Monday, February 21, 2011

Keni Family

Since the Jan. 2010 earthquake in Hait (about 100 miles from Habanero) there are many new Haitian families relocated to Habanero. One family was brought to our attention while the dental team was here. The fathers name is Keni and he has a wife named Adriana and two baby boys one is 1 year 8 months and the other is 8 months. Of course there is not work so he is barely scratching up enough to feed everyone. He is very timid and shy and doesnt ask for anything.

When I first went to the home Keni said I could have one of the children, I could pick either one of them. He said he could not feed them. So it would be good for me to take one. It broke my heart to hear those words and see the mother so sad and she was sick as well. Thank God she is able to nurse both the children or they probably would not have survived so far.

We have brought them vitamins, rice and on Saturday Ramon fixed the water which ran out of the ground continuously making a great breeding ground for misquitos. We can them a covered bucket and talked with them about boiling the water for the children. They were very humble and thankful.

Seeing these people and knowing I have so much back home in America makes me want do more. I know I cannot fix all the problems in this little village. But, I also know I can do something. Providing some simple basics like a pipe and shut off valve can make a difference in comfort (no muddy yard) and health (not as many misquitos which carry malaria and dungue fever).

I am so very thankful for family and friends back home that help us in so many ways - YOU are making a difference here.

Love to all,
Scott & Brenda

Fiesta Estudente

February 18, 2011

Today was Friday and it was a fiesta day at school. The Dominicans celebrate “Student Day” with a fiesta of fun and food! The tradition calls for students to dress with their Sunday best for school and to bring a gift to share with the students. The gift is usually some sort of food or something to drink. Only a few students are able to bring something in Habanero, but the teachers add a little something and we add a little something and suddenly we have a full blown party!

Yanet brought her television and a neighbor brought their DVD player and we started the day watching a DVD, which is a real treat for the children. While the children watched the DVD the adults were busy making the food. One child brought bologna, another a pc of cheese, there was some potato salad, crackers, cola, 7up, suckers, the works! We ended the fiesta with presentations of a special gift to one child with the best attendance from the 4year old, kindergarten and 1st grade classes.

We are trying to reinforce the value of attending school regularly. A higher attendance rate is one of the long-term projects close to my heart. The project really requires someone to be here all the time helping the teachers with the program and leading by example. It seems a simple concept, and something we take for granted in the USA. Here it is more complicated. Many parents do not read or write. Even if you have an education the unemployment rate is hovering at 75% here so there is no work. The value of education is not clear in this village. It takes consistency, longevity and commitment to a generation of children for them to really understand the value of education. I see education leading to results of employment in the future and basic needs being met. But for the time being, for these children education is a self-esteem builder. I see them proudly walking to school with their uniforms – and happily repeating the abc’s and 1,2,3’s for me. Sometimes even in English!

And so we work day by day, minute by minute, one child at a time which brings hope for the future!

For the Children,
Scott & Brenda

No photos!

For some reason I lost the photos of Esmeralda and Brendita. Imagine that! In this country anything can happen!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hola From The DR

I can’t believe we have been here for almost a month already. The time has flown by. I can see progress in Habanero and am in hopes of having internet there one day. But for now, it is a trip into Barahona to get on the internet and it is SLOW! Remember dial-up? Yeah, you know what I mean…..

It rained tonight and that means the misquitos will be out tomorrow night. I love that the rained cooled things off and sent all the children running for home. Sometimes the house is surrounded by little ones hungry or just plain curious.

We spent half the day at the school tpday – beginning at 8am. I am there a few minutes early so I can applaud the ones that are on time and encourage the ones that are late to be one time. Attendance is up and down. We have 81 children enrolled, but most days have only 50 attending. Some are sick and some didn’t get enough sleep and they are just plain too tired to attend. It’s a struggle, but we’re happy for the parents that are “getting it”! They are faithful and get their children up, washed and ready for the day.

We spent the other half of the day taking Brendita and Esmeralda to the doctors and filling prescriptions. Brendita is set for lab tests on Feb 1, those results seen by a Dominican doctor on the 2nd and 8am appoint on Feb., 8th with an American doctor that hopefully will be able to do surgery on both her eyes before he goes back home. I’m posting a picture of her smiling face!

Esmeralda (an orphan we help support) has an ear infection from bathing in the water and a cold. The prescriptions cost $20 US Dollars. Thank goodness we still have some money left to pay for the drugs. Her foster father makes $81.00 a month as a security guard for a Texaco gas station. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s steady work and Victor is happy to have it. I’m posting a photo of her sleeping in her new crib. (our suitcase!)

We are thankful for our friends at the clinic who see our children for free when I am here and can personally take them in. The free clinic in the next village LaHoy has been closed for three months now. The government hasn’t paid the doctors for five months and so they decided to walk out. Daily life here………………Simple and complicated at the same time.

Love from Habanero,
Scott & Brenda