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!

Time Well Spent

It’s been a rather long time since I’ve posted a blog, I’m still using occasional Internet and the power situation has been less than favourable.

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The past few days have been filled with ups and down, there was a bunch of volounteers that came down and helped out for a week. Emily and I got a nice burn from the sun at a Dance Party we attended at a school in Cite Soleil… then we had to pick the volounteers up at the airport, which kind of added insult to injury standing in the sun for so long.

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With the new helpers at Ke Kontan being so eager to help out, the backyard had some more garbage cleared.  They were aslo able to assist with taking care of the kids while I was suffering from crazy sinuses. We went to MSC Plus a hardware store and picked up some supplies that were relatively well priced and made some book shelves and an awesome change table… We were all pretty proud with the minimal tools we had… A hand saw, machete, measuring tape and screw driver oh yeah and a hammer duh!

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My cold/ flu finally started to subside, and everyone loved the idea of helping us build a chicken coop… oh I forgot to mention Emily’s dad arrived a day after the other 5 volounteers showed up, it was great to have him around. We all went out again to MSC this time with crazy amounts of traffic… we finally managed to get everything we needed and made a super awesome chicken coop, I was really impressed how it came out, we worked all through the night to get it done!

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Emily picked up 2 chickens and a rooster they were rather calm when we cut them loose, the next morning they had gotten out of the coop; we didn’t have enough material to close it off completely. The dog had scared them out and the rooster flew over the wall… might be a lost cause now :(.

The volounteers all went home on Saturday, but we had picked up a new temporary addition, her name is Lillian(2) and she is something else! She growls and giggles and runs all over the place.

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I had asked for some sponsors on my last blog and have had a few people curious about “sponsoring” me, what it  might entail and reasons why they should contribute to me instead of a child or to something else. I’ll put up a few points :).

I’m a good extra hand when Emily needs it, and a trust worthy person for Emily to have around incase she needs to go out. I can be there for Emily in person so that she has someone who can relate to her (being a Blan); or if she goes out and wants me to tag along I can pay for my own meals. I won’t be taking away any potential food donations from the kids at the orphanage, and when Emily is tired and needs rest I can jump in and help her out. Haitian’s always have their own way of doing things but when certain needs or rules need to be applied I can assist; whether it’s with sanitation or a building project or to safety. Emily and I have conversed a lot about idea’s for Ke Kontan and to better things in general; having us together to brain storm, 2 people instead of one is always a great help! I hate to ask for sponsors, I feel like it’s begging but I would like to assist off set costs at Ke Kontan. I don’t expect large donations from anyone, anything from $5-$10 helps! I’m look to receive around $30-$60 a month. If you are interested in assisting me please email me at Justinparkinson@hotmail.com

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Anyone wondering about the earthquake that happened the other night, it was only a few seconds, no damage. The kids wanted to sleep outside to be safe, we waited things out for a while; no pun intended.

I’m not sure when the next post will be but keep checking in!

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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.

Heartache

Wow… where to even begin. I’ve made it home safe and sound, the trip home had some hiccups but over all not too bad. I spoke on my last blog about not wanting to go home and just staying. I have to say that feeling hasn’t left. As the plane started the decent into Fort Lauderdale my emotions started to stir up and the anxiety hit hard. I started to come to the realization that I found myself a new home and that these people now have a piece of my heart.

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The security at the airport was check point, after check point in Haiti. Once I hit Miami things got a little smoother, but my flight was delayed an hour or 2. The 8 hour lay over was spent mostly watching movies and attempting to ignore the conversations that I could actually understand. In Haiti I had picked up a fair amount of Creole and I could understand random conversations if I took the time to pay attention, being on The Main Land I could understand everyone; to be honest it’s a little irritating. After arriving into Detroit Julia and I found out that our bags didn’t make it to Detroit and were still in Miami. When I originally flew to Haiti all my bags were automatically transferred as the agent had told me they would… naturally I assumed that they would do the same for the way back (same airline, same destinations). I “investigated” what the process of the bags were, apparently if they are not claimed after being cleared through customs they are turned over to Spirit (my airline) later you are informed… My issue? I had an 8 hour lay over and they didn’t message me at any point in time. My bags are supposed to come in today so I have to drive to Detroit and pick them up. I messaged Spirit kindly explaining that I was upset and hoping to settle some kind of compensation. So I’m not bad mouthing Spirit but keep tuned to see what type of assistance they will offer.

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I forgot to mention a few things the last post, I was supposed to explain a certain picture… well those of you on my Facebook Page were expecting an explanation to the following picture haha.

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Bill & Emily

This is Bill and Emily with the new water purification system that we installed! Bill if the founder and CEO of Fountains Of Hope and received a donation to have a system installed at the orphanage, how awesome. Bill was a super great guy to meet. These systems are great, the one that was put in at Ke Kontan is 400 Gallons and can be purified in approximately 10 minutes. After purifying the water you might want to wait 6-12 hours to drink it though… Kind of tastes like pool water until the chlorine evaporates. Julia and I dubbed this water anytime we drank it as pool water, some conversations would go like this:

  • Hey I’m thirsty can you get me something to drink?
  • You want some pool water?
  • That all we got?
  • Yup
  • Pool water it is!

So if anyone knows of any projects or places that could use one of these systems or you want to help donate towards the organisation here’s the website FountainsOfHope.org

Another thing I forgot to mention in my last post was about heading to Montrouis for a Beach Day with the kids. We got to swim in the awesome ocean again where the Jelly Fish were last time… and many, many sea urchin’s. At one point I was trying to get out and pushed my hand onto a rock which felt too soft to be true and what do ya know I got Pricked/Stung by one of those ugly-looking black spike balls of death(Sea Urchin, not actually deadly) . My hand was burning for about 15 – 20 minutes but went away… Good story though!

Sea Urchin                                                                        (Not my photo, will be updating it with mine later today)

I think I got all the forgotten stories in now haha. Anyway I got into Detroit as I was coming down the escalators I saw my mom and best friend once I got down I dashed to Krystina and gave her the biggest hug and started to cry because I missed her so much; she proceeded to ask if I was okay and I said no, at that point I was on the verge of balling my eyes out and collapsing realizing I just left one of the hugest parts of my life back in Haiti. The memories flashed by in an instant and just remembering the kids saying goodbye before school and before I left stole my heart. Jenny (the oldest child -14) as well as Tattoumine (the nanny) told me the day before I left that they were going to miss me and that right there is when is really started to hit me.

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Me – Jenny – Emily+Norens – Tattoumine

Since I’ve been home I’ve felt a real un-ease that I can’t shake, I woke up at 5AM this morning having a panic attack not knowing where I was, scared and didn’t know what to do, I curled up in a ball observing everything for a bit then realized I was back “Home”.

Life is going to take some getting used to but I’m going to keep my head up and start planning for my next trip/ endeavours with Emily, I can’t wait!

See you again soon Christine!

See you again soon Christine!

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

Closing In

So I guess I’m overdue for a blog post… Thanks for the heads up and honesty Lauren :P. I think everyone should check out Lauren’s blog/ book it’s an awesome read… I don’t read, and I loved it, she’s got an amazing writing style! Her book and blog were very inspirational and a reminder to a lot of lessons I’ve learned in life. I think her words definitely helped me in my journey to Haiti (No she didn’t ask me to advertise for her haha).

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Anyway back to the blog. So like I’ve said before my journey is slowly coming to a close and I’m super excited but sad at the same time. Haiti has provided so much for me; from learning experiences to upsets to just pure joy. There’s lesson’s from here that I will take with me for the rest of my journey through life and I’m sure I’ll be back to Haiti soon… that’s the plan anyway.

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Tomorrow Julia is supposed to be arriving in the morning where I’ll be meeting her at the airport, as for Emily I don’t think she’s coming back…   Just kidding she’ll be arriving later in the afternoon she took a different airline to come back than Julia did. It’ll be one big happy family again soon! It’ll be nice to have some blan’s around… That sounds terrible but I mean it in a sense that I can relate with them with some things (1st world things) and speak proper English without having to try and explain myself. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks without Emily here but it was a real adventure and experience to partake in; no regrets.

So everyone is sick, I talked about how it’s pretty much world-wide… I think I talked about it on my other blogs. Well a few of the kids are sick, I’ve been taking care of them, the nanny is sick as well. I’ve been filling everyone with Vitamin’s especially Mr. C. Hopefully everyone gets better soon. I woke up this morning with a bit of a scratchy throat… like seriously I spent 2 months here with everyone around me being sick and me not a Hint of sickness! The last week I’m here I get sick, I hope not! So now I’m shoving my body full of fluids and vitamins praying not to get sick because when I do it’s usually horrendous bad.

If you haven’t seen the Facebook updates Jodnice is now standing on her own… but she’s not walking. I honestly think her sister could probably stand as well, but if you try and stand her up she just lunges herself at you and laughs. Another thing they like to do is laugh at you from upstairs through the bars like they’ve done something wrong.

Cheering she can stand!

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Cheering she can stand!

Val held a class the other day “Kids Opinion Club” or something of the sort and they all talked about what they are good at etc… Val also talked to them about Cholera and the facts about it, it was a very educational weekend!

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Here’s some pictures of the kids when they get a hold of chalk.

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Thanks for keeping up with the blog if you’re not already subscribed to be notified by email just set it up on the side bar                                                              <—————

Enjoy your current moments, they make you who you are and where you’ll be in the future.

~Justin Parkinson