I've been writing in WORD and saving it as I haven't been getting online when I wanted to. Hmmm...should I send this whole thing....oh why not? You've all told me I love to chat!!!! Maybe read it in sections or something! Here goes............
I’m discovering lots of things….old and new….about Haiti.
-that you can’t leave ground coffee out on the counter in an open bowl overnight as it turns into a paste by morning, however I still used it to make coffee. It just needed more stirring!
-and my mom would be amazed to hear this…Lisa and Sylvanie and Genesis think the coffee that I make is “weak”. Haitians drink a very strong, thick coffee and then they pour in about ¼ cup of sugar into their small mug. I was pouring for them one morning (from the new botum that Joel brought…I think of him every morning as I make coffee!) and I added the sugar….very sparingly….telling them “ase” (enough) and they laughed and laughed and wanted “anko, anko” (more, more!)
-that I don’t need a mosquito net for mosquitoes…but it would help fend off all the other big flying bugs around at night that I feel “land” on my bed or my body!!
-that even though they walk around looking very somber, Haitians love a good laugh anytime and they break into a huge smile when I say “bonjou” or “bonswa”. Hello becomes “bonswa” after noon. I intermix familiar French sayings with the basic Creole that I’m learning and then we all have a good chuckle. French speaking is the “sign” of an educated person as all post-high school graduate studies are in French. Very few Haitians can read Creole and one way of marking their meds is to draw circles. 3 circles on a bottle of medicine mean you take it 3 times a day….maten, midi e domi.
-that I’m learning how to drive on the Haitian roads…an unbelievable experience that is going to be very hard to describe! It is not uncommon to see 4 vehicles coming at you on a 2-lane road. Does that give a clear picture to you? : ) The big buses and trucks do NOT slow down for anything or anyone and certainly not when they’re driving through the town. Horns honk continually and pedestrians do NOT have the right of way! Dogs and goats and donkeys all know to step aside and seem to look left and then right just like us! There are no rules of the road; passing and speeding are the way to drive.
-about how DARK it gets here at 6pm. The house’s electrical system runs on a generator and sometimes it doesn’t get started right away and we wander around with our headlights. One night it ran out of gas at 8:30 pm so we all just went to bed! I brought a little power pack that I run my CPAP off of after the generator goes off but it didn’t make it through that night. I wake up once it quits working, pull it off my face and roll over and go back to sleep. Some nights it’s hard to sleep cause of the heat but tonight (Aug 24) will be lovely as the tail end of the hurricane’s rainfall hit here all afternoon and it’s much cooler now…probably down to 90!!!! : )
-I will NEVER complain of Canada’s roads again. Only the #1 highway to PAP is paved and the rest of the streets and roads that run off it are lumpy gravel. Hard to even call it gravel though…more like rocks on a one-lane path!
-the joy of having my first formed BM in about 2 weeks and peeing often enough so I know that I’m drinking enough!!
-there is always noise here at Annie’s…there are 19 children and often 3-6 adults and they all seem to be talking at once. I’m picking up a bit of new Creole every day but still far from being able to carry on a conversation. I often catch myself just saying “wi” a lot….reminds me of a good friend doing the same in Nicaragua! : )
-the chickens here run loose everywhere and there are always chicks in different stages. I was sitting outside talking to some of the kids yesterday and suddenly, over my shoulder, a chick was dropped into my lap! : ) and there’s one hen that literally climbs the big mango tree by the upstairs deck where I slept. She half flies and half climbs up the trunk and then goes up to the second large branch. Her chicks go crazy cause they want to follow and so it’s quite fun to watch their attempts each night. They do eventually make it after a few attempts and then squawk until they find their mom!
-I was presented this week with 2 T-shirts that only the OSAPO staff wears. I felt very blessed and know that I am being considered one of them! : ) Dr. Toussaint told me that he was going to hide my passport so that I can’t leave….I was very thankful for that acknowledgment. God is good to me!
Sept 2 2011
I’ve been preparing all along to teach the OR nursing course and had left the morning of Sept 2 to finalize the outline of the course…to organize it so the students would get a glimpse of what was ahead. Organization is hard for me and in my prayers I had expressed my concerns about “doing it right”.
Here’s my devotion today…taken from my book “Jesus Calling”
“Living in dependence on Me is a glorious adventure. Most people scurry around busily, trying to accomplish things through their own strength and ability. Some succeed enormously; others fail miserable. But both groups miss what life is meant to be: living and working in collaboration with Me.
When you depend on Me continually, your whole perspective changes. You see miracles happening all around, while others see only natural occurrences and “coincidences.” You begin each day with joyful expectation, watching to see what I will do. You accept weakness as a gift from Me, knowing that My Power plugs in most readily to consecrated weakness. You keep your plans tentative, knowing that My plans are far superior. You consciously live, move, and have your being in Me, desiring that I live in you. I in you, and you in Me. This is the intimate adventure I offer you.”
I know there are some of you that do understand what Jesus is talking about here and I’m excited for you and hope you share your “adventures/miracles” with me!! For those who don’t understand or think I’m “fou” (crazy in Creole), I encourage you to try it for a while. Turn to God with your requests, ask Him to help you in a difficult task…believe this with your heart and accept His help and you will know it “isn’t a coincidence”. I challenge you to give it a whirl…what do you have to lose?
Matthew 21: 21-22
“I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt…it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 6: 7
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.
Sunday Sept. 4 2011
It’s 1040 and we (15 of the children and Sylvanie and I) just got back from church. Often a big truck comes to pick them up but not this morning, so at 0710, we headed out walking. It’s about a 20 minute walk. We took a “short cut” through the banana groves, along narrow pathways cutting across country! I thought this area was all houses but there is a lot of agriculture! We were headed to Bon Samaritan Church…it’s one that Annie went to years ago when her first orphanage was right near there. I seem to recall that her home congregation raised money to buy a bell for the tower. Church was already started…the children were with one younger pastor for their lesson and the adults were in the pews listening to an older pastor. Sylvanie and I joined that group. Of course I didn’t understand very much but next week, I’ll bring my Bible and ask which scriptures he’s reading from! I’m surprised I didn’t think to take it today as I love bringing my Bible to church. I am always amazed at how God speaks to me through His word and I have many notations written in it.
After a bit, I joined the children to see how they were participating. Each week they have to memorize scripture and the pastor was going over that with them, first the girls and then the boys, whatever age! He then asked them questions about what they had learned. Finally the children joined the adults and singing started, accompanied by a fellow on the accordian! The only song I recognized was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.
After a couple of songs, first the children stood up and recited their scripture lesson for the congregation. Then it was the adults turn…first the women, then the older men and then a group of younger men. This happens at Canaan too only there, each age group of children sing a song too! : )
Then more sermons…about an hour long from the younger pastor…I think it’s his church. Then more songs…and then he invited the older pastor to speak. The whole service ended with us all taking communion…with real wine! : )
They asked me to speak in church and someone translated for me. I got a bit choked as I told them I am so grateful to be here and that I was a long way from home and missed my family but that this community had all welcomed me so much that I knew I had a family here too of God’s people.
The children had told me it would end about 1000 and sure enough, it was 1010 as we were blessed and all shook hands, greeting each other again…and then off home…a different route this time that meandered again along paths til we finally reached the road I’m familiar with.
Lisa and Kwam and their son don’t go to church…she says she doesn’t like this one. Her home church is in PAP. So she’s been in the kitchen cooking the meal. We eat our big meal mid-day…any time between 1200 and 2 or 3pm. The kids are excited cause I’ve promised them I would take them to the nearby beach “apre-midi”. I don’t know how I’m going to keep track of all of them but plan to set some rules about water play. Last time Garret and I took them and a few of them got horsing around in the water, dunking and rough playing and it’ll cause me too much grief trying to keep track of who’s under and who hasn’t come up yet!!! : )
I didn’t sleep well again last night…I’d had a coke late afternoon which probably did it!! So tonight will be early to bed as “lecole” starts tomorrow.
Monday Sept 5....Happy Birthday Jeff #34!!! : )
I am so pumped about my devotion this morning, that I just had to write about it.
Here’s a great visual from my “Jesus Calling” book…
“As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with Me.
A refreshed, revitalized mind is able to sort out what is important and what is not. In its natural condition, your mind easily gets stuck on trivial matters. Like the spinning wheels of a care trapped in mud, the cogs of your brain spin impotently when you focus on a trivial thing. As soon as you start communicating with me about the matter, your thoughts gain traction and you can move on to more important things. Communicate with Me continually, and I will put My thoughts into your mind.”
Wow…how many times have I spun my wheels ineffectively. Em knows!! : ) I still thank God for the blessing of her being here during “that” surgical week!
Again affirmation that God ALWAYS leads me!!!
Today in my “Leadership” devotional book...wow, it’s a full formula of how I must teach today. Thank you Jezu for all you give me. I am NOT alone in this
1. Help others keep their commitments to God.
-my plan is to start the session with prayer
2. Speak words of support and encouragement.
3. Evaluate progress, offering an objective perspective.
4. Offer words of wise counsel and direction.
5. Lend words of caution, rebuke, or correction.
6. Give tangible resources to help them reach their goals.
-plan is to ask them what they want to learn and adjust my content to that
7. Provide unconditional love.
8. Help them find places to apply and practice what they’ve learned.
I will read these words every morning that I go teach and use these examples to help me be a good teacher!!!
Hope you're all having great days....I always love the Okanagan in the fall.