Sunday, 11 December 2016

Catch up

The last few weeks have been busy.  Work in the clinic is good, a few weeks ago I had a patient who had suffered from a stroke. She was completely paralysed down her right side and I couldn't believe she had come to the clinic on the back of a motorbike! I can't even imagine how difficult that would be.  I haven't treated a stroke patient for a long time so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't remember what to do!!  After this week's treatment she was up walking with just a little bit of help, which is great progress.

Tuesday was Sam's birthday and all he wanted for his birthday was a minion, a cake and a plate.  So he was pretty pleased to see he got more than that!!  Vedane and the four kids came on Tuesday with a present and we had pancakes and birthday cake. On Friday night we had a wee party for him with the other families here and his Grandma and Grandpa who arrived on Friday for a week.

Joel is as happy as ever.  His only problem is he doesn't know how to sleep in past 5am!!He loves going out visiting people and he is dying to get outside and play with all the other kids.

The rain has finally stopped (mostly!) the days are sunny and dry.  However there is still a lot of mud on the roads from all the rain.  We have been feeling a lot cooler over the last month or so.  Sam has been asking for long PJ's and socks in bed and Joel has actually started wearing clothes without sweating!

 Bill has been working flat out the last month or two, working every Saturday and some evenings marking papers, preparing for class and writing final exams. Final exams finished on Friday and all the students have left for Christmas break.  So this week Bill will be finishing up marking exams and papers and then he will be off!

This was Bill's first year of teaching and he wasn't too sure how he was doing but he had a few encouraging words this week from students which confirmed he should be doing what he is doing.

 ' When you first started teaching I felt stressed out but once I got used to your teaching now I really like it so thank you.'

'Thank you for teaching us, we think you have more wisdom than Solomon!'  (that is my favourite one!!)

'I like how Bill doesn't just tell us the answers but makes us think for ourselves'

On Friday the first and second year students threw a surprise party for the teachers to say thank you for all they do for them.  This has never happened before at EBS.  The students had a little program all prepared and had something to say about all the teachers.  Then they had a time of worship and prayer for the staff at Emmaus.

Saturday afternoon was the EBS staff Christmas party at Matt & Stacey's house.  We started off with a time of sharing.  What really struck me was how the staff feel about EBS.   Its not just the place they come to work, for a few its their home, its where they sleep and eat on weekdays.  The people they work with are not just their co workers but their family.   We're still getting to know everyone but it was really great to see how the staff work together and feel like a family, right from the ladies who wash the clothes to the teachers who have masters degrees.  After that we had some games which were hilarious then we had food, then each staff member received an EBS t-shirt as their gift.

This week we will be showing Bill's parents the sights of Haiti!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Heavy week.....

This week was heavy to say the least. We see a lot of suffering in Haiti but sometimes it just all comes at once and to people you know. On Monday morning I took Sam to school and went to Vedane's house. Vedane was telling me she wasn't feeling good and when I asked her why she said A friend had passed away last night at just about 9 months pregnant. On asking more I found out the friend was called Angeline the wife of a guy I know who lives in Vaudrieul. They have only be married a little while and this was their first baby. The whole community is in mourning and it is all everyone can talk about and think about. Angeline's mum worked in the clinic in 2010 when I was there and since then has moved to Florida. She was due to come to Haiti expecting to meet her grandchild and on Wednesday she arrived in very different circumstances.

I was at the clinic on Tuesday and came home to Michilene and the boys,  Michilene's mother in law had died in Michilene's house on Sunday night. She has a sore stomach that evening and by 2am she was dead.  Michilene's husband is in Brazil looking for work and has been for 2 years, she is on her own with 5 kids and has now lost her mother in law who lived with her. My heart was heavy for Michilene on Tuesday.

On Thursday I had a patient, an older lady who was fine until 2 months ago. Then something happened, they are not sure what and after that episode she cannot see and she cannot walk very well. She was referred to me because of her walking. After I assessed her I really couldn't see anything that physiotherapy could do , it seemed she wasn't walking well because she was scared. Everything is now in darkness and she is scared to walk because she thinks she will fall, or bang into someone or something. There was really nothing I could do. Her family had taken her to the doctor, they had taken her to the eye doctor, they had come to Bethesda today hoping to find answers and something help only to go home with nothing.

After that a young friend of mine came to visit, Phaly. In my time at the clinic before I had about 4 or 5 little boys who always used to come to my room to visit. They are all teenagers now and Phaly comes every few weeks to say hi.  He is a typical teenage boy and doesn't talk too much but when I asked him how everything was going he started talking.  He told me things aren't good because his older sister is sick and has been for 4 months. Has she not been to the doctor? I asked. 'Its not something you can go to the doctor for' he replied. 'She has an evil spirit.... he continued, 'sometimes it causes her to talk a lot, one time she looked like she was dead, she can't go anywhere or do anything. My father has taken her to a witch doctor but that didn't do anything and anyway I don't believe in that.'
I don't even know what to say to him, imagine having to deal with that at the age of 15. The only thing and the best thing I can do is pray for her.

Claudin is on staff here at Emmaus, his wife was pregnant, she had some bleeding last week and they took her back in hospital on Tuesday because she was leaking amniotic fluid. On Wednesday night she went into labour and delivered a little girl, Daniella at 28 weeks.   Not old enough to be able to survive. I talked with Claudin today who came to work, he is so grateful that his wife is ok. He told me 'if it had have been God's will for us to have this baby we would have, we trust in him because he knows.' What faith they have.  

These situations, people and circumstances are on our minds a lot we are trying to do something or say something that will help.  But we are so grateful that we serve a God who is bigger than all of these circumstances, who can comfort those who are mourning, who is more powerful than Satan and who can provide strength for those who need 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...