Medical Update

From August 31, 2018

Little Jodeley is doing much better after the Tuesday night trauma of riding on a motorcycle to four hospitals while being very sick. Billy visited him in the hospital yesterday. Billy said Jodeley was very happy to see him, adding, “I could see the joy on his face.” Josette accompanied Billy and they brought him food and other things. Junior took them in his tap-tap, after taking Billy food shopping in the morning. Billy could not find the doctor so he was unable to get any information about the boy’s condition.

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A Very Welcomed Phone Call

From August 27, 2018

Yesterday I had a great phone call from Fr. John Dear, the former Jesuit and famous peace activist and popular author. We spoke for just under 90 minutes. It was a delightful conversation. He asked many questions about the Haiti mission and he committed to spending a week with me in Haiti sometime between November and January. He told me about his nationwide speaking tour for Pace e Bene. John and I first met at a Catholic bookseller’s convention in Chicago back in 2001.

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From August 26, 2018

I spent some time yesterday reading old Journals from 2015 and 2016. The following is the first part of a Journal entry was posted on November 23, 2016. It was titled “From Dorothy Day to a Disastrous Day.” Years later, car breakdowns and generator breakdowns still are a source of trouble. I confess that I often feel totally inadequate to the task of running a home for so many kids with so many problems and needs.

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Frightening Emergency in Haiti

From August 30, 2018

Around 1:30pm, I received a very distressing e-mail from Billy detailing a medical emergency one of the kids faced. I immediately called him. He said that he was in his office on Tuesday night
at around 6:30om, when Fabibi came running in to tell him that there was an emergency. A little boy named Jodeley needed to go the hospital right away because he was vomiting a lot and struggling to breath. Jodeley has only been with us a few months. He is 7 years old and small for his age. He recently broke his arm. When we brought him to the hospital for the arm they alerted us that his lung needed testing.

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School Days Are Coming…Maybe

From August 29, 2018

The beginning of the school year across Haiti is being threatened by the fact that the combination of the recent deadly protests and government failures have left many people unable to afford registration fees and the cost of books. Schools and parents are just not ready for a new school year, creating a situation of confusion and doubt about when many schools will reopen. The Adventist school is hoping to begin classes on September 3rd. Billy sent me photos of some of our kids being tested at the Adventist school on Monday in preparation for the beginning of the school year. This first photo shows the kids making the short walk to the school.

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The Spirit of St. Francis

From August 28, 2018

In my feeble effort to rest and do nothing, I did something I rarely do. On Friday night, I watched a film. The film was titled The Constant Gardener, which was set in Africa. I really had no idea what the film was about before I pressed play. The opening was set in a massive slum. As I watched, I suddenly had the feeling I had been in this slum. Within a few minutes, the film revealed it was set in Nairobi, Kenya, a city I had visited twice, back in 2000 and again in 2011. Moreover, the slum featured in the open of the film and throughout the film was the Kibera slum, which is the largest slum in all of Africa. No wonder the place looked so familiar. I had photographed and filmed extensively in this hellish slum. As I watched this beautifully crafted film, my mind kept creeping back into my experience in the Kibera slum. I thought about how so much of what I saw in Kenya and Uganda (where I made three trips in 2009) was actually worse than the poverty and suffering in Haiti and the dreadful Cité Soleil slum.

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Lazy Boy

From August 25, 2018

Upon leaving the international arrivals terminal after clearing customs on Thursday afternoon, I felt I was really dragging as I made my way to the sixth floor of the parking structure. I was really walking very slowly. Each step felt burdensome. I put my two pieces of carry-on luggage in the trunk. Rather than get in the car and begin the two-hour drive north to Ft. Pierce, I wondered over the low wall of the garage, took a deep breath, and watched the planes taking off and landing. I thought about Tamysha.

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Marmalade is Back and Laughter Abounds

From August 22, 2018

Backstory. Marmalade (a nick name I gave her because I could not pronounce her real name) was a homeless woman camping out near our first little apartment in the small slum in Peguville. She had three young daughters, Lysa, Sara, and Laura. We let them stay in our place. They were soon joined by five very young kids who lived in dire conditions.

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