Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 2, 2012

They fumigated the village last night for mosquitoes and I haven't felt well since. I'm not sure if it's the chemicals or tjust he exhaustion from the work and the heat. I am sure I will feel better tomorrow and thankful Scott and I haven't been seriously ill. Our friend Mandy was able to raise funds for school uniforms this year and we purchased them the week after she left Habanero. We distributed the uniforms to two classrooms just two days before the flood. Thankful we didn't distribute all of them because most of the uniforms, clothes and shoes the VBS team brought were swept away in the waters. But, still here are so many things to be thankful for! No one drowned in the flood even though a child was swept away, he was plucked from the water by a neighbor. Oh yeah! The power just kicked on and the fan is blowing. So many things to be thankful for: I made eggs for Scott today with a new pan that Tamra brought for the house when she was here in July. The eggs didn't stick, what a luxury! The “Limbo Films” hat that Gary gave to me when he was here in 2011 that shades my face from the sun, I think of him every time I put the hat on. The inverters that Pam & Dave and Teresa & Randy bought, we couldn't have made it through the nights without them. The rolls of Gorilla tape that Patty & Bruce bought for us, they've taped up many a roof top to stop the rain. A blue BIC pen that works every time I write a new list for the day. The little cups of ice that Scott and I make in the little freezer every night. Insect repellant! These are a few of my favorite things......................

Politics and More

September 1, 2012

The first days after the flood I was very impressed with the response from the Dominican government. There were many agencies (including the Red Cross)and Oxfam) at the school asking how many people were affected and what the needs were. However, it seems all they did was write down numbers and drive away in their nice, big, air-conditioned SUV's. So far the government has come through with some rice, beans, 30 mattresses and 20 mosquito nets. They are also talking about constructing four houses for the people that lost their entire homes. We'll see how long that takes. This morning Yanet got a call from a Politician she knows. We met her in Barahona and she did give us 15 mosquito nets, 12 pairs of jeans, 12 shirts, about 25 pieces of wood and 15 pieces of tin for roofs. Thankful for the help but still amazing to me so little has come through when over 450 people have been affected. I am so glad I am part of this experience. To be able to see first hand how slow the trickle down really is. So many hands get greased before anything gets into the hands of the needy. So if you are called to help someone in need – check out the organization first and give your gift or your donation to someone who is actually going to put something tangible into the hand of the person that needs it! I say this not because I want you to donate to Evergreen4kids, but because I see first hand how little actually gets to the person that needs it. Not one item has come from some of the larger organizations that have been here to access the situation. But, somebody is on the payroll for the accessing, you can be sure.

Mosquito Nets and Roosters!

August 31, 2012

We have been so busy distributing food, medicine, vitamins and mosquito nets. I haven't had time to think of anything else. Because of so much setting water the mosquitoes are rapidly multiplying. Without a net the people suffer at night and the chance of malaria and dengue fever increase. I swear the other morning I heard the roosters calling “Mosquitero! Mosquitero!” (the name for Mosquito Nets) I think it was God's way of telling me to get out of bed and get to the store and again buy out all they have! Every morning we go in and get as many as we can. So far we have purchased 247 nets and we still need more because the cries of the people or the same as the roosters.......... “Mosquitero! Mosquitero! Brenda, Mosquitero!”


Santa Elena

We returned today to the place of the accident, the mountain village of Santa Elena, where we rolled a truck loaded with 10 people in February of 2011.  No one wanted Scott and I to go there again.  They  were afraid something will happen again.  The road is very steep and narrow and mostly rocks and there are big splits in the road 1 or 2 feet deep.  In the rainy season the water pours down the road like a river.  Santa Elena is not a high priority for road repair.  You see Santa Elena is inhabited by Haitians, mostly who have crossed over the Dominican border by foot and live quietly in the mountains.  They live off the land growing crops.  Scott and I have had it on our hearts to go.  We felt God was protecting us the day of the accident and he would protect us again.  Although this time we went alone, just the two of us praying all the way up the mountain that God’s hand would be pushing the back of the truck and praying all the way down the mountain that God’s hand would be hold the front of the truck from going too fast.  It was a long two hour trip, but once there it was uplifting to be able to provide some warm clothing for the children.  It gets cold at night in the mountains.  



Today the most awful thing happened.  Scott and I were returning from Barahona with materials for one of the fence gates.  In Come Callao off on a side road I saw two little girls.  One of them had a puppy with a rope around it’s neck and she was swinging the puppy in a circle around her head.  I could hear the puppy crying.  I yelled for Scott to stop and turn around.  As we approached the girls the older girl ran away, she clearly knew by the looks on our faces she was doing something wrong.  The other little girl, only about 5 years old just looked at us like, “what’s going on?”  I don’t think she understood the cruelty of what they had done.  The puppy lay at the end of the rope with blood coming out his mouth.  Scott picked him up and we drove away.  All I could do was cry.  I cried for the puppy that I though would surely die in the back of the truck and I cried for the children that live here that aren’t taught compassion for all God’s creations.  When we arrived home the pup was still alive and Scott said he thought he might make it, so off Scott went with a bunch of boys in the back of the truck to try to find a vet in Barahona.  He came home later with good news.  The vet said the pup would live but he was very sick.  He was given a shot, medicine to take everyday and a shampoo to clean him up with.  He was full of bugs and ticks.  Ugh!  Poor thing.  Scott, my wonderful husband and lover of all dogs, washed him and fed him and locked him in one of the bathrooms at the school.  I decided to name him Vivir which means “to live” in Spanish.  We are praying he will grow up strong and he will be out watchdog at the school.  Yanet and I hope what happened today can be transformed into a learning experience for the children at our school.  The children will love having a dog at the school and Vivir’s story will be told to the children each year.  We pray he grows strong for them.