Can you believe it is Day 5 already- that means we, Emma and Joanne, are up again as your bloggers.

Our Wednesday evening was spent with a lovely walk along the canal. We enjoyed the local sights including a cock fight, stray cows and bathers in the canal. We were also the entertainment of some local youth who followed us along the path calling ” Blanc,Blanc,Blanc” I guess they don’t see a precession such as ours often. We said our good nights to all the children when we returned. I love to see how the children connect more each day to the team. They love to be silly, play and just want to spend time with everyone. Although we do not speak the language we are connecting.

Adult only early evening walk

The team gathered in the parlor to listen to Karen tell stories of her life in Haiti. How God has guided her. Everyone sat silently in awe- hanging on every word until it was time to say good night. Bedtime proved to be an adventure. There was a few visitors in the girls dressing room from the arachnoid family. When yelling and screaming at them did not make them go away we called in the big guns….the boys with bug spray!! Emma then found a visitor on her pillow and as her screams echoes into the darkness, she realized this guy was from the Plastic family. “JERRY!!!!!!” When the team settled in our tents we were treated to a beautiful light show- compliments of mother nature. The rest of the nights entertainment came from sounds of creatures and a creole rendition of Auld Lang Syne .

Morning came early with a 5:30 am rise (except for Joanne and Lacee who need a wake up call) The team that were awake walked down to the security tower to watch men, women and children gather at the bridge hoping to find a days work. A little boy walked by with a piece of bread in his hand. Very sad to us all with our bellies full of fresh fruit and porridge.

Today is a special day here at HATS. Today is Mama (aka Karen) and our own Todd Young’s birthday!!! It is surely going to be a special one!!! A prayer was shared with all the children at the house and we all hurried off for devotions today at the school. We set up the school benches (which Karen most times does without 16 extra hands) and enjoyed devotions with all the students.  The high school grade 8 students joined in devotions as they did not have a class. Then all secondary students joined with the younger grades for the raising of the flag. (Karen began to question why grades 7 & 9 were called out of classes for the flag raising)- but because tomorrow is a school holiday she did not look into it any further).  After the flag was raised with the National Anthem being sang all the students then turned to Karen and sang Happy birthday in English with a second round of singing for Todd!!! What a way to start a birthday!

Luckner decided to allow all the students to find Karen to give her a hug and a kiss before they entered their classes. The little ones were pushing to get to her and were knocking her off her feet.

Karen being given birthday hugs by students

The team then had the opportunity to take a picture with the Generator (Delco as the locals would call it) As we walked in the room the generator sputtered but did not cut out as we said an extra prayer that nothing would go wrong on Karen’s birthday. As most of you are aware we have been fundraising for a new generator system for the compound and school. This picture will show a comparison of the old and the new. An eye opener that’s for sure.

The awesome generator fundraiser team

After a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and omelets we returned to the school for recess time with the primary children- today is an extra special recess visit because Joanne, Jerry, Lacee, Todd and Jenny got to meet their sponsor children. The team was filled with such pride, meeting these beautiful children we will be providing an education and brighter future for. Meeting them in person makes it that much more special. We would like everyone at home to seriously think about sponsoring a child. It costs less then a Tim’s a day.

Jenny with her sponsored student Guerrier, Milensky PS 3


Joanne with her student Turenne, Enickens PS2


Todd with sponsored student Jean Baptist, Franzley PS2


Jerry with his student St. Vil, Benadel PS 2


Alexandre, Terry Gr 3 with his sponsor Lacee

Back to the compound and to our duties. The three Musketeers worked on some electrical issues as the girls worked in and outside the house doing chores. Some of the team accompanied Karen on errands in Liancourt while others enjoyed a lovely lunch of cornmeal lasagne.

The preparations for tonight’s festivities continued. Choir practice for our evening at Radio Creole, flower making and a Fleet Mac sing along accompanied by Lacee’s whistling made for a fun afternoon. Emma called an important team meeting. Some could not attend as they were “tied up” at the HATS hair salon. We did have a quorum so the meeting was called to order. Todd was called to the bench as the witnesses followed. Mama Karen approached carrying a precious package wrapped in pink taffeta and ribbons. Imagine the look of surprise on Todd’s face as Karen placed the package in his arms and told him that this was his birthday surprise. Arrangements had been made for Todd to sponsor Sandra  (the youngest girl in the orphanage)for school starting in September. He had asked if he could but Karen told him she was already sponsored.  Sandra had taken quite a shine to Todd since meeting him at the compound gate on the first day. (Karen says Dickie better get back
here.) Todd is a papa to two boys in Newfoundland and now has his first little girl!!!!!

After some rest time and some speech therapy with Ti Luc we headed out for some birthday fun time with the children and the guests of honor. Singing, sweets, chalking and a game of soccer for the older boys was the order of the day. Some of the team assisted Karen in choosing new items of clothing for some of the older children who will be participating in a  school outing on Friday. Preparations for the evening meal had started, Joanne helped the kitchen staff by grinding onions and garlic with the mortar and pestle- a lot of fun, but not as easy as it looks…..I wonder if I can buy one at Walmart when I get back??

Speech therapy help for Ti Luc

Mother Nature treated us to another show of thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Because of this our trip to Radio Creole has been postponed. No one really wanted a ride in Karen’s tap tap tonight!! Sorry Deschapelles you will have to wait for our debut!! Not to fear our evening did not end there. Party plans had to be changed but with some quick thinking we had the parlor decorated, party hats and noise makers were distributed. Even the kitchen ladies, Germaine and Roselene, were ready for the surprise. Alicia and Emma went to pick up the cake they had secretly made while others visited the market. (sneaky girls) Karen and Todd were called into the room and were given paper flower crowns to wear and a bouquet of paper flowers for Karen. Karen’s face lit up the room brighter then the candles on the cake- Todd’s face didn’t look too bad either. Cake was served and enjoyed by everyone. Ti Luc went back for seconds. Cake is not a treat they have often.

The group surprised Karen & Todd with a birthday celebration

As the festivities began to wind down, we decided to start this blog- 3 hours later we are ending this- not because we had a lot to say but because we lost the first draft….it is bouncing around somewhere in cyberspace. We had to start over and most people went to bed without it being finished.  Good night all and God bless.

~Emma and Joanne