Its midnight, and I was just in bed trying to sleep. Its sooo cold here (its hot enough here normally that when the temperature drops 5 degrees it resembles a cold front.) Weather.com is reporting that its 75 degrees outside now. It also reported earlier today that it was almost 90. I can tell you that neither of those things are true. Its cold and its windy. My dilemma this evening is this; I am wearing pants and a short sleeve t-shirt (b/c I can’t find the long sleeved one) and I was lying under my sheet, a comforter, a bath sheet doubling as a blanket (thanks mom!) and another light weight cover up, and it was still chilly. The problem is, I can’t sleep without a fan. I don’t always need it to keep me cool but I can’t sleep without the magic hum of a fan. But tonight its just to cold so I can’t sleep with a fan either. There’s a fan always running in my closet to keep the moisture and mildew down so I’m hoping once the silence settles in, it will make enough noise to do the trick. I am also hoping I’m tired enough that I’ll just fall asleep regardless. We’ll see.
The reason, though, that I was in bed trying to sleep and am now typing this is because there are a few people on my heart. And before dozing off to sleep, I was hoping I could implore others to lift them up in prayer as well. Most of them are people I have mentioned on here before.
1) Its not raining here but someone at the hospital told me earlier she’d heard reports (I think she may have talked with some of her family) that it was raining in Port. I can’t help but thing of the 100s of 1000s of people sleeping outside under tarps, and tents and makeshift shelters. I can’t imagine how miserable it must be to be cold and wet.
2) Rita and Valenteen were both moved to Bonnefin yesterday morning for surgery. I have no reports of their conditions and when their surgeries are/were.
3) They are moving people out quite rapidly now, which is good for the people. It means some of them who have been there a month now are finally able to go home (wherever home is now). When Peterson was moved downstairs a few days ago, he made friends with Frenel and since then they’ve been inseparable. Now all the patients who were downstairs have been moved upstairs and once upstairs, all the guys have been placed together in two sections and all the women are in the other two. It changes every day as patients leave and now “non-quake” patients are moving back into the system. Tonight when I went to visit Peterson and Frenel, Peterson was on his bed and Frenel was in the wheelchair right beside Frenel and they were looking at a book (it was an English/Creole picture dictionary) together. Frenel invited me to sit down as well. So I did, and we looked at the pictures together, I mostly just helped them pronounced words in English and because we were looking at the section with animals, I would explain animals to them that had no place in their frame of reference. The book has a picture of fish in a bowl. I asked them if that picture made any sense to them and they said no. In Haiti, people don’t fish for recreation and they certainly don’t keep fish as pets. Fish are for eating. A lot of the animals they were unfamiliar with, the first question was, can you eat it? Peterson is still in much pain. He grimaced often tonight and kept saying it hurt. His hand is still not working properly and it still doesn’t look right. The wounds on his head and mostly healed and the swelling in his head and arm are completely gone. The flesh wound he had on his upper arm is even now left uncovered and looks close to being completely healed; buts its still that hand. As I was getting ready to leave he was trying to get comfortable in his bed. He kept tossing and turning, trying to find a more comfortable way to lay. I wish there was something I could do for him. Frenel on the other hand is doing quite well. I think he still has some pain in his leg but his is becoming quite agile in the wheelchair and looks more and more at ease every day.
4) Gina is someone I don’t know too much about. I just happened to stop at another bed one night and she she was in the bed next to them. We briefly spoke and that's when I found out her name. The other day she was going into the bathroom (which in the other section, just in front of Migline’s bed) and she smiled and asked if I was going to come see her. Of course I was! What was I going to say?? And by that I mean, how on earth could I say no!? I talked to her a little bit more tonight. The last couple nights she’s been in a good bit of pain. I don’t believe her arm is broken because its not in a cast but its wrapped from shoulder down. And she keeps talking about the pain. I found out tonight, that Rose, the girl I mentioned the other night, is her sister. Rose has been released and is now staying with their other sister. Gina did not know how much longer she will be in the hospital. I found out tonight that she lost both of her children and her husband in the quake along with a cousin or two. I’ve not noticed too any visitors around her. Some beds are overflowing with friends and family, others, such as hers seem lonely at times. She always has a smile and a sweet spirit but I can’t imagine lying in pain in a hospital bed, far away from your home which was destroyed having just lost your entire family.
5) I talked briefly with a lady names Gertrude. I don’t know much of her story either but her shoulder is broken and she must have some kind of flesh wound on the lower portion of her arm as it is wrapped in gauze and bandages.
6) Migline is doing well. She continues to heal. She did fall today trying to use the crutches but I don’t think she was hurt to badly. Her foot is healing nicely and while it is still in some pain, it has been left unwrapped to continue with healing.
7) Ginitte. I didn’t get to speak much at all with her tonight because she was resting when I went by her bed. She had a headache this evening. I don’t know what was causing the headache but I am sure its just one more frustrating thing to have to deal with.
8) My roommate Beth said she heard on the radio today that people were only being encouraged to stay in Port IF they still had a job and to leave if they didn’t. I guess they meant find a new place or go move in with family or friends. Now that the immediate problems have been, or are being addressed, we are beginning to see what I imagine what will be the next set of problems, the next aftershock if you will. As the rainy season approaches, people can’t continue to live piled in tents. They’ll need to seek more permanent shelter. Even temporary shelters can be an issue because who will build them and where will you put them. And as people leave Port, they’ll need jobs. Thousands of people will need jobs in a country where jobs are already hard to come by. And once they find a more permanent place to stay, those children who were already in school will need to return to school (this is actually already happening in Cayes as many families have already moved out this way) but with thousands of teachers dead, schools demolished and records destroyed, whose going to be able to “vouch” for these students- what grade where they in and what classes were they had taken, and…and..and…. And whose going to pay for those who had already paid once and will now have to pay again, at a new school. Teachers are under contract for a year and whether or not they teach the full year the school is obligated to pay them their full salary. That means, money collected from schools where students can no longer attend can’t be transferred to a new school, they’ll need to use those funds to honor their contracts. While things are moving forward and all is NOT doom and gloom, these are real problems that real people are facing. And things about which people can pray.