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Boxes and Tears

Posted by Kathi on Monday, February 27, 2012 | Comments 3

Boxes

 

Not sure, but think the tears outnumbered the boxes!
No one can accuse me of traveling light. And only 2 of those bags have personal items.  There are many things that I am grateful for, but one of them is having wonderful friends who help me. A colleague of mine at American Airlines graciously allowed me to check all 11 boxes straight through to Port au Prince today. The boxes contain donated items for us to set up the orphanage – donations from the National Junior Honor Society at Amelec’s school, Copper Ridge. They collected so many things and I am able to take a lot of it with me on this trip, which will be a huge blessing as we finish up the orphanage and get the bedrooms and bathrooms ready for 65 children.

Speaking of school, this morning’s drop off was pretty rough. I was worried I might drive into someone with all the tears that clouded my vision. I tried to be brave and strong and cheery as the kids piled out of the car. But the minute they shut the doors – I lost it. Through the closed car windows I could hear Quinn shouting “I love you all the time for a million years” and I became a complete wreck. Fortunately, I pulled over and just let myself be sad for a bit. I will miss Amelec, Espie and Quinn so much, thank goodness I taught them how to skype.  Saying goodbye to Craig wasn’t easy either. Craig and I have been together for over 20 years, and we have never spent this long apart. His undertaking, will be every bit as challenging as mine – managing the kids, the house, the dog and trying to run his foundation and get a documentary complete.  We had another round of tears as we held each other and said our good byes.

As I sit at the Phoenix airport waiting to board, I know my journey is going to be filled with many lows and an occasional high. But I don’t walk alone. I am blessed to have an amazing family who loves and supports me, incredible friends who encourage and confidence that God will walk with me even in the dark valleys that I am sure await me in Haiti. Well, Bon Voyage and hopefully I will have internet tomorrow or Wednesday so I can give you my first update from Haiti.

Blessings,
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Perspective

Posted by Kathi on Friday, February 24, 2012 | Comments 0

Life is interesting… and it is all about perspective.

Five years ago, if you would have told me that I would be headed to Haiti knowing that I had no hotel lined up, no chance of power and a slim shot at running water – I would have laughed uproariously.  That just wasn’t me. But as I stare down my departure date (in 2 days) that is exactly where I find myself – not sure where I will be sleeping, no guarantee of electricity, and bucket showers as my bathing option – well, I guess it is fair to say my perspective has changed. And it’s changed because I have seen things that are much worse.

Today, as I was haggling with the credit card processing center in Haiti (who can’t seem to find a record of our credit card, besides the fact we have used it to the tune of $100,000.00 in Haiti), I just about lost my perspective. I mean, come on – my U.S. Bank has approved the transaction, what on earth could Haiti care if my credit card isn’t in “their system”.  After 3 hours of back and forth between Haiti and the U.S. banks, I let it go – buying  a generator just isn’t going to happen today – and it’s then that perspective hits. I think about all the people who live without power – and I realize that I will survive.  At some point, I will resolve the credit card issue and be able to buy a generator and have 24 X 7 power, but it hits me that I am one of the lucky ones in Haiti. And what is really amazing about that statement, is that as an American, 5 years ago – I would have never even thought to appreciate power.

So there you have it – life is interesting….. and having new and varied perspectives keeps us  grounded!

Blessings,
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Welcome to My Haiti Experience

Posted by Kathi on Thursday, February 23, 2012 | Comments 1

Welcome to our Blog!!
For the next 3 months you will be able to follow us as we build our Sustainable Community Project in Kenscoff, Haiti.

Good Morning or Bonjou!

In exactly 3 days I will be leaving for a three  month adventure in Haiti. While I am no stranger to Haiti, I have never visited for this length of time - nor have I been away from my family for this long. The preparation of making sure school work is planned, lunches ordered, afterschool activities scheduled and all the logistics of managing a family of 5 has kept me busy and pre-occupied. But now most of that is done and  the reality of my upcoming trip is starting to sink in. Stupid details are waking me up at night: I need to buy a bed, how will I prepare meals, how can I ensure that we will have power most of the time, and most importantly - will I be able to boil water for coffee each morning!! I know these questions seem selfish and narrowminded, but they also represent the simple realities of life in Haiti, things we never have to think about living in America. I also worry about how much we have to accomplish the first week that I arrive and if I am mentally ready for the long days and sleepless nights. God has opened many doors for our work in Haiti and I am grateful for what we are able to accomplish through Him, but I am also a bit nervous about all that awaits!

I will be sharing the details as frequently as I can, hoping that I am able to get a wireless router and modem purchased/donated as soon as I arrive. But then that leads back to one of my nagging questions - power. It is such a fleeting thing in Haiti - I guess one of my first stops will be to purchase a generator so we have power most of the time. Which reminds me, I  better increase the spending limit on our credit card, because I don't think I'm going to find anyone willing to donate a generator in the next few days. But once I have power figured out and internet working, I will use this blog to keep you updated on our work, the chidlren we serve, the Haitian community that works with us, the volunteers that contribute so much and the struggles of getting things accomplished in Haiti.  I will be living in a house C4C just leased in Fermathe (about a 10 minute drive from our project site).  This will become the Chances for Children Guesthouse and I am anxious to get it ready for all the friends, volunteers and adoptive families who are going to be visiting over the next year. This picture is from the back of the house, and you will notice (again) my obsession with power - I made sure to get a picture of the transformer, which is great, when ever we are able to get city power.

Stay tuned as the adventure begins....

Blessings,
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