Thursday, March 1, 2007

Food Program Suspended, Water Supply Woes, Eye Glasses -- Finally! Nursing Schools Info, and Waiting for Surgery

Hello Everyone,

(This is Karen, again.) I was able to speak to Sharon by phone at 8 a.m. today, and despite the poor connection, I got some more information on what's been happening in Cap-Haitien.

Due to lack of funds, Sharon says the food program will be suspended starting on Saturday and until further notice. There are donations in our Canadian bank, but unfortunately, with the sudden resignation of the treasurer in January, no one besides Sharon can now authorize an off-shore transfer. Board members will contact the bank to see what other arrangements can be made until new signing officers are approved when Sharon comes back to Canada this spring.

Modeline is still awaiting a date for her surgery, and goes every week to the hospital to see if any date has been set. Every week, she's told 'come back next week'.

Marlene (who hopes to go into nursing), and Sharon have been contacting private nursing schools and alumni to ascertain tuition costs, and to make sure these schools are government-accredited. The tuition for most nursing schools is about $500 USD a year; the unknown variable is the length of the practicum (one month or three), and therefore the funds needed for room, board and travel for that period as well as for during the school year. In the meantime, Marlene is staying with Sharon at night, to help her while her wrist is in the cast.

The boxes, including a number of dictionaries, that were shipped from Canada in November arrived in Cap-Haitien last week, so today Marlene will be sorting them, and getting them ready for distribution.

Around Christmas time, Sharon took several of the students to the hospital clinic to arrange to get their eyeglasses. The hospital referred two of them to a local private optician, and they had their glasses within a week. For some reason, the hospital ordered Edwina's glasses themselves; the glasses were lost in Petionville, but have now been found, and she should be able to pick them up today.

During the two weeks of rain, the reservoir sprung 5 leaks, and contaminated the water supply to the house, and well as leaking in through the roof. With an absentee landlord, they had to take care of this themselves, so they manually drained the reservoir and repaired the leaks. As Sharon said, this underscores the need to have place of our own, so that any improvements made benefit Starthrower students and staff, not a landlord.

Sharon says the doctor will remove her cast in three weeks, and that he recommends physiotherapy after that. Meanwhile, visitors are implored to overlook Sharon's less-than-kempt appearance while she is unable to maintain her customary grooming standards.

Sharon sounded in good spirit, and says she is grateful for the support of the local community following her accident. She fell off the bike at home, and knew immediately from the odd angle of her wrist that it was broken. She made her way back into the house, found her cell phone and called Brother James, who took her to the hospital. She also called Sister Rosemary and Jude (they have a vehicle), and they came to the hospital, then took her to the x-ray clinic (about an hour's drive), then back to the hospital for the cast. She is so thankful there was a doctor on call and she got prompt attention, and for the wonderful support from all concerned.

Until next time,
(Karen, for Sharon)

Edit// March 2 :: A big 'Thank You!' to those who responded so promptly with offers to help, especially Jan and friends in the U.S. who arranged a direct transfer of emergency funds, and Francilien, in the U.K. who is arranging a fundraiser half-marathon.

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