Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mwen pa renmen zariyen

Or in English, 'I don't like spiders.'  I'm not the type of person who freaks out when there are bugs, but I would prefer not to have any in my room, especially not in my bed!  There has been a big wall spider creeping around our room for a few days, and I've let it be.  Last night I crawled into bed, and realized my little 8 legged friend was hanging out on our mosquito net, right above my head (we only sleep with the net on nights when we see a lot of mosquitos, but it's always hanging above our bed).  These spiders are ridiculously fast, so I laid there until Nick walked back into the room because I wanted to make sure it didn't run off when I moved.  Nick tried several times to kill this guy, but it was to fast, so we grabbed his giant shoes and sandwiched it between the net.  Normally Nick doesn't care too much about the net, but last night he was extra careful when he tucked it in!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Community and Slip in Slide!!!

I tried unsuccessfully 3 times yesterday to post a blog but our internet was to slow to even log on.  Luckily it is working better today!

Yesterday Nick and I spent some time with people from the community!  We went to the Haitian church which is right next door to us.  Their service is 3 hours long, but Nick stayed for 1 (he had to go to the airport) and I stayed for 2.  We took communion and were actually given wine instead of grape juice!  We couldn't understand most of what was said, but Brian, the missionary from next door was there and would tell us what verse the pastor was reading from!  They have a VERY CONFUSING hymn book, so someone had to turn it to the correct page for us so we could sign along.  In the middle of the service a chicken walked down the aisle.  Nobody reacted, so I'm assuming this isn't an unusual occurrence!

Last night Nick and I went for a walk and there were two really cute little girls hanging out by our gate.  They held our hands and walked with us, smiling the whole way.  When we got back, we decided it would be fun to play soccer with them, so we pumped up a ball and took it back out.  We played keep away and kicked the ball around a bit.  They were probably close to 8 and 10.

After a while, two boys from the community came and the girls immediately left.  Boys are more dominate here, so this didn't surprise me at all.  We then played soccer with the boys for a while.  My team beat Nicks team 3-0.  We didn't play for very long because we were both in flip flops.  When we left, we told one of the boys that we would leave the ball there if he threw it over the gate when they were done.  He spoke English, but I'm not sure he fully understood what we said.  We never got our ball back, but thats fine because we brought them to give out.

Today was a blast.  One of the short term volunteers decided that we should set up a slip in slide in our yard for the kids.  I really didn't think this would work since our oldest kids are only 2.  I was very wrong though because the kids loved it.  We put baby oil all over the kids and then laid them down on their stomachs.  Two of us would grab the kids arms and legs and slide them to another volunteer, through the pools of water that had gathered.  They had so much fun!  We also had some little inner tubes that we could put the younger kids on and slide around.  A bunch of kids would gather around a little puddle and splash each other and then laugh!!  We were out there with them for 2 or 3 hours and only gave in because it started to thunder and lightning.  We'll put up some good pictures of this in a few days.

I have kind of started preschool which is going good!  The preschool and prenatal program have been under construction because they are plastering the back wall.  Therefore I have been doing preschool in the playroom which is kind of overwhelming for the kids.  We have been working on our animal sounds.   Whenever I ask them what a puppy says they all say "pup-pee."  It super cute, and I give them credit for at least copying me!  I have also been signing the itsy bitsy spider to them and a few are starting to get the hand motions down!  It has been really fun!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today Nick and I and two other volunteers were able to go to the beach!  It was a really pretty drive (well parts of it) and nice to see more of Haiti.  I love getting out and discovering new places here!!  The beach was amazing and we got to eat a nice lunch.  Nick decided to rent a kayak for the day (although apparently if you aren't using it for the whole time, the staff there will choose to "loan it" to someone else until you decide you want to use it again).  It was fun to take it out over the waves and get drenched.  They only had one paddle though so Nick had to do all the work.  He and Amy hit one wave that was so big it knocked them over backwards.

We were all very careful to put lots of sun screen on.  I even put some on before we left so that it would be soaked in by time we got there.  It did no good however.  We both got FRIED.  I am more burnt than I have ever been and it definitely hurts to move.  I had a towel over me for the last 2 hours or so and still got fried.  Luckily we have a ton of aloe here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Haiti, but not in Haiti

It's been a week since we have moved to Haiti, and we are in Haiti, but NOT in Haiti.

Physically yes, we are in Haiti, but we are very secluded, we have our own little piece of paradise here comparatively!  It is pouring in Haiti right now, and as I sit in my dry warm house, writing on my computer, I can't help put think about the million plus Haitians that are still living in tent cities in the Port au Prince and Jacmel areas.  They are getting wet, having mud flow into their tents and ruining the handful of items they own.  They will go to bed tonight on a wet mattress, if they are lucky enough to own one.  If not, they will sleep in the mud.

I then think about our nannies, many of whom have leaky houses.  But they don't have time to think about that.  Instead, they change poopy diapers and sign to smiling faces, trying to earn enough money so that they can feed their children tomorrow.

Being here is a daily reminder that people face trials on an everyday basis.  Last night in bible study we discussed James and how these trials bring us closer to God and give us a fuller life.  The verses we read are really becoming more and more clear to me today.  Our nannies thank God every day for the most basic items, for food, clothes, and shoes.  I would never think to thank God for my shoes because I have 10+ pairs, and it's something that everyone has, right?  Well, if you have ever gone with out them, then you would be thankful if God provided these to you.  I'm trying to understand this culture, but realize that I will never fully know what it is like to be Haitian.


Words can't describe

I have not blogged very much because it is so hard to describe things that happen here in a way that does the significance of an event any justice.

I have had a pretty busy first week.  We currently have 2 babies on oxygen that are staying in a Hospital at Milot.  I have been there a few times this week checking up on them.  We took a particular little girl to the Hospital this week that has a heart condition.  She was very reliant on oxygen as well.  Shortly after we arrived we discovered that the oxygen machines at the hospital actually produce less oxygen than our machine at COTP.  As things started potentially turning south I found myself watching intently as a Haitian Doctor and Nurse, Two Pediatrician Doctors from DC as well as a Peds Nurse from DC in an attempt to get an IV going to get some medicine in the baby.  It worked and the baby immediately started feeling better.  We had a good talk with the american Doctors and invited them to COTP which they were pretty excited about.

An hour or so later she started to go downhill pretty fast again.  We needed more oxygen quickly.  We sent a person to the ICU area to try and find more oxygen.  I followed in hopes to speed up the process.  I discovered that we were not after a machine, but literally a large oxygen tank with a regulator.  We found a person with a wrench that was in charge of putting the regulators on as well as another person with a hand truck bringing an oxygen tank.  When I arrived back we discovered that the tank had a leak and I set off for another.  When I came back we had a the team of US pediatricians back working on our little one, and she was already doing so much better.  

Yesterday I went to the hospital and she was stable and breathing better than she has in a very long time. Praise God! There is hopefully a Cardiologist Doctor coming next week that will be able to diagnose her and get the process of a medical visa started.  I reminded the team of pediatricians, mostly from Washington DC that they were welcome to come and visit and they said how about right now!  So we all piled back in my truck and we were able to give them a tour of COTP, while here they also checked in on our two premies as well as our hydrocephalous babies.  I really enjoy showing off our little place in Haiti.  COTP is somewhere to be very proud of.  We sure impressed the doctors!  After the tour I drove them back to the hospital so they can continue their work there.  

When we were back in the states I showed some of you videos of some of the crazy roads.  I have learned a new road since being back.  It is called the 'surgacane shortcut'  There are about 3 spots where it gets 'really' exciting.  Words cant really describe the size of the ruts and mounds and bumps, but what I can say is Hang On! It does save a lot of time driving back and forth to the hospital!

Today we had mail day.  We have tried really hard to teach people about the mail system.  Fedex, UPS, USPS, and DHL all do not deliver in northern Haiti!  That is why all packages to us need to be sent to Florida where they will be put on a plane and sent to us usually on Thursday.  I took a picture today, even though its not that exciting to us, it shows us unloading our mail from Agape.  Once we unload it we have to take it through Haitian Customs and then we take it back to COTP.  We received all the stuff that we had originally shipped down today.  Thank you everyone who donated blankets, toys, diapers, formula and the such.  It is all here now!  We will make sure it all goes to good use!  

Yesterday was 1 week since we arrived and we are so happy to be here.  We are building great relationships,  learning our new routine and responsibilities and loving babies.  The food has also been great, Waffles, omelets, french toast, as well as some amazing pasta for lunch today!!  We have had 3 creole lessons so far, we should be at 6 lessons but I have been so busy during the day that we have had to cancel half of them.  Tomorrow I am going to go the the hardware stores to get supplies to start on my long todo list.  Hopefully there will be some pictures of some completed projects sometime next week!  

Thank you every one for your unconditional support!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Birthday Celebrations!!

Last year on my birthday I was in Kenya teaching English and Math to Fourth Graders!  This year I was in Haiti playing with precious babies!  Life can't get much better than that!!

I had a really great birthday!!  A few of the short term volunteers here made me a birthday cake and Jenny made Chicken Alfredo as a special treat for dinner!  It was really good!!  Afterwards, I got to open gifts, which were all wrapped in toilet paper, as Haitian tradition would have it!!!  All the presents were really random stuff from Haiti!  I got a few local souvenirs which are really cute!  In my bag was also a plastic cockroach (which will be fun to hide for when people come down), a bag of Haitian cheetos, some sweet tinted glasses, a head band, and other stuff!!

(notice the plastic cockroach in my hand!!!)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Brazil won!!

Today has been a lot of fun, probably my favorite since we have been here.  We got up early, well early for me, it was Nicks normal time to get up, and went to Milot to pick up our babies.  Two were ready to come home but the other had to stay.  One of these is our new roommate, more on her in a bit.

The pharmacy at the hospital didn't open for 1 hour after we got there.  We all decided to walk through the town for a bit to see what was around.  On the way Nick saw a little shack that said "Barber" and decided that his hair was getting long and that he could benefit from getting it cut.  I had planned on cutting his hair, but he insisted that this was a better idea.  Well it wasn't!  This was the longest, worst hair cut I have ever seen!

The barber cleaned their razor by putting hand sanitizer on it.  Then he went to put the wrap around Nicks neck so that hair didn't get down his shirt.  This was a good idea, except all they had was toilet paper, which in this humidity, stuck to Nicks sweaty neck and he walked around with little bits of TP all over him for the next hour.  The bottom part of Nicks hair was shaved pretty short, but the guy basically forgot to do the top.  He looks like he has a bad bull cut.  He has one part that is shaved about an inch higher than the rest!  I'm trying to talk him into letting me just buzz it all so that it is at least even, but we'll see how that goes!!

Once back at COTP, Nick climbed up on the roof and set up an antenna so that we could watch the world cup game.  Haitians for some reason love the Brazil team, and luckily they were playing today.  I was in the court yard when all of the sudden I heard our nannies screaming, jumping, and dancing all over the place.  Apparently Brazil scored and they were all very excited.  All of us volunteers, all the nannies, yard boys, and children watched the whole game.  The kids were so cute sitting there so patiently!  The nannies loved it and as soon as the game was over kept telling Nick thanks repetitively!  It was nice to see the joy on their faces!

GOAL!!! from Nick Stolberg on Vimeo.

Now on to our new room mate.  She is 2 lbs, 8 oz, and just got released from the hospital.  She is so small that the premie clothes and diapers are too big for her.  She has the cutest little poop, it is also very tiny.  She really likes to be held.  So far she has been eating 25 ml every two hours which is really good! We have to set our alarm and get up with her every two hours tonight, which means we are going to be pretty tired in a few days!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

1 pound

1 pound isn't very much.  It's half a brick of cheese or a 12 oz water bottle.  These things you expect to be light weight, but not a baby.  We currently have a baby that weighs 1 pound 13 oz.  She is so cute and precious.  She was born 2 months early, and the doctors told her Mom to bring her here because we could take care of her.  She is about 20 days old.  If there were a 1 pound baby born in the US, they would be put into an incubator with a ton of cords connected to them.  Here, we don't do that.  The baby is sleeping in an icolet (the plastic crib type things that they have at hospitals) in a volunteers room.

Her bottle is tiny, looks like the size of a dolls bottle, but she does a good job sucking and is eating well.  She is realitively healthy and from what we can tell at this point, doesn't have anything the matter with her except size.  We have to wash our hands every time we hold her and keep her away from the other children because she is much to small to get sick.

We have some pictures up on our picture blog.  This can be accessed by clicking the "Haiti Picture" link at the top of this page.  If you don't have the password to this please email us and we can give it to you... greblots@gmail.com.


Busy Day

Today was busy, but lots of fun.  This morning was pool day and we took all the Elefants and Zandolits (the 2 oldest groups of kids) and put them in little kiddy pools.  A few loved it, others hated it.  Then we had a mini water fight between the volunteers and nannies.  I ended up getting pretty wet and didn't even get in the pools because there were too many people.  There was one little boy, around 2 who didn't want to get in the water any more, so I held him and then he fell asleep in my arms.  It was very cute.

After the pool Nick and I, and a group of short term volunteers went into downtown Cap Haitien.  Nick has never driven that part, and it was kinda stressful in some ways because there is so much going on.  There are a ton of pedestrians, people on bicycles and motos, and then tons of cars.  There aren't any lanes, so you can go where ever you want.  People will stop in front of you and you have to go around them even if someone else is coming head on towards you!   We wont' even talk about the road conditions!  We didn't get in an accident and didn't get lost which was good!

We went to the "tourist market" so that the volunteers could buy some gifts before they leave.  We were literally the only tourist there, there aren't many people who come to Haiti.  Next we went to La Kay (the House) which is a really good restaurant.  We had hamburgers, fries, good fruit drinks, and ice cream for $7 USD.  This is the first time that I have anything other than water since we have been here.  Next stop was the grocery store which was super expensive. We bought a 6 pack of watermelon pop (apparently it's good, we haven't tried it yet) and a thing of ketchup for 1000 goudes, or $13 USD.  A thing of cheap shampoo in the US is around $20 here.

Back at COTP we played with the children.  I am starting to learn all the older childrens personality and discovering where they could use extra help.  I plan on starting preschool with them on Monday which will give me a chance to really get to know them.  We played keep away from a bunch of the kids (we were nice about it), but it was so funny to watch them try and get the ball!  Super cute!!

Nick has been busy installing a new stove, killing rats, and fixing the 101 random things that have needed to be done since the last property manager left 6 months ago!

It's time for us to go to bed, we have to get up early to go to Milot and pick up our 3 children who have been in ICU there.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

My First Dead Rat

Today we received our mail and I was very excited to find the 3 rat traps that I purchased online arrived.  I have been researching rat traps for the past few months trying to figure out the most effective, safest, and humane way to get rid of the few rats that may be around.  My final decision was on and electronic tube that shocks the rat to death.  It is very easy to set up.  You put in 4 AA batteries, dump some dog food in the back, put a piece or 2 in the front and then turn on the switch.  The rat dies instantly of electrocution.  Then a handy led blinks on the top letting you know that there has been an electrocution and it is ready for dumping.  Cleaning it requires simply shaking it above the garbage can, it falls out, and is ready to go again.

I had my first "kill" around 5:30.  I saw the blinking red light and got pretty excited and nervous.  I went and inspected the contraption and didn't see a thing.  Closer inspection reveled that there was a fried cockroach.  So, that area has 1 less cockroach.  I was a little bummed but still had high hopes. I told Nikki that by 8 tonight I would have my first dead rat.  So at 8:06 I went and inspected and sure enough another blinking read light.  After my overwhelming disappointment last time I simply shined my flashlight expecting a false alarm.  Much to my surprise there was a very large rat.  I have been smiling ever since.

Hopefully my next post won't be about giant dead rats!

Other than killing dead rats I have been pretty busy around here.  A door knob busted this evening in the baby house which is always exciting, I went to the Hospital in Milot and checked on a few babies, and have been learning a lot about how the orphanage functions.  After my first full day here I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and feel completely blessed to be here.  Thank you again everyone for all of your support.  And I would like to wish a special happy birthday to my sister Allison!!


Explosive Diaper

I got an official welcome back today from Nicks favorite girl from last time!  She is around 2 and was sitting on my lap.  When she crawled down, there was diarrhea all over my leg.  Poopy Haitian diapers are the worst, they stink so bad!

Today was fun.  Nick and I are being taught all the tasks that we are going to take over.  Nick got to go to the airport and pick up the mail, which takes 3-4 hours.  A lot of our stuff came which is good!  Nick also got to go into Milot today to check on the 3 kids we have in the hospital, and brought one home.  I'm jealous that he got to go out twice today.

I had my first day of Creole lessons today (Nick was in town).  I definately have a long way to go, but I think Renel will be a good tutor for us.

We both helped with Depot, which is when we give out diapers, formula, soap, and clothes to the nannies. We do this every morning, night, and a few times through out the day.  This will be one of our jobs in a few weeks.  We haven't figured out which one of us will do it yet, maybe we will tag team it.  I also helped Amy take the temperatures of several children from the community who where not feeling well.  Amy said that she gets 10-20 people a day that come in.  As word spreads that we have a nurse again, we will be getting more and more people coming to our gate, which is good that we can help the community.

There was a little boy around 8 years old that came in today.  Something is wrong with his leg, and he has trouble walking and has to use a crutch.  He didn't have any shoes and his feet where filthy.  We found one pair of shoes, the biggest pair we had in the Depot and gave them to him.  They fit perfectly.  He tried them on, and walked around with a giant smile on his face saying Meci, meci, meci (thank you, thank you, thank you).  It is amazing how much something so small can make some ones day.  I met a lady from the community that we give money to so that she can buy medicine for her HIV.

Amy did a blood test on two of our babies today and they both came back positive for HIV.  They are too young for us to tell if this is antibodies from their moms, or if they are actually HIV positive, we'll have to do a different test in a few months to determine the results.

Today we had a painting session with the kids, which they loved, I think they got paint every where except for the paper.  Most tried to eat the brush and ended up with paint all over their faces.  It was a good day!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This is Home

After about 30 hours of traveling, we are finally at Children of the Promise.  Arriving in Port Au Prince was an experience.  We were ushered into a shack, which is where we went through customs.  We were never asked to show proof of our return, but other long term volunteers said they have been cracking down on this recently.  They all did what we did too.  From there we found a taxi to take us from the International airport to the Domestic airport.  We had so much luggage that the trunk couldn't even close.  No big deal though, we just piled it all on top and drove the 2 miles to the next place.  Luckily none fell out, but it was a sight to be seen.  I wanted to take a picture of it, but everything was removed before I got out of the taxi.

Our confirmation page for our Pap to Cap flight said that we left at 11, but when we checked in we were told that it wouldn't leave until 12-12:30.  We didn't actually leave until closer to 1, so Rikens and Amy had to wait at the Cap airport for us for several hours.  That flight was only 30 mins though which wasn't to bad.

There are already a few cultural things that we have picked up on here.  One being that  before every flight that Tortug takes (and let me remind you that each flight is only 30 mins long), they have to inspect the plane, which involves someone crawling on top of it.  Not really sure what this is for, but we saw this happen a lot today.

It feels really good to finally be back.  It doesn't really feel like we have left, we feel really comfortable here.  Things are really quite.  When we were here in January the airport was overflowing with helicopters, planes, and missionaries.  Today there was only our plane which carried about 8 of us.

There are only 8 children here that were here last time.  That means learning all new names!  All the kids are so young.  Our first time here a lot of the children were 4-5 years old.  Now, all the children are under the age f 3, most under 1.  We currently have 32 children in our care.  Yesterday they took in a 1 lb 13 oz baby that is unreal looking.  I will post more on that later, but she is super cute.

We have been taking today super easy because we are exhausted.  It will be a much more productive day tomorrow!

Proof of Return

As US citizens, when we go to Haiti, we have to prove that we are leaving the country.  We just tried to check in and were told that we had a problem since we only have one way tickets.  We told the guy that we aren't sure when we will come back to the States.  However, to avoid being detained, fined, and brought back to the US, we had to purchase return tickets.  We purchased the most expensive ones, $582 a piece, however, these ones are FULLY refundable.  As soon as we get through customs in Haiti, we will call American Airlines and get every penny back.  The guy was really helpful and it seems that this happens a lot because he knew exactly which option would be the best for us!  Don't want to jinx ourselves yet, but if this is the only hurdle we have to jump through than we are far ahead of our last trip to Haiti!!

Email Addresses Needed

Hey Everyone,

Nick and I are working on our thank yous from the Dinner/Auction and only have less than half of everyones email address.  If you attended the event and didn't write down your email on the check in form, would you mind emailing it to us at greblots@gmail.com.  We have a whole list of people we would like to thank, but no way of getting a hold of them!

Thanks so much!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Half way there.

Our first two flights (portland to vegas and vegas to Ft lauderdale) have been good.  Nothing to exciting there.  Nick lost a dollar gambling at the airport.  We are now hanging out in the airport waiting to recheck our bags, but the ticket counter doesn't open for a few more hours.  I tried sleeping for a while, but was not successful.  The carpets are in the process of being shampooed right now and with the combination of people walking by, the bright lights, and hard floor, I am still awake.

Amy, the nurse at COTP just updated her facebook status and said that there is a new baby at COTP that is 1 lb 13oz.  I can't wait to meet him or her in a few more hours.  I have never seen such a small baby and I can't even imagine it.  Also, COTP just updated there blog.  You can read more about what has been happening the last few weeks here.

Pray that our last two legs of this trip will go well.  Also pray for our families who are already missing us!!


2 hours!!!

In two hours we will be at the Portland airport and on our way to Haiti!!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Our last day in the States has been relaxing (for me at least).  My mom surprised me with a massage today for my birthday, and then tonight Nick and I have been enjoying a relaxing evening in our "Jaccuzi Suite." A family friend donated a night to us at his hotel, and we have really appreciated being able to relax; this past week and a half has been crazy.  Today is such a contrast from what our life is going to be like in a few more days.  It kind of makes me feel guilty, but I tried to enjoy it while I can!  We even ordered pizza tonight, assuming it'll be the last time we get that for at least a year!

In 12 more hours we will be checking in at the airport.  We are SO ready to be there.  Well I should be off to bed since I wont be getting much sleep tomorrow night on the cold, hard, Ft Lauderdale airport floor!!  Oh the joys of traveling on a budget!!

Pray for safe travels and that we don't get stuck in Florida for a few days like we did last time!!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

For the last time!!!

The past couple of days have been filled with a bunch of "for the last time's."  So much has happened and there is so much I have wanted to write down so that I don't forget it later, but haven't had the time too.  Going back to Bellingham for graduation was a weird feeling.  When we left 9 days ago, I basically said goodbye to it all and it felt weird to be back.  As soon as we got to the parking lot of our apartment I knew that things were different.  All the old routines that we have had for the past few years are gone and our apartment didn't even feel like ours any more.

I'm going to rant for the next 30 seconds, sorry, feel free to skip this paragraph if you don't want to read it.  Any way, we gave the new tenants a key before we left because they had to be out of their dorm room and didn't want to haul everything home just to turn around and bring it back up 5 days later.  We cleaned out one whole room for them to put their stuff in.  When we got to the apartment, it was quite clear they had been living there for the past week.  I could tell that they had been showering and using our washer and dryer, even though we are still paying for the electricity.  One light was left on for who knows how long and they used all the toilet paper that we had left there.  It was kind of frustrating, but oh well.

We got up to Bellingham Friday night and moved the last of our stuff out Saturday morning.  The afternoon was taken up with graduation and then we drove down to Ridgefield and unloaded the trailer.  I said good by to Western and Bellingham, knowing I won't see it again for several years.  I am officially an unemployed, homeless, uninsured, college graduate, and it feels great!!

Today has been a busy day.  We had our going away/Nikki Graduated from College/Nikki's turning 21 party.  It was great to have some time to spend with our close friends and family and really get to say goodbye.  Saying goodbye to Kiara was very difficult for me, she of course is too young to understand what was going on, but I am defiantly going to miss that girl a ton.  Nick had to say good bye to his sister tonight which was difficult for him.

After our party, we went up to my Aunt and Uncles for my grandparents 50th anniversary.  I was thankful that we were here to celebrate it with them and didn't miss it!  At this I had to say goodbye to all my cousins and aunts and uncles.  It was only 7 months ago that we announced we were moving; seems weird that it's already time for us to go!

We are so excited and ready to be there!  Tomorrow is our last full day in the States!!  We'll be in Haiti before we know it!!

College Graduate!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A day at the zoo!!

Yesterday Kiara, Nick, and I went to the zoo!!  There were a ton of people there, but it was really fun!!  She got so excited about seeing all the animals!  Between each exhibit she would say "march, march, march" and stomp her little feet!!  She ran non stop for almost the whole 5 hours we were there!!  She was really well behaved and we were glad that we took her!  She crashed in the car on the way home!!  We asked her what her favorite animal was and she said the elephant, but that might just be because that was the last animal we looked at before leaving!!

My Mom and I picked her up Monday from the doctors and she told us "I went to the doctors and got shots, and then I freaked out!!" It was really cute!  She also really wanted to "shoot beanie buns (translation: bb guns) at boxes with Uncle Nick because it's really fun," and kept talking about it until he finally let her shoot!  She is the most adorable little thing ever and I am really going to miss her!!



Monday, June 7, 2010

Rough Estimates

We have been given some rough estimate on what the auction/dinner brought in.  We raised around $17,000 which is AMAZING!!  I'm not sure if this is before or after costs, such as food, etc.  Either way this is amazing and we are very thankful for everyone who contributed to making this happen!!  Only 8 more days!!


We just shipped all of our stuff and it cost $276 to get it to Florid and $325 to go from Florida to Haiti.  In addition to these costs, we will also have to pay approximately $100 to get our bags from Port Au Prince to Cap Haitien.  That last part we won't really know how much it will cost until we get there.  In order to take extra bags we have to bribe the people who load the plane, so we won't know what the going rate is until we are there!!  In the end it'll be around $700 to get all of our stuff to Haiti, but it's worth it!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

500+ LBS

We just spent the past 5.5 hours packing all of our stuff for Haiti!  We have over 500 lbs of stuff to ship and we still have people who are supposed to be bringing more donations to us with in the next few days!  We will probably have between 550-600 pounds once we get everything!  At approximately $3 a pound that adds up pretty quickly!  I would say that less than 100 pounds of this is our personal stuff, and the rest is items to donate.  We have bought a ton of games and educational toys for the preschool and people have donated a lot of blankets, clothes, and diapers!!

With any luck, this stuff should arrive in Haiti the same day as we do.  If not than hopefully it will be there the following week (we get all our mail every Wednesday)!!  It feels good to have this crossed off our list and be one step closer to being in Haiti!!  We are going to take it all to the post office tomorrow to ship out!  Hopefully none of the boxes break or get lost!  So ready to just be there!!




Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Hey All,

The dinner and auction went really well last night!  We had a great turn out, almost every seat was full which is awesome.  We had people calling yesterday afternoon wanting seats and having extra donations that they wanted to give to us!  We had over 150 items; so much stuff that we barely had enough table space for it all.  It was amazing and really cool to see how it all came together!  The dessert auction was great, one item sold for nearly $200!

Nick and I have not heard the total yet, but it seems like we did pretty well!!  If we raise over the amount that we need for our yearly expenses, we will use the rest for Haiti related items.  At this point we don't really know what that will be and will have a better idea once we are there, but we want to make it clear that all proceeds will benefit the people of Haiti in some way or another.  This may include giving money directly to COTP, buying stuff for COTP, or helping out people in our community.  Almost daily we have people coming to our gate who need help with things.  They may have a sick child and need $5 to take them to the doctors, or need extra money for food that month.  Nick and I are already planning on taking some money to give out when these needs arise!

Once again, we would like to thank all the people that helped put on this event.  There was Lisa, who organized it all, Rhonda who was in charge of donations,  Tom the auctioneer, Charlotte in charge of decorating, Dan and Mackenzie in charge of the finances, Joe who cooked the food, and SO MANY MORE!!!  The entire South Ridge Community Church was very involved in this and helped sponsor the event!  We were given donations from many local companies such as G2 outdoor living, Ship Brothers, Evergreen Animal Hospital, Zebrums, the Corner Store, Tri Mountain, Lewis River Golf, Pine Crest, Pacific Boat Land, Premier Property Management, Seasons, Teriyaki Zone, Solar Escape, and SO MANY MORE!!  We also received a lot of donations from individuals!!  There were also over 20 delicious dessert all home made for the auction!  We had 19 amazing hosts and hostesses who invited guests, and decorated tables!!  We appreciate the youth who helped serve, and Kayla for helping lead that up!  And last but not least, we appreciate the nearly 200 guests that attended the event, bided on items, and paid for the outrageously expensive desserts!!

We really appreciate the help of our community for pulling together to help our efforts in Haiti!  We are beyond excited to be there in 9 more days!!

Thanks so much!!
Nick and Nikki

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Prayers Needed

Hey everyone,

We could all use your prayers right now.  Nicks uncle passed away suddenly today while on a bike ride with his wife.  Please pray for his wife, kids, and the rest of the family as we go through this.  We just lost Gramps, Nicks Grandpa in January, and are still grieving from that.

Thanks for your support, we appreciate it!


Big Event!!

Today is the day of the big auction and dinner that so many people have been working really hard on for the past few months!  We are really excited to see how it all comes together and be able to talk about our trip to everyone in attendance!  More updates tomorrow with the results!!  I'm supposed to be working on our presentations right now!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Moved out!

Yesterday we moved out of our apartment and are now living at Nicks parents house for the next few days.  The past week has included a lot of packing, cleaning and unpacking.  It seemed like every time we packed something we would end up needing it and have to unpack it.  I guess that's the hardest part about doing it a little bit at a time rather than all at once.  We still have a load of stuff that needs to be moved down, but my Dad will put that all in his trailer next weekend when we are back in Bellingham for graduation.  It will feel so nice just to be done with it all.  Our load last night was so large that I had a box at my feet and couldn't put my feet on the ground, and a large bag on my lap.  Lets just say it wasn't the most comfortable ride ever.

It's kinda sad for me to leave Bellingham, it has really become home for me over the past 3 years we have been living there.  I feel like I have grown so much while there and it's weird to be leaving it all behind.  Bellingham is one of the prettiest places I have ever been.  There were so many great places to go hiking and backpacking.  We are both really going to miss that!  We are also going to miss the friends that we have made while there.

An update on Larry, I talked to my professor the other day and she informed me that Larry Bob is doing good.  She has already taken over the house and is beginning to feel at home.  This made me feel a lot better because Larry doesn't transition well and I was afraid she might have a hard time.  Sounds like she is being spoiled though which is good!  I haven't gotten an update on Theo but he can go anywhere and be fine, so I know he's doing good!  He is probably driving them nuts by biting their toes bright and early, or trying to crawl onto their shoulders to hang out.  I'll probably email them before we leave to see how he is doing!

These next few days will be our "summer vacation," not that it's going to be much of a vacation because we have so much to do in the next 10 short days.  The reality that we are leaving soon is slowly starting to sink in.  We have been waiting for this for 9 months and it's just around the corner.  It still seems unreal.  Nick and I are SO excited to go, we wish we were leaving today!

Off to surprise my Mom at work, she doesn't know I am down this early!!