Monday, October 29, 2007

United Nations Day

On Wednesday we had the Uruguayan UN come to Castel Pere to celebrate United Nations Day. They brought with them some pictures children from Uruguay had drawn in order to help our children better understand their country. In exchange, we sent home some Haitian drawings for the children in Uruguay.

After the exchange, a large screen was set up, and the children (look at all of them) were able to watch a film. They really enjoyed themselves. We hope to do it again soon!

Pierre Rino

Every afternoon, when working under the mango tree with the metal workers, I see Pierre Rino wrestle with the bull. His job is to take care of him, but it seems so difficult at times.

In a way, I think Pierre Rino and the bull are a metaphor to Father Marc and the project. This is his job, and he loves it, but a lot of the time he is doing a lot of wrestling.

Biondy's Blog

Biondy has started a blog of his own. I have linked his page under my "Places of Importance". Check it out! Toss him a comment!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jean Wilson Update

Today Jean Wilson moved into the quad. He has been sick for more than two weeks now, and nobody can diagnose him with anything. His back is hurting, he aches all over, and he continues to get paler and skinnier. He had moved back into his room, but obviously that is not helping. Hopefully putting him under "Paige watch" will get him feeling better sooner. Here he is in his new room, right next door to me.

Please continue to pray for him.

Sunday BBQ

Yesterday we had a delicious American/Haitian BBQ thanks to these two boys... and a little help from Kevin. Wilgins and Ti Boss (with the help of Kevin) made a BBQ out of a metal drum, like the one my Artists use to make their metal pieces. Father Marc will be posting a picture on his blog of their masterpiece. Man it sure did make some great chicken! Thanks boys!

My Biondy

This is my Biondy. He is as American as you can get without actually ever visiting the States. Look at him. He is a little gansta. I love it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another Sweet Micky Adventure

Last night Sweet Micky held a concert in Aux Cayes. Knowing that Micky and I are now "best buds" the kids all knew that I was going to the concert. Some of the older boys asked if they could go with me... hoping that I would be able to get them in VIP. Feeling pretty confident that I could, I told them they were more than welcome, and last night we all piled into the car and headed to the concert.

Problem- all day I could NOT get a hold of Micky. He had said he wanted to come out to the farm, because he is going to be working with us, but I couldn't seem to reach him. Knowing that he is basically nocturnal, I waited until early afternoon to give him a call, but to no avail... so off we headed hoping to get in.

Outside the Marabu, I still couldn't get Micky on the phone. "Let's but a ticket, and then go in and tell him you are here. Maybe he will get everyone else in," Tigre says. Smart thinking. So he and I purchase tickets, and walk in.

Right away, Micky runs up to me hugs me, and then asks me why I haven't called him?! Oh man. After a "he said, she said" convo, he gives the ok for, "My sweet Paige to let in all her friends."

All my friends think I am really cool. I get to walk up to Micky when I want, walk onto the stage when I want, and get to let in whomever I want. Who is the celebrity here... me or him? I kind of like this treatment. So now, not only do I stick out like a sore thumb, I am being called "Micky's madam"... way to blend in Paige.

Around 2:30 in the morning, realizing that the party is still just getting started, I beg Tigre to go. A little bummed that I can't hang like the rest of the Haitian community, toddlers included, we gather our clan. "Aren't you going to say goodbye to Micky?" Tigre asks me. "Ok, sure."

So I walk up to the bodyguard standing next to the stage, and motion him to open the gate. I walk up on stage in the middle of Micky's performance and tap him on the shoulder. "M'ale..." I shout into his ear as he stops his song.

"Ok, I will give you a call tomorrow. Thanks for coming." He turns back to a crowd of fans waiting for him to resume his performance. I walk off the stage.

The night was a lot of fun. Micky really can get a crowd going. Lots of singing and dancing. Needless to say, I am exhausted today... we didn't get home until 3:00 this morning.

"I told you not to go, Paige. I knew you would be tired today," says Jean Robert as I lay in the hammock in the middle of the afternoon... you're right Jean Robert... one of my 600 brothers looking out for me.

Soulja Boy

This post is for Jill, Lynne, my Mom, and Adrian...

So one of the biggest influences I have been on these children, aside from trying to teach them English, compassion, and manners is... introducing them to new music.

I downloaded the Soulja Boy video on my iPod, knowing that it is huge right now in the States, and the kids instantly fell in love with the silly song as well. Here is Fery- aka Soulja Boy- with his hat, towel, and shades with writing (or in this case stickers) on them. He has also become an expert at the dance, as he studies the video.

He writes Soulja Boy on his schoolwork, and answers to that name. I love these kids!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


"Ok, Biondy, get out of my hammock and go home. I want to get ready for bed now. You've been lounging all day."

"Ok...but... um... Can I borrow this pillow?..."

"What? Why?"

"Well, since the new rooms opened up in the other neighborhood... I lost my pillow and sheets."

"That doesn't make sense. What does the new neighborhood for the boys moving from La Madonne have to do with your pillow and sheets?"

"They chiefed mine. They didn't have any... so the chiefed mine."

"Yeah... and they chiefed my bed."

"WHAT?! Nesley, they stole your whole bed? Where do you sleep?"

"Don't tell... he shares mine with me."

"That's just wrong. That bed barely fits one person. I'm telling Father Marc."

"What is he going to do? There's no money to buy any beds... why do you think they chiefed ours in the first place."

"Oh man... Take my pillow. Take my sheets. If I could walk down there with my bed, I would give you that too."

"A pillow and a sheet is fine. Thanks, Paigey. Goodnight."

Accepting what is.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Devastatingly Beautiful

If I had to describe Haiti in two words, they would be "devastatingly beautiful". For a country that is so rich in culture, so beautiful in scenery, so alive, so vibrant- it is devastating to see it crumbling around it's inhabitant's feet.

This photo was taken at Gelee Beach. The coast is littered with garbage- trash, clothing, food, feces. Old, dilapidated boats rest on the shore. Corners of buildings hold what's left of their heads up after being torn apart by Hurricane Dean, accepting that they will never be repaired.

And yet, amidst it all are the merchants pacing the paths- selling their coconuts, sugar cane, and corn. Children rummage through the trash hoping to find a treasure to call their own. Mothers bathe their young in the sea. Teens cool off in the water with their friends.

They are blind to the destruction they are impeding on the country they call their own, but at the same time, are astutely aware. They add to the garbage- throwing their own bottles and food into the masses, but then look with disgust as their neighbor does the same.

Where does that leave us? What do you do for a country that is so beautiful that you want to become fully submerged in it, but at the same time is so devastating that your heart can barely handle a peek?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ti Chat

This is Ti Tim, or Tiny Tim. He is one of three in the newest litter of our quad cat. This morning, Ti Tim's sister fell off the top of the stairs of the quad onto the ground below. She is paralyzed and cannot move her hind legs. She is trying to wobble around, is trembling and crying.

Jean Robert was in the quad when it happened, and immediately his "tough guy" image dissolved when he saw the pain the cat is in. He brought the cat upstairs, made a bed for her, and tried feeding her milk.

"Jean Robert. The cat is in a lot of pain. She really needs to die. She wants to be with God now," I said to him.

"I can't. Let me watch her."

An hour or so later I found him, eyes closed, laying in my hammock outside my door.

"Jean Robert. She really is sick. We need to let her die now."

"No, Paige. I can't. I don't have it in my heart to let that happen."

With tears running down both our faces, we laid the cat in the bed to fall into a trembly sleep.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Truth

"Good morning, Jonas. How are you doing today?"

"I am doing great, Paige. God has blessed me."

"What do you mean? With what?"

"With life."

Friday, October 12, 2007


Father Marc recently posted this on his blog. I felt it was important to post on mine as well, as without finances, we can no longer help the children. Currently we are cutting back on things that should not need to be cut back on: personnel, food, clothing. All of which is causing Father Marc, the man this would not be possible without, to face the return of his migraines, and lose even more sleep. Please help us.

Quotes Father Marc:

Our financial situation is not good and we need all the help we can get. Kids are going without beds and linen. We can't afford to buy all the clothes they need so they go without. We can't help the poor who come to our door and they are desperately poor. Would you like to help us on a regular basis with almost no hassle? Go to and click on a donation button. You can make a monthly recurring donation in any amount you wish. $30 a month covers almost all expenses for one child per month. $15 a month covers school expenses for an elementary student and $25 a month pays for a secondary school education. Make sure you give us your email address so we can update you on what is going on. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. As the children say-- Bondye ap beni ou. God will bless you

ESPWA Update

I cannot believe it has taken me almost a whole week to add a post- I am so sorry. Here is the busy week update:

Rain? Yes, still everyday, although the sun has made himself seen for short periods each day.

Tuesday: Dan and Connie left for the states. Connie will be back in January, and Dan sometime at the end of October.

Wednesday: I made a commercial. Produced by Kevin. It is on Father Marc's blog. Father Marc will also be sending it to Katie in California to put on the website, hopefully it will be seen other places as well. Check it out!!

Thursday: Father Marc left for Florida. He is speaking in a parish, and he will be back on Tuesday.

Today (Friday): Finally updating my blog.

Between all the "special activities" I have been visiting Jean Wilson in the hospital-spending time with him there. He is doing much better- thank you for your prayers. I have also been observing English classes, teaching Dan's English classes, done some grocery shopping and errands in town, taught some private English classes, had some meetings with the artists, met with the UN, kept up communications with people in the States, and taught the kids how to play ultimate frisbee.

I will make a greater effort to keep you all up to date though! Again I apologize!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Jean Wilson

This is a photo I took of Jean Wilson back in March. I always said that if there were to be a student body president of Castel Pere- it would be him. He is overall just a good kid. Polite, thoughtful, responsible, and he has an awesome smile!

Recently, Wilson has been getting sicker and sicker- Father Marc said he thinks it's a parasite. This morning he went into the medical care facility. He is doing even worse. He is pale, he cannot eat, and I would guess that he weighs less than 80 pounds now.

Please say a prayer for Wilson to get healthy soon. He does not deserve to be feeling the way he has been feeling.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Christmas Card Project

Yesterday after school, with a small group of children, Connie started a coloring project. She asked the children to make pictures of Christmas things or Haitian things, in hopes of finding a great picture to use as the Theo's Work Christmas card. These boys worked so hard, Connie ended up with a wide variety of pictures to choose from. They were so cute, working so diligently.

Look at the updates Connie has made to her blog since she has been here. (I even make a camio appearance... although it looks as if I do nothing down here from her photo.) There is a link on this page, or you can go to

Connie is so great, and is going back with a lot of ideas and projects she has given herself to help the arts and crafts program. Not only that, but the kids down here love her. She works hard with the artists, loves the little kids, and works in the kitchen right along side Dino and Sonya. She is leaving in five days, and I sure am going to miss her.

Lightning Strikes

On Wednesday morning, around 7:30, Connie, Kevin, and I were standing outside my room gaping at how much rain we once again had. Right outside my window is a mango tree. Well, as we were standing there, we heard the loudest clap of thunder, and we all ducked our heads. We look up, and see the mango tree spark up, and then a brown cloud of dust come out the top of it. Come to find out, it wasn't thunder at all, but lightning striking the tree. Luckily it was raining so hard, the sparks immediately dissipated.

Shortly after that, Tipa came over to the quad, completely drenched mind you, to tell us lightning had struck anba- in the children's neighborhood. Come to find out, lightning had struck the black water tank at the children's showers. Here is a close up of the tank. You can see how its leaning to the right, and how it has kind of melted off the side of he stand.

Here is a picture of the two tanks. If you compare the white one to the black one, the black one is definitely leaning over. Father Marc, Connie, and Kevin are admiring the handy work of Mother Nature.

The Infamous Boots

After many requests to see the pink plaid boots- here they are! Wait, you can't really see them? Well, that's because I am walking in the river... no, no, not the river, the pathway to the children's neighborhood. Yup, that's right. This photo was taken on Wednesday morning. The rain was still not letting up. You can also see Connie walking in the background in Portia's yellow bumblebee boots. She didn't have enough room to take them home with her, so I was holding them for her... Connie says thank you, Portia! They came in handy!

By the way, do you like my pink rain slicker? I have a really nice brown one, but Biondy borrowed it because this pink one stinks- it doesn't work at all. I think Biondy has permanently borrowed it though, as he is still wearing it... oh well! At least it's getting a lot of use!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Evans and Biondy

Here are two of the most fun kids at Castel Pere. Biondy (left) and Evans (right) are two of the dancers. Evans is so good it's scary. In this picture he just cut his hair. He likes it; apparently it looks cool, but I think he looked so much better with a normal cut. Looking stylish and cool is a big thing for the older boys. They do a pretty good job with what they've got. I don't know many kids back home that could pull of the looks they do.

We need an ark.

"I think I saw some animals walking two by two this morning," said Harold as we ate breakfast in the dining room to the sound of rain pouring down.

It rained for 24 hours straight. The rain started on Sunday night, and finally stopped on Monday night. Last night we had a dry night, but first thing this morning, the clouds opened up, and down came the rain.

Everything is wet, or at least damp. Here are some pictures of the walkways turned rivers that leads from the children's neighborhood to the dining area and quad. Some of the kids are up to their knees in water. The dry night was not dry enough because today we are still flooded.

The best investment I have made, my pink plaid rainboots. Not only am I super stylish, but my feet are super dry!