Wednesday, December 29, 2010
See the statement from Paul below...
Makes my heart happy that justice has been served..I wish the same were so for the many wrongly incarcerated around the world...
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
December 17, 2010 By Nanci K. Murdock Leave a Comment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (December 16, 2010)–Materials Management Relief Corps (MMRC), a nonprofit corporation that provides humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake, is urging Americans to contact US government officials demanding the release from jail of Paul Waggoner, co-founder of MMRC.
Waggoner is being held at the notoriously dangerous National Penitentiary, accused of kidnapping an infant last February. The child in question died at Haitian Community Hospital in Petionville late February while Waggoner was organizing supplies at the hospital. Waggoner did not administer any medical care to the infant. Despite the fact that a board-certified, US physician has signed an affidavit stating that the child in question was deceased and the father viewed the body, the father has accused Waggoner of kidnapping the child. The doctor’s affidavit also acknowledges that the father declined to take the child’s body as he did not have the resources to bury it, instead allowing the hospital to dispose of the body.
Since Waggoner’s arrest Dec. 12, 2010, it has come to light that he has dealt with legal troubles in the past, including a misdemeanor of assault and battery against a convicted sex offender in 2007. According to Waggoner’s attorney in the former case, Waggoner’s sentence was suspended and he served two years probation.
“We acknowledge that Paul Waggoner has dealt with legal issues in the past. However, we stand firmly committed to his innocence in this case,” MMRC spokesperson Nanci Murdock said. “When looking at the facts of this current situation, there is no bearing for these accusations. We have a signed affidavit from a US doctor proving that the child in question was, in fact, deceased and that Paul showed tremendous care and sympathy toward the child’s grieving father. Since racing to Haiti in the wake of devastation caused by the January 2010 earthquake, Paul has worked selflessly to save thousands of lives.”
Orphaned himself at a young age, and left with the responsibility to raise his younger sister, Waggoner is well known and well respected in Haitian circles for his humanitarian work in local orphanages and hospitals. He also has assisted in the re-building of various structures within Haiti.
MMRC Global, members of the Waggoner family, various non-government organizations within Haiti, and friends from around the globe stand in solidarity behind Waggoner and are working tirelessly towards his release and exoneration from these false accusations.
American businessman Jack Aronson, founder of Michigan-based Garden Fresh Gourmet, a $90-million company specializing in fresh salsa, recently worked alongside Waggoner in Haiti. Aronson staunchly stands by Waggoner and the admirable work he has done in the still-ravaged country. “Since arriving in Haiti, Paul’s work has been phenomenal. I spent time working beside him and personally witnessed his extraordinary care for this country’s children,” Aronson said. “I saw how dedicated and altruistic this man is. He risks life and limb to rescue Haitian orphans.”
To help secure Waggoner’s release, people may contact their government officials; contact information may be found at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. People may also contact Suzanne Grantham at the State Department (202-647-4956 or Overseas Citizens Services (202-647-5225).
Another article by MSNBC... scary stat that over 80% of people in prison there are still awaiting trial while spending many years in jail.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
How perfect a word to describe how I feel at this moment in time....yes, the past few years have awoken me to so much more then I knew existed...the good, the bad, the suffering, the joy, the injustices, the victories, the love, the sorrow, the destruction and the beauty that surrounds me... and when I say AWAKE I mean more then just living life and getting by day to day, I mean being raw and open to all that does and can exist for me out in this world...wow, its amazing..
I know as a person I have changed a lot over the past few years (those who have known me for a long time can, hopefully attest to that!) and its been a trying, sad, beautiful, frustrating, heart expanding and exhilarating process...and one that it is far from over...I know I am more aware then I was 2 years ago and that life and all it's happenings not only occur in my little bubble but also (and to a greater extent) outside that bubble...and I am slowly becoming more and more aware of that world, my world!
I'm not saying I want to get caught up in all the struggles of the world because god knows there are many but I honestly feel like I have a better understanding of what is happening out there whether or not I can/am involved in it. I have chosen to no longer turn away from injustices I see or from the beauty that also exists in this world. I have often found (and looking back on my blog posts of the past) that I dwell in the sadness and injustices of the world and don't revel enough in the equally abundant beauties. So from here on forward I am going to try to seek a better balance..
And now that I feel awake to it all I can see how I can have more of an impact on this world..how I CAN do the things that I only dreamed of once doing...I can also see that the needs of the world are endless and that I, as only one person may only be able do a little to invoke change on a grand scale but I know that even just a little bit can count in the long run....So the words of Mother Teresa hold so true to me for right now and for hopefully the future..
"IF YOU CAN'T FEED ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE,THEN JUST FEED ONE"
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Keep on being AMAZING people!!
Monday, November 29, 2010
First I want to say I am sorry this has been a long time in coming! I didn't really have time in Haiti to blog and since coming home I have been feeling uninspired and sad and although being reflective of experiences is healthy, dwelling in the helplessness of it is not so..here I am!
This past trip and subsequent return have been much more emotional for me because I fear that the people of Haiti are taking up a permanent residence in my heart...and that to me is all at once exhilarating and equally as scary! I can't pinpoint any particular incident or interaction from this trip that has pushed my heart in that direction I just feel a longing and need to return more then I have ever for a place before..and a love and appreciation for the life that is so simple yet so frustratingly difficult at times...
I wish I could share my experiences with you all..to tell you of the amazingly resilient people I saw everyday, how frustrating it was to try and negotiate the land for Roses house, how my heart broke when I saw her current living conditions, to tell you about the dying 6 day old preemie I raced off to Medishare hoping against hope that they would let us in and help us..hoping to keep him from becoming just another statistic of child mortality in Haiti...I wish I could show you the fallen down buildings that still occupy the majority of space, smell the garbage that lays strewn about, to hear the dogs and roosters...because that is what I saw the first two times I traveled to Haiti and its those glaring differences that most people traveling to Haiti usually notice..I know I did
But this time those differences seemed to fade into the background and I found myself falling in love with the things that make us different but in beautiful ways..I wish you could hear the beautiful voices of the nurses as they sang songs to start the day or the singing my friend Ryan and I heard coming up from our camp early one morning, I wish you could taste the warm,soft delicious bread made by Haitian bakers, I wish I could show you the beautiful children dressed in their uniforms rushing off to school amidst the rubble, I wish you could sense the true gratitude of patients after you have helped them... but most of all I wish you could bask in the simplicity of living every moment of everyday because that's all there is...and that is truly the gift I have received from this past trip to that beautiful Caribbean nation! A place I have fallen in love with...
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Just a quick post to tell you all that I am home, safe and sound...Thanks for all the support and encouraging words over the past 2 weeks. Am having a bit more trouble this time re-adjusting to life back here...so please excuse me if I'm a little more withdrawn over the next little while...just processing a lot of stuff...Thanks again..
Monday, November 22, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I kept getting texts to my phone "MSF treated 200 people with cholera like symptoms in PAP", "60 confirmed cases in Carrefour" to give you an example. With now close to 600 confirmed deaths due to Cholera and with estimates coming in at close to 230k+ dying in the next year from this outbreak I found myself in tears... and as I drove up Victoria Park Hill with tears in my eyes I thought about my friend Matt Cook...
For those of you who don't know about Matt you can read about him in my post here http://liseinhaiti.blogspot.com/2010/04/flm.html
As it turns out today would have been Matt's birthday. I think about Matt a lot..you would too if you had known him! He was an inspiration to those who did... but I must admit that I had not thought about him in the last few weeks, I most often think about him when I am running and want to quit..I think to myself "Matt ran with a prosthetic leg, you have 2 good ones..get going! So to think of him when my thoughts are of despair and sadness for a group of people faced with a fight for their lives does not surprise me.. Cause you see that's the type of fight Matt faced everyday and one he took head on everyday...
And its also no surprise to me that the letters FLM came into my head. For those of you who don't know FLM means "Fight Like Matt". Shannon Szabados (a friend of Matts and goalie for Team Canada Gold winning hockey team) made the letters famous by painting them on the back of her goalie mask, but as the Cook family told me they were coined by Brady (Matt's best friend and older brother). Regardless of how and who started it, FLM means a lot to a lot of people myself included.
The people of Haiti are once again in the fight for their lives... And I thought to myself "I'm gonna help the people of Haiti FIGHT LIKE MATT". I am going to do everything possible in me to help them live... There were many people that helped Matt in his battle against the Cancer that over took his body as there are many people in and out of Haiti helping in the fight against Cholera. So once again I find myself inspired by this truly amazing young man and I thank him for the strength that he gives me to do all I can...
Thanks again Matt. Happy Birthday....
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
As most of you know I will be heading back next week..to what I am not sure and I guess even "IF". But I truly hope that I find myself there in 10 days to do whatever is needed of me.
News tonight out of Haiti is about "mandatory evacuations" by the government..really to where and how...I have been so lucky to be part of an email stream of people working to help those in Haiti..sharing of supplies, staff, information.. its truly been amazing (thank-you Amy King for hooking me up) And although there is not much I can do from here..I guess I will just prepare to return and do what is needed of me...
This article is about the evacuations from the JP-HRO camp to which I will be heading in 10 days...
Thanks again for the support!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
help us get clean water to the people of Haiti next week.
I will also be collecting supplies (zinc tabs, Oral rehydration salts, salt and sugar packets..)
Friday, October 22, 2010
The last post is very interesting. Speaks about the possible lead ups to why this outbreak has occured...
Food for thought...
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated
Effective control measures rely on prevention, preparedness and response
About 75% of people infected with V. cholerae do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 7–14 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
People with low immunity – such as malnourished children or people living with HIV – are at a greater risk of death if infected
As of right now the outbreak has not hit Port Au Prince but its just a matter of time as a person can be infected and not know it, travel to a different region and infect people there...
I wish I was in Haiti right now...so badly..but I cannot be so I will do what I can from here...
Thanks for your support!
Friday, October 15, 2010
The particular blog post by Tara that got me thinking today was about how to advocate for a cause without coming off as judgemental or arrogant (you can read it here.. http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/2010/10/advocacy.html One part stands out for me more then the others..its the part where Tara talks about how things exist even if we don't think about them..that we all have choices and basically those choices are to ..
1. We can find something to do
2. We can close our eyes and plug our ears and pretend there's no problem...
Sounding arrogant yet?
I have always thought that by my actions I could "lead" others, or help them in finding ways to help others. But the thing is, lately I am finding myself being more judgemental and and impatient with people and this world. I know its wrong and there are times that I need to pull myself back and realize that not everyone thinks the way I do..and that I am not an angel
How about now...
I guess for me right now I am choosing to not close my eyes...oh at times I wish that I could but like Tara said...just because I do that it doesn't mean that the thing I am closing them too will somehow stop, get better or cease to exist!
When I was last in Haiti, I visited the Real Hope for Haiti group in Cazale. I had never seen malnutrition up close till my visit there.. This past week Licia wrote a blog post about how she had to turn away children from the feeding center, how she has had to hire more nannies to care for the influx of children and how they were having to fix beds on the floor of the center to accommodate. you can read the blog post here...
I have thought a lot over the last week about how Licia must feel, beaten down, trudging up hill all the time, ...How can I/we make a difference instead of just putting band aids on a cracking dam.
I don't know the answers to that question but just because I don't have the answer doesn't mean I should close my eyes too it, that I shouldn't find something to do about it..that I should stop advocating for the people and things that are unjust in this world like..childhood malnutrition in developing countries, lack of education for children (especially girls), lack of access to clean water..
And I guess until we come up with the answers to the hard questions I will keep trying to find the ways to help...
Today October 16 is World Food Day... All I ask is that wherever you are your aware of the fact that there are so many in this world that are without the basic requirments for survival, that 195 million children suffer from malnutrition each year, and I could go on..but I think I'm getting to the arrogant part quickly...!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
This first video, although made before the Earthquake is an organization that continues to do amazing work in the mountains of Haiti.
The last video highlights a patient from the Heartline clinic...
Please don't forget!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Two great videos by Soles for Souls...I love what this group is doing and am glad to be a part of it!! Check out the videos!
Friday, October 1, 2010
So I have not written much in the past few months..probably because I am no longer in Haiti (although would argue that that is exactly where I want to be!) However, this life can be difficult in that it doesn't always let us be where we want to be most of all.
So that being said I am still trying to work on good things for Haiti (and hopefully I will learn to sew in the next few months..but that's another project for another time).
In trying to still help out those in need I came across this group called Soles for Souls and fell in love with the idea of gathering shoes for those less fortunate (not just in Haiti but all over the world!) I mean what a great idea..think about it, how many of us have shoes sitting in our closets that we don't and will never wear! Now think about the fact that for many in this world shoes are a luxury!
When I was in Haiti our Dr. Jen answered an email that she thought said we would receive 90 pairs of CROCS. Boy was she surprised when she got the call asking her where they should put the 90 BOXES of CROCS?! The sad thing is I think we ended up giving away almost all the pairs (even tho most were sizes 8-12 mens and bright pink, purple and yellow to boot!) It was pretty crazy to see the tough guys of Cite Soleil wearing bright pruple CROCS but I guess when its all you've got....
So this coming week I am launching my own shoe drive and am asking you to look into those closets for new and gently worn shoes..all sizes and all types (yes even heels..)
"Soles4Souls accepts all types of shoes: athletic, running, dress, sandals,pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance, flip flops, just as long as they are new or gently worn"
"We define gently worn as shoes that you would still wear. They should have solid soles with no holes, laces if applicable, clean (no mud). We never like to see anything thrown away, so please, if there is any question, send the shoes along and we will sort and utilize the best possible way."
I do not unfortunatly have a lot of drop off locations (primarily The Cross Inpatient units) but if people are willing to collect for a bit I can come by and pick the shoes up! Also if you don't have any shoes you can donate and want to help out I am also taking donations to help with the shipping of the shoes after the drive (to the States)
Thanks again everyone for your support...
Check out Soles for Souls website
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Please don't forget...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Just a quick post. Heartline is reopenning the clinic in the next few weeks as there is a surgeon coming back to do follow-up and revisions. I won't be going back cause I cannot get the time off but my friend Jessica is going back and of course there is still a need for a few things. If any of you have some of this stuff and want to help out she is leaving next thursday (and I am away this coming weekend till tuesday but will make pick-ups work etc...) so here's the list..Thanks again!
flat and fitted (new or gently used)
all sizes (new or gently used)
light blankets (new or gently used)
pillows (new or gently used)
antibacterial wipes (for surfaces, not hands)
deoderant for men and women
bars of soap
manila file folders
duct tape and masking tape
good quality Ziploc bags (quart and gallon size)
Also a quick note about a project upcoming for me..check out the following website and start digging in your closets for those shoes you don't wear...More info to follow!
Oh you can reach me here or call me at 780-278-7186
Thursday, September 2, 2010
like the little boy I saw at the rescue center we have to try and hold on to that little bit of sunshine in hard times...
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Its been a while since I have written. Life carries on and seems to deviate from my focus...but for me that focus has never been too clear. I just wanted to do a quick update to let you know what's happening at Heartline, to say a few "Thank you's" and to let you in on a new project that I am thinking of undertaking...
I'm just going to post a link to Heartline's website..more specifically John's blog where he updates on the things happening there. Heartline has bought a parcel of land and is planning on opening a permanent clinic there which is very exciting (read Beth's stories about patient transfers and see why such a clinic is needed!). As for the houses, a number have gone up and there are great stories about little E and his family getting a new start in life along with another young girl named Marjory...Rose and grandma are still working on getting a piece of land to put their house on which is a lot more difficult then it sounds! But one day it will happen I just know it!
I wanted to once again extend a thank you to all of you who have supported me...my little condo is still accumulating donations from people! I have just sent off a box of dressing supplies and clothes to the group at the Real Hope For Haiti
Have a look at the website...it makes me cry every time but more then that it makes me so grateful for all I have. Thank you Lori and Licia for all you do. I am planning on going to RHFH in the near future so keep the donations coming in ;-)
In the box for RHFH I was able to send "pillowcase dresses" made by my friend Elaine Porter (the pictures at the top are of my best friend Sherri's daughter modeling them...) Thank you so much Elaine! For any of you seamstresses (?) out there feel free to make some and send them my way! They are perfect for Haiti weather, easy to wash and put on and so beautiful and loved by the little girls who receive them!
And last but not least I know that most of you are either heading back to school yourself or are sending children off to school and in doing so you probably bought at least on pair of shoes...am I right? Well, although I am still wanting to support Heartline and Real Hope for Haiti I am going to be (soon) asking you to dig into your closets (and for me I don't have to dig far!) for new or gently used shoes! Soon...more details soon...just wanted to plant the seed!
Talk to you all soon!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
A while back (actually during Nurse's week) Heather Smith, our union president asked me to write about my experiences in Haiti. Part of my story was published in the union newsletter but not all of it. The story directs people to this blog so I am going to publish the story I wrote here so people can read it. It is a new blog post so..here goes.
I know that there is not enough space nor time to tell you of how I feel..I watch the word counter at the bottom of the screen and I fear I will run out of room even before I can scratch the surface of what my recent trip to Haiti meant to me, did to me, made me feel.. but I will try because I have to try and help you understand…
Gut wrenching; heart expanding; incapacitating ; hopeful
0130: I am holding an 18 month old child in my arms..he bolts awake every so often, turns his head and looks at me..reassured I have not let him go. I cannot begin to explain to you the look in his eyes, the weight of his 15 pounds in my arms, the sadness the emanates from him..the pain he must feel emotionally and physically..he has not eaten in 2 weeks..no explanation...
Childhood malnutrition is very prevalent in Haiti. It is a combination of many different factors. According to the WHO prior to the quake 46% of Haitians were malnourished and that was before the quake!
“you are loved little boy, may you always feel my arms around you sending you loving no matter where you are”
Two Days later: able to stand for the first time...as I leave to go home to sleep after the night shift I play "this little piggy" and I get the smallest smile...I am elated!!
10 hours later: returned to the clinic..cot empty..turn to my friend Brian..
"sorry Canada, she left with him, seems she felt we were not feeding her properly..."
..because it's about her...incapacitating...
1030: “Can you check out my granddaughter, she was accidentally stepped on. We live under a tarp, her mother died in the earthquake”
No flail chest, no apparent broken ribs..fine, except for that horrible productive cough, fever of 39C and the fact that she is 3 months old and weighs 6 pounds. She has pneumonia, we think..diagnosis of elimination, no blood work , no x-rays, no NICU consults… good old fashion basic skills and best guess.
Antibiotics and bring her back tomorrow for a check-up…no admission to the hospital, no see your pediatrician in the morning, there isn’t one..anywhere.
0900 next day: higher fever, more productive cough, more lethargic..lets admit her to our cots on the terrace. They are not for the view, they are for the really sick so we can keep a closer eye on them…
4 weeks later baby and grandma are enrolled in the parenting classes , getting formula each week and thriving..as much as one can thrive in Haiti, living under a tarp with 6 other people, no guarantees of food or water, no guarantees of a future but..
Please check out the following organizations and blogs.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful staff of the Cross Cancer Inpatient unit for their logistical/emotional and financial support! You are wonderful and I could not do half of what I do if it weren’t for you! I would also like to thanks the Wound Care Team at the Misericordia hospital for their crash course in wound care before I left! As well a special thank you to Debbie from CONVATEC for the donation of awesome wound care products (which were put to good use!!)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
My friend Barb said to me today "it sometimes takes just one person Lise to make that difference" but the thing is I don't feel like "one person" with you all standing behind me...
P.S. Almost final total= $2800!!
P.S.S. check out Johns blog on the houses being built!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Sometimes I find words cannot express what I feel in my heart..whether its to express the depths to which I love someone, the sadness I feel at the tragedies and losses in life or the gratitude that I feel towards those around me...so I will turn to better writers then me to hopefully find the words that elude me...
On Love my favorite...
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
There are circumstances that must shatter you; and if you are not shattered, then you have not understood your circumstances. In such circumstances, it is a failure for your heart not to break. And it is pointless to put up a fight, for a fight will blind you to the opportunity that has been presented by your misfortune. Do you wish to persevere pridefully in the old life? Of course you do: the old life was a good life. But it is no longer available to you. It has been carried away, irreversibly. So there is only one thing to be done. Transformation must be met with transformation. Where there was the old life, let there be the new life. Do not persevere. Dignify the shock. Sink, so as to rise.
And finally a quote that completely summarized how I felt this morning after the resounding success of our fundraiser last night..
I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
How far that little candle throws his beams!So shines a good deed in a weary world. ~ William Shakespeare
Thank you all for shedding a beam of light into the lives of those so in need of it right now..the people of Haiti...
"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom". ~ Author Unknown
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I want to take this time to personally and publicly Thank Barbara Berney, without whom this even would never have gotten off the ground.Not only has Barb has used her 20 yrs in the biz to solicit more donations then I know what to do with (other then auction off for a good cause)she (along with Rob Scott!) found us a venue (the Empress) when our other choice told us we could not have it at their establishment! She is truly a wonderful person and someone I am go grateful to have in my corner!
I would also like to Thank Ann Freeman, Patti Hack, Ginette Bettiol and Sherri Birdsell all of whom have contributed time, donations,ideas and guidance! You ladies are the best!
I must say I am so excited for Friday! Not only because we are raising money for a great cause but because (selfishly so..) different groups of my friends are getting to meet for the first time! You have all heard me talk of the others so now you will be able to put faces to names!
Thanks again to everyone who has donated to this cause...I will be putting together a formal list for on the night but here's a sampling of the donations and thus items up for grabs at the fundraiser! So bring your cheque books, loonies and your party hats (geez I need sleep!)
Raffle/ Silent Auction Prizes (they just keep comin..Thank You Edmonton! You truly are the most caring city!!)
GC'S: Copper Pot, Culina, Earls, Cineplex (movie night out), Ric's Grill, Pagan Tattoo, Packrat Louie,Megatunes, Russo Hair Salon
Gift Baskets: Bath and Body Works, wine and cheese, Starbucks, Rebo (Haitian Coffee)
Other Wicked Items: Professional Teeth Whitening Kit ($200 value), Eden Salon (Sheri Anger: Cut and Color $200 value), Hoodies (Empress and Black Dog), 3 Photographs (Tammy Hale Photography), Delicious Baked Goods (The Half-Baker Baker) 3 Haircuts from Propoganda Hair Salon and much more!!
Can't wait! Hope to see those of you residing in the vicinity there on Friday...and for the others I could check airlines..although I don't have any friends there!
(Empress Ale House 9912-82 Ave 7pm!)
Any questions please feel free to call me 780-278-7186 but give me a few hours to catch up on sleep right now :-)
Monday, June 28, 2010
Yesterday my best friend Sherri's son had his 7th birthday. A couple of weeks ago Sherri talked with Noah about my trip to Haiti (she always educates the kids on what I am doing and Why). After the conversation Noah told Sherri he wanted to help Rose build a house. He decided to not ask for presents for his birthday instead he asked for money to put towards the housing project...A hard thing to do for a 7 year old I am sure (I'm 35 and I still like birthday presents!!)
So the party was yesterday and Noah announced to Sherri that he wanted to also donate his change that he has been collecting (thus the above picture!) What a kind Little guy! He and his friends collected $285.
When I told Noah how much he had raised he asked me "Auntie Lise is that enough to build Rose a house?" I told him that it was the start and that he had been the one to kick it off...He smiled his little sheepish smile and went back to building his lego motorhome...
"maybe one day I can go see Rose's House"
"yes Noah, I am sure one day we you can come with me to see Rose's house"
For all that is bad and wrong with the world these days there still are some pretty amazing people doing kind things for others....
and they come in all shapes, sizes and ages...
Thank you Noah and thank you Sherri!
Love Auntie Lise and Rose!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
So with the help of my friends (who says working in the service industry for 20 years isn't without its perks right Barb!?) we have been able to find a new venue for our fundraiser next week! So the party will go ahead.
Friday July 2 2010
The Empress Ale House 9912 82 Ave.
There will be raffles and a silent auction as well as other games and prizes.
Thanks so much to Sue Kiernan and the other owners of Empress for stepping in and helping us out in this matter!
For those of you that need to eat the Empress is a pub and they do not serve food but they do serve a wonderful arrangement of beverages!!
If you have any questions feel free to call me at 780-278-7186 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I just found out that the little boy in the picture with me in the blog titled Sunshine is dying...for lack of *%ing food...What is wrong with this world that a 5year old boy dies because he has never had enough food... I sit here and the tears come because its so unfair. I know I cannot make the changes that need to be made on the grander scale so that stuff like this doesn't happen and at times I feel hard pressed to think that the things that I do do will ever make a difference...
When do things change, where is the light at the end of that long, never ending tunnel. I know that it's hard to convey what it feels like to hold a starving child in your arms...The morning I left Cazele (where the center for malnourished children is) I woke up at 0530 to the voice of Ojean asking for water. I got up, gave him water, changed him (because at 5 he is still wearing diapers that would fit a 2yr old) and took him outside with me. We sat and I talked to him. I am sure he could not understand my English but he sat and looked at me I am hoping, happy to be being held...He was able to sit up on his own, feed himself and drink water himself.. But now, and such is the cycle for children suffering from malnutrition from birth he is too weak, he has no reserves to fight off even the mildest of infections...so he will die and leave me to wonder how many children like him are out there...not only in Haiti but in the whole world...
So very sad...
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Let me give you some stats as food for thought!!
Canada: Average weekly income: $844= aprox $3000/mo
Haiti: 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, 54% live in abject poverty
Canada: life expectancy for women is 83 yrs and men 76 yrs (born in 2006)
Haiti: life expectancy for women is 59 years and men is 54 yrs
Canada: 37% of 20yr olds are in tertiary education
Haiti: 47% of Haitians are Illiterate.
Heartline is helping the people of Haiti rebuild..they were there helping before the Earthquake and will be there for years to come. They have raised over 50K USD towards housing for the people of Haiti. On my last trip I asked John how I could access some of this funding to help Rose and her grandma…he just looked at me and said “Lise they have been a part of your life, you have been a part of our life so we will help them..” and that was that! I can’t explain to you how it felt that day talking to John or the day that I spoke with Rose’s grandma about them getting a house…there are no words.
I have long struggled with feelings of inadequacy in the help/assistance that I can provide when I look at the whole “big picture”. What this trip and my time in Haiti has taught me ( a lesson I so needed to learn!) was that to help one is just as important as helping the many. So that is what I, with the help of Beth and John and Heartline am endeavoring to do.
The cost of a house in Haiti, land included is approximately $5000 USD. The average salary of a Haitian, prior to the earthquake was $500/year. You don’t have to do complex math to figure that one out…the idea of “giving” a house to someone has weighed on my mind since deciding to do this and here’s what I have come up with (not sure if you will agree but here goes). For the most part the people of Haiti were going about their business, living their lives (ones very different from you and I ) when everything changed in the matter of 45 seconds. Not only were lives lost and/or altered, livelihoods were taken away from those who worked every day to squeak out a living, people lost all their worldly possessions and were left literally with the shirts on their backs…How do you rebuild a career when you are 50 years old and find yourself instantly the primary caregiver of 2 infants? A new reality, one I could not imagine.
Many found refuge in tent cities which have provided limited security and safety up to a point. Now the rains have come and Haiti is preparing for one of the worst hurricane seasons in 50 years..where in that do you find the time to rebuild? How do you rebuild when you don’t have a safe place to put your head at night? When you don’t have both your legs anymore…
Its not wrong to what for another the peace and security that comes with a home..shelter from the heat, rain and winds..a door to lock , a place to call home…$5000 is, in my mind a small price to pay for all the goodness that comes from helping just one individual who comprises but 1 piece of that “big picture”. Rose and grandma are part of that picture..a part I can help in the here and now..$5000 doesn’t seem that much…
So this year for my birthday, the day I came into a privileged part of the world I ask you to help me make life a little more secure for just 1 person! Heartline will, with our help continue to help the people of Haiti live everyday a little better!
Below is Heartlines website if you would like to donate. Unfortunately Heartline is not registered in Canada so they cannot give tax receipts..sorry! And if your around Edmonton on July 2nd join us for the fundraiser at The Next Act pub (and to celebrate my birthday too…you all know how I feel about birthdays )
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If nothing else please watch the following videos about the campaign and if you are so inclined please feel free to support MSF (Medicines Sans Frontiers= Doctors Without Borders) programs that provide the types of nutrition required by the children of these developing nations.
More to come on this in the near future!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The question is one that has been asked not so directly to me in the past few months but I guess around me. My friend Brian wrote about it on his blog and its something that I have thought a lot about the past few days. Even now as I try and get a little rest on the last leg of my epic journey home, eyes red and sore, stomach rumbling from I’m not so sure what, I find I cannot stop the question from bouncing around in my head…
I’m not sure I have any real answers to the question…knowing that the only answers I would have would be mine alone and therefore only apply to me…and I am not convinced that I have found the real solution for how to remain soft and open when it would be so much more beneficial to harden up. And I think more for me the better, more appropriate question is “how do I remain soft, open and loving?”
And I’m just not sure how to do that but I feel pretty confident that I will find the answers. There is too much that love can accomplish… for me the question is akin to probably my favorite quote
“And the day came that the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful then the risk it took to bloom”
To harden up would be to remain safe and comfortable in the bud not daring to open myself up to the pain that could come with remaining open…
Just some thoughts....
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Funny how we end up in situations that seem so natural at the time but when reflected upon just seem surreal…the other night was like that for me… I found myself lying in bed at the foot of the mountains of Haiti with 2 other women and 3 severely malnourished children…of course I was...why wouldn’t I have been….
I’ll give you a bit of background on how this situation came into being… Many things affected me on my last trip to Haiti in March but none so much as the severely malnourished boy that was brought into our clinic. After that encounter I knew that working to assist those aiding these children needed to be my focus. In what capacity I have yet to figure out but I am exploring..thus what lead me to the mountains of Haiti the other night. Now there are many malnourished children in the big centers of Haiti, children hungry on the streets, in homes but some children have been fortunate to have found a way into rescue centers like the one run by the amazing people of The Real Hope for Haiti. I have at time caught myself saying things like “I’m starving to death” we all do and in the context it’s a harmless comment but what I saw the other day was literally children who had been starving to death!
Now there are many thoughts that people have, myself included that center around why people have children they cannot afford to care for etc but that is a topic I won’t address here. That’s a discussion better had in person. But the one thing that I have learned is that it is a mixture of education (and the lack of), poverty and lack of access to appropriate healthcare and I will leave it at that for now…
The reality of the situation, the reality that I saw time and time again is this…there are children dying each and every day of malnutrition, lack of access to clean drinking water and preventable illnesses. Children I saw the other day were up to 5 years of age but looked like they were 1-2. 5 year olds that weighted 12 pounds, expressionless unable to interact due to lack of energy required to smile. Could you imagine not having enough energy to even smile?
Children looking at me their eyes hollow..lacking the light that illuminates the eyes of the children I know in Canada. In the Real Hope for Haiti rescue center there are approximately 55 children with differing levels of malnutrition. Some are able to walk, some unable too, some too weak to sit let alone walk, some too weak to cry. I watched as The little boy in the above picture tried to bring a piece of bread to his mouth, his hands trembling so badly because he just didn’t have the strength…
The majority of these kids have parents who just can’t afford to feed them…I cringed at the thought of how much food I alone throw out on any given day (which I will never again do!) I only took 1 picture…one of the little boy who spent the night in my room, the little boy who spoke so clearly because he’s 5 although he looks like he’s 2. I didn’t take pictures of the other children…It just didn’t seem right…they didn’t need me snapping pictures… what they needed was to be held, to be interacted with, someone to lie on the floor beside them when they were too weak to even sit up, they needed Medika Mamba syringed through their NG tubes…they needed to know that hopefully one day the suffering would end….so that’s what I did instead.
That morning I watched as a severely malnourished boy tried to catch a sunray in his hand…It was all at once so beautiful that it stopped me right in my tracks.
There are many things in this trip that have brought tears to my eyes…tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears of frustration and tears of amazement for all that is good in the world. Just glad I can be involved in it…Like the little boy I am just trying to catch the sunray for the light it can bring me…even for the brief moment that it exists…
Check out the link to see more about Real Hope for Haiti and pictures. http://haitirescuecenter.wordpress.com/
The work this family does with not only the feeding center but with their medical clinic (that sees over 300 pts a day on average with 4 nurses and no drs.) is essential and amazing! I hope to return soon
Friday, June 11, 2010
I just wanted to share with you the beautiful view from my hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale this morning...nothing like a comfortable king size bed, warm shower and the sun breaking in the sky to make me smile....
“Joy is prayer - Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with Joy.”
I hope you all find a bit of joy in your day today....I know I already have!
Look for more posts soon...I seem to have a lot to say these days....now I'm off to get my latte :-) !!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I know that I posted in my only blog from Haiti that I was feeling uninspired to write anything..well as I am 35000 feet above the ocean my mind is racing…racing with thoughts and ideas I want to share, victories I want you to know about, dilemmas that are floating around in me…maybe I should catalogue them before I start but I know that they will return to me as they are needed….
Today I found myself sitting in the airport waiting to leave Haiti, many thoughts going through my head when a small group of business men started to chat me up. It turns out that they were a group of developers who had come to Haiti to pitch a development project. They were supposed to be attending a conference set up by a group of expats for the redevelopment of Haiti. Now I say “were supposed to be” because as it turns out the conference had started this morning and they were already leaving….they had had it with Haiti they told me, had it with the lies and as one in the group put it “that’s where the adjectives will end before I become too, well let’s just say more descriptive”. As it turns out they had had somewhat of a “Haitian experience” in the 3 whole days they had been there. They had experienced behaviors that permeate Haitian culture (behaviors that were unbeknownst to me prior to my first visit to the country)… non-truths, mistrust, secrecy, events occurring on Haitian time or not at all…
As I(yes me…?) tried to talk to them about the utopia of redevelopment they were seeking not existing in any nation requiring redevelopment they basically expressed their disgust and contempt for the people “not wanting their help”. Business as usual I guess depends on your usual?!
The reason I tell you all this is because it really got me thinking…was it all helpless? Is the nation of Haiti a lost cause? Should I just turn my back..walk away back to the peace and serenity of my life in Canada? Until January 12 Haiti didn’t really even exist for me…it could be easy to walk away right? I mean really if you look at it it really is hopeless…things will never change…Right!?
Wrong….because for me life isn’t as easy as changing my return flight so I can make it back in time to watch game 4 of the Lakers/Celtics series… because it will never be that easy for little Rose to find shelter from the rain or little Emmanuals mom to forget about the 3 children that are still buried under the rubble of her home, unable to dig them out, give them a proper burial and have some closure or easy for Rosemon to live his life without his parents and not feel like a burden on his aging grandma and I could go on…
So for a millisecond I thought about walking away..saying “sorry Haiti but you’ve got this one, let me know how it turns out. I’ll be watching….” A millisecond where the frustrations of dealing with a culture new to me would have been easy to walk away from, where the potential to have my heart broken is huge, where my guilt for a life easily lived could be too strong…but and this is a big but I (and you along with me) CAN make a difference..it may be small and it may only affect a few people but the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And that’s a step that I am willing to take…
And because to me sometimes life isn’t about walking away just because you don’t understand or agree with the way things are done or because things seem hopeless…To me that’s when life gets good..when it get to be worth living..if I can make just one person’s life different, if I can just help ease the suffering of one person then its worth all that goes along with it!
I guess in all fairness the development guys are talking about larger steps and I think it’s the small bits of hope that were lost on them...so I guess it just wasn't business as usual...oh well I think eventually Haiti will do just fine with us and not the development guys..but that's just me!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
After 30 hours of travelling I again arrived into the warehouse that is the Port Au Prince airport the heat and the humidity more intense then I have ever felt before...then waiting an additional hour and fighting the masses (of same colored t-shirt groups..."Hope for Haiti" being my favorite!) for my baggage I made my way outside to be greeted by a familiar face...(I wonder how the Hope group fared)
This time around I am staying at the Heartline guest house and although a wonderful place I can't help but feel immense guilt..especially when the rain clouds role in and I sleep soundly..dry and cooled by the power of 2 fans....
As I sit here and write the beautiful voices of the "patients/family/friends" of the Heartline hospital are singing out with such conviction and hope...its a beautiful thing...
The other night I started to write about what my trips to Haiti have taught me and instead of writing a crazy long blog I think I will just list them here..maybe I will elaborate at a later date but for now the heat and my 4 days of babysitting sweet Rose have kicked me in the butt...I wonder how I will survive this night shift( maybe the thought of the rat that scurried its way into the treatment center about 1 hour ago will keep me awake!!!)
So here goes:
People are resilient and hopeful even in the worst of situations
My heart may be big but there is always potential for it to get bigger
I can and at times should shift my thinking, be more open to others and their situations
Life is really hard for some and really easy for others but...
both have their struggles even tho they may not always be apparent to us
More can always be done and we must not keep from giving...no matter how spent we are...
and speaking of giving..i think i am going to go and sit in the doorway and watch sweet Rose sleep and listen to the rest of the service..open that heart a little more...understand a little more and give a little more of my time to the people here!
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thank you for.... the encouragement, the emotional support, the financial support, the listening to me talk endlessly support, the providing me with the opportunity support, the near support, the far support....
Thanks you too...
- my family (near and far)
- my friends (old and new, the old that are new again; near and far)
- family and friends who have left and whom I will meet again someday (miss you Matt,Nana,Mom)
- my fellow staff members (who I also count as friends but wanted to single them out here!), fellow colleagues (The Misericordia Wound care team/Erin Kennedy/CONVATEC)
- my patients and their families who are in the midst of their own struggles and have the immense compassion and empathy to see others in need and want to help them! (Thank you Ann and Don!)
I know I am forgetting many (sorry I could not name everyone!) and for that I am sorry! Just please know your love and support keeps me going..spoken and unspoken I feel I can do anything with people like you watching my back!
Lise4 more days!!