Apologies for the hiatus. I was felled by a mosquito. My arrival in Canada June 7 was via airplanes to wheelchairs. So grateful for those wheelchairs and the airline staff who arranged the "ground transportation" (WestJet and Air Turks and Caicos). The initial diagnosis of Dengue Fever proved to be erroneous. The latest mosquito virus called Chikungunya presents like Dengue. There is no vaccine or treatment for either. Chikungunya, however, goes into the tendons and joints. That's what I'm dealing with now. As I don't have a vehicle in Canada and depend on my feet to take me everywhere, the pain and swelling in my feet has temporarily sidelined me. Walking is excruciating but I am stubborn and push it every day. I'm contemplating a bicycle, although my home town of Orangeville is all hills. The pain and swelling in the wrists is receding. Chicungunya is the latest in a series of challenges I have encountered on my Haitian journey. It is a journey which has never been dull nor is this the last challenge, I suspect.
Thanks to those who have called and emailed. The overwhelming fatigue which is part of the package has made it difficult to reply but today there is energy. Hurray!! Thanks to those here who have driven me to appointments, shopped for me, taken me shopping when I began to improve and on and on.
Thanks also to friends Jeff and Brandy who organized and executed the most amazing fundraiser I have ever attended -- a house concert featuring Canadian singer, songwriter, storyteller extraordinaire Jeffery Michael Straker, accompanied by cellist Erika and guitarist Dustin. Jeffery travelled from Saskatchewan, his accompanists from Toronto. A full house of 38 were spellbound and completely absorbed by the talented trio. There are no adjectives which adequately describe the level of talent and charisma to which we were treated. If you are interested, one of those attending video taped one of the songs and it can be seen and heard at the following link:
|Jeff introduces musician Jeffery Straker to a full house of 38.|
(photo courtesy Pete Paterson)
Meanwhile in Haiti, both our drop in centers continue to function 7 days a week, under the direction of Auguste, our Director of Programs and center coordinators Lusnot (Cap-Haitien) and Edeline (Sen Rafayel).
|Lusnot prepares kasav for |
students in Cap.
|Assistant coordinator Adelaine prepares|
kasav in Sen Rafayel
Exam fever has taken over. Those who will write State National exams in July are still preparing. Those not writing nationals are finished and will begin our Summer program at the end of July. This program is at the request of students who want a head start on the upcoming year. Once everyone is finished writing, textbooks will be collected and our summer Book Renew program will begin, creating about 20 summer jobs for students interested in learning new skills and earning a paycheck.
|In Sen Rafayel, Gaby continues to prepare baccalaureate students for |
State National exams.
|Recreation breaks continue to be obligatory.|
These girls chose soccer.
Getting up and down the mountain continues to challenge staff. We never know when it will be clear sailing or we settle in for an unspecified wait while conflicts are resolved.
|Another protest on the mountainside means we sit and wait.|
|Our parking space in Cap serves as a secondary study space|
when the gallery and patio are in use.
|Sometimes 'recreation' is a game of dominoes.|
We not only have a great staff and motivated, hard working students we also have very clever dogs.
|Auguste teaches Sablo the intricacies of a stapler.|
When not working, Sablo likes the library. Here she peruses
Good to be back. I look forward to catching up with everyone. Safe travels this summer.