Sweat trickled down my back as I was talking to each child in our school in Nan wo, outside of Marchand Dessalines, Haiti. It was hot, but more than that I think the humidity must have been over 100%. It seemed to take my body a few days to adjust and my mind some time to know was okay to sweat out the gallon of water that I was drinking daily. Sounds awful, but it is a way of life foreign to many of us. Sweat is okay! Just continue drinking.
Our team was fabulous and delighted me with their wonderful attitudes and great sense of humor. I am so thankful for each one of them. Two nurses worked each morning in clinic while the rest of us interviewed each child, writing down information, and taking pictures. We visited several of the children’s homes learning more about them.
Jefte Gilles just had his tenth birthday on September 26th. He told me he was in the fourth grade this year; oops, he meant the fifth. He is becoming quite a young man; blossoming into an outgoing, confident leader. His father is the pastor and oversees 7 other churches and two schools. His mother is one of the hardest working women I’ve ever met. She cooks for teams, for pastor conferences and for the annual camp of 200 children. Jefte just informed me that after he finishes school he wants to become a doctor. I told him I would come and see him if I got sick. He thought that was great.
Roseberline Louidor is a ten year old girl in the 3rd grade. She loves dolls. Her father died in a car accident on May 5th of this year leaving her mother with six girls to care for. The family has moved back in with Roserberline’s grandparents in Nan wo. I visited their little house, which is smaller than most of our bedrooms. Nine people live there. They cook outside on a charcoal fire and sleep on a hard concrete floor. Clothes were piled up over the crooked wooden rafters, being the only place to hang them. Four of the girls are going to our school, but are not yet sponsored. The other two are still too young for school. The church in Nan wo helps this family as they can, but it’s difficult. I saw their smiles. I wonder if they think of themselves as poor – or is this just “normal”? When I spoke with Roseberline’s mother she immediately told me the day her husband had died and I identified with the pain beneath her quiet smile.
Manvens Cineus is a 5 year old little boy with a shy smile. He loves the color red and likes cars. He has no father around and lives with his young mother and grandmother. As I watched him walk I wondered what was wrong with his legs. In looking closer it appeared to begin in his hips. His entire body swayed as he bravely limped along, but that limp was almost swallowed up by his wonderful smile. He is in Preschool 1 because he’s gotten a late start. Hopefully he will do well given the opportunity to attend school.
Now on world news is the Cholera outbreak. Dessalines and surrounding area is one of the hardest hit places. I hear the small hospital in Dessalines is overflowing with patients. Please pray for these people and for their safety. Also please be praying for our team that leaves on November 2. We will be spending the majority of our time in the mountains of Kawo, but will certainly be in Nan wo too. We are taking donations to purchase iodine tablets and water filters to take with us for the people. You can donate online at www.hopeinhaiti.com. Thank you so much for your love and support. We couldn’t do this without you.