2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Mixed Emotions

Mixed Emotions

Where to even begin… I’ve been itchy to write a post the past few days not only for everyone to read but so I can kind of get some stuff off my chest. I’ve had some great friends that have endured my… pardon my language bitching back at home and in Haiti. I think I’m finally starting to understand the “Love Haiti relationship” thing that Haiti pushes upon you. Recently I’ve been having mixed emotions not anything to be concerned about. There’s been a lot that has happened in the past few days whether at home or here that have had some what of an impacted on my mood. I’ve noticed in the morning recently I wake up exhausted despite having the proper amount of rest, but later in the day things get better once I start playing with the kids my mood is lifted. A blog or 2 ago I mentioned home sickness, I think it’s more of a reality now. To be honest I used to hold not getting home sick when ever I traveled as a prideful thing but now I’m starting to accept it. Even though at times I get home sick I still want to be here, it’s what I signed up for and it’s what I truly enjoy doing. I just want to say thanks to everyone that has had to listen to me whether it was something small or big!

Everyday it seems like someone is getting hurt (physically) and that I have to bandage them up. I don’t want to say it good but it’s good for me to be able to help people out since I don’t have the incredible stamina the kids have when it comes to playing in the sun.

I was talking about doing activities with the kids this week, and I’ve found some stuff to make paper bag puppets… I’m not very artistic when it comes to crafts… photography is another story.

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The other day a few things got stuck on the roof like some parachute toys and a batman doll, so I hiked up my short and climbed up (it really was a lot easier than I though/ safer). Once I got atop the roof the view was actually super nice. I packed up my gear once I came down and headed back up for some photo’s. Take a look, click the picture for a better look.

Panarama Ke Kontan

Click link below to enlarge Panoramic View

Click Here for full size Panoramic Picture

New Endeavors

New Endeavors

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Me working oh so hard! (It was actually really really hot that day)

Christmas in Haiti was definitely not something I’m used to, for example the snow that Windsor (home) got it was for sure too hot here for snow… pushing 85 Fahrenheit maybe more. The morning started by Emily’s friends coming over and picking her up and throwing her in the car… well not throw but you get the jyst/gist? of it. Then they told me to get in or they’ll do the same to me, all in good fun. So that whole morning the joke was Emily and I were kidnapped (Don’t worry there was people at the house watching the kids). The morning was great it was definitely a twist on the Holidays, we partied to music on the radio and stopped at a barber shop type hang out, had a Prestige or 2 and then were bought free food :). After wards we were dropped back off at home… best holiday kidnapping ever!

Emily went home to Canada on the 26th so that leaves me with the kids; Val and the nanny are still here. Emily and I had kind of talked before I came to Haiti about me staying here while she goes to Canada for a bit so that she can relax and get some family time. Although I already missed Xmas with family, won’t be spending New Years with them or friends and unfortunately missing my sister’s, brother’s & mum’s birthday, I’m kind of okay with it. I understand these are big events back home but since being in Haiti I find a lot of things back home as much as fun as they are don’t need to have such importance “forced” upon them.

Just the other day I was on Skype listening to a disciplinary argument and the person being spoken to was trying to defend themselves to the teeth which really wasn’t necessary, really she should have just accepted her mistake and moved on; she wasn’t even in any trouble. One of my concerns for when I return home is how frustrated I’m going to get when I hear people complain. Before I ever came to Haiti I was already really laid back and usually just accepted things if I had done something wrong and went from there. Since being in Haiti I think it may drive me crazy hearing people complain about stuff and just become frustrated with them. I understand that they have probably never dealt with sporadic power that the government decides when you need it, or to pay for water to take showers and if you run out you have to wait for the water truck, or especially worry about purchasing clean drinking water as to not get Cholera of Malaria. I’m not saying you can’t complain just try and think about what you’re actually complaining about; but I digress.

Let’s lighten up the mood of this blog! So Emily went home the other day and I have to try and come up with some activities for the kids while she’s gone. The kids got a bike for Christmas and the training wheels came off the same day, our yard isn’t really flat, there’s a big slope so it just caused issues for learning to ride on 2 wheels. The boys have already figured out how to ride on 2 wheels but today Jenny tried and she wasn’t able to. I attempted to teach her and she got a little better but eventually gave up. I understand the frustration because there isn’t much room to practice especially trying to learn on a hill.

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Wendel & the new bike

So example of sporadic power… the power went out, the computer shut off and I lost half of my blog. I re-wrote it as best as possible but now using the solar charger. Don’t forget to be thankful and try and drop the petty arguments you have with co-workers or friends :). Just want to add don’t feel sorry because it’s not what you’re used to, just be thankful.

I attempted to watch a movie with a few of the kids, I have to say it wasn’t as fun as I expected. Christine for one never stops talking… as usual and Norens likes to stick his head in front of the screen, even when you tell him to move back he does but only for 2 minutes before he slowly creeps back in front of it again. Despite all the troubles I faced watching a movie with them it was not that bad. Oh I forgot to mention half way through the movie they get bored and want to watch another movie… Oh they joy… to be honest I don’t think I’d ever been so excited for a movie to end. Lesson learned just let them watch a movie on their own, and I’ll watch movies by my self.

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Norens & his tower

Powers back on 🙂

This afternoon Maeve and I went to the market so we could pick up some food and so I could get some apples for Val. We ended up getting as Maeve puts it “Crunchy Bread” (baguette) and ham with cream cheese. Got home and made some super delicious sandwiches… I’m not saying spaghetti and hot dogs aren’t super yummy (inset sarcasm font to previous statement)-_- , but the sandwich’s were amazing! I also got some mini Reese’s peanut butter cups… they melted by the time we got home but I tossed em’ in the freezer and they should be good to eat soon! (They were scrumptious)

The chicken eggs I’ve been talking about… I don’t think they’re going to hatch -_-. Val says give it another week I think he’s wrong, it’s already been more than 21 days that it usually takes for eggs to hatch. One more week and I’m tossing them and Ms. Chicken can give it another go.

Our chicken

Our chicken

If you’ve been following my Facebook at all here and there I mention getting hot dogs from the street/ around the corner and Emily keeps joking about getting Cholera or something of the sort here’s what they look like… But they taste AMAZING! (For those who think joking about Cholera and Malaria are not funny… it’s just a humour you pick up in Haiti. You have to try and make your own comedic relief) 

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Yummy Yummy Yummy!

I’m sure there’s bound to be many strange and exciting adventures while Emily’s in Canada so keep on checking in.

“What’s a great adventure without someone to share it with?”

Thanks everyone for following! Here’s some neat photo’s I took the other night.

 

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Merry Christmas From Haiti

Hello everyone just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan, I hope you all have a great day!

Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan

Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan

Here’s a message from Emily(Also check out her recent blog post):

Merry Christmas everyone !!! Hope you are all enjoying family time, gifts, and awesome food. However, please remember how fortunate you are today and also take some time to think of those who are not. This morning was probably one of my best Christmas mornings yet .. Mwen remen Ayiti ! … And also please think of me and my volunteers as you enjoy your nice dinners .. As we will once again be enjoying our chicken and rice 😉

Emily Hime’s “Christmas in Haiti” post

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The morning was really slow the kids took their time they weren’t really excited, even when they saw a tree full of gifts. Emily myself and the 2 volunteers got the kids to sit down and handed them presents, once they started opening gifts the smiles started to shine and Christmas was really here. This was my first Christmas away from home and I have to say it was just as great as every other Xmas… well I might miss some of the great food but still the smiles were gift enough for me!

The kids are now off playing with their mountain of gifts and I’m waiting to Skype with family and friends.

Jodline

Jodline

I wish Niki and Haley a happy holiday’s and safe trip home today.

Once again Happy Holidays!

 

 

Christmas In Haiti

It’s Christmas eve (Dec 24th) I’m still in Haiti and to me it still doesn’t seem like tomorrow is Xmas. It’s kinda of neat to not see the houses/ streets littered with Christmas lights, I don’t mean it in a bad way though. It’s cool to see the random houses here and there, that are really lit up. There’s not really a half way done house, it’s either fully decked out or not at all. The people in the streets are still in the festive spirit or so it seems, a lot of people are wearing Santa hats. I’ve got to say I really won’t miss the last minute shopping needed to be done as well as the traffic of all the other people scurrying to get it done. For those of you reading this did you get your last minute things purchased? Well what are are you waiting for go and get it! (Worst case scenario take one of the beautiful pictures I have on my blogs or Facebook Page; print them out and write I love you on it and use that.)

Write something like "There's no one I'd rather spend my Holiday with than with my (add relationship with person here[Mother, Best friend etc...])

Write something like “There’s no one I’d rather spend my Holiday’s with than with my (add relationship with person here[Mother, Best friend etc…])

Like I’ve said in a previous post I don’t really get excited for big Holiday’s such a Christmas and birthday’s, of course I do enjoy getting presents and the kind greetings, but I really do just try and enjoy the day and  everyone in it. I’m still on the fence of whether or not it’s weird being in Haiti for the Holidays, it just seems like summer most of the time.

Today Tom (one of 3 volunteers) is heading back to the US. Emily plans on bringing myself and the 2 girls that came to bring presents for the kids, up to Mission Baptist (up in the mountains) so they can buy some souvenirs for home since they head back to Canada on the 25th (Tomorrow). I Don’t think I would want to go home on Christmas; it’s not that I’d be missing on the festivities but I would hate to kind of burden the people needed to come and get me.

Tyson & Maeve

Tyson & Maeve

I’m sure a lot of people like to make Christmas lists… me I’m not a fan. I usually don’t want anything and my mum always bugs me to make one, the problem is everything I want is usually really expensive so I hate asking for it. It’ll be nice to not have to make a list this year! But if anyone is interested to know what would be on it if there was one I’ll tell ya: I would like some money for Credits on my internet stick for while I’m in Haiti. You can look at it as an Xmas donation to keep my blogs coming if you want :). It’s just under $2 US a day to use the internet, and I don’t use it every day. If I did use it everyday it would cost about $47 US for the rest of my trip. Just let me know if you want to make a kind donation 🙂 (Click here for Contact info).

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I’m sure when I return home I’ll realize a lot more things, but since being here when I think of all the abundance people have where I’m from things are really taken for granted.  Even taking Christmas presents aside, we’ve been out of water, well low on water for the past 2 days, that means no running showers (that means bucket showers) and not much variety in food (water truck just came we have water again YAY). Back to the gifts part. A lot of the kids here are just happy to by cared for/about or even just get Candy Canes. Try giving your kids or a friend who is expecting a nice gift a Candy Cane for a present see how they react. I’m sure some people will be fine with it or even love it, but I think a lot of people will be upset and throw a tantrum… probably some adults too. The kids here at Kè Kontan are getting gifts this year thanks to the past few groups of volunteers who brought some, and who also gifted us with a Christmas tree.

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Things in Haiti aren’t easy but it’s the simplest of things that can make a difference and give someone a smile. This year for Christmas think about all the luxuries you have and they gifts you receive and be thankful. If you didn’t get the gifts you wanted just think about the people you get to be around, or even just the new day you get to be in. If you’re spending the day alone head out into the street give someone a gift card or a couple of bucks, just pick a stranger… the good feelings you may get might be the best gift of all .

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays and may your Festivities be as joyous as you expected. Another things I’m hoping for is that the kids don’t hurt themselves for one day… it 9 AM and I’ve already had to give out a Band-aid.

Justin - Val P - Emily

Justin – Val P – Emily

“ Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

~Mother Theresa

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Recently Kè Kontan has had a lot of volounteers and the house has been full. It’s nice to have a few extra people around, I get to save a bit of energy. The other day we went to the beach that was near the old orphanage, well the original place we planned on going didn’t work out (original beach).  The people/ kids that were living at the old place said they knew some where we could go. We ended up paying some people a couple of bucks to use their beach front for a bit. The water was really nice, we ended up moving a little further down because there was sea urchants.

The beach with Jelly Fish

The beach with Jelly Fish

Emily jumped in the water and just as I was about to jump in, she goes I just touched a jelly fish”. Emily ended up being stung by a jelly fish… let’s just say I held off jumping in right away. Emily was fine the jelly fish was just little itty bitty one. I found another spot to jump in, I was a bit paranoid but got used to it. As I was getting out there was a jelly fish that swam right where I was. I guess I just had good timing at choosing when to getting out.

On the way home from the beach.

On the way home from the beach.

So Emily and Val have been joking around a lot lately about finding me a Haitian “Mennaj” (girlfriend) *shakes head*. The big joke at first was to hook me up with the nanny… “she’s great with kids and you guys are the perfect height”. Most recently they decided that the girl that we get hot dogs from and internet credits from would be a great match. Oh the joys of being in Haiti too long. We’ve been having a great laugh about this… I wonder who it will be next week.

The past few days have been a little warm and I think it’s affecting everyone. My self the volounteers and Emily we all seem to be just that little bit more exhausted. I think the babies are feeling it too they seem to be crying more.

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Christmas is nearing and it really doesn’t feel like it. I arrived in Haiti late November when it was freezing out, now I’m in Haiti and it’s super warm and the idea of X-mas has kind of just slipped by. I keep reminding myself it’s only a few days away… I’ve never been away from home or out of the country for Christmas so this is a weird and cool experience at the same time. I’ve always tried to look at every “big event” such as Christmas and birthdays like every other day. I’m not saying don’t be excited just be glad that you are alive for another day and get to spend time with people in general.

Emily went out today with one of her friends so myself and the 2 volounteers went to the tent city and gave out some stuff to the families there. It’s pretty crazy to see how they are living and the way their “houses” are put together.

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I’m playing Scrabble with the volounteers and managed to pull of 44 points on one word I had to say I’ve really outdone myself this time!

I can’t think of much else to say but the Xmas tree looks nice the kids love it and can’t wait for Christmas so they can get their presents. The 2 girls that came recently brought a bunch of presents for the kids so they can have a great Christmas like what “we’re” used to.

Merry Christmas every one and Happy Holidays!

I’ll be posting more pictures on the Facebook page: www.fb.com/justinhime4help

Home Sickness

Home Sickness

The goal of this blog post is going to mainly be directed at home sickness.

I think a few people have brought up the question for me “are you home sick?” To me this question kind of has two answers to it, let me attempt to explain it.

First off I typically don’t get home sick, and when I think of it I never really have… let’s just clear things up, it’s not that I don’t miss anyone or don’t care for them, it’s very much the opposite. I love my mom, my family and my friends despite only having a few. The way I look at things, is I will see them again or that’s the expectation/ intention, or that I will be in contact with them . You don’t need to go through life seeing the people you care about all the time especially if you know you get to see them again. This stint in Haiti is a little longer than I’m normally away from people that are close to me, and I still find I’m not finding myself home sick… Kind of.

Recently I haven’t been online as much, as well haven’t been able to talk with my best friend. Weirdly I’ve been finding myself missing her and it’s rather strange for me to miss some one as stated above. I guess I’ve truly found a friend that I’ve finally confided in and that I’ve given my heart to and will always trust and love; not being able to share my experiences with her because we’re both busy or because of bad timing, has actually affected me and has me feeling I guess… home sick”.

The feeling I get does at times make me want to just go home for a day and say “hey, I miss you!” and give her the biggest hug and then head back to help Emily but… I think it would be a bit costly to do so haha.

I’ve done a lot of growing personally in the past 3 – 4 years, from my dad passing away, to going to detox and come to think of it even meeting Krystina (best friend); Haiti is also having an affect on me as well emotionally I think… come on I cried a little leaving my mom in the airport, that is so not the normal me, but I digress. The past few days I’ve been trying to figure out the lesson or meaning behind the feelings and how I’ve been dealing with them. I think today it may have sunk in a bit and that maybe I was feeling a little scared of being vulnerable in a different country away from my comforts so to speak. Normally I’m fine with being vulnerable but that’s back at home with my friends or my bedroom or car… all my comforts. Haiti has a hard edge to it I find but also a softness, I think now I’m coming to grips with; it’s okay to be open with yourself even in the uncomfortable places.

Some ways I think are good to deal with home sickness;I’ll try to cover for anyone who may be gearing up to travel, planning to or even are already out in the “wilderness”. First: I want to say look to God, He’ll always be there for you even when you don’t think of Him. Just take a second or two to pray. Second: Take time to yourself, have “quiet time” (this can even be a nap!), put on music sit on your bed/cot/floor-mat, where ever! Find your self a “safe place”, at home my safe place is usually my car or near water. In Haiti my safe place is usually outside or just somewhere quiet. Lastly: If you have a friend or family member you are close to TALK. Talking is one of the best ways to get emotions out and help you get past some of the roughest times. Oh I also forgot write things down, you can read it after or you can burn it so no one ever see’s it, what ever you feel works for you.

One last thing I want to share I’m sure you can tie it into home sickness somehow but I liked this proverb: “Spilled water isn’t picked up”. Pretty much what this means is that you shouldn’t sweat the small things that have happened even sometimes the big things. Just read it over a few times and think about it.

Have a great day/ night everyone.

Miss you Tee.

Krystina & I
Krystina & I
Broken Eye Balls ❤

Days Become Weeks

Days Become Weeks

This post was a little delayed being posted because I wanted to add pictures since I don’t have a card reader and I didn’t have internet. Sorry still no photo’s I’ll update when I can

It’s been a few days since my last blog, much has happened it’s just hard to keep track of what has. There are so many things that go on in just a single day here at Kè Kontan.

Jodnice is out of the hospital for starters. We’re still trying to get her into the Children’s hospital… still no luck. The past few days that we’ve had Jodline without her sister because of the hospitalization she’s shown a lot “growing” she actually laughs now, and wants to play; Emily and I seem to think it’s because she felt she lacked attention when her sister was around (I feel like I already wrote about that in my last blog, oh well).

It seems everyone around the house has been sick… except me *knock on wood* . Sorry don’t have much else to report on that.

I started working on the back corner of the backyard for the chicken coop that Val and I are supposed to make. Let’s just say the garbage never seems to stop showing up, I’m pretty certain that’s where the last tenants used to throw/burn… most likely just bury their garbage. I actually mentioned in one of my previous blogs, before I arrived in Haiti about the garbage issue that there’s here, not from personal experience at the time but from another blog I had read from other people who had been living in Haiti for many years. The analogy that was given went along the lines of “using a garbage pick to pick up garbage in Haiti is like trying to clean grease out of a pan with a fork.” Today I think I felt this analogy, I would finally think I cleared out the area or a section and pull up another layer of trash and then another… and then 3 more layers. Let’s just says to give the chickens a clean area to live it may take a few days. I’m hoping I get it cleared by the time the eggs hatch.

Pardon on my writing, I’m on a slight sugar high right now, Emily and I and a few of the kids made a Gingerbread House. Eating that thing is the most sugar I’ve eaten in… I want to say years; Must say it was a blast and my section of the house turned out rather nice, Emily’s on the other hand I think she just wanted to hurry and make it so she could eat it. We’re both feeling the effects of way too much sugar. Side not the kids loved it, they’d never seen one before 🙂

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in a few days there’s going to be a large amount of volounteers showing up all at one, well within a few days of each other. We luckily found a cheap place to get some bunk beds which is great, saving money is key. We had to go through the downtown area to get to where we were buying the beds and let me tell you that was something else, seeing thousands of people within minutes and for a couple of miles as well, it was something else. By the time we returned back home I was exhausted,

There’s a lot of factors in Haiti that make you tired and the days turn in to weeks, you kind of lose track of the days in a sense. The heat alone sucks the life out of you despite it feeling great (I don’t miss the snow/ cold at home). Then you have the kids which run around non stop and seem to never run out of energy and drive you mad, but yet they make everything worth it. Any time you step out of the orphanage and go traveling the way I would describe it is “Over Stimulating” if that makes any sense? There’s so much to see and so much happening your mind can’t soak it all up. These are the major things I’ve found to drain you energy in a single day. I’m not complaining… well maybe a little, but you have to feel the bad before you can experience the good, so far I’ve felt more good than bad <3.

I know there’s probably a ton that I’ve missed on sharing with everyone but don’t worry there will be more blogs for you. I hope everyone is enjoying the reads so far.

“There’s no good without bad”

Usual problems

Usual problems

Sorry about the delay in blogging again, I think the theme for this post is pretty relevant. First off my computer screen won’t turn on… why? Great question I’d love to know as well since I had shut it off, then tried turning it on the following morning with that issue. In the mean time Emily was kind enough to lend me her spare computer to use. Now I can keep you up to date on things… well try anyway.

Thursday (Dec 6) Emily and I went to the hospital with the twins to get some more tests done. We got there super early to get things done and because they told us we had to be there in the morning. So the fun started when we got there. We got sent to one area waited for ever as Emily and I were passing out from being so tired it was around quarter to 7 AM. Finally the nurse got to us and sent us to the malnourished clinic where we didn’t need to go; After nurses from there found out what we needed we were sent back. I’m just going to cut this story short and tell you we got sent to about 4 other places in the hospital after that. Em and I eventually got to the right place and got the tests done. 4 hours at the hospital for something that took less than 20 minutes TIH (This is Haiti).

I learned TIH from Emily the other day after we went to the hospital for more test which weren’t even available during the weekend despite being told to return Saturday and Sunday. What had happened after we left is what brought on the TIH quote. We were headed back when the drive drove into a pot hole that was filled with water and we got stuck (by pot hole I mean hole 15” by about 20 feet”; I was worried that the engine would get flooded luckily it didn’t. Since we were stuck the driver yelled out to this huge dump truck driving by and asked him to back into us, as to push us further into the pot hole, but would get us un-stuck/ moving… it worked. Never really imagined myself being rear-ended by a dump truck into a flooded pot hole with 2 small infants in our arms.

Saturday night came around and we finally got power back! It only took 3 day maybe 4? I lost track. Our power system finally got fixed and it only cost us $25… this time. As I write this post I’m actually using my solar charger because despite the power being fixed, the government likes to choose when they feel you can have power.

Because my other computer broke I kind of lost track of what happened on what days, so I’m just going to throw out some random stuff that happened. The other day one of Emily’s friends came over to visit and it was a great visit first off because Maeve is a blast to hang with, secondly we got to blow of steam about all the nonsense we’ve been having to deal with; the hospital, lack of power, low water levels, and the desks being almost 2 weeks over due being finished. Later at night the 3 of us did some photo’s in the dark like shadow pictures and light painting :).

painting light Shadows

I recently got some video of us in traffic and how it flows in Haiti, this time it was rather smooth nothing too crazy. I plan on making a time lapse and posting it but unfortunately I won’t be able to post it until I return from Haiti and the end of January. I have to tell you the traffic and the way things work would probably baffle most of you and give the rest heart attacks.

The other day I played soccer with the kids from our orphanage and from the tent city. Soccer consists of a partially deflated basket ball, 1 ½ foot nets made of rocks, and kids that never run out of energy. I think I did rather well. I was exhausted and luckily my legs weren’t killing me the following day, It was so much fun though.

Today Sunday (Dec 9) the desks are almost done they just need some wood added so that you can sit on them and have a writing top. Some of the families from the tent city came over so that we could register them for our “non official” English classes (for the kids) since we’re not a registered school. I think we have almost a full class and it starts tomorrow so please pray for us and that all goes well!

So it’s super hot out today I’m in the sun so that I can get some colour and so the solar chargers stay charged a bit while I used the computer. I forgot to mention as well that the computer I’m using has to have a power source because the battery won’t charge. That means when the solar charger dies computer shuts off… Bring on the SUN! **UPDATE** My face got a little burnt.

Yesterday was the birthday of one of the girl who Emily used to take care of at the old orphanage, so today Emily invited the the girls from the old place that she used to take care of over so that we could have a party. We all just had lunch together, there was just the perfect amount of chairs which was great. Later tonight we are having pizza and I think we’ll have balloons too!

Lunch

Thanks again for following my blog every one have a great day.

Daily Routine

Daily Routine

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I’ve adjusted well to Haiti at least I think so. Things seem to have become routine, whether it’s a new problem appearing each day that Emily and I are trying to figure out, dealing with crying babies or laughing hysterically at something one of the kids did.

To date I don’t really have anything to complain about, it’s been a blast so far. The kids sometimes do get under your skin but then 5 minutes later they are doing something ridiculous.

There’s been a lot of progress since I’ve been here. Emily and I and Val have gone over some more rules and are making nice signs for the kids/ staff. I’ve been working on one of the gardens which are filled with rocks and I mean FILLED.

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I spent the past 2 days trying to clear our one of them, at least a section of one at the very least. I think the one part is ready for stuff to be planted… Hopefully something grows. During the whole process of making the garden plant-able I attempted to make a rake… I worked! For like 5 minutes then broke. It was a valiant effort I must say I’m still proud of how I made it with nothing but what was in the yard.

Emily and I have been talking about some things that we can do/ build and save us money; there’s a chicken that roams around our yard, I’ve been telling her it’s got to be laying eggs somewhere where, it has to… right? Well the other day we found a corner where it was laying those eggs. Em and I have talked about making a chicken coop and letting the eggs hatch so we can have lots and lots of chickens. If our plan works as we hope we’ll have free eggs and sometimes chicken to eatJ.

We’ve started to clear out the front yard garden area’s and plan on clearing the back yard which looks like a jungle, and a war zone of garbage… well the garbage isn’t that bad, but still needs some cleaning. We’re… Emily rather is expecting a bunch of volounteers in the next coming weeks and we plan on using them to help clear the yard and make her pretty.

Our electricity has still been troublesome but it’s supposed to be fixed soon. Luckily we have a generator so that we can run the water so we can cook and take showers… cold ones. I have to say I’m still adjusting to the cold showers but hey what ever gets you clean… plus it saves water because I’m in and out in 5 minutes. In Haiti saving water is actually important, if you don’t save it than you run out.

The other day Emily and I discovered some plantains and other fruits in the backyard that we’re not sure what they are; so despite all the hardships and non-sense the shows up every day there are some great things that happen too. With the plantains in the back yard and the garden ready for planting fruits/ vegetables there should be some good money saved (if things grow).

The little girls we picked up Jodline and Jodnice (1yr 2m) are starting to laugh and be lively. When we first picked them up they were pretty lethargic and didn’t like each other much, we’re assuming because they probably had to fight each other for food.  The girls are now laughing and even talking… as much as they can talk for being one. The girls seem to play with each other and are probably the best babies I’ve ever seen. When the girls cry the stop about 15 seconds later, they also love to roam around. They can walk but have to hold onto something.

Today (Dec 5) the kids from the tent city came over to play with our kids.  It’s a lot of fun when they come but things can get kind of crazy. After a while the kids can get to be a handful and things usually start to get out of control at the end of the night so we usually end up sending the kids home.

Today Emily and I sat out on the balcony to eat our dinner because there was no power in the house. Later Emily went to figure out how to turn on the generator since Val the one who usually does it was gone to school. Good news we got it figured it out and I was able to charge my computer and finish my blog for you!

View from balcony

View from balcony

Sorry about the delay in posts, things here are very relaxed well to an extent but also our daily routine isn’t very exciting I’ve just become accustomed to it. I have to keep remembering it’s not the norm for most people and is rather intriguing to others.

I want to thank everyone for the support to-date with donations or even just the likes on Facebook or views on my blog page.

So far I love it here and definitely see myself coming back in the future. A big thanks to Emily for making me feel welcome and not making me work TOO hard. Although she does make me give her a massage at least once a week :P.

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Emily has started an Indiegogo champagne to raise money for a vehicle. Please check out the site and donate if you can, there’s even perks for how much you donate!

http://www.indiegogo.com/kekontan

**UPDATE** Oh one last thing a friend of Emily has posted a request on Ellen Degeneres’ page requesting assistance, if you guys could click LIKE that would be great.

CLICK & LIKE!

“Play hard or work hard, you’ll be tired either way; the rewards are usually the same”

~Justin Parkinson

Cite Soleil

Cite Soleil

Day 2

Today (Nov. 29) Emily and I had to head to Cite Soleil to pick up 2 children who are malnourished and very underweight for a year and 2 months old. If I had to guess I would have said they were 5 months.

All day Emily and I took a tap tap around town It was pretty hot out but I have to say I didn’t mind sweating; I sure don’t miss the cold.

Em had to stop at Western Union so she could get some money for the driver to put gas in the tap tap. Before we headed off again we stopped at Epidor. The sandwiches were pretty good… when I first saw the sign it looked like the mascot was a joint turns out it was just a sub.

When I came to Haiti I was told by many people who had been here before to drop all expectations and I did; everything we do just kind of flows and feels “normal” as like I’ve been doing it for a while. Every so often I step back and go Wow in Canada this would never be happening such as not wearing seat belts holding the kids in the front seat or going into an intersection with cars going 6 different ways. All of this I didn’t feel shocked about until I stepped back for second and was like “hey this isn’t the norm.” at least not for me.

I think I’m adjusting well the only thing I think I’m trying to get used to is every one staring at the blanc I feel like I say a sign that says tourist. Other than that life is pretty nice so far.

We got back from our day in Cite Soleil and we were both tired, just looking at everything going on around you is pretty draining. The kids adjusted really well to the babies and happened to be very helpful.

I received some donations of clothing before I came and it’s already been put to use these little girls needed some clean clothes and we were able to provide them J.

Some of the kids from the tent city came over to play with the boys I took some photos and video while I was watching Jodline & Jodnice (the new baby girls). Christine has grown pretty fond of Justin Beiber (me) and likes to bug me for piggy back rides sometimes it’s hard to say no even when I’m exhausted because she’s so cute. I digress, Christine was sitting with me and wanted to take pictures of me taking care of the babies so I let her play with my camera for a bit… no pictures actually took :P. The boys saw that my camera was out and wanted to be filmed playing soccer, so I filmed them a bit. Later Don came over and insisted on filming so I guided him through it and the kids went nuts. After about 5 minutes of going all out they would run to Don and want to watch themselves, it was cute watching them laugh and talk about what they did.

Today the desks for the English classes were supposed to be made but I guess they got in trouble for using too much electricity from the welder… so there’s another small delay.

The night seemed to drag on, not really a bad thing but every time Em and I looked at the clock is was still 5:30 or 6:15. It was dark out so it felt like 10:30 since we were so drained, the heat and excitement all day tends to take it out of you, it’s starting to make since why Caribbean countries are so laid back.

We were playing domino’s eating and suddenly she was bit by something and kept biting her and was in her shirt. The biting went away then a few minutes later came back and was working down her shirt and I was joking about ants in her pants… sure enough whatever it was made it down to her pants, turns out it was an ants. I had a good laugh her felt bad but it was funny at the same time.

The two girls we brought in to take care of for a month until they are better are very well behaved and rarely wine but if food shows up they reach and reach. Another thing about these girls they are cute when sleeping but they seem to find their way to the concrete. Emily and I keep putting them on the mat but they must love the cold.

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There’s not much else going on right now just sitting around the table with Emily enjoying the what seems to be pretty much perfect shorts and T-shirt weather, not too hot/cold or humid J… Haha be jealous.

Safe Travels – Warm Welcomes

Safe Travels

Day 1

I made it to Haiti okay. During this whole trip and getting ready, people kept asking me if I was nervous or scared or anything and honestly I wasn’t. As the plane started to land my mind started to race and thoughts just exploding “What the hell am I doing?”. Once I got off the plane all of that went away and I was all good again. I got through security, one of the things I liked, and they did the same thing when I was in the Caymen Islands, as soon as you got off the plane there was music playing… live music.

I got all my suitcases and one of them the supports for it were shredded but that’s okay it just had books and paper which were not harmed. I grabbed my 3 bags totaling around 120 pounds and scurried out to the court yard which was filled with people a little overwhelming. I was promptly greeted by a taxi driver but Val (one of the workers at the orphanage) happened to show up.

We drove through the city and the culture, even the just atmosphere was like being in a movie, it’s still so surreal to me.

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I got to the orphanage and the kids were at school so it was really quiet. There was a nice sign saying welcome to Haiti Justin. Emily and I hung around for a bit I sorted out all the stuff that was donated and just relaxed, let everything soak in.

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Val was trying to get a SIM card to work in the iphone I got Emily but he didn’t cut it right the first time so he went out to the store to try and get it trimmed.  No luck as of today but tomorrow he’s going to try again. When he came back he picked up Christine (one of the children) from school she ran straight to me and gave me a kiss on the cheek (customary in Haiti).

Emily and I talked some more about nothing really, and then the kids finally showed up school and I was greeted by a hand shake by all the boys and a kiss on the cheek by Neica (Jenny).  The kids were surprisingly open and playful it was a nice welcome. Emily and I sat around joking with the kids for a bit. I finally decided to hit the sac for some rest around 3:30/4:00. I woke up and it was around 5:30 and was dark out I was groggy and could have sworn it was like 9 at night. I got myself out of bed and had some food, rice and beans, there as some sauce to with fish; I didn’t like the taste so I passed on that. I played some soccer/ kick ball with the boys and Christine and then went back to take another nap, I was still super drained. I’m pretty sure I only napped for like 30 minute.

My next nap was not too bad at one point Christine came in and I could feel her tracing my tattoo’s on my back with her finger; it was too hot to wear a shirt in bed… funny thing was I got cold at one point. Christine asked “es tu dormire?” (are you sleeping). I replied Oui (yes) and she left.

Christine came back about an hour or so later flicked on the lights and was standing in the door way smiling asking again “es tu dormir? This time I couldn’t stay no she was too cute so I pulled my butt out of bed. Christine stretched out her arm after I got up and said “Je veux designier” (I want to colour) because she saw one of the colouring books that was on my suitcase. We went through the books and found some to colour, I had to find Em because all the markers and crayons I guess were broken, we found some though.  Emily, Christine and I were colouring for a bit and eventually the boys showed up and started colouring themselves.  Don brought over a book where we started playing a drawing game and he had me pretty much beat until the end and then I think I got lucky… Didn’t matter though, he wrote his initials in my squares anyway so I guess he won haha.

Later I sat outside the house where Val was playing music and the kids were dancing and playing around in the yard. I checked my Facebook for a quick update and let people know I was okay. At this point Val took off somewhere and the kids were bugging me to play some Justin Beiber, so I put it on.

*Side note note* I guess when Emily told the Kids Justin from Canada is coming they thought it was Justin Beiber… sorry to disappoint, but a few of them still call be Justin Beiber for the fun of it.

Val came back and we went for a walk which we weren’t supposed to go on because it was dark out… I guess I won’t be doing that again sorry Emily.

I tried a Hatian Beer Prestige it was actually pretty good.

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I played around with the kids a little more and then it was time for them to go to bed and that’s pretty much where I’m left now Emily and I are just hanging out with Val. I just finished some left-overs that were from dinner, rice and beans. Posting my blog and going to bed.