Hello my friends,

Heather is gone….Karen is gone…who’s left at HATS you may wonder? Why it’s Beate!!!! Yes, Karen trusted me to be here alone with all the children. YIKES!! Thankfully Luckner is here checking on us a lot every day. So you may be wondering how I’m managing…how on earth is Beate coping??? Let me tell you…

For starters, we’ve changed up the routine around here quite a bit. After all, what do I know??? So, regarding cookies: JJ, Moise, Leica and Dieunel (the 4 oldest) have convinced me to give everyone FULL packs of cookies ???, 3 times a day. We also get up at 10 a.m., because we stay up so late playing UNO or Train (domino style game), and we had to push devotions until 11 because of this.

I also thought I’d help out by saving water at the compound. So rather than our daily showers, every afternoon, we all put on our swim suits and have a nice bath in the canal (Don’t worry Karen, I didn’t let the kids go Adam and Eve style; I made sure they were covered up). I did kind of forget that the kids don’t know how to swim, but that’s okay, they’re slowly getting the hang of it. Usually after our “canal bath,” and after drying off, we all jump into Karen’s truck, and I drive all the kids around town. We wave at all the people, singing and blasting the horn, and the people wave back shaking their heads and wondering what that woman is up to now??? So far I’ve managed not to hit any goats ? or tap taps en route. Sometimes I let Little Jonathan or Anne take the wheel while Sandra and Jofky work the gas and brakes… they totally have the hang of driving Haitian style.

Okay, I’m sure you’ve all come to realize that I’m being silly here…that’s just who I am ? winking. In all honesty, I am so loving my time here with the children. Karen doesn’t have to worry about a thing. The worst thing that has happened so far is Jonathan stubbing his toe this morning, and I needed to get a bandaid for him. JJ has been a huge help, as has Moise. THEY certainly have the routine down pat. Actually, Karen and Luckner have done such a fantastic job over the years, that this place runs like a well oiled machine. And besides, Luckner is always here with the construction going on and getting things ready for school…So, I’m not really doing this on my own at all…baby steps for Beate!

What an enormous task that must have been indeed: getting HATS to where it is today!!!! However, Karen knew long ago that she couldn’t just come to Haiti, set up a children’s home “North American style” and expect Haitians to do things “our” way. She has more respect for the Haitians than that, and she clearly understands that in order to make a difference, one just cannot come in and take over. Change happens slowly (keeping in mind that not everything has to change).

So it is my pleasure, my deep heartfelt pleasure, to be back in this country. To be back at HATS, to help the house mothers with the kids, to help do some administration work for Karen, and to help Luckner with the school in what ever small way I can.

I’ve added some pictures of our “real routine” for you to enjoy. Many hugs…