|Here is Odette holding her birthday cake. Happy birthday, Odette! We love you!|
Monday, September 25, 2017
We are calling on all members of our Pwoje Espwa family to shower our dearest Odette in prayer. For the past week, Odette has not come into work in the Guesthouse; she has been experiencing intense vertigo that has made it hard for her to walk and eat.
If you have met Odette, you know that her not coming to work is a big deal. This woman defines what it means to be a hard worker. She walks from her home to the Quad each morning, a 2-mile trek in the heaviest of heat. When she arrives, she immediately gets to work making the neatest beds and scrubbing clothes for visitors. Visitors often tell us that the clothes Odette washes for them are cleaner, brighter, and whiter than they were when they were originally purchased.
Yesterday was Odette’s 85th birthday! The kids who work in the Quad kitchen prepared a cake and we all packed into a car, along with Matante, to visit this vital member of our family at her home in town. When we arrived we sang ‘happy birthday’ and Matante laid her hands on Odette’s head and prayed for her to get well soon. Staying true to her character Odette stated, “Oh, I’m so sorry I don’t have anything prepared for you all. I don’t have anything to give you.”
This wise woman’s firm beliefs and dedication to her work are an inspiration to us all. Please pray that Odette gets well soon and be thankful for the older people in your life today and every day.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Hip hip hooray! Today marks the first day of school at Pwoje Espwa. This morning, speckles of green, pink and plaid spotted the compound as children marched their way to their respective classrooms in their freshly pressed uniforms.
After some introductory time with their new teachers, Espwa students gathered in the chapel to celebrate a traditional back-to-school Mass. This time together is meant to call the Holy Spirit into the lives of all children, including the 1500 students that come to Espwa just for school, as they begin a new academic year.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Imagine a schedule like this one:
1) Late night flight from home to Florida on Thursday
2) Early morning flight from Florida to Port-au-Prince on Friday
3) 5 hour drive from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes on Friday
4) Arrive in Les Cayes, immediately set up a dental clinic that consists of all materials one would find in a dentist’s office in the States
5) See patients late into the night Friday
6) Wake up early on Saturday morning to work in the dental clinic all day
7) Repeat on Sunday
8) Early drive from Les Cayes to Port-au-Prince on Monday
9) Flight(s) home on Monday
10) Returning back to work/normal routine by Tuesday morning
Believe it or not, this schedule is REAL and it takes place every year at Pwoje Espwa at the beginning of September. The group consists of dentists, hygienists, dental students, and support staff from all over the United States. They have been making the trip down to Espwa for the past 9 years to provide top of the line dental care to our children, staff, and surrounding community members all for free.
This year, Dr. Tozzer and his team saw a record 344 patients over the 2 and a half days they were here. They worked from sun up to sun down with translators at their sides to communicate about the needs of the patients. From check-ups for 4-year-olds to oral surgery for adults, the team saw it all and did it all. Thousands of dollars in dental care… all for free
To say we are grateful for a visit like this would be an absolute understatement. Thank you to this group of professionals for encouraging healthy dental habits, curing severe pains, and giving love and care to our Pwoje Espwa community. We are blessed to have you all as a part of our family.