Update #12

Update #12

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t been able to update ya’ll recently we have been very busy and when we have been at home we haven’t had good wifi. So I apologize for this update being so long!

I’m going to start off with a quote from a book I’ve been reading that will give you some insight on what its like in living in Haiti. It is talking about when it rains and it says, “It’s an old joke in Haiti that street merchants will sit patiently through gunfire but run over one another if two drops hit their head.” I can’t express to you how accurate this statement is, every time it rains it’s like the country shuts down. If it rains at night school won’t start on time the next morning, if it rains at school, or is about to, they let them go home early. After a big rain everyone gets sick because they can’t stay dry or the temperature drops and they can’t get warm, or they get both wet and cold which leads to everyone having colds. The roads that aren’t paved get destroyed and if it rains enough the river will get too full to cross which makes it difficult for people to get to their jobs and to school. But at the same time they love the rain for their crops and to catch water in their cisterns. It’s crazy to see how rain, even just a sprinkle, can affect their daily routine so much.

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The past two weeks we’ve been helping out the doctors that are in town from America again. We haven’t been working at the hospital this time, we’ve just been doing eye clinics in different towns – we found ourselves more helpful in the clinics because now we’re actually able to help the doctor’s translate. We had the first one in Musac, where we live, and the other one was in Jacmel. We were giving the eye exams before they went in to see the doctor. It amazed me how terrible some people’s eye sight was and they were still walking around. One man came in and the doctor asked if he could see anything and he enthusiastically said that he could see but it was “just a little blurry.” His answer not matching up with what she was seeing when she was checking his eyes, she said “So you can see to walk?” He said “Of course!” The doctor saw the confused look on my face and we all three started laughing because I had just helped him get to the chair because he was going the wrong direction and then he almost missed the seat. The thing is he has learned to be used to how he sees, sure he can get around with a cane but that’s because he has no other options. He doesn’t have the resources to get his eyes fixed nor does he have anyone to help him around, so he’s made it work – how he hasn’t fallen and hurt himself yet is beyond me. I’ve helped out in the hospital before and I saw how lucky I am to be able to have access to the resources I need when I’m sick or hurt, I’ve helped the dentist and I’ve seen that if you don’t have proper dental care you can be in so much pain and potentially not be able to eat anymore, and now I’ve seen how much I’ve taken my perfect vision for granted, even if I didn’t have it I am able to get the resources I need to improve it. So next time you find yourself complaining about not being able to see, go to the eye doctor and get it fixed because you have the ability to do so and it’s not worth complaining over. (Mom, I’m talking to you)

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We also got to experience a little bit of Carnival, but because of the problems in the election we didn’t get to go to the big Carnival in Jacmel. We did get to go to the activities in Ridore, there were bands, dancing, costumes, and a lot of glitter. When we walked into the Sister School for a party with all the students from nearby schools, and about 50 little girls sprinted towards us screaming. It was extremely overwhelming, there were too many tiny hands and not enough of me that they could hold onto. They were fighting over us, they just had to be touching us and playing with our hair and clothes. I thought it was so sweet that they would wipe the glitter off of their faces and put it all over me – yes I had glitter everywhere but it was the fact that I didn’t have any face paint or glitter on me, so they shared the little I had so I wouldn’t be left out. Hopefully I can come back to Carnival when the election isn’t going on to really experience everything!

This past weekend the organization Water for Life invited us to their headquarters in Les Cayes to meet all of the staff and to get the opportunity to explore more of Haiti. We have been helping alongside Vanite, Ange, and our friend Geteau with the local wells being built and it is truly amazing to see a community get water for the first time so close to home. When the water first came on they were having so much fun with it – washing in it, putting their heads under it, and splashing in it. When we were in Cayes we got to meet some amazing people and see how they run such a great organization. We also got to visit one of the best beaches in the South called Port-Salut. I love being able to see how different each of the cities in Haiti are and I was so thankful for everyone’s kind hospitality at Water for Life. If you want to learn more about Water for Life and all the incredible work they are doing in Haiti and around the world go to Water for Life.

I hope you all have a great rest of your week!
Much Love,
Kirsten

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