Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sponsors At Last

It's amazing how good it makes you feel to give.
When Justin and I got back from Haiti, we decided to sponsor one of the girls at HOH. We had decided on Charlene because of many reasons: she was the first girl to really accept me, she has some great facial expressions, and she's super cute. I couldn't wait until we were officially sponsors so we could buy her gifts and clothes, send letters and pictures. A week went by after we contacted the director of the orphanage. Then another week. Then three weeks. Finally last night we got the information packet in the mail. It was like Christmas!
Along with sponsorship information and payment slips, the packet included a picture of Charlene and her story of how she came to HOH. Needless to say, it was a heart-wrenching story. Her parents were poisoned, and her aunt and uncle were the ones who brought her and her sister to the orphanage. Sister?! Christmas came again! Patricelande, one of the little girls at the orphanage, is Charlene's sister! Justin's parents expressed interest in sponsoring one of the girls, so naturally, we're going to recommend Patricelande. When we go down in July, we'll be able to bring gifts to both girls.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Friend for Kevin?

This morning started off like any other- I hit the snooze button three times before dragging myself out of bed, stayed in the shower for far too long, and had to physically push Kevin off the bed in order for him to wake up to go outside. (Yes, he sleeps on the bed now.) Once I let him outside, he starts barking. Not unusual. So I stick my head out the door and tell him to come inside.
More barking.
So I go outside in my fuzzy slippers with the spray bottle, prepared to scare him into coming inside.
More barking. (Please keep in mind it's 6:00 a.m. and the sun hasn't even come up. People are still sleeping, and I'm pretty sure a barking dog is going to aggravate the neighbors.)
As a last resort, I walk into the grass with the spray bottle, ready to give him a quick shot of water in the face. And then I see he's actually barking at something. (Those of you with dogs know man's best friend frequently barks at imaginary things.) There is something in the bushes of our neighbor's house. Probably a bunny. During the summer, they have a whole family of bunnies living in their kid's playhouse.
Not a bunny. I saw a bushy tail. A squirrel? The body looked too big for a squirrel. And suddenly I had all these visions of foxes and skunks. In an instant, I imagined what would happen if it were a skunk: Running to the house, Kevin barking his little head off, Kevin getting sprayed, me giving him a tomato juice bath with a clothespin on my nose... Turns out, it was nothing to be afraid of. The neighbors had gotten a puppy. It was hard to tell since it was still dark outside, but it looked like it could be a Siberian husky.
I woke up Justin to tell him the exciting news. His response: "I wonder if they named him 'Justin.'" For those of you unfamiliar with the background, the husband in the family behind our house is named Kevin. Unfortunately, we had already named our dog Kevin when we found this out. A little strange, but we thought it was hilarious. Not sure how our neighbor's feel about it...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Left My Heart In Haiti

We're home! Ok, so technically, we got home two weeks ago. I've been busy! I knew traveling to Haiti would have an effect on me, but I didn't think it would consume me once I returned. Justin and I are addicted.

So let's back up. The trip was amazing. We had great weather; got projects done quickly and still had time to bond with the girls. Here are some pictures of our trip:

While we were there, two big events occurred. The groundbreaking for the new medical clinic occurred on Saturday, and the foundation was poured (by hand!) for Patti's school on Wednesday.

On one of the days, we got the opportunity to take a trip up the mountain to the Baptist Mission. We got to ride through the "upscale" area, look out over all of Port-au-Prince, and got to eat extraordinarily green "ice cream".

Despite the fear of tarantulas and the constant bite of mosquitoes, we loved it. When we returned home, I couldn't get Haiti out of my mind. Why couldn't we bring all the girls home with us? Why couldn't we do more to help the community? Why doesn't everybody know what's going on in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere? So we decided to move forward. We're going to sponsor one of the girls at the orphanage. I'm continuing Lynde's great example by holding my own Soapfest. We're helping build/paint the bunk beds at church. And, last but not least, we're going back! The moment we stepped on US soil, we were ready to turn around and go back, but yesterday, we made it official. We're going in July to help assemble the bunk beds at HOH!