Tannis: Well, it has been a day full of opportunities to be flexible…our traditional birth attendant course started out as a trickle...we had 3 women and then it started to pour and we had 40 Haitians…a mixture of nurses, midwives, women who assisted their family with birth at home, and men who also were mid-???men!!! We introduced ourselves around the room and many of the women had a large family. Several of these women had delivered their own babies by themselves at home. One of the women, a matron or midwife, with 13 children brought her young son who, I would say was about 10 years old, her son explained, as he introduced himself, that he assisted his mother with many deliveries, so he was just here to learn how to be a better assistant!!! The folks were very receptive to the teaching, as Ruth, Joyce, and 2 new friends from the Kalispell team collectively pooled our strengths and there were some good discussions between midwives and nurses on practices.
Ben: I have found the Haitians’ friendly interactions with everyone and their respect, also very encouraging. I find that the casual, laid back aspects of this culture are a nice change from the “get things done and get them done fast” type of mentality back home in Canada. Although North Americans are recognizably wealthy in their material goods, I would consider Haiti to be much richer in their spiritual faith-the aspects that really matter. Eternal values reign in this country. I am continuously looking forward to whatever else that I am supposed to accomplish here and what God has to show me.
Dan: interesting that one of the first things I thought after not being in Haiti for almost 18 years is that I have returned to complete the work that I didn’t finish. Now of course, the big question is what does this mean. I don’t know but only God knows at this point. It is good to try speaking Creole again, yes I am rusty even with time spent reviewing but obviously not enough, especially agriculture related terms . I thought I was communicating well but today both myself and a Haitian became totally confused as we both became lost in a conversation. More language review is a must. What has changed? Cellphones, more motorcycles , internet!! (weird but how about working away from the office in Haiti?). the food is very good, I was hoping that I would lose some weight – maybe not. Please continue to pray for our health, not we may be strong and courageous and open to hearing what God has to stay.
-The Arychuk Family