Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Wish List

Several people have asked me about things that the Nikkels could use, so I finally got Stacey to send a list! She doesn't like asking people for things, which I think we can all understand, but I know they would be blessed by these things, or even just by your thoughts and encouragement in a card or letter. You can find the address on the right side of the blog.

Here are a few prayer needs as well:
  • Pray that God continues to reveal their role in Haiti as they continue to adjust to life there.
  • Pray for Stacey and the kids as they have begun their home school journey. Pray for patience and excitement.
  • Pray for the quick completion of their house and for workers to come alongside Jared to help with electrical and plumbing.
  • Pray that they will feel God's presence in powerful ways and be encouraged.
  • Thank God for their safety, an overall smooth transition, and the support they have in their friends, family and the Many Hands for Haiti board.

Wish List

  • AA batteries (non-rechargeable)
  • AAA batteries (non-rechargeable)
  • notebooks
  • coloring books & crayons
  • pens & pencils
  • ibuprofen
  • tylenol PM
  • benedryl (generic allegry med)
  • adult hair bands (non-metal)
  • granola bars
  • goldfish crackers
  • muffin mixes (add water kind)
  • pepperoni
  • summer sausage

Thank you for your continued support!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Days of School, Paint Surprises and More!

September 2, 2009

It is so hard to believe August is gone already! We started school last week even though I forgot to order some very necessary parts of our curriculum. It is definitely a learning experience for me. I am praying we will enjoy the home school experience, and the kids need something to focus on other than lizards, machetes and imaginary horses. I guess we are getting somewhere though because Natalie told me in the market today that we use “currency” to buy things and that in Haiti we use goudes. Will, on the other hand, keeps telling me how much he forgot over the summer. :)

We recently added another new member to our family, and this time she is really alive. Our friends, the Mompremiers, are heading back in the states and asked if we would be interested in taking care of one of their cats. She is a sweet young kitty named Pumpkin, and the kids love having her here. We also found out she is an expert gecko hunter and will probably be a great mouser as well. I guess we will see if she sticks it out here because the kids have a hard time letting her be. Hopefully it will teach our kids a lesson about being responsible for a pet. Will has been faithful, after much prompting, to empty her litter box each day. So far we have only been able to get our hands on cardboard boxes and are waiting to get to the big city to find a plastic litter box.

I find it almost comical when we need to pick something up from the “boutique” or make a run to the market for the simplest of things. Today I needed to pick up some eggs, peanut butter, crackers, canned peas and corn, napkins and if possible some canned meat other than Spam. We ended up going to three different shops and didn’t find any eggs or canned meat other than Spam. I have also noticed that lately we can’t even find real Spam--and believe me, there is a difference, be it ever so little. Eggs haven’t been too hard to find until recently, and they are pretty pricey, costing us around $6.00 for 2 ½ dozen. The problem with eggs is that you really take a gamble whether or not they will even be good. So far we haven’t gotten too sick and we’ve eaten quite a few questionable eggs!

We are slowly making progress on our house and have two rooms tiled, the water tank perched on top of the roof and full of water. Jared was very grateful that we didn’t end up having any leaks in the tank. He has been running pipes for plumbing and electricity, but as with most things here, it is never simple. We ran out of the right PVC pipe for the plumbing, and it’s not like we can just run to Menard’s or Lowe’s. So we are at a standstill with that until after our trip to Port (Port-au-Prince).

For those of you who love to hear a bad paint job story, this will provide a laugh (or a tear in my case!). A few weeks ago we started the interior painting, supposedly it was cream colored, but actually is a lovely, but overpowering, shade of yellow. We finally decided it would make a good primer coat and are going to shoot for a light brown/tan for the final product. Anyway, most of the interior walls and ceilings were done with the exception of one bedroom and the bathroom that has no light yet. Recently we started to notice sticky patches here and there and realized the concrete had not dried out completely before we started. A few days ago after a storm went through it was even worse. Jared decided to spray the walls with water to see if it would just slide off and it did. Most of the walls gave up the bottom half and in some places more. Honestly though it could have been much worse. At this point the floor is still mostly concrete, and we are a long way from moving stuff in so nothing is lost except a few gallons of paint and some sweat (and tears!).

We are hoping to be ready to move in before more teams arrive at the end of this month. There is a lot of work to do and school has the kids and I busy in the mornings, so we are praying for lots of energy, good power and good weather. In the end it will be what it will be! If I am not mistaken, it also seems like the days are getting shorter much faster than back home. The sun is usually setting before 6:30, which is too early for me! Hopefully we will be done with electrical work soon and will be able to work in the evening in our house.

The last week has been pretty tolerable as far as weather goes. The afternoons can still get pretty hot, but generally there is a good breeze in the afternoon and the cooler air sets in. There have been some pretty loud and heavy thunderstorms roll through the past few nights and even Jared complained he was getting “chilly!” The kids and I have had to cover up with sheets and light blankets recently, and I thought for sure it was in the low 60’s this morning when we woke up. Imagine the laugh we got when it turned out to be 75 degrees in the house. We are obviously adjusting to the climate, and I am starting to wonder if the clothes we brought for “winter” will be warm enough! I guess we will see about that too….