Saturday, February 6, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Survivor

The following letter is an email that was fowarded to me by Peter Daniel. It is written by Miselet Saint-Louis, one of the high school students that Peter and I both knew, as well as Eddy, and grew to love while living in Bayonnais. He gave his own personal account of the events that happened to him the day before and the day of the Earthquake in Port Au Prince. I took a few liberties on correcting some of the punctuation but left the letter as it was written, by Miselet.

There were two other students from Bayonnais who did not survive. They were still in the school when it collapsed. Although Miselet does not mention this, I know that he is so grateful to not have gone through the same fate that they suffered.

I thank God that he is alive and well. Please read his story below:

On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM, miselet saint-louis wrote:

My dear friend Peter,

Eddy Saint-Louis and Miselet Saint-Louis (2007)

I didn’t know how much love and mercy God has for me. If I’m still alive now it’s the grace of God . It was an experience about death, I’m not finally afraid of death. One thing I’m working to find Jesus.

To explain you, Monday11th the test began, at 9 AM , I went out home at 7h 50 in order to take bus, I found blockade in the road, I arrived too late, the students have already started. They gave me the exam, I prayed God it was a French. I took a time to read, to finish it, I began doing in that which has more point and I have done it.

After, the Rector said to us, the second and 3th test will be done in new Local at Turgeau mountain. Since I have gone in Port au Prince I have heard talking from there. I have never gone there. There was available bus to us to go to Turgeau. My friend Eddy and I were in the same bus.

When we got in the campus, he and I walked around the campus, after we took a while time to talk about the buildings and see where people build near to gully, I said to Eddy, see where people build and there is a cliff near to the buildings of the faculty. And I Said again if there is an earthquake I see those people are going to die at 12 AM on Monday. I told Eddy that. We finished the two rest exams .

To go back home I said to Eddy again, the roads the bus passed with us, we can’t go along alone, we are following the road right we don’t do right or left, it’s 1 hour by feet because car traffic does not go there. We didn’t lose, when we arrived where we went to get our diploma 12th and 13th we saw where we are.

I live so far than Eddy, when we left Eddy said, Miselet, the fact that you live so far you have to get up early. On Tuesday, I had English, Biology, and Math. I spent the night Monday to study. I slept at midnight and awoke at 5 AM to keep studying. I have prepared well for the test and I left home at 7h 5 AM. I found blockade again. I arrived where I have to walk by feet to the faculty it was 8h20. I didn’t know what can I do to arrive on time. I call a taxi, he said, he can’t go there alone with me. I explained with wisdom he said no. I see another one, he said the fact that you’re alone you will pay double money, I say no problem. I always found blockade. I arrive at 9 h2. When I got in class I see all students composed in English, I took the exam, I did 15 minutes in it and I have done it, it seem Actionnel that prepared it. Eddy had only English to do this day, he say to me, he can’t wait for me, because I have biology and Maths again . He leave me. When he leaves, I felt so sad, because he only I know among the students he says good luck.

I went out home without eating. I have no clue to buy even water. I finished biology at 2h20 I feel very good in biology. During math all the students sleep, and the teacher said many students always have problem when they compose in Math. At 3h45 we finished Math. I go out of the class. I felt isolated because I was alone in the road. When I arrive where I have to take bus to go home, I have an idea to buy food. There is another which prevented me from buying it. I went to a food seller. She says she has Rice source beans and vegetables. I didn’t buy it, she said, In Haiti we live, you don’t buy the food you don’t know if not the last you eat. I leave even water I don’t drink.

I took bus. I live Delmas 33, when I’m in 32, I got a call from my friend in Bayonnais whose name is Mode at 4:30 after talking to her I got down the bus.

I saw I walked so high and houses, wall and others are coming in front of me, I fall down and get up that I see. After, for God delevers me, there is a wind takes me and lead me in a street when I arrive there I was indisposed I was lying down there. I was in front of someone when I lying down. He said , Oh I die, he got his hands into my pocket he saw my phone and my Identification card. There is someone passed around me with package Miracle water, the person passed the water in my face, he said you’re alive, I shake my head, he gave me arm I got up, he said if I can go I said yes, I didn’t know when I said yes, I lost the direction of my house I took another direction. The fact that God says, today is not the day of your death I rescue, delever you. God is my shiperd, he put his life in me in order to have life again. Please help me to say: How will I render to the Lord for his benefits, miracle through me? I have no words to explain how great God is.

Condition life in Haiti is very bad, everything is expensive.


I pray that God will continue to watch over these two great young men who are the best of friends and have worked so hard, together and apart, to make better lives for themselves in order to help others.

In Memory of Madecene Alcius, one of the students who did not survive. Please take a look at Madecene's blog. He only had two postings but what he shared was very interesting and moving, especially now that he is gone. Madecene, may you rest in peace.

                                      Peter Daniel and Madecene Alcius

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti Today

Just received a couple of emails about the situation in Haiti. Actionnel, of OFCB posted a short note which I will post here for those who still check this one. Cannot believe how much suffering this country has had to endure.

From Actionnel:

Subject: We are all okay in Bayonnais, about Gonaives?

Everybody is fine in Bayonnais. Yet the whole school was a big mess at 4:54 today. But, we did make the students go back to their classes. But, Port-Au-Prince has been destroyed. Other Cities such as Petit-Gonoave, Saint-Marc, La Gonoave, have been badly affected. I still cannot have any idea for my home in Gonaives. No cell phones are working and no more information for the rest of the country. I will keep you informed, and share this with others, please!

Will keep searching the net and watching the news for any updates or links to get more information. Many prayers are needed at this time for the many who are and will be suffering.

Link to latest update on CNN:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Haiti Hit Hard and Still Suffering

I have taken the liberty to include a few pictures from some of the websites that I will mention below. I hope you will still take the time to look at the links listed to view other photos and read the personal accounts of those who have been there. I believe that these accounts will stir your emotions and fill your heart with a sense of believing in the goodness of others and the power of God.

One after another they came in a short period of time. First there was Fay, then Tropical Storm Gustav, then Tropical Storm Hannah, and the last devastation by Hurricane Ike all in a matter of a month. The Haitians barely had time to regroup or recover from each surge of disaster. It is a very real possibility that they will be hit with more.
I have heard from Saint-Victor of MSMBH a couple of times by email and also had a chance to talk with Actionnel of OFCB a few days before Hurricane Ike arrived in Texas. The primary thing they could share was that people were sick, starving and dying everywhere, every single day, and the water just kept coming and coming. Both Pastors have taken several families into their homes and are relying on the help of God and others to bring some relief.
As of today, there is still no clean running water. The roads between Gonaives and Bayonnais have been washed out or covered in debris in many areas. Even the bridge in Bayonnais was significantly damaged by floodwaters. Most of the farming crops have been destroyed as well as the majority of the livestock.
There was, however, one amazing blessing that came to Bayonnais and that was literally delivered by helicopter with God's grace and the efforts of many to coordinate the huge task of trying to take food, water, and medical supplies to the thousands who were very ill and starving in the community of Bayonnais .

The following is a list of websites to read the heartwarming stories told by different missionaries and see the happy faces of those who were blessed to receive. The first is the OFCB website at Click the links on the left of the screen for the Newsletters and the Pictures. There are three great postings by David Nichols regarding the relief efforts. The next is the website of the Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. Read about Rev. Kevin Wright and how he managed to coordinate the fantastic mission to get supplies to Bayonnais by clicking on this link: After reading the front page of the article, scroll down to page three to read the rest of the story and see the picture of the helicopter. The actual website for Myers Park is
The third is for the Doctors Without Borders and their efforts to bring help and relief to the suffering. Click on this link to the most recent news: which explains what they are doing in many areas of Haiti. The actual website is: These doctors are truly God's angels who go to Haiti and other countries to offer their services for a good cause.

There are many websites and other organizations that have their hearts in Haiti and have been helping for years. Of course, Bayonnais is closest to my heart but I have personally seen and experienced the dire living conditions in other towns and cities of Haiti and know that it is only so much worse now than before.

If anyone is interested in helping with the community of Bayonnais (and also with Gonaives where many lives are closely related to Bayonnais), then please check out the OFCB website for the information on how you can help. The South Mecklenburg Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C. has set up a U.S. account for the OFCB ministries and will forward all funds to Pastor Actionnel. The Myers Park United Methodist Church is also raising funds for Flood Relief.
At this time I am unable to reach Pastor Saint-Victor and know that he does not have the ability to set up an account for MSMBH as of yet; muchless, get to a city where one can be opened. I can only pray that the blessings that are received in Bayonnais will be shared by all. Saint-Victor said that as far as he knew, my kids were okay but, as we know now, they are all suffering. Keep the people of Haiti in your prayers.

Here in Texas, the coast was slammed pretty hard by Hurricane Ike. The islands of Galveston and Bolivar were hit the hardest and the pictures are very similar to what we are seeing in Haiti. Here in the Houston and surrounding areas, there are many families without homes, power, food or water. I know that other states were affected as well as the huge storm moved up through the eastern part of Texas and on up through the northeastern areas of the U.S. Ike truly was a merciless Hurricane.
This photo is of the only house left standing on the Gulf Coast side of Gilchrist, TX, which is part of the Bolivar Peninsula across from Galveston Island.

There are millions of souls who have serious needs so please help whenever and wherever you can. God's Blessings to all.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's Not Over Until God Says So

From the day I left Haiti on December 10th of 2007 until now, I have spent many days and nights thinking, crying, and praying for the children I left behind and all the people who still live and suffer there. I know that God is much greater than I am and He has His own plans but he has also put it on my heart not to give up. Alone, I can do nothing; but with Him, I can do all things. Each day I have to keep believing in Him. Each time I feel my faith starting to fade, I have to talk to God out loud and ask Him to show me the way.

Of the three men that I worked with, only Saint-Victor remains and is doing all he can to continue the vision for the ministry. He has kept me posted on the happenings of the church, the school and especially the children. Since the American sponsors were no longer able to continue supporting the ministry, the name has been officially changed from Modene Murphy Ministries (MMM) to Mont Sinai Ministries of Bayonnais in Haiti (MSMBH). Saint-Victor took the steps to complete his courses and in May was officially ordained as a Pastor. He is still leading worship services and more people have come to accept Christ.

The school continued to operate for the full year and for the first time ever, the students were able to take their National Exams in Bayonnais at the campus of OFCB, rather than having to travel to Gonaives. For many years, the students had to endure the additional stress of finding a way to get to Gonaives, had to find lodging, and also be separated from their home and family for several days. This was a huge blessing for everyone!

Saint-Victor said that out of 50 students in the ninth grade who took the exams, ALL of them passed! Out of 12 students in the 6th grade, 9 of them passed. We have been praising God for their success. It was a joyful day for many. The school will open their doors again in September and the students are eager to start again.

As for the dear children...they are living hard lives, as are most Haitians. Saint-Victor said he recently saw Angeline and her hair was red (which is a sign of malnutrition) and she had lost a lot of weight. He also saw Jeemy-Ska but said he seemed to be happy. He always was a happy soul. :)

Of the eleven children that were living in the orphanage, all will be returning to school this year. I will be sending the funds tomorrow to cover the costs of the new uniforms, their school supplies, their tuition, and other necessities like socks and underwear. A dear friend added $100.00 to the funds. (God Bless you, Rene!) I wish I could be there again for their first day back to school and take another picture of their beautiful smiles. This is how they looked last year. Angeline had a doctor's appt. that day which is why she was not in uniform.

For nearly eight months now I have continued to pray and ask God to please give me some direction and clarity as to what to do and how to do it. I wonder if it it is His will for me to continue working with this ministry or is it my own desire to make a difference? Can one woman in America and one Pastor in Haiti really do this? Prayer is my biggest strength and God has all the answers. I have been waiting for Him to reveal what I need to know.

Today I went to church asking all the questions. Today, I believe He spoke to my heart. The songs of praise and worship were awesome. The sermon was perfect. It was on the topic of WORRY! Just what all of us need to hear and be reminded of. So many wonderful things were said. We watched an incredible video of a family's struggle to deal with the critical illness of their son. Their courage to share their struggles and pain truly humbled me. The strength they showed when talking about their faith moved me to tears. The most amazing message I received from the entire experience was something I have heard all my life but today it really hit me like it was the first time. The message was that God really is a loving and powerful God. "Do not worry, I am here. With me, all things are possible." I want to hold on to what I experienced at that very moment. Thank you, God, for this day! Amen.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Farewell to Haiti...the final word

It is with a very sad heart that I am posting this last blog. There had been some miscommunication regarding the status of the children and MMM as a whole. As of today, I have received word that the orphanage is officially closed and the children have been placed with other siblings or extended family members. Their living conditions are not good and their futures look grim.

From what I have been told, the twins, Cardina and Cadjina, have returned home with their mother. The family says they cry and call for me often. Aquel is with an aunt. Fenelson is with a cousin. Marc-Antoine is with a cousin. Alicia is with an Aunt. Noula is with a brother. Ismalene is with a brother and Angeline is with a sister. Smith is with an aunt and his brother, Jeemy-Ska, is being cared for by a grandmother. I am sad that the brothers have been separated and more sad that all the children are apart. I can only hope that they still get to see each other either in school or just passing by.
Due to the dissension among the three men, Saint-Victor Sejour, Lucner Saint-Louis and Valentin Silvestre; along with the lack of funding from the sponsors in the U.S., the ministry as we knew it, has disbanded. The church and school are still in operation under the direction of Saint-Victor. Lucner has started a business in Gonaives to support his family of four. Valentin is now holding Sunday services in a home near the orphanage. Julius, our beloved watchman, went to seek employment with OFCB. He will be a true blessing there. No mention was made of the cook or housekeeper.
I have no way of contacting any of the children and can only rely on the eyes and ears of those who may come across them or any information regarding them. I know that God has the master plan for each one of their souls and can only pray that He keep them safe and healthy. I will miss the children deeply as well as the community of Bayonnais. I will miss the scenic mountain view and the spoken language of Creole (Krayol). I still hope to one day be in a position to continue my mission for the children and to follow through with the plan to improve the road conditions. Farewell to Haiti; farewell to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I will forever remember you. My heart is with you in spirit.
This is how I want to remember my children. Beautiful and happy. I can still hear the joyous laughter of each child and that spirit will carry me through until we meet again.

It is my prayer that the three men find it in their hearts to make peace with each other as well as with the other founders, Actionnel, Dimilsaint, and Firmen, of OFCB.
I truly believe that it will take heartfelt apologies, sincere forgiveness, and unconditional love to heal the hurts and division among them all. I understand that this is very difficult in their culture. I know it will be a huge lesson in honesty, humility and faith for those who choose to do so. Only then, can they move forward in a loving and productive way. Only then, can the community truly come together as a whole. Only then, can they be living examples of what God has instructed us to do. Above all, I pray that Haiti, as a country, will one day soon be at peace. This is my prayer and I know that God has the final word. In His Name, Amen.
News Update - April 28th:
I received an email from Saint-Victor this morning to let me know that all of the children are still attending school and going to church on Sundays. That is wonderful news!!!! I am happy to know that they still get to see each other and spend time together. This will change over the summer but they will at least have contact and worship together on Sundays.
He also said that the Methodist church offered to help the children with their books and bags for next year, except for Aquel, because of his age. He did not mention tuition or uniforms so I am not certain about those.
If anyone is still interested in helping the children of Haiti, please contact me at I will get you in touch with the people in Haiti who can help. Thank you for viewing this blog and thank you for caring.
Love to all, Vicki Jean

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Last Few Days....

After being in a routine of posting on an average of two to three times a week while in Haiti, I find it incredible that two months have passed since my last posting. So much has happened since my return but that's another story to come later. For now, I will try to recap the last few days as best as I can.
First of all, had it not been for the love and support of the missions team from the First Baptist Church of Huntersville (FBCH), Saint-Victor, Julius, Actionnel, the OFCB staff, and Peter Daniel, I would not have made it through the weekend as well as I did. I appreciated the moments that I was given to express the many emotions I was feeling and trying to sort. Your words of encouragement always came at the right times. Those who physically participated in getting things organized and distributed in regards to my departure helped to lessen the stress and kept me grounded. My sincerest thanks to all of you!
The kids and I made the most of our time together. We did a lot of laughing, singing, dancing and being as silly as we could. We watched our favorite movies, read our favorite books and did some art work. Throughout the days on Friday and Saturday, I made a point to have alone time with each one of the kids. It was really special for all of us.
The kids were excited about the many great and fun things that the FBCH missions group brought for them, as well as the numerous things I distributed out of my room. We had fun re-arranging their rooms to allow for the additional furniture, boxes of useful stuff and other decorations.
The girls were thrilled to have a long table with a mirror for their grooming supplies and my sewing kit, the boys were happy about the table and lamp, Aquel cried when I gave him my tools, Marc Antoine was so excited to have the harmonica, and the little ones enjoyed the small plastic bowls and spent a lot of their time making mud pies and grass stew.
There was so much I had to give away that some of the kids just stood by my door waiting to see what I would come out with and wondering who would be the next recipient. Even the cook and housekeeper stood there a few times but it was not in vain. They received a few bags of clothes for themselves and their families. It was hectic for me, but fun to see the smiles.
On Saturday morning, the folks from FBCH came to the house to spend some time with the kids and get the grand tour. Scott Phillips and his wife, Carrie had made special blankets for each one of the children and they were very excited to have them. They were just beautiful!
Sunday was as hard as I knew it would be. The kids were disappointed that I did not attend church but it was my last chance to get the final packing done and have everything ready to go by the time Actionnel planned to pick me up and head out to Port Au Prince.
When our church was over, Saint-Victor and the older boys helped me take my suitcases out to the front porch and then I started my goodbyes. Just as I imagined, the kids did not fully grasp the reality of it until they saw the suitcases. I first picked up Jeemy-Ska and hugged him tight, told him I loved him, and would miss him very much. I kissed his cheek and set him down. Then, I turned to Noula and she began to cry. That started the ball (or rather, the bawl) rolling. One by one, they were shedding tears, the tears turned to sobs, and the sobs became loud wails. It was so very heartbreaking.
I had said my goodbyes to each one of the kids but I could not find Fenelson. It turned out that he was hiding in the boys room, under some blankets, on Jeemy-Ska's bed. He thought that if I did not say goodbye to him, then I couldn't leave. He said, "Please don't go! I don't want to lose my mother again!" Oh, my heart! Such a sweet little boy! The rest of the boys had gathered in the room and we had a huge cry-fest. After a while, I had to compose myself and go back to the girls.
They had all retreated to their room as well and were crying even harder. I thought Alicia was going to pass out, she was in such pain and could not catch her breath. It was all I could do to keep hugging the six girls, going from one to the other, and reassuring them of my love. I was especially moved by Ismalene because she rarely let me hug her and usually did not hug back. But, on this day, she would not let go. I finally had a breakthrough with her but it was our last day together. Even though I felt a bit of joy for Ismalene, it was still bittersweet.
Finally, it was time to go. The bus from OFCB had passed by with the missions group and Actionnel was parked by the gate with the two Scotts (Scott Phillips and Scott Howerton). I stood on the porch with all the crying kids, Saint-Victor and Julius. I looked out to the truck and no one was getting out. I looked at the men on the porch and no one was moving. The kids were crying louder. It seemed like an eternity but I finally picked up one bag and said, "Well, this is great. Everyone wants to help." I went to the truck and told the guys it would take a while because I was going to get one at a time. Both Scotts immediately jumped out of the truck and went towards the house. I looked and saw that the men and the boys were starting to pick up the suitcases. Together they managed to bring them in one trip. As they loaded up my bags into the back of the truck, a crowd had gathered because the kids were crying so hard and so loud it sounded like someone had just died. (It is a common sound when someone passes away. A large crowd gathers at the house of the dying and then the entire community knows when they have died by the sudden loud burst of screams, crying all at once, and then the wailing goes on for a long while). It was such an eerie sound coming from the kids and I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I took one last look at their faces and then we left. My heart was in pieces because I knew it was final. I could only pray that God would bless them and give them comfort.
My time in Haiti was, at times, pretty difficult but overall, truly a wonderful experience. I hope that one day I can go back and spend some time there with the kids and all the other people that I came to know and love. It will take me a while to process everything that I have learned and experienced but I know, even now, that I am not who I was when I got there last April. For that, I am very grateful. are some great pictures to enjoy from our last week and weekend together. I will have another posting after this one so please stay tuned.
Alicia (left) and Ismalene (right) are making peanut butter cookies while Jina, (far left) Jeemy-Ska (next to Alicia), Marc Antoine, and the new cook, Amelia, look on. Fenelson is holding cookie package.
Fenelson wanted to do an advertisement for the desserts that we were making. He is such a ham! We made a cake for Jeemy-Ska's birthday since I would not be there on Jan. 2nd. We also made the cookies and some brownies so we could have a nice big celebration and because......why not? It was yummy!!!
Jeemy-Ska had just learned that we were having a Birthday party in his honor and that the cake was for him. Does he look happy or what? Ha!
Jeemy-Ska (partial), sweet Noula, Dina (being shy), and Angeline (caught in mid-blink mode). Noula and Angeline were proudly wearing some medallions that I won in a sports event years ago.
The whole gang getting ready to celebrate Jeemy-Ska's birthday. Such a little guy for six years old. From left to right: Noula, Jina, Angeline, Aquel, Jeemy-Ska, Alicia, Dina, and Fenelson. Behind the chair: Smith, Ismalene, and Marc Antoine. We had a great party!
The First Baptist Church of Huntersville (FBCH) Missions Team for Haiti (from left to right):
Mark Wunder, David Mashburn, Scott Howerton, Rita Mashburn, Jim Smith (behind Rita), Scott Phillips, Aaron Price, Ron and Kelli Price, Jenny and Chris Thompson. Just a wonderful group of loving Christians. It was a pleasure to spend time with you in Haiti.

Saint-Victor Sejour welcomes our visitors from FBCH and tells them about MMM, how it started, and what the hopes are for the future of the children.

Saint-Victor Sejour and Scott Phillips smile for the cameras.
The FBCH missions team and other locals. Scott is getting ready to present the blankets to each child.
Presenting Ismalene's blanket. Hers had pink cats in each circle. She is behind the blanket so you can't see the joy on her face. Aquel is in center, holding his new absolutely favorite blanket. The colors are red, white and black (notice what he is wearing?) has soccer balls on it!!! His most favorite game. Marbles come in a close second. Alicia is so tickled by her blanket. Her favorite movie is Dunston, the Orangutan (that's not the right name of the movie, I know) but she and the other kids called it 'The Monkey Film'. Her blanket just happened to have cute little monkeys on it.
Scott holding up Jeemy-Ska's blanket. It had fire trucks, police cars, coast guard helicopters, and rescue boats. He was so happy!
Just look at that sweet precious face. That's my baby!
With all the blankets distributed, we decided it was time to take a group shot of all the kids with their new gift.
The kids proudly holding their special blankets. Scott and Carrie Phillips did a great job picking out the perfect fabrics to match each child's personality with both prints and colors. They did an equally great job by putting these blankets together in time for the trip. Beautifully designed and so wonderfully soft!
Scott Phillips on left and Saint-Victor Sejour on right. I even had my very own special blanket to display. It was intended as a Christmas blanket but little did Scott and Carrie know that red Cardinals hold a special place in my heart because of my Grandmama. It was perfect!
Our last family group shot together. My beautiful children! God Bless them all.

As a final note, I have added two new links to my blog page on the left side. The first is for Peter Daniel's website. He is currently staying at OFCB with Actionnel and has the most interesting stories as well as videos you can watch about the happenings in Bayonnais. He plans to stay for five more months. From his web page you can find other links for several sites that pertain to Haiti. It is certainly worth your time to take a look and also a great way to increase your vocabulary. He is an excellent and creative writer as well as an artist. Check it out.
The second link is for the FBCH team and their stories and photos of the time they spent in Haiti. You can read about what their goals were for OFCB and what they managed to accomplish in the short time that they were there. They are such a fun group.
For those of you who took the time to read my blog today, I thank you for staying interested. Please pass the word on to others whose emails I don't have. I have a few more postings to do but real life is happening and requires my attention now. I will write again in a few days, I hope. :)
My love and thanks to all!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Three Days to Go...

Hard to believe but it really is coming to the end of my stay here in Bayonnais. For the past few days I have been scattered due to trying to figure out what to pack of the last of my possessions, what to give away, what to ignore and let them worry about, and still tending to the needs of the children. I was quite frustrated for a couple of days because it seemed that most everyone was more concerned about what I was going to be giving them rather then the fact that I am really leaving. It stung a little. I had some that were mad at me for giving one item to one child and not the other. Trying to get them to understand that I do not have eleven of everything I own did not seem to matter. I had some that scoffed at what I gave them and others who actually were very grateful and excited. I had visitors that came under the pretense to say goodbye only to inquire about some of my things in the very next breath. I even had a couple that demanded specific items. The number one requested item was my portable CD player that everyone has coveted since day one. I have decided it is going with me. Wouldn't want to be responsible for a civil war.
While working in my room I came across the very first group picture I ever saw of the kids. My heart jumped in my throat. I could not believe
the remarkable difference in these children in the near eight months I have been here. I wish Jeemy-Ska and Smith could have been in this photo but they were not there that day. Anyway, you can see for yourself how they looked back then. (Note: Aquel was hit in the head by a rock earlier in the day).

They really were a sad looking bunch back then. I am so grateful for every minute I spent here. It wasn't always fun or easy but it was definitely worth it.

I was anticipating the arrival of the group from Huntersville, North Carolina on Wednesday; which was delayed for another day and a half. They encountered problems with delayed planes in Charlotte, spent the night in Miami, and delayed luggage in Port Au Prince. Then, just when they were almost here in Bayonnais, the bus had a flat tire near my (not so) favorite spot. They arrived quite late last night.

I shared their frustration for different reasons. I was so ready for their company. Like them, I had hoped that we could have more quality time together, but as it was, everything was being rushed. I took time from my not-so-fun chore of packing to go to OFCB and say hello this afternoon. They were in the process of building new benches for the new school building. Wow! They were doing such a great job and the benches are fantastic! I know the kids will really appreciate the comfortable seats and the larger writing area. My praises to the builders. I should have taken more pictures but I was just so happy to see Rita, David, Scott and Jim again and we were all trying to catch up on each other. I was also very happy to meet the rest of the group. Having been isolated for a while, it was strange to hear English spoken the American way. Ha! I could have spent the day there but we all had obligations. They will be here tomorrow morning to bring wonderful things for the kids and the extra suitcases for me to pack with. Note to Carrie: the blankets are beautiful! Here are the few photos I had the presence of mind to take:

It may look like Scott and Jim are goofing off but I can assure you they were both pretty sweaty and grungy. They stopped long enough to take a quick break to say hello and then they were right back at it again. Those are some mighty fine benches, guys! Great job!

Right now the kids are happily watching the movie, Flicka, for the third time and it's almost over. Need to go and get them ready for bed. It's going to be a long and busy day tomorrow. I just hope my adrenaline slows down enough for a good night's sleep. Hope to post once more before leaving so stay tuned. My love to all!