Dana – Fantastic blogger, goat herder and photographer!!! I can’t fill her shoes.

Since I tried to teach my girls, Dana and Liette, when they were growing up, to be themselves always, I guess that relates to their mama too. Dana wins the award in blogging for 2011. I know I can’t touch her and am too smart to try. I do, however, need to add my compliments and thanks to that of many others for the fantastic job of blogging she did. She kept me laughing along with the rest of you. I loved seeing life here through her eyes, and the great way she shared it all. Life in Haiti has been normal for me for many years so I do not see it as others do. It is life in Canada that I have to adjust to regularly. I, too, wish she could be here blogging regularly and keeping us all entertained.

Dana and her three precious kids, Jared, Ronel and Alexa came on December 16th with some apprehensions I think, on the part of some, about how they would fit in, be accepted, and how things would go. They fit in beautifully, they were accepted in a big way, and things went really well. They left yesterday, December 26th, and are greatly missed today.

THANK YOU for coming. Thank you, Dana, for all the hard work. Thank you for excelling at goat herding, feeding, rescuing, even milking one, as well as the blogging. Thank you Jared, Ronel and Alexa for all the time spent with my kids and for sleeping with them one night. That was important and they are still talking about it. Thank you Jared and Ronel for the help with your mom’s goat herding job and for the three of you preparing 130 gift packages to bless others. Thank you Dana for a fantastic turkey dinner and lemon meringue pie – that I am still enjoying. It lived up to my expectations. An awesome break from rice and beans.

Dana the goat herder

Dana had quite the experience with creepy crawlies  -I can’t say she saw them all because that would take a lot more than 10 days. In fact with almost 17 years here I have not seen them all. Sandra, please don’t fret about being left out we are keeping some for you for next month.

Dana and Ronel love hot food and Haitians like to cook with lots of piman pike (hot peppers). Dana told Martha she would like pikliz (‘hot’ cold slaw). She got pikliz and yes, it was hot. I have proof.

She wanted ‘hot’ she got ‘hot’.


I so need to cool my mouth

Dana arrived with her three children and quickly saw we have security 24 hours a day, armed at night. A precaution. She knew I do not go far after dark and if so, not without security. Christmas Eve night, after our festivities were over and little ones in bed, we prepared some of her delicious turkey dinner to be delivered to Luckner, as he was on the air at Radio Creole. Jared and Ronel and I were going to do the delivery. I did a good job of assuring Dana everything would be fine as I would be gone around ten minutes and I was taking the security so her boys would be just fine. I told her the gate would be locked behind us and no one could get unto the compound. I talked a good talk but did not walk a good walk!!!

We arrived, deposited the food and entered the radio station where a lively discussion was going on – on the air – with three people at the microphones, Luckner leading and people calling in. It was interesting and fun for me. Luckner was planning on ending the program shortly after our arrival and let me know he wanted to greet the boys and wish them Merry Christmas. The boys seemed comfortable there, I was given a set of headphones to put on so I was hearing those calling in to the radio as well as the responses, and forgot about the time. Forgot, too, that Dana was here on the compound without me or security and was not used to Haiti. My bad! I had just explained to Luckner that the program was going on too long and I could not wait for him to speak with the boys – I was going home. At that time my phone rang and I could see it was one of my house mothers, Naomie. I quickly left the studio and went unto the roof deck to answer it. Naomie it was not. Dana it was. I quickly got the idea I was indeed bad. Not a case of ‘My bad’ but instead a case of ‘My bad, bad, bad BAD’. She sounded scared. “Where are you ?” You said ten minutes . . . . . . . ” I grabbed my keys, her two boys, Jared and Ronel, and headed to truck where security was waiting for us. Off we roared for home.

No problems enroute until we get outside the locked up compound. I looked at security and waited for him to jump out, unlock and push open the barrier gate. He looked at me like he just landed from space. He did not look like an alien but was acting like one. I asked him to hurry and unlock the gate. I wanted to get inside so we could get out of sight and get to the house to try and make up to, and console, Dana. He had the space cadet thing still happening on his face big time and I sharply asked what on earth was wrong with him. Nothing really – just that he had locked up the compound and then laid the security keys down inside and walked out the door in the large gate without them. “You did what?” Great. Just what we needed. I was quickly hoping everybody was at a Christmas party and not looking for us for any reason as we were now sitting ducks outside the mission compound. Now we had to try to wake up a house mother again to come and let us in and we would be even longer reaching Dana to try and make amends.

Naomie let us in and I quickly drove to the house. We could not get in the main door. Locked. Oops, perhaps Dana is really mad and gone to bed and we are outside in the mosquitoes for the night. I felt like locking her out a few times when she was young but now it was the daughter locking the mother out. I was stifling laughter as I sent Jared around to try the kitchen door. Locked too. Another Oops. I ran with Jared to the laundry room door before calling and banging. Good, she missed that one.

We came inside to see her sitting in my office, in front of her laptop, stonyfaced and working (blogging I believe). Actually she was looking scared and upset with a huge and heavy monkeywrench next to her computer. That was her weapon for protection.

Dana blogging with weapon for protection next to her

When I did not return quickly as promised she had gone looking for one of my machetes but unable to find one she took the next best thing. I was feeling badly about being gone for so long but not badly enough to not laugh. I tried my best to hide my need to laugh but I was cracking up on the inside. It was a picture I will never forget – my precious daughter, the great business woman, wonderful mother and fantastic helper sitting in my office in my house with that big and heavy wrench next to her for protection. I was a bad mama but I still laughed.

Our Christmas celebration was great as Dana mentioned on her blog. I want to thank everyone for the fantastic gifts that came down from Calgary with Liette and Yvette, one for all 18 children. The kids were thrilled with their gifts. I am unable to post a photo of each one with their gift but will attach some. Two of the kids received a gift from their sponsors as well. It was a happy gift opening time with joy on all the faces.

Happy little Karena


JJ proudly displaying a gift of his


Josie happy with her gift


Jofky with his glasses


Mr. Cool Cat Vladimy with his gift


Ti Luc loves his batman cape.


Little Mr Cool Dieunel –  thrilled with his gift


Karena – 3 and Anne 1 at our Christmas celebration.  New dresses off so they could eat as they wished.

Thank you to all who sent money donations for Christmas – which enabled us to buy extra and special foods and to purchase new clothing outfits for the children. I will be purchasing special food items and treats again for the big Haitian holiday coming up – January 1st and 2nd.

Thank you for all your support during the past year. It truly has enabled us to continue to do what we can for the children in this area of Haiti.