Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Look at May

May has been such a fun and full month!

The month started out with our visit from Mom and Dad Swartzentruber who blessed us in so many ways, were up for lots of adventure, and now have a much better understanding of our life here on La Gonave. The opportunity to share the week and the people and places of our life here with them was so meaningful.

We have seen slow and steady progress in the garden with impressive fish growth, gambusia fish continuing to help with pests, plant growth and the beginning of okra harvests. Everyone at the Children’s Village has been waiting for the okra (kalalou) with eager anticipation! Please pray for wisdom for us and others involved as we try to make the Aquaponics system more efficient and productive in this environment and with the resources we have.
Jason with the gambosia that are thriving, multiplying, and helping to take care of garden pests


Jason and Steven at work in the garden

I, Allison, have continued work with the Haitian Nursing School. After a week break for students and staff, we restarted classes with me helping in the skills lab. We are learning more advanced skills this semester and the students have been eager as ever to learn and be competent in these skills. Please pray for me over the next few weeks as I will be teaching skills lab by myself while Susie (another missionary who works at the nursing school) is in the States. We are currently learning injections and having fun giving shots to hot dogs!
The nursing students watched a video about injections and are now practicing. Soon they will be performing competencies on each other!

One of the biggest highlights of the month has been the opportunities we have had to build relationships with those around us, including neighbors, those we work with, and other missionaries. Although communication is not always easy, it has been such a treat to just sit and visit with these people, encourage one another, and share the love of the Lord with them. These friendships have truly been a blessing to us this month.

A visit to Nicolas and his family

The neighbor kids having fun

Thank you, too, for the ways that you encourage, bless, and support us. We are so thankful to have you on this journey with us! Please continue to pray that the Lord will make his plans for our next year very clear to us and that we will know how to best invest in and care for those around us. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Our 7th Month

Happy May Day! 

I know that this post is a bit late, but we were away picking up Mom and Dad Swartzentruber from the airport over the last few days! It is an incredible treat to have them here visiting and we are so grateful for time with them!

April has been a full month with good reports to give from both the aquaponics system and the Nursing School.

Mid-April the aquaponics donors and supporters came for a visit and did a ton of work to help make the garden more productive. First on the list was a greenhouse revamp to cool the place down, especially as summer is approaching. A section of plastic at the peak of the greenhouse was removed and replaced with screening. We also replaced some of the very fine screen at both ends of the greenhouse with bigger screen. These adjustments have increased ventilation dramatically and we have felt our first breezes in the greenhouse! A new shade cloth was installed over the entire greenhouse to reflect light and give some relief from the Haitian sun. We also did some major pruning, especially of the tomato and cantaloupe plants, learned better pruning techniques, and got supplies for flying insect control. A big order of fish came over from the mainland. Some were talapia to fill our second tank and the rest were Gambusia (mollies) we brought in to eat our destructive red worms! The Gambosia have been hugely successful as we have seen a dramatic decline in red worms and increase in plant growth. It has been so exciting to implement these changes and see the almost immediate benefits. We always love to spend time with these men who are behind the project and we are so thankful for all of their help.
Cutting open the peak of the greenhouse
Pruning the tomatoes

Gambosia getting to work on the little red worms!

I, Allison, have been busy in the hospital again this month, but now with Haitian nursing students. The sophomores have had clinicals for the entire month and have learned so much from their time in the hospital. They have been able to help with direct patient care, assessments, patient teaching, dressing changes, charting, and much more. They also have been able to observe and discuss surgeries, IV care, blood draws, births, and medication administration. I have loved helping these students see that nursing is not just a checklist of tasks to be done before it is time to clock out, but it can be used to share the love of Christ with patients, to show compassion and encouragement, and to provide education for better health.
Reviewing notes and charting

One of the clinical groups ready to get to work!

Jason and I are so grateful to be here in the specific roles and relationships God has placed us in to be his light on La Gonave. Your continued encouragement, prayers, and support mean more than we can say. As we finish our 7th month here, we would ask that you pray with us for very clear direction from the Lord on what he has for us following our year commitment here.