Thursday, September 1, 2011

1 Month Celebration Lunch

It’s official! Today hits the one month marker for my year in Haiti. It has passed by fairly fast with lots of daily surprises. The mice problem seems to be regulated for the moment, and I hope that continues to be that way. I did my first month’s report of all the children at the Kenscoff crèche, all 37 of them!!!! I will continue next week with the rest of the children at Lamardelle, which will make 50 reports total! It feels good to know that I can be the eyes and ears for the adoptive parents, while being the voice for the children here in Haiti. It gives me great pleasure to be able to help everyone out in a small way! I am very grateful for this opportunity!
So yesterday was a very fun filled day. I woke up at 4am in the morning to get ready for the day. At 4:30am I was making myself a sandwich for breakfast later. I only had Peanut Butter and Mustard around…so I thought…what the heck, let’s give it a try. Charlot, the Lamardelle driver, picked me up at 5am to go to the office at Delmas 41. We got to the office at around 6:45am and I sat down to wait for Roberto, the Kenscoff driver, to come pick me up again. Delmas 41 is the meeting point between the Kenscoff crèche and the Lamardelle crèche. While I waited I took out my awesome sandwich and started to eat it. To my surprise, it was super good!!! I love mustard, so this just really proves anything with mustard on it is a winner in my book. I haven’t had good old American Yellow Mustard in so long. In France, they only sell Dijon Mustard which is spicy. Thanks to Frank, I could enjoy my yellow mustard in Haiti!

Roberto arrived at around 7:30am and we waited for Brunette, Director of Social Services for FEJ, to meet up with us. We picked her up on the side of the road and headed to a potential adoptive parent’s house. On the way to the house, we ended up passing by both the ex-president’s house and the current president’s house. President Martelly lives in Peguy-Ville, which was just right next to where we were heading to, Pelerin. There were UN military, Haitian Police escorts, and lots and lots of black SUVs parked outside his home. One of the favorite colors of the president is pink, so you can see many sections of the community painted in pink.

We finally got to the adoptive parent’s house at around 9am and the house was beautiful! Oh my goodness, it had high ceilings, wooden frames, and furniture to die for! It was elegant and extravagant. It was an amazing house. So Brunette and I were there to meet up with another social worker Ms. Nelson to conduct a home study for the potential adoptive parent. The background of the couple was very intriguing. The father is in Haiti because he works for the United Nations here in Haiti and the mother is working on a contracted job. The father was born in Spain, being half Spanish and half French. The mother was born in California and later moved to Canada. They both met in France and got married there. Talk about a fascinating life right? I had a great time meeting the couple and getting to know them. They are wonderful people and the mother is helping us write grants to get more funds for the orphanage. The home study went really well, although the social worker was a little bit self-conscious and was afraid to really ask questions. I think she doesn’t have that much experience, so it was showing and making everyone feel kind of awkward. I tried to talk more with the adoptive parents to make them feel a little bit more comfortable. The couple was so welcoming and it was a pleasure to be in their home. We’ll be working more closely with them as the year goes on for their adoption dossiers. I cannot wait!

After the home study was finished Brunette and Roberto took me to a Chinese Restaurant in Petion-Ville, Haiti. It just happens that I had already visited this restaurant, Chez Wou (House of Wou), a couple of times when I was here with Tzu Chi Foundation. We all sat down and had an awesome meal. It was so nice of Brunette to invite me to a Chinese restaurant. She said that I have been eating only Haitian food this whole month, and she wanted me to have some familiar foods of my country. I was really touched and we celebrated my one month here at FEJ. We all had a blast and laughed and talked about all the adventures over this month. I was super excited because I ordered Tofu with vegetables. It has been soooooo very long since the last time I had tofu. I have missed eating Tofu everyday and this was a huge treat! I even had leftovers for dinner last night. I made the dish into a soup and it was awesome! My stomach was very very happy! Brunette and I both agreed that we shall do a small celebration like this once a month! Couldn’t agree more to that statement!

I ended up returning back to Lamardelle around 2pm and got right back to working on all the monthly reports! Oh boy, are there a lot! I worked and worked all night.
So one month has passed and I am enjoying every moment of it! The good and the not so great moments are what makes it so interesting. I am learning more about myself and pushing my limits in life. Like who knew I could fall back asleep after a mouse has just crawled over me??? Who knew right??? I sure didn’t. The children make me smile everyday and all the stress just melts away when I get a hug from them. I am here for them and boy is that worthwhile!

So here’s to one month and on my way to a great second. Ready, set, GO!!!


  1. It's only one month, have to wait for another 11 months to see you......that's the sad part. but very proud of what you fullfilled there and feel happy for you.

    i can't imagine there is such a fancy place in Haiti!

  2. Dear Lori: