Sunday, February 28


I had this really great idea when I was in Haiti over New Year's to come up with 10 goals for 2010 and then get started right when I got back. Then it was March 1.

In my own defense, an earthquake happened that totally changed the course of the last two months. But I'm through defending. So I am calling them March resolutions. And here they are (in no particular order)

1. Take more pictures. Last June, I got an SLR camera for graduation. It has been used well on vacations and in Haiti, and has taken some incredible photos, but I don't use it enough. I want learn to shoot manually. Good thing I have Caroline.

2. Blog more often. Pretty simple, just need to do it.

3. Run a 1/2 Marathon. I was recently challenged a lot when I read Don Miller's new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years to quit daydreaming about doing things and just do them. I have always wished I liked running but I never have. In elementary school, my mom made me join the jogging club and she would drop me off at 6:45 am and we had to run laps around the backstops and collect popsicle sticks for each lap. My white Keds had morning dew and grass stains and I smelt like playground kid the rest of the day. I hated every minute of it. Deep rooted issues? Probably, but I am determined to change that. Starting with a new pair of running shoes, I will begin a training program in a few weeks when it finally warms up! Are you a runner? What motivates you?

4. Re-gain flexibility. I was a gymnast and a cheerleader for many years and have since lost most of my flexibility. I loved doing yoga in college so Christina and I are starting yoga again next week!

5. Send more snail mail. I LOVE to get snail mail. Who doesn't?

6. Stay in touch with old friends. I miss college a lot. And I miss having my friends close so I vow to be better at staying in touch with old friends. The goal above should help with that

7. Take the GRE. This is not really a fun goal. I want to go back to grad school in the next couple of years and in order to do that, I have to take the GRE. Studying is the one thing I have NOT missed about college, but I know it is in important discipline and in the long run will be so worth it.

8. Learn more Creole. This is a fun goal. Anybody have good resources for this? I found a couple things online, but would love to know what works for you? Hope to get some more real practice too :)

9. Respond to emails immediately. If you have ever emailed me, you are probably aware that I am in the horrible habit of reading emails and not responding for an embarrassingly long time. Therefore, I am going to try and respond to emails ASAP. Feel free to hold me accountable to this :)

10. Get to bed earlier. I have not adjusted to the fact that as an adult, it is not okay to stay up till the wee hours of the morning most nights. I am actually a morning person, and wish I could wake up at 5:30 everyday, spend some time in the Word with several cups of coffee, run 5 miles and look like a million bucks all by the time I have to be at work. But the problem is, I am also a night owl. And when I stay up too late, I am pretty useless from 2-5 in the afternoon, which is prime napping time. Until I live in Spain and get a siesta everyday, I have to change my habits.

I felt that if I put these in writing and if I told them to those of you who read this blog, I'd actually have to make a stab at this year's resolutions. I hope to check in every so often with how I am doing with each of these, so stay tuned!

In other news, I am officially over this winter and dreaming of the days when I get to head back to Zihuatanejo this June. Oh Zihua, I have missed you so...

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Thursday, February 25

RHFH Videos

Casey Zachary, who is Lori & Licia's brother, is down in Haiti this week visiting his family. He brought a video camera along with him and uploaded some great footage of things going on at Real Hope for Haiti. I think they will help you understand what any given day in the Clinic and Rescue Center could look like. Head on over here and check them out.

I am off on Fridays so it's officially the weekend. Hope yours is great!

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*Anna was playing with my camera and caught Davidson doing this! had to share :)

Saturday, February 20


I'm about to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and some oatmeal on this beautiful and chilly Saturday morning in Nashville, but just wanted to post a little update and let you all know that I am home safe and sound.

Licia and I had a fun trip back including a late night stop at Waffle House in Ft. Lauderdale for some breakfast and we split ways yesterday morning, me to Nashville and her to Seattle. I hope to post some more as I process my thoughts (and photos!) in the next few days.

Also, Anna posted and update on the sewing projects for the Rescue Center so head on over there and check it out.

Continue to pray for Anna and Lori who are still holding down the fort in Cazale. They are rockstars.

Hope you are still in your pj's enjoying this Saturday morning :)

Thursday, February 18

Leaving a dent

I have to leave Haiti today. And I have peace that it is the right time to go, but I just don't want to. I feel so many things. Overwhelmingly thankful that just a year ago, God introduced me to this family and has let me be part of an incredible journey. So sad to leave Lori and Anna and all the kiddos in the RC. Guilty for leaving when there are more needs than ever. There are things I love so much about my life in the States right now, and there are things I need to get back to, but I just want to have both. And that is not a reality.

The transition is never easy and I will ask you to pray for me in the next few weeks. In light of all that I experienced on this trip that was different, I think going back is going to be harder. Everyday here, almost every hour it seems, someone tells me their story, of all the misery in their life and I bear that for just a few moments. I grieve that they have not eaten in a week, I grieve for their 8 children that have died, and their home that fell in on them, I grieve for the child who can not fight for himself. I pray for empathy and ask God to let me see a glimpse of what it's like to live their life. It weighs heavy for just a few minutes and then I have to block it out. I have to throw it off and ask God to help me move on to the next. But I don't forget. Their faces have stayed with me and at some point I remember. I am not a psychologist and I am sure you can tell me all of the things wrong with this, but this is how I deal with it.

I love this broken, messed up place full of broken, messed up people so much. I feel like I fit right in.

The other day, Lori and I were talking with some of the Air Force guys and one of them said, "The first day I came out here, I thought you were all high, that you were all crazy to do this. Then the second day, I realized you were just trying to make a little scratch on the surface, a small dent here." Lori said, "Someone has to look at the big picture, at all the needs, but it can't be me. If I can just make this place run, if I can just care for a few (and by few, she means 500) people everyday, it's worth it."

Oh if someday, I could leave a dent.

And buy a one way ticket :)

Monday, February 15

We could Sew use your help

Ok lame, I know. But I posted here on Licia's blog about how those of you who can sew can help us out! Head on over to read about it.

Dorchelle is doing better today and has been so much happier. Minus the time I gave her liquid vitamins and she threw up everything she ate today. In my lap. But the few smiles were worth it!

Tomorrow the Air Force team will be back which will be great because at 4:30 today, there were at least 100 people in line for clinic tomorrow morning. They will sleep outside tonight and it just started raining. Pray for those who will be seen tomorrow. That each be healed and loved in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Today is my favorite holiday. And not once, have I ever had a date. (don't feel sorry for me, just making a point) I am not a romantic and I am not super girly. But, I love the entire month and a half after Christmas because there is pink and red crap everywhere you go. There are fun decorations and yummy treats. There are sweet cards and cheesy cards. There is fantastic music. And mail, oh how I love snail mail.

It has been one bizarre month and half since Christmas. I left for Haiti Dec 28th and returned on Jan 10th. My roomies, who share the same Valentine's spirit, already had our apartment decorated! The Earthquake hit just two days later on Jan 12th and it has consumed my life since. I never thought I would be back here now. I have really missed making homemade valentine's, baking with Christina and Allyson and watching the snow fall. Ok that's a lie about the snow. But this 2010 has not gone the way I planned. I had big plans this year, and these were not them. And I am so thankful. I am so thankful that God made the last year of my life go the way He did. In looking back, everything happened so I could be here right now.

The love I feel today is different but good. As I type this, sweet Dorchelle is sprawled out across my lap asleep. She lost her mom, and I can't love her like her mom, but I can hug and kiss her and feed her when she spits it right back out at me. I can pray for her and tell her that Jesus has big plans for her life. I can love Lori and Licia and Anna, who the more and more time I spend around, I learn what it truly means to serve. I can love my family and friends via facebook and twitter :) And I can do all of this because I was loved first, by the greatest Lover that ever lived. He pursued me when I was sick, and poor and dirty and He loves me most. And unlike human love, it never fails. Ever.

My BFFL Christina snuck this Valentine in my bag and today I got to open it. Here are my two perfect Valentines!

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Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!!!! I hope you know how loved you are today.

Saturday, February 13


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This is Dorchelle. She is 16 months old and weighed 20 lbs when we took her in on Tuesday. She is extremely sick with Kwashiorkor and her body is very swollen. A relative brought her to the clinic, because her mother died in the earthquake. Because down under all the water, she looks pretty good and developed for a 16 month old, it is possible that she got this bad in just a month.

Today she weighs 17 lbs, which means she lost 3 lbs of water in less than a week. Her organs are very damaged and she is in a critical stage of recovery. Her skin is breaking open and fluids are seeping out. Her urine and stool smells very toxic. Tonight, I am very worried. It has been hard to find anything she likes to eat, and she doesn't drink a whole lot. I am switching small bites of different foods and watering down gatorade for her to drink. I am very afraid that she will become dehydrated. That may be confusing because you think "I thought you said all that extra swelling is water?" Yes it is, but that means the water is not in her blood stream where it should be, but it is in her tissues. Please pray for Dorchelle tonight, just as all the other children, I do not want to lose her. She has a sassy attitude which I hope means she is truly a fighter.

Friday, February 12

Caroline needs your vote!

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My BFF Caroline, who also happens to be an incredibly talented photographer, is in the final four in a contest to win a scholarship to a workshop with one of the most well-known wedding photogs in the country. She had so submit a 12 sec video of herself and I think it is absolutely hilarious. Partly because I helped come up with the idea. And partly because it is just plain funny.

Click here to watch her video and vote. It is the first one "I know you want me (for the workshop)" You can only vote once from a computer but if you have another computer or a phone, you can vote from there.


Wednesday, February 10


I guest posted on Licia's blog tonight so head on over there for an update on all the hospital patients!

Also, Anna posted an update on Darlens!

A group from the U.S. Air Force came out to visit this morning to see what we are doing and how they can help. They are sending out a few doctors tomorrow morning to help us see patients which will be great!

Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. - Mother Teresa

Saturday, February 6

Range of emotions

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I have felt like all of these at some point today.

Thursday, February 4


I'm pretty much obsessed with this kid. And he knows it.

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Can you blame me?

That is all I can muster up tonight :)

Tuesday, February 2

Not so brief bullet points

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- this leg belongs to 10 yo Timothe. We brought him from the Comfort Ship on Monday. He was in his house when the earthquake hit and was the only one of 8 people to survive. His mother and two sisters were killed and when their bodies were recovered, there was a metal bar through his sister's head. When I first saw him he was hiding under his sheets on a cot, and the caretaker's reported that he was very depressed. Can you imagine why? He had a L tibial/fibial fracture and is using crutches to get around. We had a phone number for a cousin of his and got a hold of him immediately. Yesterday morning the cousin came and they were overjoyed to be reunited! It was such a happy moment in the midst of much tragedy. The cousin gave us the details of his family situation and because they don't have a home right now, Timothe will stay with us for a while and his cousin will come back and forth to visit him. Pray for Timothe as he begins to process all that has happened to him.

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- This is 5 yo Laudjynie's leg. She was at home when the earthquake hit and both of her parents were gone. She was rescued by some Haitian people and they found her mom and Dad and to take her to a hospital. From there she was transported by helicopter, unaccompanied. to the Comfort Ship. She had a L femur fracture and an ORIF to repair. When I picked her up on Sunday she screamed the entire car ride out to Cazale, and was panicked as we drove further and further away from all that was familiar. She kept screaming take me home. We assured her that we were going to do everything we could to find her family. Can you imagine being 5 years old, surviving an earthquake, having your leg crushed, being taken in a helicopter with a bunch of white people who don't speak your language, having major surgery, and then passed off to some more white people who drive you an hour away from anything familiar, all by yourself? I can't either. Monday night, we asked her as many questions as possible so that we could send someone out to find her family. She knew both parent's first and last names, the name of her church and her school, and other details that would help us. She cried off and on all night. So yesterday morning, one of the workers here set out with her picture to find her family. As soon as the cousin of Timothe came, he was able to tell us that he knew that her Dad was in the Haitian Coast Guard, so he called up to the base, got a hold of her Dad and she was able to talk to him on the phone. YOU COULDN'T WIPE THE SMILE OFF HER FACE WITH A 2X4. Her Dad said he would come immediately and was here in less than two hours. It was amazing to see them reunited!!! He took her home and we gave him info to stay in touch with us if they need anything. Her Dad just called a few minutes ago and told us that when he brought her home yesterday, friends and family were gathered crying and clapping with joy!

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- Michelene (the pelvic fxr) is getting a lot worse. Her pain is increasing and her breathing is bad. She will die in the next day.

- An elderly man who was staying here at the Rescue Center died last night. We initially thought he was in Congestive Heart Failure because of extremely swollen feet, but over the last month he had lots of weird symptoms and because of the way he died we are thinking maybe cancer. His kids are in the States and he only had one friend come visit him while he was here. We will have a small service here this afternoon.

- Yesterday morning, a young man in his 20's drank battery acid in attempt to kill himself. The story goes like this. He was driving someone on his motorcycle and pulled over and asked the other guy to drive the rest of the way. He was sipping on something out of a juice bottle while they rode. When the guy reached his house, he told him that he was ready to get off, but the young kid just said keep driving me until we get to town. When they got here, the kid got off the motorcycle and passed out. The other guy started splashing water on him to wake him up, and when he grabbed the juice bottle, he realized that he had been drinking battery acid. He immediately started vomiting and they brought him to the clinic, but by that point he was vomiting tons of blood. There was nothing we could do. We took him back to Lori's house with all of the other bad patients, and gave him valium and morphine. He continued to throw up insane amounts of blood and other fluids. His entire mouth, nose and GI tract is burned from the acid. His throat is very swollen, so when he breathes the sound is awful. He is still alive this morning but will not live much longer. He lies in a bed next to Michelene, who had no choice in life or death, as her family holds fast to every last moment they have with her. It is just wrong. Oh, and the rumor is, he liked a girl that did not like him.

Life is just so raw here.