Saturday, August 1, 2015

I am a morning person.

I have always loved early mornings.  It has always been easy for me, and delightful as well, to jump out of bed and get going in the mornings.

In Canada and in Haiti I have always enjoyed getting outside and walking in the mornings - that is if in Canada it is not tooooo cold.  Early mornings in Haiti is the perfect time to walk as temperatures at that time of the day are actually enjoyable.

Sun rising

Early mornings are delightful

Beauty on my early morning walk

This blog has photos of my last two early morning walks.

Breadfruit tree

Corn field

Rice fields as far as I could see

Friendly goat man

One day old

Morning walk

Sandra what are these white birds called

Soon I will be endeavoring to walk in Newfoundland in the mornings - not sure how that will work out since I hear the temperatures are not very nice there this summer.

Too hot and humid or too cold - which do I like best??  I would choose 'cool' over hot and humid as one can layer on clothing.  But 'cold' is another matter.  It will be interesting to see how much I will be walking and actually enjoying it while in the best place in the world for a few weeks.  I will soon start to find out as will Ti Luc.

Can't wait to get my feet back on the rock.  Ti Luc is glowing and flying with excitement about going to Newfoundland.  I have warned him that every time my feet touch the ground in Deer Lake tears of thankfulness and joy run down my face.  I felt I should warn my boy in case again I cannot control them again this year.

Newfoundland and wonderful Newfoundlanders - we are coming next week.  Bring it on!!!!

After our time in Newfoundland we will be enjoying some time with more wonderful family and friends in beautiful Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

I will blog while on our trip about Ti Luc's first time getting to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.  It is going to be fun and eye opening for my boy, relaxing for Mama Karen, and a very enjoyable time for us both.

Blessings everyone.

Karen and Ti Luc

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HATS School IMKH

School finished late June with the report cards being picked up on the 26th.  The school year for 2014-2015 was finished.

One week following this the work for the school year 2015-2016 was started.  Luckner started doing school registrations for September.  Every student wishing to attend IMKH must register for the appropriate year.  Attending the school last year or other years does not mean automatic acceptance. If someone wishes to attend our school the parent or student (if secondary)  must come register.  First come, first served.

School registration

Standing outside the school office and crying the blues when classes are full does not help.  Pushing and shoving to get a place in line for registration does not help as was evident this year when Luckner put all parents outside the office and shut the door.  He refused to do registrations again for several hours until they could see their previous behaviour and they decided to do something about it.

Registering for school in an orderly manner

Room full and porch full

Running a school is a lot of work.  Running a good school is a lot more work.  Keeping tabs on students, parents, results of exams from the year just finished, registrations for coming year, preparing lists for books with the cost of schooling for parents, purchasing uniform fabric, cutting it all up and preparing it to be picked up by parents is all huge jobs.

Work on fabric for uniforms happens in both yards HATS and Luckner's

Luckner's boys helping with school uniform fabric

Helping to carry cut up uniform fabric to the school

Picking up school uniform fabric

Then there is the collecting of and going through textbooks, repairing some, junking many, and trying to teach the parents to have patience and consideration for others in line are a few very necessary things we have to do to prepare for the academic part of the next school year.  Then there is the preparing of each classroom again, seeing that there are enough classrooms, enough desks, doing plumbing repairs, necessary changes to plumbing including water for the students, etc. etc.  All of this folks with two people - Luckner and Karen - who are already overloaded with other work.

Recently Luckner held a meeting in our church building to inform the parents of some things about the coming school year they needed to hear.

heading to church building to hear what Luckner has to say

Filing in and filling the building

We agree to do it year after year as children need an education.  HATS' school IMKH is known as a very good school and we want to see many children throughout our district be able to take advantage of the education offered at HATS.

Those of you who are sponsoring one or more students - we thank you so very much.  If you have not remembered to send in your sponsorship fees for September please do so promptly.  The many things listed above to prepare for this school year is our responsibility.  Paying your sponsorship fees to enable your child to continue with their education is your responsibility.  Please let us see that both get done so the students can continue to grow in knowledge for the present and their future.

When school opens mid September things get a lot more hectic for us.  By October teachers know who their students are and are on a roll with the educating of their classes.  In November Liette arrives to undertake the huge task of doing a photo of every sponsored student in our school and seeing that every student writes a letter to their sponsors elsewhere.  This, however, is only a small part of Liette's work on sponsored students.  She has to see that every photo and letter is downloaded, labelled, resized, and translated into English.  Then she has the task of sending them all out - for seeing that every sponsor receives the photo and letter from their sponsored student(s).   Along with all this she is responsible for keeping all sponsoring records up-to-date and available to those of us at HATS and those on the board of directors.  As new sponsors come on board to bless a child and their family she matches the sponsor up with a student in need and adjusts the lists accordingly.

We have students waiting, hoping and praying to be sponsored for this coming school year.  If you can bless a child and their family by sponsoring please get in touch with Liette at liette.hatshaiti@outlook.com or through our website.  Thank you in advance.

The Canadian dollar continues to drop in value. This is extremely difficult for us as our work is done in American and Haitian dollars.  The Haitian dollar also continues to drop in value which in turn has all prices here rising dramatically.  This is having devastating results on the Haitian people.  Hunger is increasing and more and more parents are unable to pay for their children's education.  The students definitely need the meal a day they receive at our school.  The cost of sponsoring has remained the same for this school year.  I, however, need to say if any of our sponsors or supporters in general can add a little something to this year's schooling costs it would be greatly appreciated. We are struggling to make ends meet to provide a good education for the children.

I think you should also know that keeping track of and keeping good records for the students is a very difficult task in Haiti - for Liette in Canada and for us in the school office.  Students have their names spelled one way on their birth certificates, usually in French, but they spell them differently, usually in Creole, when they write them or spell them for the teacher or for the office records.  The teachers also write the names by what they hear the student say so their list again is different.  Too, often the person doing the registering do not know the accurate spelling of the students' names.

Taking all this into consideration I think Liette Wilson deserves a medal for the awesome job she has been doing for the past several years.  Perhaps when you see her or need to get in touch with her about your student for some reason, you could thank her yourself.

The children need an education.  The children deserve an education.

I T    I S     A L L     A B O U T     T H E     C H I L D R E N

Karen

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This blog is...

...mostly photos of the children which is as it should be as what HATS is doing here is all about the children.

Our HATS children are enjoying time out of school.  So is Mama Karen - very much.  All of them are glad to have the break even though three of them, Leica, Josie and Judel, have to go for three hours three mornings a week so they will be better prepared to enter their next class in September.

The older ones help with chores in the mornings before they are free to play.  They play together well and also support each other very well.  They are all beautifully bound together as a family, which is a tremendous blessing.

Moise is a good big brother

oldest and youngest boys - Vladimy and Jonathan

The computer club continues to run in the afternoons while the younger ones enjoy time out of the hot sun by watching a video.

Computer Club

Ti Luc and sister Karena

All the children and I walk together and play outside the compound at least once a day.  The kids love to walk, run and climb when we are outside.  Our only stroller is no longer functional so little Magdala is walking too.

Dieunel

Leica

Oh look Mama has chocolate

Rest time on our walk

Racing is fun

Run Magdela run

Usually on our walks Ti Luc stands on the road with me and watches the children have lots of fun running across unplanted fields.  Yesterday he decided he was going to join them.  He went down the slight incline by himself without falling and also back up without help.  We all cheered him on and he was quite pleased.

I can do this without falling. Yes I can

The children love playing with the building blocks that Joan and Keith brought down.  This week they decided to make a castle outside this admin building.  Such fun and it provides fun play time daily.  I am going to ask them to take it apart soon and build a school.

Starting to build

Finished castle

Luckner and I are trying to figure out how and when we can give them - what they call  their summer holiday - a day at a beach resort.  When is actually the biggest question left right now as thanks to Beate we have US dollars towards just that.

We are all still missing Keith and Joan and Beate a great deal.  The children talk about them and ask about them often.  Mama Karen misses their fantastic help, sense of humour, adult conversation, and fun times.  Oh well, a trip to the wonderful island of  Newfoundland is coming soon and fall won't be that far behind that which means Keith and Joan will be returning.

Blessings to all of you as you enjoy your summer times with family whether the weather is warm or cold, rainy or dry.  Enjoy each other and tell those that are special to you how much you love them.  Those are words that every person should hear daily.

Thank you to all of you for your love and support of all of us here at the mission.

Love to you all,
Karen and gang

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thank you Beate.

It is very difficult to express the thankfulness in my heart for Beate.  Having someone return year after year in the summer heat and humidity to help and to support.  At the same time accepting life in Haiti, and at HATS, helping anywhere and everywhere possible, is one of the best gifts a person can give.

It was great to see you enter the compound again Beate.

First one to reach Beate was Ti Luc

Beate happy to be back with us

 Having that person willing to change flight reservations, no matter the cost, and stay longer when they see a real need is a bonus to the already huge blessing.  I thank you Beate from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for being a great team leader, for putting the team together and being flexible with the other gifted/giving people who came with you, to enable them to be a huge blessing to the children.  

First sewing instructions from the master

Computer Club kids working away while teacher gets to rest her back

You spent a lot of time playing with the children when I was unable to do so.  Thank you.  I am, once more, enjoying lots of fun times with them myself.  Want to let you know the computer club is continuing to work away.  Tomorrow, Tuesday, we plan to get the sewing machines out and do a little sewing again.  Both skills learned this summer are greatly appreciated.

Skipping rope fun

You have always been a gem with both Ti Luc and Ti Fi, as well as the rest of the children.  Thank you.

Precious Ti Fi

Bedtime story with Ti Luc

Giving and receiving love

We are back to walking every day and loving the fun times together but you are sorely missed.

Our daily walks are not the same without Beate

The time came when you had to leave us - you had too much booked at home to change your ticket again.  Saying bye to loved ones is never easy and it was not easy for you or for any of us..

Bye Jonathan and Judel.

Beate you cannot leave

Luckner and I also found it difficult to say Bye and let you go.

Arrival at airport to return to Canada

Bye Luckner

We are already looking forward to your return.

May God continue to lead and guide you Beate every step of the way.  Continue to walk with Him and He will do just that.

With love from all of your HATS family.
Karen and gang

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sunday July 13, 2015

Beate again…

It’s Sunday and what a great way to start the day…we went to church of course. Yolene led the service, with little Karena assisting her, and we had several performances from a variety of choirs. The HATS children sang as a group, even wee little Magdala. It was truly wonderful. Karen asked me I had anything I would like to share when she was talking to the children…me????...okay I’ll wing it.  I spoke about an experience that I had had in the afternoon the day prior. I was alone upstairs where the teams sleep, and as I looked around me, I let the beauty that surrounds me enter my soul. God did make this a beautiful world, and one just has to open up to Him and to it. I saw things that I never noticed before; the walking path behind the cornfield to the back of our property where I, for the first time, saw people walking. Then, as I looked into the neighbour’s yard (I have seen the humble home many times), I noticed something different. And if you look closely at the photo, you will see a well laid out garden to the left of the door. The yard is neat and clean, and it is obvious that  these people are  very proud although they have “nothing” according to our standards.  God is with us and His beauty is all around us.

Humble & Beautiful

While we were in church, the wonderful Canadian police officers, Veronique, Valerie and Guillaume were busy repainting the boy’s home. They did a fantastic job and are coming back next Sunday to paint their bedrooms. The boys were so thrilled, and it looks great. They kept saying "Thank you Mama that our house is a beautiful blue and no longer pink." Thank you Veronique, Valerie and Guillaume so very, very much.

Great job Veronique

Mama is inspecting & liking what she sees

thank you for painting

Not only did these wonderful people paint, but they brought all the fixin’s for a hamburger cookout, including corn on the cob North American style.  The kids got the recho  which most people in Haiti use to cook everything and charbon (charcoal).  Karen decided we could use the recho as a sort of BBQ.   The older kids got the charcoal started with some guidance from the Canadian outdoors woman (ha ha) Beate. Then I had the honour, with Valerie’s help, to burn, I mean, cook the burgers.

Lighting the charcoal

Beate & Valerie flipping burgers

whoops, a bit burnt is okay right

Karen was so super thrilled that that woman managed to  pack away a whole burger by herself and a cob of corn!

Friends enjoying a hamburger meal

Thank you again Veronique, Valerie and Guillaume for your help with HATS. I am leaving on Wednesday, and Karen will be here by herself again. It is comforting to me that these police officers are going to try to drop by on Sundays. Nothing like seeing a UN police truck pull up to the compound to add to the security.

I ended my day with another first in Haiti…BEATE DROVE TO LUCKNER'S!!!!!!....yes, Karen asked me if I wanted to drive, and I said YES. Was I nervous…YES…fortunately it was late Sunday afternoon, and there was hardly any traffic. I got onto the main road, a tap tap was coming, so I had to press the gas a bit. It was surprisingly very slippery. Good thing I’m used to driving in the winter without snow tires. The off-road part was exhilarating. I drive a wee Honda Fit, so I’m not used to a large truck. And the back road is only big enough for one vehicle…luckily, I did not encounter any oncoming traffic. Anyway, the event was for me such a thrill, and put the icing on the cake to another great day at HATS.

I got to drive in Haiti...ahhhh