Friday, September 26, 2008


Last year when I visited Kim at Quisqueya school, I met Cheri Kay, a physical therapist who moved to Haiti to complete the adoption of her two kids, Jaryse and Ekrissa. Cheri also works with Dr Ed at his clinic, so we re-met each other last week. Cheri immediately invited me to travel to Jacmel with her over the weekend. She goes there once a month to do therapy with several disabled children and she likes to take someone along to help watch her kids and just to have another adult in case something happens on the road.

We stayed in a gorgeous hotel right off the water. Any time that we weren’t doing therapy, we were in the pool. Ekrissa is deaf, and although I learned some sign language over the course of the weekend, it was much easier to play with Jaryse. We had a blast together and when I saw him again a few days later, he came running to give me a big hug.

Jacmel is beautiful, but it has been damaged by the hurricanes. There was mud all along the main roads and we saw lots of trucks full of mud on their way to be emptied into the river bed. One orphanage that we visited had 2 buildings ruined when the entire side of the mountain got washed onto their property. We have been so lucky in Port-au-Prince to miss all the flooding and damage that the provincial towns have gotten.

One of the orphanges we visited was an HIV orphanage. It was the cleanest, most organized orphanage I've ever seen in Haiti. I suppose that's a good thing considering these kids are high risk for infection. There were 13 children and 5 nannies (I love that ratio!). All the boys were wearing baby blue and the girls were wearing pink. Even the nannies had identical pink uniform dresses. Plus, the entire place was decorated with pink hearts on the walls. It was cute and very un-Haiti-like.

By the way, did I mention that I got to ride a four-wheeler for the first time ever? I think I'm addicted now...

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