In the Summer of 2010 I was one of many lucky people who had the opportunity to take a short trip to Haiti. I fell almost instantly in love and just can't keep myself away. I've spent about 11 months in Haiti since the first time I went two and a half years ago and my time there isn't over. I'm exploring my options on where to take my life from here but it WILL include Haiti in one form or another. This is where I record stories and thoughts about my experiences.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Party

Sorry I haven't written in a long time, things have been a little crazy around here. One of the workers went on vacation to visit her sister in the U.S. Anther worker's uncle died so she's been gone for a while. And the laundry lady's brother died so she hasn't come for a few days and won't be back for a few more. That means there's only one worker here to help us cook, clean, watch the kids, and do laundry. Plus, all the kids are still on break from school so there's no relief. Yikes! But we've been hanging in there and no one has died yet. Although, one of the BIG three year olds STEPPED on Jackson today while he was sleeping on the floor... I almost had a heart attack. Jackson wasn't hurt in the mishap thank God.

Anyway, today was the Christmas party for the kids at the orphanage that Sue works with. We go to the church there every Sunday. The orphanage has about 30 kids. The party was for all the parents of the kids from that orphanage. The party was festive and had cute decorations. There were even Christmas lights which I was excited about.

All the kids did little performances including singing, dancing, skits, and reciting poems. Some of our kids got to sing song in front of everyone which was cute to watch. Jenifer, Claudeson, Michaelle and Samantha said poems too. Let me just tell you, THAT was the best part. I think that the poems from our kids were spontaneous. I say that because Michaelle (age 8) said a poem which made everyone laugh. Her poem was about a chicken who took a big sh*t on the floor and made a mess. Sue was not happy. However, the workers and I couldn't stop laughing.

The pastor wanted Sue and I to get up to say a little something to all the people. They love introducing white people during gatherings like church or parties.. I hate talking in front of people but I did it anyway. And I did it in Creole too! Woop.

We got home late from the party and all the kids just climbed right into bed. It was almost 2 hours past their bedtime! I should have climbed into bed but instead I wrote a blog.

The next big event I'm looking forward to is that AMY MIRAMONTES IS COMING TO HAITI!!! I'm beyond excited to see her. I'm planning on going to Leogane with her so I'll get to see her AND the girls. Yay!

That's all for now folks, hope you had a wonderful Christmas like me!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

fete pou lekol paske nou preske genyen Nwel

The kids who go to school were having a Christmas party to celebrate the end of their mid term exams. The kids have been talking about it forever! There was good food, dancing, fancy outfits, and they even got a gift. I could tell that the kids who are home schooled were definitely jealous when the other kids talked about it. A few days ago, Jennifer suggested we have our own party at home. What a wonderful idea! So Sue and I put together a little party for them. On Tuesday morning, all the home schooled kids put on fancy outfits to "go" to the party here. It was sweet. Peter and SonSon changed their clothes about three times each before they were satisfied with their choice. Our party consisted of Christmas themed color-by-number, peanut butter cookie baking, dancing to Christmas music, watching the movie "Elf,"  and of course eating candy canes (thanks Amy!). I also let them open Christmas presents that my mom had sent. She sent three educational computer programs for us to use during school. We tried them out today and the kids LOVE THEM! It's going to be such a great tool to help the kids get acquainted with using computers as well as giving them a new way to be excited about learning. They're surprisingly quick learners so far for not being exposed to a computer ever before.

Christmas is right around the corner but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. The normal indicators of Christmas to me are not here. It's not cold, there's no extra traffic, I haven't been Christmas shopping, I haven't drank a cinnamon dolce latte out of a red starbucks cup, and I haven't driven down candy cane lane or gone to the drive through nativity (don't laugh fan). It's the strangest Christmas I've ever had. I am very thankful to be able to experience Christmas in a different way though. The biggest way that we will celebrate is by going to a party at a different orphanage. I'm very excited! The kids are too. Sometimes I miss the things from home that make Christmas feel like Christmas. But the more I think about it, the more I realize how unnecessary a lot of it is. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. But a lot of the things that make Christmas fun for me cost money money money.

Here is the contrast that I've been thinking about:

I could buy a Christmas tree for my house --or-- A kid could have one cup of milk a day for a month

I could buy three lattes from Starbucks --or-- I could send a kid to school for a month

I could buy a fancy bike for a kid --or-- I could enroll a Haitian child in school for a year

I could buy $100 worth of Christmas decorations --or-- I could buy a kid a uniform, books, and shoes for one school year

I really love Christmas, and I probably will buy Christmas presents for people next year. I probably will buy a Christmas tree and I probably will buy lattes from Starbucks. I'm not suggesting that anyone give up all their Christmas traditions. But I think it's important to remember at what costs those things come. According to one survey, people estimated that they would spend $646 on gifts this year for Christmas ( That's a lot of money! I know people get the "let's not be selfish" lecture every year around this time and I know that it's not a crime to buy your niece a nice Christmas gift. It's just something that's been on my heart more than ever this Christmas.

It's good to be in Haiti for Christmas. It's good to know that I can be happy without all those hallmark Christmas "necessities." It's good to see money being spent wisely and out of real necessity. It's good to be in a place where society isn't pressuring me to spend money on Christmas. I am hoping that by being here in Haiti, I can really make a change next year and be more wise about where my money goes. Not only for Christmas, but throughout the year. We are all aware of what real necessity is, I'm just blessed to see it first hand and let it affect me to the point of change.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Jackson and Noah in their shirts that I bought them. These shirts are a necessity for every Haitian  boy.

Bein' crazy

Friday, December 16, 2011

Living in Haiti with 18 children means…

Sometimes waking up every three hours to feed my infant twins
Killing spiders the size of my palm
Eating ants with every meal
Doing laundry by hand and missing the scent of tide
Falling asleep to the sound of singing and preaching at the church nearby
Waking up to the sound of dogs fighting over dirty diapers and garbage in the pile right outside my window
Sharing a bathroom with little boys (who pee on the seat regularly)
Showering in cold water
Learning Creole because I want to understand what my students are saying when they’re being sassy
Going to sleep at 8p.m. and waking up at 5a.m.
Getting weird ailments that 
Eating chicken bones
Being cold when it’s 70 degrees outside
Waking up to step in a puddle of pee from one of the many kids who pee the bed at night then cleaning them so they can go back to sleep in dry jammies
Being walked in on by a child while I’m showering 40% of the time
Finding pee in the bucket in my room that I use to give the babies a bath (a three year old ratted out her 2 year old friend as the culprit. Thanks for the tip Dianna!)
Sleeping in a twin bed with a three year old after I have taken her back to bed after the 3rd time
Fitting 24 people into a 8 passenger van
Learning to be less judgmental about a new culture
Playing every day and never running out of playmates (I often forget to play when I’m in the states)
Appreciating a cup of ice water like never before
Teaching and learning more in one day than I did in one week when I was home
Loving and being loved
Needing to rely on something bigger than myself to sort out many of the things I see here
Learning how unnecessary “stuff” is in life
Learning how to be appreciative of what I have and putting things into perspective
Being stressed and exhausted more then I have in my life but realizing that with God, all things are possible
And loving (almost!) every second of it!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's a chico kind of day

Left to right: Francesca, Dianna, Scheelanda, Bebej, Betchina, Mislanda, Juliette, and in the front is Samantha)
I LOVE these big smiles I get every day!

They love each other

Baby got his hair done. But he was mad and said he doesn't want to look like a girl.

Chico/styrofoam with cheese. Yum.
Life's been good here. The boys are getting HUGE and doing really well. School has been going surprisingly well. It's been a challenge to give attention to each of the five kids in different grades and at completely different ability levels but I'm getting it done. Usually I have a baby in my arms as well. It's a challenge but it's good for me and testing my patience. I've been trying to make an effort to get out and play and dance with the kids more too. One of the girls told me the other day that she likes it when other American's come to visit because they play more than I do. That made me really sad. I have to be in the house watching the babies most of the time though. I think the kids see me as wanting to be inside rather than playing with them and that is not the case. Therefore, I'm making an effort to go play whenever I can. I hope it will improve my relationship with all the kids. It's hard to balance the teacher/playmate/big sister aspect of being here. It's an interesting combo!

My friend Tom from Extollo arrived in Haiti the other day for some work and he came to visit me. He also came bearing gifts! Amy and my family sent some Christmas treats and presents with him. Tom took me out to lunch which was a nice break. Yay for Haiti hamburgers (or "yambagas" as they like to say) and french fries! After Tom left  I had the kids color some Christmas coloring pages and we ate the candy canes that Amy sent. They loved the candy canes almost as much as I did!

That's all I got for now!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bon Fete!

It's the boys birthday today! They're three months old now. Big kids almost.

I don't remember if I mentioned that all the kids were coughing and not feeling well but now everyone is pretty much better.

We made little booklets with the Christmas story for today's craft. That was fun.

Tomorrow a friend from the U.S. is coming to visit (if he can follow my directions to find the place... "turn right at the big pot hole, and left at the place with lots of tents")

I wish I had more to say but that's all that's all the updates I got.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Sheelanda, Bebej, Diana, and Francesca

We were decorating for Christmas...
Chicken, rice, bean sauce. My favorite meal!! Before...



our classroom
Sheelanda's birthday!
Noah (headband courtesy of Michaelle), Michaelle, and me

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's hard raising kids for someone else

I am starting to realize more and more how hard it's going to be to leave these baby boys. I'm with them 24/7 and take care of their every need. I love them so much and they love me. We're attached. Whenever I see their big smiles I think how hard it would be for me to even leave them for a week. How much harder will it be in 7 months when I know them that much more?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Busy busy!

Sue just left this morning to visit family in the State's for two weeks so I've been busy today. It was a good day though. I got through school with all five kids while watching Noah and Jackson. The kids are getting SO good at their lessons. I love teaching them.

Noah and Jackson are still sick but getting better. The other kids in the house are all sick too with a nasty cough. Nighttime is the worst for them. Poor things. Be praying for them!

I don't really have any other updates or exciting things to say. Oh, except that I got to watch Home Alone today and it was nice. And i learned two new songs in Creole.