Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's a Girl!

I slowly walk up the stairs to our front door and then pause for a moment to take a deep breath. Wow, it sure is hot. We had just cooled off in a nearby swimming pool, but by the time we walked back home we were all hot and sweaty again. I could just feel the sweat dripping off of me. It had to be over 40 degrees in the shade for sure.

I wonder how Denise is doing? I thought to myself. The midwife had come earlier this morning, but had returned home again. "I will be back later," she had said and we hadn't seen her since.

"I'm going to hang up our bathing suits and towels on the line", Mom Krul said, as she opened the door to our back courtyard. In the meantime I got juice ready for everybody. Seconds later Mom was back inside. "I hear a baby," she said, "I can hear a little baby crying!". "No, way, that can't be", I responded. I hadn't noticed that the midwife had returned because we had come in the house through the front door. A few minutes later Anoud came out of his house, "Yes, Denise had her baby," he said. "Are they okay?" I asked, I had been worried about her ever since she told me she wanted to have the baby at home. "Yes", he said, and I sighed in relief.
"As soon as everything is cleaned up you can come see them," he said. It seemed like hours later, since we all got very excited, but finally he called us so we could see Denise and the baby. I couldn't help but fall in love when I saw the beautiful little baby girl. God is indeed good!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Impression - Jason's parents

We arrived safely in Port au Prince on Tuesday, July 21. First impressions in a nutshell; a country and population in need, a population living with a day to day perspective rather than what goals they have for the coming month or years; a population, most of which quite unsure where the future sustenance will come from; and a population in need of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

In our stay here so far, we have been able to fly with Jason into the small communities that MAF typically serves. MAF flies in teams of missionaries, medical professionals, supplies and people with urgent medical conditions needing hospitalization in Port au Prince in and out of these small and very remote communities.

On Wednesday we flew into La Gonave, a small airstrip along the coast of the island. This island is a twenty minute flight from Port au Prince. We flew out a work team that had been in the community working on a water purification project. Since Jason flies into this village on a regular basis, he was greeted upon his arrival by many children. They gathered on the airstrip as soon as they heard the MAF plane over head. Jason has developed a wonderful friendship with these children.

This runway is in Mole St. Nicholas on the northern tip of Haiti. Here MAF had to fly out a vehicle transmission belonging to a work team that had established a small hospital there. Since there are no mechanics there that could do the job, the only way the transmission could be repaired was to fly it to Port and Prince and from there send it back to Florida.

The runway.

Esther, Jason's sister, enjoying the copilot seat!

On Thursday we had the opportunity of flying into Pignon, the village where Jason, Will, and Jayden spent the first months of their time in Haiti.

Here we were able to distribute some Creole Bibles.

Here we are handing out dolls and pencil cases. Will had mentioned the day before to two little children that we were coming into the village the following day with some gifts. When we arrived the following day, we were greeted by about ONE HUNDRED children.

We went to the local market to purchase a large quantity of rice and beans that we distributed in bags for the children to take home.

We then traveled to a different community in Pignon to distribute gifts of clothing and to serve 120 children a good meal of rice and beans, that was purchased using the funds many friends had donated in Canada. There was sufficient funds for this organization to be able to do this on three other future occasions.

Just a specimen of the wildlife in the place where we were staying for the weekend.

Sunday worship service.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Our Trip to Port au Prince" by Esther Krul

Hi everyone! We are happy to announce that Jason's parents and sister, Esther, arrived in Port au Prince safely. Since they had quite an experience getting here, I convinced Esther to write a blog and share it with you. Here is her story. She hopes to write more blog posts in the future about her experiences here in Haiti as well.

We left Chilliwack on Monday, July 20 at 4:00 in the afternoon. We crossed the US border with no trouble and from there drove down to the Sea Tac, International Airport. The flight from Seattle to Dallas was a little nerve-wracking since we flew through a thunder storm and experienced strong turbulence, one passenger sitting close to us began to throw up, which made me want to gag too. Needless to say we were happy to finally land at the Dallas International Airport. From Dallas, Texas we flew to Miami and thankfully this flight was nice and smooth. After a relaxing two hour flight and a smooth landing I caught my first glimpse of Miami, Florida.

Wow the endless white sandy beaches, and the turquoise ocean was very beautiful. It didn't take me long to snap back to reality. Our next step was to find our boarding Gate for Port au Prince, Haiti.

When we arrived and sat down we began to feel quite out of place. First of all we were one of the few white people there, and secondly we didn't understand almost anything anyone was saying. As we sat I took some time to discretely study the people around us. The Haitian people smiled, greeted each other and seemed all around quite friendly. One thing I noticed was that if one of them caught you staring they would just stare right back, which got kind of awkward. Another thing we found out was that they had so sense of what it meant to line up! When the attendant called to the first class passengers that they could board everyone stood up at once and rushed and pushed to board the airplane first. Although the attendant repeatedly announced that it was first class boarding only, nobody paid him any mind. Also, instead of forming a line they formed more like a bubble and who ever pushed harder, boarded faster. This seemed very strange to us. Eventually we were able to board as well. As we took off, I couldn't help but get excited. We were almost there, just another hour and half, or so I thought! As we neared Port-a-Prince I peered out the window and noticed dark thunderclouds. This frightened me since we already had experienced what it was like flying through a thunder storm and I didn't want to experience that again! My stomach started to twist up in knots and I started to feel sick. Suddenly I heard a loud bang and out of the corner of my eye I saw lightning flash outside my window narrowly missing the airplane wing. People screamed and that's when I got really scared. All the airplane crash stories flooded through my mind as the airplane began to shake violently. I held on to the seat as tightly as I could. I could hear passengers crying and other begin to vomit. It was horrible. I've never been that frightened in my life. Then through the mayhem, I could hear someone with a clear voice reading the bible. I looked up to see a middle aged, Haitian lady, calmly reading her bible out loud. I felt ashamed, here I was terrified, and that lady, was as calm and peaceful as could be trusting God for her future, being a shining light to the people around her. This brought me a measure of peace inside. God was in control.

Now the airport was in view, or partially so.

Black, threatening clouds hung over the runway, twisting and twirling from the gale force winds. I closed my eyes, then opened them again as our plane circled and tried to land. When we were almost down a strong gust of wind came and pushed us back up, so the pilot had to overshoot. Suddenly all around me Haitian people burst into song. The hymn they began to sing was "Standing on the Promises of God,". Since we knew this song as well we joined them as well. Our airplane had meanwhile pulled back up and was circling the airport for the second time. On the second try they were unable to land our aircraft either. Since the pilots were unsure how long they would have to continue to circle and they only had a limited amount of fuel left, they decided to head over to Santa Domingo, in the Dominican Republic instead. This also was a turbulent flight and I seriously felt like I had to throw up now. I put my head down and this helped some. When the airplane wheels finally touched the ground in Santa Domingo all the passengers sang, waved their hands in the air and said "Praise God" and then burst into applause.

This continued all the way until we taxied into the terminal. However, because we were in a different country we weren't allowed to leave the aircraft. So now we had to sit and wait for an hour and a half. While we waited, I couldn't help but wish that I could speak Creole too. I would have so loved to talk to the people around me and find out more about them. But all I could do was just be friendly and smile and say the few words I knew: Bonjou, (Hello) and Mesi (thank you), while the ground crew inspected the plane following the lightning strike.

After what seemed like hours, we finally take off once again to go to our last and final destination, Port au Prince. This time the flight was a whole lot better. It was still a little bumpy, but nothing like it was before. As you can probably imagine we were very delighted when the plane touched the ground. I thought to myself " ahhh at last we are here!" Thankfully Jason managed to get past security with his pilot badge and was able to help us go through, so called "customs" and whatever else we had to do. As we stepped out of the airport terminal I couldn't help but smile! We were finally here!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Road Conditions in Haiti

I recently received a copy of this map, and thought it would be a great thing to share, to give you a perspective of the conditions of most roads in Haiti!
If you click on the image below, it should take you to our online photo gallery where you can view it at a larger size

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

A guard pushes the gate open for us and after thanking him we walk through. We are here for our first visit to the Canadian Embassy to celebrate Canada Day with fellow Canadians here in Haiti. Jason had emailed the Embassy to see if they had any type of celebrations and they invited us to join their barbecue.
As we go through security and step onto "Canadian soil," my eyes grow big. It's very beautiful here. The lawns are well manicured, the cobble stone parking area looks new, and the exotic trees have gorgeous flowers. The Barbecue smells delicious too, so we quickly join the ever growing lineup of guests to get our meal.
On thing I found out is that you don't really realize how "French" Canada is when you live in Western Canada. As I listen to the people around me I hear almost no English. Although most can speak or at least understand English, it seems like they are much more fluent in French.

As I examine the people I notice that some look Haitian, some Iranian, some French, and still others I can't place. Are these people really all Canadians I wonder? I suddenly have to laugh. Here I am questioning whether these people are "real" Canadians when I'm not even a real Canadian myself! Sure, I have a Canadian Passport, but I wasn't born in Canada!
Funny, how you think because you come from the same country people should look like you and act like you and talk like you! As I look around I think that Canada must be one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world.
Well,it was fun getting to know this divers group of people and we really enjoyed the Barbecue. Jayden especially like the swing set and slide that they had and also kept asking if we could go "shimming" since there was a pool there as well. When we finished our meal we enjoyed a piece of delicious Canada Flag cake. It was a fun night! Happy Canada Day!