From December 7, 2023
Thanks to too much administrative work, a 90-minute Zoom meeting, and feeding hungry squirrels…the Journal today is a little nutty.
From December 6, 2023
On Saturday, I confronted a familiar and all-too-sad story of a child who was thrown away, left to die alone. We spent just over three hours dealing with the complexity of accepting a cute little girl who is still in diapers and who was left at a garbage dump by her teenage mother.
From December 5, 2023
All the photographs today’s Journal were taken on Saturday. I’ll begin with the sewing class. Every Saturday, a woman conducts an optional class for the older girls to learn how to sew and make their own clothing.
December 4, 2023
I successfully migrated from Haiti to Florida. Details of the journey are not needed…except the flight was delayed 2 hours and 20 minutes. I am back in my Vero Beach cocoon of silence and books…but with an empty heart as once again I am forced by the mindless and frustrating rules of the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) to travel to America without my wife.
From December 3, 2023
Most of my staff was just barely surviving before the economic downturn caused by unrelenting gang violence. Now they are really hurting. I want so much to give everyone a 15% raise…but that would imperil the operation. Beyond wildly expanding our donor base, things look bleak.
From December 2, 2023
Last Monday I was in the clinic and I noticed two huge boxes. I opened one. It was filled with wrapped Christmas presents for the kids. Yikes! It was even December yet and already the Christmas shopping for the kids was well under way.
From December 1, 2023
I wasn’t going to send a Journal today, because after just five days in Haiti, I was too exhausted to do much of anything. Also, on Monday and Tuesday I had two PTSD attacks which each left me with whoppers of a headache. Yesterday my new friend in Grand Rapids, Fr. Paul, sent me the quote included in today’s Journal because he loved the author’s “use of language.”
From November 30, 2023
In the long annals of miracles at Santa Chiara over the last 8½ years, what I saw yesterday morning—teenage girls learning to use a computer—must rank for me among the top ten. At our second home in Peguyville we rarely had electricity for more than ten hours a day. We had no internet connection, no running water, and most of the 22 kids living with us had never seen a toilet.
From November 29, 2023
Last month when Steph and I had our four-day getaway in a low-end hotel whose identity and location we did not reveal, we met a waiter who worked the breakfast and lunch hours. His service, manner, and attentiveness were far better than any of the other servers. At one meal, I asked the best waiter his name. He said, “Jerry.”
From November 28, 2023
On my last trip to Haiti, I was told I could not leave Santa Chiara. I was told the streets were too dangerous for me to drive to the Caribbean Market with Stéphanie. I gave he my credit card. Bernard drove her and Richard accompanied them to make sure she was safe. If I were driving the car, I might become a prime target.