Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Adventures of Ti Luc with Mama Karen ( Continued ): Don here.

Springdale Haiti Team Leader Emma, with lots of enthusiastic help from husband Don and other Team members and friends, arranged a “Meet and Greet “ fun evening for Karen and Ti Luc for Thursday, Aug. 19th, at Grace United.  Although there are so many summer activities attracting attention, a large group met at the church to see Karen and Ti Luc.  After a  couple short videos depicting life at HATS Orphanage / Children’s Village , the audience were treated to a talk by both Ti Luc and Karen and a singing duet by Emma and Ti Luc.

As a follow-up, everyone moved to a downstairs hall which had appropriate decorations, lots of Newfie assorted treats, and a few surprise activities and visitors, mixed in with the wonderful music and song of the  quartet of Kelly, Clint, Graham, and Steve, and assistant drummer Ti Luc  –  overall, a fantastic NL “ Kitchen Party “.

Enjoying time with his friends st Newfie kitchen party

Playing the cajon with the band

With a special and sweet team member

Suddenly, with out announcement, appeared three ‘mummers’ to add to the fun atmosphere.  Though characteristic of such parties in the Christmas Season, mummers have been known to also appear in any season, and they did so here in tribute to their Haitian visitors and they did get many others out  ‘ on the floor ‘ to the lively music.

Enjoying time with mummers

Soon occurring was another very important milestone in Ti Luc’s life, being dubbed an Honorary Newfoundlander and Labradorian in an excellent “ Screech In (Purity Syrup ) Ceremony by his Uncle Bob, assisted by Emma.

The codfish for to Luc was actually a caplin

Being dubbed an honorary Newfoundlander. Now he says he is a 'real Newfie'

Thursday saw Karen and Ti Luc and their group of nine others do the 3-hour drive to Twillingate to attend an evening Concert by the renowned 22-Year long career of the seven ladies band, “ The Split Peas “.  There, too, some mummers appeared.  After the excellent Concert, Ti Luc and full Party were guests of the “Peas “ in Eleanor and Alf Manuel’s home, another continuation of the finest  of NL hospitality.  Friday was the return day to Springdale.  An happening very worthy of note was the very close observations of a blue whale (the biggest animal that has ever inhabited the earth) by Todd, Bob, and Elaine who had boated to Twillingate to meet with the rest of us of the Concert.

At Split Peas concert

More Special people at Split Peas concert

Dancing with one of the mimmers

Saturday, Captain Ti Luc inspired by those whale encounters and stories, took Todd ( the boat owner ), Bob, and Karen out off Springdale in Hall’s Bay to view the scenery and various sea life, though no whales today.

With his auntie Elaine

Best wishes to Mama Karen in her week-long ‘Retreat’ in Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne National Park ( a World Unesco Site ) , and to Ti Luc residing behind with Leader Emma and husband Don, and friends.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hello again everyone.

Ti Luc and I are both loving our time here in Springdale, Newfoundland.

This blog will be mostly photos that will tell you that Ti Luc is having a lot of fun. In fact he says several times every day that he is not leaving here - that he is not going back.  I think things might be very difficult when the time comes that we do have to leave here.

Ti Luc and Lacee (lifeguard & member of Springdale Haiti team) at Springdale pool

Seeing dock and boats with Uncle Don

Wanting to lie down where Papa Luckner did in 2008.

Watching 3D movie with his buddy Dr Todd

Fun time st Jenny's with Jenny, her girls and Lacee

If he is on the go seeing and experiencing new things

The host of fantastic evening - another member of Springdale Haiti team

Awesome evening at Todd's thst ended with fire on beach and fireworks.

Arm wrestling Gerry another member of great Springdale Haiti team

Ti Luc squealed with delight as Todd set off fireworks on the beach. Such fun. Such joy.

Indian River Falls

Or if he is having a quiet day at home where we are staying he is relaxed, happy and very content.

Quiet day with mama where we are staying

Awesome to see friend Cathy again

Next week he will stay with Emma and Don while I attend a retreat for missionaries in beautiful Gros Morne National Park sponsored by a mission M2M.  It will be time for Karen and for Karen and God.  I am so very thankful for all who helped make this a reality for me.

Ti Luc loves going next door to Emma and Don's house

Thank you.  God bless you.

Love, Karen and Ti Luc


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ti Luc in wonderful Newfoundland

Our trip from Haiti to Newfoundland was smooth and uneventful this time for which we are very thankful.   We had an overnight visit with HATS’ own Keif and Jon in Montreal where Ti Luc was blessed and thrilled with a ride on motorbike with Keith.  The next morning we were off to Newfoundland with a short time in Halifax airport enroute during which we were blessed with a visit from our friend Tim.

Motorbike ride with Keith

Halifax airport visit with friend Tim

Ti Luc was as excited and keyed up as Mama Karen when we landed in Deer Lake.  Feet on the best land in the world, back on the rock once more where Mama Karen’s heart lies daily - caused wet eyes and a lot of thankfulness.  We were met at Deer Lake airport by Ti Luc’s godfather, who is also his uncle Ken, and his cousin Penny from Deer lake.  Put luggage in Ken’s vehicle and the three of us headed for Springdale – for ‘home’.   We arrived at the homestead, where we five kids grew up, to a surprise – a ‘welcome to Newfoundland Ti Luc’ party by the Springdale team who come regularly to Haiti.  What a welcome – what a fantastic party.  What a great bunch of people.

Welcome to your Nfld home Ti Luc

Welcome home to Karen

I really wanted Ti Luc to see an iceberg and a moose while here.  Often it does not happen.  The morning after our arrival Don came for Ti Luc and I to say there was an iceberg in King’s Point.  Off we go and yes upon arrival there was an iceberg.  Mama Karen too was delighted to see this.  On our way back to Springdale we saw a moose.  Wow, and it was only the first morning on the island for Ti Luc.

Ti Luc saw an iceberg and a moose

The same morning Ti Luc quickly formed a special relationship with another Don, Emma’s husband. Don is a soccer coach and Ti Luc loved kicking the ball with him and surprising him with some of his fancy moves.  He also enjoyed time at Uncle’s Bobby and Aunt Elaine’s house, i.e. the old homestead, where we are very happily staying and giving God thanks constantly that we can do so.  How many ‘older lady’ mothers with a 9-year-old son can return to her home town and stay in the very same house where she grew up, thus being able to really share her childhood home and memories with the child.   A huge thank you and bouquet to Bob and Elaine for fixing the house up so beautifully and making us so very welcome there complete with everything we need.

soccer with the soccer man

Ready to mow for Uncle Bobby

Ti Luc has had a special relationship for some time with his ‘buddy’ Todd.  Todd invited us to go out on his boat and also do some cod fishing.  On Friday evening Ti Luc and Mama Karen, Uncle Don, and Emma and Don joined Todd on his boat.  Wow, wow and wow does not cover it.  What an awesome and special few hours on the water.  Todd allowed Ti Luc to drive the boat, which he delighted in doing – with his feet of course.  Between us we caught the daily limit of cod and spent a most enjoyable few hours.  Does it get any better this side of heaven?

Captain of the seas

Newfie & Newfie Eskimo cod fishing

Some of our catch

Saturday saw Ti Luc enjoying time with cousins he met for the first time, Don and Lila’s gorgeous grandkids, Brett, James, and Sophie, who came to Springdale for the day with their Mama Krista and Papa Craig. Soccer in Don’s backyard, a barbeque and a lot of family fun.  This family time was enhanced by a visit from my gorgeous niece Jess, who Ti Luc has loved for quite some time, and her father, the ‘Bless The Lord O My Soul’ alarm clock for HATS, Dave Buckle, and his wonderful wife, Carolyn.  Family time spent together is something Mama Karen misses so greatly and Ti Luc has come to love so very much in Canada.

Soccer with cousins Brett, James and Sophie

Great to see family member, Jess

Sunday morning saw us attending Karen’s church in Springdale – the community church of 135 Main.   It was an awesome and uplifting worship time which was followed by us being invited to lunch and being fed a most delicious meal by friends of the same church.  After the worship finished this morning Ti Luc quickly moved towards the front where he saw a lot of fantastic musical instruments.  He sat on and started playing a box drum.  Clint quickly picked back up his guitar and started playing and Ti Luc accompanied him on the drum.  He had a great rhythm thing going on and he was loving every minute of it.

Playing Box Drum with worship leader, Clint

Are we happy to be in my home town of Springdale in Newfoundland?  You bet we are.  Ti Luc is as happy as his mama is to be here.  I am ‘home’ and going to savour and enjoy every minute we have here.

You can take Karen from the bay but you can’t take the bay from Karen

Thank you everyone for all your love, kindness, encouragement and support.  It means a great deal to both of us.

May God bless you all.
Karen and Ti Luc

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