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.

Heartache

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

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

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

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Bill & Emily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Me – Jenny – Emily+Norens – Tattoumine

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

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

See you again soon Christine!

See you again soon Christine!

Bad Timing

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Justin Parkinson

Closing In

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

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

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

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

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

Cheering she can stand!

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Cheering she can stand!

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

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

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

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

~Justin Parkinson

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

So?

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Making paper bag puppets!

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

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

That one pesky mosquito will never bother me again!

That one pesky mosquito will never bother me again!

Mixed Emotions

Mixed Emotions

Where to even begin… I’ve been itchy to write a post the past few days not only for everyone to read but so I can kind of get some stuff off my chest. I’ve had some great friends that have endured my… pardon my language bitching back at home and in Haiti. I think I’m finally starting to understand the “Love Haiti relationship” thing that Haiti pushes upon you. Recently I’ve been having mixed emotions not anything to be concerned about. There’s been a lot that has happened in the past few days whether at home or here that have had some what of an impacted on my mood. I’ve noticed in the morning recently I wake up exhausted despite having the proper amount of rest, but later in the day things get better once I start playing with the kids my mood is lifted. A blog or 2 ago I mentioned home sickness, I think it’s more of a reality now. To be honest I used to hold not getting home sick when ever I traveled as a prideful thing but now I’m starting to accept it. Even though at times I get home sick I still want to be here, it’s what I signed up for and it’s what I truly enjoy doing. I just want to say thanks to everyone that has had to listen to me whether it was something small or big!

Everyday it seems like someone is getting hurt (physically) and that I have to bandage them up. I don’t want to say it good but it’s good for me to be able to help people out since I don’t have the incredible stamina the kids have when it comes to playing in the sun.

I was talking about doing activities with the kids this week, and I’ve found some stuff to make paper bag puppets… I’m not very artistic when it comes to crafts… photography is another story.

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The other day a few things got stuck on the roof like some parachute toys and a batman doll, so I hiked up my short and climbed up (it really was a lot easier than I though/ safer). Once I got atop the roof the view was actually super nice. I packed up my gear once I came down and headed back up for some photo’s. Take a look, click the picture for a better look.

Panarama Ke Kontan

Click link below to enlarge Panoramic View

Click Here for full size Panoramic Picture

Merry Christmas From Haiti

Hello everyone just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan, I hope you all have a great day!

Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan

Merry Christmas from Kè Kontan

Here’s a message from Emily(Also check out her recent blog post):

Merry Christmas everyone !!! Hope you are all enjoying family time, gifts, and awesome food. However, please remember how fortunate you are today and also take some time to think of those who are not. This morning was probably one of my best Christmas mornings yet .. Mwen remen Ayiti ! … And also please think of me and my volunteers as you enjoy your nice dinners .. As we will once again be enjoying our chicken and rice 😉

Emily Hime’s “Christmas in Haiti” post

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The morning was really slow the kids took their time they weren’t really excited, even when they saw a tree full of gifts. Emily myself and the 2 volunteers got the kids to sit down and handed them presents, once they started opening gifts the smiles started to shine and Christmas was really here. This was my first Christmas away from home and I have to say it was just as great as every other Xmas… well I might miss some of the great food but still the smiles were gift enough for me!

The kids are now off playing with their mountain of gifts and I’m waiting to Skype with family and friends.

Jodline

Jodline

I wish Niki and Haley a happy holiday’s and safe trip home today.

Once again Happy Holidays!

 

 

Christmas In Haiti

It’s Christmas eve (Dec 24th) I’m still in Haiti and to me it still doesn’t seem like tomorrow is Xmas. It’s kinda of neat to not see the houses/ streets littered with Christmas lights, I don’t mean it in a bad way though. It’s cool to see the random houses here and there, that are really lit up. There’s not really a half way done house, it’s either fully decked out or not at all. The people in the streets are still in the festive spirit or so it seems, a lot of people are wearing Santa hats. I’ve got to say I really won’t miss the last minute shopping needed to be done as well as the traffic of all the other people scurrying to get it done. For those of you reading this did you get your last minute things purchased? Well what are are you waiting for go and get it! (Worst case scenario take one of the beautiful pictures I have on my blogs or Facebook Page; print them out and write I love you on it and use that.)

Write something like "There's no one I'd rather spend my Holiday with than with my (add relationship with person here[Mother, Best friend etc...])

Write something like “There’s no one I’d rather spend my Holiday’s with than with my (add relationship with person here[Mother, Best friend etc…])

Like I’ve said in a previous post I don’t really get excited for big Holiday’s such a Christmas and birthday’s, of course I do enjoy getting presents and the kind greetings, but I really do just try and enjoy the day and  everyone in it. I’m still on the fence of whether or not it’s weird being in Haiti for the Holidays, it just seems like summer most of the time.

Today Tom (one of 3 volunteers) is heading back to the US. Emily plans on bringing myself and the 2 girls that came to bring presents for the kids, up to Mission Baptist (up in the mountains) so they can buy some souvenirs for home since they head back to Canada on the 25th (Tomorrow). I Don’t think I would want to go home on Christmas; it’s not that I’d be missing on the festivities but I would hate to kind of burden the people needed to come and get me.

Tyson & Maeve

Tyson & Maeve

I’m sure a lot of people like to make Christmas lists… me I’m not a fan. I usually don’t want anything and my mum always bugs me to make one, the problem is everything I want is usually really expensive so I hate asking for it. It’ll be nice to not have to make a list this year! But if anyone is interested to know what would be on it if there was one I’ll tell ya: I would like some money for Credits on my internet stick for while I’m in Haiti. You can look at it as an Xmas donation to keep my blogs coming if you want :). It’s just under $2 US a day to use the internet, and I don’t use it every day. If I did use it everyday it would cost about $47 US for the rest of my trip. Just let me know if you want to make a kind donation 🙂 (Click here for Contact info).

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I’m sure when I return home I’ll realize a lot more things, but since being here when I think of all the abundance people have where I’m from things are really taken for granted.  Even taking Christmas presents aside, we’ve been out of water, well low on water for the past 2 days, that means no running showers (that means bucket showers) and not much variety in food (water truck just came we have water again YAY). Back to the gifts part. A lot of the kids here are just happy to by cared for/about or even just get Candy Canes. Try giving your kids or a friend who is expecting a nice gift a Candy Cane for a present see how they react. I’m sure some people will be fine with it or even love it, but I think a lot of people will be upset and throw a tantrum… probably some adults too. The kids here at Kè Kontan are getting gifts this year thanks to the past few groups of volunteers who brought some, and who also gifted us with a Christmas tree.

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Things in Haiti aren’t easy but it’s the simplest of things that can make a difference and give someone a smile. This year for Christmas think about all the luxuries you have and they gifts you receive and be thankful. If you didn’t get the gifts you wanted just think about the people you get to be around, or even just the new day you get to be in. If you’re spending the day alone head out into the street give someone a gift card or a couple of bucks, just pick a stranger… the good feelings you may get might be the best gift of all .

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays and may your Festivities be as joyous as you expected. Another things I’m hoping for is that the kids don’t hurt themselves for one day… it 9 AM and I’ve already had to give out a Band-aid.

Justin - Val P - Emily

Justin – Val P – Emily

“ Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

~Mother Theresa