Monday, April 29, 2013


Have you heard of Apparent Project? I hope I've talked about them before because they are an amazing organization working here in Haiti. They provide jobs to a couple hundred people, many who started out living in tents but are now able to afford better housing and to send their kids to school. So many good things happening at Apparent Project!! Please check out their website and consider making a purchase. You won't regret it!

Anyway, last year at some point my coworker Johane had some people from Apparent Project come and train a few "kids" in Gramothe to make paper beads. After some trial and error, there are three young people from Gramothe that have been successful in selling their paper bead jewelry. Our medical director brought some Victoria's Secret bags for them to make necklace/bracelet sets and they were pretty awesome looking. I've been wanting my own necklace, but wanted to put it together myself. So I asked the kids to make me 200 beads. (I needed choices, right?) I thought it might take them a while to finish the beads, but the kids were finished in less than a week!

I am now the happy owner of three different types of beads. My favorites are the small orange-ish beads that Magalie made. So versitile. I have too much to do here before we leave to start playing with these beads, but I have projects in mind for all of them! In fact I wish I had beads in a few other colors, so I may be purchasing more beads in the next couple of weeks.

If you're interested in purchasing some beads from these students, shoot me an e-mail or message on Facebook for more details.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Savoring these moments

Just a typical day at school. Kids playing. Teachers watching. Sun shining. 

I'm trying to savor these ordinary moments, to remember whenever I start to miss Haiti and our life here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Drive

These are pictures from a drive we took a couple of Sundays ago (before the little gas crisis). We went to eat in Kenscoff and then took an exploratory drive down a side road on our way home. It was fun to see a new area, and of course I loved the view of the mountains.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Students at Work

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wish they'd told me...

Apparently there's a prize to the teacher who can leave the most notes on the chalkboard at the end of class. My Senior students took 25 minutes to copy these notes a couple of weeks ago--and they weren't messing around.

I think I need to step up my game if I want to be in the running for the Most Notes prize!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Trying to Remember

We're in the midst of some very frustrating "teething" days. My normally happy baby is quite fussy and can't sleep for very long without waking up to fuss some more. These pictures help me remember that good days will come again. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Official Bittersweet Announcement

I'd like to skip this post all together in order to ignore reality, but I know I can't do that. *sigh* Here's goes.

We’re thankful for the ministry God has given us with Mountain Top Ministries. Arold has been at the school since 2007 and I've been here since 2010. We have invested in our students through English and computer classes, crochet lessons, summer VBS, and countless hours in the school yard building relationships. Nearly 20 of these young people have been baptized in the last two years. Arold has taught Sunday school classes, played on the worship team, and most recently started a gospel choir with the youth. We have both been privileged to play a part in providing life changing medical care to more than 7,000 patients through the clinic in the last two years alone. There are a lot of good things happening through the school, medical clinic, and church in Gramothe.

While we have been blessed to be a part of the ministry here, we recognize that our time with MTM has come to a close. After a lot of prayer and many sleepless nights, Arold and I have made the difficult decision to move our family to the U.S. for the next chapter of our lives. We are still passionate about empowering Haiti’s youth through education, and we hold a special place for Haitian kids in our hearts. We look forward to the day that God will move us back to Haiti. But for now, we’re preparing for an international move during the first week of June.

So, the bitter part is that we are leaving our students, our church, our first home, and Arold's family. It's definitely not going to be easy. The sweetness that helps us deal with all this bitter is that we'll be close to my family, have constant electricity, and be able to enjoy all of the conveniences that life in the US has to offer. 

Pray for us, will you?

P.S. Nothing is wrong. Yes, it is very fast timing, and we are as surprised as you are that we're moving to the States. We are confident this is where God is leading us for this phase of our lives, so as hard as it is to leave Haiti we need to be obedient to Him.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

10 reasons I love living in Haiti

10. the church is the social hub--There's something to be said for having a social life that revolves around the church, especially when the church is within walking distance from your house.

9. the slower pace of life--I don't have meetings to attend. I don't keep a day planner. I don't have places to go after work, so I don't have to think about making dinner between work and other stuff. It's nice not to rush around like a crazy person every day.

8. the mountains--I don't think gazing at mountains, near or far, will ever get old. I also love the fact that the temperature is a good 10* lower on the mountain than in the city. And I love/hate the exercise I get walking up and down the mountain to school. (I curse the mountain when I'm doing the walking and bless the mountain when my pants feel baggy.)

7. the beauty--have you seen the flowers here? Or the mountains? Or the waterfalls, beaches, and lakes? The landscape is gorgeous.

6. the chivalry--I don't think I've carried anything heavier than Isaac since I arrived in Haiti. The very clear gender roles mean that any nearby male will come to my aid if a task is "too difficult" for a woman. Some women might be offended, but I rather enjoy it!

5. the fresh produce--Have you ever had a banana or mango fresh from the tree? So much tastier than the stuff Americans buy in the grocery store. We buy most of our produce from the local farmers' market, and most of it is so fresh it's still covered in dirt from the field.

4. the cultural focus on relationships and people--I'm a task oriented person, so I still get sucked into the "gotta get this done" mindset, but I'm learning to enjoy people and the time I have with them--even if I don't accomplish all I set out to.

3. the weather--This is a no-brainer. I live on a tropical island and 60* is considered cold. I'll take the humidity and heat over winter any day.

2. the resiliency of the people--Life is hard here, but my friends are making it work. My students are rolling with the punches, making lemonade when life gives them lemons, and generally showing me what it means to keep on going when all you want to do is give up.

1. my students--I haven't shared as many stories about my students lately, but they are still as charming as ever. They always ask how Isaac is doing and often want to know why I don't bring him to class. My students are dedicated to their education and determined to rise above their current circumstances. They want to learn and put forth great efforts to get an education.