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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Memorable Moments of the week

1. I took Estaline to a “handicapped” hospital in the hopes of receiving some professional advice about what is preventing her from walking. On the second visit (just because This is Haiti and of course it would take more than one try to get in to see the doctor), the pediatrician we saw felt a mass on the left side of her abdomen. I panic, because mass can mean a long list of things. We waited for a few hours after that to pay for and create a dossier (with her birthdate, family information, and name of responsible person) and receive an appointment date to meet with the orthopedist. I was given the date of August 11th. Like any pushy nurse, I told the receptionist that Estaline has a suspected mass in her stomach- couldn’t we receive an earlier appointment? She briefly stared at me, checked her book again, then gave me a date for next Wednesday. Pushiness wins out!

We did manage to make it to the facility for her to get a sonogram of her abdomen. We left for the first hospital at six-thirty am and arrived at the sonogram place at 1:30pm. Estaline began whining and crying around 11am. I brought granola bars and crackers and water wish she happily devoured (if you know Estaline, you know she loves food). I asked Erta’s dad, Antonio, our driver, multiple times to buy her food from the street, but only crackers because most of the food is really greasy and unhealthy. I’m pretty sure what she needed was to sleep. But that was not to be so that day. Each time I gave her food, she began to cry as soon as it was finished. I even made a deal with her (yes, I know she is only two. Who cares?) that she wouldn’t cry when the next package of crackers was finished. She agreed. But she reniged on the deal. I paced with her back in forth around the waiting area. What I’ve learned in Haiti is what you might think is only your business is often everyone else’s business as well. Multiple people tried to tell me what I should do to get her to stop crying. Yah, I know she was being annoying, but its not like I was just sitting there and ignoring her. So, at the sonogram facility (which was the third building we drove to, by the way), Antonio once again bought crackers for Estaline, and for me as well. And, she cried, again. Suddenly, both Antoniono and I noticed that the air began to smell foul. Or, was it Estaline’s rear end? I attempted to change her in the co-ed bathroom, but there was no changing table. WHAT? So, I found the least-occupied section of the waiting area, planted Estaline on a chair, and got to it. The three people in the chairs across from us all staired. “Escuse, Escuse,” I apologized. Estaline was none-too-happy, so she twisted and kicked her legs while screaming. So as I’m trying to wipe her bottom, the poop goes all over the chair, my hand, and her foot lands in it, which then lands on my shirt. And, the people are still watching me. And I’m beginning to sweat more than usual. I eventually get the clean diaper on her and walk outside with her. I turn the corner and give her a small spanking. Then I look over my should around and see a man standing there, watching me. And, to make this even more special for us, I turn completely around and see that a tent city is directly across the street from us. Just how many people watched the white lady spank the black baby? Should I feel weird about this?

Speaking of abuse, I’ve taken Estaline into a kiddy pool that one of our former teachers brought. She hates it. Like when she walks with her walker, she screams “lageme” (leave me) or “gade” (look). But she’s added another word to her vocabulary: “abby!” According to Erta, it means abuse. I’m very thankful she didn’t decide to use this word at the hospital or in the sonogram waiting room.

The sonogram showed nothing abnormal in her abdomen and the radiologist who performed it felt nothing as well. He suggested that it may have been a collection of stool that the other doctor felt. Yes, I saw that stool. In fact, I left with it on my shirt.

2. I’m staying at the boys home sometimes now to help out with the little boys while Cindy is back in the states for a few weeks. Schneider, one of the older boys, has been helping out Cindy for the last couple of months. Right now, he is in charge while Cindy is gone. He is so gentle but firm that the boys really listen to him and respect him. I, on the other hand, am such a dufus that I got myself locked in the medical room there the other night. Jocelyn, one of the boys who went to the states for school in December, started a trend of locking people in rooms. The best part is that he (or the alternate offender) makes you say “Please, Daddy, let me out!” I’ve been locked in the depot at the guesthouse (a disgusting, scary place to be locked in) once and in the medical clinic, each time by Marlval. I got him back about a month ago by locking him in the guesthouse depot. Usually he takes the lock off the door if he goes in there to prevent this from happening (we’re a suspicious bunch), but he was slacking this time. I’m sorry but I had to gloat and showed my friend Carmina who was visiting. I made him go through the steps of saying, “Mommy, please let me out!” So, last night Marcorel stepped inside the medical clinic at the boys’ home and what could I do but what was required of me? Willy B was in on it too. We walked around to the window and dangled the keys, saying, “Say please Mommy, let me out!” After a few tries, he finally got it right. Dumb dumb dumb…Willy B and I stepped in there again to give a boy ibuprofen and didn’t take the lock and key inside. There we were with Marcorel having all the control on the other side of the door. “Say, Papa, mwen renmen ou (I love you).” After some coercion on Marcorel’s part and a few failed attempts on our part at saying it the right way, we were released. This is just what we do at the boys’ home.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

More pictures

Feeding Program kids:

Ensise

Donaldson

Dupren
MdL boys:

Diene

Elisee

Lukenson, one of our three newest boys. He is very affectionate and everyone is in love with him!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life in Pictures


These children from a neighboring orphanage began attending our feeding program this week, as well as ate at our boys' home on the other days we don't have the feeding program. Since the earthquake they have been living in a parking lot and eating very little. Our ministry is looking into renting a home for them as well.
Jameson, one of my buddies from the feeding program

Watson, another friend who goes to the feeding program, likes to run with us and always asks when I can teach him English. Watson and Jameson are brothers. Aren't they terribly handsome?!

Estaline walking. Can you tell how much she likes it? ;)