7 days in…. And I’m feeling it.

A good friend of mine Liz is fasting to raise money to visit and aid children in Haiti. This isn’t her first trip or fast she’s done and I’m sure it’s not going to be her last. She’s powering through 4 weeks of fasting and plans on keeping everyone up to date. Here’s one of her posts.

My Blog

Today is day 7 of my Fasting to Feed. Initially, despite the hunger, being ‘hangry’ (hungry + cranky), and tired I was still feeling pretty good. I still had energy, and was able to continue with my day as if I was eating normally.

Lately however, I am not feeling that way. Since Wednesday I have been tired, not having the energy to go about my day regularly. One night I slept for 12 hours and still didn’t feel like it was enough. The headaches began on Tuesday and have continued. Mix that with the dizziness and it is not a good feeling.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining whatsoever. It is SO exciting knowing that I have made it though a week of fasting, and only have 3 weeks to go. It also is a wonderful reminder of how blessed we truly are in Canada. If I…

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Heated

The past few weeks and the next few to come have been and will be Heated, not just from the warming sun and humidity but emotions as well… for example I just wrote this whole blog and it closed on me and didn’t save at all!

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Emily and I have been really cracking down on getting things in order from paper work to the kids doing their duties. I think we’re both starting to get a little wound because we’re both taking off soon and leaving (temporarily) behind a place we love with all our hearts. Knowing that I have return date to  Canada makes things harder for me and I think that’s adding to why I’m feeling more upset when the kids don’t respect the rules and I feel disrespected. This morning I went around picking up all the toys left around the yard, and when the kids came home from school I brought them over and dumped it out in front of them. I gave them their final warning as Emily has already given them a heads up ‘If your toys are left out they will be given to kids who want them and respect them’. They had a bit of a shocked and ashamed look. Next I pulled out a bag of garbage (no I didn’t dump in out). I told them they need to start picking up the garbage when they see it and that respecting the house is of utmost importance. Needless to say they will be spending the next few hours doing clean up. Everything from the kids, government politic, to staff issues seems to have multiplied ten fold over night.529339_10152729453410022_1151837900_n

Not all things have been “bad” Emily and I did get to go Scuba diving, which I’ve really missed since I was in the Cayman Islands… and even in the cold Sarnia, Ontario waters. I managed to get pretty deep as far as my current license “allows” me and I saw some really neat rainbow fish and coral! The deeper I went the cooler it got (no pun intended).

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I have mixed emotions going home because I love it here despite all the craziness  but at the same time I’m excited to head home to catch up with friends (Don’t let Em fool you when she says I have no friends :P). I am also super excited for Electric Forest Festival 2013! I’ve worked EF for the past few years and this will be the first year I’m not part of the Work Exchange. Everyone there is like family 30,000+ people as one big family… I’ve met some of the best people there. I started making bracelets for myself and friends, picking up a new hobby for EF 2013 maybe make a buck or two selling some “bling” :). I’ve made so many I started to get blisters!

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The other day I managed to go visit a friend who runs Respire Haiti, we’d been trying to connect since I first got to Haiti approx 6 months ago… we finally got together and I had the chance to see the amazing place she’s built up.

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The days are flying by now that I have a confirmed return date. Once that day comes the job hunt begins and I start saving for my next adventure “across the pond

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Until next time: Keep your head up, push one foot forward and you’ve already begun your next journey

Don’t forget to Smile!

Take Off

Some of you know by now and to others this may be  a surprised but… I’m back in Haiti. I’ve made the quick decision to come back and have upset many people in the process. I apologize to all the people I have hurt by doing this, you hurt/ pain is what made this quick decision so tough to make.

I want to thank everyone who came together to raise the money to get me back to Haiti so quickly and thank you for the support!

I’ve begun to write a book about my life starting from a few years back. I’ve been writing close to 1000+ words a day and hope to have a decent sized book at least 30-40,000 words. I will be looking for a publisher at some point but will also be looking to publish on Kindle to make it more accessible and affordable. Thank you everyone who has complimented me on my blog writing; if I hadn’t received so many compliments on my blogs I don’t think I would have ever been motivated to write this book. It’s pretty much going to be a tell all of my life the insides and out. I will be exposing some of my craziest adventures and secrets and feel it will be a great ride for not only myself reliving them myself but to share it with others.

I finally got rid of the caveman/ Castaway beard… let the kids cut it for me… I have a hard time recognizing myself in the mirror!

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I’m still adjusting back to Haitian life but the good news is my stomach isn’t upset anymore… I think I’m just so used to the food here. I miss so many people and wish I could have shoved them in my suitcase or be on Skype with them every night. Unfortunately I don’t have internet all the time as I don’t have the funds to pay for it.

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Because I took off so quickly I wasn’t able to do any fundraising to help cover any costs. Once again I expect nothing from anyone as it was my choice to leave so quickly. If anyone would be interested in sponsoring me while I’m here or donating any amounts of money to aid my journey and time here I would be for ever grateful.  If you would like to contact me about making a donation or sponsorship you can email me at justinparkinson@hotmail.com or click the Donate button on the side menu. As always I can take donations for the Orphanage just leave a note as to where you’d like it to be used or I can forward you to Emily.

I love and miss so many people; hope everyone had a great Valentines day!

Choices you make have consequences whether good or bad you must always face them.

Haiti .

Haiti will build you up, tear you down; it will make you smile and feel things you never knew possible, and if you’re lucky Haiti will steal your heart.

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As most people know I’ve been having a hard time transitioning back into “normal” life, what ever that’s supposed to be? It was inevitable that I was going to return and a lot of people could see it in my eyes.

The first time I started to fundraise it took me close to 6 months to raise all the money I was aiming for… so I’ve decided what better time to start raising funds then the present! This time around I’ve set a rather sizeable goal of $5000. Once again this price will include the cost of my flight roughly $300-$400.

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Why have I decided to set such a large goal? Well when I was helping in Haiti I noticed the struggles we faced sometimes, a lot of it had to do with transportation and thus costing a large amount of money. The money being raise will help go towards Emily’s Vehicle Fund. During my fundraising to return to Haiti I will be forwarding some of the money to Em as it’s needed but still putting away so that I can travel and have my costs covered. Once the goal is reach I will be departing and possibly sooner.

I want to thank everyone who’s offered me a warm welcome back home especially it being absolutely freezing out! It’s nice to have people who care for you around especially when you’re going through a rough time. It’s funny because in Haiti every day, and I mean every day something goes wrong but you continue forward and you deal with it, it’s not much of a surprise. While at home when issue’s come up I find my self getting extremely stressed… it’s strange when I have anything and everything I could need/ want I stress when I’m in Haiti and have but a set of clothes for each day of the week and the smiles of the children I’m pretty much stress free.

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I’d done a little bit of updating to the site, there’s a new thermometer on the side bar <————————-

as well the donation button is back to the secure Just’in Hime For Help Paypal account. As always I will accept donations in person and the money as before will be put into a separate Credit Union account.

Oh let’s make things interesting how about once I hit $100 I shave my Cast Away beard :). I’ll even post a video of me doing it! I’m already brainstorming idea’s for new fundraising so keep checking in, and feel free to comment suggestions.

Bad Timing

The last week just flew by and a couple of weeks ago I would have been super glad. Remember that blog where I said I was home sick and wanted to home etc? I was really in a rut and wished I hadn’t booked my flight to be in late January. Since Julia got here and starting filming the closing of the documentary I guess things really started feeling real, that it’s all coming to an end. I feel like my timing is off and I shouldn’t be leaving.

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Emily recently asked me to stay, whether jokingly or not I really wish I could, but there’s a few things that need to be handled back in the cold land Canada. I’ve really grown an attachment for this country and the kids… and just everything Haitian. When the kids and even the nanny told me that they are going to miss me it kind of stuck a cord… I felt emotion. I’ve never really experienced emotion on a continuous basis it’s usually extremes, so Sad or Happy and only for short periods of time. This last week has been a long tug at my heart letting me know that I’ve grown and learned so much.

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On the weekend Emily, Julia and I went to Jacmel/ Bassin Bleu, it was so beautiful, long trip but worth it. We go to see Haitian beauty, stuff that you don’t see on the news it was so refreshing! I fought some fears jumped off a waterfall that was huge and swam in some cold but stunning blue water.

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Haiti has made a dent in my life and changed me for ever, I was a Dad, Nurse, handy-man among many other things. I think this chapter of my life will be one that is forever bookmarked and shared as long as I live.

This will probably be my last blog until I get home or maybe until my lay-over tomorrow since it’s 8 hours. I just want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement. I look forward to the continued support in the future when I decide to come back to Haiti… My second home <3.

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Try new things, experience life, regret nothing… just be happy with the choices you’ve made.

~Justin Parkinson

1st Leaking Into 3rd

1st leaking into 3rd

Things are going pretty well here at Kè Kontan; the days are starting to come to a close faster and faster as my trip is nearing its end.

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Most recently I’ve had some first world problems starting to leak into the 3rd world I’m in. It’s nothing of major concern for anyone but me really. I have to get my emissions test (Car) done for when I come home and with the work that’s been done on my car it may not pass… especially because of the newly implemented “Drive Clean” Program Ontario has set up.  I had saved some money for when I get home just so I can take a week or 2 off to acclimatize back to the 1st world. It looks like I’ll be spending most of my savings just getting my car in condition to pass the test; or fitted with the right parts rather. My car is newer and there’s nothing wrong with it, but the new testing is failing a lot of cars. The new margins for testing are 1.5 margin error compared to the approx. 4.5 it was before; that’s a rather substantial gap. I don’t want to bore people with car talk just wanted to throw my frustrations down for other people to hear :). A lot of it has to do with getting things working and having to try and do it over the internet and with my mom, who by the way is handling it very well. Her not knowing cars makes it somewhat of a challenge.

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I attempted to get on the internet to start writing this next blog but of course something is wrong… nothing new here. I’m writing in Word trying to solve the issue at the same time. Fingers crossed it works… I suppose if you are reading this I got it working… if not it’s creepy you’re able to read this *Glares into the sky*.

There was some snafu’s that happened with getting some kids into school (kids not in the orphanage) but it seems we got most of them ironed out. Unfortunately things are still shaky and trying to get sorted for one child who was blamed for something he didn’t do, so we may not be able to place him into school as of yet, keep him and I guess all of us here in your prayers thanks! Oh the English classes have resumed since the Holidays and I see new faces here and there as well… I see a lot of potential and it’s a lot of fun. There are a few kids not really getting the grips of it though… it’s like I’m speaking Chinese… or English haha.

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Lately there have been some new faces around with the kids from the outside… Starting to call it that as I don’t get to leave the walls of the orphanage/compound since Emily’s been gone, not very often anyway. There’s been a lot more screaming and surprisingly less scrapes… less Dr. Justin.  It’s a bit more of a chore keeping an eye on everyone and sorting things out but I’m managing.

As my trip draws near to the end, I anticipate once Julia arrives on the 22nd the time will FLY. I’m excited! Despite being back home and working the grind as usual. I’ll be back with people I’ve missed and sharing my silliness and sarcasm with them.

Tee and I

Tee & I

Jules & I

Jules & I

Guess what I fixed the internet… oh I love how good some things work out sometimes, especially in Haiti.

Just wanted to throw in a quick blog for everyone… because I’m sure some of you just sit at home waiting for me to post right….?

Be believing, be happy, don’t get discouraged. Things will work out.

~Gordon B Hinckley

Upgrades for Cheap

The past week or so there’s been a lot of work around the house little bits at a time. Today my self along with Val and his friend did an overhaul on the backyard. The day started off nothing to difficult. We received our new power source from a different project a couple of days ago… finally semi reliable power… for now. Val though that it would be good to install some lights around the back yard perimeter since it is pretty big and would be safer (The backyard is pretty huge). We picked up some light sockets and set a few up around the yard and wired them up!

Val turned to me while in the backyard and goes “Do you want to try and make a hammock?” I replied “You mean with the mosquito netting I suggested and you thought would not be strong enough?” (The company that donated the netting suggested hammocks with spare netting). Needless to say we went ahead and started to engineer some magic and voila we created an awesome hammock.

Val relaxing

Val relaxing

After we completed the project I turned to Val and made a comment about the garbage in the backyard that was near our nice new relaxation station; if you read one of my past blogs it talks about the layers upon layers of garbage. Anyway he said yeah no worries I’ll clean it even if I’m here all night.

Our genius engineering

Our genius engineering

The next endeavor started as the 3 of us began raking  and clearing the garbage as well as cutting off extra limbs from all the plantain tree’s and many other vegetation.  I won’t get into how we managed to dispose of the garbage let’s just call it Haitian Style. The yard looks amazing there’s still much work to do but it looks great.

The title of the blog I guess I should kind of explain it. Pretty much we paid nothing for all the work we did, other than the light sockets. We used rocks, left over netting and cord, then we strung everything up oh yeah and a ton of manual labour for garbage clearing.

Very successful day I mus say and when I had a shower the water was black; that’s how you know you worked hard… or just rolled around in the mud (I didn’t roll in the mud. I did get pretty dirty digging muddy drainage lines though :S).

I’d say the backyard has had an %80 improvement, give us another 7 or 8 hours and It would look just lovely (^_^). To finish off the day we chopped up some sugar cane that was growing in the backyard and snacked on that… first time I ever had it, it was actually pretty yummy :).

First time trying sugar cane.

First time trying sugar cane

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

~Colin Powell

So?

So, I find myself every time I’m starting a blog inclined to use the word so. Why? I had some time to think about that today when I was taking a ride to Cabare (doing a favour for a friend). I think I use the word so to “continue my story that I want to tell every one… and when I reflected on it I was thinking what is the definition of so?… I’ll give you a minute to think about it

———— Okay so I really didn’t know the definition off hand but I knew the context in which to use it but here’s the dictionary’s definition of the meaning I was using it for “in that or this manner or fashion”. Well that’s my rant about that.

As I stated earlier I went to Cabare today to do a favour for a friend and took her loyal moto driver, it was a rather nice ride for a bit until my hands started to go numb from the vibration of the bike. Great thing is I made it back safe yay.

Emily recently posted a video on Facebook talking about her year in 2012 with a slide show

This video shows Hime For Help/Ke Kontan’s journey throughout 2012. Thank you to our volunteers, donors, sponsors, fundraisers & friends & family for making this year a successful year with stories that have impacted and changed all of us and have allowed many of us to come together. I am absolutely blessed. And most of all.. thank you to my kids for teaching me how to love unconditionally and for allowing me into your hearts and lives. I will never forget 2012- the year Hime For Help was created & the year my life truly began.(linked video below).


Since everyone is chiming in about their 2012 I guess I should as well. My 2012 was rather interesting, like a lot of people there were ups and downs but I feel I really ended the year on a good note doing something I truly enjoy… helping others! Despite missing Christmas and New Years back at home, I still got a chance to talk to family and friends.My New Years was not too exciting but to be honest my last 2 were pretty salami ( only some of you will get that quote but for those who don’t let’s just say they weren’t super enthralling). I’m pretty happy with how the year ended and I want to thank everyone who helped me get here and say I’m really happy with the friends I’ve made. Oh side note our new years day super was super yummy thanks to Chef Val P.

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A blog or 2 ago I was mentioning about always being tired or un-happy when I woke up the past week or so, well I think it’s for the most part past :). I had time to think about it while heading to Cabare and back… it was a long ride! Anyway back to the point I’m thinking that maybe it was caused by some srt of subconscious anxiety of Emily going back to Canada and me being here without her and her authority;  if that even makes sense. As the days have slowly gone by I’ve felt more confident and happy so don’t worry Em no need to rush back early. I of course still miss people but I don’t feel so much heart ache anymore.

The kids have been pretty good up to date while Emily has been gone and we’ve had a lot of fun… it’s amazing what fun you can have with a simple bouncy ball and a balcony. Who knew?!

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Making paper bag puppets!

The past few days when I wasn’t busy with the kids I was usually working on some sort of project whether it was cleaning out the second water reservoir or making a nice path to the generator at the back of the yard since our power is no longer working right… again! All this work is starting to take a toll and I think I’m taking a day or 2 break because I am sore and have a nasty blister on my hand. It’s hard work but satisfying seeing your results come to fruition.

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2013 is a new year and an open book… so cliche but what ever! I can’t wait to see where my life goes. If anyone is curious once I come home from Haiti what’s going to happen to my blog; I will be trying to keep my blog up to date not only with what’s happening here at Kè Kontan but also where my life adventures bring me… I hope you’ll still be interested in staying on board for the ride! We never stop learning so keep your eyes and mind open.

That one pesky mosquito will never bother me again!

That one pesky mosquito will never bother me again!

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

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.