Friday, April 25, 2014


The students in 3rd grade at Jubilee School speak English very well but they struggle with French, the professional language of Haiti. Every week, thanks to my friends at Chop Point School who provided me with a whole library of children's books in French, I do story hour with them in an attempt to pique their interest and expand their vocabularies.
We recently finished the book James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl. There was only one problem: these kids had never seen a peach before! When I explained what the fruit was, they all thought I meant a mango. So finally, I got a friend to bring me a peach all the way from America, and each student got to touch, smell, and taste a real peach.
I wish you could have seen how excited they were!


“The walls were wet and sticky, and peach juice was dripping from the ceiling. James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.”
       - Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birth control

One of my students owns a pharmacy. He told me this story.

"A few days ago, a man came to my pharmacy and bought birth control pills. I thought that was a little odd, but I asked him if the pills were for his wife or girlfriend. He responded that they were indeed for his wife. 'But she doesn't like to take them,' he explained. 'She says they make her feel sick. So I take them for her.'"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Opening day

Our new clinic building is ready.
The children from Jubilee School came and prayed over it.
Grace and I had a team huddle with our staff.
JB gave a speech.
We cut the ugly official ribbon.
And for the first time, patients were welcomed into our pristine new clinic...
...painted in the Haitian white and green that signifies "medical institution"...

...with plenty of space to work comfortably, even when visiting doctors come to town.

And a good time was had by all!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Let it rain

This is the sight that I wake up to every morning.
One of the blessings of living in Haiti is that the sun shines every single day. But the curse of living in Gonaives is that it doesn't rain most evenings like it does in Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti. Last year's raining season was exceptionally dry and the whole city has suffered, with thick dust that settles on everything overnight, and with rivers and wells drying up. 
I posted last month that we were overjoyed to finally have running water. Well, that lasted about 2 1/2 weeks. Then the water in our well got so low that our pipes don't reach, so we are back to pumping by hand and carrying 5 gallon buckets of water upstairs.

I honestly don't mind the hand-pumping. It's rhythmic and almost soothing, not to mention, it's a great way to be chummy with the neighbors. But there's a little problem: the low water level affects the hand pump too. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get water, and if we don't start having some rain, our well is at risk of drying up. Don't ask me what we will do if that happens. I have no idea.

So please join me in praying for rain. Lots and lots of rain.