Monday, May 30, 2011

Travel Day?

Today was supposed to be a travel day, but it ended up being so much more than that.

Up at 5:30am to finish packing up the work room. Typed a Waiver of Liability and Release Form for the families to sign after we met with Michaelle and she hinted at needing it.

Said goodbye to the family, then the crazy guy and Sienna (housekeeper) decided they wanted to come see the site today. There was a big miscommunication - they thought they should get a shelter. Aye. When we got to the site later, this was cleared up as they decided they were above it. Ok, fine.

To the gas station to pick up Johnbern's friend, Danny, through the puddle we've been driving through everyday for the last month.  Danny will be riding back to the DR with us and also speaks good english. Then on to the land.

The Daily Commute.
Yesterday we told the President of the old camp he could bring out 5 more families to be interviewed... he brought 6.  Kendra and I had a team meeting with Xiomara, Johnbern, and Danny, then the President and Pastor. We decided to divide and conquer - she worked through Danny with the President and Pastor to move the back row of houses while Johnbern and I interviewed the 6 new families.

Watching them try to move the house made me tired. The UN security showed up at the right time to help. Only 1 was moved over 1-2 hours, so we called the Paraguayans in hopes they would rescue damsels in distress. They are going to try to come out this week sometime. Whew. We need the houses to be moved so that ACTED can work on the better temporary shelters or plywood homes.

Johnbern and I interviewed the 6 new families. I was only unsure about 1. It is interesting to hear what people were doing before the earthquake and how they've been living the last year. One woman started to cry as she told us about how she lost her husband 8 years ago and how alone she feels. In addition, she has a serious skin condition. She told Johnbern how sad she is and while I held her hand I told her she had come to the right place. He added a few words of encouragement and we had Dr. Xiomara check her.

Aristil from Water International showed up when Kendra was talking with Bony about he and Jodicleor's shelter. Today has been like all the rest - extremely hectic and on the fly!

I saw Kevnas again today (boy with the hurt foot) and guess what - more dirt in the wound!  He tried to run away from me, but I hunted him down with Johnbern.  I made him look in my eyes and Johnbern translated what I was saying.  He could tell I was mad.  It makes me crazy that his mother wouldn't take him to HELP (right next to his "home") to get treatment, but when we do it all the time or drive him to a clinic, the next day it is exposed again. I know he is only 12, but I'm frustrated that I made Kendra take the time to check on him or drive him to a clinic and no one is even taking care of it.

Johnbern had to leave so I drove him to the main road. He shared about his mom and 8 sisters and how he doesn't want them to live with her anymore. I can't imagine the burden he must feel wanting to help them, but instead helping us for "free".  While I was gone, Pierre (the reason we stayed) from ACTED showed up and left. For staying late for him, he was 2 hours late and the meeting was less than 15 minutes.

Distribution of items to the new families, final instructions, then the Pastor prayed for our trip. He began to sing "Bind us Together" and other people came around. We all held hands and prayed. It was beautiful after our crazy day... getting things together and making sure they felt good until our next trip.

To the border...that is mostly under water. It's crazy they are still letting people pass at this border crossing of Jimani. Also, it's market day! Driving toward the border about 4pm, we really didn't know what to expect. Lots of water and semi-trucks.

People walking back after Market Day.

At the Haitian building, they have added a "bridge" of sorts to walk over the rising water. 

With the road mostly under water, there wasn't exactly a place to park. I took the wheel to get out of the way of passing buses, but had to drive through a massive pool of water. To get to us, Kendra rode on the side of a semi and jumped into the passagenger side of Floyd - I wish I had my camera out!

Through all checkpoints in record time -market day or not. On Dominican side by 5:10pm. Stopped in Jimani to get fried chicken and plantains to go.

The drive was long and mostly in the dark.  Danny told us more about him, then watched his personal DVD player. Kendra and Xiomara rehashed some things from the week in Spanish while I updated my notes and took a short nap.

Kendra got tired a little over halfway through the drive, so I took over.  We dropped Danny off in Santo Domingo and I listened to music the rest of the drive home.  Xiomara decided to take a taxi from Jarabacoa.  We pulled into the driveway about 1:15am and I scraped Floyd on their cement security wall.  Nooo!  After driving the whole way in the dark with no street lamps up the mountain, something happens in the driveway!  It didn't look pretty.  Shoot!

To bed in shock.

Morning Update of Floyd:  Floyd is fixable for cheap in the DR.  Thank you, Lord!  I told Kendra I would pay for it, so this morning she took it in for an estimate and told me it would cost a little over $5,000...pesos!  WHEW pesos, not dollars!  Only $130 US.

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