Monday, March 26, 2007

When Will it Stop Raining in Cap-Haiten?

Hello Everyone,

Rain, rain and more rain!

First the good news: Thanks to generous donors, we can start the food program again, and keep it going until I return the first of July. The not so good news is that we've had two solid weeks of torrential rain and everything is soaked. It's supposed to rain again tonight. It's so humid, and wet, and there's been no sun, so nothing can dry out. We've even been flooded here at the house, so today we are going to buy some Clorox and brushes and scrub down the mould and mildew growing up the walls. After we have done our house, we will start on the neighbours and the kids' homes. Of course, this means that the stores in town will have had flood damage too, and the rice will be mouldy and buggy, and the prices will be up.

Why has it been raining here for two weeks? We've never had this before. People are saying it's more like November-December weather. Some houses have two feet of water in them. One fellow said that, with the garbage and pigs (manure) outside his front door, the water just floats it all into his house. One group at [mission] said they went outside the other morning to look at the sea. There seemed to be a lot of unusual stuff floating in it, and they couldn't figure out what it was. Then they realized that the 'stuff' was houses that had floated away. We haven't heard from some of our kids in two weeks, and some of them that live in this area must have been flooded out because their houses are near the water. We will try to track them down.

Last week, I found out that [girl student] was being abused, and placed her in another home. When she first came to us, she'd been abused by her father, who had killed her mother. For the first 6 months, she only spoke in whispers. Then about 3 weeks ago (right about when I broke my arm), we noticed that she'd gone back to speaking in whispers again. So last week, I talked to her, and found out that she was again being abused, and moved her to another home. I plan to go check on her today and make sure she is safe. I feel bad -- if I hadn't had this broken arm to deal with, I'm sure I would have noticed it sooner.

Also upsetting is that I found out one of the high schools where our kids go uses a leather strap to discipline the kids, beating them on the soles of their feet. From now on, before I enroll any kids in any school, I will screen schools and find out what their policy is on discipline.

Last week, I kept my appontment with the doctor to see about removing the cast. My arm is still very painful, so I insisted on x-rays before he removed the cast. That took another day, another trip and a long wait, but showed that the one bone in my wrist that I was told is broken is mending. But when the cast came off, and I looked at my hand, I knew something was not right. The back of that hand really hurts, and I have pain on either side of my wrist. Physiotherapy is too painful to endure. I think that there is more wrong with my arm than we know. I have no plans to return to Canada earlier than the end of April -- there's just too much to do here -- but will try to get an appointment with an ortho as soon as I get back. Meanwhile, the [OTC painkiller] helps a bit with the pain.

I did try to do email but when I got there, with all the rain, the connection was down. I will try to get to it as soon as we are done cleaning up here.

Until next time, Kenbe


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