Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Alone

That's right - Wilhelmina and Jayden took off today for Chilliwack, so im on my own for 2 weeks! They are going for my sister, Chantelle's wedding. I hope/pray everything goes well as Will and Jayden have over 27 hours of travelling time including an 8 hour wait tonight in Toronto. It was kinda cool landing at Port au Prince while the Air Canada plane she was on patiently waited for me!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Day With Jayden

Hi, my name is Jayden. I’m almost 2 and live with my Mommy and Daddy in Haiti. I’ve visited a lot of places already in my life. I was born in Chilliwack, lived in Langley, traveled to Ontario, New Jersey, Grand Rapids, lived in Idaho, traveled to California, moved back to Chilliwack and then finally moved with my Mommy and Daddy to Haiti. In Haiti we first lived in a village that had lots of nice animals, but now we live in Port-au-Prince and we have our very own home. I like it here. I have my own bedroom, and even a playroom. Daddy built shelves and a little table and I like playing with my toys. Every morning I wake up around 6:30. Mommy really wishes I would sleep longer, but that’s the time Daddy gets up, so I want to get up too. When Daddy hears I’m awake he lifts me out of my crib and brings me to Mommy who’s still sleeping in bed. I found out that the quickest way to wake her up is to go sit on her head! As she moans and slowly rolls out of bed I run down the hall way to the kitchen. I know I like peanut butter on my bread so I carefully open the pantry and pull out the container of butter and the pot of peanut butter and put them carefully on the counter. Then Mommy won’t be confused about what I want on my bread. Usually I get milk with my breakfast, but I always check it before I drink it. Sometimes Mommy forgets to put “chocolate” in it and I have to remind her. Once I’m done breakfast Mommy washes my hands and face and I remind her that it’s time for “potty”. Usually Mommy will give me a toy or book to play with while I sit, but it never takes long. As soon as I’m done I jump up and down and say “Wow, Wow” and clap my hands. I’ve seen Mommy do that when I’m all done, so I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do. Then I run to the cupboard and help myself to one or two or three candies, before Mommy catches me. Once I’m finished with that and changed out of my pajamas, I tell Mommy I want to go “outside”. Then I go look for my “hat” and “shoes”. I know I’ll need those too. Outside I play with my two friends Nicholas and Sabboule. We put rocks in bottles, fill up my little pool with sand, leaves and rocks, chase each other in the grass, or play with the balloons Mommy gives us. At ten o’clock it’s sleepy time and I sleep till lunch time. After lunch I either play outside again, or if it’s to hot I play inside in the playroom with the fan on. I already know how to turn it off and on all by myself! Sometimes we go to Auntie Jen and Uncle Todd’s house (friends from my Mommy and Daddy) and swim in their big pool. I like that! I also like it when Daddy comes home from work and I can play with him. After supper Mommy usually lets me play for a little while and then I have a bath. At night I’m usually very tired from all my playing so it doesn’t take long for me to fall asleep. Before I fall asleep I also pray with Mommy for all the people back in Canada. Mommy says we are going to visit there soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Medical Flight

Sunday morning, on the island of La Gonave, a large truck carrying 20 passengers went off the road and crashed killing 2 and injuring 12 others. MAF was called to do an emergency medivac flight to transport the 4 most critically injured patients to Port au Prince. We had just finished church when my phone rang, calling me to go down to the airport to fly 1 of the 2 planes going to La Gonave. I felt like I was working for the Chilliwack Fire Department again as i rushed to get dressed into my pilot uniform, and hurried down to the airport. Once I had landed at La Gonave, I realized that the entire village had come out to the airstrip to help / watch. A huge mob of Haitians surrounded my plane as i struggled to open the door.

Shortly after I landed, a small pickup truck came speeding onto the airstrip carrying the patients in the back. It didn't take me long to realize that this was La Gonave's ambulance.

I helped load the 2 patients into my plane, and then the rest into the 2nd plane

This 18 minute flight is saving these 2 women (along with the others) countless hours of travel by boat across the open ocean to Port au Prince.

Flying back to Port au Prince.

After waiting quite some time for an ambulance, and realizing that it wasn't going to show up, arrangements were made to transport them from the airport to the hospital with a pickup truck. It wasn't until it arrived that i realized how much we take ambulances for granted in North America!

Helping with loading the patients in the back of the truck.

Finally after we loaded them in the back of the "ambulance", they discovered that it wouldn't start. They lifted the hood and tinkered with it for a good 15 minutes before they got it to start, and sped off towards the hospital.

Through this experience, I am once again reminded of how valuable the service of MAF is here in Haiti. Countless Haitians depend on the wings of MAF to provide food, medicine, transportation, and medical evacuations each year, and I praise the Lord that I am able to be apart of this wonderful ministry!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just another day in the life of a MAF pilot!

Today I had another exciting day of flying. First thing this morning I flew a work team into Pignon. Pignon has many teams that come in who help build schools, houses, hold worship services and also assist in the hospital. The team we flew in today is there to work in the hospital for two weeks. An important part of MAF's work here in Haiti is to transport these teams to the remote villages. Upon arrival, a sick, elderly women with open wounds all over the side of her face was waiting at the airstrip to be transported to the Port au Prince hospital. Since Port-au-Prince has a more advanced hospital she could receive further care for her condition there. It was sad to see how frail she was and to see the pain she was obviously experiencing. She was even too weak to climb into the airplane by herself so I had to assist her. Please remember this lady in your prayers that she may be able to receive the medical attention she needs at the Port au Prince Hospital.
After landing at the Port-au-Prince airport and unloading passengers and cargo, I took off for La Gonave to pick up a Haitian Pastor and his family. As I neared the coast of the Island of La Gonave, I spotted some little islands below that were literally packed with no more than 30 shacks! I couldn't help wonder what would happen if a small tidal wave washed over their island! As I turned final to land, I noticed that a large herd of goats were leisurely grazing on the side of the narrow airstrip. Just as I touched down, the goats startled by the noise of the aircraft, ran in all directions, including straight onto the runway right in front of me. This forced me to apply the brakes much harder then I like too. Thankfully I was able to come to a complete stop before hitting any of them. After that scare, I was able to return back to the Port-au-Prince airport safely without any more "incidents"
And thus ends another day in the life of a MAF pilot.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thank You

I pull my hand through my long brown hair as I survey the pile of donated items piled on the kitchen counter. Friends and family back home have given clothes, underwear, combs, soap, toothbrushes, pencil cases with pencils and erasers, and a variety of different toys. Altogether my parents were able to fill up 4 suitcases so we have a large assortment of things. Now that my parents have returned to Canada, I have some extra time on my hands, but where should I start? Well, first things first, I guess. Who should we give it to? Since we won't be returning to the village till July and we have just given all the kids we knew there care packages before we left, I think it would be better to hand out here in Port-au-Prince where we live. Suddenly a thought strikes me. I should go talk to Denise.
"Denise, eske ou kapab ede mwen silvouple?" (Denise, can you help me please?) I ask, "Oke", she answers cheerily. Her eyes widen when she sees the pile of things on my kitchen counter. I explain to her that family and friends back in Canada donated all these things for the people in Haiti and then I ask if she would like to pick out some things for her family. "Silvouple" (Please) she says and minutes later she's picked out a skirt for herself, two shirts for her little boys, a tube of toothpaste, a bar of soap, and a pencil case for Nicholas for school. When she's done I give her some toys for the boys as well. You can tell on her face how happy she is. Do you know more people who could benefit from extra clothing, toiletries, and school supplies I ask her in Kreyol? Oh yes, she says. In Kanepevet there are lots of people who could use these things. Well, why don't we get to work on making bags for them, I say, and since you used to live there, you will know what piece of clothing fits what child. As we get to work, I sneakily peek at Denise's face every few minutes. Nothing can wipe the smile off her face as she carefully examines the clothes and then tells me the name of the child who we should give it too. Darlene, Sandra, Ti Ton Ton, Nadja, Senleek, Patricia, Evant, Jebel, Angelo, Kalya, Emerson, the list goes on and on. At each name her face lights up and I can see the joy in her eyes as she thinks about how happy they will be with the various items. In the next few weeks we hope to go there with Anoud and Denise and hand them out in Canopy Vert. We want you to know that the love and care you’ve shown by donating the various items, really makes a difference for the people here and are much appreciated. On behalf of them, thank you so much.