Consider this my out of the office automated response. If you send me any messages (just) today or tomorrow, I won’t be able to respond until probably late Sunday night or Monday. I’ll be in Zanglais with a couple missionary friends from here on the center. We’re going to the RMI Retreat Center for the weekend just to get away and relax. I’m looking forward to sleeping In mostly.
Here are some of the things that have been going on around here the last few days:
When I left for Christianville a couple weeks ago, I wrote two of my friends at the Clinic here on the center letters because I had heard they were close to being ready to leave and I wasn’t sure I’d see them again. Gary delivered the letters for me, and even called me from the Clinic so I could talk with them. When I returned I had two special surprises waiting for me; they had written me too. Rosie was gone before I returned so I’m glad I was able to encourage her one last time and remind that God cares for her deeply. Frenel hasn’t left the hospital yet but he’s making progress everyday. He is even up and around now in wheelchair.
Not sure if this has anything to do with relief efforts but its an interesting image nonetheless. A small vessel was docked a few hundred yards off the Port in Cayes on Tuesday. Incase you wonder how you’d unload something like that? Here’s your answer. One small boat load at a time. They’re actually doing a lot of construction on the pier, hopefully to make it usable again. Its been in disrepair for years, or so I’ve heard. If they can make it usable again, it’ll make the process a lot less time consuming, I would imagine. There is actually a ship docked just off port now, with 260,000 pounds of relief supplies. It (according to the people Gary spoke with) has some food, shoes and clothes, and more medical supplies. Incase anyone asks, I don’t think any more medical supplies are needed. We have stuff in storage here which is overflowing and the hospitals have no more room to store anything in their facilities. What we’ll be needing in the near future is (and I quote) “food, food, and more food.”
One of the ladies who works in one of the missionaries houses had the idea to prepare a meal for the families living down at Gabyon (the tent city in town). I was able to help her acquire some of the food and supplies and we used an RMI truck to deliver over 150 boxes of food. I’ve made several trips to Gabyon over the last few weeks and so I’ve made friends there as well. I met Herby, Jocelyn, and Dominic. I don’t know Dominic’s story but Herby and Jocelyn are both 25. They were students in Port au Prince. When the earthquake struck, they lost everything. Their houses and schools were destroyed and now they have no idea what their future looks like. Herby has basically told me that some days he feels very discouraged and right now he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He is just searching for some stability in his life right now. I asked Jocelyn if there was a chance he could find another school to continue his studies and he said that in Port au Prince he had a job teaching English to some elementary school students and that was helping pay his way through school. Now he has no possibility of work and no way to pay for school.
The other day I met Marie Florence. She had been hit in the stomach by falling block and had a large gash about a foot long through her mid section. She had received stitches from a make shift clinic in Port au Prince not long after the injury occurred. When we talked with her the other day her stitches had been in almost a month. The nurses we were with were very concerned that the stitches should have been removed after about 2 weeks and that she was going to get an infection so we talked to the staff at the medical tent and they agreed they needed to be removed so we got her up to them and the removed them. I saw her again on Thursday and was able to sit and talk with her for a while. She has a five year old daughter, named Seraphina who is in Port right now, on her own. Marie Florence had to come to Cayes to seek better medical attention and couldn’t afford to pay for the vehicle for them both so she had to leave her child. She said someone is keeping an eye on her daughter but she has no official guardian. Marie Florence said she was currently looking for a way to find the money to pay for someone to go in and get her daughter and bring her out to Cayes. Before you judge me for not giving her the money she needed please understand that I have already done things for others and while each story breaks my heart, I can’t help every single person because they all have horrendous stories and a vast set of needs and it is beyond my ability to help everyone. Please pray for Herby, Jocelyn, Dominic, Marie Florence, and Seraphina.
And for a quick update on my friends at the Cite Lumiere Clinic:
1) Rita. She is still in a cast but doing better. She said she thinks often of the 12 year old child she lost in the quake. Her husband is making improvements and has actually been moved to the bed right beside Rita. Their daughters were splitting their time between parents, now in some small way, they have been reunited.
2)Peterson. The swelling in his arm, shoulder and head has gone down immensely, On visual inspection its looks almost normal. He was thought to have a fracture on his wrist and was given a brace. For some reason he stopped wearing it. I found out that he was under rubble for about 24 hours, with his head and shoulder receiving the brunt of the weight. While in most ways he is recovering well, his hand is useless. His wrist is limp and his hand is beginning to shrivel up. He’s still in immense pain to the touch. One of the Drs feels like its some kind of nerve damage. I went to the hospital the other night and we read together. I have a school reader I bought for my Creole lessons and its been fun to take in and read to the kids and have them read to me. It becomes quite the spectacle as many people are interested in hearing the blan read Creole and then want to take their turn reading to me. I was at the hospital for two hours the other night, reading and being read to. What fun!
3) Frenel. He is making great progress. As I said above he is up and around in a wheel-chair, adjusting to life with only one functioning leg. His smile is contagious. Anytime I go into his area, and he sees me, he clears out whoever is sitting in the wheelchair in front of his bed and tells me I can sit.
4) Migline. The cast has been removed from her leg and a skin graft has been taken from her thigh and placed on her foot. I went and read with her the other night. Today I went and we drew together. I took a drawing pad and some crayons and colored pencils and we made a deal. I would draw something for her and she would draw something for me. I drew and decorated her name. She did the same for me. Sometimes when someone can’t quite get the pronunciation of my name I tell them how you would spell it in Creole; its much more phonetic. Its E-M-I. (E=A, M, I=E). So today, she drew my name that way, EMI. Its beautiful. It became a group activity again with others coming over and wanting to play. Needless to say, I think I was at her bedside for about an hour and a half. I had others I had told I would come and draw with, and others I wanted to talk to, but I had to tell them I would have to come back another day because I was cooking dinner for the Guests at the Guest House and had to go get the food ready. I am hoping to be back early enough on Sunday to have some time with them.
5) I have recently made some new friends and while I don’t have their full stories, I have their names. You can begin praying for them. Valenteen. I’d guess she’s early 20’s. She has a broken leg and I’m guessing a broken pelvis as she’s in a leg cast which extends up mid torso. You can also pray for Ginitte (Jeanette), Gina, Rose Laure (La-rae).