Well, tonight I am exhausted! I got home last night and started to blog and was just too exhausted to put my thoughts into words. I’m still having a wonderful time, but really feeling my age! Yikes, I do not like growing older this quickly. Days and years seem to flash by anymore!
On Wednesday, I went to Winnipeg and (pause while I look at my schedule of where I have been! ) went to Grant Memorial Baptist Church. Annaka, a former volunteer, met me at the church and got me settled into the church’s guest suite. This is a very large church and they have a school attached, and also a high rise condominium complex for seniors that belong to the church. It is a BIG church!
There was not a lot of people that came out to hear about GLA but I did have an adoptive family come (The Glor Family) whose boys went home in 2000. Wow, have those boys grown! They are young gentlemen now! It was good to see them and mom and dad look the same.
I also went to see one of the board members of CAFAC and bring him up to date about what is happening with adoptions in Haiti. I hope that Manitoba will open adoptions soon to Haiti. Only two Canadian provinces are open to adoptions from Haiti. Alberta and Ontario. We met downtown Winnipeg (at least I think it was downtown) in a really old building at a coffee shop. They had the BEST peach ice tea! it was GREAT!
I left Winnipeg, Manitoba on Thursday morning early. I arrived in Toronto, Ontario just before 1 PM Eastern time. Yes, I changed time zones AGAIN! The parents of Emelyne Martin, who is a GLA staff member in Haiti, met me at the Toronto airport and drove me to Mount Forest, where they live. It took about 2 1/2 hours to arrive at their home. They live on a beautiful piece of acreage with a forest behind their home and two small ponds (that is a mini lake for those that don’t know) in their yard.
Do you remember the snow that I told you about in Manitoba? Well, it followed me to Ontario and buried us in snow! I woke up to a white winter wonderland on Friday morning! There was 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground and it snowed all day Friday until Friday afternoon! I was afraid we would have to cancel my presentation at the Faith Baptist Church Friday night. But Ontarians are made of hardy stuff and they came out even in the snow!
I talked about GLA to a group that came to hear about the mission at 7 PM and then spoke to a large group of youth at 8:30 PM! I had one adoptive family come to the event and two sets of adoptive grandparents. These children left GLA during a short time when I was in the States doing fundraising in 2006, so it was nice getting to see them in Mount Forest.
Les and Carolyn Martin were great hosts and I enjoyed staying with them for two nights and getting to meet Emelyne’s parents again. I had met them a couple of years ago for a few minutes at an event in Kitchner, Ontario and they will be coming with their whole family to Haiti in March. They had been missionaries in Haiti for 3 years when Emelyne was a baby.
Jane Blannin-Bruleigh drove to Mount Forest to pick me up and drive me to her church in Cobourg, Ontario for weekend services. On Saturday afternoon, we also a large GLA reunion with children who were adopted by Ontario families. I really enjoyed watching the children run and play together. They have a real bond with each other and it was great to see this.
We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with Paul and Joan Macklin. I’ve really enjoyed my time in this area. For one thing….NO SNOW! It has been quite pleasant in this more southern section of Ontario. I only had to put my gloves on one time since I’ve been here!
Saturday, there was a cake walk fundraiser at the church. This is a fun event where people donated cakes and then participants bought tickets to be able to try to win a cake. Fun was had by everyone as they walked around in a circle until the music stopped. They would stop on a number on the floor and then different people would pull numbers out of a bucket and if it was your number, you won the cake! Now, I think Jane might have rigged the numbers because 3,5, and 8 were called an awful lot! I think there were more than 20 cakes given away!
The pastor of the church is a woman and her husband is in the hospital due to extensive surgery. So the church members thought it would be nice to have people walk for him in the Cake Walk. They had a sign that read “I am Walking for Rick” and he won 4 cakes!! They also raffled a GLA Angel cake and it went for $65! It was a beautiful cake.
After the cake walk, we had the reunion with the families and then a lasagna supper. And NO, I did not eat lasagna. Joan Macklin was nice enough to make me chicken and vegetables for supper. I sat around and talked with families for a couple of hours. I had a FABULOUS time. The kids are growing up so fast and when Peterson came up and talked to me, I didn’t even recognize him! Finally when Kristin, his mom, came up behind me and said, “Do you know who he is?”, I finally recognized him!
The children all made Christmas decorations. They made one to put on their own trees to help them remember Haiti and one they sent with me to put on our Christmas tree in Haiti for the children to know that they were thinking of them! They are so sweet and the decorations are very nice. The Sunday School Classes also made some decorations for me to take home. Thankfully, they are flat and light weight, so I should be able to get them into my suitcases.
I came home so exhausted that I just sat here and looked at my computer. I couldn’t write one word. After a fairly good night sleep, I started over with morning church service where I was the guest speaker. I am not familiar with an order of service like they use at Bethesda United Church. I did not follow it and got them all out of order! So Jane had to save me and tried to at least get them part way back on schedule!
The church served a Haitian lunch for everyone after the service. This consisted of chicken, rice and beans, and slaw. It was good. I ate chicken and vegetables again and it was good too! I did try the rice just to see how close they were to Haitian rice and beans. There is just no rice and beans…like Haitian rice and beans! Sorry…
There is a chiropractor at the church and she adjusted my back a little bit after lunch. Hopefully, this will help me sleep at night. I will also go to her office tomorrow morning and she will adjust it again! She plans on coming to Haiti for a week in February! (Do you see this Melissa Friesen? Another volunteer from my “wish” list is coming down! HURRAY!")
At about 1:20 PM, I shared more about GLA and what is happening in Haiti. A team from the church is coming in February 2012 to build at Fort Jacques and part of the team wants to hold babies. This gave them an opportunity to hear more about GLA and see the video that shows them quite a bit about GLA’s work in Haiti.
We then stood around and talked until about 5 PM when we had another meal at the church for the team members and they were able to ask me questions about staying at GLA, the airport, and what to expect in Haiti. I was tired by the time we finished and was glad to come back to the Macklin household, get my pajamas on, and start to blog. Oh, and I am doing two loads of laundry while writing this blog!
Tomorrow, I see the chiropractor in the morning, then leave for Toronto where I have an appointment to meet with the Mission of Tears Adoption Agency staff. At 6:45 PM, I leave for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I will be staying with Lea LaPointe and Chris Davies while in Saskatoon. Lea and Chris came to Haiti for a year and worked in the GLA office. They were also at GLA in August volunteering. It will be fun to stay with them. I don’t think my time there is quite so hectic, so maybe I won’t be quite so exhausted when I leave for my last city of Calgary Alberta. I know that I am very busy for the weekend that I am there and then I head back to the States on 21 November.
Posted on Sun, November 13, 2011