A Travellerspoint blog

Travay anko...

I'm sitting in one of the consultation offices here at OSAPO. I've discovered that they have the best ever internet connection and so will bring my computer up here when I'm working! I just heard a HUGE ruckus outside, singing and yelling, a bit more than normal.....and talk about a "celebration of life" happening. There was a huge group of people, men and women, lined up on the road singing and chanting....and in the middle of it all was a casket. They were taking turns carrying it...and sometimes it almost was end up....and made me wonder if the "fellow" inside was strapped in cause he was getting one heck of a ride!!! There were smiles on all the faces and it made me feel that this person had been truly loved a lot! They've since carried on up the road.
I'm beginning to have a routine now.....Mon and Wed I come to the clinic at OSAPO and help with the surgeries. The teaching sessions for 5 nurses start this Friday. I've hired Paul to translate for me. I'm glad I had these few weeks to work alongside them and see how things get done here as it's given me a better idea of what they have to work with, what help I can give them, what they already know, etc. They're all wonderful to work with and have been helping me a lot with my Creole. Thank goodness for high school French as it pops into my head often....I'm still amazed when that happens! : ) We will get together also on Sat. so these weeks will be busy.
On Tuesday I go to the Pierre Payen Hospital as Dr. Jean Robert Servius operates that day. Miss Emylene is the nurse anesthetist and is glad for another pair of hands.
So it's looking like tomorrow is a day off and I might just spend it alone at the beach/resort! Sundays can be busy as I go to church....either at Canaan orphanage where I was last year or this Sunday I told the kids I would go with them to their church. That should be quite an experience as there are 19 of them!!!! Thankfully Sylvanie (nannie and general helper of everything) will also be coming.
I am still in awe of the job God has sent me to do here. My devotion yesterday was right on the mark (as always) as I was stewing about how to organize the teaching, did I have a good enough knowledge base, would I be a good teacher, etc.....and God had prepared for me to read in Romans 12..."Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." That made me stop and think "who am I?" It's true that I have been very blessed with knowledge and skills and experience in nursing and so God has prepared me for what He is now asking me to do. And through my faith in Him and with His help, I will impart knowledge to these nurses....and I think have a lot of fun doing it!!! So how blessed is that!
The other scripture I was led to was from Proverbs 3:5...."Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding". God is not going to leave me toungue tied. I will not be alone! : )
Garret left yesterday so that's the end of the "little Canadian team". We worked so very hard together, learned a lot and laughed a lot....oh and moaned a bit too. Pretty long hours but we survived and have lots of memories for it. I wish they could all come back again real soon!!
I get around mostly by "moto taxi" and everyone stares cause I'm a "blan" and also ride single!! Mostly there are at least 3-4 Haitians on a motorcycle and sometimes 5 or 6!!! I pay extra but it's worth it. And last night, I even figured out enough Creole to book my "driver" to come back this morning at 7:30 to pick me up again! : )
So life is good. Home seems very far away and so I'm happy to see your names on my email. Vernon is still my home and my life....I'm just on a little sojourn right now. My plans are still to come back and teach at UBCO again this winter....I can't imagine being cold! It rained often this week but we went about 10 days before that without any. When it rains, it pours.....and then the road up here is almost unrecognizable. I will never again complain about Canada's roads. I'm driving now and actually did it in the dark a few nights ago! It is absolutely scary sometimes but I keep my eyes peeled for dogs and goats and kids and trucks and motos and bicycles and and and and! I don't drive fast and am always looking in my rear view mirror in case a bus or truck come up behind cause they don't slow down for anything!
Tonight Caroline and the crew at Canaan have invited me to join them at Club Indigo for kareoke night. I think I'll go and sip a cold "Prestige". Haven't had one in awhile so that'll be fun. I finally slept well last night. I've been sleeping out on the open porch since I came to Annie's and I think it was the persistent bugs....of any and all description....that were keeping me awake. No mosquitoes though. I've now killed about 5 cockroaches that fly all over and so decided enough is enough and moved inside. It is warm though and the fans quit about 10 pm when Kwam turns off the generator. I have a small battery fan that I then turn on low and it helps.
So all for now. I'm just going to send out an email to some of you to remind you of this blog address. Even though this is a "group email", please know that I think often of each and everyone of you. Take care....come for a visit!!! : ) You'll love the thick, strong Haitian coffee. I'm very thankful for the botum that Joel left!
xo Judy

Posted by jdouglas 13:39 Comments (1)

I am alive....and well

Dear all......I can't believe this is my first entry since arriving here August 4. So much has happened that I don't know where to start. I don't have as good internet access as I did last year. Right now I'm at Club Indigo using their wifi....tough assignment as it's right on the beautiful ocean with a gorgeous pool. As soon as I got here I jumped in the pool to cool off. It's HOT here! It cooled off for the first time yesterday after we had the tailend of Hurricane Irene hit us with rain. It was a wall of rain to be exact. We were up the mountain at OSAPO and had to wait it out as noone wanted to drive down the road. Thankfully we were in a car as often we've gone there on "motos".
Thinking over the past 21 days, I feel it's been a year!! I LOVED having Joel and Emily here and feel so very blessed to have shared this with them. Sean, you're next. I'll sell the house and bankroll you all for Christmas! : ) I'm so very proud of Joel and his medical knowledge base and his nursing skills. He is going to be a fabulous addition to the profession. And Emily, your time here was just too short. You took such good care of me and I'm thankful for every bottle of water you brought to me! I miss your smiling face and as I looked over the pics of you scrubbing the OR, I am so ever thankful that you came. You made a difference!
And what a delight to get to know Karlyn....Rachel's beautiful daughter! What a joy she was to get to know and I do look forward to another trip together anytime! Garret is still here as the hurricane warnings cancelled his flight on the 23rd and so he gets to experience a bit more of Haiti. Right now he's up in Borel with Sara and Peter at the Project Help site where the new water filtration site will be. I'm hoping to get there myself sometime this fall. Some of you met them when they visited the church this spring.
Our week with the surgical team from Nebraska from Aug 5-13 totally exhausted us all. We were the pre/post-op team from 0600 til usually 2200 each day. It was hard working in the heat, in conditions that were trying as they weren't familiar, learning the language as we went, laughing a lot, taking some pics, hugging the kids, trying to have an empty bed ready for the next post-op coming. Karlyn was a brick with her critical care skills and I know Joel and Garret learned a lot working with her.
We collapsed for a couple of days.....by sightseeing in the market, playing with the 19 kids at Annie's orphanage where we were staying, going up to OSAPO and meeting the amazing Haitian crew up there that I'll be working with this fall. WOW! is all I can say. God has been with us all the way, protecting us, soothing us, loving us, showing how we can help.
Em was the first to go home on the 15th....and I know Sean was glad to have her back. I'm sure it was tough on him being the one left behind to work and worry! Then Karlyn left on the 18th. She went into Port with Dr. Gardy after we worked the day at OSAPO with him. She stayed at his home in PAP and was treated royally before they took her to the airport the next morning. Joel then left on the 20th. God gave me a wonderful gift that day as we were given the day to spend together at a beach resort. It had been so busy up until then with events and people around and I truly loved having a few hours alone with him.....reminiscing and debriefing and loving our time together! Thank you God for the gift of my son! : )
I'm living at Annie's orphanage now and have even been given keys to the truck. I've driven a bit and have survived!!! It's absolutely impossible to describe accurately what it's like to drive here. At any one time there could be 4 vehicles coming at you on a 2 lane road and all of them honking their horns to clear the way! Enough said!!!!
And now sadly I have to go......my ride is coming soon. I pray that this will send. I'm having trouble with my email and struggled with it for the past 2 hours. Blessings to you all. May you all be filled with peace and joy in your hearts. We have soooooo much to be thankful for.
xoxo Judy

Posted by jdouglas 16:59 Comments (0)

Getting ready again...........

Dear family and friends........
Here it is almost mid-June and I'm in the "prep" mode again! Time has flown by this winter teaching....I don't know where May went. This was my 3rd year with the nursing students and it seems each year I add more things into the curriculm that I want to share with them. And now they're all in jobs for the summer, anxiously awaiting their hospital practicums this fall. I pray that I have prepared them well enough.
And now my thoughts turn to Haiti and this morning I decided to check out the blog site and refamiliarize myself with it. I got tears in my eyes as I reread some of the stories again. I remember well that day on the cholera ward and seeing that beautiful little girl sitting up! Again cholera has hit Haiti. Dr. Gardy has had to put a hold on the building of the guest house at the Rousseau Clinic as they have so many people arriving sick. It started again May 10 and hasn't eased up. The rainy season has brought it on again as waterways are being recontaminated with the bacteria. Haiti will be a long time getting rid of it!!
My friends Sara and Peter have started up the new water filtration project.......please check them out at
We are all excited that now a second site is being developed which will make even more filters for the people and also will be a place of employment for some!! What a win-win situation! I'll be visiting them in Borel when I go back. Peter has also started a "composting toilet" building project as they know that if we don't work on the management of waste, the water will always and forever get recontaminated!!! He is an engineer and is using his skills daily. What a gift he and Sara are to Haiti! As always, God knew what he was doing! : )
I want to thank everyone again who contributed to the garage sale we held in May and also to Margaret Penner and the staff at CURVES COLDSTREAM for holding their amazing "pre-loved clothing" sale. Between the 2 events, I now have almost $1500 to buy supplies here and/or take with me to Haiti to help buy there what is needed. THANK YOU TO ALL!!!!
I am hoping to rent my house out again for August til December 2011 as that will help immensely with my living expenses in Haiti....and also keep my house safe while I am gone. Please pass my name onto anyone you know who might be interested.
I am filled with joy with the anticipation of going to Haiti again. I am so blessed to be able to serve our Lord in this way....
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD" Jeremiah 29:11
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
Since 1994, I have believed these words.....and wrote in my Bible..."God has a wonderful path chosen for me and my passion will be in discovering that path."
I am so very grateful for all the paths I have been taken on since then and I look forward to trekking down many more.
But now my yard beckons for attention.....life goes on amidst preparations!
Blessings to all...........Judy

Posted by jdouglas 09:59 Archived in Haiti Comments (1)

Merry Christmas

Hello to all as I write this from my computer at home in Vernon! Yes I made it home on the 15th.....to the snow and cold and brrrrrrrr!!! But I'm happy to be connecting again with friends and family and soon Joel and Sean and Emily will be here. I am truly blessed.
I am excited about the plans that God has placed in my head and look forward to working on getting a team together for sometime in 2011. I'll be in touch with Dr. Gardy in Rousseau, Haiti at his clinic and go from there. Please pray that I will be discerning and that I will listen to what God is telling me and not just go ahead with "my" plans. I know where my help comes from ......


"I lift up my eyes to the hills--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you--
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

What a glorious promise to live by.....and so this beautiful Christmas season as we all remember Christ's birth and God's love for us all, I pray for peace and love and joy to fill all your hearts.
I think I'll try to carry on with this blog as I prepare to go back to Haiti....so stay tuned and please remember to pray for the team to come.
Blessings to all.........xo Judy

Posted by jdouglas 10:47 Comments (0)

Email post from a friend Ann

I have written about a woman named Annie that I've gotten to know here. She and I first got to know each other when we worked together at the cholera hospital in St Marc....which seems like many moons ago! She has a website www.bonsamaritan.org (or maybe it's .com) She's been coming to Haiti for 15 years and now has an orphanage here with about 14 kids. She lives in Michigan and spends about 5 months of the year in Haiti. She has a Haitian couple...Kwam and Lisa...as her partners at the orphanage and they are a huge blessing! I thought you might like to read her Christmas email that she's sent out........ She got home to Michigan before the election and is writing this from home. I just got an email from her with a picture taken of her lying on an airmattress on the frozen water in her above ground pool covered with snow.....wearing her bathing suit, working on "not losing her Haitian tan!!" She's quite a character and I grown to love her dearly. We will be working together again as God has laid a plan in my heart to organize an OR team to come back here in 2011. More about that later!!! Merry Christmas to all!!! Who knows.....the way things are going with the airlines here, I may be spending Christmas in Haiti!!! I truly do hope not but my ticket has been rebooked daily. Now it's looking like I'll be flying home Dec 15/16!!! Time will tell.........

On Dec 10, 2010, godbless@chartermi.net wrote:

Merriest Christmas as we celebrate His birth.

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Cholera hit Haiti so I made a sudden trip afraid for the children and
the whole country. I have trouble hearing God sometimes and want to
learn to listen better but when I arrived I heard Him tell me I need to
go work at the hospital that you saw on TV. I even argued with Him in my
head saying I would do something else but that just wasn’t my thing to
actually care for cholera and help treat the people let alone third
shift. When I told Kwam my partner that I was going to work at the
hospital his reply was’ “You’re joking right?” :-) At that time I wish I
was joking because I was afraid also.

What a blessing it was for me to go and serve and learn all about
cholera and pray with the people and care for them. A new friend from
Canada worked with me and what a blessing Judy was. God allowed us rest
during the day and stayed by my side to give me great strength to do the
job. I just had to stay in His presence and it was an easy task. It is
true it is Him not us.

Some people need as many as 4 IV’s because they dehydrate so quickly
thru diarrhea and vomiting. You must get fluids in them quickly. A
pastors wife in the mountains started vomiting with diarrhea and was
dead within 24 hours. They have six children. Often they cannot get to a
clinic in time, it is too far to travel.

We had Christmas with the children thanks to Sharron Davis from Texas
who organized gifts for all the kids and mailed them to my house so I
could take them to Haiti. We did it early as to not spoil their real
Christmas and I wanted to be there. They do not give Christmas gifts in
Haiti. They spend the whole day celebrating His birth.

We had a group come from Nebraska during Thanksgiving. They fixed many
wells with the well drillers. It worked out perfect and there were three
pastors with us. We all had a wonderful time. If you want to come to
Haiti and help just let me know.

I brought a black lab puppy on the plane and the kids love him and he
will be a great watchdog for the orphanage. We named him Abraham. God
gave us favor for the temperature to be over 45 degrees the morning we
flew from Detroit.

My husband and I return December 31st. Mark will build the kids wooden
bunk beds, build a new railing for the stairs and other projects that
need to be done. The well drillers will be at the orphanage too so many
more wells will be fixed and a few new ones drilled. This is clean water
that saves lives.

I am working on getting Bidiory, age 7, a medical visa for Detroit
Children’s Hospital to fix his club feet. Please pray he can get the
help he needs. He is the sweetest little boy and it is heartbreaking to
see him walk on all fours like a monkey. But is he fast and can play

An anonymous person graciously donated $10,000 to buy a truck. Our truck
is a 1986 that keeps breaking down. We did fine a Ford Ranger made in
Japan with a Nissan motor 2009 four door with only 21,000 miles on it
that a Haitian is willing to sell for $20,000 so he can move to Canada
which is a fantastic deal so please pray we can purchase this truck.
Also the owner of our huge house that can fit 60 children just agreed to
sell it to us for about $200,000. We only have enough to pay our yearly
rent and support the kids that we have right now but I KNOW God will
find a way and it is up to HIM.. Dream big and it will happen.

We keep getting blessed thru people like you that keep on giving and
that is what it takes to have this mission. You are wonderful
missionaries also and how can I thank you enough? My life has never
been happier and the blessings keep coming. I am learning to pray
boldly with strangers everywhere I go even here in Michigan. This woman
used our Lord’s name is vain today at a store and I told her please say
that it offends me. She apologized and we ended up praying together
right there in the aisle and she had tears in her eyes and thanked me.

So let’s keep praying, giving and working for Jesus because I can think
of no greater joy! I will be in Haiti January, February and part of
March so call or email if you want to come visit.

Pray without ceasing, Ann Hume

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.....
Proverbs 3:5


Posted by jdouglas 07:47 Comments (1)

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