I’m sure a lot of people have already heard about the Cholera outbreak in Haiti. It was suspected post earthquake that something like this would happen, but I think a lot of people are surprised it took so many months. I would recommend reading this blog post by Jen Halverson, a doctor that spends a lot of her time in Haiti. It has a lot of great information in it and is written by someone with on the ground experience.
Being home we’re obviously concerned about our staff and their families in Haiti. Peter and Sara are doing a good job of educating them and making sure they’re taking every precaution to not get sick. The biggest concern is that most of our filter work is in the Artibonite region. When a filter is installed our staff are obligated to work with local water from whatever source the family has. It means having their hands in the water etc and possible contamination could happen. The Craigs are making sure they have hand sanitizer, clean water for washing after installations, and that they are taking their own food in now on delivery days.
The other side of it is that even though it takes 2-3 weeks for a Biosand filter to ripen and be most effective, we already have a big presence there and can be working with families that already have a filter to make sure its working well so they and their neighbors can be sure they’re getting good water, as well as doing education about stopping the spread of water borne disease. And, while all that is going on we can be installing more filters and doing more education. Please pray for our staff on the ground that they’ll be safe and that this will be a time where Clean Water for Haiti can be even more effective and reach more people. And pray for the people of Haiti. This is just one more thing in a place that is already struggling every day.
In catching up news…
Liv has her very first head cold. I know, it seems crazy but I can’t remember a time in the last two and a half years that she’s had a head cold. She’s had fevers and other things, but no colds. She had a meltdown yesterday but after a 4 hour nap seemed to be her happy little self again even though her nose is running like a tap.
We’ve had a lot going on around here in the last week or so. Chris’ sister came for Thanksgiving which was a nice treat. We had a visit from Chris’ best friend over the weekend which was also fun. He drove all the way up from Seattle Friday after work, spent all day Saturday with us and drove back Sunday around lunch time. Those are the best kind of friends. Monday we were in Penticton for the night to visit with Ron, the sand machine guy, and his wife Beth. We had a lovely time with them and came home with another sand machine that will be going into Haiti in a few weeks with a team from my home church here. Wednesday Mom, Olivia and I had a “girls day” and went shopping. Olivia was amazed that there was a place that was a big building with lots of stores in it (the mall) and most of all that there was a store that was just books (who knew such a thing existed??).
Our last stop was COSTCO and as we walked in she turned, pointed and yelled, “It’s Christmas!” There were Christmas trees up on the top of the racks of seasonal stuff that you could see throughout the store. A man waiting for his wife started laughing after he turned to see what she was pointing at. It made me realize that really all Olivia has known about Christmas is what we have shown her because Haiti doesn’t really celebrate Christmas on any major scale. We had a Christmas tree and some decorations up last year, but that was about it. Every time she sees a lit tree, whether it’s in a store or a book or a flyer, she says it’s Christmas. I can’t wait to see what happens in a month or so…
One thing that has been really good for us in the last couple of weeks is that we’ve connected with a great counselor trained in post traumatic stress disorder at the recommendation of another counselor friend. Our board suggested we look into it when we were home so that we could process some of the things we have experienced and we’re grateful for their support. We were a bit wary of what to expect because some of the stuff we’ve been through is a little on the crazy side, and there’s been SO much of it in the last few years. Our counselor is originally from South Africa. I don’t know if I can even communicate what a blessing that is to us. She gets all the crazy cultural stuff we encounter and navigate through and hasn’t once looked at us like we’re crazy as we’ve relayed some of our stories and experiences. On the contrary, she’s been able to relate due to some of her personal experiences before she moved to Canada. It’s so refreshing and really a gift.
I’m so grateful we decided to do this and am really getting a lot out of it. I think we both are but don’t want to speak for Chris. I know one thing that has been a big eye opener for me is just how much stress can affect us. I mean, we always hear that stress is bad and that it can have all sorts of adverse effects on us, but until you start breaking it down it’s easy to glance over some things and attribute them to other things or feel like we’re doing something wrong (blame, shame etc) when it might be something that we have very little control over. And when it’s not one major stress or traumatic situation, but a series of them over a relatively short period of time it completely makes sense that other things will be going on as a response.
Well, I think it’s time for some coffee. Maybe a shower. Some time with Little Miss O… Hope you have a good weekend.