As I sit to write this I reflect that I have not written for a while. Life within the hospital and childrens home is strangely peaceful. The cholera center numbers are smaller, rehab patients doing well and I keep catching the kid’s home staff dancing when they think no one is watching. We are having a quiet couple of weeks and being able to do things we love and have not had an opportunity to do for a long time – such as hang out with patients, play with children, go for long walks by the sea etc.
However outside our site things in Haiti generally seem to bubbling under the surface. A few weeks back we got caught up in the manifestations in Terrier Rouge, these are happening more frequently. Our faithful and loyal friend Jacqueline went to Port au Prince to collect some hospital beds for children. These were a real answer to prayer, and a much needed item for our maternity and paedetric wards opening next week. However on his return journey there were some protests in Limbe, the robbers hit him with a gun, took the keys, and slashed the tyres. Jacqueline remaining loyal, refused to leave the truck as did not want all the beds to get stolen as understood the importance of these items. The next day he managed to pass without incident and returned home. We are very lucky to have such an amazing worker and friend. Please pray blessings on his family.
We have been reminded of the daily struggle of life in Haiti. Sometimes living in the beautiful children’s home we can forget how difficult life is for people on a daily basis. Two of the children from the Maison de Benediction have hydrocepehlus and the wonderful people from Project medishare in Port au Prince have arranged to do surgery on them. The night before they left they ended up spending the evening with us. I am completely in awe of these two mothers, one called Frida is 17 and has a three month old baby. The other is 24 and has 4 children. I was able to share with them about Grace and what happened when the shunt was fitted.
As each of them shared their story I was overcome with what they go through each day. Frida is 17 and her parents died when she was young. She lived with her sister but when she became pregnant they through her out. A friend took her in and she sleeps on the floor with 5 other people in one room. Frida is intelligent and knowlegable about the world. She loves to chat – but faces an entirely different world to the one I did when I was 17. Everyday is a struggle to care for her 3 month old baby on her own. It is for mothers like her Maison de Benediction is for, to help the most vulnerable care for their children. Her baby will be on the program when he returns from Port au Prince.
The other other called Emmanuelle is so thin that her baby struggles to get any milk. She did not know how to prepare powdered milk, despite having had 3 other children – as she has never been anywhere with milk. She had no idea at all what I was doing when I started boiling water to sterilize their bottles. Her daily existence is to survive and to try and feed her children. Having electricity and a television were concepts out of this world for her. They are the reason why we have Maison de Benediction – it is the need to help train and empower parents, we pray that surgery goes well and that we can continue to support these amazing women.