Sunday, 26 June 2016

Our new home

Before we left we had been telling Sam we are moving to a new home, every now and again he asks about our old home but keeps telling himself we are in our new home now. Yesterday we had an interesting conversation which went like this....

Me: Do you like our new home?
Sam: Yes
Me: What do you like about our new home?
Sam: I like stones
Me: OK, anything else?
Sam: I like trees
Me: ok, what else do you like?
Sam: I like looking at the pineapples

Leaves and rocks.....I'm not sure why I tried to bring so many toys!
Sam has created a lovey line of stones along the door.

He has made some new friends, its cool to watch them play together because they can't speak English and Sam can't speak Creole but they enjoy playing together!!Today we went to a church which is a bit more out in the country where they wouldn't see a lot of white people or kids. As soon as church was over all the kids were round Sam stroking his face and his hair but he didn't seem to mind too much.

My dad left on Tuesday, it was good to have him here especially for travelling and he did all the dishes and washing when he was here!

Bill has started preparing for teaching, he goes to his office everyday (which I think he loves having his own office) and he will start learning his Creole lessons tomorrow, they will be everyday from 9am - 11am.

My days are spent looking after the boys, baking, cooking and cleaning!!Pretty much the same as home so far.
My best bread attempt so far!!

 I have been out a bit seeing people who I knew before, its been great to visit with them again. I already have one patient for physio, his name is Junior and he lives just about 5 minutes walk from the seminary. I treated him when I was here in 2010....
Junior in 2010

This is from August 2010  ' Junior- Junior lives in Saccenville where our seminary is, in May Stacey (one of our missionaries here) told me she had someone for me to see. A young guy who was totally fine and now he is paralysed and cannot walk and they are not sure why. Hannnah and I and Dr Phil who was here at the time went out to see him. He is a young guy who used to live in the states and was sent back to Haiti, however when he came back to Haiti he became a christian and turned his life around, now he is married and his wife is about 6 months pregnant. So he told us he was totally fine the one day he got up and his legs felt itchy and funny and then he felt something go through his body and sure enough after that he could not walk his legs were really weak. We went to check him out and that is what we found, he was really weak with abnormal sensation and unable to stand. Neither Phil or I were really sure what was wrong so we brought him to the clinic the next day for some blood tests. I assessed him properly from a physio point of view and it really looked like something neurological but I wasn't sure what. We got him standing at a frame and I give him loads of exercises to do at home and have been going out to Saccenville to continue treatment in his house. He is now walking with the walker and takes a few steps by himself but is pretty unsteady. Everytime we go he is just thanking God for how much progress he is making.

With lots of physio and exercise Junior was able to walk independently with a zimmer frame and able to stand on his own by November in 2010. Since then he hasn't found anyone to do any physio, he has been to a couple of different doctors who have told him he needs to go to the Dominican to get a operation on his back. Now he is completely paralysed from the waist down. He has no muscle power or feeling in his legs at all and I cannot understand how it happened. So tomorrow I will take him to the clinic to get a X ray and assessment by Dr Rodney but he may need a CT or MRI scan to see what exactly is going on. Please pray for him and me as we try to figure out if we can help him at all.

Joel is his usual happy self, he has started rolling over from his tummy to his back and now loves doing it all the time. He is like a local celeb........everywhere we go someone wants to hold Joel (which I don't mind because he is so heavy!!) or touch him!
Ready for church today...about the only time Joel wears clothes!

It's completely impossible to get a family photo where Sam is actually looking at the camera and smiling! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Settling in

We have been here for a week and have been doing well and trying to get used to the heat (if that is possible!!!)

Our house from the front

and from the back!

 Joel has been doing great, just his usual happy self eating and sleeping. He adjusted well to the time change and the heat. He is always red and sweaty but it doesn't seem to bother him to much........although he does spend a lot of time in the sink or a wee paddling pool trying to cool down!!

Sam has been doing well, he loves playing with Lily and Sofie who live next door. I just went to get him and he is running about wearing a hairband!!Not sure what his daddy will think about that! He has been really tired from travelling, staying up too late before we left and adjusting to the time change. On Friday evening Sam was asleep by 7.30 pm and slept until 5am, then back to sleep on & off until 3pm in the afternoon.  He is adjusting to life here but is a bit shy when people talk to him. We have been mostly staying on the compound for him to get used to our house first before we go too many places and introduce him to too many people.

He loves Lily....he must ask 'Where's Lily?' at least 30 times a day!

Dad has been a good help at home doing all the washing and dishes..   ..Bill is getting off lightly doing the dishes it is usually his job!!Dad and Bill painted the kitchen yesterday from a bright orange to a nice green colour.


Bill has been getting his office ready, painting and today he is at the workshop building a rack for our shoes. He even found apple juice and root beer which he can't even usually get in Northern Ireland, so he is happy about that. He will start language study and preparation for teaching after my dad leaves on Tuesday.


I have been organising our house, getting food to buy, baking bread & rolls, pasteurising milk, making BBQ sauce, banana muffins and more!!A lot of things that we can't buy we have to make from scratch which I enjoy but its hard when its so hot. Its 3 showers a day weather at the minute.

Here are a few pictures of the compound.

The solar panels have just recently been installed, they are saving the seminary a lot of money.

Today we are going to go into Cap Haitian and show dad around. 

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Were here

After what felt like travelling forever we are finally here and it is roasting!

We left at 5.30 am on Tuesday and flew to London, then a 9 hour plane to Miami. We stayed overnight in Miami and flew into Haiti around lunchtime on Wednesday. The boys were both brilliant on the plane and everything went very smoothly. We were allowed 5 suitcases and then paid for 3 both Belfast & Miami we are sure we should have been charged a lot more than we were as all our bags except one were overweight so we are thankful for that. We are so glad that my dad was able to come with us, I'm not sure how we would have transported everything and everyone if he wasn't there too!!

Sam has already made friends with Lily, Sofie & Nora next door and Joel is his usual happy self.

We have unpacked everything into the porch and today's task is sorting!!

Enough shoes for the next two years!

We can't go anywhere without Sam's animals!

I'm pretty impressed with myself that I managed to pack all of this into 8 suitcases (plus dad's stuff!!). Thank you all for your to sorting!!

Stacey has given us this for Joel and he loves it!!


 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paedi...