meet mona. age 39. one of my friends who just got to move into a house after living in a tent for almost a year. she's one of my favorite patients of all time (okay, i know i say things like that all the time, but i really mean it this time! :) she has a joy about her that is remarkable, and LOVES people. she is soooo grateful to all the americans who came down after the earthquake (she tells me that every time i see her), because she says she would have been dead otherwise. in the earthquake, mona was crushed under her house for a few days before being rescued, and didn't make it to a hospital for almost a week after that. it is truly hard to wrap my mind around this happening to such a dear friend of mine.
well, in the earthquake, she lost a leg, and two front teeth. mission of hope has provided her a new limb, and thanks to God, she is walking again!
now, this may seem really silly and minute compared to losing a leg, but mona is extremely ashamed to smile, because of her teeth. above is the first picture she's ever let me take showing her teeth, and whenever i am just hanging out with her, she will hide her face when she laughs. i've tried multiple times to get visiting dentists to see her to make a tooth, but they say they don't have the proper equipment here. i've done the research, though, and mona could go to a haitian dentist and get two new teeth for $300. that may be a lot, but i really think it would be so healing to mona, restoring something that has been lost. it may seem superficial, but shoot, if i was missing a tooth, i would for sure get a replacement, and i'm sure we all would! :) but in haiti, when you barely make enough to eat, mona will never see this as an option for her.
so, i'm wondering if any of our friends would like to help with this. iF you want to help mona get new teeth so she can smile unashamedly, please let me know! i will be home over christmas, and will bring any money you'd like to contribute back with me in january.. mona will be thrilled! :) :) :)
The countryside in Haiti is very quiet. Today there are almost no cars on the road, and most people are staying home. There is a rare December cloud cover, with occasional drizzle, and although there is much unrest in Port-au-Prince, where we are feels like an ideal peaceful day on a Caribbean island.
I don’t know what the news in the US is reporting, and I am no expert on political processes, corrupt governments, or Haitian history, but I am assuming the news is showing burning tires and rowdy crowds. That is accurate, but the real news here is that we are witnessing a country that wants to be heard. The electoral corruption here is at a level I can’t believe is still possible with the information technology of modernity. Last week, the people tried to vote and attempted to do so peacefully – facing intimidation, ballot stuffing, and violence from the government backed party. Still, those who have seen other elections here say Election Day was the calmest one in Haiti’s history.
Unfortunately though, the results of the Haitian election were announced on Tuesday, and it is widely understood that the numbers were cooked. The US Embassy has even stated that the elections “are inconsistent with the published results” and the Haitian people know this too. My new friend, Frank, who lives in Port-au-Prince and daringly ventured out on Tuesday night to report on the situation, wrote about his experience after the election results were announced. Frank’s experience with the fraudulent results corroborates exactly what we have seen and heard, including a classified, chance conversation I had with a member of the US State Department (that’s all I can say!)
As anyone would be, the Haitians are upset. They want their voices heard. They want peace. The phrase, “nou bouke” in Creole, which means “we are worn out” is common these days, as would be expected after the year they have had with the earthquake, hurricane scares, Cholera outbreaks, and now political shams. And the beauty we see is that Haitians refuse to give up. Ever. The people are resilient survivors, and though extremely tired, they will not give up their desire for peace, voice, and hope.
Thus we see, as all of the news outlets are saying, there is much unrest in Port-au-Prince. Unfortunately, the unrest seems to be the focus of the news from Haiti, and not much is being said of the injustice going on within the election office, nor of the noble desire of the Haitian people to participate in democracy, which is the driving them to protest the corruption that is so clearly seen. And while I am not condoning the violence or the damage to property, I do think the demonstrations are the attempted cry from the tired voice of the people who are speaking out the only way they know how.
We will wait to see how the days and weeks ahead pan out. As of now, there are roadblocks throughout Port-au-Prince, and all flights are cancelled again for today. Please pray for Haiti. The people deserve a voice. But at this point, corruption seems to be trumping democracy.
abby and i finally finished decorating/designing the 3 cords store at mission of hope, and we think it's pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves! check it out:
my favorite part is the cords hanging from a tree branch (abby's idea).... shoot, wait til this room gets a paint job and it will be SET!!! :)
in other three cords news, the ladies are doing AWESOME. they are absolutely loving working every day, and even today expressed how they don't even WANT free food; they'd rather have a job and buy food with it. they are so proud of what they make, and it is so fun to be a part of it. next week, we are hoping to take them all to the beach for a christmas party! if they agree to it, it will be amazing, as culturally, they are now told they shouldn't be at the beach anymore, with only one leg. i'll keep you posted. we are praying for good times, courage, and emotional healing that only Jesus can provide.
meet sultane. one of the most impressive people on the planet.
sultane came to us about 8 months ago, wanting two new prosthetic legs, as hers were digging into her knees. well, we checked it out, and it was one of the gnarliest things we'd ever seen. she had a hole in each knee about an inch deep. after much encouraging, and i mean MUCH encouraging, she agreed to not wear those legs until her knees healed, and then we'd make her new ones. we gave her a wheelchair, and a little bike that you propel with your arms, so she could get around. She came for wound care about 3 times a week, often bringing me oranges and lemons, and things she crocheted (she can crochet even though she barely has fingers!!!), and promising me she wouldn't put on her old legs, as she knew they would set her back. well, with tears in my eyes, i can finally share with you all that SULTANE YOUYOUTE is FINALLY walking on two legs again!!!!!!! here she is in the background, as david is casting my legs so we can make the cosmetic covers for her legs:
And here are her finished legs!
And here she is holding our precious little puppy! (i meant to blog about that a few days ago... yep, we got a puppy, a haitian puppy, and he is bad. but we love him anyways). i WISH this internet could handle uploading videos, because i would show you all the video of sultane dancing like nobody's business... BUT, we'll have to settle on this picture instead: