Archive for May 2012

Home Sweet Home

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We made it home!! After waking up at 6am this morning, 2 flights, and a 5 hours layover in Miami, we made it back to Raleigh around 7:30pm.  We were both so excited to be back, but also a little sad to say goodbye again.  We spent yesterday playing with the kids and loving on them as much as possible before we had to leave.  I gave them all lots of hugs and kisses, and promised I'd be back soon.  While I don't know how much they understood, I know they all know we love them.  Plus, they remembered us from last time, so we must have made a pretty good impression!  These last ten days have flown by, and while there were some bumpy parts, we all made it, had tons of fun, and would go back again!  I love those kids, I love Dorothy and the work she's doing, and I love that Country.

I am so grateful for everyone that helped us get to Haiti, and I'm so grateful for everyone that impacted our time there.  Huge shout out to Dorothy Pearce, Katie Benner, and Samuel Chery for all of their time and love they shared with us this week!  You are all amazing, and we are extremely blessed to call you our friends.  May God bless you in all you do!

While I was sad to say goodbye, I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.  There's no where better than home.  Thanks again to everyone!! I'll update more, finish the hospital story, and post pictures soon!  Sleep and laundry have to come first though!

Goodnight everyone and thanks again!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Haiti Day Nine: Quick Update

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'm really tired tonight and the power keeps going out so tonight's update will have to be quick.  We got to do some souvenir shopping today and I got some really beautiful paintings, artwork, and jewelry.  The apparent project was amazing and I wish I had brought more money to buy more things.  The sunburn is quite painful today and being out in the sun was not fun at all.  By the time we walked to the Apparent Project I was feeling quite nauseas and overheated.  Sunburn is not fun at all here. We spent the afternoon napping and trying to cool off while praying for power.  We finished the outside mural tonight.  The kids were excited about it this morning, so they will only love it more tomorrow!  Right now we have city power and we just keep praying it will stay on long enough to charge the inverter so we can have power all night.  We drained the batteries on the inverter this morning so we need city power for a few hours to recharge it.  Please pray that the power will stay on.  It's about my only relief from this sunburn and heat.  I'm going to enjoy the cold shower tonight and head to bed.  Tomorrow is our last day, and then home on Thursday!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Haiti Day Seven & Eight: Beach and Sunburn

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sorry I didn't update last night, we were all exhausted after our wonderful day at the beach!! Katie got here around 9, and we headed out for the beach around 9:30.  We didn't hit any traffic on the way there, which is amazing for Haiti!  We did get to one street that was super flooded, which made for some interesting driving.  We had to inch, and I mean inch past a large truck which was a little frightening, but very impressive to watch Katie do.  We made it to the beach in a little over an hour, and as soon as we saw the water we all immediately felt relaxed.  We went into this little resort type place that cost us $20 to get in for the day. As we walked down the beautifully landscaped walkway, we could see the crystal clear water and were so excited to get in.  We ordered our lunch, got in the water, and swam out to these little floating piers.  It was gorgeous and perfect in every way! We came in, took some pictures, enjoyed our lunch, and then walked over to another little area where we could jump off the wall into the water.  It was amazing!!!!!!!   The best part however, is that all of these men were on row boats selling rides to the visitors.  Katie asked him how much it would cost and it was only 100 goude to ride, and to use the goggles to snorkel were another 100 goude which roughly converts to about $5 US.  He took us out to this gorgeous area with tons of coral to snorkel around.  We all got in and snorkeled for about an hour, looked at all the pretty fish, quickly swam away from about seven jelly fish, and just relaxed. I've never been snorkeling and it was breathtaking! It was probably the best day I've had in a very long time.  I've never been to a beach so beautiful or relaxing.

Unfortunately, because my skin sucks, I got fried to a crisp.  I tried my best to not get burnt, putting sunscreen on at least five times, but I guess the sun here doesn't mesh well with my skin. I'm hurting pretty badly today, and spent the majority of my day laying in bed with my straps down.  My thighs are burned, the sides of my legs are burnt, my back and shoulders are crispy, and it is just about miserable.  The heat here makes it 100x worse I think, and I really just want to lay and not move until it goes away.  Sleeping was next to impossible last night, I woke up every time I moved.  I'm hoping i'll sleep better tonight and I'm hoping icing it and ibuprofen will help take some of the pain away soon.  I hate being this burnt away from home.  Only two more days though, I think i'll survive if I keep myself covered in aloe and stay on ibuprofen all day.

Tomorrow we are going to do a little bit of souvenir shopping and get some paintings.  Meredith and Jess are really excited and I'm highly looking forward to experiencing their first shopping experience in Haiti!  We will get to go to the Apparent Project tomorrow or Wednesday afternoon with Katie.  I saw their organization on the special Oprah did when she came to Haiti.  I mentioned to Jess when we watched it that I would love to see it one day, but had no clue where it was. Come to find out it is walking distance from Dorothy's house.  I'm so excited to see it and get some nice handmade things!  If I can make it through these two days and not die from pain, they will be a lot of fun!

Here are some pictures as promised:

I am absolutely in love with Johnny!
The four of us on the roof enjoying the sunset.
Meet Lovena, the newest little baby.
I think i'll bring her home!
The view of the beach we visited.  How gorgeous is that?!
The view of the beach from the pool.

Have I mentioned how much I love this Country and these kids????  

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
4 Comments »

Haiti Day Six: Hospital Part One

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Today has been a whirlwind of a day.  It started off normal, we got up, ate breakfast, and played with the babies.  I loved on Lovena for awhile until she fell asleep in my arms.  I've fallen in love with that sweet little girl, I could just eat her up she's so cute!  When I went to lay her down I noticed Tamara was awake.  When I went to talk to her, Tamara had this weird expression on her face like she was in a lot of pain.  I reached to pick her up and as she tried to lift herself up she started crying and stopped trying.  When I picked her up she just started wailing, and I mean WAILING!  That was when I knew something wasn't right.  You see, Tamara has brittle bone disease which means she breaks bones VERY easily.  I gave her to one of the nannies and as she sat still the crying stopped. The nanny kept asking her where it hurt and she wasn't responding.  We left her to the nannies and didn't think much about it.  We spent the majority of the morning outside playing with the older kids until they had to eat lunch.  After we ate lunch around 12:30, I noticed one of the nannies trying to pick up Tamara to feed her and that's when her wailing began again.  We all immediately knew she had to of broken something.  The nanny sat down and we noticed Tamara's left thigh was very swollen.  Jesula, the nanny in charge of healthcare, got Sha Sha to come to me and translate that they thought her femur was broken.  From what they could gather they think Tamara tried to stand up in the crib, fell, and landed badly on her leg.  Jesula asked that we call Dorothy, since she was away in Gonaives, but we had no phone.  The nannies were all out of minutes on their phones, so we started racking our brains to figure out what to do for Tamara.  We gave her some ibuprofen for the swelling, and then decided to walk to Katie's house to have her call Dorothy.

When we got to Katie's they were busy cooking spaghetti for their youth event this evening. Katie called Dorothy, and she recommended we splint Tamara's leg and take her to the hospital.  Luckily yesterday morning we had just learned how to splint a fracture, so we got the supplies and I was able to wrap Tamara's little leg up.  It broke my heart to hear her scream as I did it, but I had to.  Katie, Meredith, Jesula, Esther (another nanny), Tamara, and I packed into Katie's school car and headed to the hospital.  Haiti is a very bad place to drive an injured person around.  Katie tried so hard to drive slowly as to not hurt her more.  Luckily Tamara didn't cry the whole way, we think the splint helped keep her leg stable.

When got to the hospital, were able to drive straight in, and headed to the orthopedic doctor's area.  A nurse told us that the orthopedic doctor was not in that day but that they could take an x-ray to see if it was broken and then we could come back.  Katie, Meredith, and I had originally planned to drop the nannies off and come back later to pick them up, but they said the x-ray wouldn't take long so we waited.  When we got to the waiting area, an American doctor came over to check on Tamara's leg.  As she felt the right leg, she couldn't feel any abnormalities but as she lifted it Tamara started crying so she figured there was some sensitivity in her hip.  As she undid the splinted leg and started to push on it, while Tamara is screaming out of control I might add, she described her femur as feeling crunchy.  They rushed her to the x-ray and took it from her hip to her knee.  When it came back, about an hour later, they let us know that Tamara had indeed fractured her left femur and it would need to be taken care of.

The orthopedic doctor had come in, but was in surgery so he could not cast it.  They said they'd give her an IV to sedate her and just splint it again, and that it'd only take an hour and we could come back Monday for a cast.  We decided again to wait with the nannies thinking it wouldn't take long and about thirty minutes later they called Jesula and Tamara back.  It was at least two hours before we ever heard anything from the doctors.  Two hours later Jesula came out, holding her side, and informed us that they made her stand inside, holding Tamara the whole two hours.  They would not let her sit and she had really bad cramps.  When Jesula came out they had just taken Tamara to start her IV.  To say we were a little frustrated would put it lightly.  Again we thought the IV/splinting process would only take an hour so we stayed figuring it was pointless to leave and have to turn right back around.  It was another good two hours before we heard anything at all from the Doctors.  Katie finally found a doctor to ask and he let us know that they were able to cast it, and she was awake, but that Tamara would have to sit up and drink water before she could leave. An hour later Jesula came out holding Tamara who has a cast from her foot all the way up her leg and over her hips.  We packed the car and headed home with her after dropping Jesula off to go home.  What we thought would be a one hour hospital visit turned into over 6 hours.  To say we are exhausted is an understatement. The Haitian hospital was an experience to say the least!  We all left very thirsty, hungry, and weak, but happy to have Tamara taken care of and be on our way home.  Once we got home we filled Dorothy in on the day, made some dinner, and chugged water since we had only had one bottle all day.  There are so many other stories to share about our experience at the hospital, and this is honestly the short version of Tamara's day but I am exhausted and need to head to bed.  Hospital Part Two to come tomorrow.

Please keep little Tamara in your prayers as she heals!

Beach here we come tomorrow!!!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
1 Comment »

Haiti Day Five

Friday, May 25, 2012

It has been a very exciting day around here!  We all woke up early to greet the physical therapist from Johns Hopkins that came to teach the ladies some basic tips.  I think they all really enjoyed it and got a lot of good information on how to care for sprains, injuries, and how to work with Son Son to get him walking.  It was encouraging to see the ladies actively trying out the techniques with him in the afternoon.  Son Son will be walking in no time with the help he gave!  I know we all learned a lot from his class today as well.

The most exciting part of today was when the newest baby arrived.  She is nine months old, a little malnourished, but absolutely beautiful!! Her name is Lovena and I think she is going to do great here.  We all took turns loving on her, and decided her smile is so contagious.  She had been living with her Grandmother and not receiving proper nutrition.  Kez brought her to Dorothy to get her strong and healthy before returning her to the grandmother. She precious I tell ya!! Precious!  Lovena will go for blood tests soon, and we are praying she doesn't have anything serious.

We also got to spend a lot more time with the kids today and love on them all.  I am absolutely in love with Johnny and Biguerson. Their smiles, laughs, hugs, and tons of kisses will make anyone smile.  They get so excited to see us everytime we come outside.  The best part however is that they always make sure to come to our room to give us hugs and kisses when they get home from school.  I just can't even tell you how much I love these kids!

We also did our first pizza night with the younger kids today.  Since Dorothy will not be here tomorrow for dinner we decided to do it with the older ones tomorrow so Sha Sha can help us translate.  The little ones were so excited, but the older kids cried their eyes out when they couldn't come upstairs.  It breaks my heart and I just wish I could make them understand that they will get their turn tomorrow night.  Either way watching their little faces light up when they saw pizza on the table made it all better.

Tomorrow we're on our own, and may possibly have a team from Georgia stop by to play with the kids.  We will get to play hostess for the day. Please pray that we can keep city power.  The heat is taking it's toll, and when we don't have fans the days become very long and difficult.

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Haiti Day Three & Four

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hey everyone!  I tried to update yesterday but we could not get the internet to work.  Thankfully it's working tonight!  The past two days have not been very eventful, but still pretty fun!  Yesterday morning we discovered ants in our cereal, which may or may not have been discovered after taking a few bites.  Gross.  We had to make another trip to the store to get more that afternoon so we could have breakfast the rest of the week.  The most exciting thing that happened yesterday was watching the Lion King with Sha Sha and chasing a moth around our room last night.  We wanted Sha Sha to learn where their dog, Nala's, name came from.  He enjoyed the movie although he was a bit confused because he would get distracted during the important parts!  We also had a gigantic moth in our room and watching Cassie try to get it out was quite entertaining.  When it stopped moving in the light for a good few minutes we thought for sure it was dead/fried.  However we woke up this morning to it sitting on our curtain, only to discover later this afternoon that it died on the window instead of in the light.  Pretty exciting things happening around here I tell ya! Ha!

Today we were able to sleep in, while Dorothy and Samuel went to the hardware store to get paint for us to use on the mural outside.  We hope to get that started tomorrow and finish it before the week is up.  We also spent a good amount of time loving on the babies and took some quiet time to ourselves to play a few rounds of phase 10.  This afternoon before dinner we were able to ride with Dorothy to stop by Sherri's place.  I visited Sherri's house when I came in 2009 and our team helped get her school in better condition.  I haven't visited since then, and boy has that place taken off! She's now living at the school because her house fell in the earthquake. It has three stories instead of one, there are living quarters upstairs for guest, and a wing off of it for more room.  It's amazing to see the progress, see her kids all grown up, and be reminded of how good and faithful God is to His people!  Visiting her place today brought up a lot of old memories from my first trip in 2009.  I was able to think back on our team, all the people we met, the places we went, and the memories we will all share forever.  I got to see Herode again, the little boy I fell in love with here at Dorothy's in 2009 who is now living with Sherri.  He is growing up, running around, talking, and as happy as could be!  I don't think he remembered me at all but it was awesome to see him again.

We also got to spend more time with the younger kids today here at Dorothy's.  Over the last few days, since everyone is still in school, we haven't gotten to spend a lot of time with all of the kids.  Our daily routine is completely different from last time, and Cassie and I were really missing our outside time with them.  To fix that problem, we went downstairs this afternoon and asked to take the kids outside.  I think the nannies get a bit frustrated with the chaos we cause, but the kids love it and that is what matters!  A few of the nannies are really good at understanding what we're trying to get the kids to do and they'll help us out. The best part of hanging out with the kids though is that they remember us from last time. It warms my heart every time they chant for us: "CassieAllyson!!! CassieAllyson!!!"  Only a few of them know that we are in fact two different people and our name isn't one combined word, but it's still amazing that they remember us. It makes me oh so happy every. single. time!  I love these kids so much!  I love to watch their personalities grow and change.  I love to see them learning more English, developing intellectually, and truly growing up. I got to sit and read with Johnny today and I can't even express how incredible that was.  He read his school book to me in Creole and then I sat and read an English book to him while he traced along the words and repeated after me.  I love to see their passion for learning coming out.  These kids are amazing and I love them all so very much!

The next couple of days are going to be pretty interesting for us.  Tomorrow a lady is bringing a 9 month old that will be joining Dorothy's kids.  We are all excited to meet him or her and love on this child as much as possible.  I've never been here when a child has come in for the first time, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that process works.  We also have a physical therapist coming in tomorrow that is going to do a class for the nannies on how to treat minor injuries like sprains as well as how to work with the kids who need specialized physical therapy assistance.  Jess and I are hoping to sit in on the class, learn for ourselves, and enjoy spending some time with the ladies.  We also plan to do a pizza night with one group of the kids tomorrow!  They enjoyed it so much last time that we just had to fit it in again.  On Saturday, Dorothy will be leaving for the day to take a team to Gonaives.  We will be at the house on our own that day, which will be fun to see how it plays out! We'll do the second round of pizza Saturday night with the younger kids.  The most exciting part of our next few days however, is that we were able to fit in a beach day on Sunday!! Last time we spend a day sight seeing in the mountains, and after seeing Katie's pictures of the beach, we were all dying to do that as our day off this time!  Katie is kind enough to drive us there on Sunday and spend the day with us at the beach.  We will be relaxing on a Caribbean Island beach on Sunday, not feeling guilty about it one bit!  It's going to be great!  Pray that I don't get sunburned!!

Next week we hope to do a little bit of souvenir shopping, but really the rest of our time will be spent loving on the kids as much as possible.  I truly do love these children and love every minute I get to spend with them!  Well that's about all I have for you tonight.  I'll try to post some more pictures soon, but the internet doesn't have a strong connection so it takes forever.  Goodnight everyone!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
3 Comments »

Challenged by Words: Haiti day Two

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's been another good day here in Haiti! We got up early, ready to play with the kids, and then remembered that almost all of them were at school.  Oops!  We were all pretty tired so we stayed inside, loved on the babies, and made a birthday sign for Rosa.  Dorothy has two new twin girls, Sephora and Fadaphora, here now that are about 11 weeks old and absolutely adorable!! It's hard to not love holding a baby! They are both simply precious!  We also spent some time organizing various areas for Dorothy today, and sketching a mural on the wall outside for the kids that we hope to paint later this week.  Another team painted a small mural of a jungle and we got inspired.  Ours will not be nearly as impressive, but I think the kids will like it nonetheless.

At dinner tonight I found myself challenged by a few words.  We were talking about other missionaries working in Haiti, and where I thought I could see myself working here if I did make the move.  I expressed my thoughts to Dorothy about the whole situation, my concerns and confusions, and she simply replied with "Haiti is not the end all, planes fly both ways."  One of my biggest concerns with moving here has been about not enjoying it when I got here.  While I obviously know that planes will go both ways, it was comforting to hear that it is always an option to go back home.  I am not tied to a specific time frame and I can come and go as a please.  And if it turns out this is not the place for me, home is only a short flight away.

Also, while her and Katie talked about another missionary she said "Just because there is a need, does not mean God is calling you there.  A calling and a need are two separate things."  That also hit home with me tonight.  Am I called by God to be here or do I feel this push because I have seen and understand first hand the need that is here?

These are both things I have to think about and truly dig deeper to understand before I make my decision. I could use your prayers.

I am looking forward to the rest of the week.  We hope to paint the mural, spend lots more time with the kids, do some souvenir shopping, and we've even worked in a trip to the beach!  We are excited and ready to see what all God has planned for us in this trip!  I do really love it here.

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
1 Comment »

We made it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

We're in Haiti!! Our flights went smoothly, minus a little turbulence and ears popping!  We had to wait a little while outside of the airport for Samuel, but it gave us some time to people watch and let Meredith and Jessica get a true taste of Haiti.  We've spent our time organizing, getting settled and doing some grocery shopping.  I'm excited to be back and have a lot of soul searching/praying to do about whether this is where God is calling me or not.  Please keep us in your prayers!! I'll update more later, it's time for bed right now!





share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
2 Comments »

And so it begins..

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I have officially begun/almost finished packing for my THIRD trip to Haiti.  It is finally beginning to feel real, get exciting, and for whatever reason I'm a little nervous.  It's crazy to think that I'll be in Haiti in less than 48 hours. However, I am so so SO very excited to wrap my arms around Johnny and give him the biggest hug ever!!!  I also cannot wait to hug and catch up with Dorothy!  Not to mention, I cannot wait to see Meredith and Jessica and catch up with them!  I've been going through serious roommate withdrawls!  So many amazing things could happen through this trip and I am very excited to see what God has in store!  I'm really hoping I'll get some clarity on the details about moving to Haiti and truly sense God's calling in all of it while I'm there.  I could really use your prayers as I take this journey and continue to follow the path God is leading me on! Haiti here we come!!!!!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Spring Cleaning Round 2

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First off let me say that last night was a success!! We raised $300 which covered the last portion Cassie needed for her trip!  We were both excited to have that finished, and still have some extra to take with us to give to Dorothy!  Thank you so much to everyone who came out last night to support our trip, and thank you to everyone who has donated over the last few weeks!!  You all pulled through again and have blessed us beyond belief!

As for the spring cleaning, round two is about to begin around here.  You see I've become somewhat of a neat freak in the last few years.  I'm not sure exactly what got me to this point, but it's become an obsession.  I find myself getting anxious and uneasy when things are not clean and organized. I also love how I feel after it's done.  Organizing/cleaning is a very therapeutic activity for me and oh so rewarding; hince the round two of cleaning.  I did my first round in my college dorm, where I donated a lot of clothes, cleaned out unnecessary items, and then did some quick spot cleaning.  I already keep my room pretty clean and organized so it doesn't take much even on my "big" cleaning days. At home however, things are not quite kept to my standards. I told mom this would be the hardest thing about moving home and that she should expect some organizing projects to be in her very near future.  Areas that I don't see or deal with everyday like their bedroom or the office, don't bother me as much.  It's the main areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room that are screaming my name!  I got my room all set up within the first 48 hours of being home. I can't sleep well when all of my stuff is in boxes scattered about throughout the house.  Then I organized my bathroom cabinets, the fridge, and the freezer.  On today's list is getting all of my stuff from the apartment that doesn't go in my bedroom, stored neatly upstairs in a designated spot for myself.  Then I'll be doing some vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and possibly organizing the laundry room.  I only have a few items left to do in my room, like hook my TV up and find a place for my jewelry so I intend to do that today as well.  I'd love to get around to organizing mom's closet, but that may have to wait until tomorrow! Let the cleaning begin!

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
2 Comments »

Uninspired Update

Friday, May 11, 2012

I have been very uninspired to write on here lately.  I thought with graduating I'd have some profound thoughts to share, but nothing worth writing has really come up yet.  For a quick update:

- Yes I did graduate last Saturday! With honors I may add!
- I have started working at day camp getting ready for the summer, seeing as how I'm the assistant director this year! I'm really enjoying it so far.
-We're hosting a Parent's Night Out tomorrow at camp.  Aka we're offering free childcare for ages 4 and up to raise money for our trip to Haiti.  There is no cost, but we ask that you make a donation to our trip.  For every $5 donated, you'll get an entry into our drawing for a free week of camp!  What's not to love?!  Come and join us tomorrow at Grey Stone from 5-9pm!
-Haiti is quickly approaching and I believe we've got everything in order.  The anticipation is building, although it doesn't seem as real this time. I'm hoping the excitement will only grow as the time gets closer.
-And lastly, I joined the modern world today and got an Iphone!  Pretty exciting I must say, and a wonderful graduation gift to myself.

Well that's all I've really got for you tonight, hopefully some writing inspiration will happen soon!!

Either way, I'll be updating regularly while we're in Haiti so stay tuned!!


share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »