Friday, November 18, 2011

Home visits and Haitian Volunteers Training

This morning we had a dedicated volunteer's meeting and training session for the 20 local volunteers who have Tzu Chi uniforms. We talked about how much work we have done over the 20 months since the January 12th, 2010 earthquake. We watched videos on individual volunteer's stories and different projects that are going on in Haiti. We told them that everything that they do is never lost. It is always documented and showed to the world. Literally, through Tzu Chi Media, the world is watching over Tzu Chi Haitian Volunteers and cheering them on every step of the way. We went over Master's philosophy and what it means to be a Tzu Chi volunteer. We also distributed more Bamboo Banks to the volunteers and told them to have good thoughts everyday. It is not about the money amount, but the actually good thought and the heart that goes into praying for no more disasters in the world, world harmony, and purifying our hearts to do better for others. We also went over how to properly bow to pay respect to Master Cheng Yen (Founder of Tzu Chi) and the Buddha. It was very nice to see all the volunteers again today and once again, I was the one translating everything to French/Creole. 
Curtis SB and I showed each of the volunteers how to properly sign their hands at the end of the third bow to Master and Buddha. I went around each one of them to correct the positioning of their fingers. 
We always need to round our fingers, so we do not poke others sharply and have a window of space to see out to the world. 
In the afternoon, we went out to the Stadium and Saint Alexandre areas in Port-au-Prince to do some home visits. I was especially excited to be able to go visit little Jennifer, Angel, and Mme. Rene this afternoon. I have not seen them for two months now and miss them dearly. For those of you who do not know the story of little Jennifer, she was 10 years old when I first met her back in February 2010, at our Tzu Chi Free Clinic in the National Soccer Stadium. She was carried in by two Haitian volunteers, unconscious and epileptic. She had a heat stroke and in turn caused her to have a seizure. About 15 minutes in, we see Mme. Rene, then a super pregnant woman run into the Free Clinic tent. She was inconsolable, just sobbing and yelling in French. I was the only person that could speak French at the time, so I ran over to console her. She told me that she already lost a daughter, she cannot lose another one. It turns out that little Jennifer was under the rubble of the earthquake for three days with a little sister. Little Jennifer later told me that she was holding onto her little sister's hand when the earthquake hit. She felt her little sister's hand grab on really tight the first day and as the days went on, the grip got looser and looser, until the third day they were dug out, but her little sister had already passed away. It was an heartbreaking story. In order for me to distract the mother from her sadness, I started to ask about the baby in her stomach. I casually asked how many months have she been pregnant. She responded with 10 months!!! I thought that I heard wrong and kept asking, using fingers now. It was indeed 10 months! At the time, I called over for three doctors to look at her baby. You can see the facial features imprinted on her stomach and no matter how hard the doctors pushed the baby had no response. No movement what-so-ever! We all know that if the baby was alive, there would be a lot of movement in the belly. The mother told me that the baby had not moved since the day of the earthquake, because she fell at the hospital. Long story short, she later got an ultrasound stating that her baby was healthy and 28 weeks along. I didn't know what to believe! I left Haiti at the end of March and in June I got an email from the Haitian volunteers stating that Mme. Rene gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I deemed him the miracle baby! 

The little girl is Jennifer. She is now 12 years old and a very smart little girl! The GIANT baby that you see in the picture is the miracle baby! He is 1 year and 5 months old now! Look how much he's grown!!!! 
Mme. Rene originally wanted to name the baby after me and I told her that it wasn't a good idea. So she  settled on Angel Lori Rene in the end. He is definitely an Angel through and through. 

We ended our day at one of the volunteer's, Jean Dennis', house. We visited his family and I got to see Patrick SB's God-daughter, Harmony! She is getting so big now and super cute! She is pretty like her mother for sure. It was nice to do home visits at all the volunteer's houses. It was good to know what conditions they were living in at the moment. 
Little Harmony. She says a giant hello to Godfather Patrick! 

What a super productive day! I am so grateful for all the opportunities and awesome people that I am surrounded by! 

1 comment:

  1. I was so moved when I saw the pictures of Jennifer's family. The miracle baby--Angel Lori Rene is a big boy now. Unbelievable!
    What a great reunion!

    Love mom+