I have many wonderful family and friends that brought me bags and boxes of new and used clothes, school supplies and toys as soon as I said I was coming here, plus I made the kids purge their clothes and Alexa purged her toys. My basement was overrun for months. As I packed up the 8 bags to come here I remember thinking it would be much easier on the other end to unpack it. No wrapping, stuffing, weighing, etc. Just unpack it. Easy Peasy. Again I was wrong. I’m not sure I’ve ever been this wrong before, lol. This afternoon I unpacked 6 of the 8 bags. Two were food and supplies Mom requested (paintbrushes, nuts, chocolate, gifts for staff, protein powder, etc) so that was unpacked the first day.

I got all 6 unpacked and thought, ok, yup, that’s good, it’s all spread out and organized into groups (clothes for adults, boys, girls, shoes, toys, household goods, etc). Now what?

This is what 6 suitcases of donations looks like (plus a bench full of household things):

Donations – Girls Clothes
School Supplies
Donations – toys & shoes

So as I’m feeling all accomplished and ‘finished’ mom tells me the room I’ve unpacked everything into is used for morning devotions Mon-Fri at 7:30am. Today is Sunday. Oh boy! Mom left on a sugar cane run so I’m in here blogging as I rest up for the marathon of looking through everything with the 18 orphanage kids in mind trying to find things that can be wrapped for them for Christmas. This may sound easier than it is. I’ve played with them, I’ve hugged them, I’ve traded high fives, fist pumps and beaming smiles. I still have no idea who most of them are! The babies are pretty easy. There’s 4 of them – Jonathan who is teeny tiny and a boy (yes, my astuteness is astounding), Anne who looks at me terrified so I know who she is, Sandra who lights up any room she’s in and Karena who has a brilliant smile and loves to high five. I know who 4 others are with no confusion; Vladimy is 15 and can be seen wearing Jared’s Nike’s and kicking a Soccer Ball, 10yo Mirlande who has been blinded in one eye, always has shiny things in her hair and sticks to Alexa like super glue, Ti Fi who has mental challenges and looks unique and Ti Luc, who is my brother. I’ll post more about that another day. That still leaves 10… The rest of the beautiful dark chocolate children have the same hair. The boys are all shaved and the girls all have the same sticking up pigtails – there is probably a proper black hair term although since Ronel doesn’t go for that look I have no idea what it is. They move quickly and many are similar sized. I figure out who they are one day and then they have the gall to change clothes the next day and then I’m lost again feeling like an idiot. My ‘meeting sponsor child’* is here on site, an adorable little angel named Leica and she looks A LOT like 2 other girls. Today I studied the hair band colors in the front of her hair so I know that if it’s the adorable girl with the big smile AND the bright citrus colored hair band it’s Leica. If her hair band falls out I’m in big trouble!

Meeting Sponsor child: the gals who attend my Epicure meetings pay $2 at the door each time and it goes down here to HATS and helps towards paying the monthly support fees for Leica.

Leica

Jared and Judel. Jared loves this photo because not much of him is in it

Jared & Judel

Ronel & Dieunel. Ronel’s new Facebook profile photo.

Ronel’s new FB Profile Photo

It’s very embarrassing and frustrating to not know everyone when I see them. At church today we were leaving and I had a little boy by the hand and was heading over to the compound with him, him somewhat reluctantly. I figured he just didn’t want the fun singing to be over… then Alexa looked at me and asked me why I was taking home a random child. WHAT??? Oy Vey! I look back and he’s looking at me with these huge eyes and his siblings are trailing along behind wondering what to do…. They have no idea what I’m saying as I try to apologize and probably don’t know what blushing is although I hope by the shock on my face they realize I’m not actually loco (well I may be loco, although I’m not a loco child stealer)!

Many of you have asked what you can do. You can donate. I know my Epicure friends all got nice fat bonus chq’s for November (Yay Epicure) and probably need a tax deduction! You can make a one time donation or you can take on the annual support of a child. More info on the costs are on the website www.hatshaiti.org. One of my local consultants, Denise Krahn, sponsors 2 children down here and I had the privilege to bring down gifts for her two sponsor children and I hope to meet them to deliver those personally. Maybe your local consultants would love to be involved in supporting a Sponsor child as part of the meeting fees.

We still have 2 goats. Only 11 of the original 13 have gone home and we still have A LOT more to find and distribute (we’re up to 42 goats purchased by donors). In between other duties today I moved, untangled, fed, watered, stepped in poop (more x than I can count), moved again (every time the sun changed position) and took a ton of goat photos. Tonight we had goats going home on Moto (Motorbike). That’s apparently not unusual around here!

Goat on Moto

FYI – many of you are wondering about the perm. It came out OK! The photo in Blog #3, Crawling and Flying Things, Milking a goat, The Babies, of Mom and Jonathan, was the finished result.

~Dana