Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Little Girl Named Precious

Didn't really get much sleep last night due to the mouse being in my room we go again. I was having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep due to all the noise the mouse was making, not so much squeaking, but more so the sounds of all the things she/he was running into. Yeah so woke up this morning with a giant headache. Was not fun. Had a huge breakfast, toast with peanut butter (which they call "Mumba" in creole) and bananas, and omelet with onions. Way too much food! The cooks here spoil me. They are so nice, they especially make vegetarian dishes for me for each meal. Food here is definitely one huge thing that I do not have to worry about, which for that, I am very thankful.

After eating breakfast everyone started to clean the orphanage. I was really motivated to clean my room, after the whole mice situation this week. The girls helped me pushed all the suitcases and furniture out into the hall way and started massive cleaning everything. I swept the floor and moped everything with bleached water. We didn't find any mice around, so they must have already left my room before we started cleaning. It is all cleaned out now, so I hope they do not return tonight. They tend to disappear during the day and return in the night time. There is still that hole on the bottom of my door, no real way to block it....let's pray they found some other place to occupy their night time activities. (I am typing this phrase and I see the mouse poking its head out from behind the continues for tonight)

After cleaning, the girls decided that Lori was not girly enough and needed her fingernails and toenails painted. They only had red and pink colors, which I do not like at all, so I provided another alternative, blue, to the mix. They were all excited to sit down and paint my nails for me. I can't remember the last time I had my nails painted???? It's been years. So I was happy to see all the teen girls giggling and having a fun time painting my nails. They did a really good job, they look glamorous. It's official, Metallic Blue is so the way to go right now!!! I took a little nap after breakfast, mainly due to the food coma that started to set in....

The children came back from Kenscoff this afternoon. It was glorious, everyone picking up a baby or a toddler and heading back to their brand new painted rooms. All the children were so excited, but most of them were wet from the long car-ride. So it was to the showers directly. All 13 children needed to shower and be changed, and there were only three aunties (caregivers) for all the children. I stepped in to help and every single child did not like to be washed in the sink. I totally don't blame them since it is always cold water. I mean I always have to prep myself before I step into the showers here and then the feeling at first with the freezing water is like shock, so totally understand the outburst of cries today. We got all the children washed and changed and I started to play with all of them. Oh my goodness are they cute! I was having a blast. I started to see one by one, the aunties were leaving, and I started to ask myself, " there going to be another shift arriving soon????" The answer was NO. The situation was that one of the aunties was really sick and had to be hospitalized and the other two aunties are taking their summer vacations this coming week....and another one was leaving until tomorrow afternoon....yeah so that only leave one auntie for all 13 children, whom are all under the year of 2.5 years old.....yeah....not too cool. We were already understaffed, but this was pretty ridiculous situation. So I stayed all afternoon and night to help her out. She was definitely overwhelmed and with good reason. When the only auntie that was left by the end of the afternoon went to go eat, I somehow found myself alone with 13 babies....that was quite a sight. It wasn't easy, but very fulfilling to know that they were all depending on you to comfort them.

We had several babies and toddlers that are in serious need of regular physical therapy. One of those children is a little girl whom I will refer to as Precious (the names of the children will be changed in my blog to protect their true identities). When you look at her you instantly know something is not so right with the child. Her eyes do not shift normally and her limbs are lacking normal muscle growth. She is not able to walk by herself, but has learned in the past couple of months how to hold herself up to standing on the cribs. The newly hired physical therapist will be coming on the first of September, so I am super psyched for that. It will be very good for the children and it will make a huge difference. So Precious is developmentally delayed across the spectrum, but she has a lot of potential. From just interacting with her today, she has done so many things that the aunties have never seen, and it is all due to one-on-one attention with the child. I cannot stress enough just how important some direct attention to a child can make the biggest difference in their level of development. So I spent all afternoon and night with this little girl and she was a rock star. She was so motivated to walk, so we went on a walking adventure. She was getting faster and faster as each hour went on. We would walk for 5 to 10min and rest. I sang to her and she started to repeat a lot of the sounds that I was making in the songs. We would tap our hands together and our feet together. She didn't laugh or smile at all when she first came, and after 3 hours with her, she was giggling like never before. I was so happy to see her laughing and making so much progress. I could see it in her eyes that she was so proud of herself and extremely happy to have someone recognizes her potential. She responds very well to the leg massages that I was giving her and she started to be able to straighten her legs out afterward. I was ecstatic. She would tilt her head backwards to look at me whenever she straightened her legs out, as if to see if I was watching what she was doing. She gave me the biggest smiles and giggles ever by the end of the night. I gave kisses and hugs and told her just how proud of her I was. I felt like she understood. I could see it in her eyes, saying "I did it."

This was the feeling that I needed all week. This was what I came to Haiti for. To see those big eyes looking back at me and knowing that, at least for that one child, I am indeed making a small difference in her life.

Thank you Precious for giving me the opportunity to help you achieve your goals!


  1. Great post Lori! Awesome to see the kids are coming back :) - Pat Murray

  2. she is precious and you are precious too.
    great to see all the little ones coming back.
    they will keep you busy and happy!

    little mouse, please leave lori alone, find some place to stay.

    love mom+