This is our first year of having a church school. It is separate from the school at HCH, and is affiliated with the church that we attend here in Haiti. This school is supported by a church that is pastored by Mike and Corrine Mannes, a family who recently brought their two boys home from Haiti. The project is being run by Steve Johnson, Canada side, and I am what you all the go-between for them. The school started with first and second grade, and the children that attend this school are those who would NOT have been able to attend school this year due to their parents not having the funds to send them. The church that supports the school also funds their uniforms, books and everything else they need for their education. It costs about $150 to send a child to school in Haiti, and this is a large amount when your annual cash flow for the entire year is about $300. So, this school is a blessing for many children, as for most of them it is the first time they have ever had the chance to atttend school.
They also provide a hot lunch every school day. Graduation day was really exciting for the children. Lori and I were very happy to be able to attend and see what they accomplished. There was a prize given to the child who made the highest grades over the whole year, and also a prize given to those children with perfect attendance. There were 11 children who were not absent, out of 54, which was a high percentage!! The church that supports them gave each child a homemade backpack stuffed with school supplies, toys, toothbrush/toothpaste, facecloths, and other wonderful surprises. The children with perfect attendance recieved a monetary gift and a small toy to encourage them to study more and attend school regularly. For the first graduation from this school, it went very smoothly and even started on time!! The parents were so appreciative of the support this school provides and the gifts that were sent from so far.
Berto is smiling more and responds a lot when you talk to him. His skin is looking much much better. He is eating cereal very well and blended foods. Every day we can see an improvement! He has got quite the personality. Attached is a recent picture of him
This is Bedza. He is 6 years old and came to HCH when he was just 2 years old. Wednesday he will be leaving to go to Miami to meet his new parents and start a new life. He has met them on a number of occasions and is excited to be heading to Canada, though not totally sure what it all means. Please pray the his transition will be smooth.
This is Samuel, Bedza's younger brother. He was a newborn when he came and has spent his whole life so far at HCH. He will be going to meet up with he and Bedza's adoptive family in the states, and they will be accompanied by Melinda and I. Please pray as HCH is the only home he has ever known.
This is Patricia and Patricia. She's a little girl who I got to name in the neighbourhood. We actually took her mother to another hospital as she was bleeding, and shortly after she had a c-section. The baby's father brought her here for us to name, and to show us that she had a sixth finger on each hand. After talking with them, we decided to remove the extra fingers.
Preparing to remove the finger on her left hand.
Today we removed the other finger, which was a little larger than the first. Melinda tied surgical thread around it and then removed it. Baby Patricia tolerated it very well and will be returning tommorrow to get it checked.
Berto arrived Sunday afternoon shortly after we arrived home from church. A pastor from a neighbouring church had called during church to ask if we could help a little baby. Melinda and I went down to look at him, and saw that he was covered with sores, probably scabies, and had scurvy. When Melinda scrubbed his feet, they were very black with dirt and covered with sores. We could also tell immediatly that there was some kind of brain injury affecting Berto. His eyes flutter constantly back and forth, and he is very small and thin, weighing in at 9lb 4oz at one year of age. Melinda gave him a bath and washed his hair and removed globs of dirt. He looked much better after his bath, and today is looking even better. He's being tube fed every 4 hours and tolerating it well. He tries to look at you when you say his name. He has a long way to go, so please pray for him.
Many of you have been asking how Mathieu's leg is doing. In case you are not aware of what happened, he injured himself on a tree branch and ended up with a severe infection in his leg. It is doing much better and he is now on oral antibiotics.
A little boy from the area known well to our family came to us with this problem:notice how swollen the right side of his bum is. We discovered that he had cellulitis, and he spent 3 days with us on IV meds to fight this infection. This infection likely started due to a bug bite that got infected. The fever is now gone and he was able to go home this afternoon, though he will be returning every morning for a few days to ensure the medication is working, and to recieve a new dose.
This baby's name is Esther. She came to us on Sunday morning at 14 hours old, and has an infection and is on oxygen and IV at the moment. We figure that she is post-term. She drinks very small amounts from a bottle, so the IV is supplementing that. Her parents had an unfortunate situation which caused them to give her up for adoption.