Bonjou tout moun [Hello Everyone!]
Auguste, who has been managing the center in my prolonged absence, informs me that everything at Lakay Fondasyon in Cap-Haitien is continuing to function well. However, when I return to Haiti in the spring, we will likely need to add another staff member, as not one of them has had a day off since I was airlifted out on October 10.
The staff have been wonderful. It was precisely this type of emergency situation for which I had been training them all these months. Their caring, conscientiousness and commitment, though, are all their own.
Alex and Esmann, two of our senior boys, have decided to enter a trade instead of continuing on in high school, mainly because they both have family members who could use financial support. I understand their reasoning, as both these young men didn't even begin primary school until they were in their teens.
Unfortunately they made this decision to change course after we had paid for their non refundable first trimeste fees and supplies. Auguste has tried to explain the advantage of their completing the year, but they are adamant that they need to get out and work. It will be an interesting conversation I'll have with them when we sit down in the spring.
Because of a teachers' strike in Haiti, some schools did not reopen until February was well under way. Once again the government had not paid teachers at state schools. Everyone from the ground up suffers; never those from the top down.
We are not distributing as much water as we were earlier this year. Many students who used to come for our water distribution program have not come to see us for a while, as they are very short of food. And when they are hungry, they just do not have the strength to walk for up to 2 hours to get to our centre. We need to find a way to break this cycle of poverty permanently.
Patience is something that I have been working on since my first trip to Haiti, and I know I still have a ways to go, and that it's the journey not the destination. It is not easy to be patient, to keep working and waiting for things to improve. When you see the great need in Haiti -- for food, water, medical care, shelter, etc. -- the urge to do something RIGHT NOW is very strong. Just when I think I'm getting somewhere, the universe lets me know that I still have more work to do.
Instead of taking advantage of this down time while recuperating and waiting for the final surgery, I have been pining for Haiti, and missing the staff, the kids and the centre. Actually it would have been difficult to take advantage of the down time as my activities were so restricted. However, I return to St. Michael's hospital in Toronto today (Sunday, February 22) for two days of tests. If the tests results are good, then the reversal surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning (February 25).
To those who await emails, thank you for YOUR patience. I developed another abscess on the bowel 2 weeks ago and the pain literally takes my breath away at times. Putting together coherent emails was just not possible. This week while on medication for the abscess, Lesley, one of the amazing nurses from St. Elizabeth health care, noticed that I had developed an eye infection. When I queried, "How can this be happening?" she replied, "A little thing called stress." And now, of course, I am naturally concerned to be facing surgery again, but I have hope that this is the final hurdle to full recovery.
And on that note,, I will say one last thank you to all who have touched base during this time. And thanks so much for your continued support, emotionally and financially. If there is anything that Karen can help you with while I am unable to respond to emails, etc., then please contact her.
Beni-w tout moun (blessings to all)
Ala pwochen (until the next time)