Labor Repose

Labor Repose
LaborPayne during her 6th homebirth (9th baby) at age 44

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mwen renmen an Ayiti

I am very involved in my preparations for my return to Haiti next month. Last night I attended a fundraiser for Glory House Services, a local organization of Haitians helping Hatians as they resettle here in the Kansas City area. It is headed by Idalbert Joseph (pictured), a boundless bundle of energy and enthusiasm topped by an infectious smile. Mr. Joseph teaches English to his Haitian expatriots, and Haitian Creole to Americans. He has been a true ambassador for his homeland here in our area. Last night's fundraiser was to raise money for school teachers salaries for a school that Glory House supports. The primary schools in Haiti are almost all private and parents must pay to send their children to school. The school that Glory House supports is free of cost to parents except for uniforms and books. I met Mr. Joseph when preparing for my trip to Haiti last Fall. His group was so supportive of my efforts to build a local bridge between Kansas City and Haiti. For this upcoming trip, Idalbert has made himself my private tutor for learning Creole (Kreyol). He tells me I will be conversational in two or three lessons, and that Creole is very easy to learn. I remain skeptical, but I do have my high school French to help me out. Like every other Haitian I have become personally acquainted with, Idalbert thanks me frequently for my service to Haiti, and he tells me often that 'mwne renmen an Ayiti' (I love Haiti).

It is true, I do love Haiti, and I yearn to reach her shores again. I wish to see Dr. Delson and follow him on his rounds, taste his wife's excellent cooking, bring gifts to his children, and even see how the family of new kittens is faring. Just across the road from the maternity clinic is a small tent city named 'New Jerusalem' (according to the hand painted sign someone hung up). The children would run out when they saw us relief workers and follow us asking for something to eat. I'll be sure and bring enough granola bars and candies to last for the week, so that everytime they see me, I'll never be empty-handed. I hope to visit the Medicine Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders, France) Hospital just down the road, and Dr. Delson will take me to the small private Catholic hospital where he transfers patients run by European nuns. I hope to see Mose, and Innocent, our interpreters from before. My beloved George (our main interpreter) is here in the US (New Jersey) in college studying law. I will miss seeing him. He was the second Haitian, after Dr. Delson, who invited us into his home. George was so eager to show us the real Haiti, and not just what we saw in clinics and through our host organizations. I will also see my interpreter from my first trip to Haiti, Kickolito. He will meet me at the airport and I will bring him a gift of some sort. I would love to bring Kicko here to go to school. It is a private dream of mine. He wants to be an engineer. The Haitians are such a lovely people. I'm glad I will be making a trip to be with Haitian people and not through a mission organization this time. This will be Sr. Morningstar's (my spiritual mentor) ideal. When she goes to serve a people, she is determined to live as they do, eat what they eat, wear what they wear, and be as they are. This time I will have the opportunity to do the same.

Here is a list of items Dr. Delson has asked me to bring (and I added a few items). Please let me know if you have these items to donate or if you have leads where I can acquire them. Your assistance is much appreciated.

Sterile Gloves (8)
Chux pads
maternity pads
baby blankets

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