Thursday, February 26, 2009

A cutie with her medicine

The orphanage we're adopting from is going through a chicken pox outbreak. I can't even imagine 100 toddlers and children breaking out at the same time. Oh my!!! Robin and Emily took down some donations for GLA which I'm sure will be put to good use. Here's one of the babies... no chicken pox... surrounded by some of the supplies.

Terre Sel

Part of the bumpy journey up the mountain to Terre Sel.

A cutie at the current school in Terre Sel.

The current school in Terre Sel watching the video that Jeff, the HS principle sent to tell about their support.

Emily catching some sun on the boat ride to La Gonave Island.

6 degrees of separation; the theory that we can connect to anyone in the world through 6 relationships. In other words, person A needs a maximum of 5 people to connect to person B, supposing person A doesn't know person B. Volunteerism illustrates this perfectly.

Craig Kielburger of Free the Children comes to Halifax and gives a presentation to students.

Jeff Lewis, principle of local high school was a missionary in La Gonave, Haiti.

Students from local high school decide to raise funds to build a school in Haiti.

Robin & Emily visit Haiti and take cash donations for a school in crisis.

Robin & Jeff were university roommates and so a visit is made to the future school site along with cash donations given to Robin by fellow workers who are also anxious to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

A great partnership between people in Halifax, Nova Scotia and people in Terre Sel, Haiti.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My baby is 15

I just don't know where the time goes. 15 years ago it was a cold, icy wintery day. And our sweet little Kaylin came into our lives. On the one hand, it seems like yesterday, and on the other hand, so much has happened in the past 15 years. I'm looking forward to the next few years as she continues to grow and mature and make those major decisions about her life's direction.

Her birthday meal was not the typical fare. She chose "Curried Veggie Stew" with rice and Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing. YUM!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

They're home

Robin and Emily came home from Haiti this week. They were gone for 2 weeks and we are so glad to have them back. They had some great adventures, but they both said that one of the best parts of the trip was sharing it together.

We have a picture of Peterson standing in the exact same spot here at the Baptist Mission. GLA takes the kids here to see the little zoo and to have a treat of french fries.

Robin loves playing with the kids. Nothing like a man doing a little dosey do, holding a child at the same time. These kids are from an orphanage on La Gonave.

A former missionary to Haiti here in Halifax is raising money for this small school in La Gonave. They need to build a new building in order to qualify as a Compassion school. Then the kids will get sponsors and the community as well as lives will be changed. Robin said that the school currently has next to nothing. It was a slow 6 hour drive up the mountain just to get here.

Emily loving some kids in Bainet. Being around the kids was also a highlight for Emily but also difficult to see the hardship and sorrow some of them face daily.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February update

We always received our updates from GLA the last week of the month, often the last day of the last week. But now Canadians receive them the 2nd week of the month. I just never expect it so soon but it's always a nice treat to see the fun pictures. Once again, Peterson seems to be completely enjoying the moment and Gaëlle is more interested in the props.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We don't like it

I was talking to my co-volunteer today about our adoption. I had previously asked if she had any book recommendations for me. I am fairly ignorant about the history of the black community in Nova Scotia and she is just now embracing and learning about her black history. So she had a couple of suggestions for me but also interesting coversation.

Her: I have been talking to my friends about you.

Me: Oh.

Her: Yes, we think you are courageous.

Me: About the adoption?

Her: Yes. We all think Haiti is rough.

Me: Really? In what way?

Lengthy discussion about black men. Nature vs. nurture. Education sucking the soul out of creative sensitive children of all races. The importance of love and compassion towards all.

I'm still not sure what she meant about Haiti being rough but then she continued.

Her: Do you want to know what black women think when they see a white woman with a black child?

Me: Yes. (thinking she's going to mention hair)

Her: We don't like it. But we'll talk more later. Call me.

Anyway, we'll talk more later because she really is a sweet lady and I think she now wants to help me understand, and racial injustice/ disharmony is very heavy on her heart.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Whoo Hoo

Our file has been found. We're still in parquet, but at least parquet knows where our file is. I am just on cloud 9 and praising the Lord.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Black history month

My mom is the queen of yard sales and thrift stores and don't forget those library sales. She just loves finding a good book and passing it on. We have received so many gems from her over the years. We just have to ask for a certain type of book and lo and behold, she finds it.

One category I'm asking her to scout out now are picture books with black children. She has already found some great books and she's still on the lookout. I just came across another great resource. The Brown Bookshelf is a website dedicated to shining the light on authors and illustrators of color writing for children. During the month of February they are featuring a different author or illustrator every day. I've enjoyed reading the interviews posted each day.

In particular I love the illustrations of Nicole Tadgell from February 3. I remember when Kaylin and I were going through Five in a Row when I was homeschooling her. It helped us learn about different styles and we both discovered what we liked and the emotion and power behind the art. I love the softness of watercolor and Kaylin loves the quirkiness of an illustrator like G. Brian Karas who did Truman's Aunt Farm.

I've requested No Mush Today from our library and look forward to many more gems this month.

Snow, snow, & more snow

In the latest message from Molly, she mentioned that the kids were able to see Joyce play in the snow when she went home for Christmas. Using a webcam, they were able to film walking through the snow and throwing it up in the air and making a snowball. Apparently it made quite an impression because Peterson knows that in Canada he'll be able to play in the snow and "He can't wait."

Well, I can't wait to see him play in the snow either, but I myself am sick of the stuff. Robin and Emily made it to Haiti safe and sound on Tuesday, completely ahead of the snow that we got that day. So on Wednesday when I went out to shovel, I just about cried. It was crusty on top which was troublesome enough, but then when I looked to the end of the driveway, the snowplow had left a HUGE pile. And there was no place to shovel it. I was half way through the mound of snow and our house builder came by in his truck and completely decimated the snow for me. YEAH!!!!!

But later on when I went to start the car, it was frozen in the driveway. I chipped away at the ice in the driveway but no luck. Again, another man to my resuce. My neighbor came over and helped me get the car out. THANK YOU.

Normally, by the end of winter I am more than happy to see the white stuff gone. I think this winter is so much worse than usual because of the ice. There's always ice/freezing rain somewhere in the mix. If we could just get rid of the ice, I think I could handle the snow.

Anyway, end of rant. And I really just wrote that for Robin in case he gets a chance to see this, to let him know that I really miss him. Especially when it snows!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A fun surprise

Still no news on the lost file, but Molly sent us some pictures of the kids opening their latest package from us. She also included some holiday photos. Once again, they both look great and seem to be doing very well. Just a few words from Molly.

"Gaëlle thought that the baby doll you sent had the most beautiful hair she had seen. She has done and redone its hair about a million times, and it now has so much pomade in it (since when the ladies do Gaëlle’s hair they put pomade in it, she thought that her baby needed it too) you can just mold it into whatever shape you want and the wax holds it in place."

"We had electrical problems at the toddler house for two weeks in January. One of the pistons on our generator busted and it took time to get a mechanic here, and to get it down to the shop, and then to diagnose the problem, etc. So we went without power. The staff was awesome and I was amazed at their willingness to do what needed done with very little complaining. One of the larger inconveniences was doing the laundry, which of course had to be done by hand. On morning the oldest girls (as washing is considered a female duty by culture) took it upon themselves do some of their own washing… and before long 8 of the boys had joined them. Peterson being one of them! He scrubbed and scrubbed and though doesn’t really know how to get things “clean” worked HARD at his self chosen task. He rung the articles out and hung them up to dry, a very proud boy."