Friday, January 15, 2010

Safe

We are safe! We got a hint of internet access right now. We've been at the school for 3 days now, just came home. There is so much to say.... we are writing everything down, taking many photos.... we feel very led to tell this story when we can. The streets in our neighborhood are relatively quiet, lots of people sleeping outside. The second night there were some gunshots on Delmas (outside our school's wall, don't freak out mom:) ), but last night was quiet- no wailing, nothing. All Haitians are still sleeping outside (most do not have any "inside" to go to anymore). We were home when the quake hit, ran to the stairwell. Ben has been in Jack Bauer mode for the last 3 days. Quisqueya is undamaged- the only school in the CITY that is not flattened or so cracked it would be unsafe to go inside. The Lord has spared our campus. All staff are accounted for. About half the students are accounted for - many were on campus when it happened since it was the first day of soccer and basketball practices. One student has died - an elementary girl whose entire family was lost when their house collapsed. Several have lost parents. No cell phones are working within Haiti, a few are working to call US. A few people have gotten internet in the last day or so, further up the mountain especially. This morning at 5, same as yesterday morning, there were Haitian worship services around the neighborhood. In the ravine behind our house- where the destruction was total and Ben saw them pulling out bodies- they were singing "Count your Blessings". The security guards and cafeteria ladies at the school are Haitian, and their homes were almost all destroyed. They are staying at the school, sleeping on the soccer field, with their families. The first night, a niece of our caf lady was brought in, not particularly bloody, and died the next morning on the field- internal injuries I assume. Her family wailed for hours- crawling in the dirt, collapsing. Another little 3 yr old boy in their family is very, VERY ill. He has a broken femur and two big cuts in his head. His eyes are black- maybe a head/brain injury? Yesterday Ben and some men went to get him some amoxicillin and came back with also an antiinflammatory shot. He's laying on a picnic table wrapped in Barney sheets- he woke up moaning this morning, they are giving him some children's liquid tylenol when we left. We haven't seen the news, but many from up mountain are coming down to check on the school every few hours and they're bringing news. Today, CRI and Convoys of HOpe, along with some surgeons, are coming to set up camp at the school. We are excited to be of use- lots of sitting around in the last few days.

We're ok. About ten teachers live on campus, then another five or so across the street, then us and the school director about two blocks away. We're all staying on campus at night. We came home today to wash some clothes (in a bucket? using no water? hmmm we'll get creative), get the food we have, refill water, try to get internet, and collect for a moment. I'm still wearing the clothes I was wearing Tuesday afternoon. The 100%  Deet I'm spraying every few hours (since I've been outside now for 3 days) has eaten off my nail polish- slightly concerning:) but just one or two bites since Tuesday. The discussion last night was about evacuation- some teachers are thinking of going, some aren't. It depends a lot on today- will we be useful to these groups coming? The school leaders say we'll open in one month- Feb 22 (the week before that would've been our Carnival Break anyway). They've broken staff into two halves-  Crisis and Education. The education group will focus on getting the school ready to go, figuring out how to condense all curriculum to bare bones to fit in the remaining weeks, cleaning up the school, figuring out how to get all the seniors to graduate. Also, Steve (director) wants to issue packets each week for kids to pick up, and be able to get their books at some point. The crisis team will deal with the relief groups working here. Of course, my husband Jack Bauer picked us for the crisis team. Can't wait for the groups to arrive. Today will tell us a lot.

Right after it happened, there was a lot to do- bleeding people everywhere. We did a lot of cleaning wounds with hand sanitizer, putting on neosporin, and putting on bandages. The school nurse Miquette has been an all-star- truly amazing. We've just stood by her, gotten things out of her nurse bag, held the lights at night. When she has blood on her gloves she cant' touch anything, so we dig in her bag and get what she needs, or rip open a new gauze pad or whatever. Wednesday we went out to check on the house where we went to church, and the mountainside slum there had completely collapsed- raw swaths of orange dirt where landslides wiped out hundreds of trash-made homes. THe people were all in the street. It smelled terrible. At the end of the street near the police station they had piled up bodies - nowhere to put them. I would not walk down that street today- those people are getting hungrier by the hour. Our neighborhood is better- there were marchants out selling food and even furniture on our street. Steve says "every Haitian walking down the street is a vote for the safety of the area". When the streets are busy, we are fine, he says.

We hear American Airlines is returning Monday. No evac instructions from the embassy yet. We'll wait and see. Monday's just three days away. MFI is also beginning to make lists for evac next week. We'll see. Today will tell us a lot.

PS. Suzanne and Dan- praying for you. What a joyful day tomorrow:)
Buckner Foundation friends- praying for you too. Big meetings today, I haven't forgotten. Praying for wisdom, excellence.

Katie

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this update! I am praising God that you are safe and will continue to pray for you and the people with you there in Haiti.

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  2. I continue to remain speechless about the situation. I continue to pray for your safety, wisdom, discernment, and your service. Love you both!! Thanks for keeping us updated!!

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  3. Wow...thanks for the update.

    I have no words, except that I'm praying for you guys.

    Stay safe.

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  4. miss you both and continuously praying for your safety and wisdom for the beautiful people of haiti!

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  5. SO thankful you can tell us your story! And SO THANKFUL for your sensitivity to the Holy Spirit about what to do... praying for discernment and wisdom about next steps. We love you and want you to be safe, but know your calling, so we are with you as you stay to love on these precious people. Hold this all dear in your hearts! I can only imagine...
    Love you and so proud of you!!!!
    Kim

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  6. So glad you guys are safe... thank you for keeping us updated... hearing your daily details helps. We are praying for you guys and rest in the fact that there is no such thing as coinsidence, and you are both there for His purpose and plan. xoxo.

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  7. praising god that yall are safe & knowing that yall are there for a reason. praying that He will give you the strength, wisdom, and love that you need to reach out to your haiti community. praying, praying, praying for you guys.

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  8. Ben & Katie,

    I am praying for your safety and for all the Haitians whose lives you are touching. All of us at JCP are thinking of you...

    Leah Spencer

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  9. kilpatricks!
    thank you thank you thank you for your updates.
    we are praying for you and your enviroment hardcore!

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  10. Stay strong Katie, you guys are doing good work. I am trying to get there through my Red Cross connections and Buckner has started an initiative for monetary donations and humanitarian aid. Update whenever you can, we are praying for you and the people of Haiti.

    B.

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  11. i've been thinking of you and checking your blog constantly. i'm PRAYING for you two and your community and the people around you. love you. so happy you're safe.

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  12. I finally got all caught up with the blog and appreciate the shout out! I cannot believe you were thinking of me and Dan when you had many more important things on your mind!!

    Praying for you guys and loving following this adventurous assignment God has given you and Ben! Be Strong and Courageous!!!

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