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.

IMG_0026[1]

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

IMG_0006

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.

IMG_0009

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.

IMG_9984

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) 

IMG_0007

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.

 

IMG_9990 IMG_9995 IMG_9999

 

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

IMG_9960

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).

IMG_9877

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.

IMG_9943

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.

Haiti 2012 073

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.

Haiti 2012 008

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 ❤