Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Special Music in Gramothe

I guess I'm on a video kick right now. It's probably pure laziness, but I could also argue that I've captured some great things on video lately. In late January one of our students brought a very talented singer to church with her. He sang some songs and shared about his life. The church gave him some money, and this past Sunday he was back to give us an update. The video is from the first time he visited.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This Girl Can Sing!

This is Alexandra, one of my Rheto students, singing at church earlier this month. I had no idea she could sing like this. I wish she could sing every Sunday!!!

PS. My husband thinks it's important to note that he's the one playing the piano. He tried to say that she wouldn't be any good without the music, but I just laughed at him. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Dossier Room

I don't know why I haven't posted about this before, but I think it's high time I told you about the work Arold and I do during clinic weeks. I still teach all my classes during clinic, but Arold's main responsibility is to focus on the clinic when it's open. 

Arold & Nalouse working
When the clinic is open we work in what’s called the “dossier room.” A dossier is simply a document we keep for each patient. By the time a clinic team arrives in Gramothe (generally around 8:30 am), there is a line of people waiting to see the doctors and nurses. The first step for these patients is to fill the benches in the waiting room. Then one by one they step up to the window. 

a patient dossier
On the other side of the window is the dossier room, complete with all the patient files. The first question asked is if the patient has come before. If they have been to the clinic before, they should have a card with their name and dossier number. If they have the card, we check it and then pull their file and place it on the stack of dossiers to be seen that day. If they have lost their card, which is the case a good 85%  of the time, we look them up on our computer file. Then we make them a new card and tell them not to lose it.

one of the 15+ boxes of dossiers
If a patient has not been to the clinic before, we create a new dossier for them. We ask their name, date of birth, sex, and where they live. One person types the information into the computer and the other writes it on the dossier. Once we are finished making or pulling the dossier for a patient they are directed to return outside and wait for their name to be called.

sorting dossiers to be filed
Typically a Haitian working in the clinic will come to retrieve the prepared dossiers several times throughout the morning. They call the names on the dossiers when it’s time to take new patients. Once a patient hears her name called, she enters the clinic where her weight, blood pressure, and temperature are recorded on the dossier before she sits on a bench waiting to see one of the providers. The providers then keep the dossiers for all the patients they see. At the end of the day the dossiers are collected and we file them back into their folders the next morning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Malfini, a bird in Haiti

Here's a video we took on a recent walk through the neighborhood.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This and That

  1. We still don't have the Tracker in our possession. Some paperwork got lost somewhere along the line and now it's a holiday week, so we probably won't have it until next week. :(
  2. Carnival was this weekend through today. Carnival is similar to Mardi Gras. There are differing opinions about Carnival in the Christian community here in Haiti. Some say Christians don't participate in Carnival, and others participate--just not in the less wholesome activities. Some churches have youth retreats over the long weekend to provide an alternative to the young people. In fact there was a Seventh Day Adventist group using the school, church, and bathrooms in Gramothe for a youth retreat. Since we had clinic on Saturday and Monday, I got to see some of their activities. It looked like a lot of fun. I think there were probably around 150 people there all together.
  3. We've had quite a few people in and out of the guest house in the past 10 days. Last Sunday, three people for an eye clinic, 2 medical people for a regular clinic, and four guys for construction came in. On Tuesday 25 people from Goshen, IN, came in to do construction and run the clinic. Two adoptive parents came on Thursday, the same day that Beth and the initial construction crew left. The eye clinic people left Friday. The adoptive parents snuck out Sunday morning, and the Goshen team leaves on Wednesday afternoon. We had 6 days of clinic last week and finished this Monday, making it a 7 day stretch. It was really crazy with people there to see the regular doctors and others there for the eye doctor. Working in the dossier room was a little stressful at times!
  4. The MTM buildings in Gramothe have had some sprucing up in the past weeks. All the rough cement edges have been finished off, new stairs were added to the steps leading up to the school, stairs and a sidewalk now lead to the bathrooms, and the entire primary school has been tiled and painted with primer. I think the President will come to visit after everything has been finished. That will be an exciting day!
  5. Willem was planning to build a hospital next to the clinic, and there is even the beginnings of some walls. However, there's a great piece of land just on this side of the riverbed that Willem is trying to buy. If he's able to get it, the clinic and hospital will be there. Eventually the existing clinic would be turned in to a trade school. We're hopeful that this piece of land can be purchased soon.

Friday, February 10, 2012

good news, bad news

The Tracker will arrive at our house any day! It's out of customs, has plates and insurance, and is being delivered to our door step. Isn't that amazing?!

The bad news is that there is a gas shortage in Haiti right now, so we may not be going too far even when it does arrive!

Monday, February 6, 2012

English Class Text

Here's a text I worked on with my upper level students a couple of weeks ago. Several of the students told me they really enjoyed it.

The Farmers' Market
On Saturdays, the Smiths go to the farmers' market. They like to visit the vendors. Alex Smith always goes to the hot food vendors for lunch. His children love to eat the fruit. Alex's father usually buys some sweets and lemonade. The lemonade is very sour.
Nina Smith likes to buy herbs and vegetables. Today she is buying avocados. The market worker counts eight avocados. She gives Nina one more for free.
There are other things to do at the market, too. The Smiths like to listen to the live music. Sometimes they meet friends there. The farmers' market is a great place for families on a Saturday afternoon.

Questions to answer:
  1. What does Alex like to buy at the farmers' market? (They often say sweets and lemonade.)
  2. How many avocados does Nina have? (This math problem is tricky! NINE is the correct answer.)
  3. When do the Smiths like to visit the farmer's market? (The easiest question of the bunch, if they notice the word WHEN.)
  4. What would you like to do at the farmer's market? Explain your answer. (Some of my favorite answers: "I would like to be a worker. I could make money and talk to people." and "I would buy a fish.")

Friday, February 3, 2012



  • true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
  • steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
  • reliable, trusted, or believed
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:9