More from Nathan Stewart in Jacmel, Haiti

I have been working continuously on the kitchen cabinets for the Orphanage. It has taken up much of my time, but I am thankful that I was able to continue, after experiencing problems with my right leg. It is much better now, after receiving medical attention.

A couple of weeks ago I received some funds from family members. I wanted to use it for something special. I arranged for some of the older girls and a couple of nannies to accompany me to the market, they were thrilled at the thought of going. They are at the age when they recognize what others are wearing and compare themselves to them. I wanted them to experience shopping for their own new clothes. They each bought new footwear and an outfit. The next Saturday I took more nannies and the older boys, they were equally excited and enjoyed themselves very much. If you could experience the joy and pleasure they feel and show, you would understand the emotions I experience when taking them. It is such a great feeling to give to others who have nothing.

I have had so many experiences meeting new people, each one with their own story, and yet they are similar. Many people have very little as far as possessions. Some are very hungry, others have very little clothing. I met a lady at church whose husband died, leaving her to raise 4 children on very little. Her house is a tent. Her children cling to me and sit on my knee when they have the opportunity at church. Riding on the same tap tap after church, she tells me about her circumstances, asking me to pray for her. I sit there listening, holding her children, my heart breaking for her. There is so much struggle, pain and suffering for so many. It is something that I have to deal with repeatedly in my mind.
Jacmel has experienced several earth tremors in the past month. I was never in the areas where they were felt. We received phone calls warning us about a couple of them. They were detected on a early warning system. We gathered the children outside away from the buildings, and remained there until the danger passed. On one occasion, the older children were in school in Jacmel. The school building started shaking, they ran to get out of the building, some told me later that they jumped from the second floor to get away. They seem to take the scare well, they returned to school the next day just as excited as before. The children here love to go to school. It is a privilege for them, not a requirement. They realize education is important, and they dream about becoming a Doctor, Teacher, Police Officer, etc. just like all children do. Many children do not have a lot of education, as they do not have the money to attend school. I recently met a 17 year old girl in Jacmel. I inquired about her school, what grade she was in. She replied that she had just finished grade 3. I was stunned. She went on to tell me she would complete her schooling when she turns 21. I drive her home afterwards, my mind still trying to grasp what she shared with me. Many of our children complain about going to school, myself included. In Haiti, it means the difference from a life in poverty to a life of opportunity. The children at the Orphanage get up at 5-5:30 am every morning and leave for school at 6:30 am.

I will wrap this report up by letting you all know that I am home for a couple of weeks, needing more supplies and tools, as I cannot find them in Haiti. I will be returning in about 2 weeks. I miss being in Haiti already. I also miss the warm weather!!! It is cold here in Canada!!!!

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