Saturday, August 28, 2010

I cut my hair!!

I finally chopped all of it off! The pictures are backwards because I can't get them to flip!


I absolutely LOVE it!! Let me know what you think!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My favorite thing: FOOD!!!

So, I have been in Haiti for two weeks now, and it was brought to my attention that I have not told you guys about the Haitian food! I have been so excited about the hamburgers and ice cream that I haven’t even touched on the awesome food that our Haitian cook, Lannie, makes! So this blog is dedicated to the food lovers out there that don’t care about my pizza and hamburgers!

RICE AND BEANS: Of course, we have rice and beans every single night. Lucky me! I love rice and beans. Most nights we have rice with peas in it, so naturally I pick all the peas out and just eat the rice. The rice has a bit of a spicy flavor to it, but tastes AMAZING. I could eat it every single night. Some nights though, we have white rice and pinto beans, which is my favorite type of rice and beans that we have!

LE GOO: I have no clue if that is how you actually spell it, but I don’t really eat it. It is vegetables mixed up in a blender, and then you pour it over the white rice. I don’t like veggies, so I don’t eat it. The main vegetable in it is some kind of green leaf, so it really just looks like green stringy stuff. Everyone says it is delicious, but I haven’t had the guts to eat it yet!

BULLION: I’m killing the spellings of these things. This meal is like a vegetable soup. It has chunks of potatoes in it and beef and carrots. It has an amazing flavor, and you put the rice in the soup and eat it all together. It is so delicious, but soup is hard to eat when it is 100 degrees outside.

CHICKEN LEGS: Lannie makes some of the best chicken legs I have ever had. I am not a huge dark meat eater, but her chicken legs have the best flavor! She bastes them in some kind of sauce with onions and it tastes amazing. We have those about 3 times a week!

MAC N CHEESE: Now, this isn’t your run of the mill every day macaroni and cheese. This is Haitian mac and cheese. She takes long penne noodles and cheese of course, but puts ham and some seasonings in it. It takes like heaven on a plate. It is so good! I wish I could be more descriptive, but that’s really all I can tell you. I’ll try to start taking pictures of our food so that you can see the deliciousness I am talking about!

SALAD: The salad here is so fresh, because all the ingredients are bought fresh from the street markets. She puts cucumbers and onions and we usually have a vinaigrette dressing. YUM!

FISH: I don’t eat fish, but this is the main thing that people eat in Haiti. Fish and shrimp. We went to a fish place the other day and when you order the fish, they literally bring out the ENTIRE fish. Head and all. It looks absolutely disgusting to me, but everyone says it tastes good. So if you like fish, Haiti is definitely somewhere you should go!

CHINESE: You read it right… Chinese!! In Haiti!! Say whaaaat?!?! We discovered this awesome little Chinese restaurant the other day! It had traditional Chinese food, but was way overpriced, so we won’t be returning there unless it is a special occasion, but it did taste wonderful! I had sweet and sour chicken and fried rice!

BBQ CHICKEN: When we went to the fish place, I ordered BBQ chicken. It was chicken wings (bone in) drenched in a wonderful barbeque sauce. And fresh cut French fries of course.

JUICE: When Lannie cooks, she always has fresh squeezed juice for us to drink. My favorite is fresh squeezed lemonade! It is to DIE for! We have also had grapefruit, and mango, but I try to drink water at dinner because it’s better for you!

HAITIAN BREAKFAST: I’ve only had a Haitian breakfast once. We had a buffet! A normal Haitian breakfast: boiled eggs, spaghetti, and bread with butter. I ate boiled eggs and bread with butter, but I’m not a big fan of spaghetti in the morning. Their spaghetti is really good. I’ve had it for lunch, but didn’t venture trying to eat it for breakfast.

PLANTAINS: So I thought plantains were like bananas. I was wrong. When Greg and Michelle picked me up from the airport, Michelle was buying plantains from a guy on the side of the road. She gave me one and it literally tasted like a potato chip! We eat them all the time now! Lannie made some the other night, but she cuts hers extremely thick so it tasted very starchy. I like the thin ones must better!

So there is my tribute to Haitian food. I am still pretty partial to the hamburgers and pizza though! I haven’t been asked to eat goat yet, so I’m doing pretty good. I eat a lot of sandwiches and cereal for breakfast and lunch. Overall, I’m getting a good mix of American and Haitian food, and loving it!

Oh and today is my sister’s birthday, so I couldn’t imagine writing a blog without giving her a shout out!

Happy birthday Marissa!! Enjoy old age!

Be on the look out for my next blog about my trip to the orphanage. It’ll be a heart wrencher!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Christ Compared to a BRA!

Today is Sunday and we went to Pastor Jude’s church. This church is unlike any church I have ever been to. We woke up pretty early to get ready and left to head to church. We got there just in time, but it is 100 degrees inside the church so I stood outside where it was a little cooler. We sang for a little while but it was all in Kreyole, so I really had no clue what they were singing. All of the sudden, a Haitian started singing “Draw me close to you… Never let me go… I lay it all down again… To hear you say that I’m your friend… Help me find a way… Bring me back to You… You’re all I want… You’re all I’ve ever needed… You’re all I want… Help me know you are near.”

I was suddenly reminded of how amazing the Lord is and how good He is to me. I was a little discouraged because I couldn’t understand any of the songs that were being played, but as soon as that song came on, I was completely humbled and put in awe of my Savior once again. It was such a good reminder to know that He is near and that He loves me more than I can ever know. I’m reminded of the song “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” And it is so true! I all the time take for granted all that He has done for me, and being here in Haiti makes me never want to take anything for granted again!

Our sermon at church was about making Christ the stronghold of your life. I was taken aback when all of the sudden, the pastor took out a bra from the pulpit! He held it up to his chest and compared Christ to a bra!! He was talking about how a bra secured a woman and protected her, and said that Christ should do that for us. Christ is our light and we must stay in the light! It was unlike any sermon I have ever heard in my life, but strangely, made a lot of sense! Hahaha! I’m sure I’ll never hear another sermon like that again!

After church we went to eat at this wonderful little restaurant and I had a bacon cheeseburger and French fries! Who would’ve thought! But it certainly didn’t compare to my last cheeseburger in America at the Shingletons!

Speaking of the Shingletons, they are probably having Bible study right now. I miss that! If you went, holla at me and let me know how it went!

I’m pretty sure that Church of the Cove is livin’ love for the homeless tonight too. Faye let me know how it went!

Anywhoooo, sorry I am getting so distracted! After lunch we came back to the house and everyone took a nap. I tried so hard to fight it, but when I started reading, I got so sleepy and passed out. When I woke up it was time to take the tour of Haiti and see some of the damage that the Earthquake caused. What an experience that was! There is still so much destruction in Petionville, which is where the epicenter of the quake was. I took lots of pictures and I hope to post them soon! As we were going through the city, we saw houses destroyed, businesses destroyed, and tons of people living in tents on the side of the road. We saw the president’s house too, and it was still really destroyed even though they had started cleaning up some of the destruction. I couldn’t help but pray for all the people that were killed and orphaned and abandoned. They showed us where a hotel collapsed and still had dead bodies of UN members under the rubble. It was heartbreaking to see that. I can’t even explain what my heart was feeling as we were looking upon all of it.

I don’t think I’ll ever experience it again.

We ate Domino’s, yes DOMINO’S after the tour! Who would’ve thought that I would get to eat American style pizza in HAITI! It was a good slice of home… no pun intended. I lied, there was totally a pun intended hahaha!

Now we are watching Michael Jackson’s This Is It. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a HUGE MJ fan. This movie is making me so happy. It’s the perfect end to an awesome and gut wrenching day. Tomorrow we are going to the clinic to help out there. Pray for the people that we will be seeing, and pray for us to be like Christ and show His love to them.

Thanks for all your prayers. They are much needed! I love each and everyone one of you!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two More Days In Paradise

What a whirlwind of a week we have had! I could not have asked for a better week to start here in Haiti! I already told you of my first two days in Haiti so I’ll fill you in on the rest of the week so far.

Greg and Michelle (the missionaries that I live with) wanted to take their niece and her best friend to the beach while we were here, so Thursday was set-aside for that. We traveled about an hour away and went to a place called Club Indigo. It was a super nice resort. We got there around 1 that afternoon and checked into our rooms and got some lunch. We played at the beach for a while and at the pool for a while and just relaxed completely.

I ate a hamburger for lunch, and it was DELICIOUS! I had a hot dog for dinner and a coke, which tastes way better here than in America. The water was absolutely beautiful and the temperature was perfect! I couldn’t help but stand in awe of the sunset Thursday night at think about how awesome our God is.

Friday morning we woke up and went to an awesome Haitian breakfast buffet. I had boiled eggs and French toast and boy was it good! We haven’t really eaten just an awesome breakfast, so it was nice to eat some “American” for breakfast. Lunch was pretty delicious too. I had a hot dog with cheese. It really is the little things in life that you miss like something as simple as a hamburger.

We played at the beach for the day then came back home for dinner. After dinner we came back up to the house and I wanted to continue reading “The Shadow Of The Almighty”, which Ms. Janet Shrum so graciously lent me while I came to Haiti. I read quite a bit then got pretty sleepy so I popped a movie into my laptop and tried to drift off to sleep. I was watching the movie when all of the sudden my Skype made a noise to tell me that it turned on. We hadn’t had Internet since Tuesday so I couldn’t believe it was working! As soon as it turned on, my son from Super Summer, Caleb, chatted me to see how I was doing. Our chat soon turned into a phone call, and I got to talk to him for a while. It was so good to hear a familiar voice and see a friend!

My sister and brother in law then called me just to chat and give me Big Brother updates. I know that I’m an addict to crappy reality TV. I’m just itching to know what is happening, so they filled me in on the details.

After I got off the phone with them, Adam West called me and it was so good to see him and John Mark. Even though I’m having such a blast here, it is hard to leave my friends behind. They have been such a huge part of my life for the past two months, so I want to share with them every detail of my life and what I’ve been doing here in Haiti.

I talked to Adam and John Mark for about 15 minutes, and then decided we should conference call with Adam Fox!! The Tripod was reunited! And it did feel good! I finally got to catch up with both of them for a little while, and by the time we were done chatting, it was time for bed!

So once again, I turn my light off and restart my movie and try to drift to sleep, but of course… ANOTHER phone call! I felt so important and popular!

This time, the call was from my dear friend Jared Shingleton. I told him about what I had been doing here and then out of nowhere, he pulled out his guitar and started singing me a song called Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show. We both really love this song so it is funny when both of us listen to it because we tend to think of each other when we hear it. It was so good to catch up with him and see how he was doing. We came up with an awesome business plan that we would both LOVE to make reality one day, so I pray that the Lord would have His way in that.

After I talked to him for a while, I finally lay down, but was WIDE-awake! I finally drifted to sleep around 1 and had to get up around 7:30 the next morning to get ready for a mobile medical clinic.

We left the house this morning around 8:30 to get ready for a medical clinic out by the airport with World Orphans. We saw 64 children today with a range of issues, from worms, to scabies, to colds. I fell in love with a little boy named Sam, and still can’t get my mind off of him! He was the cutest little thing, but ended up leaving the clinic in tears because he didn’t feel good.

We started out the day dividing vitamins into bags so the children could take them home. Mary, one of the nurses on the team, began giving Tetanus and Diphtheria shots, and my friend Chelsea wanted to try. Mary talked her through it, and before I knew it, Chelsea was giving shots to little kids! Another member of our team decided she wanted to try, so she started giving shots as well. Then they asked me if I wanted to try. I was super hesitant, but Mary talked me through it, and I gave my first T/D shot! The boy didn’t even flinch or cry or anything!

It was so much fun that I gave a bunch more! We gave a ton of shots to children over 7 that had not been vaccinated, and it felt so good knowing that those kids could be healthier from a simple shot that I so often take for granted.

So now I have sorted pills and given shots… I think Walgreens would hire me in an instant! Haha! Today was such an awesome day watching so many children be treated of whatever they were dealing with.

Right as we were packing up, the members of our team began to ask me if I had had a Tetanus shot, and of course I said no… I HATE shots! I hate doctors, hospitals and needles. I probably should have got one before I came, but I just really didn’t want to before I left the states because I knew they hurt for a few days. Chelsea, who just started giving shots, decided she wanted to give me a shot, and for some reason, I let her!!! What was I thinking??!?!?? She did a great job though, and even though it hurt, I know that I am now safer having been treated for Tetanus.

Things are going so great here, and I’m so excited to go to church in the morning and see what the Lord has there. I know He is working so much in everything here, and especially in my life. It has been so great to see so many faces light up just from getting a simple vitamin for other medicine, or just from having their belly tickled, or a little massage. It has really been such a great experience, and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for this week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My first two days in a place that feels like home!

Today is my second full day in Haiti. I am having such an amazing time. It is extremely hot here, and that will wear any person out, so I start to lose energy around 1 or 2, but I’ve been doing just fine!

Yesterday was my 22 birthday. Yup, I’m totally old. Woke up this morning feeling my age haha! But yesterday was definitely filled with lots of fun adventures. We woke up around seven and got ready for the day. We then headed out to Children of Hope Orphanage and Hospice to play with the kids. I visited this orphanage back in October and fell in love with it then, and going back yesterday just reminded me of how much I do that those kids!

We played with the kids for a few hours. I fell in love with this boy named Israel. He is probably 6 or 7 and we played with a beach ball and volleyed it back and forth. I haven’t seen a child’s face light up that much in such a long time. It was so fun just to love him and hang out with him.

After a little while, we got in the car to go back to the house. It is definitely a bumpy ride, so we were all hanging on for deal life in the truck. We had stopped and all of the sudden someone RAMMED us! We had 4 people in the bed of the truck and they were definitely shaken up! Everyone was fine, but it took two hours to swap information and figure out what needed to be done. After that we were finally on our way back to the house.

But of course, we had to make another stop. We went to the market to get some snacks. Since it was my birthday, I decided it was ok to eat an entire Toblerone, and that is exactly what I did. It was absolutely delicious. Some girls we were with were on the hunt for Dr. Pepper. The first market didn’t have any, so we went to another market, which took about another hour. By the time we got home, it was time to eat dinner! Oh, and we did find Dr. Pepper, and they bought 15 of them!

We got home and we went down to eat dinner. We have spaghetti and meatballs and salad! It was so delicious! As I was about to start filling my plate, Greg turned around and showed me this BEAUTIFUL cake that he had bought for my birthday and everyone sang. I started to tear up, but held in back. It was so awesome for them to think of me. And this cake was amazing! It was from a French bakery in Petionville, which is about 20 minutes from our house. And it tasted delicious too!

As a matter of fact, I just ate another piece, and it is still delicious!

After dinner we came back up to the house and I skyped with my sister, then Adam West and John Mark, who sang me an AWESOME birthday song. It is so good to still be able to see familiar faces while I’m here.

Today was an excellent day as well. We had to wake up super early to head to the orphanage. Rozlynn was a young girl that had been at the orphanage for a really long time and she was more of a caretaker than an orphan. She died on Monday, and her funeral was today. We went there early this morning so that we could take care of the kids while all of the workers went to the funeral. As soon as we got there, we were swarmed by children. Automatically, Israel, the young boy that I played “beach volleyball” with wanted to play again, so we started playing.

A few minutes later, a boy named Lookins wanted to play basketball, so me, him, Rivaldo and Kinsley played 2 on 2. The basketball goal was a small tin round thing that is nothing like an American basketball goal. But, apparently, I’m not too shabby. Me and Rivaldo won the first game, and tied the second game. It was so fun, but definitely wore me out. Dashna is another young girl that I played with today. She hit her head on a bench and we bonded through that experience.

Now we are back home and all very exhausted. I just wanted to let you guys know what I was doing! It is raining right now, so the Internet went out, and I’m not sure when it will go back on, so this might be a little delayed because of the rain.

I appreciate all of your prayers, and know that they are what is getting me through the days. The work is hard, but totally worth every bit of effort put in. Just know that I am doing great, and the Lord is working in this place! I love each and every one of you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm here!!

I have finally made it to Haiti! Safe and sound! I am enjoying it already and I've only been here for a few hours! I can't wait to see what God has in store for me! Please keep me in your prayers as my true adventure starts tomorrow! Love you guys!

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's August?

I cannot believe it is August! I feel like June and July flew by! I remember when I had 10 weeks before I left for my trip, and now it is simply 7 days. 1 week from today I will finally be in Haiti serving the Lord. I am so excited. Spiritually I know that I am prepared, but physically, I am not at all. I haven't packed or even thought about packing. I'm probably just gonna wait until the last minute knowing me.

So here's to a great August. I hope that whether you are in school, at work, or being lazy, that it is all for the Lord. I covet your prayers and I will blog again before I leave to let you know how that packing goes. Haha!

Here's a fun video to entertain you!