Saturday, October 17, 2009

It's been awhile, but I've been very busy with work and such. School is in full swing, and I have a slew of new responsibilities and activities to take my time.

Now at school, I'm working with the most special needs children who are unable to learn in our school and tend to disrupt. Taisha is autistic, unresponsive and uncontrollable. Chrisitian is the same, but will babble to himself and steal from the other children. Clara is content to lay on the floor, and if you try to pick her up (which is difficult, because she is a heavy girl) she hits, screams and lays back down in the end anyway. Working individually with these kids is part of my day, trying to get them to sit, control their movements, listen to direction and letting them exert all the energy outside.

Still swimming with the kids several times a week, though for shorter periods of time. The kids need to be in class, so its more of a cool off/recreation time than actual lessons. The school day is also shortnened, because the kids really cannot handle more than 6 hours. Instead of taking the bus home at 3, it leaves at 1:30 which leaves considerably less time to get everything I want to done. I come back to Petionville and embroider or translate documents for the hospital for a few hours and call it a day.

My babies at the hospital are all doing fine now after a little drama in the last few weeks. Going to the hospital has become so difficult, because I have to search for the weaker babies every time I go. They are constantly moved from recovery to urgent care to special needs, and without a parents to sit with them when they are in the sick room, I have become that person. I sit with the other Haitian mothers for as long as I can holding whichever baby is sick, but this leaves less time for therapy with the healthier kids. Last week, I went to my newest girl's bed to find her having a seizure. She's being medicated but her malnutrion has caused neurological damage.

After all this stress, I got very sick for about a week. It doesn't help that when the children are sick, their parents send them to school anyway. Several of our kids had the flu and were still put on the school bus, where they wilted in the heat of Tabarre and couldn't stay sitting up in class. I caught the flu from Cindy, a little girl with downs syndrome who crawled in my lap when she was too sick for her chair anymore. I went to the doctor and was told I had the flu, laryngitis and a respritory tract infection and laid around all week.

After all that, I prioritized and cut back at the hospital. I will continue to work with the special needs children there, but will not take responsibilty for any more malnurished children. I will only take 2 of the 6 children I have to St. Germaine for therapy, because the walk there is hot, humid and draining for the babies. They don't have the strength to be moved and face the heat like that.

Its been a challenging few weeks, and I'm looking forward to coming home for a break in December. My newest problem is deciding when to come back to Haiti. I could come back after a week at home and meet some celebrities that are coming to visit (James Franco and Charlize Theron) and spend Christmas here OR spend another week and a half at home and see everyone. Its cheaper to come back later and lord knows I'm broke, but it would be cool to meet these people and spend Christmas with the kids. On the other hand, I need a break and I don't know if a week will do it. I'm very open to suggestions here.