I'm glad you're here.

Welcome to my blog! I'm so excited to share with you! Thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. It means a lot to me, the other volunteers at Children of the Promise, and especially the dear little ones I get to work with. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bar Soap and Burn Cream

I know I am very sporadic with my blogging but this is something I've wanted to share for awhile.

God provides.

It's simple but it's true. Coming to Haiti I had to have faith that God would be working out all the little details of my stay here. Living in Haiti I have to have faith that God will provide for us as an organization and specifically for the needs of each and every baby in our care.

Well... 5 months into it and I'm still convinced of this simple truth. In fact, I'm actually quite enthusiastic about it.

COTP benefits immensely from the people who choose to spend a few weeks of their time in Haiti. Short term volunteers help take care of the babies that need extra attention, specifically those that are still small or unhealthy. They help do a multitude of daily tasks like dish washing, brushing teeth, clipping baby finger nails, boiling baby bottles, feeding babies, etc. Probably most importantly volunteers allow for all the kids to get some extra one on one attention. The past few months we've been blessed with teams that have come to paint buildings and do other projects.

I've convinced that God provides just the right volunteers with the right skills at the right times. Example, Bryan a super tall volunteer from Texas was here the week we were repainting the pharmacy. Example B, Joanne, a nurse with 20+ years of experience in immunizations came the week I decided to sit down and map out catch-up vaccination schedules. Example C, Erin, a new nurse grad with experience on a neonatal cardiac intensive care unit came just in time to take care of a baby with those very needs. These are just a few examples. I'm thankful for everyone who has been through.

The Pharmacy

I spend a lot of time in this room. I use it daily to consult with people from the community. It's used when our pediatrician comes once a month. It's used on vaccination day and when new children get their blood drawn for labs.

Once a month, things get very crowded in the pharmacy. The place is full of 70 mothers and babies between the ages of 0 and 6 months. Women who have been through the pre-natal program are asked to return monthly with their infants. We weigh and measure the babies and the mothers have an opportunity to ask questions about their health.

Here are some photos.
lab day
Women from the pre-natal program wait with their babies.
healthy babies, concerned moms
pharmacy: before

Bar Soap and Burn Cream

We get mail once a week. On mail day, Nick drives to the airport in town, waits for the Agape plane to touch down, and then heads out to the runway to help unload boxes sent by generous supporters. Diapers, cheerios, formula... It's basically like Christmas once a week.

Usually Maria, Jamie, or Nikki will sort through the items to make sure we get the names and addresses of those who have contributed. Anything medical ends up in a pile in the pharmacy. After seeing the items that would show up in my pile each mail day during my first few weeks in Haiti I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't ever have to worry about not having the right supplies to meet the health needs of our kids.

One week we received a donation of extra bar soap. The next few days I encountered kids with skin issues that could be resolved with attention to good hygiene. I gave out quite a few bars of soap that week. On another occasion we received a large donations of medication, mostly antibiotics. In it was a case of silver silvadine a cream which happens to be excellent for burns and other wounds. It's funny. As we sat in the pharmacy sorting through this shipment, Silvia, the nurse responsible for acquiring these supplies from the Canadian government asked whether I had seen many burns. My answer at the time was "no." Not kidding, within the next three days I treated three kids with serious burns from surrounding communities.

At the beginning of July we were almost out of oral rehydration solution, a necessary remedy for kids with diarrhea, vomiting, and high fevers. A neighboring missionary decided to give me ALL of the medical supplies that were sitting in one of their buildings. A medical team had come through and had left enough medication to fill 3 red radio flyer wagons!! Talk about a JACKPOT! In this stash was a box of ORS. I've used nearly every packet in the past four weeks. This sequence repeats itself constantly. God provides and a need presents itself.

It's pretty cool.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meet the nannies: Part 1

Returning to COTP was pretty much amazing. One month is a significant chunk of time in the life of a baby! Kids that couldn't walk when I left are walking, kids that couldn't yet sit are sitting, and almost everyone had gained a pound or two during my month away. Most shocking was hearing our growing group of walking 1-2 year olds carrying on full conversations with eachother -in baby gibberish of course - but they are conversing nonetheless. It's cute.

Seeing the nannies and giving them all hugs was equally exciting. The nannies have become like my extended family. I see them every day...I feel like I am getting to know some of them pretty well. These women are amazing. We have close to 60 Haitien women working as nannies, cooks, and laundry/cleaning personnel. We also have an adoption liason, a school sponsorship coordinator, a pre-natal program director and assistant, and we have a few men who help by doing yardwork, maintenance, and driving.

A lot of our nannies live right here in Lagosette and in neighboring villages which means... I wave to them in them in their homes when I go for a run, I sit by them in church, I give them a ride home from town if I happen to be driving the red machin. Such is village life. (I love it.)
I get to meet a lot of family members (mostly due to illness...unfortunately). It seems that at least once every day a nanny/staff member asks whether I'd be willing to consult with their sick son, father, sister, cousin, aunt....

Seeing families together is one of my favorite things. Example: It would make my day if a nanny brought all of her kids to COTP, stood them in a line, and told me their names and ages. I also enjoy learning about family ties. I've been in Haiti for quite a while now and I'm still learning who is related to whom. Apparently, whenever I discover that a certain Nanny A happens to be the sister of a certain Nanny B I make a pretty big deal about it. The other day I learned that 7 of our nannies were related, as either sisters or step-sisters. The women were enjoying my reaction at the revelation of each relationship so much so that they added an 8th nanny just for fun. Later in the day they got quite a kick out of telling me they were only joking about sister #8.

Basically, I think these ladies are a LOT of fun. They also have faith in God like you would not believe! But I'll save that topic for another post.

Friends and family, I should also have you know that the nannies always ask about you and tell me that they are praying for you. For those of you who are interested in praying for COTP: Please pray for the nannies and their families. At the moment, quite a few have family members that are seriously ill. Thanks!