Kenep season!

20140821-083925-31165307.jpg

These are Kenep! Not to be confused with our good friends, the Knepps😄. Kenep are a little fruit, grown on trees, in the Caribbean. The fruit is tart, yet sweet. They are in season every August. We love these little guys, and keep a bowl of them on the table, to snack on.
They are unlike any fruit we have ever eaten. To eat them, you bite the outside, green skin, which splits the skin, and exposes the fruit. Then you “pop” it into your mouth.

20140821-085531-32131789.jpg

You eat the flesh, covering the seed, then spit the seed out of your mouth. The fruit is kinda like the texture of the inside of a grape.

20140821-085923-32363131.jpg

They are a fun, little treat.

20140821-090229-32549656.jpg

Updates:
We received the container with all of our food and supplies last week. We have most everything put away and organized! We are thankful it arrived so quickly this year.

The latest excitement happened just this morning……I walked into our pantry and I saw a scorpion on the floor!!! Neither Bri nor I, had the guts to step on it, so I quickly ran down to the depot, (while Bri stood guard), got one of the Haitian bosses, and brought him to the pantry to dispose of the critter. He did a fine job, and I was thankful someone was around to help us out. The weird thing about scorpions, is that everyone here says they are rare and they don’t see them, but this is the second one I have found, inside my house in 1 yr!!! And, just last week, I had everything out of my pantry, and had the entire room cleaned from top to bottom! So, where did he come from??? Needless to say, this started a lively conversation- would you rather find a tarantula or scorpion in your house???

Miles for Haiti

I want to share pics from an awesome event that was held this summer. On July 4th, Ed & Bonnie Sauder hosted their annual triathlon, with this years donations going to build roofs for churches/schools in Haiti. It was a very successful event, as well as fun and inspiring. The cool thing about the tri, was anyone could participate, and choose to do 1 or 2 events, or all 3. There were a wide range of althetes, varying from the very serious ‘Ironman’ participates, to families and kids. The morning started at 7am with rules, directions for the course, a few comments from Scott about our work here in Haiti, then a prayer.

20140809-150518-54318732.jpg

20140809-150519-54319744.jpg

Participants getting ready for the swim

20140809-150717-54437188.jpg

20140809-150716-54436193.jpg

The bikers.

20140809-151206-54726061.jpg</

This is a pic of the kids, who finished the kids tri. They worked hard by swimming, biking 6 miles, then walking/running 1.5 miles. Way to go!!

20140809-151424-54864576.jpg

A huge thanks to the Sauders, Zimmermans, Otts, the sponsors, the participants, and all who helped make the event a success! God was glorified, and many Haitians will be grateful for many years to come.

20140809-152058-55258140.jpg

A “Dan” reunion

20140809-152057-55257250.jpg

20140809-152056-55256234.jpg

We’re Home!

Here we are at the start of our day on Wednesday. We left Roanoke at 3:45am. A huge thanks to our chauffeur, who got up extra early to take us to the airport!
We made it safely to our home in Cite Lumiere, Wednesday at 9 pm. It was a long day of travel, and we were exhausted, but it was good to be home.

20140802-160556-57956071.jpg

This is a picture of our house from the side/back. We live on the second story, on the right side of the picture. The top story, is the roof, where the kids play and ride ripsticks, in the evening.

20140802-160652-58012048.jpg

Thursday morning, we awoke to a “tap, tap, tap” on our gate at 7:15. (That’s 6:15am, IL time). It was Bos Mario, with a gift of bananas and fresh bread. Later in the morning, Mamize stopped by to welcome us home. She was so thankful that we returned to Haiti, she sang a song of praise and said a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Thank you for your prayers for safety during our travels back. We are settling in and getting adjusted back to life in Haiti. The heat seems to be one of our biggest challenges for now. Pray our bodies will adjust to our new climate.
Thought you might want to see a picture of the sunset Thursday night.

20140802-162223-58943199.jpg

Bon Vwayge!!

As I write this, we are sitting in Port-au-Prince airport, anxiously awaiting our flight to Miami. It’s hard to believe we have lived in Haiti for the past 9 months! As we look back, we can see how God has faithfully provided, every step of the way!
The last few weeks have been packed full of activity! On the fun side, snorkeling, having friends over, game nights, last visits to the orphanage, etc. We have also had some very emotional times. Madame Lorette, our cook, has been sick and her newborn boy was close to death and has been hospitalized for the past week. God has presented us with some very unique experiences as well as exposure to culture through daily visits to the pediatric tent. Thankfully, the baby, though still hospitalized, has gained strength, and it appears he will pull through.
Yesterday, our Haitian bosses and friends blessed us with songs, prayers, benedictions, and even a few heartfelt tears. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family through prayer, mail, care packages, and emails. We are looking forward to sharing our world with you this summer.

20140528-102220-37340812.jpg

20140528-102228-37348776.jpg

20140528-102229-37349572.jpg

20140528-102233-37353692.jpg

20140528-102230-37350394.jpg

20140528-102235-37355124.jpg

20140528-102232-37352708.jpg

20140528-102232-37352532.jpg

20140528-102231-37351510.jpg

20140528-103924-38364065.jpg

20140528-103923-38363040.jpg

20140528-104454-38694389.jpg

20140528-104455-38695225.jpg

20140528-104705-38825999.jpg

20140528-104709-38829272.jpg

20140528-104708-38828453.jpg

20140528-104707-38827613.jpg

20140528-104706-38826802.jpg

The Haitian Bosses

We are so thankful for the Haitian bosses that work for the MEBSH construction department. There are 4 full time bosses, Mario, Elor, Ezekiel, and Verell. Those who have been to Haiti on work trips, probably know them. In Haitian culture, boss is the name given to any given worker, in charge of an area. It has been a pleasure to get to know and work with this group of Christian men. In the 9 months Scott has worked with them, he has learned to appreciate each of their different talents and abilities. Mario especially likes to give Scott a hard time about his creole, and has forced him to pray in creole at morning devotions. They are much easier on us girls!
Today, Brent & Alisha, along with Scott & I took the opportunity to show our appreciation to the bosses, by taking them and their wives to Port Salut for lunch and beach time. It was neat to be with them on a social level and get to know their wives. We hope they felt appreciated! I think it was a special day for all of us!

20140520-180912-65352197.jpg

Boss Mario & Boss Elor

20140520-181240-65560343.jpg

Boss Ez and his wife

20140520-181444-65684656.jpg

Boss Verell and his wife

20140520-182806-66486863.jpg

Celebrating Chloe!

Chloe first birthday in Haiti was great! She took Death by Chocolate dessert into school, which the Haitian kids loved! She also got to sit on the throne, (the teachers chair) for the whole day. For supper, she choose Stromboli and cookie skillets for dessert. Her favorite present was a pink Ripstick.

The ‘throne’

20140516-084331.jpg

Haitian cake that Mamize made her

20140516-084549.jpg

Our ripstick gang

20140516-084638.jpg

We also went hiking to Tet Lakil. It was a great day, hiking back to the freezing cold, natural springs.

20140516-084833.jpg

20140516-084849.jpg

After hiking to the spring, we explored the river on our way back. We had several new adventures, including floating down the river with a miniature waterfall, forging our own path through the “jungle-like” forrest, and climbing small rock walls. We don’t have many pics of the river adventure, because we didn’t want our phones and cameras to be wet.

20140516-085050.jpg

20140516-085102.jpg

As usual, we drew lots of attention, and this is a picture of some of our “followers”.

20140516-085343.jpg

We are so thankful for our Clover girl, and are blessed to have her in our family. We had fun celebrating her!

20140516-090517.jpg

A few of our favorite things…

We would like to share a few of our “favorite” Haitian products with you.

First, is fruit! We LOVE Abricot, Mangoes, and Starfruit. (Yes, we left out Papaya!!)

20140503-151731.jpg
Abricot are the brown fruit on the left, mangoes are on the right, and you can probably guess which are the Starfruit.

This is a mango tree.

20140503-152049.jpg

Next, is a chocolate sandwich cookie, with a yummy, minty, creamy middle. It is similar to a mint Oreo, and the closest thing to a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie, we have tasted for a long time!

20140503-153044.jpg

The last product is an energy drink, called Toro. This is reserved for Scott only! The girls are no longer allowed to drink it. (you can ask Chloe about that story sometime :)) He prefers the ‘Citron’ (or lime flavor) flavor, but we haven’t been able to find any for 5 or 6 months.

20140503-154008.jpg

The truth is, although we are thankful for these products, we are looking forward to being back in the states, where we can get lots of our familiar favorites.

Haitian Schwann’s man

It’s taken awhile, but after 7.5 months, we have figured out how to get an occasional ice cream treat! This man comes around to our house 1-2x’s/week, and we can buy different types of popsicles. They are individually wrapped, and yes, he carries them all around in that cooler on his head! We buy them for 25 gourds, or 47 cents US.

20140422-161716.jpg

The second “treat” we have tried is a Sno cone. It does seem a bit sketchier than a pre-wrapped Popsicle.

20140422-162415.jpg

This man, actually used a hand shaver and shaved ice off of a large block of ice. Next he put it in a cup, and asked if we wanted “red or pineapple” syrup. Red syrup??? The girls said, “you mean strawberry, raspberry, or cherry?” Nope, it was just “red”. It really wasn’t very good, so we haven’t tried it again.

Needless to say, we are eager to see a
Dairy Queen, Uncle Bobs, Coldstone, or Baskin-Robbins sign!!

Overflowing with thankfulness!

Last week, we were fortunate to host a work team from our hometown of Roanoke! It was an awesome week! The team worked very hard, along side of the Haitians to finish the largest roof this year.
The roof was for the school and church at LSM’s Cancer Redemption Project. Here are a few fun facts for the project….
17,230 linear ft of lumber used
1730 sq ft of plywood for gussets
330 – 12 ft pieces of roof tin (15,840 sq ft)
Approx 600 pounds of nails!!
Bumps, bruises, cuts, and bent nails -we lost count!
Most importantly, we believe God was glorified, and many children were blessed by the efforts made.
Here are before and after pics.

20140410-112222.jpg

20140410-112341.jpg
More pics from the week

20140410-112716.jpg

20140410-112758.jpg

20140410-112826.jpg
The ladies hard at work on the benches and school desks.

20140410-112934.jpg

20140410-113005.jpg

20140410-113049.jpg
Lunch time!

20140410-113324.jpg

20140410-113338.jpg

On Sunday, we had the priveledge of worshipping with the parents and children who live at the homes of hope, as well as touring their homes.

20140410-113600.jpg

20140410-113618.jpg

20140410-113638.jpg

20140410-113706.jpg

The ladies did a great job on the benches, and finished early! So, we took the opportunity to have a fun day of visiting the local market, touring and shopping at the domestic center, and having lunch at our house.

20140410-114013.jpg

20140410-114031.jpg

The last day was spent touring the hospital at Bonn Finn in the morning, followed by a drive to Port Salut for lunch and beach time.

20140410-114405.jpg

20140410-114452.jpg

There were lots of special times throughout the week. One of the best things, was that Bri’s best friend Elly came with the team. Bri and Elly were able to spend a lot of time together and reconnect. We were so blessed to be able to share our lives with those we love. We appreciate all the effort that was made, and all the gifts, hugs, and love that the Roanoke team brought with them.
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Col 2: 6-7

20140410-115631.jpg

20140410-115708.jpg

20140410-115724.jpg

20140410-115737.jpg

Birthdays!

It’s hard to believe our “baby” is 14! We celebrated by taking a bunch of Bri’s friends to the beach at Port Salut. It was a great day to swim and play volleyball. We are so thankful for her, and are blessed to be her parents.

20140325-114901.jpg

20140325-114948.jpg

I had a special birthday this year, for many reasons!
1.I had the Roanoke team here!
2.I woke up to my kitchen being fully decorated with balloons, streamers, pompons, table cloth, fun plates, and napkins!
3.I had an inbox FULL of love and birthday wishes!
4.I had a yummy, double chocolate cake!
5.Madame Lorette baked me a Haitian cake and gave me a vase with flowers! (see below- notice the vase/flowers)
6.I had lots of gifts from family and friends, sent down with the team!
Thanks to everyone, who helped make it a wonderful birthday!

20140405-142335.jpg

We celebrated Mamize’s birthday 4/1. We made her a chocolate cake, per her request, and sent it home for her to share with her family and friends. We sang to her, and even had her blow out candles! It was fun to celebrate with her!
20140405-142716.jpg

Monday, is Madame Lorette’s birthday. She also requested a chocolate cake :) We are looking forward to spoiling her next week! Pics to come!