Steady Visit

I don’t expect this blog post to be too long… but that’s what I usually expect.

I’ve being doing pretty well getting back to “normal” life back in Canada, I’m not going to lie though I still feel like I’m visiting. I’m starting to make future plans on what I’m going to do down the road, of course going back to Haiti is in the plans and I think it always will be but not immediately.

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I’ve come to realize my next adventure won’t be for a while, I’m still looking for work and have had a few hopeful situations but they wouldn’t start until later in the summer and may require travel… hmm did I just say travel I think I like that word! Anyway I’ll indulge you into some of my future plans and this is all in the works no concrete plans; I find if you set specific dates… this is for most people not all, but if you set specific dates for life goals you tend to bring yourself down and stress out too much when the time comes closer and closer so I’m being very liberal and understanding that it will take a few years to get my jet off the ground… unless I land it rich or someone wants to give me lots and lots of money… I prefer the latter :P.

My original plan was to save up for a visit to ex-Siam… Thailand :), I’ve always been fascinated by their culture and their way of life and I’d want to be visiting none touristy area’s. After doing much research and talking to many people who’ve been there it is rather cheap to live there day by day close to $14 USD for full meals and lodging. As most of my plans are like a living being it’s ever evolving, originally I had decided after Thailand I would purchase a house and rent it out. Now I’m planning on getting a house first then travelling to Thailand once I get the landlord thing down and eventually breaking even or even making a bit of a profit. The idea for this is if I start travelling more I don’t want to come home and have to work for 2 years then go travel and work for 2 year again… it seems like such a waste, I’d rather take the extra time to secure myself and then live “freely” before I settle down.

I finally got my iMac back up and running but ran into an issue when I went to Bootcamp it to run Windows now it will only run that… guess I have to bring it in for another fixin’ but at least I know everything is backed up!

I’ve been thinking lately about changing the name of my blog since I won’t be working specifically on Haiti especially in my blogs, more so about my life and travels. I’ll still have my Facebook Page for Haiti but I feel like I need a name change on the blog and was wondering what everyone else thought? I may start-up a poll with some names, if you guys have any idea’s feel free to comment new names or email me at Justinparkinson@hotmail.com

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Recently I went to DEMF which this year was named Movement Electronic Music Festival… MEMF not as easy to say as the old name but change is bound to happen! It was fun despite all the rain and cold, but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the Urban Festivals, it draws a lot of “not fun” crowds. I much prefer Big fests like Electric Forest or Feel Good, Waka etc… it’s more of a family/ Hippie group, everyone loves one another and will take care of you if you need it… even being a stranger.

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Anyway I just wanted to shoot this off real quick to update everyone yes I’m still in Canada I didn’t jet off to Haiti again… Yet haha just kidding. I’ve got to get back to writing my  book. Don’t forget to think of names for my blog and make suggestions!


 

“Changes happens roll with it”

Adjustments

It’s been about a month since my last blog, it’s been a crazy month and bare with me as I try and remember it all.

The last week of April The Boom Booms were in Haiti doing stuff like planting tree’s and playing a few shows, and I managed to tag along with the Canadian group and help where I could. They guys were a blast to be around really down to earth and generally all around nice guys, a thanks goes out to Alex Genis who helped coordinate and bring them to Haiti.

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Along with hanging out with The Boom Booms I got to know some people from Haiti Communitere (formerly Grassroots utd.). The last week I spent in Haiti was a pretty busy one, running from meetings to people for a last time before I go. There really didn’t seem  like there was enough time in a day.

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April 23rd was my birthday and yes I spent it in Haiti and the Jazz lounge we went to let The Boom Booms play a bit… they were once again amazing, it kind of made my birthday, actually hanging out with awesome people and great music.

I’m sure most of you have figured it out by now from reading if you hadn’t already heard it from word of mouth I’m back in Canada. It’s been a slow transition and yes there were a lot of things to get used to… one thing was, getting used to seeing so many white people, and forgetting I can speak solely English and most people will understand. There were other minor things like putting on a seat belt I needed to get used to.

The first week I was back I got extremely ill, honestly I think it was a combination of catching something in Haiti as well as getting used to the preservative packed foods. It lasted for a little more than a week thankfully I’m all better now :)!

It’s nice to have my car back now and able to travel from place to place when and where I want, although now I have to pay for my own gas which I guess is the big switch over. I’m still looking for work at the moment I have a few hopefuls but still nothing.

I’ve been trying to get more in touch with friends instead of being stuck inside all the time, I’ve recently gotten into longboarding and I find it rather relaxing.

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It’s tough to pick and choose which friends you want to spend time with and finding ones that want to commute the time to hang out, but it’s helpful in seeing who’s really interested in hanging out with me. Haiti has really put a separation between me and a lot of people and it’s sort of neat to see who’s willing to make that stretch to re-connect.

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I picked up Emily from the airport  the other day and she stayed in Chatham for a day or 2 then surprised her mother for mother’s day which was a fun treat!

I wanted to post a lot of pictures onto the Facebook Page but as most people know my computer crashed and is in the shop for the next few weeks… I guess you’ll have to wait.

Stay posted for my crazy life to slowly unravel back in Canada see how my Haitian experiences have changed me for the first world.

“Time doesn’t separate people, people separate people.”

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!

Flight

I’m finally back on the blogs… sorry for taking so long to post another, things have been hectic between power, accidents and kids haha. I don’t even know where I really last left off so I’ll start where I can remember.

A while back Emily and I decided to try out some Paragliding we were both really excited and couldn’t wait. The day finally came we got out to the mountain all saddled up… well Emily was, she was up first. They begun to take off and the conditions weren’t exactly favourable once they had begun to take off and the launch failed. Em went down and because the pilot was attached to her he landed on top of her and some bad gashes ensued. She was pretty shaken up and had some pretty nasty cuts and a hurting hip, we proceeded to bring her to the hospital, got her cleaned up and stable. In the end nothing too crazy was wrong, some bad cuts and a very sore hip. Emily spent the next few days in a Hotel to rest up to avoid the kids poking and prodding her. I made a trip the hotel to watch over her as she couldn’t walk, and spent a night or 2 as well… the food was pretty good I’ve got to admit. Emily came home a few days later and I was her personal assistant while she couldn’t leave her bed.

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At this point she’s walking with no crutches (just some aches) which is awesome! Now I don’t think I have to play countless games of Crazy 8’s anymore… it was actually kind of fun though. We also watched a whole bunch of “Lie to Me” a pretty awesome TV series… it reminds me of when I to investigation in college; I miss it.

I guess the past week or two has been kinda of event-less other than taking care of Em… although there was a night we went to Karaoke, oh what a blast that was… no alcohol was even needed.

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“Les Craazie Blancs” singing Barbie Girl

There’s a lot more in’s and outs while I was taking care of Em, like Lilly sleeping in my bed, calling me Papa and moto rides at night to go take care of Emily since no one was there to help her go  to the bathroom at night (I walked her in and closed the door).

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Recently the kids and I have been flying “Caps” (kites), I’ve seen them here and there travelling through Haiti but since the kids and I have started doing it, it seems all the kids around the house have started flying them… there’s at least 15-10 a day going up around the neighbourhood.  I guess we stimulated the Kite business in Haiti haha! When I think back I’ve never really flown kite’s before I mean I’ve handled them but never really got to fly them. This whole experience was such a blast because I got learn how to fly them well and how to make Haitian Kites!

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The other day I put the kids on the roof and we got the kites to a new distance something even I was really giddy about, I managed at one point to get one of them about 400 feet out… crazy right! Every few days the kids would run up to me and be super excited because someones kite got stuck in one of our tree’s and wanted me to get it down. Yesterday we went up to the roof and flew this awesome Cap we found in the backyard, well there was another guy behind us maybe 200 feet or so on top of another house flying his kite. When I found ours there was a razor blade on the end of the tales and I was wondering ‘why would someone put a blade on a kite? Well the guy that was flying his kite crossed our lines and the kids and all neighbours were all hollering and going wild… why? Because I had just entered into a kite battle! I finally figured out what the blades were for; you cross the lines raise you kite and cut the enemies string and the kite is yours… neet right? I guess this is very common in Haiti so I let the guy start to pull my kite towards him, getting him to think he was winning but I had the kite size and roof high advantage, he started getting excited then BAM, I went to war; tugged and mounted my kite eventually both kites came down and I had won. His string snapped and we had just earned ourselves a free kite… what a day.

Today’s Easter and Em n’ I made some bags with candy in them and the kid’s names on them, then hid em’ around the house while they were at church and made them go a huntin’ once they got home. The kids all scurried around the house and had a blast  finding the bags as well enjoyed the candy… Lilly was even kind enough to share her candy with the twins <3.

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The days are starting to count down I’ll be purchasing my ticket to go home soon and I’ll be leaving Haiti in May… I’m really going to miss the family I’ve grown to love but I will be back. I still have adventures to plan and things to do and Haiti will always be one of them. I hope everyone has/had a great Easter and just be thankful for the people around you and the things you have.

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I’ve got to go for now there’s some banana bread waiting to be tended too… eating.

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“The world is big but your troubles don’t have to be; enjoy what you’ve got, live in love and love will live in you.”

Heartfelt

The past week has been an interesting one. Emily’s friends came by to help out around the yard as previously promised and it was a great day! All of us worked together to clear out the back yard of most of the garbage… there’s still around 3 feet burried. The group got rid of most of the rubbish, the kids even helped as well. After the big clean-up one of the guys who was dubbed “the wood guy” put together some swings off a tree in the back yard, some soccer posts and a see-saw. Big thanks to everyone that came out to help and for the continued support!
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The same night after all the work we did, Emily and “the family” had a chat; we went over sanitation, respect for others and helping out around the house. Emily strives to have a childrens house not an orphanage… although an orphanage is what it is, she’d rather it have a warming connotation to it. The disccussion seemed to go well… we’ll see how the next few weeks go. Early in the month we had two volunteers from Eastern Canada who had spent a few days with us then headed off to another orphanage in Montrouis, a few days ago they returned and we’re now back to almost a full house. On Saturday we all headed back to Medishare to check on the baby we brought in from Montrouis… good news he’s pulling through despite the odds, keep him in your prayers please. After Medishare the group of us went to Munchies which is a great place for lunch… or dinner… or any meal haha. Emily, Maddi and I had gone there the day before and ordered Pizza, so after Medishare we got the Cheeseburger combo instead of pizza which is one of the best choices there. Munchies was a nice break to the day and we all almost ate too much.
The same day all of us went to Mother Theresa’s Home for the Sick and Dying. I had been there a few times already with Emily, and it’s always emotional but I’m usually able to walk away and be fine after we leave and go on with my day… this time it was really different. We all started off in the first section of babies (younger ones), as usual we got tasked to feed them AK100, it’s acutally tasty I’ve had it back at our place before. Once the staff were done mopping the second section with the slightly older kids we wandered over, Emily and I poked a few kids getting some chuckles out of them then we got to the back of the room where there was two kids a boy (5) and a girl (8). The boy was very talkative and energetic, I teased him about me eating his food and he gobbled it right up. Emily grabbed the bowl of AK100 in the 8 year olds crib and started to feed her since she was somewhat lathargic and very malnourished; the girl actually look like an old lady, her skin was dried out and looked very aged… she looked like a minature 80 year old not eight. Em went off after to talk to some other kids and I started to play with despite aged look, the most precious and beautiful Hatians I’ve seen yet. We shared some laughes playing peek-a-boo and tickling. I went off for a bit and came back as Emily was taking her out of her bed to take her outside to play along with the five year old we had been playing with. As I was walking over I asked if she needed help carrying them she said ‘sure’ and begun to hand over the boy as I got closer my new friend reached out to me with her frail arms. Needless to say I took the little princess outside with me. The kids we brought out with us all went crazy on the swings and slides, they were so happy to be out and playing; I asked my companion if she wanted to go on the swings or slides but she kept saying no… she just had no interest, I picked her up and she whispered to me in Creole ‘I just want to sit in the shade with you’. We found a nice spot that was in the shade I sat her down and then I sat myself, as I sat down she came over and sat in my lap wrapped her arms around me and placed her head into my chest; I looked down at her and her eyes were shut as if there was nothing more peacful than being embraced, having human contact and hearing the beat of another’s heart. At that moment I had made a connection that I hadn’t really felt yet in Haiti… let alone most of my life. It was time to go and she walked off to her crib, everyone was leaving and I had to go and say one last goodbye. Watching her climbing into her bed was a tough sight, it looked like a usual chore for her, someone leaving and she’s just going back to her “home“. I scurried on over and helped her into her bed, gave her a hug and said my last goodbye; Turning back looking at her there was no more smiles, no more laughs just a plain face, she wasn’t frowning but it was in her eyes that she was sad that, I was going and may not see her again. This past visit to Mother Theresa’s really made an impact on me, there’s been a lot in Haiti that has changed me and made me think, but nothing like this. I came back to the house and was almost at a loss for words, this little girl had reached my heart in places that I almost forgot existed. I had lost motivation to do much afterwards I just layed in bed listening to music and thinking about this angel and wondering what’s in store for her life.
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I fell asleep with a tear in my eye, drained emotionally but with a warmed heart that I could bring a smile to a fragile soul. Later that night after I woke up from my three hour nap all the volunteers, Em and I played some cards blew off some steam and called each other names; all in good fun of course!
As much as I really don’t want to go back to Canada I’m still raising money to return to the home Country, I still have a month and a bit left on my Visa though.
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– “Life is precious, enjoy the finer momments in life… even the harder ones it makes us who we are.”

Good & Bad – Funny & Sad

The last few days have been a bit challenging. Despite all the problems that arise in Haiti I still find myself happy.
For the most part the last week or so has been nice, there’s only 1 volunteer and she’s been fun to have around. There was a few nights we went out especially to get emily out of the house. One of the nights we went to a nice place that Em’s friend owns, and it was a friends birthday. The three of us were actually pretty tired so we all almost feel asleep but waited for the cake to be cut etc… it was fun to be in the “VIP” section though. Another night we went to a sport bar/ lounge to grab a bite to eat and then head home… we were all tired like the other night. If you were wondering I had the Buffulo Shrimp Wrap, the pricing was really cheap compared to American standards! One thing I found rather comical was on the door it said the usual: no guns, must be such and such an age to enter and then… No protitutes. I don’t know why I found it so funny maybe that I though ‘How the heck would you tell that?’, I know there’s usually a certain dress but I’m sure just like in Canada some girls that go downtown to party dress… let’s just leave it at that.
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Before we left Emily noticed some adverts on one of the moniters and saw that Tuesday nights are Kareoki nights… Yes we ended up going and it was a crazy night. The lounge was pretty busy, Emily and the volunteer were buggin’ me to go and sing with them which I was totally against. After a while I was going through the song book and decided to man up. I picked Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I got up on stage nervous but proud, unbuttoned the top button on my shirt to reveal some chest hair and the singing begain! After I was done I had a lot of people come up to me saying I did really well and that I picked one of the hardest songs to sing to but that I did amazing… I still thought it was bad but everyone else insists otherwise. There’s a video out there somewhere so I’m sure you’ll be able to watch it at some point (I’ll keep you posted).
Not everything is fun and games as my computer decided to conch out on me. I’m pretty certain it was the hard drive as my computer model was recalled for such reasons. I never had a chance to get it fixed because the nearest Apple shop was 2 hours away in Canada and 1 Hour away in the U.S. … I guess I’m paying for it now. I don’t trust anyone with a Mac in Haiti, if it were a PC I’d risk it… but not my Mac. I figure I’ll wait it out until I have to head home in a month or two. I joked about; since I can’t finish my book… I guess I’m not coming home; a few people didn’t find that funny.
The other day Emily, Maddie (volunteer) and I went to Montrouis to check out the house we helped build and to see if it actually got finished; Fortunately the important stuff did get finished but they were still asking for more money. At this point Emily and I were a little tired of being asked for more and more as they had been given plenty to have completed a decent house by now. Seemed like now they wanted finishing touches.
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Before we left we checked out everyone and their children as we usually do, we almost left when one of the babies that we usually play with… wasn’t so happy and he was very sick. The kids in the mountains eat rocks and many other dirty things, even after education they have a hard time breaking habits… but they are habits that will kill them :(. Em and I took the baby to a dear friend Maeve who helped us to a hospital, a very small one. We had things check out for the baby, after a bit things started to get kind of crazy as a women had recently died there and the family was very upset, we moved into a back room incase rocks started to fly… which is not unusual. After waiting a bit for things to cool down we had a knock on the door, they wanted to put the dead body in the room we were in, so we decided to leave. As we were leaving the baby hurled up everything we had just given him and all over Em… and a bit on the dead body… yikes. Funny thing was, I was litterally about to ask Emily if she wanted me to take the baby, I’m glad I waitied. Long story short we got the mom and the baby to Port Au Prince were he could be taken care of properly. It was a long day/ night and stressful but satifying.
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There was pretty much 2 reasons I was upset about my computer crashing. One is that I couldn’t keep writing my book, two was that I would have to write my blogs on my phone, other than that I was fine with losing all my photo’s etc… despite having compilled a lot of stuff. Today I took a shot in the dark… Ironically we’re in the dark since both our generators are ka-put at the moment. I grabbed my Bluetooth key board and tried to Sycn it to my phone… it worked! So now I’m writing with a keyboard. It’s better, but the screen is still only 2.5 inches.
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Oh today (Wednesday). I made a nice breakfast for Em and myself and two other guests in the house; Bacon eggs and juice… So yummy! We had some sac races and broke out some kites today as well… I don’t think I’ve every had so much fun flying a kite. Around 2:30 I felt like I had hit a wall and decided to take a nap, I’m all refreshed now though.
Since it will take a while to raise money to go home… yes I actually have to raise money to go home, I’m going to start raising money for my return flight before my Visa
runs out. As usual if you’d like to help contribute there’s a donation button on the side bar or you can contact me through email me at Justinparkinson@hotmail.com
Thanks in advance for the support I hope everyone has a great day/ night!

Ignorance is no excuse in life whether in the first or third world. We all have the right to educate our selves especially informally. Strive to reach your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Every action and lack there of has consquences. Be strong; keep yourself and other safe. Life is short but more so if you don’t try. Be happy with what you have and live life like you’re the boss.”

Working

Emily and I had nice few days off with the last batch of volounteers gone home. We went up the mountains, pretty much in the middle of nowhere to donate some books and supplies to a tiny school. They were so grateful for everything… As usual Em and I got cold being up The hill.

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The next day Emily and I headed to another school also up one of the mountains; they were having their inauguration. After all the speeches and beautiful music Em and I had joked about playing in the playground… We probably would have if it wasnt going to draw so much attention… (White people playing in a caged play ground, with no kids there); so we walked to a cliff and enjoyed the view instead, you could see all of Port Au Prince and more!
Our “break” was only a couple of days as we had some new helpers arrive… A family actually. Brandon a guy who had come out to help Em during the summer last year had brought his family this time to help rebuild a house for a former employee’s family (Tiny’s house).
The past week had been hectic, driving back and forth between Montrouis and Port Au Prince to help build the house. There’s been so many complications as usual, a lot of people showing up wanting to be paid, trying to figure out who’s doing what etc… TIH (This Is Haiti).

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One of the days heading back “home” the volounteers wanted to go for a quick dip in the ocean, Emily decided try a new place we’d never been and it seemed relatively new. The beach ended up being amazing! The next few days we used this place to wash off after a long day of working. One of the nights we decided to stay with a great ol’ friend Maeve… Man I missed her and her wee accent. She lives a lot closer to the site we were working on so it was pretty beneficial staying there. The reunion was nice, with a great big hug and her replying with ‘I knew you’d be back‘. Everyone took their showers while we had power, then we all sat out on the balcony chatting for a while. I was supposes to sleep downstairs with Maeve’s friend/boss in this massive bed… By the time I decided I was ready for bed he was passed out and snoring… I’ve gotten used to Haiti noise like dogs fighting or roosters going off like it’s morning but snoring I cant do it. There were some cushions left out from one of the pull out couches I snagged and put them on the covered balcony; I was smart enough to pack up my mosquito netting. I rigged up something of a master piece with a chair, a pencil and the door frame.It was pretty easy to fall asleep, we had worked hard all day and it was raining out so that was soothing. The next morning I was woken up by a water truck cruising up and down the street… They play music like ice cream trucks back in North America but 5 times louder and a tad bit more annoying. I was half im and out of sleep in the morning and what really woke me was Emily’s giggling… It only meant one thing, her and Maeve were up to something. I heard a camera click so I knew a Facebook photo was bound to show up… And it did.

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After that I heard ‘it’s too tight‘, they were trying to put something in my peaceful abode I turned over and the buggers were trying to shove a huge teddy bear in there. I caught them before any embarrassing photos were taken.

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The following day started a little slow, there was still bickering who was being paid and sharing tools etc… Since the locals didn’t really want a lot of help at the time I decided to lead the group up the mountain for a hike. For some reason they called out to me (the mountains that is), I climbed them everyday. It was fun going up higher than I had previously and with everyone to boot, even took some kids with us. Once at the top there was the most amazing breeze, it was perfect for one of the kids cap’s that’s Creole for kite.

I walked a little higher up the mountain then everyone else after we took an awesome portrait

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I took a moment by a tree and just took in the sight; it was marvelous.
We all returned to PAP (Port Au Prince) that day most of us enjoying our bucket showers since there was no running water. Sunday was a pretty laid back day, not much was done just relaxed. At night I took the volounteers out to the Irish Embassy for some R&R then we went off to Jet Set for some pool. Emily was waiting on a friend so I was the leader, I wasn’t too sure how to get there but I stumbled across a friend told him what our plans were. He walked over to our driver and in Creole goes ‘how are? Good? Give me your keys I’m going to drive you there.‘ He pulled out his driving permit then our driver looked at me I said he’s a nice  guy and off we went… just like that. The ride was crazy, stalled a few times and went pretty fast but we made it. The pool tables were taken up so we waited, once they finally opened up we walked over and started playing then got kicked off. We were unsure why but 5 minutes later loud music went on and dancers flew out. We watched the dances for a bit and Emily showed up with her friend she was waiting on. It was the last song and the dancers starting picking people out of the crowd to dance, they started coming towards the back where we were, I leaned over to one of our volounteers and said ‘ I’m going to the bathroom before I get snagged‘ he laughed and I went off. When I returned him and his sister were both on the dance floor… My paranoia paid off haha! He came back looked at me and went ‘I should have gone with you‘. I told Emily what I had done and she burst out laughing; she’s been wanting me to dance since the last time I did when I first got to Haiti… That was a one time experience, sorry Em ;).

Monday came around pretty quick I think mostly everyone got a good night sleep. Our group headed back to Montrouis to help finish things up, the walls were mostly done and a few of the volounteers went off to get the Tin for the roof.

Like I had said before I was drawn to the mountains and was curious how quick I could reach the top where I had gone the other day. I wagered I’d get there in 20 minutes and that I thought was a modest time… it was pretty far. I had one of the volounteers time me and watch for me climbing the mountain; I kept thinking they’d just get distracted and forget to time me. Either way I was going to be happy making it to the top quickly. I took off in a light jog going down the one hill to reach the next one over using the momentum to bring me forward. I made it to the second hill, my goal was to get to the third one over as it was a straight shoot to the top, but a steeper climb. I raced and raced, I saw the kids following me but they couldn’t keep my pace, I was pretty proud at the speed I was going and if anything I wanted to make it without stopping. I was nearly at the top I could see the tree I was aiming for it was a stand alone tree. I made it to the top of the one hill I was climbing and to me surprise there was a dip… I had to go down about 20 feet and then travel another 500-600 meters up a another hill before I actually made it. On the way back down I passed a “funeral procession” they were singing and chanting, at the same time carrying a casket up the mountain. Further down the hill I ran into a few people, one of them a female and insisting on me giving her my number. Once Haitians get you into a conversation it’s hard to get out of the tangle they keep having questions… I usually just end off with ‘Pas konprann‘ I don’t understand and then I walk off. I made it back down the mountain to see if they had actually captured the time… to my amazement they did and I had managed the climb in… wait for it… 15 minutes almost to the dot! It’s funny because they thought I made it to the top of the hill and marked it at 13 minutes but where they though I was done was the same spot I thought I was, the landscape had tricked us both. We all had a laugh about it and I was congratulated on the effort. To be honest if it had taken me and hour to get there I wouldn’t have minded, I was just proud to have gone and not stopped the whole way.

I'm the speck next to the tree at the top ^_^

I’m the speck next to the tree at the top ^_^

The last few days I’ve been hit with a lot of thinking as usual Haiti plays on your emotions good and bad. There was a point where I had uncertainty hit me… I asked my self what the heck am I doing here? This doubt scared me because I felt lost, in the dark… alone. I tried to put it behind me and keep myself busy about and hour or two later I brought up the same question but realized why I was here. This place made me so happy, maybe the high of running up the hill and making it back down followed by sitting played with me a weird way. When I look at the kids that I play with and joke around with I feel so happy. I’ve always had problems with my emotions and trying to figure out how to feel them let alone express them. Haiti has done wonders for me taught me how to feel more and just be happy. There’s days where I’m down and for many different reasons from missing friends to just being tired, but somehow these kids just come to me smiling and know how to make you smile and get you playing despite being exhausted mentally and physically. My job is a 24/7 job, I don’t get a day off but I love it.

The book I’ve been writing has reached around 11,000 words I’m super happy… kind of stuck in a tough place of writing though, but I’m catching up to current events, a little less than a year away! Speaking of books I finished reading a book I brought called “A Hostile Place” (got it from my Grandma that lives in England) I’m really proud of myself for finishing it… to be honest I think it’s only the second book I’ve finished reading that I personally chose to read.

Wednesday I took the volunteers back to Montrouis while Emily stayed in PAP to pick up Madison the newest volunteer. Unfortunately the house didn’t get to the roof being build before we had to head back home, it would have been nice so the family that came up to help build Tiny’s house could have seen the finished product. On the way home we stopped at a gas station to get some quick food before heading to the beach. I tried an ice cream that was Pina Colada flavoured… it was amazing! We all headed to the beach for the groups last swim, we went a bit further out than normal and just relaxed lived it up to the fullest. It was a little overcast so the water wasn’t as warm but warm enough… better than back in Canada!

Today (march 7th) we dropped off the family of 4 off at the airport… so far this was one of my favourite groups. Emily and I had picked up another couple a few days back so now we have three volounteers. All five of us went up to Mission Baptist and it was absolutely freezing this time; normally it’s pretty cold… well for Em and I anyway. We got up the mountain and it was really foggy out which was a shame the newbies, they didn’t get to see much of the view from the restaurant we usually go to By the time we left to go buy souvenirs the fog had cleared a bit and we got some decent pictures.

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I’ve put off finishing this post for multiple reasons… power outages, lack of motivation etc… so here it is long but here!

“Never forget the ones you love, they help create the lasting memories”

-Justin Parkinson

Teecover

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!

Sketch Change table

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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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.

Bill & Emily

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

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

Perception of Life’s Lessons

Today I spent some time in the hammock because I was rather tired from being up really early. I figured while I tried to fall asleep I would ponder some things I may have learned while I’ve been here in Haiti.

Priceless

Priceless

I don’t think this next paragraph will be agreed upon for a lot of people but remember it’s my perception you don’t have to like it 😛

One night I was out with Val getting some food and drink when most of everyone I saw out was young and thriving, then I saw 2 older gentlemen walking around but with no discontent or judgment for the somewhat rowdy youth. When I think about being back at home and lets say you’re in your car listening to music a little louder than “they” would like, you tend to get a bad look/ glare or you have tattoo’s… something a long the lines of that. I started to think that maybe these people are to close minded and un-cultured who are judging (I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times don’t judge other’s until you know them… bet you probably still do it; I know I do sometimes). By no means am I saying all “older people/Elders or supposedly mature people”  are this way but I just think they might be lacking exploration of different things, all the way from different culture around the world to seeing life’s necessities around the globe. I am absolutely not saying that I’ve been exposed to way more and learned a lot more but I still feel I’ve had a lot of experience especially from Haiti alone. If some of these people have… maybe they just weren’t open to learning or changing from it.

Some people may say “well I’ve been around the world, experienced culture etc“.  For a lot of the people I’m not talking about “hey I went and visited family in Europe and then we went to a shopping center and saw some museums and historic places” or “hey I went to Cancun for spring break… it changed my life!“. I’m talking about getting into the community doing things with neighbours living in the culture not just visiting family.

I think that was most of my thoughts a lot people may not agree with.

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Mixing cement Haitian Style

Hmm… I really need to keep a recorder with me because I feel so incite-full during the day and then think I’ll remember what I’ve learned or thought of but it seems to escape me. Well here’s  stab at it anyway:

  • I think a lot of people need to pride themselves in a lot more of the little things they do… it’ll bring up your spirits and confidence. Just the little hammock/lounge area Val and I build, I feel was something minor, but it’s something to feel great that we completed and I’m proud of it.
  • Feel good about yourself, of your appearance be happy that you woke up and the fact that you can smile and breathe air.
  • Be happy with the people who are in your life, they will be the ones that give you the hardest time but get you through the worst of times.
  • Just be open to life, hold no expectation and be willing to learn… even if you think you’re a pro, there’s always something to learn.
  • Bring enthusiasm into the world every day (today I was tired and ugh was it a chore to get up the stairs… I forces a smile said “Yuppie” and what do you know my climb was so much easier!). Try slapping a smile on during the hardest crap you’ll tell yourself “this is stupid” but I bet it’ll probably get you through what ever it is.
  • Time passes things get easier you become comfortable or you find somethings that guides the time along and to cope with the negatives. If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll notice I tripped on a rough patch… well sort of, but look at me now, I’m ready to go for another 6 month’s… haha just kidding but I’m good now I have a smile on things are dandy! 
  • This ties in with my last point, FIND SOMEONE TO CONFIDE IN! Find some one you can trust that you can talk to, they don’t have to have any answers… they just need to listen. You’d be surprised what a difference it is to share your squabbles BIG or small. (Honestly everyone wants to be heard. If you don’t think so it’s probably because you don’t want to bother others… but trust me you want to be heard)

I took this in Stratford, Ont.a good "Wisdom" picture.

I took this in Stratford, Ont.
A good “Wisdom” picture.

I really just wanted to put pen to paper or… letters to screen on a lot of the “Wisdom or Insight” I feel I’ve gained and maybe share it with others to hopefully take away from it :). I’ve kind of known all of this before it was there, but I think Haiti was the cement that solidified these thoughts.

I’ve decided to leave out the “be happy with what you’ve got, avoid complaining” for one I thing it’s been shared over and over and I’ve definitely touched on it already if past blogs. If I had to sum everything up I guess I would have to say “Greet the world with a smile, breath in life and share your love. Only you can bring yourself  up so why let other bring you down.

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Hope everyone enjoys this read I’ll try to write my lessons down when I think of them, I’m lazy though… oh yeah throw on a smile and just do it right?

 I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and input feel free to comment, email or post on my Facebook Page.

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