One Child, Just One….Linsey’s update
I’m going to be a bit all over the place…so much to cover, so please bare with me.
Our dear friend and family member, Smitty, lost his 4 day old baby girl during Debbie’s trip here. It was HEARTBREAKING to see his wife sobbing like that. All we could do was hold her. I was a bit shaken, because I wasn’t prepared to see the baby. I thought we are being led into a room where his wife was. Instead, the baby was there, laying on the bed. My heart bled for their family. He’s been doing much better, thank goodness. He’s left it up to the Lord. I admire his faith and strength.
There has been a lot of uproar lately in Cap and throughout Haiti. Burning tires, riots in Milot (the hospital had to close for a period of time), riots in Terrier Rouge, small riots here in Cap. They refer to this as “the streets are hot”. Meaning, anything could happen at any time. In fact, the head of Security for World Vision called me stating that “we’re on lockdown in PAP due to the increased violence…and I hear Cap is worse!” It’s bizarre, because you can almost feel the uneasiness in the air. Everyone is on their guard right now. If fact, I was on lockdown in my house last Thursday from rumors that an up rise might happen. There seems to be a bit of political unrest, and there have been student riots as well. As I was zipping by on moto last week, one girl slapped me! And a bunch of boys started cussing at me, etc.. Ugh – one of those days I guess. At least now, they don’t seem to phase me much. Sony said “you know what they are saying – tell them you know.” Believe me, I’d like to tell them a lot of things in the heat of that moment, but then…what good does that do?! All that shows is that I’m no better than they are, and then what does that reflect on the work I’m supposed to be doing here. I actually laughed when the girl hit me. It’s amazing what hardcore prayer can do. GOD made a huge change in me that day!!! These instances have been happening more frequently – and if I allow it to get the better of me, I won’t be able to stay focused.
Recently, I have seen 2 dead bodies. It’s as if they are just trash on the ground. One in the middle of the traffic circle, just left there for hours. The other, more heartbreaking – was a child who had drowned in the river by the bridge leaving town. People just watch it floating. We witnessed a terrible car accident yesterday. I happened to be with Dr.Sisse so we got out to investigate. I had to wonder to myself – am I becoming immune to this?! For whatever reason, I don’t have the emotional reaction I normally would have. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing…I’m hoping it’s a good thing in that I’m getting prepared for my volunteer efforts at Justiniene twice a month. I’m very excited to get this underway and I’m hoping to receive confirmation next week. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I’m going to be a janitor!
On a beautiful note – I was able to attend Tchanel and Tchalin’s sister’s wedding! WOW! It was breathtakingly beautiful. The service was a few hours, and quite hot – but it was worth it. If the neighborhood hadn’t been so dangerous, I would have loved to attend the reception – but no matter. It was awesome to be a part of it and his sister gave me a big hug. From the front, she had on the most beautiful, bedazzled wedding gown I’d ever seen. From the back, she had a wife beater on and the formal gown waist down. I smiled at that and loved her. My assumption is that perhaps the dress exposed too much of her back. When it came time to kiss the bride, all the groomsmen went crazy screaming and she was so embarrassed. There were 2 sets of choir girls covered in glitter and silver and they sang beautifully about what it means to be a good husband and wife. The sermon given by the pastor was quite interesting. Let’s just say – he would have lasted 5 minutes with the ladies in the USA.
I have gotten the chance to spend some time with Archibal and Sony’s girlfriends. In fact, I’ve actually formed a bond with Sony’s girlfriend’s mother and I’m excited to have dinner with them. It’s so interesting to sit in their houses and learn how they live day to day. A neighbor of mine offered me a tour of his place as well. I figured it would be just like my house. On the contrary, they turned the house into many different apartments. Little holes house families of 3 and 4. Darius is his name. He was so proud to show me his place, and for the first time in awhile, I was in shock. I never would have thought that he sleeps on a moldy old dirty mattress on a cement floor with no light and no air. Of course, I told him I loved it – but that level of poverty shocked me back into the reality of where I live.
I recently had dinner in the street – I had no choices and I was so hungry. Yes, I ate chicken liver. I was NOT a fan. They lady was so excited to have a blan at her stand, she made me eat/try everything! I have no clue what half of it was – but almost lost a tooth on something. Did you know that Haitians actually eat bones?! YES THEY DO! They eat the bone of the animal and they suck the marrow out…apparently, that is the best part. Hmm. I am gearing up to try cat and apparently, there is a good place near Limonade for rabbit! There is also a lot of rooster fights in Limonade. I drove through one the other day, and also saw a dead cow with its head missing…must have trespassed into a neighbor’s yard (believe it or not – that’s what they do). I will say – the fried chicken (go to the place off 18th) is fantastic.
Thanks to the US NAVY and EVICTUS, we were able to host a futbol tournament Saturday. Kay Anj kids vs. the street kids. When they finished playing…we are able to feed all the kids with MRE meals the Navy donated. It was ADORBALE. The kids were in heaven. Tchanel and our kids helped the street kids with their shoes, etc. The street kids taught our kids how to cook the MRE’s. Remember that the street kids don’t get fed on weekends, so it was very special for them. I will post photos soon. I have had 4 street kids now approach Sony and I begging us to give them a chance in our orphanage. The sad part is 3 of them, I know, would make it. That makes me cry and I actually have a hard time even typing about it – so I’m going to move on. One of my little guys gave me some Chiclets, another 5 goude, and another a bunch of seashells as a thank you. The other day I had lunch at LaCou. The stabbing has gotten out of control. 2 of them have come to me in the past week with blood rushing down their face. Stabbed from mouth to ear…stoned in the forehead…and another who’s arm is so deep, the yarn used for stitches is literally straining to stay closed. As Sony was talking to the kids, my mouth was hanging open. It was MASS CHAOS in there for lunch. They did say a prayer, but then it was like a gun went off “go!” food flying, fists flying, kids flying, juice flying, tables up…I mean…I’m lucky I didn’t lose an arm. In the end, Sony said – “they aren’t listening Linsey…this was a bad time.” But, he was wrong. Wadson Dolee was sitting across from me, eating just as slow as I was, and hanging on every word. It helped remind both Sony and I to stay focused. Just 1 child. Just 1. Both he and I needed that.
I had been driving through town with Casey. His dad’s housekeeper had given him some bones for his dog, which were sitting in his cup holder. He got out to buy something and I stayed in the car. Within minutes, street kids at my door. They noticed the bones in the cup holder and asked who they were for. I couldn’t stomach saying a dog, knowing full well they would give anything to eat those bones. How do you look a child in the eye who is starving and tell them that?! You don’t. You say “Ou konnen, mwen pa comprend Kreyol”. (You know I don’t understand Creole) and drive away.
YES! The rumors are true…I did get a bad case of scabies and had to flee to the DR to receive treatment. The whole ordeal was quite dramatic – as you can imagine J. I did attempt to break into the US NAVY boat at 10pm one night after a series of 7 Hydrocortisone shots at 700 ml’s in my back and butt. And of course, there was a lot of screaming in the DR when they whipped out an IV and more needles. Let me say…the clinic was less than ideal. OMG – I’m laughing out loud no at the memory of it. If you could have seen my reaction to the nurse…hahahahahaha. I started screaming and got up on the chair yelling for Archibal to help! I gave her the look of “I DARE you”. It’s scary to have these big needles coming at you when you can’t understand any of the languages being spoken and everything is happening very fast. Also didn’t help that Archi was loving every minute of it and laughing. Within 15 minutes, the parasite was dead. We all literally watched it die. The nurse said they see this strand all the time with orphanage workers in Haiti…Cap doesn’t have the medical treatments for this – which is unbelievable. I was going INSANE after day 6, imagine the kids who live with it every day. Ugh – you can literally watch it move. Gross. The following week…I finally got the “gunge”. I had heard that it was bad, but WOW. You literally have no control over any of your “exits”. Even in this moment – I got to see God. As I excused myself from a tour of Reninca’s rehab facility…it hit and I took off for the bathroom. I was throwing up A LOT, and the bathroom was small and unventilated with no toilet paper. You can imagine what I looked like. Next thing you know, a man wheeled in on his wheelchair. He came right over to me and pulled my hair back and began patting my back. I kept apologizing for the smell and he said he didn’t care and helped me clean up my face. He had been shot in the legs due to gang fighting and is now paralyzed. We became friends instantly. No joke, even while I was puking I smiled at his kindness.
AND NOW…I get to see him every 2 weeks! That’s right – our oldest kids volunteer every other Wed afternoon at Reninca’s. They hang with rehab patients and play cards or table tennis, they hold the babies in the handicapped nursery, and the help unload supplies. I was shocked to see how well our kids adapted with the mental disability infants. They weren’t bothered in the slightest. It was a bit graphic at times in the rehab ward, but again – the kids were totally mature. Reninca prepped them on all they would see and how to interact and I couldn’t have been more proud of – Floumens, Wislet, Yolande, Luciana, Tchanel, and Wadson.
On a lighter note:
I have chickens in my room on the regular. I no longer need help catching them. I try to catch one every few days to maintain my skill level. I also have a chicken of my own, named Cookie. She’s a brat.
Stay tuned…I’ll be sending out a report on each child and their “dreams” in the next week – we are doing a project on “When I Grow Up…” now!
Much luv and God bless. Luckiest girl in the world.