School is going a lot better than it was at the beginning. I have a better understanding of the curriculum and what each child is capable of. At first it was very hard to tell if they were goofing off, didn't understand the material, or didn't understand the instructions in English. Now I have a better time telling what the problem is and I can help them better. I think we're all learning how to work better with each other. It's cool to see the progress they make.
(p.s. it's taken me three days to write just this much because children cry a lot and are great at interrupting)
Speaking of crying, that's sometimes what I feel like doing around all of these children. There are SOO many of them and I never get a break. It's hard to be around people (especially little people) 24/7 with no time away. I uploaded a picture of my room and as you can see, there are huge bars for windows which the kids are not shy about peering in through and talking to me when I'm trying to take some time out. It's exhausting. Katie and I have been taking little walks in the afternoons if we can get both babies to sleep at the same time. I feel so refreshed after 15 minutes of being away from the kids. I think it's a tradition we need to keep up.
Yesterday Sue, Katie and I got to go to visit "Heartline Ministries." It's a really cool organization with resources for woman like a pregnancy center and a sewing program. It's only a 20 or 30 minute drive from Sue's. I had been there before on a different trip but this time one of the sewing classes was in session. That was really cool to see. If you'd like to learn more about Heartline there website is http://heartlineministries.org/
Today I actually sewed something that needed fixing. The little ties on the padding around the crib we bought were broken off so I decided to sew some new ones on. Now it stays up and I'm proud of my domesticness. I also have been crocheting wash clothes. I finished two so far. That's pretty handy too huh? Every second I get I try and learn how to cook from the woman who works here. Whenever she's making my favorite foods I get into the kitchen and pester her. She said she'll teach me like her mom taught her. :) I'm also getting good at mopping with a bucket of bleach water. I learned how to squeeze the mop out the right way. Apparently there's only one way to do it. Laundry in a bucket is fun too. I've been helping with that a little. The little girls give me lessons and love it.
It's very interesting to see the differences in how Americans do things and how Haitians do things. I've noticed it especially with the babies. I'm convinced the Haitian ladies here think I'm a bad "mom" to the boys. Katie asked one of the ladies the other day if she thought we were doing a bad job and the lady didn't say no.. Haha. With two babies there are often times when they both are hungry or need to be changed at the same time. I let one cry while I fix a bottle for the other or whatever needs to be done. Usually I get dirty stares. They tell me that crying is bad for their heads and that it will give them problems. It's also common for 500 people to come tell me the baby is crying. Even when I'm holding him.. Like I don't notice the piercing scream in my ear. I pretend not to know what they're talking about as a joke but they think I'm serious and point to the baby in my arms. I always act surprised.
I am financially responsible for the babies so I get to do all the shopping. I have had two people commit to giving monthly donations (big thanks to you guys!!!!) so that will cover most of the cost of the babies. It was fun to go to the store and stock up on formula, baby cereal, diapers, baby soap and the like. However, Sue is still in need of more donations if anyone is intersted. She calculated that she spends over $300 a week on food for the kids. She has needed to cut back on some things like eggs once a week because of lack of money.
If you'd like to donate you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will give you information on how to send me money. You can send your money through a non profit that Sue has worked with to get a tax write off. You can just send a check to them and they'll email me to let me know when they will wire the money to me.
Yesterday I found blood in Jackson's diaper. Sue contacted an American doctor that she knows and we are going to try and find a time to take the babies there. I am worried for the little guy but Sue says I shouldn't worry too much yet. We may take him on Tuesday if the doctor is available. It will cost me $100 for a taxi but Sue said that the doctor doesn't usually charge her anything. That is awesome. What's also awesome is that it's really close to the girls orphanage in Leogane so we can probably go visit them for a quick hello!
The house that I'm staying in is very nice but it's small for so many children. It'd hard too because the yard is paved and very small which leaves little room for the kids to play. It's located in more of an urban area and there's no place for the kids to get out. I was talking to Sue about wishing that she lived closer to a beach so we could take the kids. She told me that she has a Haitian friend who owns a private beach that she takes her kids to whenever she has the money. She pays someone to borrow their bus and they go spend the day swimming in the ocean. I think I may want to treat the kids (and myself!) to that in the next few weeks. I think they'd love a little break just as much as I would!
If you're the praying type, here are some things that you can be praying for:
-patience with the kids
-baby Jacksons health
-wisdom to know how to best teach the kids
-energy, especially after long, sleepless nights
-that God will use this country and its people to teach me more about him