been allowed to meet with his lawyer--a judge has to be petitioned for that to happen. We were hoping he would get out on bond this week, but a judge has to be petitioned for that as well. Unfortunately my friend was moved to a facility in another state today, so the bond paperwork has to be filed with a different judge now. The situation is so very frustrating because Immigration does not operate on the rules we are accustomed to. Apparently non-citizens do not have the same rights.
Tonight I'm beyond grateful for my right to due process and all the other rights I have as a citizen of this nation. But I'm also livid that my non-citizen friends are not allowed the same amount of dignity and respect.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
There were about 35 people staying at the guest house the week I was in Haiti. Some of them wrote about their experiences, and I'd like to share it with you. If you have the time check out what my new friends thought about their time in Haiti.
Lexi is a 16 year old high school student with a passion for living her life with purpose.
Matt was in Haiti for the first time, and took time to write about the details.
Beth answered my Facebook plea for people to join me in Haiti. She wrote some awesome posts about our experiences there. I copied her posts and put them on my blog so you can read them.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The church, waiting room, and clinic
The original church can't even be seen from the guest house anymore. The other buildings are blocking it.
The first church building was too small within a year, so they built a new one. The original building is still being used, just not in a traditional manner.
I'm sitting at home. It's weird to be here, knowing the rest of the team is still in Haiti. They are touring the village and meeting the people of Gramothe, and honestly, I just want to be there with them.
In an effort to soothe my aching heart, I'll post some more pictures.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
There are three reasons I'm angry.
1. Kervens seems to be a little con artist. There are rumors his mom didn't die in the earthquake. I just couldn't bring myself to confront him on the subject. He did say goodbye to my on Friday when we left the clinic. I pray that Willem will be able to mentor the boy so he doesn't become a real con artist.
2. This is not water. Here's the story. Caitlyn and I were sitting outside on the front steps just talking. We had been there for probably more than an hour when Flash, one of the dumb dogs, came over and sniffed my back. The dogs are social and like affection, so I thought he was going to come around to my side. I was planning on talking to him and maybe even petting him. But instead of his head showing up at my shoulder I felt something warm on my back. The dumb dog was peeing on me! You can tell from the picture that it wasn't just a little marking. He was letting it all loose. I jumped up as soon as I knew what was going on, which caused Caitlyn to also jump up. We both started screaming and ran inside. Caitlyn made it to our room before me and shouted, "Mom, I have the funniest story for you!" Then I ran in and shouted, "I HATE THAT DOG!!" Then we had to tell them the story, and of course they felt the need to take a picture.
3. Any guesses as to what this is? You'll only need one! I couldn't believe my luck. We had a mama and a baby that needed to be weighed. We started with the little guy. He stood on the scale very reluctantly. Maybe "reluctantly" isn't the right term. He screamed the entire time and tried to get off the scale at all costs. When he was finished being weighed, I thought I would pick him up to hold him while mama was weighed. Well, he really didn't like that. I started to put him down and I thought my toes feel wet. Then I looked down and saw that my toes were not the only thing that were wet. Baby got me good.
I told Willem I changed my mind about coming back to Haiti. Urine reeks.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The clinic went well today. Mostly I weighed people and directed traffic.
However, my life was altered when Kervens (pronounced like Kevin with an r) walked into the clinic. This 14 year old boy has a resiliency beyond anything I've ever witnessed. His story blew me away. He was at home when the earthquake struck on January 12. He happened to be standing by the door, so he quickly rushed outside. However, his little sister and was inside. He hasn’t seen his mom since the earthquake. He assumes she died, but he holds on to hope that she’ll show up some day. Kervens said when he got out the door, he turned around to see that his house looked like a pancake. At that point he started crying and stayed there until his dad found him.
His story at this point gets a little fuzzy for me. It seems like he’s living with his dad, but it sounds like he’s basically on his own for food, money, school, everything. This morning he came to the clinic, found Willem, and in one minute convinced him that he could work as an interpreter in the clinic. The boy is something else.
After convincing Willem that he could work as an interpreter, Kervens walked into the clinic and worked with strangers from another country as if he had been there all his life. The boy is amazing! He taught me words in Creole, shared about his life, and helped us communicate with the patients.
At lunch Kervens asked me questions like, “Can you give me your opinion on something. In Haiti life is very difficult. What can I do to succeed in life?” and “Why are earthquakes so dangerous?” He’s very preoccupied with how he will have a good life now that his mom is gone and what he should do if there is another earthquake. Thankfully Willem was there. After hearing Kervens' questions, he spent a good amount of time during lunch just speaking words of life into the young man.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wow. What a great day!
We started the morning knowing there would be a ton of people at the clinic today. We could see the line along the road to the clinic, and just after breakfast Joanne told us she had never seen so many people there before. I haven't heard official numbers from Marcia yet, but I think the medical clinic saw close to 200 people.
I started the day out counting pills and waiting for scabies patients. There were a few, but no one was any where near the level of yesterday's case. (The picture is of Lexi and me giving a little boy a treatment.) After a while I traded Chad places and became the bouncer. Basically I told people when it was there turn to get weighed, where to stand until it was their turn, and when they could go back to a table. I loved it because I got to see everyone coming in, play with the babies while they waited in line, and give out stickers to all the kids. The part I'm not really fond of is standing and staring at the people while they wait. I can't communicate with them, and there's not much to do. A lot of the time I felt like I was just standing around. I also liked that I didn't have to count pills though. :)
In the late morning a man came in holding a newborn baby. The baby was crying and moving it's mouth like it was hungry. Haylee was worried about the baby, so she pulled the guy out of line and snagged a translator. He told us the baby hadn't eaten anything all day and the mother wasn't breastfeeding because she had something wrong with her head. Finally the mom came, but she didn't want to breastfeed. The baby ended up eating part of a bottle, and we sent them home with some of those 3 oz Similac bottles for newborns.
The highlight of the day for me were the kids. There were some awesome little babies that came in who smiled and giggled and clapped for me. Our last patient was a tiny 7 month old who was super smiley. I got to hold her for a little while while her mom had some lab work done (aka peed in a cup). I know other people got pictures, so I'll post some when I get them.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Today was AWESOME!! We opened the clinic around 10:30 am after organizing ourselves and all the new stuff we brought up the mountain. We saw 126 patients and the eye clinic saw roughly 80 people today. We had four clinic stations set up, with a vitals station that all the patients funneled through first. There was also a pharmacy and a scabies station. I manned the scabies station with Lexi, who is 16. Most of the time we counted pills and made 30 pill packs of Tylenol and vitamins. I think we had about 10-12 scabies patients today. About 60% of them were small children, but there were some adults. The scabies treatment consists of rubbing a special lotion all over an infected person. Here are the directions I was given.
- For children under 4, rub the cream all over the scalp, behind the ears, between toes and every where in between. Make sure you get the tip of the penis and the butt crack. For kids older than four, the scalp is unnecessary.
- Kids younger than 12 need to be lathered up by a "professional."
- Watch the teens and adults to make sure they get everything.
- Tell them to wash all clothing and bedding, and they can wash the lotion off in the morning.
The rest of the day went fairly well. We are looking forward to tomorrow.
Monday, April 5, 2010
This morning Beth took the three girls (Beth M., Hannah, and me) up to "36" to do some organizing. Originally 36 was a private home, but Beth and Willem are able to use it as a guest house. It sleeps 18 people in beds with more room for mattresses on the floors. They use it for groups that come to Port au Prince as volunteers with other organizations. Beth provides a cook for breakfast and dinner and household chores, so the people can focus on what they are here to do. It is a very nice facility, and a great service they are able to provide.
Beth and Hannah put some hygiene packs together.
I worked on sorting the various medical supplies. Some are going to the hospital. Some will go to other missionaries and the rest to the clinic.
The beautiful view from the porch we were working on.
After a couple of hours everything was sorted and packed.
Now the rest of the medical team is arriving. Hopefully we'll be busy working again soon.