All Over the Map

Originally posted on Rollings In Haiti.

I feel scattered right now. Maybe it’s days of feeling scattered. We have spent a TON of time in front of our computers responding to people – family, friends, reporters, other organizations, helping people co-ordinate things etc. On top of that there are all sorts of things running through my head and heart, so pardon the randomness.

  • Our workers have been praying for all of the foreigners on the ground that are helping. We meet for staff prayer every morning, at their leading, and that has been a prayer for several days now. Chris and I take no leadership in this time and throw out no prayer requests but rather let them lead. I thought it would be encouraging to all of the other missionaries and volunteers that are here now in the throes of things to know that our staff is grateful for what you are doing for their country and they are lifting you up in prayer daily. I think that’s a sentiment that is being echoed around the country.
  • I did Medika Manba yesterday, like I do every Tuesday. It felt normal but nothing was normal about it. Every time I wrote the date I was reminded of how simple things felt last Tuesday. I was doing the same thing, but had no idea what was to come hours later. We had some graduates, which was exciting. I talked to one mom who had gone to Port last week to find her daughter who was alive. Another still hadn’t heard from her people. Another was in Port trying to work on passports for her and her daughter so we can get her daughter out on a medical visa for heart surgery. I was grateful to see her walk in the door. There isn’t a person here who isn’t affected by this.
  • We had a mother come in to Manba for the first time. When I looked at her daughter I asked if she had been burned and thought “This is not for us.” No, she hadn’t been burned. She was so severely malnourished that her case of Kwash was killing her skin. Her skin was literally peeling off. She had open wounds all over. The nurses had already seen her and given her antibiotics and cream for her skin. We started doing her intake which requires us to weigh them and measure their height on a board that they lay on. When I laid her down I couldn’t mover her down the board without her skin coming off on my hands. I almost lost it right there on the spot. It took everything in me to not let myself cry all over the place. She was in so much pain. I kept it together and we finished the intake. The thing that killed me is that this wasn’t earthquake related. This was just every day Haiti.
  • Last night we had Elsie and Naomi over for birthday dinner. It was good to be with friends and talk about things. We haven’t had much communication over the last week (!) so it was good to touch base. Olivia had a good birthday. She thought her cake was pretty. She blew out her candle all by herself. She got her presents from the grandparents and us. Sigh. My heart was conflicted. So many have lost yet I saw the need to keep her sense of normalcy. I think we all needed it. It was just a strange conflict.
  • We sent a load of filters in to Port today where our guys were going to work with a pastor to set up some water stations I think. We’ll get more specifics after they get back and we debrief. We’re trying this and will see how it goes from there.
  • Tomorrow I’ll go with some of our workers to the Pierre Payen hospital to install a filter in their guest house where some visiting doctors are staying. They ran out of water and we’re helping them by sending buckets down until tomorrow morning. It’s something we can do to help them and make more room in the next groups luggage for supplies.
  • There was an accident near Montrouis yesterday. A truck hit a girl about 14 years old and didn’t stay. When I left Manba I went to the Pierre Payen hospital to check in on the doctors for Elsie and the girl was on the OR table. They didn’t know it had been a hit and run. It made me mad, but  Jean explained on the way home that drivers are afraid crowds will come and burn them and their vehicle if they stay. One feeds the other. You get that in a country with no justice or well carried out policing system.
  • We’ve had lots of people asking about our adoption. We’re not stressing about it. Actually, now we feel optimistic that something will happen before the year is out because of the measures that will be put in place. We might actually get to take Olivia home this year. Who knows. Our issue right now is that we hadn’t gotten approval YET from the Haitian government. For our adoption to be fast tracked like the others we need that first. We have a friend within “the system” who has already told us that the second he hears of anything being remotely working he’s going to go shove our dossier in their faces and basically stand there until they sign it. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic. But maybe not. He’s the kind of guy that trash talks out the passenger window at the other bad drivers here and honks the horn while his driver drives. Pray that something will happen. We’ve also been in contact with the Prime Ministers office in Canada and have had our case passed on to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. They are looking at things and will see where they can be of assistance.
  • We JUST got off a Skype interview with a station in Victoria, BC. What was really fun was when the camera went live and we could see the news room Chris’ sister Abby was there! They had her ask part of the questions. It was SO fun and a really pleasant surprise to get to talk “face to face”.
  • I’m feeling like a lousy mom these days. Stress gets to me, and in turn I don’t deal well with people needing me. I get short and impatient. Anyone with a child, especially a toddler, knows that kids are hyper-sensitive to stuff and even when they don’t understand what’s going on, they know that something is. Olivia has been a trooper, but has needed more attention and hasn’t been sleeping that well. The not sleeping well thing has been going on for a couple of weeks, I think from all the excitement of having family here and our routine breaking etc. Chris is an amazingly patient Dad and can take all of the extra neediness in stride where I have a hard time with it. When I feel pulled in different directions (Olivia’s need, Chris’ needs, my needs, the mission’s needs) I sometimes have a hard time focusing and feeling that I’m getting anywhere. Today I got the laundry all caught up and my inbox emptied out. Two big nagging things. I would love it if you would pray for our family in this regard. You can ask Chris, I’m like a Momma lion when I know things are off and my family is feeling off kilter. I like to make sure there is order and routine because then we have the room to focus on other stuff. I need it, even if it’s only found in things like laundry being done and being able to see tidy spaces. I don’t want to be a bear to my kid because other people want our attention. That’s not fair to her.

Okay, brain dump done for today.

~Leslie

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