Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Taylor & Jorden - Day #2

After a nice long sleep (going to bed around 8:30pm and waking up around 9:00) we got up, fueled up on coffee and we were out the door.

We started our day by visiting the young boys who suffer from muscular dystrophy, William and Raul. We are purchasing batteries for their wheelchairs so that they can have better use of them throughout the day, making them more mobile. We are working through the details of finding the best and most effective batteries that will stayed charged, which may require obtaining one from the larger city of Monterrey, but this dream will be fulfilled, and we hope very soon.

Next we travelled to Jesus, a man who recently got hit by a car while riding his bike and had to have his intestines repaired as well as major operations on his broken legs so that he could maybe walk again. He is doing much better after having surgery that was supported partially by iam1ru supporters. Through the assistance of a wheel chair he is somewhat mobile. However, the doctor's orders are for him to be up on his feet more. So, Rick and Lisa purchased a walker for Jesus and he was thrilled, a little nervous to try and stand, but from the joy on his face, this walker will change this man's life greatly. 

The day was concluded by some touring of Linares, a chicken feast at the Bursey's, some fireworks compliment of the boys (Alex and Jackson) and then some quality bonding time around the house.

Special Agents Johnstone and Marlow - Out!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day #1 - Special Agents Marlow & Johnstone

December 28th 2010 - Monterrey Mexico

The day started bright and early with a 6:30 am flight from Toronto to Detroit - but was not without excitement with the celebrity appearance of Justin Beiber in Pearson airport. 

Flight from Detroit to Monterrey was delayed for roughly 45 minutes because of ice on the wing, but once we were in the sky it was 'Hello Sunshine!' and the plane was even on time.

Arrived in Monterrey around 12:30 - cleared customs with ease, other than Jorden being hard of hearing on account of the air pressure - haha. The Bursey's made it just in time to pick us up, take us for lunch and then we hit the ground running - off to Roman's house to look into getting him some windows and bars to make his house warm and safe for his daughter who is ill with typhoid fever. Our hope is that this will be a dream we can fulfill while we are here in Mexico.

Finally got to relax at the Bursey's Mexican palace here in Linares - contacting with our loved ones and getting ready to SLEEEEEP. But cannot wait for the rest of the week!!

Special Agents Johnstone and Marlow - Out!

Special Agents Marlow & Johnstone

Taylor Marlow & Jorden Johnstone are students at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  During this holiday season they wanted to do something to help others in another country.  With that in mind we contacted our Dream Agents in Mexico, Rick & Lisa Bursey.  The trip was set up and early this morning Vee and I picked up Jorden in Cambridge and met Taylor and her mother Bonnie at the airport in Toronto.  I helped the girls get checked through (it was the first time ever that I used the kiosk check in without any issues) and sent them toward US customs.  As I write this entry they will be boarding their plane to Detroit and then will head to Monterrey, Mexico where the Burseys will pick them up.  The pic above was taken this morning at the airport.  Stay tuned to the blog for updates of their travels in Mexico.
* Special Note: Phil decided to jump in one of their who knows what kind of monkey business may begin.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No worries!

A calm office manager by day....

A security "terror" by night and day!  When you need her....Erta is ready to defend!
Sorry I could not resist posting this pic.  Seriously...this young lady is changing the "relational fabric" of Haiti.  You would do well to have her as part of your team.  Trust me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It was crazy!

Well...what a day!  This Canadian team was incredible....seriously.  They were a credit to their country.
The day started early with setup beginning at 8am.

It was a good thing we started was pretty hot today.

After a couple hours we had a very nice theatre setup ready for the folks to begin to pour in.

The Big Kahuna, Bill Manaserro was running sound for the event.  He is one cool cat!

We opened the doors at about 2:30 for a 3pm start.  As you can see there was a lineup outside.  Each person got a wristband that entered.  We handed out 400 wristbands.  It was supposed to make the whole event go was wild.

It was a full house.  By the time we got around to feeding 400 people it was dark. It was crazy.  Wow.
Everybody got rice....a couple salads....chicken....and a drink.

 It was crazy.  Man....I live for this stuff.  The Fin was loving it all!  Ask him about chasing the kid that scaled over the wall trying to get an extra gift bag!  I am talking about reflexes like a cat baby!

Notice the white spots?  That is dust.  The line was constantly was pressing forward...the children wanting a gift bag.  Jody Pilon had my back!  It was a blast.
We are leaving tomorrow.  Stay tuned for the video to be released over the next week.  It is not too late to sponsor a dream before Christmas on the iam1ru website.
Thanks again to all who sponsored the gift bags and the trip in general.  The team was props to them all...
Mary Farrow.....your heart to serve was incredible...watching you do dishes most nights...full of joy...brought joy and passion to my soul.
Marcel are a working machine.  However, watching  you collect garbage after feeding 400 did my soul well.
George Passmore...watching you be "moved" by one encounter after another was incredible.  Keep serving all in your path.
Roger were created to do this stuff as much as you can.  What an asset you are to any team!
Kelly are like a Humanitarian Trip McGyver!  You crack me up!  You need to travel with me more!
Jody Pilon...anytime...any PI Team...just let me know when.
Gabriela and serving overflows from your pockets.  C'mon now!
Milt Farrow...our elder statesman!  You are a tribute to what it means to be Canadian and a servant.
Peter "Fin" had my back at all times.  Let's do it again baby!

Group Hug!

As we begin Wednesday December 22...

As we begin the day of crazy activity and the big presentation I thought I would post a few more pics....enjoy.

The team walking from the meeting at the ravine.

A lady sitting on the roof of a house and watching the feeding program.

What can I say about this pic?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Afternoon at the Ravine

In behind the Guest House is a ravine which is inhabited by quite a few people.  While I was here in June with the team we had joined a church service the last morning we were here.  We took this team back to the ravine this afternoon.  We had given money so that rice & chicken could be purchased and cooked ahead and then we showed up for a short meeting...actually a short church about singing...oh my!  It was an opportunity for some of the team to bring greetings and they did a great job.  We fed quite a few people and it was a great opportunity to bring a shot of hope to these folks.  The pic below is of the food that was being cooked...

During the singing some of the team got right into it.  Here Marcel is doing the "Marshakka Mumbo"...

Mary Farrow is a serving machine!

Kelly and Fin had the assembly line going...

Once they got their food the children had to leave the building.  It was the only way to keep control.

We also chatted with the local pastor about whether "milk bag" mats would be of a benefit.  He was quite intrigued with the mat.  Once I explained what it could be used for...he kept it.  Thanks so much to Ruth McGauley and all those who helped put the mats together.

Enough said.

Tuesday, December 21st

I am up early again.  My body is to mosquitoes what the Mandarin is to me!  Yikes.  No worries folks I am heavy duty into some malaria medication.  Enough of my slight discomforts.  This is the last day before the big presentation/party/shindig/pageant/ is dress rehersal day.  Here are a few of my favourite pics from yesterday.

You need to take a few minutes and head over to the iam1ru website and look under the "dreams" tab and see what you can sponsor for Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It was quite a day!

The kids gathered at 10am this morning for rehersal.  As you can see they were working hard at listening intently to instructions.

Today was "feeding program" day again.  Usually about 90-100 children gather for some fun activities and some food, which is usually rice and beans.  However, today for a few extra bucks we were able to have chicken added to the meal and we found out something else was happening with the children and an extra 100 kids or more were invited in.  It was crazy!  Below is a pic of the little children sitting and enjoying their meal.

Okay...are you ready for a cool story?  There was a man there who's name was Gary and he runs a small orphanage for boys that presently has 11 young lads that have come straight from the street.  They were at the afternoon feeding program today and when it came time to serve, they jumped right in to help serve the food.  When it came to the end of the serving time there was no food left for them.  They sat there very politely.  Marcel and I overheard a conversation about what they were going to do to feed the boys.  They were talking about taking them back to the orphanage to feed them.  If you know anything about PI you know what is coming next.  Oh yeah baby!  The last shall become first!  We gave Gary enough money to take the young lads out for a hamburg and fries and ice cream!  That is what I am talking about!  Every child should feel special.  This pic below is of the happy crew just before they "bolted" for the restaurant!  C'mon now...somebody shout!  I was thinking of my good friend Gramma Donna as I took this photo!

The team is in high gear...

It is 9:45am here and it is already 25C and climbing.  I admire the Manaserros so much as they not only have long term plans and dreams but they also deal with the "immediate" day after day.  As you can see by the pic below here is a lineup of people looking for help, standing outside the guest house at 9:30am.

                        ......wait a that George Passmore standing in the front of the line?

The gift bags are almost complete.  Mary, Jody and Gabriela did a wonderful job.  Thank you so much to all those that donated to the gift bags.  We actually had extra money come in which we have used to help purchase extra supplies to build a stage, some backdrop material, some material for curtains and we are also throwing a bit of a party for the folks that live in a small tent city in the ravine close to here.  Trust me...there are always more needs than we have money!  However, your generosity has helped us bring hope to many.

Here are the guys measuring the area for the curtains that will be put up for the presentation.  We are doing a lot of ground work and building that will be used in years to come.

Monday and counting....

It is early Monday morning and most of us are up.  We will be heading to the team meeting soon at 7am on the roof of the Guest House.  Things will be happening fast and furious over the next couple of days as preparations are coming together quickly for the Christmas Presentation.  Stay tuned here daily for at least a couple reports per day.  Here are a few of my favourite pics of the first few days.

Gabriela Deschamps from Espanola is holding a little girl at the feeding program on Friday.  There are lots of little children all over the streets and you wonder who takes care of them.  Sometimes other children take care of them.  You wonder where the parent(s) are.

Mary Farrow is a machine!  Not only is she a machine...she is a machine with a smile on her face.  Always willing to help....always has a smile.

That crazy Milt Farrow.  While Mary (his wife) is busy sweeping he is busy shooting skating videos.  He tried to pass himself off as Tony ended up with him making this trip in the back of a secure truck.  I wonder where he is headed.  lol. are the bomb!

This is Dave.  He is not quite two yet and he wanders the street in front of the Guest House...sometimes all alone.  He seems to find himself in the Guest House quite a few times during the day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Stuff

We were up early on Saturday.  Roger was off and running with resident nurse Brooke doing a short run at the clinic.  They make a great team as you can see in the pic below.  What a great addition Roger is to the team!  Roger can join an iam1ru team anytime.

It must be the heat in Haiti, or something in the spices in the food, but Milt Farrow is into some crazy youth rejuvenation!  It is crazy as you can see!  Look out Tony Hawk!  Milt may be releasing his "skating" videos soon.

This may be a close as the Fin gets to being a "man of the cloth".  Seriously Fin was the man to send to find the fabric.  It was a good opportunity for him to get in touch with his feminine side.  It was good to see "finniebaby"!

I just figured if I was to only have one deep conversation today it should be with this guy!

Friday was furiously busy!

This will be the site of the Christmas Presentation next Wednesday.  It will be transformed into a theatre and the area in front will be filled with chairs and benches.

The crew feeding about 90 kids at the feeding program on Friday afternoon.  It will be these children and family members that will make up the majority of the 400 people that will fill the space above for the presentation.

George was getting right into it!  He was having way too much fun passing out food and water to the kids!

Jody Pilon from Lively, Ontario was making sure this youngster got all the food down to the last little bit.  It was cool watching her feed this little one.

Milt Farrow or the "Whistle Man" as he is now known here in the Guest House, has been busy helping pack the 400 gift bags.
The team has been hard at it with no sickness to this point.  The weather has been hot...about 28c/day.  It cools down at night to about 22C-23C.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Making progress...

400 gift bags seems like only the tip of the iceberg until you need to pack them.  Quite an undertaking it is.

The pile of what will be 400 gift bags continues to grow.  They are all talking around here about the "huge" blessing it will be to the children from the surrounding neighbourhood.  It is only the first full day here but excitement is already building to next Wednesday.  Meanwhile over at the construction area...

Pete was showing Kenny how to use the power tools.  The guys are busy building a stage for the big Christmas Presentation on Wednesday.

George Passmore chatting it up with a couple young lads from the boys home.  It is awesome that the team is interacting with the kids.  Back to work George! :)