"We made it and with all of our luggage. Nicaragua hectic times 10. The place we are staying is really nice. We do have a public computer for our use so I should be able to send email daily. We spent most of the day driving around and wow... overwhelming... Unorganized chaos..."
"All in all I am so glad to be here. It really is hard to put into photos or words even the conditions here (also picturing them pre earthquake)..."
"I don't remember the last time I was asleep by 8:30. All four of us guys are in a room with a bed, a fan and we actually have airconditioning at night. This guest house is great. There are about 30 people staying here from different teams. Kinda cool.Today we are meeting with the CONASPEH council of ministers. Patrick who runs CONASPEH and his wife Frances (fran suaah) he runs conaspeh and she runs the school. School has started and there were over 1000 kids there yesterday in tents set up as classrooms. All the kids in uniform. We drove in and it was neat to see these open side tents with kids learning. CONASPEH is hoping to work with Global Ministries to work it out so that the parents of these kids won't need to be responsible for paying for school until October. So anyway, today we will sit down with the council (which doesn't happen much I guess- pulling them in from the surrounding areas) to share with us their vision, dream, hope, need and where things are. Karen seems to have much credibility as far as being a catalyst for change and getting stuff done."
"Today we had a really good meeting with the Conaspeh ministry council. Essentially much like a regional board or a not for profit board. A group of decision makers to back up the president and the decision making. And everything I said in my last email about how they feel towards Karen is more than true. They ALL consider her to be Haitian. She has earned their trust, love and respect- they really welcome her as one of their own and being with her, that hospitality extends to us.They talked at length about their frustrations with the President of Haiti and the law not listening to the people or having any care at all. That type of feeling extends to Global Ministries as well... "Before the earthquake, Global Ministries didn't seem to question what we do with the money we get and whatever we need is there. Now after the earthquake it is as though everybody wants to know why and seems to be coming with more expectations." (A brett paraphrase.)I did meet Pastor Jean. He is 27 and taught himself English. He translated for our meeting and seemed to relate to me as the youngest pastor on the american group. We exchanged emails and he will teach me Creole and maintain contact. Otherwise- it is hot and very muggy here. An afternoon nap might be in order... it is exhausting- still a bit overwhelming. Today was good and there is something scheduled for us every day. Off to a couple of Conaspeh clinics tomorrow that are connected with a couple of the churches."
"Today was a very interesting day. We drove the Karfu today, even closer to the epicenter. One of the churches has a clinic there. We took a suitcase full of meds for the clinic and were going to meet the dr. and actually bring him a year's worth of salary ($1,000) and see it work... The nurse was there, no english... Pastor Ramon was there he speaks some english- enough to get us by... The doctor wasn't there. 15 patients sitting and waiting.... we all sat and waited.... and waited..... WICKEY........ Finally Karen said, "Well Therrsa can we take blood pressure at least... She used to be a firefighter and Ken, Karen's son was a paramedic.... They said sure" Well the nurse had the sign in sheets with symptoms.... "
"...of the 31 cases at least a third were sexually transmitted disease. The other majority was high blood pressure... The second to last woman who came in ended our day with a cold reality, she had a mass under her breast... (I didn't see it, didn't have to. Ken and Therrsa... who handled it so professionally told me everything I needed by their response... All I heard Therrsa say was, you have to go to the hospital..." She won't, no transportation, must pay up front, no way she could afford it. We gave her Ibuprofen for the pain, said goodbye and the moment she left the three of us just looked at each other in a blank shared glance that summed up the sinking feeling we all felt."
"Today was much more "seeing" than doing. Lots of driving. Very much about awareness, and probably seeing some of underlying motive of seeing so that financial support may follow.... But with that I am really seeing different areas and the devastation that just doesn't seem to stop. We haven't even been into City Solei (sp?) yet. We will worship at one of the churches there. Tomorrow we are off to Leonet (sp?) the longest drive yet, into an orphanage and another clinic. Should be a good trip, we are taking dolls and meds. Not sure if we will "do" anything at the clinics."
"Funny story of the day, in an attempt to stay hydrated I have been drinking lots of water in the morning especially before we go. Well by the time we got out to the Conaspeh location I had to pee. 10 minutes later when the plan was shared with all that were leaving for the clinic, (in two cars) I told Ron that I was going to the toilet... on my w back over the hill I see car number 1 pull out, then car number 2.... I started to laugh and walked over to Patrick the president of Conaspeh and simply waved, smiled at him and said Oh, oh.... His face got so long petrified "OH NO." He jumped up grabbed his phone and motioned for the security person run down the lane after them... everyone else was laughing around me, and I was laughing as I walked toward the van. Needless to say it has become our big joke fodder for the day both from me and at me. Everyone thought I was in the other vehicle..."