Friday, August 31, 2007


I did not have a post for today, so I thought I would add a few pictures that I really love. The first one is of Fery. He is sitting right outside the quad with my iPod, singing Lloyd. Since then, my iPod has earned the name Lloyd because whenever the kids want to hear my iPod, the say, "Lloyd"... I think it's either because they don't know what an iPod is, or because they really think that's what its called.

The second picture is of a couple kiddos with "sad eyes".

The last picture is one that Angie sent to me. I love it. The kids are playing on the metal rods that are meant to hang the laundry out on.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cross International Visit

Monday and Tuesday we had visitors from Cross International here to make a new DVD. In the picture you can see Father Marc being interviewed with a few children. They spent the days taking pictures, learning about the projects we have, and strategizing how they can help. It was really great to have them, and to hear an outside opinion on things we are doing.

It looks like we are going to be hearing from them a lot more often. The DVD is scheduled to come out in October. I will keep everyone posted.

Thank you Cross International!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nike Shoes

Yesterday afternoon I was beginning to feel better, so I decided I would FINALLY finish the task Aunt Dee asked me to complete a few weeks ago. My job- find eight children, all the same shoe size, and take pictures of them in their new Nike shoes. Pretty simple, right? Wrong.

This is how I started this mission- quietly whispering to Fery and Tipa to find children with small feet for me. They tip toed off and brought me back a few children. Ten seconds later, the entire population of Castel Pere boys were waiting outside the gate of the quad because they heard there were shoes to be given.

The WORST part about getting gifts, is that there aren't enough for everyone. I do have to say though, that the kids are really good about being happy for those that do get something. Tipa and Fery tried so hard to fit their big feet in those small shoes, but when they couldn't they settled for their friends getting them, and they helped me with controlling the group.

After all the Cinderella's were found, we made our way over to the field for the "photo shoot". I had a great time taking pics of the kids doing tricks like Dikenson is to the left, and having them run back and forth so I could attempt some "action shots".

We really had a great time of it. My only issue was that the kids wanted their picture taken TOO much- even those without the shoes. So I know I missed some good shots because I had ham-bones sticking their faces in front of the camera.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


The last day and a half I have left my room only to go to church. I have a sore throat and headache- nothing major, but I am trying to kick it before another busy week begins.

Yesterday morning, I went down to tell Dino I wouldn't be eating lunch because I wasn't feeling well. I went back up to my bed to lay down. About thirty minutes later there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, this is what I saw- Samedi and his buddy holding flowers they had picked for me to help me feel better. Shortly after that, I had Fery, Jean Robert, Dickenson, and clan coming to see why I had not yet gone to the hospital since I am sick. After that, Jeff and Jean Beto came up with some juice for me, followed by Sammy checking on me.

Needless to say, "news" here spreads like wildfire- if me having a sore throat is news, that is. It is rather endearing knowing that the children, "will not be ok until I am ok." At the same time, I just want to go to sleep!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sad Eyes

This morning I tried very, very hard to find children full of despair for the website. When the children asked why they had to be sad, I didn't know what to say. Because Americans are more willing to give money to children who look starving and sad, not happy children like you?

I was feeling unsuccessful. All of our children were happily playing marbles in the dirt, floating their plastic boats in the mud, or throwing rocks at the mango trees. Not a sad child in sight. I had to settle for children who have "the eyes", as I have come to call seen. "The eyes" are happy at first glance, but when you look deeper, there is a sea of sadness. Davidson (pictured left) has the eyes. It seems that every time I see him, whether he is smiling or not, his eyes are hiding the pain his little life has seen.

Belino and Katlen also took some coaxing to keep from smiling. As you can see though, their eyes are also heart wrenching. They have probably seen more pain than I have in my entire life, but why would we send money to them? They have shirts. They aren't starving. They have everything.


This is Tiboss. He and I became friends at Portia's going away party. Father Marc invited Tiboss to sit with us as we had our evening gathering. Shortly after Father Marc finished doting on him, he said to me, "Here, take him and do your motherly instinct thing." This is one of my favorite things to do, so I grabbed Tiboss, put him on my lap, and demanded some crackers with peanut butter and a glass of Sprite for the little one. As his tummy started to get full, he started nestling is chubby body into my lap. Crumb filled and happy, Tiboss' eyes started drooping.

I asked him if he was hot, and he quickly nodded yes. With a piece of ice, I rubbed his tummy and forehead. Soon after, his eyes were closed. "He is never going to forget the time the white woman rubbed his face with ice, is he?" laughed Father Marc. The other boys laughed too, and being the big brother figures they are, wouldn't let him sleep.

The Accident

Angelo and Widmy are two of the younger children that watch out for Chub. They ALWAYS let me know where Chub is, what he is doing, and whether or not he is hungry. They are very good with him. As you can see, Chub loves playing with them, and they definitely don't mind the nibbling.

The last picture is of Chub sleeping right before the accident happened. As you can see, he is conked out- having great puppy dreams. I thought it was so cute how he was sleeping with his chin on the railing... little did I know, disaster was about to strike.

Shortly after I took this picture, I went downstairs to eat some cereal. As I was eating, I glanced out to the front gate. Just as I did this, I saw a puppy falling from the sky. Chub had rolled over and fallen off the second floor.

After massive amounts of screaming, both myself and Chub, children gathered around to see how he was. He could hardly move his leg. Worried it was dislocated, I wiggled it around, all the while he is crying. After a short time, he began slowly limping around. By the next day, he was running around like the Chub that he is.

Even though it has been almost a week since the accident, the children still talk about it. They add that God was watching Chub, and protected him as he fell so he wouldn't die. I believe them.

Night of Dean

One week later, and I am finally posting again. My deepest apologies for taking this long. If you haven't heard, we faired very well through Dean. Father Marc and I actually spent Saturday night wishing for Dean to come. When we found out the next morning that it had passed all we could say was, "that was it?"

Father Marc's blog has some great shots of the wind that we experienced, as well as how the school looked in preparation for Dean from the outside. Here are a couple shots of inside the classrooms, where all the kids slept Saturday and Sunday night.

That night, some of the older boys stood watch outside the school, as well as making the rounds, ensuring that the children were safe. They took their job very seriously, and it was great to see and feel the sense of community among everyone.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Unfortunately, the hurricane is scheduled to reach us tomorrow afternoon, around three o'clock. Fortunately, we have been staying updated on the weather changes, and have been making preparations.

Yesterday, the Uruguayan Military came bearing water for our children. The water is going on the second floor of the primary school, along with the children. Windows are being boarded up as we speak, along with Father Marc leading an emergency meeting with the staff. Plans have been made for extra food and storage, placements of vehicles and animals (Chub will stay in my room with me), and other ends are being tied up. We have boys on the roof of the quad securing our water tanks, and covering skylights. We are on top of it.

Shortly, our satellite will be taken down, so I will not be updating until the storm passes. I do have my cell phone, along with extra phone cards, so I will be keeping in touch. I will let you all know how we make out. Don't worry too much- I love you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweet Micky- A true Haitian Adventure

This week is the annual Bonne Fete. All week there are musicians playing at different venues, religious ceremonies at the churches- basically it is like a Haitian Mardi Gras or Spring Break. On Monday night, a group of us decided to go see Sweet Micky- one of the most popular Kompa singers in Haiti play at the Bay Klub. Johnny, Sophia, Dan, Portia, and myself met up with Frankell, his fiance, and Sammy.

The entrance fee was a little too much, and we weren't planning on staying the entire time since it wasn't starting until 9:00 (11:00 Haitian time). While we were debating on what to do, Sammy sweet talked the security into letting us sit inside until Sweet Micky came. Perfect! We walked right in, sat down, and chit-chatted while listening to the DJ.

A short time later, Portia was feeling tired, so she left. It is right around this time that this story begins to get interesting. Sweet Micky arrived along with his bouncers with palms out wanting tickets. Obviously, we didn't have them.

While Sammy paparazzied Sweet Micky with my camera, and Frankell tried cutting a deal with the bouncers, my brain started working, and I had an idea- "I will sweet talk Sweet Micky!" Dan and I walked over, and asked his body guards if we could take a picture with him.
Sweet Micky turned, realized I spoke English, and we chatted it up and had picture taken together. Of course he says yes. I tell him that we have to get going because we don't have tickets. Sweet Micky didn't like this very much, so he spoke with the security, and basically we became VIP members. In and out, no questions asked. After exchanging e-mail addresses (Sweet Micky is claiming he wants to work with me and Pwoje Espwa after his tour ends on Labor Day) we let him be, and sat back down.

Around 11:00, it never fails, he began playing. I am beginning to feel tired, so I am not up front dancing, but instead sitting back and listening. Dan comes running over to me, "Paige! Sweet Micky just gave you a shout out! Get over here!" Sweet! So I push my way to the front of the stage when Sweet Micky gives me ANOTHER shout out! Dang, I am pretty awesome, I think to myself, and start dancing.

Around 12:30 we all decide that it is about time to get going. As we walk up to the car, we notice that there are a lot more cars then when we left. This could be bad...yup. Sure enough, our car is blocked in by three other cars. The concert is still going strong. We are never getting out of here.

"Let's go ask Sweet Micky to ask this car to move- if it does we can get out."

We all walk back in. The security pushes people out of our way so we can get through quickly (remember, we are VIP). Dan walks up to Sweet Micky's body guard and whispers in his ear, "Can you tell Sweet Micky that Paige needs to go home, and our car is blocked. Can he ask whomever owns this car to move?" The body guard walks over to Sweet Micky and whispers to him. He stops his music, and in the microphone makes the announcement. Then he starts playing.

We walk back to the car. Nobody has moved. We walk back into Bay Klub and repeat the process. Again, Sweet Micky stops playing and makes the announcement, adding a couple threats to the car owner. We walk back to the car. No luck.

We are going to have to sleep here, or move the cars ourselves. It is 1:30. We are tired. We opt for moving the cars ourselves.

Luckily, one of the cars left the doors unlocked. Sammy puts it in neutral, we all step behind it and begin pushing. One down, two to go. Car number two has all the doors locked, but the window is open a crack. Sammy sticks his arm in the window and unlocks the door. Repeat process. Two down, one to go. Sophia walks over to car number three. There are people in it. Great news! Are they sleeping? No. After interrupting the two occupants of the car, to ask them to move, we FINALLY are able to maneuver out of the parking lot. It's now 2:30.

We make our way home, reliving the night. As soon as we get home, we pass out in our beds. That was quite the night.


Chub likes sleeping with one of Erin's shirts that she left. He hugs it. It is really, really cute. Chub has gotten so big in the last few weeks- he definitely is living up to his name. He now knows how to "vini" and "chita". ("come" and "sit"). He also started growl at the cats when they try taking his food.

He is becoming so popular now, and everyone is so impressed with him, that some of the kids are saying that he belongs to a teenager that is on summer vacation right now, and when he comes back he is going to take him from me. It's just because I am so good at training him. He isn't going anywhere.

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

A few days ago, a group of children, Portia and I utilized the wind that has been bringing in fabulous rain storms by flying Portia's kite. We had a great time. Jean Robert deemed himself "official kite flyer".

Exciting News!

Meet Frankell and his fiance Marie. Frankell has been cooking for Father Marc for years. He has sicil cell anemia, which is how he began cooking for Father Marc- he needs a special diet as well. He and I are very close, which is why I started crying tears of joy when he asked me to be the Godmother of his and Marie's child that will be born in February. I don't think I have been more excited about something in my life.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Little Things

It's the little things that make living in Haiti so worthwhile. For instance, the other evening, Portia and I went for a walk with a group of children. They pointed out things in Creole, and I pointed them out in English.

"The sun doesn't sleep. He disappears over there, then comes up over there." States Fery of the sunset.

In this picture, we are trying to throw rocks through a small piece of wire. I made it through a couple times! Go me! Like I said, it's the little things.

Future Entrepreneurs

On Thursday, the Artisans met with two BTI interns for the first time. The two women will be coming three times a week to work with the artists on business skills, working cooperatively together, organization, and other skills that will help them to become entrepreneurs. Sammy, who is now the head of the arts and crafts, took this meeting very seriously, and scribbled notes the entire lesson. Hopefully his enthusiasm will continue, as well as rub off on some of the more reluctant artists.

Going Away Party

The Sunday before Daniel left, Dr. Jacob and his wife Geralde had a going away party for Daniel at their house in Les Cayes. Aside from the delicious food, the company was great as well.

From left to right-
myself, Daniel, Dr. Jacob, Geralde, Portia, Kate, Johnny (Dan behind the camera)

Dr. Jacob has been a friend of Daniel's family for quite some time. He has been to the States to visit them, and will be going back soon. Daniel's Dad, Dr. Blood, will be back in November to work with Dr. Jacob.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My Shadows

Portia just took this picture today of my shadows. I love these two so much. Fery (on the right) wants to come to Arizona with me. I would put him in my suitcase in a heartbeat if I could. Both wait outside my window at night. When my light turns off I hear, "Bon nuit, Paige," from Jeff. "Goodnight to you too, Jeff."


This is Kevin. The first time I saw him I had to do a double take because I thought he was Raja Bell (my favorite Suns player). Doesn't he look like he could be his child? I love Kevin. He is one of the younger children here, and every time I see him he gets a BIG grin on his face, runs up to me, and gives me a kiss.

(Picture by Portia)


Jean Robert and myself playing catch. The kids were surpirsed I actually knew what a baseball was, let alone how to throw one... apparently I look like a girl.

(Picture by Portia)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Goodbye, Daniel!

On Monday, we lost another wonderful asset to Castel Pere- at least until March. Daniel, who was scheduled to stay for one month, but ended up staying two, left us for school. Daniel was our "go to" man around the quad. Daniel, you will be happy to know that when I saw the tractor drive by this morning, I expected you to be sitting on it. I also knocked my fan over, and it is making that weird noise again... I need you to fix it. But you aren't here. I am sad.

I miss you, Daniel... we all do. Have a good semester, and stay fantastic!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Laundry Day

So... I have been asked how I do my laundry while I am here. Well, I figured I would give you a little glimpse. Here are Erin and I, washing our shirts. Notice, in Erin's picture, the washing machine to the right of her "washing machine". Daniel did fix the washing machine. It does work. But only when we have electricity from the city, not when we are working off the generator. I prefer our method.

Thursday, August 2- Goodbye, Erin!

This morning the Fantastic Four lost one. We took Erin to the airport this morning. Seeing her off was a group of children, tears in their eyes, begging her to stay. After we got back from the airport, there were still children hanging around outside our rooms, not wanting to believe she is really gone.

Erin, you made such an impression on these children. Thank you for your help with the English and Creole signs. I have a feeling I will be hearing your name often while I am here. I miss you already! Come back and visit soon!

As a final farewell to Erin, we had a dance party for her in the secondary school. By looking at the pictures, you can see how much the kids love her, and how much she will be missed.

Sunday, July 29- Reward for Hard Work

Because of all the hard work the artists have put into their craft since I got here, and because we made some great money off the pieces Aunt Dee brought back to the States, I was able to take the boys on an outing to the beach as a reward. There were seven boys, Johnny our driver, and Erin and Daniel also went along. We all agreed that having the boys there made it THE best beach day of all time.

We swam, ate fish, played frisbee, turned children into sand monsters, and listened to music. Johnny brought a stereo that we hooked up to the car battery so we would have some Belo to listen to as we basked in the rays of the sun.

Consensus- Perfect Sunday.

Frankie brought me a picture the next day that he had drawn of all of us on the beach with a BIG thank you at the bottom. It was probably one of my favorite days here in Haiti to date.