Friday, July 29, 2011

Another ridiculous shot

Good evening,
Am heading off to bed as had an emotional day with little rose... Saying goodbye, although never seems to truly hit me till I am back home it's always hard. The one thing I do know for sure..(there are not many of them in my life) little lady has people who, although faced with struggles many of us in Canada will never know that truly love her.. And that makes leaving her a little less heart wrenching! Will post some pictures of her and the house etc in the coming days. Off to medishare in the AM and am sad to be leaving Beth, John and the amazing folks at these guys and all they are doing here! More to come!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

quick update

HI Everyone,
Just a quick post to let you all know I made it here safe and sound. Olez brought Rose to the guesthouse today and she warmed right up to me. She looks pretty much the same that she did 8 months ago (she's a tiny little lady) but is now walking and talking up a storm (all lost on me I am afraid but I play along as best I can). Oh and she ate like there is no tomorrow after her 3 hour nap (with dual fans going in the +37 heat this afternoon).Nice breeze tonight..maybe rain coming which is a blessing and a curse...

Olez is fairing alright and we will go out to the community that the house is built in on friday with Beth...Very nice to see Beth and John today and have short but wonderful conversations with them...such amazing people they are and am so glad that our paths have crossed!

Rose has just fallen asleep, and some wise voice in my head tells ,e I should try and do the same...

So bonne nuit from Haiti!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


today I thought to myself that with all the sadness and hard things in this world I need to find a way to not dwell in the unsetting places too drains the good from me..drains the hope..

sitting here listening to John Mayer's "heart of life"...

no it won't all go the way it should...

but I know the heart of life is good....

pain throws your heart to the ground...

love turns the whole thing around

But then I saw this

and i thank whatever higher power there is that the hearts of those at the Real Hope For Haiti are good...some of the best I have ever known...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


So tonight I am writing a quick post to go back on something I said 2 posts ago...In that post I said I would be going back to Haiti next week but that I wouldn't be asking for donations and now if you don't mind I am going to revoke that statement and say I am now asking for donations.

As most of you who follow me here know that in late 2010 Cholera, a highly infectious intestinal bug that causes a person to lose copious amounts of fluid through diarrhea and can literally kill a grown man in a matter of hours appeared in Haiti. To date I am unsure of the number of people killed by cholera in Haiti, a place where this disease had not reared its ugly head for the past 60 years but a place where poor sanitation and waste disposal can cause mass transmission to any and all.. no one is immune.

Now after a brief lull in the number of cases, Cholera has re surged and has come back with a vengeance. The Cholera house at Real Hope For Haiti where, during the first cholrea surge became a model for other organizations to follow. They had a less then 0.5% death rate, which for a disease like cholera is remarkable. The cholera house that they established and staff can accommodate 25 people at a time. Last night they had over 101 people in the house. People are being brought down from the mountains carried on doors, on the backs of motorcycles, on mattresses and sometimes just on sheets...some are making it in time, some are not...

You can read about it on the RHFH blog in the following post:

Dr. Jen in the states is collecting money to purchase medicines and if you would like to donate you can do so here (unfortunately they are not registered in Canada so no tax receipt will be issued):

Or and this is where I renege on my previous posts words you can help me help all the amazing people at RHFH who are working to keep people alive..

I want you to know something here...Cholera is a disease that is very easily treated (you simply replace the fluids via IV or ORS) and once treated for the most part people are fine. There is no follow-up needed and people can go back to living their lives... I know the longer term issues of sanitation and clean water need to be addressed and I am hopeful that they will... and I know that once agian this feels an awful lot like a bandaid but I can assure you its a bandaid that also heals...

I just want you to stop for a second and imagine the following...

Imagine the worst stomach flu or case of food poisoning you have ever had.....

Now imagine you have no access to a warm, comfy bed...

No private bathroom

No shower facilities

No medications

And the only help that you know of is a clinic, which may be far away with no means of getting there...

I woke up this morning and thought about the time I had spent in Haiti last time, in the Cholera tent at JP/HRO..people coming in barely able to walk..the only thing between living in dying at times was our ability to get an IV in them and replace the lost fluids..

There are not many things in a place like Haiti that are easy fixes...chronic malnutrition extending from years of food insecurity, chronic diseases easily treated in first world countries long before they become chronic, poor educational systems leading to high illiteracy rates that lead to chronic unemployment and so many others for which the fixes are hopefully not too far down that long road of building back better...but this is the here and now of life and for the people of RHFH there is a large and at times seemingly unending need...

If you can/want/are able to help with this I only have a little room for more supplies but I will work my hardest to cram in all that I can...

Licia sent me a list tonight of the current urgent needs, if you can donate any items or money for me to pick up the items I would be so appreciative!

1. Gorilla Tape: works better then duct tape as it sticks to non-smooth surfaces. It's $6 a roll and is sold at Canadian Tire. They use this to tape down the floors of the cholera tent that is washed many times a day with a bleach solution as the floor is often soiled with diarrhea.

2.Large black garbage bags

3.Infant Formula: I won't be able to carry a lot of this as it's quite heavy but if bought please buy the iron enriched formula.

Thanks again to everyone for your support!!

Any questions please feel free to email me or call me.. or 780-278-7186

Saturday, July 9, 2011

hope for now..

Forgot how much I loved this guys lyrics...

Hope for Now

This hallway's dark and empty
Just miles and miles of endless road
I've got a sickness pounding in my head
I'm at the mercy of the ghosts

But what it would take to live
As if I would not another day
To live without despair
And to be without desdain

How can I instill such hope
But be left with none of my own?
What if I could sing
Just one song
And it might save somebody's life

I sought after
After reasons to stay
I was lost
I was lost

Then the sky turned black
And the rains poured down
I was waiting
Waiting to be found
Oh, no

How can I instill such hope
But be left with none of my own?
What if I could sing
Just one song
And it might save somebody's life

Then I would sing
All that I can sing
Because that is when
When I feel that I'm not just counting time

Oh, and I sing
All that I can sing
Maybe just for the moment
Things would seem all right

City and Colour


Good Morning All,
I have not posted anything directly about Haiti in a long time but that's not to say that I have not been wanting too..I just have had a hard time piecing together how to say what it is I have been thinking/reading about... I want to warn you that the following post is more a "thinking" and "sorting" one for me so I am very sorry if it feels/is confusing for you...Lets just say I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading and I am wanting to share it with you now...however jumbled it seems..

There have been many things I have wanted to say over the past few months regarding AID work, Haiti, the politics of the humanitarian world etc..those of you closest to me know that I have been struggling with my thoughts and place in all this.. These struggles have led me to do a lot of reading on both sides of an seemingly un-ending debate.

Let me back up and define the debate for you...

Sometimes when we think we are helping we are actually hurting... and basically I am trying to find ways to help and not hurt...not an easy task and one that has/is requiring a lot of self-reflection coupled with an intense swing upward on my learning continuum.

At times I have found myself becoming so frustrated that I have closed my computer, book, paper and just walked away. And other times I can't stop nodding my head saying "yes, yes that's it" (usually only to be knocked back a notch with a rebuttal to the point that so garnered my approval). I don't like not understanding things, not being able to reconcile that my actions, however well-meaning, might in many ways be harming exactly those I am wanting to help. I used to think I was OK with living in the "grey" areas of life but this debate and my subsequent education of it have proven otherwise.

My whole learning has been a tough row to hoe and to be honest one I am still very much contemplating.. but in this process I have noticed a shift in me...a shift towards being more open when all I have wanted to do is shutdown..this is a very slow process for me but I am getting there..I think in a small, small way I am sorting out how I, as an individual with limited resources and time can still "help" in a way that doesn't "hurt".

That being said...

I wanted to let you know that I am heading back to Haiti in just over 2 weeks. This trip and the reasons why I have only shared with a few that I am returning is more a part of the above process.

Let me be clear here..I am not returning to Haiti to "find my purpose", I am not returning to Haiti to "help those less fortunate then me", I am not returning to Haiti for a "reality check or perspective building"


I don't know how to put into words the WHY'S of it.

and i guess that is the process for me...

Many of you have been so generous on my last 3 trips and as you know I cannot thank you enough but this trip for me is different. I won't be asking for donations, I still have many things that have been given to me since my last trip and I will be taking those. The following are links to blogs of different people doing good, check that great things in Haiti. If you want to support me, consider supporting them which in turn will be "helping" the people of Haiti. I have seen the work of these people firsthand and I love all of them for being part of the "help".

These people are much further along on the journey of sorting stuff out then I!
Most of you that have spent any time with me and heard me talk about Haiti will know about John and Beth. This couple is the real deal and I am so grateful to have had them enter my life. Beth is my lifeline to Olez, Rose and family. They are defiantly helping..(Can't wait to hug Beth..john..well.. ;))Check out the Haitian Creations part of the website for gift ideas..let me know if you would like anything in particular and I can pick it up for you while I am in Haiti.
Lori and Licia provide medical care and community support/involvement to the people of Cazale (and to many in the surrounding mountain ranges). Additionally, they run a rescue center for malnourished children. looking for neat gift ideas check out this website, Artists for Hope (all proceeds go to RHFH):
Tara and Troy work with different groups in Haiti providing support where needed. They work primarily with Heartline. Tara's blog posts are very thought provoking and have been one of the ones that at times have frustrated me but in doing so have held me in that uncomfortable place of introspection I so need to go too! Their blog is one of the ones that has pushed me in my thinking and has forced me to work on my opening up..thanks Tara.
For all my retail/jewelry junkies out there CHECK these guys out! The premise behind the name is that in creating jobs parents will be able to provide for their families and continue to be "A Parent". Love this!

If you are looking for a way to support me on this trip you can do so by donating to Project Medishare (which is where I will be volunteering for a week). Medishare, a project of the University of Miami has been in Haiti for over 20 years. They are involved mainly in health care at the acute and community levels. They also are involved in collaborative projects with the Haitian Government.Check them out with the link below.

I know I don't have any of this figured out yet and so its hard for me to write about write about something that feels so jumbled up in my own head.

"What is necessary in order for us to see things in a new way?

One does not need to be in a position of power or importance;

self-confidence is not needed, nor will-power, nor effort

What is needed is only the good intention to see the unusual,

the good intention to see something new."

Anthony de Mello

Thank you for all your continued support...I will keep you posted!