Where has the time gone? One thing that I'm being taught this time in Haiti is patience and looking at what/who I'm relying on! I've discovered the frustration of not having reliable internet services....and guess what else I've discovered.....life does still go on!!! : )
I write to God every morning in my journaling and have learned to be thankful for the few times that I can connect with people back home. Some of you have heard from me and I'm thankful for when you have written. I am AMAZED at all the snow that has fallen back home!!! Yes, Dave, if you're reading this, I'm thinking of you and all the shovelling and plowing that you're doing!!!! : )
There has been some rain here but also a lot of sunny days! Temps are in the high 80's/low 90's in the day but cools off nicely for night time. I've actually had a sheet on me at night! The last few nights there has been HUGE winds but no damage, at least from what I've seen.
The bean crop was green and growing when I got here and they are just starting to harvest the fields now. Banana trees are in all stages of growth...they plant them year round. Corn and sugar cane seem to just be getting started. My favourite tree, the Breadfruit, is not in full production yet...same with the mangos. There are some around but not into full season for them yet!!! However, enough for Ann Simonski to enjoy most every day she was here!
I loved having Ann here...and what a blessing she was! Dr Ghee Hwang and Dr Hamid Izadi from Vernon were here then and so there were operations happening for a few days. Ann helped by cleaning the instruments and being a general "go-to" person when other help was needed. We shared lots of laughs and groans as our bodies were tired by the end of the long days!!!! I thank God for blessing OSAPO with her presence!
Dr. Hwang was so very helpful, his suggestions and assessments were very thoughtful as he has had such amazing experiences around the world in 3rd world countries. Time will tell if his group will be coming to Haiti to help in medical resident's education.
As many of you know, one focus I was asked to do here was to train more Haitian nurses to work in the operating room. All but one of the nurses who have been trained in the past have left OSAPO....all for good reasons....but just like at home, circumstances change for people in the work force and they move on.
OSAPO's Clinic day starts when the staff arrive in the morning and set it up. There are 2 doctors to see all the patients who are waiting. Once clinic is finished, the classes can begin. By then, it is mid-day and getting warm/hot! I arranged for the OSAPO cooks to prepare a meal for the "students" but that is usually not ready til about 1-1:30 so we start with the teaching of the day! Everyone is hungry (grangou) by then and the heaping plates of rice and beans, usually with some goat and veggies, are served and devoured!!!
Getting back on track after the meal is hard to do and that session often only lasted for about an hour. This has not been the best system for training/teaching but what OSAPO can manage now with the reduction that has occurred in staffing levels in the past 6-12 months.
OSAPO had to lay off staff in 2016 and just run as a day clinic (unless there were overnight patients). I'm thankful to say that resuming 24/7 hours occurred on March 2 2017! There had been 2 deaths of women and babies who had come for help, only to find OSAPO closed! Drs Gardy and Toussaint and the remaining staff can not bear for this to happen again and so are prepared to do all they can to keep the clinic open for the people, even if it means with little or no pay!!!! Where would that ever happen in Canada? Such dedication to helping and serving!
Galatians 5:9..."Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
And, tho hard to do at times as basically I'm a selfish person who enjoys all the comforts of life, I'm trying to live up to those words. I actually started this trip's journal by writing that verse down...followed by the list of the Fruits of the Spirit...
...."love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control" I need constant reminder of those blessed words!
I'm reminded of Pastor Stuart's talk on Jan 22, just before I left Canada to come to Haiti. It will be online by now....go to the Vernon Alliance Church website and click on the sermon series that they post there....well worth listening to. He was talking about our world's perceived system of how to live versus how God intends us to live....Learning how to live knowing we have "enough" and not always wanting "more". Learning to know how to "share" rather than to "keep for ourselves".
I know that's why God keeps sending me back to Haiti....to remind me of what He has chosen me to do and how I need to think and live. I'm so distracted at home by all the things that the media tells me that I "need". We, in Canada, have so very much to be thankful for...and yet we always want more! I wonder when does it all end? When do we learn when enough is enough?
Today my heart is bursting with joy as I'm in Port au Prince waiting to go to the airport to welcome my cousin Cam to Haiti. He is an electrician and has come to fix up OSAPO's electrical system......just why do the lights on the main floor go out when the lights on the 2nd floor still burn brightly? And solve questions like that. I thank God for sending him and look forward to a week from now when Cindy, Cam's wife and Ethan, his son also will be joining us!!!! Such joy I will have sharing Haiti with them!
Susan Kermociev, Olga Hamilton and Rochelle Nyman (Susan's cousin) were here for 3 weeks and held a very successful sewing class for 9 Haitian women. They were all so very pleased with the progress that the women made and we're hoping that other sewers from back home will plan to come here and carry on with lessons. The women are KEEN....some days, Susan said, they literally had to kick them out of the classroom or they would have stayed there until darkness fell!!!! They have set a program up for others to possibly follow, there are supplies left here to use, there are treadle and electric machines sitting here idle, waiting for an instructor to come and carry on! If you're reading this and are a sewer and God is stirring up something in your heart, please get ahold of Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Olga at email@example.com and hear about their experience. You won't be sorry!! : )
On March 10, 3200 chicks are supposed to arrive for the "egg production" program that is OSAPO's latest venture on the road to sustainability. There is a ready market in the area for 5000 eggs each day and Gardy is determined to build to that capacity and make $$$ to keep OSAPO running. Please pray that the chicks will arrive and thrive!!! Jean Marie, OSAPO's agronomist, has been hard at work getting everything ready. Thank you to Dave for making this project happen!!! I'll try to post some pics on Facebook....or here....when it happens! cluck cluck cluck!!!!
So friends, all for now. I have to go arrange my "taxi" to the airport. I don't want to be late!!! I thank you all for reading this, for your prayers that God will continue to lead me and that I will have the ears to listen!!!! You all know how I can get on my "own track" at times!!! : )
Blessings to you all....xo Judy