It was wonderful to get back home again. As anyone who has been here can attest to hugs are always awaiting your arrival. When I got home I was mobbed by my gorgeous kids ranging from 1-15 all wanting a piece of me. Later that evening they entered the living room singing “I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Mama is home, Mama is home.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks in eastern Canada, NS and NL, with family and friends. While there I did a lot of sharing my heart about Haiti and about the HATS-Haiti Mission in churches and with groups. I was able to get to St. John’s and to publicly thank the St. John’s City Council (that was televised) for their generous donation towards repair and reconstruction of the HATS Mission after the earthquake. I was interviewed on radio four times and for newspapers in both NS and NL. I am thankful for all those opportunities that arose as Haiti needs more people to stand up and be a voice for those who are still living the horrible results of the earthquake. The media moved on to other disasters and not a lot is being heard about how bad people have it here.
I knew work was ongoing by Luckner and his crew while I was away. We discussed work in several phone calls as he likes to check things out with me and and let me know if anything unforeseen comes up. I must say, however, that I was more than pleased about all that had been in done. Very pleased, but also very surprised about one thing that he had done. You will see it below.
My first morning back saw my kids and I touring both compounds of the mission. I was checking things over and admiring what was accomplished. They were holding my hands, my legs, my clothes and anything they could touch. They were happy to be with their mama and enjoying my delight in seeing the changes that had taken place. We started with the main administration/orphanage compound. The foundation for the new Children’s Home, Kay Timbrmart, is done. We are ready for the walls to start going up. It will be good to see that finished. Then we will separate boys and girls and will be able to add to our family with other desperately needy children.
The house foundation being finished enabled Luckner to go ahead and bring in many more truck loads of fill and raise the other half of the yard in the main compound. Another job done.
The footpath between the two HATS compounds had one small culvert with dirt over it to enable those who live behind our school to cross the ditch (ti canal) to reach their homes. The culvert was supposed to allow the water to run through it underneath the path, but it was too small and water did not pass properly. Luckner had the culvert removed and then had the construction workers build a cement bridge for them to cross. This should be done by the government but we knew that would only happen in our dreams.
The children and I then proceeded to the school compound. They were quite excited, giggling and talking, and the older ones were telling the younger ones to be quiet and let Mama see for herself. Well I did see and I was very surprised. A lot of work had been done and then I saw a sign painted on the school. I stood in the middle of the school yard with my hand over my mouth saying “Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh. I certainly did not sound like a lady with a command of language. The kids kept wanting me to say something and I continued to say “Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh. “ Ti Luc was jumping up and down with glee and saying “Sipriz pou Mama.” (Surprise for Mama.) Luckner changed the name of the school from ‘Institution Mixte Emmanuel Deschapelles’ – IMED, to ‘Institution Mixte Karen Huxter’ - IMKH.
I knew he was having some work done on the school foundation – covering it in cement – as extra protection from the water. It was painted too. The toilet had been painted and new doors added. The urinal for boys and girls not completely finished inside yet and they had run out of paint before getting to that. The level of the school compound had been raised just like the main compound, with drainage. New water lines had been added. The school kitchen (inside room) now has a big cement sink with a tap for washing dishes and the huge pots. I will include other photos of school.
My kids then pulled me outside the school compound to see the school sign. That had been changed to reflect the name change. They were so excited about showing me the changes on that too. Luckner decided the school name should be changed and with the approval of children, employees, and many in the area he did so.
The young man, Eden, who does a great job with wood (a young Dickie) had been diligently working on the desk project. Our teachers need a decent desk with an area that can lock. They are now ready to be painted.
I brought the kids back a blow up gift (easy to transport) and they are never seen outside without them in their hands. Karena Mariah is still a little fearful of hers so I will wait until she is ready. Speaking of Karena she has come a long way since we took her in July. She loves it here and has blossomed beautifully.
School opens in Haiti Monday, October 4th. We think we are busy now. Yikes. Luckner and I have a tremendous amount of work to do before school opens and after that things will be even busier. It will, however, be great to see the children all coming to school in their various uniforms again. My kids are ready for school to reopen. Am I ready??
Thank you to all our school sponsors – those who have been with us for some time and to those of you who are new. Before the end of the first month of school you will receive the name of your student, grade and a photo. Please be patient. One person can only do sooooooooo much!!! I want you all to know that you are making a big difference in the lives of the students and their families. God bless each and every one of you.
We have so much to say thank you for. Without all of you – the team members here would not be doing well. We can only care for the children, educate the students, and help the hungry and ill, when all of us on the team work together.
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.”
Together we will continue to do all that we can to help. Helping ‘one of the least of these’ is more important than all the world has to offer.
Thank you again and God bless you.
Karen and gang
1 Comment September 23, 2010