After four days of no sunshine and rain almost all the time it was glorious today to have the sun back. The temperature and humidity were easily dealt with because we were all so happy to be rid of rain and cloud. Our school students seemed glad to be back at school today. All schools in Haiti had been closed Thursday and Friday due to the hurricane. I think they were glad to be able to be out and about in the sunshine again.
Many of you have been wondering how we made out during Hurricane Thomas. We give God thanks that we had no real problems. The storm affected all of Haiti but some areas much worse than others. We got a lot of rain, but not a lot of wind. Neither of our two compounds – our main one or school compound flooded. This was due to the fact that we had raised the level of both compounds by approx 3 feet in Aug/Sept. And because Luckner talked to ‘the powers that be’ who control the level of the canal in front of the HATS compounds. He suggested that they lower the level of the canal before the heavy rains came. They listened and they did. If they had not done so the canal surely would have flooded and would have run into both our yards. There was flooding throughout our area and I understand many families lost their belongings in the water, but it was not catastrophic near us. Haiti generally had a lot of flooding, lots of mudslides, and roads out, but this area did not have that kind of devastation.
During one of the days of heavy rain from Thomas Ti Luc wanted to go to Kid’s Home so I bundled him up because he had been coughing, etc. He was quite the sight in his pink and white rubber boots, his blue superman rain cape and his yellow Newfie sou’wester rain hat.
On the last blog you saw that the work on enclosing our third piece of property was almost completed. It was finished shortly after that and the construction workers had a few days without any work due to the hurricane. Today everyone is back hard at work again. We have three workers cleaning up the newly enclosed property.
Plus, on this main compound, work commenced today on the walls of the new Children’s Home. It is being built with lots of rebar and cement. It will be done to enable a second level to be added at a later time if need be. Luckner kept running over from the school to check out the work. He saw one block not perfectly in alignment and made them do it over.
Many of you have not seen much of our second house mother – Magalie. Magalie works with the children along with Antoinette, and if one of the ladies has a day off the other one is here. We need another person to join them as there definitely needs to be two women here all the time. One person cannot handle the children and cook, etc. We have been coping by Germaine working there instead of at this house and if Germaine is not there I leave my work to help out. Having someone else on board has been a need for awhile. Many in the area need work but we are not willing to rush out and take someone without a lot of checking. It is not easy to keep going as we are, but we must wait and hope for the right person for the Kid’s Home just as we continue to wait for the right couple to join me here. Magalie is seen here with our little Karena. Magalie is planning to be married late December but, like Antoinette, will continue to work here with the children, and also like Antoinette she will have two days a week with her husband. Both Antoinette and Magalie are very thankful for their jobs and we are very thankful for them.
Speaking of cholera. The danger of this has increased due to the hurricane and the flood waters. The Artibonite River and the Canal in front of HATS is contaminated, along with much more of Haiti’s water. We are doing the best we can to teach our school students about the danger of cholera. This morning in devotions a teacher took the time to tell our students again about the danger, and the increased danger, of this disease. Students from prescolaire to grade 9 were told to wash their hands many times a day, to not eat certain foods that grow near the water, to not eat food cooked and sold on the street, and to stay away from water sources, canal, rivers, etc. and drink only what their parents feel is safe water.
An episode at school last week showed me clearly that the teaching I’ve been doing with my kids had gotten through. A young student apparently took Ti Luc’s hand and tried to give him a bite of food. Karma grabbed Ti Luc’s hand and yanked it away and asked the student if he wanted Ti Luc to get cholera. Yikes. Have I been drilling it in too much? I don’t want my kids to be rude but I do want them to be careful. Haitians tend to ‘believe what they can see’. If it hasn’t happened to them or their loved ones then it is not real. It is better to have people scared and careful than to be a statistic.
One of our construction workers recently had both his mother and sister quite ill with cholera. They were able to get to the hospital in time for the necessary help. A few days later his neice ended up at the hospital with it also. Anyone planning to come to HATS must now be vaccinated against Cholera.
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Liette and team on Sunday, along with my precious grandchildren. They have all been recently vaccinated against cholera. Due to the generosity of people in Canada they are bringing vaccine with them for Luckner, myself, the children, and employees. Thank you, God.
They will be helping in various ways, including painting at the school and the Children’s Home. The biggest and most important help for me, however, is that Liette is going to undertake getting the photos done of all students in our sponsoring program, and getting their yearly letters written. Then there is the big job of getting it all sent out to our many sponsors. I wish to say thank you for your financial support for a student(s) which enables them to attend school. Thank you, too, to the new sponsors for your continued patience while awaiting the name and grade of your student. Students and sponsors have all been matched up, but I have not yet been able to get the information to you all. It is coming!!!!
Our dear friend, John Chappelle, continues to struggle with his health. Please continue to pray for John, and for Bev, and for their daughter Shureen, as they walk through this together. John and Bev have been dear friends of mine for many years and they are very important to me and also to HATS in many ways. The employees and students here have been asking me about ‘Pastor John’ for a long time and when he is going to come back. Now they are praying for him and his family.
If you don’t hear from me for a short time feel free to drop me an email to see how we are doing. I will respond as quickly as I can. Too, it will remind me that I need to blog again.
You are loved. You are appreciated greatly. May God bless you all.