Saturday, December 4, 2010

Welcome Home

Today was one of the craziest, probably THE craziest day I have had in Haiti so far! It started at 7:30am and ended at 7:00pm. This day has been a long time coming. Today was the product of years of preparation and excitement. Today... was moving day! Goodbye Hope House and hello Hope Village. Here is a small glimpse.

We loaded up the trucks:


... most of us loaded up the trucks:


We unloaded the trucks:


We cleaned up:


and we celebrated!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pierre

Hope House Orphanage update!

Please pray for one of our Hope House kids; Pierre. He was abandoned at our clinic about 3 months ago and became one of our Hope House kids. He has constantly dealt with health issues since he arrived. On Saturday, Pierre spiked an insanely high fever and was taken to the hospital. Doctors are still unsure about what is going on but have suggested meningitis.

Please be praying that doctors will know what the problem is. Pray that God would heal him fast!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Post Traumatic Stress

It seemed like any other Tuesday night... Rachel (the awesome Hope House orphanage director) and I were driving down the hill at Mission of Hope to go to the Tuesday worship service. We parked and started walking towards the church. As we turned the corner, a normal Tuesday night turned into panic.

All of the students in afternoon school were running out of the building... some were screaming, many were crying, most looked confused. We saw the pastor of the church and asked him what was happening. He answered with a word that nobody wants to hear... aftershock. I looked at Rachel confused; neither of us had felt anything. We then heard that a class was released early and ran out of class and down the stairs... this shook the room below them just enough to spark the panic of an aftershock.

Following the commotion, Rachel called the medical team coordinator, Sarah. She came down the hill with the visiting medical team to handle any injuries. The injuries resulting from this false alarm were mostly cuts and scrapes as well as multiple people experiencing panic attacks. The earthquake is still shaking in Haiti, almost a year later.



It is hard to believe that Haiti has been attempting to heal from the earthquake for almost a year now. It is hard to believe because it is clear that many Haitians have not even begun to recover. The movement of people running down the stairs brought all of the fear and pain from January 12 racing back to the forefront of everyone's minds. On Tuesday night I was reminded that Haiti will never fully heal from this tragedy. Though I will never understand what happened that day, I can never forget.

Please always keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. Never forget.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

wind.

I have come to love and crave a cool breeze while living here, in Haiti. As you may know, Haiti is HOT! A cool wind blowing through the windows at night provides a much needed break from the heat and sweat!

Today, wind has become the enemy. Tomas is headed our way and is bringing with it worry and fear for the worst. My heart is breaking for the thousands of people STILL living in tents. (I don't think you can actually call them tents anymore...)

Here, at Mission of Hope, we are preparing for what could come following the storm. The kids at the Hope House Orphanage are moving up into the new kitchen and we are going to have a sleepover full of movies and dancing. The clinic is preparing to receive any injuries as well as go into surrounding towns following the storm.

Please be praying for all of the families that will be left without a tent on Saturday. Please pray for all of our clinic staff. Pray that Tomas continues to weaken. Pray for Haiti... again.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lespwa Means Hope

Check out the Lespwa website! You can find dates for their fall tour in the states and some blogs from other people that live here in Haiti with me!

www.lespwameanshope.org

p.s. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's been a while...

First, I would like to apologize for not giving an update recently. These last couple weeks have been full of changes and new experiences.
I have finally started my English classes at the Hope House. I have 5 classes of kids and 1 class of the Mommies. Needless to say, it has been a quick change of pace from my first few weeks here.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE my job here!? Working at the Hope House has been crazy, tiring, exhausting, and so much fun! I can't think of anywhere I would rather be right now. This past month we played "Survivor Hope House." They split up into 8 teams and played some insane games.
Here is a pic of Widler taped to the wall. In this game, the kids taped their smallest team member to the wall, we pulled the chair out from under them, and the last to fall off the wall won.

In another game, they went fishing for gummy worms in buckets of chocolate pudding.

All of the games were nuts... my inner Younglife had a blast!

In other updates, since the Cholera outbreak, everything has been going well here, at Mission of Hope. Immediately after we got word of the outbreak, the clinic staff was hard at work preparing for what could show up at our gates. These last few days have shown me how truly amazing this clinic is. The passion they have to help others is inspiring. From a cholera outbreak to a motorcycle accident at 8pm, it is literally nonstop for them. Please keep the clinic staff in your prayers!

I leave you with a pic of Jeremiah, one of the adorable babies living at the Hope House! <3

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

*** 3 Cords

3Cords is, without a doubt, my favorite part about being in Haiti so far. It is a small business that 2 of my friends, Diana and Christi, started for some of the amputee women that live close by. These women are some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

One of the women, Louphine, lost a leg and an arm in the earthquake earlier this year. She has been a picture of strength and perseverance since I met her three weeks ago. In the first couple of weeks, Louphine was making earrings and necklaces while the other women made the braided headbands. Last week Christi and I decided it was time for them to try something new. As Christi showed everyone how to make a small purse Louphine was quick to say that she couldn't do it because she only has one hand. We assured her that we would help her get started. In about ten minutes, with the help of some pins and weights, Louphine was sewing a purse... with one arm!!! At the end of the day she had finished the purse, sewed on two buttons, cut and sewed two button holes!, and three flat headbands!!! (I still can't believe it) Christi and I watched in amazement the entire time she was working.

Each of the six women working at 3Cords has an inspiring story. I feel so blessed that I get to work alongside them every week.



As 3Cords continues to grow I will keep you updated! We are hoping to have a website up in the future so that everyone can be a part of it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

experience haiti...

In the 11 days that I have been here I have had many new experiences in Haiti! It has been amazing being in my new home!

-sleep a full night without sweating.
-watch about 10 episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" while cutting out an endless amount of posters.
-make 30 beds.
-order dinner from the restaurant in town.
-paint with oil paint. (never again)
-sit in air conditioning while I write this.
-watch the national Haitian amputee soccer team practice for the World Cup.
-watch the Noles beat BYU on TV!!!!
-drink an ice cold sprite before 10am.
-use a washing machine.
-dance party 2 nights in a row!
-so much more!!!

Needless to say, my little time here has been packed full of fun! Here is a picture of my absolute favorite experience so far!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Titanyen, Haiti

I made it!

Thank you to everyone that has had a hand in bringing me here! God is going to do big things in this place and I am so excited to be a part of it!!! I can feel all of the prayers and support of my friends and family surrounding me here and it is beyond comforting!

Yesterday was definitely long. It pretty much started Saturday night when I got to hang out with my brother after he kicked some insane kick-offs for FIU. I finally made it to bed around 2:30 only to wake up 2 hours later to head to the airport. I got picked up Port au Prince and then made it to church. Seriously, one of the most beautiful and amazing churches i have ever been to. In the afternoon I did some painting and hung out with my new friends.

The community here is so great and so full of God's love. Everyone at Mission of Hope is such an inspiration!

Today, I got to go to an english class and then cleaned the intern house. After lunch we headed to the paint store in Cabaret to get some more paint for the "craft lab." Now, I'm off to paint and hopefully learn some Creole at the same time!

Thank you for being a part of this with me!!!!
<3

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

final days in Tallahassee

I had an amazing few days in Tally this past weekend and wanted to share it! I have been constantly reminded of the amazing people I am blessed to have in my life! Without them, let's just say, I would have left Tallanasty a long time ago! :)

I started out the weekend with a trip to First-Friday and dinner @ Monks (my fave Tally restaurant) with Cait! Saw some awesome paintings...

Started getting excited and tailgating @ 8:30am for the FSU kickoff @ noon. (my bro is an avid gator fan. I, of course, had to document his car sporting an FSU flag! <3)

The highlight of the weekend... watching the Seminoles WIN!!!!

Now, I just gotta figure out how to see my Noles win while I'm in Haiti!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Smile.

After looking back on some old journals from past trips to Haiti I came across an amazing reminder to SMILE. I had written, during my first trip in the summer of 2007, "So thankful that smiling is a universal language." How true is that??? Smiling is such an important and wonderful part of life, whether in Haiti or Jax Beach. I need to smile more!!!

While on the topic, I want to share a website that has made it their goal to make you smile. Their posts are so random, funny, happy, and full of smiles. Check it out: Super Forest

Here is one of their recent posts. It definitely made me crack a smile.


...and don't forget, SMILE!

Friday, August 20, 2010

best of

One thing that my trips to Haiti have given me is a passion for taking pictures of that beautiful country and it's people. Yesterday, Snapfish had a 50% off deal to make a photo book. (thnx for the heads up Alcha!) I, of course, was so excited!!! Here is a glimpse at some of my favorite pics that I have taken in Haiti.






Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One month and counting...

Sometimes, I take a step back, take a breath, and remember that I am going to Haiti in a little over a month... it still doesn't seem real. I have wanted this and prayed for this for so long, it is hard to believe it is actually going to happen. It truly humbles me and reminds me, again, that God does BIG things! I know I will never grasp this, I know I will doubt it again one day... but, today, it took my breath away!

"Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." Ephesians 3:8

Monday, August 2, 2010

I AM GOING TO HAITI!!!!

After a couple long applications, prayer, tons of emails, and more prayer I am so excited to say that I am going to Haiti for six months in September!!!! I have no doubt that this will be the most wonderful, scary, hard, and joyful journey. I will be at Mission of Hope. I visited here earlier this summer and fell in love all over again. It is so clear that God is doing BIG things in this place. (You can check it out at www.mohhaiti.org.

Right now, I am working on sending out support letters. This is bitter sweet for me... Sweet because I know that I am not the only person God is going to use in this journey! I love that I have such amazing support around me and cannot wait to share this experience with them. Sending support letters is also a bitter moment because I just hate asking for money! Thankfully, it is not up to me and God is totally in charge of this process. Since I will be in Haiti for six months I have to raise $6,000. GULP. Again, so thankful God is in control!!!

I love sharing pics. Here is a glimpse of my second home....
(I know, I have posted Haiti pics in the past. Haiti is so BEAUTIFUL, how could I resist???)




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rewind.

After looking back at my blogs this summer I am embarrassed by how little I have shared. This summer has been so amazing and full of laughter, great friends, and family. So, I thought I would rewind and post some more pics! First stop... my second home, Haiti. If you know me at all, you know that I left my heart in Haiti a couple years ago. Here is a glimpse of why...

This little girl was sitting in front of me in church and gives such a beautiful peak into the joyful heart of Haiti.






My second stop this summer was the Bahamas. Unfortunately for this post, I had so much fun that I forgot to take pictures. I posted a picture on an earlier blog of the awesome group of people I traveled to paradise with. Let's just say, I'm ready to go back.

My third stop was Maui, Hawaii. The pictures speak for themselves.








Needless to say, this summer was priceless. The best part, it's not over yet!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Applications

Since graduating from The Florida State University my life has been consumed by Jax beach, Haiti, currently Maui, babysitting, painting, family, friends, and filling out applications. I am happy and so relieved to say that I have finished both of the applications, aka autobiographies, that I have been working on. I have applied to both YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and Mission of Hope for internships in Haiti. This process has been so amazing and scary at the same time. I have prayerfully handed the reigns over for the next step in my life. Now, I pray some more.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paradise

Thank you Mom and Dad!!!! I am now experiencing the best graduation present ever! My 19 hour flying adventure yesterday has landed me in Maui and it is unbelievable! The view is indescribable. Here is a picture I took from my hammock on our front porch!

Well, I'm in Hawaii, so, it is a sin that I am on the computer at all...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

...

Wow, I am ashamed of my nonexistent blogging skills. I have so much I want to write about, yet, have not found the time to do it. I returned to US soil on Monday after being gone for 2 weeks! So much happened that I want to share!

I will give you a sneak peak now and fill in more later!!!

First stop: Haiti (so beautiful!!)


Second stop: Freeport, Bahamas

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

vegan

This is the craziest thing I have done in a long time. It's a journey that I have started yet I have no idea what it will look like. I know it will be really trying... i already have been craving some cheese. Despite the difficult parts of this life change I am really excited about what it will bring. I truly believe that what we eat has a lot of effect on our everyday attitude and feelings. I'm hoping that this transformation to a vegan lifestyle will bring happiness.
What sparked this change? Well, I have been browsing some blogs trying to get a feel for what I want mine to look like. I ran across one by Alicia Silverstone called The Kind Life. It is really inspiring to read about what a vegan lifestyle has done for so many people.
Ready or not, here I go.

Monday, May 3, 2010

FSU Alumni


Ahhh! I am now an alumni of The Florida State University. When they said this at my grad ceremony I got chills. It is truly amazing how fast these four years have flown by! I think that this last year was definitely my favorite... beach weekends, turning 22, getting closer with awesome friends, fishing trips, Haiti, dancing! It was packed and the perfect way to end college.
The scary part of this whole experience is the fact that the question, "what's next?" keeps getting closer and closer. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. All I can do is be prayerful and open for what ever is around the corner.
For the near future I will be headin back to Jax for some much needed beach time! I love summer in Jax Beach and cannot wait for it to start!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

graduation

Graduation is coming fast!!! Things are slowly ending at school. One assignment left and I am done! Not much else going on except watching lots of shows on hulu, reading, hanging out with Tally friends for the last couple weeks, and doing random things like writing in this blog for the first time in months. Not sure why I am having a hard time getting a blog started. I think it would be a great outlet so... I guess I'll keep typing.

I feel like I am at such an odd place in life right now. The world wants me to spout out my plans for the future yet I am being pulled in a direction of such uncertainty. I don't know my plans!
I am resting in the beautiful understanding that God is in control. He is the only one who truly knows my plans... scratch that, His plans. Now, I used the word "understanding." Not sure if I am being truthful by using it. I can't say that I understand anything that is going on in this part of my life. I really can't say that I have completely handed my life over to my Savior.

Right now I am asking Him to give me the strength to trust only in Him. I want God to be completely in control of every decision that I make. In order to do this I have to give it to Him... all of it.

That's where I'm at.

(I love how I find ways to procrastinate doing school work, even my last assignment ever. I should go do that. Hope to write again soon.)