Saturday, February 26, 2011

Things I miss about the US

in no particular order...

  1. watching TV shows online
  2. having a car to drive
  3. Chipotle and Wendy's
  4. understanding the cashier at the grocery store
  5. Redbox
  6. the public library
  7. having a microwave

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sharing Love & Resources

The Facts:

  1.  Both the Gramothe and Dumay schools are in need of a few items.
  2. A friend of MTM is shipping a trailer to Haiti in the next few weeks.
  3. Many of you have asked if there is anything you can send.
The Conclusion:
  • You can share your love with Haitian school children by sending school supplies to the MTM Terre Haute office to be put on the trailer!
MTM School Wishlist (in order of priority)

All donations can be mailed/shipped to:

Mountain Top Ministries--trailer
PO Box 7053
Terre Haute, IN 47802

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Little Taste of Home

I really like being in Haiti, but I miss a lot of things about the United States. Recently the arrival of some small treasures brought joy to my heart.

 First there were the FOUR bags (two of which are Costco sized and were shared immediately) of Dove chocolates that some lovely friends brought me.

 Then there was the arrival of my treasured hymnal. I wanted to bring it with me after Christmas, but my suitcases were too heavy. My parents brought it too me a week ago, so I spent one night this week singing all my favorite songs.

The best treasure of all was this note my mom left me on my refrigerator when she and my dad left.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Golden Nuggets VI

Golden Nuggets is a term I am borrowing from my friend Sini who is spending her senior year of high school in Indonesia as a foreign exchange student. She calls all the random facts she's gathered about the country she's now living in Golden Nuggets. In that vein, I am going to periodically share Golden Nuggets about Haiti. 

  • Every morning at 8 o'clock sharp, the Haitian national anthem is played on the radio.

  • Punctuation is apparently optional in Creole. I noticed that many of my students skip punctuation of all kinds when they copy a text from the board or another piece of paper. I figured it was just one of those "I'm learning a new language" issues. But then I used a first grade reading primer in one of my Creole lessons. There was not a single punctuation mark in the entire book!! I couldn't believe my eyes. There were probably 30+ stories in the book and not a single end of sentence punctuation or an apostrophe to indicate a contraction (there are a lot of contractions in Creole). There weren't even any capital letters. I couldn't tell where sentences ended, which words were names, or which words were supposed to be contractions. It was frustrating.
  • Envelopes and gum pose a particular problem in Haiti. There's a lot of moisture in the air here on the mountain, so envelopes and gum need to be stored in airtight containers. I opened a pack of gum, ate a piece, and put the pack in my backpack. Three days later the gum had drawn enough moisture (inside my backpack) to leak all the oil and become sticky. I've seen other packs of gum that have been left out on a counter and it's not pretty. And envelopes...well they just seal themselves. I have 30 envelopes that are sealed with nothing inside them. So if you get any mail from me that looks like it's been opened and taped just. Don't worry, that was me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lesson Plans

This week I will be teaching the following:

  • Jeremiah 29:11-13--I will try to get a video of this. It's precious!
  • Parts of the Body & Sickness
  • Changing sentences to negative and interrogative forms
  • Parts of a Plant & the life cycle of a tree

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baptizing Disciples

Originally a group of people from the Gramothe church was supposed to be baptized in December while I was in the States for the holidays. I was really bummed about missing the baptism. However, the waterfall where they typically do baptisms was dry, so it was postponed. Two weeks ago a group from the Gramothe church and the visiting medical team traveled to Ibo Beach for the baptismal service. 

Ibo Beach
February 6th, 2011
Checking out the water upon arriving.

Looking for shells to take home before the baptism.

 Willem asked a visiting pastor to share about the significance of being baptized.

 There was a nice gazebo area that we gathered under prior to getting in the water.

One of my high school girls. Her parents did not want her to get baptized and actually encouraged her not to do it.

I don't think any of the Haitians knew how to swim. Some of them were nervous about being in the water. The deacons helped them walk out to the dunking spot, but the water was still only knee high there.

The younger boys (David, Monley, and Rosias) found lots of shells to bring home and were soaked before we left. Are you surprised?

Some kids and the deacons playing after the service.

The following Sunday each of the people who were baptized shared briefly during church. They each gave the reason they chose to be baptized. It was a great day of celebration for the Gramothe church!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Change in Plans

It's been busy at MTM lately. This is our second week of clinic and my parents' visit was squished in between them. I feel like I need a vacation!

Today is Friday, so I have a discipleship class with some middle school girls at QCS today. (QCS is the American Christian school Willem and Beth's boys attend.) Because I'm not going up to the clinic today, I had planned to get a lot of work accomplished on my computer today. You know, responding to the e-mails that have piled up and finishing my February newsletter. However, I left my computer at home this morning. I guess I'll have to find another way to be productive...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Look Out Point

More to come later. For now you just get this picture.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All In a Day's Work

Because the clinic is open today, I will split my time between helping in the dossier room and teaching in the high school. When I first arrive in Gramothe I'll head straight to the dossier room and either help pull the dossiers for the patients waiting to see the doctors or file the dossiers from yesterday. At 11:20 I will walk over to the high school and begin teaching for the day.

Today is my busiest teaching day. I have Rheto, which is the equivalent of 12th grade. I would like to work on reading English texts with them, but I don't have enough of the book I'd like to use. I'll figure something out. Then I have 8th grade and 9th grade. The 8th grade will work on past tense verbs. The 9th grade will probably work on adjectives, but I need to check their notebooks first.

Here are some of the sentences 8th grade will work with. Check your English skills by trying to change these sentences to past tense.

  1. Peter walks home after school.
  2. Jessica finds $10 in her pocket.
  3. I see a dog in the yard.
  4. Mary eats at 3 o'clock.
  5. He goes to the market.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Familiar Faces

This weekend a medical team arrived at the guest house. They were delayed a couple of days due to the snow in the Midwest, but they finally arrived on Saturday afternoon. I am excited to welcome some familiar faces back to the guest house. It's especially sweet to have Beth Martin and Dr. Marcia on this team because they were both a part of the April 2010 team when I fell in love with Haiti and decided I should move here. I've already enjoyed the little time I've spent with them.

If that wasn't enough, my parents fly in on Thursday morning. They'll only be here a couple of days, but I am SUPER excited to show them my life in Haiti. And, of course, they'll get to meet Arold (ah-wol) while they're here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Canadian Friends

For the past week there has been a five person Canadian team staying at the guest house. The team is comprised of three high school seniors named Audra, Ashley, and Hessey plus Audra's dad and grandpa. I have been able to spend a lot of time with the girls. The first day they were here, they sat in on part of my after school computer class. The next day we all went to Dumay together (that will have to be a separate post), and for the past two days they've walked to Gramothe with me and helped in my classes. I've really enjoyed having them around and am sad to see them leave today.

My new friends have more energy than I will ever hope to have. They are constantly running around with the little kids, conversing with the high school students, and helping in general. They practically run up the mountain, and they even convinced me to take the shortcut (goat trail) going down to the riverbed! (It wasn't bad at all, and I'm planning to take it today when I walk up by myself.)

These girls were able to experience more of Haiti than most team members. Part of that is because there were only three of them (the dad and grandpa worked on some maintenance work for us). Another factor is that they were not working in the clinc. Medical teams really only see what happens in the clinic, but these girls were free to go to Dumay for a day and to visit Laboule Children's Home another day. Plus, they were willing to do anything. I loved their humility and servant's hearts.

 For whatever reason, the girls decided they should help with the laundry at Laboule. I think the kids REALLY appreciate the help.

 Ashley volunteered her time a little differently, but the girls also appreciated her willingness to "help" them by sitting still.

I couldn't resist posting this picture. One of the kids from Laboule snapped it, and I think it's perfect! I know it looks like there's a little romance going on here, but I'm certain there wasn't anything romantic happening.

I'm sad to see my new Canadian friends return to Canada today. What a blessing they were to the villages of Gramothe and Dumay!!