Wednesday, March 10, 2010
What do Starfish Eat?
It was a good day. I spent the day in Port Au Prince getting supplies for some friends that will be coming to stay with us next week and help us. I also met with Dr. Price from Christianville and picked up the equipment for the lab where we will be making glasses. He also showed me some of the pharmacies where he buys medications.
There are more military personel in PAP than I ever would have imagined. I definitely feel safer than I ever have in the city. Some removal of debris from destroyed buildings and homes is occuring. The food distributions and things are starting to decrease so things are getting back to semi-normal. The biggest thing you see is that the tents that the people were sleeping in were made out of sheets right after the quake. Now groups have came in and given better tents. So now many of the tent villages all have matching tents. The problem is that I do not hear much organized talk of actually doing anything with all the people living there. Right outside of the city in the last 2 weeks hundreds of people have migrated to this one area to claim a piece of land to put their house. Right now they are tents but soon they will be wood and tin and later blocks. But there are hundreds already with one right on top of the other. No organization. No water. No sanitation. No plan. If it continues as it is going it will become another PAP slum that is ran by the gangs and the women and children are the victims. The lack of sanitation leads to diseases and nothing is any better than before. I pray the NGO community will organize and not allow that to happen. We will have to see. But any day that I get to PAP and get back home safely without an incident is a good day.
Josie and a gecko she found in her bed.
Joy and the kids were here all day today. I had our team here today painting and doing repairs on the room where our visitors will be next week. I got home and Jacy, Judah, and Josie were all holding starfish. A son of one of the guys that works here found them for them today. They were so excited. They wanted to keep them as pets and asked what they needed to feed them. It turned out to be a pretty good question...What do starfish eat? Then of course it led to the fact they could not find a mouth, or eyes, or ears, or a tail. But they all agreed they were really cool and we should let them go so that we could find them again some other day.
Tomorrow we go to the Artibonite Valley to do an eye clinic screening of some of the people from the mountains with another missionary friend of ours. The whole family is going which is always a big deal. We strap Jaxon in the stroller and then strap it down to the bus where they used to strap in the wheel chairs for handicapped kids. It works out pretty good. We will see hundreds of patients and give them glasses and screen them for eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. Any one that needs further care will be scheduled to come down and see me in our clinic. I received a donation of these really funky glasses that you inject serum into the space in hollow lenses and you can control the power. It is cool technology but we will have to see how well received they will be by the people. I will be trying them out tomorrow. I will take some pictures of the process and share how it goes. I am a little skeptical but I have read about them being well accepted in other places.
The cat in the stroller is our anti-rodent pest control agent. We had a huge rat in our house one night and Joy woke up the household standing on the toilet screaming. The rest of the night was spent in "prayer"! The next morning we mentioned that we had a rat and needed a cat. In a couple of hours a guy showed up to sell us a "cat". This little thing is smaller than the rat! A couple of nights later I trapped the rat behind a piece of furniture and me and our nightwatchman Charles chased him around the house for a while until Charles took care of him with his machete. Joy has slept a little better since. The cat was no help though. The rat walked right behind him to enter the house! He is still in training! But the kids LOVE the little kitten. If it survives Josie Kate's headlocks I think it will make a good rat deterent in the future. (Judah and an eel he caught while we were fishing.)
The mission is coming along well. Next week we will begin setting up the lab and the clinic. We will also start building the room for the generator and the covered area to eat. We have a lot of work to do to get an area usable for a detached kitchen. So we will get that going as well.
Our friends in NC are putting together a container to send over to get the orphanage and the rest of the mission furnished and equipped to begin operation. We are praying that can happen quickly so we can get the things out of customs before it gets too much back to normal. I have a doctor in Pennsylvania that has donated the equipment I need for our other eye clinic I just need to get it shipped directly to here or get it to NC and put on the container. If anyone has any ideas about that let me know.
We have a meeting tomorrow afternoon with the aunt of a little girl who lost her parents in the quake. I don't have any details yet but we are still waiting on God to begin to send us kids. His timing is always right.
Both sets of the twins Joy has been caring for are doing good. The mothers are healthy and the kids are growing. Thank you to everyone that sent formula. It is much needed.
We had another one of the people that we have been working with accept Jesus as his personal Savior this past week. I am meeting with two of the new converts every morning at 6:30. The newest convert, Charles, is my age and can't read at all. We are listening to the creole Bible on CD and he loves it. I am so grateful God is giving me the opportunity to disciple them and invest in them. It is awesome being a part of God's plan to save the world!