Hello from Canada, actually from the best part of Canada – Newfoundland – lovingly known as ‘The Rock’. Some may think the island is called the ‘The Rock’ due to the large amount of rock on the island which is obvious as soon as the ferry docks in Port aux Basques. I, however, think it is thus due to the people of Newfoundland, the Newfies, who are ‘rocks’. ‘Rock solid’ in every way. They are the best, friendliest, nicest, most hard working, most encouraging, most accepting, most supportive, and the funniest people anywhere. Oh, did I say I am I am a Newfoundlander – a Newfie? Did I say I am proud of it? Perhaps I am a tad prejudiced, but ask non Newfies and I bet they will agree with me. Throughout the world there are Newfies and there are Wannabees. If I were not a born and bred Newfie I would certainly wannabee one.
The morning I left Haiti I held the hand of my ‘special’ boy and assured him Mama would return to him after a couple of weeks. Our tears mingled as I promised him that but he believed me because when I have left him I have always returned. The Springdale town reunion celebrations are finished, people have gone, or are leaving, and I am now looking forward to going home to Ti Luc and to all my children. As much as I look forward to seeing my kids again I know it will not be easy to leave The Rock. Just as a part of me stays in Haiti when I come to Canada, a part of me stays here when I leave it again.
|Mama Karen promising Ti Luc she will return to him soon|
From July 29th to August 7th the town of Springdale held a fantastic ‘Come Home Year’ reunion celebrating the past 50 years. I have been blessed to be a part of this reunion. I am thankful to three people at the Hands Across the Sea – Haiti Mission – Luckner, Jessie and Seth – who are covering for me so I can be here. I have enjoyed the RCMP Musical Ride, fun family time, walking along the shore as we did as children, and much more.
|RCMP Musical Ride|
I have three siblings living now in Nlfd (well one was smart enough to not leave Nfld in the first place), one in NS, and all five of us have been together here on the rock this year. They are the best family any girl (okay old girl) could ever have. I have had fun reconnecting with extended family members and friends whom I have not seen for years – some many years. While here I sat on the deck of the old homestead, looking at the water, remembering and thanking God for what I had growing up and who and where I am today. I give credit to my mother that I am loving, living, and working in Haiti. The word ‘loving’ is more important by far than the words living and working. The loving I do on my children in the orphanage, on the children in the school, and the people in the community surrounding the mission, stems from my Springdale, Newfoundland upbringing and from the teachings of my mother. I will always thank God that I am a Newfie – a Springdalite.
When we five old kids were five young kids there was a photo taken of us in our yard in order of age, Don being the oldest and Sandra being the youngest. January 2011 the five of us had one done in Haiti when the four of my siblings came down to help. Last week we had another photo done of us five standing in the same spot, in the same order, in the yard of the old homestead. I will try to include them with this blog. Too, I will include some random photos of my time in Newfoundland.
|Five kids (us)|
|Five ‘old’ kids in same order of age at old homestead|
|5 kids in Haiti|
|Karen & Micah (one fine great nephew)|
|Sandra with Springdale and old homestead behind her|
On the last day for us together we held an afternoon reunion at the old homestead, with the awesome view of the bay, for the workteam that came to Haiti in January 2011. Cousin Jim from BC was missing as well as Luckner. We had a group photo taken, including Luckner in absentia but for some reason he had to remain sitting.
|Jan 2011 reunion crew|
|Jan 11 crew minus Jim|
|Jan 2011 reunion Karen, Luckner and Dave|
|Don preparing to scan a photo needed for the blog|
You will hear from me when I am back in Haiti hand in hand with my children again.
It has been good to see many of you here on ‘The Rock’. I would love for you to stay in touch.