Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am still here...in Haiti. I just ran into some technical difficulties with my computer. Getting it fixed is not gonna happen here so I have limited access right now to the orphanage computer. Also, I don't have access to the pictures saved on my computer, just the ones in my camera. Thanks for understanding.

This past Saturday I had a very interesting day. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. so I could go with Anne(American), her translator - Alex, and the agronomist and a guide to a waterfall that supposedly cascades at the back of a valley. Well the first thing we did was try to get the horses ready. Anne's horse had a saddle (or piece of carpet that worked as a saddle) and was ready to go. Alex's horse was the one that lives here at the creche. It took him and 5 guys to get a rope on it in the form of a makeshift bridle (the saddle was a piece of green carpet that looks like artificial grass or a putting green) and my horse was waiting for its saddle but then someone took off on it. We went to find it and did but it was taking too long to find a saddle so I said I would just ride it like that. This would not have been much of a problem riding bareback in the US but in Haiti, the animals are on their own to find food and so this horse had not been very lucky lately. His spine was a pain in my hind - literally! Finally we were all ready to go and began our caravan through the fields of Haiti and crossed a barranca of sorts that was a river at one time. We came upon the market place in TiSuess(sp?) and the sight was straight out of a movie! Massive amounts of Haitians all at market selling, buying, trading, washing clothes, washing themselves, and socializing. We continued our trek following the trickle of river and had a trail of Haitians following us. As the horses were quite uncomfortable after awhile we took turns riding and walking. At one point the three locals were on horses and the 2 "blancs" were walking. People stopped them and asked, "How come the blancs are not riding the horses?" This was very confusing to them. We zigzagged through the valley crossing the water often but alas we did not make it to the waterfall. We asked many along the way how far or how long a walk was it but got many different answers. Some said it was a 2 day journey and others didn't know...yet they were all heading in the same direction as us:-) Finally the guide and I stopped and sat down on one of the saddles while Alex went on to catch up with the others and to turn them around. We must have been quite the site sitting there. The blanc with the 80 year old man sitting on rocks in the middle of the river, eating apples together. Not knowing much Creole, somehow I was able to make friends with him. We shared not only an apple but also some sunscreen and then we sang a song Alex taught me on the way back. The song says, "One kilometer by foot, uses, uses, one kilometer by foot uses up my shoe. Two kilometers by foot, uses, uses....and on, and on. The guide sang it with me and everytime we came to the end of the song we woulld find a used up dead shoe in our path. It was fun to get the old man involved in my self entertainment.

Haiti is a place that does not lack in adventure...ever! On Sunday, Gina took us to the supermarket. It is about a 45 minute drive from here. So we are all getting ready to get in the car and then the car wouldn't start! At first we all pushed it to try to pop the clutch but after many unsuccessful attempts Mommy gave us a jump with her truck. At one point we had an 80 year old man helping us push the car! So finally we were on our way down the bumpy road and came upon a huge truck in the middle of a road with a rock stuck under it. The driver could not move the truck and so a traffic jam developed. As we had to get to the store before it closed at noon, we became a bit desperate and impatient. Finally, some guy showed us a way to go around. Now this was not a side road. It was 4 wheeling through a cemetery! Gina put the car in 4 wheel drive and we all jumped out to guide her through the rocks and dirt and weeds and tombs. Finally she made it around but only after running over a voodoo doll in the dirt! I knew it wasn't meant for me because it was green - not blanc! And off we were to the supermarket!

So I wanted to post pictures of the teacher training as it has been going extremely well. The teachers are very open to trying all the new methods I am introducing to them and are all very talented. The first week I focused on classroom management, last week was all on Language Arts, this week is on Math methods and on Friday I will teach them how to integrate physical education with the core subjects. Unfortunately, a lot of the Haitian people have a spirit of poverty that has been passed on to generation after generation and the mindset is difficult for me to understand. Many will sit and wait for someone to come along and help instead of trying to solve the problem themselves or try to figure out on their own how to make things work. A good example is when I am teaching the teachers a new method and I happen to be using the supplies I brought along. They say how can they do it if the supplies are not available to them. Slowly I am teaching them to use the materials that ARE available to them and that are free! Since the first week they have gotten very good at adapting methods and at unlocking their individual creativity. I am so proud of the progress they have made. They are an incredible group of people.

I also wanted to talk about the Adult Bible study. I was a little unsure as to how I would commence it and so I first tried talking to different people I am seeing on a regular basis about God and their church going practices as a conversation opener. Unfortunately my ability to converse is very limited without a translator:-) After the teacher classes Last week I started to bring my guitar and played and sang some worship songs. They seemed to like it so one day I decided to bring one of the creole bibles with me to see if anyone would be interested in studying it with me. God sure did go before me on this one! Their response was overwhelming! Four of them said yes! we would like to study it with you. So I shared some verses with them and how God has seen Mario and I through every step of the adoption journey. We had agreed to stay again on Wed. after the teacher training to study again. Today they reminded me about the bibles and the study for tomorrow. My hope is that the Lord will give me a discerning spirit on what to share with them and that He would begin to open their hearts to a relationship with Him. I hope you will pray for this with me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cooking up a storm

So we have made many things in our cooking class and all have tasted pretty good. Madame Jestem is the headcook for the school and she has been very helpful and has enjoyed watching the crazy white lady make things with the kids. This week we made Kool-aid (ok, technically not cooking but...), fried potato chips and salsa and today we made oatmeal cookies! Very funny because I have never baked ANYTHING from scratch! The students enjoyed the cooking experience very much. As each class comes to my classroom, I choose 2-3 students to be my helpers. In one class, I asked a helper to spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. She didn't quite understand and she sprayed my face! Then she sprayed my underarm and finally she sprayed the baking sheet! It was so funny! Someone explained to her what she was supposed to do with it and she got really embarrassed. The students seemed to enjoy the cookies so I guess I did ok.
Can you guess what this is?

There is an agronomist that happened to show up at Mommy Duncans this week. It was a good thing because I wasn't sure what to do next with our garden. He is going to talk with the kids about the seeds I brought and how to plant them.
Today was a little windy, enough to fly the kite we brought for the boys. Gualege got it in the air easily and maneuvered it well until he went near the big tree and got it caught. Some workers felt so bad for him they went and got a ladder to try to pull it down. They finally got it unstuck only to have it get stuck in a HIGHER branch. One of them climbed up the tree and got it down for him...all for a $5 kite. I guess the smile on my sons' faces was worth more:-)

I am feeling a little bit of a cold coming on and am feeling a little homesick. Also, my legs are pretty torn up from the mosquitos. Please pray for my health.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grow, Garden, Grow!

So I thought today I would post some pictures of the gardening class. The wood cost about $75 US dollars and the labor of putting the frames for the plots together was free - a labor of love:-) The children

together carried the frames to the designated area and then cleared the leaves, weeds and rocks. Then they got water from the well and poured it on the dirt to soften the soil. They enjoyed it very much. The teacher that is teaching the class is great with the kids - a natural. He knows about as much about gardening as I do (zilch) but he is very engaging with the village kids. There is a saying 'many hands make light work'. And so that is how it has been. They are still working the dirt and trying to get it ready to plant. Last week they planted corn seeds in a ziploc bag to jumpstart the sprout. This week they are transplanting the sprouts into soil pods and hopefully by the end of the week they will be able to transplant it into the garden plot. Thanks to a huge donation of seed packets from Green Thumb, we have enough to plant in the garden and enough to send one home with every child to sow at home.

Some other tidbits...
So the mosquitos are feasting on me. Everyday I have 2-3 more bites. I spray myself with OFF! but they don't stay off of me!

I have been trying to shed a few pounds but we were fed very well the first week here. This week the meals are definetely lighter. I even went for a short jog today!

Wakin has the habit of putting everything he finds into his mouth. I usually have to tell him it is not 'mange' (food). So today I brought out a science activity that involved water. I put the science matter into the water and told him he can't drink it. He asked me very concerned, "will I die if I drink it?" I told him I wasn't sure but I didn't want to find out either.

In the Haitian dance there is a move called 'Gai Pai'. The littlest kids are the cutest to watch. Wakin is especially cute as he has natural rhythm. The school children had a good laugh today as they tried to teach the 'white lady' to dance.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Going to market

Today Mommy Duncan drove us to the market in the little town just before Port-au-Prince. This 83 year old lady is fearless! Before driving off her property she went into the church to say a prayer...I am glad she did! It was quite the adventure! I got to ride in the back of her pick-up truck with Anne and Brittaney, the other 2 American girls here for the summer and Anne's translator, Alex. First we bumped along the rocky road out of Lamardelle in the back with an empty propane tank we had to fill. Mommy Duncan honked all along the ride but I wasn't sure if it was to say hi to the people along the way or to warn them she was on the road! We went to a small market in the town of Croix de Bouquets and then we road back to pick up the propane and then also to buy ice at another store. Finally, on our way home we also stopped at various stands along the way and Mommy would barter with the vendor for a good price for fruit. On the way back Mommy forgot to slow down for a bump and Anne and her translator almost went flying out of the truck as they were sitting on the propane tank that was rolling around. It was quite the adventure!

After a small lunch of potatos in bean sauce and dough, we went to Mommy's pool and I got to take Gualege swimming for the first time. Although he has been to swim at the river before, he had never been in a pool before and he was fearless! By the time I was ready to go, he was jumping into the shallow end with Aunty Anne. I think he will love the water park by our house when he finally comes home! Keep praying!

I have limited time on the computer as there is not electricity until the evenings and am having problems getting pictures and video loaded. I will continue to try to get a link on the blog but meanwhile it may just be a picture or two. Thanks for understanding and for all your comments and encouragement.
The Molina family -
Elizabeth & Mario
Jordan Gualege & Grant Wakin

Daddy's boys!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The pictures...

are coming. Sorry! I am having a hard time uploading:-( I will continue to work on it this weekend. I just finished my first week of summer camp and teacher training. It has been a great week! The children made rice pudding and popcorn balls, set down garden plots and are preparing the soil, they have studied Noah and the flood and Abraham and Sara. Today when I asked a village student if anything was too hard for God, she said, "nothing is". What faith!

It is about 90 degrees everyday with 89 percent humidity. The occasional diet coke is fun after every 4 bottles of water:-) I am sleeping to the sound of wild turkeys and waking to the sounds of crying babies...

More later this weekend...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day one and two...

were great! Yesterday at the camp we organized the students into classes and introduced them to what each class would be about. Today they were able to do an activity in each class: a fruit loop necklace in cooking, a puppet in art, they planted corn seeds in garden and learned the story of creation in the VBS. They all seemed to enjoy the activities. It was fun to see Gualege at 'school' with me. He also enjoyed it.

The teacher training went very well! This week I am sharing different classroom management techniques. Although the style of teaching is very different in Haiti, all the teachers seem to be enjoying the training and appreciative of what is shared. An adoptive mom had teacher supply bags emblemed with the name of the school and filled with supplies. Mommy Duncan, the village matriarch was the first to receive one and was very appreciative as were the other teachers. I have enjoyed this teaching position very much and may pursue it more when I am back home.

I will be starting the adult bible study shortly. I hope that the adults I have met in these few days will feel comfortable enough with me to join me in my study. Please pray for this.
I will post pictures tomorrow, I promise!!!