Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm sorry..............

Blogger will NOT upload photos for me--I've been trying all week! (well, at least once a day). So you'll just have to take my few feeble words in place of photos.

Notes from the last week (or so) here at IMF in Bombardopolis, Haiti:

**Baby Erlanda is growing beautifully. She weighs 133% of what she did when she came a couple of weeks ago. (Sorry, Laurie has been studying percentages in her math, and since I like numbers anyway, I couldn't resist). What that means is that she now weighs 4 pounds, 9 ounces, up from 3 pounds, 7 ounces. I do have a photo or two of her to post.................soon, I hope.

**Faith was in Cap Haitien for a few days for some medical meetings. We're thankful she's back safely. By the way, things in Port au Prince are quieter after days of protests against rising prices. Conditions continue to grow more difficult in this country, where most of folks' income is spent on food, and prices have been rising steadily.

**We have a new resident in the widow's home. (Again, photo to follow asap). Docilia (I'm not at all sure that I've spelled that correctly), came to us when her daughter, who is raising several children alone, could no longer care for her mother properly. She seems to be fitting in well, and has added an interesting dimension to the activities at the home. She sits and braids palm leaf mats by the hour. This afternoon, Laurie took some video on our little digital camera--Docilia was thrilled.

**The hospital continues to be busy. Rich made two ambulance runs today--they seem to come in bunches.

**Cistern building is proceeding apace. Rich and I went out (on the new four-wheeler!) to the area where, this week, the crew built another four cisterns. It is wonderful to see how excited people are about having their very own cistern. Having had nothing to do with the planning of the cistern program, I feel free to say I think it is the best practical help program I've seen in this water-poor country. Each cistern recipient is required to provide water, sand, and gravel for the cistern, food for the crew while they work, and several workers to help the mission crew of four. Gifts from folks back home provide funds for the cement, rebar, pvc, guttering material (I'm sure I've missed something there) and wages for Saul, Astrel, Dalis, and Efilie (the "bosses", as they are called here). If you want to know more about the cistern program, visit the mission website at , and click on the "water" link. Last year saw the building of the 100th cistern since the program started, and 25 more are planned for this season. Again, I have photos.......

**Two more rooms in the hospital addition are painted and the floors sealed. These are depots--badly needed storage rooms--and Steve has been building the shelves for them. The new office is ready for installations--cabinets, counters, and etc.

**The house is ready for paint!--well, it will be after Rich seals the last of the floors tomorrow. Rich hung the front door, built and hung a screen door, screened the porch, and we all worked together to clean and prep the floors for sealing. It's beginning to look like a mid-May move-in date might be feasible after all. We need to be moved by June, so the Leach family can move back into their own house when they get back from the states, and the guest house will be available for--well--guests. The "to-do" list is still long--installation of plumbing and fixtures, cabinets, electrical and lighting, paint, a simple "closet" for each bedroom....................but we're thankful things are moving along.

God bless you all,
Marj, for all of us here at IMF