To Those We Love

First off today is a major me day, I’ve been working hard from work to schooling and even language training. 

I feel great as I have a fantastic job and work with great people and just the individuals around me have been so lovely.

In my last post I said I would kind of explain about the “failed connection” I guess you could call it. Things did seem pretty great for a while but the entire time there was something not there, something that tugged at me that I couldn’t quite grasp at despite things seeming to be great… I felt it but chose to ignore it because it was so miniscule. One day we were chatting and maybe I said the wrong thing and suddenly we were “on different pages”; I have to say I was pretty torn up that morning after the dissolution of the friendship. I worked on the things that were making me happy in life and my day really turned around. I stepped back to what I’ve always told myself “never regret a thing in life“. Even when you do dumb things or have a terrible break up like I had 2 years ago, you have to be happy for the times you had; the good and even more so the bad. Look at it this way: if you never went through hurt, paint, or heart-break would you really be the person you are today? I think not. Anyway that’s kind of what happened and I’m glad for the small moments of joy I had.

Enough of this girly talk; I’ve been growing my beard for 2 months now and it’s getting pretty thick as it once was in Haiti, the only difference is it’s getting cold where I’m living now and my face is nice and warm! At work I’ve had many people come by just to tell me I have an awesome beard, or ‘many people can’t pull off a good beard but you sir can!“. It’s really cool to have people come by and compliment it… honestly I’m just growing my beard for me not to impress people but hey I’ll take it, keep the compliments coming 😉 good genetics I guess!

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Haiti Beard

 

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Canada Beard

In late October I sold 4 phones at work in one day and made a hefty commission from it which is great for me… puts me on track for comfortable living. I’ve been getting compliments from “upper managementfor my accomplishments as a newbie which is super cool, but I keep telling everyone ‘honestly I’m just doing my job“. Oh Nov 1st I kicked off the month with selling another 4 phones putting our store at 7 and #1 in BC East for the start of the month. I also keep getting told by my customers I have a very mellow/ calm demeanour and that they like that… none threatening pressure.

I’ve had a great workout sitting on my computer for over a year now and haven’t really gotten around to setting up a schedule to use it… well I finally sat down and spent at least an hour setting up my workout routine. The whole process will be over six to eight months but it’s finally started and I’m super pumped to get my beach bod! (that last statement really made me chuckle)

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Still Working on Form

Some other things I’ve been up to lately me having enrolled in psychology classes online (free) that offers a diploma but it isn’t accredited… fine with me I’ll still hang the diploma. On top of that I’ve been listening to psych lectures from Yale which happen to be very fun for me to listen to. I have to say that I actually already knew a lot that is being taught on those lectures; in a sense it’s very reassuring that I find Yale lectures “easy to listen to”. Some other learning I’ve been doing but kind of slowed down on it since I’ve taken up so many other things and work 5 days a week is learning new languages. I have Rosetta Stone on my computer and I have taken up Arabic. I think it would be a neat language to learn… I mean I grew up with so many Lebanese people and always wished I knew what they were saying… I have also set out a goal to know at least 7 languages in the next 5 years and I’m already at 3.

So Halloween just went by and maybe some of you went out with your kids or by yourself, and some of you may have handed out candy… ready for a surprise I actually went out “clubbing”, yeah I know it’s def. not my scene but I was convinced to go out and have a night for myself and I’m glad I did. The night was filled with good company and well mediocre to good music haha.

I didn’t get a chance to record a Vlog this week but I’ll try to get one posted in the next few days if not tonight. 

So at the beginning of the blog I talked about how today was a ME day; last night was the first night I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night in over 3 months… maybe it had to do with me being really tired or the fact I was talking to a pretty great person last night… I’m going to stick with the latter. This morning I was blessed with a photo of my girls from Haiti… my heart bled because I miss them so much. As I reminisced on the old photo’s and the newest one with their huge smiles I couldn’t help but cry. I was getting ready to write my blog as I waited for my bath to cool down but I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I had to lay on my bed and take it in… I love the kids so much and they will always hold a piece of my heart <3.

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Newest photo

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Lily and I

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Twins and I napping

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There’s one of my real smiles ❤

 

"Enjoy every moment in life; it's the hard times that show you the good, the better, and the best!" ~ Me

“Enjoy every moment in life; it’s the hard times that show you the good, the better, and the best!” 

“Everything is the way it is because it got that way” ~ Gerald Weinberg

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.”

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.”

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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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.