Monday, December 24, 2012

The Connection

Merry Christmas Eve!

Aileen and I just finished wrapping some small gifts for our staff and we are gearing up for our singing debut in our church's choir. We even had to get uniforms made. Depending on how much we resemble penguins (black skirts, white blouses, black vests) you may or may not see pictures. My bet is not.

Two weeks ago we had a visit from the EIU Haiti Connection Advisor, Roy! Our translator, Gus (pronounced "Goose"), just graduated as a nurse practitioner and so Roy was in the country with the man who has helped sponsor Gus through school. We were able to visit with him for a few days and:

Visit Paul Farmer/Partners In Health's new hospital! (That's Gus on the left)
Climb a waterfall!
Aileen is pushing me for once. She thinks she's funny.
We spent the last few days traveling around with the Eastern Illinois University Haiti Connection, as well as a group from Quincy University and a group from Northwestern University. All together we made 28 people and paraded around in 3 pick-up trucks. The Haiti Connection is where my roots are, and we had some good friends who were in the group. It was fun helping translate and showing them Haiti through our eyes. Here are some pictures:
I jumped off a 30 ft. cliff. More pictures to come.
One of our trucks got stuck in a river.

My favorite program is called Espwa Pou Demen, or Hope for Tomorrow. It's an 18-month program that helps get families out of dire poverty. Here our coordinator is interviewing two new families.

Met a little girl named Lovelie who didn't want to leave my side. She's in the school sponsorship program.
Two boys led Laura and me on a hike to see the sunset
Beautiful mountains!
The EIU group! We went to a restaurant that overlooks the whole city of Port-au-Prince.
True to their name, they were a great connection home and I know many of them were touched by their experiences here and will have a permanent link to Haiti. It was really hard seeing them leave, knowing they are now home spending the holidays with their loved ones. I am hoping this is the only Christmas I ever spend away from my family!
Merry Christmas!!

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