Saturday, April 24, 2010

Only Post For the Week

Happy Sabbath.
Sabbaths are "down" days here at the hospital so I got some time to myself. I'm reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Go buy a copy! Immediately! And start reading it, IMMEDIATELY! But take your time as you go through it. It's not a book to read straight through. You have to meditate on what's being said. For example, on page 100 Chan quotes John Piper saying
"The critical question for our generation - and for every generation - is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?"

Yeah, deep stuff like that. It's a spiritually challenging read, but a must! At the very least go to the book website and read the sample chapter.

This is going to be my only post this week because:
1) It's gonna be a busy week at the hospital as I'm transitioning into some new jobs
2) You should spend all your "read David's Haiti blog" time reading Crazy Love instead.

Till next week!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Day in the Life

This is a series of entries that will describe my life at different points of time during my stay in Haiti.
Pt. 1: Probation: Summary of my days from April 9-April 22
0530-0700: Ignore the noise of people around me getting up to shower, do rounds, etc. (assuming no one has shaken me awake to get into the supply room
0700-0730: Alarm goes off. Roll out of bed. Wash my face, change into pants, eat a bar for breakfast, fill up the water bottle, and scavenge for some powdered drink to mix in my water.
0730-0745: Morning meeting with all the foreign volunteers. Includes worship thought and announcements of the day
0745-0800: Give the keys to “Awall”, hug Claude, talk to Brooke/Alex/Dr. Jack
0800-0805: Go to the supply room and greet everyone in Creole. (I’d type a transcript but I’d butcher the spelling)
0805-1230: Start by scrambling to get people their daily needs. Settle down and begin sorting/organizing/consolidating/send/deliver supplies. Periodically check in on the other rooms.
1230-1330: Go upstairs in search of food. Socialize/check my computer/nap while waiting 15-30 min for food to show up. Split a meal with Rebekah Peigols. Relax.
1330-1730: Back to the grind in the supply room.
1730-1800: Things start winding down, check the oxygen, chat with the workers.
1800-2300: Head upstairs, chill on the roof, talk to fellow volunteers, find something to eat, spend too much time on the internet checking Facebook, email, NBA stuff, etc., listen to Dallas’s depressing music as he works on his video, shower and get ready for bed.
2300-0530: SLEEP (unless I’m shaken awake for the keys)

Two weeks in, the probation period is over. Time for the real work to begin.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Big week ahead

It is Monday night. Probably the latest I’ve been up. We went to dinner tonight (That you Osh!) and when we got back I talked to Alex about my future responsibilities. By the end of this week I will be in charge of supplies/storage for the hospital. And I’ll be helping coordinate transportation to and from the airport. In the next few days I’m gonna be taking in as much information as I can, trying to figure out how to manage everything. PRAYERS PLEASE!
I’ve pretty much adjusted to living here. It’s still an adventure every day. I’m still meeting new people every day and my Creole is improving too.
Some of you have heard this before but here it goes again.
Yesterday (Sunday) after work I was talking to one of the translators. He's 19, still in high school. We were talking about praise music; I taught him the melody to the special music I played on Sabbath. The conversation progressed and we talked about the earthquake. He was at school when it hit. He felt the building shake, looked up at the ceiling, and ran. He made it out unscathed, but many of his closest friends didn’t make it out. School just started again last week (in tents) so it's been difficult for him going back to school without his classmates... That hit me hard. This kid is my age and he lost the people who he spent a lot his time with. I thought back to everyone that I don't get to see all the time now and so many "what ifs" went through my head...sent shivers down my spine.
Hope your Mondays went well!
(pictures…are coming :P soon)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Even in Haiti

April 16, 2010
The first week is in the books. There have definitely been some trying times, but I’ve made it through week one. Central supply is looking less and less like a train wreck and I’m pretty well adjusted to life here.
I slept early to 1. Rest my body since I kinda have a cold (thank God there’s enough Tylenol cold/flu to support Lichtenstein for years) and 2. I had to wake up to do song service and special music for church (yes Barcelo, Praise You in the Storm). Yup even in Haiti.
Things are slow(er) at the hospital on Sabbaths so I spent the morning in the supply room just sitting and talking to Jonathan about Haiti, college, the future, life, prayer etc. I had my first “wow I’m and really so privileged, how am I going to rationalize going back to life as a middle-class American after I’ve personally witnessed this kind of living” moment. Yeah. I imagine that this is the first of many.
Happy Sabbath all.

Don’t forget REVO tomorrow @ La Sierra University. 4pm: Art/Fashion show 7pm: Concert feat. Mike Isberto, LSU Jazz Band and more.
All proceeds go to the Gakoni Orphanage in Rwanda
Do it!!/event.php?eid=399533864166&ref=ts
for more info

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day...oh whatever

It’s been two whole days since I blogged! Miss me?
Tuesday I was really tired for the first time. I’m not sure why, but when I woke up I was aware that I was not fully rested. The day was spent in the supply room rearranging syringes and other supplies.
I left the compound for the 2nd and 3rd times today. I tagged along with Dr. Jack and Jonathan to the local supermarket (Delimart) to get food and drinks. It’s has pretty much everything a super market in the US would have, just smaller and less brand variety.
We went to dinner at the local hotel’s restaurant. Let’s just say I got to spend a lot of time just socializing and getting to know all the different volunteers. The food was nothing spectacular. But I haven’t got sick yet. Let’s hope it stays that way!
Today I work in the store room (it’s looking a lot better) as well as the big supply building. We’re trying to empty it out while sorting the contents so things will be a little more organized. It was the first time that I’ve really been in charge of a group of people on a job. I was left supervising Haitian workers moving food and sorting supplies. It went well and I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable with it as time goes on.
Three side notes today.
1. Remember REVO is this coming Sunday! Go to La Sierra University on Sunday afternoon for a huge benefit event: concert, art show, and a fashion show all proceeds go to support an orphanage in Rwanda. Go to or search for REVO La Sierra on Facebook for more info.
2. Taxes are due tomorrow!!!
3. For all you Gleeks… hope you enjoyed last night.

Shower time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 2

Yesterday I wished for Spanish, today I got it, and French, and Greek, and Arabic! I spent most of my time today in the medicine room of the Central Supply Depot. We went through boxes and boxes of random donated medicine and tried our best to sort them and put them on the shelves. I’m no medical professional so it would have been hard enough trying to figure out medicines and what they do, but the majority of the medicines weren’t in English. The vast majority was in Spanish and French! It was super slow going. It was also frustrating that people send sample packs of drugs. What do they expect us to do? (depending on how you look at it) Worst case scenario we give a patient the drugs, they work, but then we have no more.
Toward noon we moved on to finding and sorting medicines that we had in bulk. Meds that made the medal stand? Bronze: triple anti-biotic cream; Silver: amoxicillin; Gold: general pain killers (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc).
In the afternoon, I started to tackle the boxes of supplies on the spiral ramp. Big task! Hopefully it’ll get done in the time I’m here.
To all the LSU people, hope Festival of Nations went well! REVO in one week!!!!!!!! For everyone who doesn’t know what REVO is check it out: (@Jaylene I accept your thanks for the free advertising).
The LLU contingency arrived today. They spent most of their time in meetings but they did tour the hospital. Both Dr. Hart and Jerry Daly didn’t recognize me without my hair. Special thanks to Dr. Hart for bringing me a contact case and solution. Now if I could only get my other bag (hopes are dwindling).
I really need to shower. Weekend's over, busy week to come? We’ll see.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 1

Quiero halbar espaƱol!!! Unfortunately Haitians don’t generally speak it.
I slept okay for it being my first night here. I woke up multiple times but that’s okay. It was restful. Got out of bed at 7 as planned, ate a bar, washed up and went to church. Pretty much all the volunteers were at the English service. It was a pretty typical thing: songs (acapella), scripture, offering, special music, message. Alex (I have yet to learn his last name), had us do the ACTS prayer (adoration, confession, thanks, supplication). It was definitely a good way to start my time here.
After church the focus was on supplies. I changed out empty water jugs and oxygen tanks while picking up some Creole by interacting with some kids. I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in the central supply room trying to sort the various medical supplies that have been donated.
We’ve also had multiple power outages today (like the one just now ). All part of the Haiti experience.
Later in the afternoon a group of us went up to the university where the ADRA refugee camp is located. Crazy! So many tents, so many people, so much destruction. The highlight of course was the kids. They literally jumped on/clung to me. I felt bad for not being able to say anything other than “Bonswa!” yet. The kids used their broken English and just shook their heads at me when I can’t further interact with them. I kept wanting to speak Spanish. GRRR! Gimme a break though, it’s really my 1st day.
All throughout the day I got to know many of the people here (both Hatian and American). Now if I could only remember their names! Volunteers are still coming. It’s gonna get a lot more crowded and busy. Today was a down day because of Sabbath, tomorrow, LLU “big guns” come along with a new challenging day.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Day 0

You know how you can remember a place by the smell? I won’t forget the smell that hit me as I walked off the plane this morning. But first things first: I’m here, I’m safe. Thank God! I didn’t do too much today, got settled, help set up a few cots (I worked up quite a sweat thanks to the humidity), and slept, but we had a group meeting and after worship tomorrow I’ll be getting to know the place a little bit.
The flights weren’t bad at all. I slept most of the time on both. This is actually the first time I’ve been traveling alone on an airplane so I got to know the people sitting with me a little. But I mostly slept.
I wish I remembered more of the ride to the hospital. It was hot, I was tired, and I had been wearing contacts for almost a day so I slept/had my eyes closed for the majority of the ride. Things that stood out were the plethora of refugee tents, the lines for food, colorful trucks, and presence of the UN.
The volunteers are from all over: 4 countries, 6 states. I’ve met a few: good people. I guess people who decide to take time out of their lives to come to a 3rd world country that went through a catastrophic disaster tend to be. It’ll be interesting getting to know them all as they come and go weekly.
*So much for not going on Facebook all trip. The internet here is pretty solid. Hopefully I’ll be too busy to be on too much.
So far living conditions are pretty sweet. Most of the volunteers are up here on the terrace. I’ve got a cot with a mattress (we’ll see how that goes. Luggage is stashed under my bed, guitar is to the left. Bathrooms are just down the hall. Having hair this short is really helpful because of one, the heat/humidity and two showers. Showers are limited but not incredibly cold which is a plus.
On the downside, I’m missing a bag. I have everything essential, but my long term toiletries, sleeping bag, and food are missing. Hopefully I can get it by Sunday when the Loma Linda “big guns” get here.
Worship is at 7:30 tomorrow so wake up is at seven (for all you back home, I’m only two hours ahead of you). I think I’m going to try to get to bed by 11 every night so this is goodnight.
Happy Sabbath!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

3o minutes later....

Not 3 seconds after I posted that a man came up to me asking to borrow my phone. He saw that was working on a blog from Haiti and he immediately lit up and asked if I was just there. I told him I was on the way. He told me about his experiences there and gave me some advice, and his email so we can keep in contact. Thanks Patrick, new friend made!


Hello from Miami International Airport. First of I must start by thanking everyone who has supported me finically. I’ve cover the vast majority of my expenses thanks to you. I also have to send some love to James Tyler, Pono, and the good people at La Sierra who came out to 4th Down on Wednesday night (even though there was an Ochem quiz the next morning, which I’m sure you didn’t fail). I don’t believe in perfection, but I did, that night would have been pretty close. Special thanks to Aarika, Carlos, Garret, Gatra, Kendall, Peter, and Victor, for your time and hard work. It was meaningful, powerful worship and wouldn’t have been the same without you. And to everyone else who has helped me get to this point (through friendship, conversations, prayers, and general support) thanks!
So Haiti. I’m sure most of you know but I’m done with school at La Sierra University and I’m headed to Loma Linda for an A.S. degree in Medical Radiography in the fall. That left me with six months of no school. My parents have demanded that I stay busy and productive for at least 8 hours a day, either work for pay or do volunteer work. I thought about places I could work, ranging from something local at LLU to missions to working as a worship leader in a church on the other side of the country. Then the earthquake in Haiti presented an opportunity. I have the time to dedicate and become a volunteer. It seemed like a good fit. My deal with God was, "If this is possible, I'm going for it, so if I'm not supposed to go, close the doors." The process was slow at first but over the past month everything began falling into place.
I’ve made arrangements with the Global Health Institute at Loma Linda University and I ’ll be working at the Hopital Adventiste d’Haiti doing whatever work I can. One of the things big things I’ll be taking care of is arranging transportation and accommodations for foreign volunteers. Kind of important, kind of stressful, but I’m up for it. I’ll try to get into so clinics and get experience as an x-ray tech. Hopefully I’ll be able to get off the hospital compound and do some work offsite as well. If you want to learn more and/or donate to the Hospital you can do so here
So here I am; tickets bought, head shaved, goodbyes said, bags packed, chillin’ in the Miami Airport, ready for whatever God has in store. Thank you for your prayers and support!

You found it!

Hello and welcome to the official blog of my trip to Haiti. There will be more to come.