I finally found good internet!! There is a lot to update since last Sunday. On Sunday I was typing as we were racing through the mountains to try to make it to the beach and back before dark. I chose not to look out the window for most of the time in an effort to keep my sanity. Jacmel was beautiful, it is one of the nicest beaches in Haiti. It was filled with people playing soccer on the beach, eating food, swimming, and relaxing. I think that there was maybe one other white person on the entire beach. It took Gretchen and I a few minutes to muster up the guts to show our white selves in our swimsuits. When we came back home, we learned that Jasmine took a new baby into the orphanage. She is 2 years old and weighs 12 pounds- approximately the weight a baby should weigh at 5-6 months of age. Her face looks dry and tired, kind of like an old lady. She cannot walk or stand or say any words. Yesterday Gretchen was working with her range of motion and trying to help her stand. Her legs naturally flop to the sides of her body and he knees lock inward.
The last few days are starting to blur together. I can't exactly remember what we did on each day. I always have intentions to journal before I sleep, but I end up being to tired at the end of the day. On Monday morning we took Rodnear, a 5 year old from Jasmine's orphanage to the eye doctor. He is almost completely blind. The visit only cost us $7 US and the doctor solved the mystery of Rodnear's poor vision- bilateral catracts. If it is left untreated, he will be permanently blind. The surgery costs about $300, so we're praying that the orphanage can fit this into their budget so that he can get the surgery in early September. It was so much fun to bring him outside of the orphanage. Even though he cannot see very well, he was eager to stick his head out the window of the car. He was BEAMING; just so excited to venture out of the walls of the orphanage. Later that afternoon, we visited another orphanage. It was completely different than the one we are staying at. It is all girls, for the exception of two boys ( poor things...). We brought crayons, paper, goldfish and a volleyball. The kids loved it. I find it funny that a bag of goldfish has 8 US sized servings, but we managed to feed over 30 kids, with some goldfish to spare. This orphanage had a lot of teenage girls, which was really fun for me. We would draw pictures and then explain them to each other in Creole and French. I'm not going to lie.. I kind of like the language barrier. There is always something to talk about! I can just sit down with anyone and start a conversation by asking them about words in Creole or teaching them some more English.
On Tuesday night we spent the night at the dean of the nursing school's house. It was quite an honor as she mentioned that no one ever stays there. We watched Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I think watching Hilda watch the movie was almost more amusing than the movie. She was a riot. Hilda also taught us a ton of things about Haitian culture. I'm learning that trust is something that is hard to establish in friendships and that often times people will pull away when they start to get too close to someone. I can see in the friendships at the school that these students need to break away from this and let people in because a lot of them are carrying burdens that are too much to hold inside.
Yesterday, Hilda took us to Port au Prince (the capital) for a meeting she had with the Bishop. It was great to see more of the city. It reminds me a lot of San Jose, Costa Rica. I was able to see how the middle class live in Haiti. It was exciting to see the businesses and to see that there is a part of Haiti that is doing pretty well. However, I don't think that I would ever want to live in the middle class area. I really love the city of Leogane, even if I still have no sense of direction.
Last night we went to Rigan's house for a homecooked Haitian meal. Gretchen and I are loving the Haitian food.It was really cool to see where he comes from- his family, his room, places where he studies, etc.
That's all for today... more later