Saturday, February 20, 2010

baby time!

milka and francis are having a BABY! woo! milka and francis are some friends we know through church.. maybe some of the most friendly, joyful people i have ever met. we are all super excited for them!

because jessi is, well, awesome.. she threw them a really fun baby shower. i don't know how jessi knows so many different games; they were so cute! games AND prizes AND treats. we had to guess what characteristics we think milka wants their baby to have. milka or francis' nose? whose sense of humor? whose intellect?

cara was the champ of identifying different powders (do you know your sugar from detergent?) and i can proudly say i can draw something that resembles a baby when there's a plate on my head.. there were so many games she'd prepared. pass the bo-bo (pacifier), match the sock race..

basically we are so happy for milka and francis! praise God their baby is coming into such a sweet community of people.

one of the treat tables

some gringas at the party

milka opening her gifts

..and if i were to give prizes:
  • best decorating team: rachel and jessi
  • hostess of the year: jessi
  • cutest pregnant person: milka
congratulations!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

critter magnet

ok i was just standing in our kitchen and had a little worm try to crawl in my underwear (yeah. SICK.) and i realized i actually must attract critters. i mean, really.. let me just give you some examples from lately:

  • ants- infested my room THREE times now. three times. i am talking literally hundreds of ants at a time..
  • worms- they're ALWAYS in my room and i've woken up to one crawling up my neck. gross.
  • rat- mystery poop appears on my bedroom floor but i haven't seen it.. yet.
  • banana spiders- the other night one was crawling on my FOOT while i was laying in bed (think size-of-your-palm big spider)
  • lizard- this one i don't mind. he doesn't bother me.. just lives in my closet
  • mosquitoes- every day. say 40 people are in a room with one mosquito.. it will find me. you probably think i am being dramatic but it is actually almost impressive how much i get bit.
  • little worm- you read the first paragraph. my underwear, really?
  • pregnant banana spiders- i have now killed 2.. and their babies that exploded all over the floor.

just call me a critter magnet.

2 other critter stories- anne killed TWO rats after waking up to one on her pillow (ewwww) and cara has woken up with a roach on her face. sick. sick. sick.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

toothless belly rolling

my little luis lost TWO teeth!

i wasn't there because i was sick in bed for a couple days but robin told me about how brave he was- pulled those suckers out by himself! he was pretty dang excited to show me on friday.. and then tell me he plans to pull a third. patience, boy. :)


now i'm not trying to brag about my boy BUT, not ONLY did he pull his own teeth out.. he had some new moves to show me.

belly dancer? i couldn't be any prouder.

video

Friday, February 12, 2010

cristina

cristina's last day was yesterday.. still processing what everything is actually going to look like without getting to be with her every week.

having worked for makarios since 2006, she holds a lot of history. she is a constant source of reminders about how everything has grown and of wisdom about how everything is. i was incredibly blessed to have her at the school with me as the other teacher. there are countless things i learned from her.. a ton, of course, about my kids and how to love and work with them, but there is so much more.

i have been trying for days to figure out how to accurately explain the woman she is. i always get stuck at the inadequacy of my words, but if i had to try..

cristina is deeply respected by EVERYONE who knows her. she really just has to open her mouth and people will listen. she is a pillar of wisdom. strength. passion. love. her strength is rooted in her unwavering faith in the Lord. she knows the Lord so deeply an listens to Him about everything. oh my gosh, you should hear her talk about the Lord and pray. she's brought me to tears so many times with the fire in her. she has been through so much pain but has only been strengthened and deepened in her trust in the Lord.

in everything she does or says, she carries herself and speaks with so much grace. so much beauty. her face brings joy and i swear her hugs are magic. cristina can walk up to me in the morning and just know exactly how i am.. and how to respond with so much love. she just knows.

i am so thankful for her tight hugs. laughter. listening ear. wisdom. pulling me aside to pray. bold questions. inside jokes. unspoken thoughts. trust. friendship. love.

i am sad. we know the Lord is calling her to move to the capital and just have to trust Him in that. trust Him with her family, a home, a job.. she is going to be a blessing for so many people. the Lord is going to use her to do beautiful things. i know that. i mean, she's cristina.. i'm just really going to miss her. my coworker. my friend. my sister.

here's a picture of her i really love:


i hope you all get to have a cristina sometime in your lives.

pray with me for her and her family and what this will all mean for them.

i love her. oh gosh, i will miss her..

Monday, February 8, 2010

popsicles and michael jackson

last thursday after school kendall, kim, lauren and i took a couple of our kids who don't go to public school to get POPSICLES! they played in the park and got chinola stickiness all over themselves..


THEN (my favorite part) we had the boys from chichigua (minus wilson) over to our apartment for some popcorn and a michael jackson DANCE PARTY! we totally get to hang with some of the coolest kids on the planet.. check out bernito. workin' it for the camera- yeeeah, b!

video

..and do you see memo on the floor in the background?

love these dudes.

Haiti (first part)

“how was haiti?” has been an interesting question to try to answer and i honestly still don’t know how to answer. i guess i will try to explain what we did while we were there. warning- i will try not to be too wordy, but this might be a bit long..

wednesday (jan 20th)
we made the decision to go. cara, kendall, rachel, gideon and i would be leaving friday for cap haitien (on the north coast of haiti) to take supplies to a couple, johanne and chris, who work for emmanuel’s wish foundation and are starting emmanuel’s wish orphanage. we would do everything we can to supply the orphanage with immediate needs and prepare the place for about 50 children.

we ran to puerto plata to buy some supplies we didn’t have already and had some beds made for the kids (this means having foam mats cut and rolled). we met at rachel’s to decide how to spend thursday preparing and made bags for every kid to have for their things.

our bag-making system at rachel's

thursday
in short- we ran around like crazy people getting ready from the time we got up almost to the early friday morning hours. rachel met gideon at the airport because he'd just gotten in from canada to make the trip. we were thankful to have all day to prepare (no school) because it was a holiday.

friday
5am- wake up! cara, kendall, and i left for rachel’s to finish packing her truck.
stars out, sun starting to come up, we were on the road. rachel’s truck and mine and cara’s car (good ol’ negrita). drive, drive, drive to dajabon where we would cross the border.

dajabon in a word on friday (market day): MADNESS. it took us FOUR hours to cross the border. in the middle of papers being checked, being sent from this office to that office, back to another line to pay this, another line to pay that.. in all that i was wondering how on earth chris was going to find us. he was supposed to meet us to drive us in but how would he find us in this mob of people? our cars could only move inches at a time bc there were so many people BUT he did! praise God. we were definitely the only gringos there, but i wouldn’t have known where to start looking.. thank you, Lord.

we started following chris and an hour and a half later we were in cap haitien. dusty, dusty. people moving everywhere. waiting at their house was johanne and their beautiful daughter, hannah. we unloaded negrita and rachel’s truck, ran to the store for something for dinner (no refrigerator makes it hard to keep things!), ate at the house and went to bed.

"driving" through the mob of people at the border

the border at dajabon

rachel's truck finally in haiti!

the stuff we brought from the DR

saturday
our first stop for the day was a “kresh” (forgive me. probably misspelled) where johanne used to work. it is kind of like a temporary orphanage. the idea is that all of these kids have somewhere to go. either they are being adopted and waiting for the process or their parent are temporarily unable to take care of them but want them back. we talked with the staff about their situation and played with some PRECIOUS kids!

after stopping by johanne’s old house to get a phone number, we went to a hospital where people from port au prince were being brought. across the street was a makeshift hospital (a school building- no more room in the hospital), which is where we went to give them chris and johanne’s information in case they need somewhere for kids. a man took us into some of the rooms. i don’t have the right words to describe it really. we can’t possibly understand their places or pain. i wish i could do more but the only thing i could even think to do was tickle one sweet girl who was playing with her bedpan. A smile won’t fix anything but maybe for a second relieve a bit? acknowledgment? no words. i still don’t know why we were taken to see what we did.

we left the hospital and went out to the site where chris and johanne are building a church. it was beautiful out there! after the church site, we got a late lunch/early dinner and then went into town to go to the haitien market. tons of people all over- it was wonderful. we bought some more sheet sets for the orphanage beds. thank goodness johanne was there to help us figure out how many gouds= haitien dollars= pesos= american dollars..

rachel and one of the sweet kids at the kresh

driving.. can you find the road? :)

site where they're building the church

the market downtown in cap haitien

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Haiti (continued..)

sunday
headed over to the house being rented that will be the orphanage. the space is going to be great for the children.. we spent the morning unloading everything we’d brought and setting it all up. we stored everything and got to lay out the beds and make them. because of the tight system right now, no kids were being released when johanne went to pick up the group we’d expected. we have to keep stepping and moving in faith even when we don’t know what will happen or when anything will happen. that afternoon we went to church and then back home to eat and rest together.

orphanage house

some of the beds all ready for someone to sleep on them :)

towels, toothpaste, shoes, medical suppies, etc

pulling stickers off the kitchen stuff. exciting.

johanne and chris
monday
drove to the orphanage house to move pepin (man who’d been staying there) out. after unloading all of pepin’s things, we went to a gym-turned-refugee-center to give chris and johanne’s information out. there we learned a lot of valuable information about how the system is erring on the side of caution about children, concern for diseases and aids spreading, who to contact in the UN about our team being there, etc.

downtown, we had some pictures printed of the orphanage to put with all of the information about chris and johanne’s place. we stopped at the market again before going back to the house where gideon set up a blog for chris and johanne.

gym where some people from port au prince were being sent

driving through cap haitien

tuesday
back to the DR. right back into the work we have been doing. literally 20 minutes after getting to the apartment, we had to leave for a staff dinner..

so thankful to know johanne and chris. they are incredible people and i know it that wont be the last time we see them. i am thankful we were able to bring supplies and set the orphanage up, but really.. i wrote about what we did to be able to share with you BUT truly it is NOT about what we did or do.

“ascribe to the Lord, o mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” ~psalm 29:1-2

i will continue to pray that it is HE who receives glory in all of this. thank you for your support and prayers. the Lord was absolutely with us.

if you made it all the way to the end of this- WOW. and high five. ☺