Would you believe that today is Friday already? I’m here only until next Tuesday (Wednesday I leave early), and already I wish I could have booked a longer time. Next year for sure…I’m staying for at least 3 to 4 weeks.  There is simply so much to do, and I’m getting a really good look at what it takes to run this place.  It’s not only the paper work (which has taken us many,  many hours by the way)…

Hey, this is not too difficult

 

4 hours later

…or meeting the children’s needs, or making sure there is enough food in the children’s home from the depot, or organizing the many donations (what to keep for 16 growing children, and what to bless the community with), but dealing with the staff on-site.  You see, what we as HATS supporters did you know is that the staff, although wonderful, are not volunteering their time here…nor should they. I am proud to say that HATS employs so many people in order to provide a decent living for people who may otherwise not survive without their job here.

Having said that, people are people, and for those of you who have run or managed a business, you will know exactly what I mean when I share this with you. You see, although employees are carefully screened and start out all gung-ho, some unfortunately, lose their motivation and simply don’t do a good job after awhile, or they cause trouble by complaining and gossiping. THAT is very, very stressful to deal with…and Karen has to deal with it on an almost daily basis.  I actually got a first- hand experience today and helped Karen with a small situation . As part of my “training and experience” Karen  asked me pass a somewhat ”firm” message to an employee this morning…in Creole!!!! Yikes, I was nervous, but did it. The employee was not too happy with the message from DG (the boss), and I didn’t need to know Creole to understand what she was saying to the other women.  I wish I could have said in Creole “please don’t shoot the messenger!” or been able to stick up for Karen’s good decision, but I couldn’t.  I am going to continue to learn Creole when I go home.  As I left, I felt a few virtual daggers thrown at me…shudder…I feel for Karen, really I do. She is such a loving soul and would never hurt anyone, and her choices may be foreign to some, but are logical and save time, money and energy all around.

Having said that, one simply  has to watch the children play or get a hug from them, and it’s a simple reminder of why things have to be done, as challenging as they are.

Karena and  Sandra making dinner

 

a little to my  right ti luc

As you know I’m sleeping alone upstairs, and I’m not one bit scared…I even made a new friend; Frank I call him. He popped in unexpectedly two nights ago on the dresser. I had nothing to kill him with, and I thought, why do I need to kill him anyway; after all, he does eat the nasty bugs. So last night he showed up on the wall…I said “hi Frank, you stay right there and don’t move while I go have my shower…” and he listened to me. This morning he was gone, but I’m sure he’ll be back tonight to watch over me (please, don’t be in my shoe or my pjs…pleeeeezeeee).

If you’ve ever had a chance to travel to developing countries you will understand what I’m going to talk about next. We say that the world keeps getting smaller and smaller. I’ve also used the expression “same, same, but different “ to describe that essentially people are very much the same all over the world. They will do the same things as us, but due to restrictions, do them a bit differently. For example, JJ & Moise with size 11 and 12 feet, need a new pair of sandals which we don’t think we have in the storage depot. So, in Canada, we would send the boys to the mall to buy a pair. Today, it just so happened that word got out that the guy at the Deschapelles market had sandals to sell. JJ and Moise were told to go with Eugene (one of the employees) to buy some. This “store” was basically a person who put a tarp on the ground , and maybe a tarp above him for shade, to sell his goods in the market.  No air-conditioned building, no food court (although there is a woman next to the shoe sales man who sells food), but the goal – buying shoes- is the same. Same, same but different! Here are some photos of stores that we drove by the other day…they may not look fancy by our standards, but they do the trick. What I love about the developing world, is that people basically have similar ideas, just different means to get things done. Sometimes North Americans look down on these people because things may not look shiny and new, but I tell you, the developing world has the intelligence, the imagination and the creativity to accomplish what seems impossible.   I worry we may lose this ourselves,  because we simply just have to go to the mall (or buy on-line for that matter) to get our needs met.

look close someone inside

 

Haitian Shoppers drug mart

 

Food Court

Love to all…

~Beate