Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Isaac Steven Charles was born Monday September 24th at 9:25pm. He weighed 7 pounds and 14 ounces and was 19 inches long. We were discharged this morning and have enjoyed being at home lounging in our own bed. Birth story and more pictures to come another day. This family needs some sleep!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prayerful Monday

Here's some of what we're praying about this week:

  • Pray for a natural and uncomplicated birth for our son
  • School starts on Oct 1st. Pray for a good start to the school year.
  • Praise God all the paperwork has been turned in for Britney's permis de sejour.
  • Pray for God's favor as we apply for Arold's visa (waiting on one last piece of paperwork and our baby to be born before we take it all to the embassy)
  • Praise God for a successful first clinic week Sept 11-15th.
  • Pray for the next clinic team as they prepare to serve Oct. 2nd-6th.
  • Pray for all the teams coming in October: two weeks of clinic teams, a non-medical team (I dont know what they are doing yet), and a group of people coming to check out how they can get involved. It will be a busy month for MTM!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bump Update

This is me at 39 weeks pregnant. (Sept 16th)

I hope it's the last bump update and that next time I have a baby to show off!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Craft Day

Wednesday turned into craft day at our house. I invited Rosias over to help me test a crochet project because I want to have a class sometime next month. My hands hurt too much right now to try to crochet, so I needed someone to do it for me. Anyway, I taught him a couple different stitches and let him practice with yarn for a little bit while I worked on lunch. Then I gave him some fabric strips (1.5" wide) and had him start a semi-circle rug. Once he mastered changing colors and counting rows, I packed up the rest of the supplies he would need and sent him home before it started raining.

While Rosias was crocheting, my husband worked on his very first banana leaf card. I showed Rosias some as an example and my husband decided he could make them. He left the house with some scissors and came back with a big chunk of banana leaf "bark". I think he would benefit from having a razor blade, but his first card turned out alright, don't you think?

And then there's poor pitiful me. All fine motor movements (typing, writing, drawing, crocheting, etc) make my fingers go numb because of this pregnancy induced carpel tunnel. So I just cut up plastic bags to make plarn for later use. I'm planning to crochet some baskets when I can feel my hands again, so I figured I could work on preparing my supplies while the guys worked on their projects. It was a fun day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Golden Nuggets IX: Local Grocery Store

Living in a foreign country requires learning new customs and adjusting to a new normal. All those interesting tidbits I learn as I live in Haiti are Golden Nuggets. And what kind of person would I be if I didn't share those Golden Nuggets with others?

As I drove home from the grocery store yesterday, I thought about some observations I should share with all of you. Some background information: this grocery store is about 5 minutes from my house. It's a smallish mom and pop type place, but it has nearly everything I could have on my shopping list.

My observations:

  • I bought 6 items. All of them were put in their own plastic bag. One was even double bagged, so I left with 6 items and 7 bags.
  • All the cashiers at this store are female. All the bag boys are men. The more I think about it, the more I realize this is true for all grocery stores I've ever been to in Haiti. Gender roles are very defined here and apparently running a cash register is for women and bagging up items is for men. It is worth noting that the cashiers will bag items if a bag boy is not available.
  • The grocery store is expensive. I can buy 5lbs of flour at the boutique next to my house for $16, but at the store it's at least $20* if not more. AND the last time I bought flour at the store it had bugs in it. I've never found bugs in my boutique flour... and I've been sifting it ever since I found those bugs!
     Eggs are even more ridiculous. A dozen eggs at the grocery store costs $25-$30, but we buy a flat of eggs (30) for $39 at the boutique next door.
*All money in this post is in Haitian Dollars. $8 Haitian=$1 US.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayerful Monday

Here's what we're praying about this week:

  • Marie Carme's baby died this weekend. Please pray for this family.
  • School should start today. Should because there was a flurry of phone calls prior to 6 am this morning about whether or not school was actually going to start today. Arold had a family thing for some cousins yesterday, so we were not in Gramothe for church and missed any announcement that may or may not have been made. School will not start in October in accordance with the Ministry of Education's edict. Please pray for the students--especially those who were looking forward to a consistent daily meal when school started.
  • Praise God that all my paperwork has FINALLY been completed for the permis de sejour. We only had to go to the Immigration office four times last week to get it all submitted. Now we wait for them to prepare it. I can go back at the end of October to pick it up. (It's the end of the fiscal year, so they need two months to fill out a piece of paper that staples to my passport.)
  • The first medical team of the year is arriving today. Praise God for the services they will provide to the many patients that will come this week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Things I didn't know I missed

I've been trying to menu plan since I returned to Haiti in July. It helps me stay motivated to cook every day, which I think I've mentioned before is not really my cup of tea, and it also helps me know what to buy at the grocery store. Sundays are our "Big Haitian Meal" day, but last week I found a piece of meat at the grocery store that looked like it could be a pot roast. So I bought it for our Sunday meal and cooked it in my pressure cooker with potatoes, onions, and carrots.

I. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. As we were eating I kept asking my husband what he thought and declaring it was "so, so good."

To be honest, it really wasn't an amazing pot roast. In fact it was just mediocre. It could have used some more seasoning or spices of some kind, but it did taste good and filled our stomachs. I guess I thought it was so great because it was a little taste of home that I didn't even know I was missing.

Rewind a couple of weeks to a cold and rainy night. Since I've been pregnant I have been HOT. Even at night when it cools down I typically want to turn the fan on to help cool off before I try to sleep. But a few weeks ago a storm rolled in and the temperature really dropped. It got down to less than 70* (I know that's not really cool for most of you, but around here it's quite unusual for this time of year). I was actually cold enough to put on long pants and a long sleeve shirt and even socks! I felt crazy wearing so many clothes in August in Haiti, but it was so refreshing to curl up with my husband on the couch and pretend it was fall!

Then I found a recipe online for pumpkin spice lattes. You better believe we will be drinking pumpkin spice lattes the next time I get my hands on a joumou (pumpkin)! I just used the last of the joumou I had baked,  pureed, and frozen to make pumpkin bread; otherwise we would have had some already.

I thought there was one other thing I realized I missed lately, but I can't think of it right now. I'm making white chili today, so I can pretend it's fall again.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Special Prayer Request

We got word that Micka's sister Marie Carme, a lady in the village of Gramothe, gave birth to twin boys this morning. She didn't know she was having twins; she just knew her stomach was huge. She was due in late October, so the babies were quite early. One died at home shortly after birth, and the other wasn't doing well. The family called Willem and he took them to a hospital in the city early this morning. Arold and I just called Micka for an update. She said the baby is doing a little better, but the hospital won't let anyone stay with him--not even Marie Carme. She can bring some milk for him tomorrow and see him, but she can't stay.

Please pray for this precious little one fighting for his life, Marie Carme, and the entire family. 

UPDATE 9/4: The baby is at the Medishare hospital. He looks just like his sister Rebecca and weighs 4 lbs. Mom is supposed to stay home and take care of herself, but should send milk every day. The American nurse that Willem talked to said the baby looked great and she was hopeful he would make it. Please keep praying!!

Prayerful Monday

Last week I wasn't able to post because of tropical storm Isaac--he knocked out the internet for few days. Sorry about that. Here's what you can pray about this week.

  • Praise the Lord for making it through T.S. Isaac with only minimal damage (trees down) in our area of Haiti. Life was back to normal in Thomassin by 3pm on Saturday.
  • Baby Charles should be here by the end of the month! We've taken a tour of the maternity hospital and are now seeing the doctor every 7-10 days. We are praying for baby to come when he's good and ready--and for a natural, uncomplicated birth. 
  • School will start in Gramothe on September 10th. The Ministry of Education doesn't really want schools to start before Oct. 1st because then schools can charge an extra month of tuition. Since our kids don't pay tuition, we should be fine, but we appreciate prayers that no waves will be made by opening in September.
  • The national exam results are back for all of our students. It was not a good year for our students. We're in the process of identifying areas of weakness and setting goals for our staff and students. Pray for God's wisdom in this process.
  • The first medical team arrives Sept. 10th. Pray that we'll have a great start to this new clinic season, and praise him for those who are sacrificing a week with their families to serve in the Gramothe Clinic!
  • Arold is now teaching a Sunday school class for the musicians in the church. Praise God for this new class, and pray that the Lord would work in and through my husband as he leads this group.
We hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend! We're planning to take it easy this week as Arold gets ready to go back to school and jump into the clinic routine all at the same time.