Saturday, August 22, 2009

First haircuts!

I just thought it would be cute to share the pictures of Nicholas and Sabboule's first haircuts. Nicholas will be 4 in September and Sabboule turned 2 in May. In the past Denise would spend hours every week washing, combing and braiding the boys' hair, but a few days ago she had jokingly said. "Since I have a little girl now, I don't need to spend all that time braiding the boys' hair anymore! So time to cut it!"

Since Nicholas hopes to start school again soon, they decided that he could have a special trip to the barber! He was quite excited about that. I cut Sabboule's hair. Here are the pictures.

Sabboule before his haircut.

After.. a shy little cutie!

Nicholas before his haircut.

After.. can hardly recognize him back!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Precious Water!

I tug on my yellow rubber gloves and then make my way to the corner of our house. I reach up to a platform above my head and pull my body up with my left hand. I then feel for a ledge with my right foot. Ahh.. there it is, I take a moment to regain my balance and then pull myself up higher. The next step is a little easier since I can climb up the metal frame enclosing a window to reach the first level of our roof. Seconds later I'm all the way up. Good, I made it. I survey the roof for a moment, and then gingerly make my way to the drain. It's plugged with a thick mass of leaves and with my gloved hand I carefully clear it out.

There is at least three inches of water on this flat part of our roof and I am now standing in it. It's 3:00 in the afternoon and the sun has beaten down on it all day, so it feels like I am standing in hot tub water. We finally had a big rain storm last night and now I'm in the process of conserving all the water that is left on our roof. It has hardly rained in the last six weeks so our reservoir is getting low. Although the roof water looks dirty and muddy it is precious to us since we rely completely on rain to supply our home with water.

We use it to wash dishes, mop floors, water plants, shower (or in Jayden's case bathe in), and for laundry. The only things we don't use it for is drinking water.
All th rain water is collected in the gutters on our roof and then sent to this one single drain.

If the drain gets clogged, which happens every time, water starts to build up on the roof and then spills over the sides. In rainy season it doesn't matter as much, since it rains almost every night, but in the dry season with our water reservoir running low we can't afford to let that happen. Once the water goes down the drain it enters a big pipe and ends up in a large water reservoir located underneath our back patio.

There it sits until city power comes on. Once city power comes on, our pump turns on and pumps some of the water back onto the roof where it sits in a 200 Gallon Tuff Tank. During the day when we don't have city power the water that comes out of our taps is powered only by gravity. We have to conserve it, since if the Tuff tank runs dry during the day, it won't be filled again until city power comes on. As I clear out all the gutters, I decide that in the next rain storm I'm going to crouch under the overhang and keep clearing the drain, this way we can maximize the amount of water we save.

What a different way of life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dear Obama & Bampa

Dear Obama & Bampa (Grandma & Grandpa)

How are you doing? I am doing fine. I do miss you though! It was very fun having you here!

I just want you to know how much I like the stools you bought. You see, Mommy thinks I should sit in my hair chair, but I think high chairs are for babies. I am not a baby anymore, except when Mommy holds baby Jocemine and then I have to remind her that I AM her baby and she shouldn't be holding other babies. I don't like that one bit! So, except for those times, I really am a big boy, way to big for a silly high chair.

Now when I am hungry I climb op on one of the stools instead. I do have some bruises from failed attempts, but that's no big deal, I think. Mommy doesn't like it, but you bought them for me to sit on didn't you? I keep trying to tell her this but she just shakes her head and does one of those big sighs.... So, maybe can you just write her and tell her I am big enough to sit up there and eat my breakfast and snacks by myself?! And that she doesn't have to feed me either! She still tries to do that once in a while too!! It gets very annoying.

Please Obama and Bampa can you tell her? That would be most helpful.

Love, your sweet Grandson, Jayden (aka Dennis the Menace)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Welcome Jocemine

Hi everyone! Here is the latest picture taken of Anoud and Denise's baby girl. On Monday she will be two weeks old already! She is very healthy and both her and Denise are doing very well. I take every chance I get to hold her. She's also a lot of fun to sew for and I've already made a little skirt (she's wearing it but you can't see it on the picture) and the matching headband. They've named her Jocemine, in English it could be translated as Jasmine. Please keep this young family in your prayers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Orphanage

Poofs of dust swirl around my ankles as I gingerly make my way across the dry, rugged road. The flip flops I am wearing that were a bright red, have turned a silvery shade of gray. I wipe the back of my hand over my forehead and once again wish I had thought to bring a large handkerchief with me. It's over 40 degrees, not unusual for Haiti's summers. I pull the water bottle out of my bag and take a drink. Ahh.. that feels better. As I walk on, I let the events of the last few hours play through my mind.

I had always dreamed of working in an orphanage in a third world country, but until now the doors to such an opportunity had remained closed. I had prayed time and again, that if it was God's will he would lead me to an orphanage where I could volunteer and be a blessing to the children there, but it wasn't until today that God had finally opened the door.

While visiting Maison de Lumiere, or the Light House, with a friend, I was able to meet the owners, Bill and Suzette Manassero. After introductions, Suzette explained how they came to Haiti and how their dream was to raise these children to be lights in the community. Lights that would reflect the light of Christ.

After sharing their story, she asked about mine. When I told her my desires to volunteer at an orphanage she smiled broadly. After discussing some of the programs they had, she told me of their need for a sewing teacher.

"Can you sew?"


"Well, we would love to have you join our team here and teach the teenage girls to sew."

After working out the details with Suzette, my friend and I slowly make our way back to the car. The swirling dust and overwhelming heat does nothing to detract from my excitement and thankfulness. Today God truly gave me the desire of my heart.