A few weeks ago a dentist examined the mouths of half our children to see who needs fillings, teeth extracted, and teeth repaired. Last Friday Bill and I took eight of the kids to this dentist's office with an expected arrival time of 9:30. After about 45 minutes of driving in circles and repeatedly calling the dentist to help us find the right turn, which was described as "the house with a tin fence surrounding it," we arrived. The dentist, a Dominican woman living here with her missionary husband, was prepared with her laptop and movies for the kids to watch while we waited. And wait we did- but Bill and I were both prepared with books to read because This is Haiti (TIH). Anderson's front tooth that was chipped years ago was repaired and the dentist took a molding of his gum and teeth to put a fake tooth where he was missing one in the front. Semi decided he did not want his front tooth fixed because he "looks handsome that way", but did have a few cavities filled. Some of the kids were able to have the work done without anesthesia, while many needed their hands held so as not to rip the dental tools out of their mouths (read: bring on the anesthesia!) Poor Yvenel threw up a few times before he made it to the dental chair. Skip past all your required years of cleaning and go straight to the drilling. Each kid was asked by the others when they were done: "Did you get a piki (shot)?" Mr. Bill made all of us- but not our teeth- happy as he bought ice cream for all before the adventure ended at 5pm. More trips to the dentist to follow for these same children and more.
Could this girl (Daphne) bring anymore joy to our lives?
Have you noticed how the airlines these days like to freeze you out with air conditioner, no longer provide blankets and pillows, and only serve pretzels or peanuts and a drink? However, the flight to Haiti on American Airlines is practically like flying first class. You receive crackers, spreadable cheese, raisins, and TOBLERONE chocolate!
Highlights of being in Haiti so far:
Worship with the kids and staff on the night of our arrival. I closed my eyes and thanked God for the opportunity to be surrounded by such a beautiful, faithful group of adults and children who were raising their voices in different languages and accents to our Lord.
Running into my friend Madam Jocelyn on the street before she left to travel to the Dominican Republic on Sunday. She will need to complete two more rounds of chemotherapy there first then the radiation will start. Please continue to pray for her healing or start to if you haven't already been doing so.
Visiting the home of Mari, the woman who died from breast cancer last April. Her husband, daughters, and sons seem to be doing well and are joyous and friendly as always.
Extreme spoons with the visiting team: BEST GAME EVER! Those who don't get the spoons that are out on the table have to duke it out over the spoons that are hidden in another room. I may use this as my new mode of physical fitness.
Running on the streets again and the shout-outs from the people as they see me "slowing" by. What I do can't really be described as running. A friend and I deemed it "slowing" years ago.
Praying with the ladies who work at the boys' home during their daily prayer time. They made me pray in Creole and it was highly embarrassing.
My good friends Jocelyn, James, and Alex received VISA's on Wednesday to go the states for English school. I've known these boys for 6 years since they were about twelve years old. I met them on my first trip to Haiti and they were part of the original group of twelve that first made up the boys' home. More recently they have been overseeing the little boys and leading at the feeding program. For at least a year a generous couple from Pennsylvania, Tom and Pat Murphy, have been working with a school and on the Haiti side to get all the paperwork together to apply for the VISA's. We were all concerned that one or two would get it, but the other one or two would be left behind. By the grace of God, they all were allowed to speak with the consulate together (as far as we know, this never happens) and Tom was invited to speak with the consulate as well. Then, they were told to return the next day to receive their VISA's. When we heard the news and shared it with the ladies who clean and cook at the boys' home they jumped up and down, waved their hands in the air, and shouted "Mesi Jezi" (Thank you, Jesus). When the boys arrived home after their appointment, the boys' home erupted into song and dance and laughter. It was beautiful to see all the other kids' excitement for these three who have showed faith and strong character and were blessed by the Lord.
My brothers James, Alex, and Jocelyn- not so little anymore