Category Archives: Ten on Tuesday

10 on Tuesday

So, I had big plans to do my first video 10 on Tuesday today. It’s now nearly 8:00 and it’s obvious that it isn’t going to happen. I leave for Haiti this weekend. To say that my “to-do” list is long would be an understatement. I had actually even thought about doing the video tomorrow. But I’m on a real roll here, having not missed a Tuesday since I started this blog series. So, you’ll just have to wait for my first ever video post.

In the spirit of everything Haiti that has been going on around here lately, this weeks 10 is a list of 10 things that I would never go on a mission trip without. If I forget any of these things when I leave this weekend I won’t die. But I’ll be super bummed that I don’t have them.

1. Water bottle. There’s no running out to the nearest convenient store if you forget a little something. And of course, when traveling and working outside a lot you can tend to get a bit dehydrated. I’m hopeful that someone will come out with a powdered packet of Diet Pepsi that I can add to my water bottle someday. Until then, it’ll just be plain old H2O for me.

2. Sunscreen. When I went to Haiti last April I took sunscreen and didn’t use it. Even though everyone had told me that the sun was extra hot there. I was all, “I tan easily. I’m good.” After the first day working in the sun I went home to find that any area that wasn’t covered by clothing was burned. Fried a bit actually. Actually, I did tan in the areas like my arms and legs that were exposed more frequently to the light of day, my ears and neck were really bad. I’d had my hair in a pony tail so they were exposed and man did they hurt. I learned my lesson and wore sunscreen after that.

3. Giraffe pillow. You know those horse shoe shaped travel pillows? I have one. It’s super duper soft and is a giraffe pillow. I love it. When I was little and traveled between my Mom and Dad’s homes in Oklahoma and Colorado I always took my pillow with me. Like, my real bed pillow. I had to have it to sleep. As an adult, if I can get away with doing that I do. But there’s something about an adult woman walking around carrying a pillow that isn’t quite the same as a child doing it. So I downgraded to the giraffe and if I end up in a bed with a cruddy pillow I can usually make giraffe work for me. My friend Shelby has a pillow too. His name is Bucky. I’m betting he’ll be on our trip again.

4. Ear plugs. I used to always make fun of my father-in-law because he snores. Now…I do. Ugh. I hate that, but I do. I don’t think I do it every single night but I know it happens. So as a snoree, you’d think I would be a little more lenient with other snorers. I’m not. If someone falls asleep before me and starts snoring there is NO way I’m getting to sleep. Hence, the ear plugs.

5. Towel. Ok, last year I took one beach towel with me to use after showers. It was suggested that we just take one or two and reuse them which I was ok with. However, as I packed up my bag it was apparent that not everything was going to fit and thinking one would be plenty the other one got left behind. After my first shower in Haiti I hung my towel over a doorknob in our room to dry. After we’d gone to work the next day I came back to find that my towel was gone. The ladies doing our laundry had taken our dirty clothes and I assumed that’s where it had gone. I watched the clothes line every single day and that towel never showed up again. This year, I’m taking two towels.

6. Snacks. Like I said, there is no nearby convenient store to run to. However, my friend Shelby is almost as good as the local Quick Trip. We tried a lot of different foods in Haiti but there were a lot of what I would call “unidentifiables”. If I don’t know what it is, and no one can tell me, I generally am not willing to try it. So we would often have breakfast downstairs and then go to our room for what we called “second breakfast”. Pop Tarts, granola bars, M&M’s, etc. Between the few things I tok as snacks and Shelby’s “store” we were pretty much set. This year will be no different.

7. Medicine. Two days before we leave, we will all start taking a medication called Malarone to prevent malaria while we are there. We also have prescriptions for antibiotics to take in case we get…um…tummy issues. Those two medications are a must to have but I will have some other goodies too. Things like Dramamine because if you are prone to car sickness then there’s pretty much a 100% chance it’ll happen in Haiti. The streets are just a wee bit bumpy. Also, Treximet. Cause I’m sure that getting a migraine while in Haiti and not having medication would render me useless the rest of the trip.

8. Bracelets. Last year before I left I bought some inexpensive bracelets at Wal-Mart. Just the colorful braided embroidery floss kind. I chose 4 different patterns and bought 2 of each of them. I kept one and I gave each of my kids one. When I gave them to the kids I told them that I would be wearing their bracelet while I was gone and when I looked at it I would think of them and pray for them back home in Oklahoma. It gave us both something tangible to remember to pray for each other while we were apart. Totally doing this again.

9. Toilet Paper. Um. There wasn’t a bathroom at the orphanage where we worked every day. Actually, there was but there was no door. None of our group were brave enough to try it. So just in case, it’s always a good idea to have some tp on hand. Just sayin’.

10. Frog. This guy didn’t make it on the last trip. Last time we had a Dora doll. Shelby had brought it along as a donation to the orphanage but it never made it there. She sort of became our little mascot. We took a few pictures of her in different locations. And we hoped that she would make it on our trip each time we went back. Sadly, Dora feel victim to one of Shelby’s pups after we returned back home. I looked for another Dora to replace her but couldn’t find one. So Teagan offered up a froggy Webkinz. Gonna have a lot of shots along the way with Mr. Froggy in them.

So tell me, what items are a must for you when you travel?

Also, remember that “to do” list I mentioned earlier? I’m probably going to regret this but I’m not proof reading this post. I gotta get back to work!

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Ten On Tuesday

Before I went to Haiti I didn’t know a whole lot about the country. Wasn’t even really sure where it was. (It’s on the island of Hispaniola. I know that now.) I basically just knew that it was a third world country and that it had recently experienced a massive earthquake. I’m guessing that there aren’t a whole lot of people who DO know statistics about the country that I’ll be traveling back to. So today’s TOT is 10 facts about Haiti. Ready, set, go!

1. Haiti, as I said, is on the island of Hispaniola. It covers approximately 1/3 of the island while the Dominican Republic takes the other 2/3. Haiti is approximately the size of Maine. Although Haiti’s population is just shy of 10 million and Maine is about 1.3 million. Yep. It’s kinda crowded there.

2. That “massive earthquake” I mentioned? When it was happening everyone was tuned into what was going on. Since then however there are a lot of final statistics that you may not know. Like, 316,000 people lost their lives. Over 300,000 people were wounded. 1.9 million families lost their homes. Total number of people affected by the earthquake: 3 million. Wow. (Source)

3. According to the World Food Programme, half the country is “food insecure”. That means that they didn’t have basic food needs because they lacked money or other resources for food. Half the country. That’s a whole lot of people. (Want to read more? Check this out.)

4. WFP also states that half of Haiti’s population lives on less than $1 a day. Additionally three quarters of the population has less than $2 a day. Let’s put that into numbers that I can understand… I spent $30 last Wednesday on pizza for the youth group’s apologetics class. I kinda thought that was a pretty good deal to feed that many people. Especially since my family of 6 can do way more damage than that on a typical night out to eat. So let’s see, $30 for ONE meal for youth group is the same amount of money that 3/4 of the people in Haiti have for TWO WEEKS. Um. Wow.

5. Trusty old Wikipedia tells me that “In rural areas those without access to an improved water source got their water primarily from unprotected wells (5%), unprotected springs (37%) and rivers (8%). In urban areas those without access to an improved source got their water from “bottled water” (20%), from carts with drums (4%) and unprotected wells (3%). Those without access to improved sanitation either used shared latrines or defecated in the open. According to the Demographic and Health Survey 2006, 10% of those living in urban areas and 50% of those living in rural areas defecated in the open.”

6. Education in Haiti isn’t much better than the food, finance and water situations. According to Haiti Partners 50% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school. One-third of girls over six never go to school and a whopping 98% of Haitian youths never graduate from high school.

7. You know what else Haiti Partners has to share? Over 7% of children die at birth. If they make it into the world, 80 out of 1,000 Haitian children never see their first birthday. For every 100,000 births, 523 women died in Haiti. (Compared to eight maternal deaths for every 100,000 births in Europe.)

8. Haiti has the highest incidence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) outside of Africa. Sex tourism and lack of health education led to the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s. Estimates vary, but the United Nations projects the national prevalence rate to be 1.5 percent of the population. Other estimates place the rate as high as 5 percent in the urban population and 3 percent in rural regions. Annually, 5,000 Haitian babies are born infected with the AIDS virus. The disease causes a fifth of all infant deaths and has orphaned 200,000 children. Source

9. This article is old. So stats may be different now but at the time of the article (1/2010) it was estimated that 97% of all land in Haiti was deforested. This site has some great information on deforestation.

10. Finally, UNICEF estimated there were 380,000 orphans in Haiti before the earthquake. It is believed that post earthquake that number has doubled. Sadly, according to USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, many of the children have been abandoned or simply left on the street by their parents because of extreme poverty or disease.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer. It’s just the cold hard facts.

And it’s ugly.

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Ten On Tuesday

Whew! The last week has flown by and here we are already at Tuesday again. We’ve had a couple weeks of the sickies around my house but everyone seems to finally be on the mend (thank goodness!) so hopefully things will get back to normal around here.

In honor of Valentine’s Day today, I thought the Ten On Tuesday would be some of my top Valentine’s Day picks from Pinterest. I’ve linked back to the original image from the web but I found them all by simply searching “valentine” on Pinterest. If you don’t know what Pinterest is then you’ve been hiding in a hole. So click this linky and have a look around. It’s addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

1. I saw this idea for Valentine cards a few years ago but just never got around to doing them until now. It’s all over Pinterest so my guess is that my girls will receive a couple of these from crafty friends too. Pretty simple to make, I just took a picture of each of the girlies and then added some elements to each image in Photoshop. Then I uploaded them to WalMart to be printed and they were ready to be picked up in less than an hour. (Brad saw I placed an order with the WalMart photo lab and thought I’d lost my mind. If I had made them in time, I would have ordered from my super awesome photo lab but since they were printed late yesterday and needed to be assembled last night, that wasn’t really an option.) Then we just cut a little slit above and below the girls hands in the picture and weaved the stick of a sucker through it. Fun, right?!

2. Iron on pillowcase transfer from Creature Comforts Blog. How adorable is this? If you hurry you can make this in time for you and your sweetie to lay your heads down tonight. I thought it would even be cute to do on some burlap or outdoor fabric to put on the bench on my front porch.

Image by Creature Comforts Blog

3. My friend Melina of Wedding Pickle did a 14 Day Love Challenge that I tried to do. I made it through about the first 10 days before I got to feeling to icky and wasn’t able to keep up with it. On the first day she had us start a list of 100 things we love about our spouse and mentioned that we would keep this list going through out the challenge and then give it to him today. Well, I haven’t finished but I completely intend to. And when I’m done, I’m going to somehow incorporate this totally cool idea I found via Pinterest from Paper Vine. Seriously. How cute is that?!

Image by Paper Vine

4. I painted my nails last night. They are all red except for one finger on each hand is pink. I really wanted to do something fun with red, pink and gray but wasn’t sure what. So wish I would have seen this tutorial last night! I’ll definitely be rockin’ this look from The Beauty Department in the future.

Image by The Beauty Department

5. Ok, I follow Amy on Twitter and I love her. Just take a look at this scripture art she does. Seriously. If our house ever sells and we get a new one I’m totally going to be decorating entire rooms based on her designs. I love love love the details she has in her work. Everything she does just makes me smile. For. Real. Do me a favor and go check out her Etsy store. I promise you won’t regret it.

Image by Amy Lee Designs.

6. Back when I made outfits for little girls there was a photo circling around the boutique clothing arena of a little girl with hearts in her hair. I can’t find my original inspiration but I did search “heart hair” on Pinterest and come up with some interesting hair ideas. This was back in 2009, and was Sadie’s valentine that year for her friends.

7. I know I took a picture of these when I made them but I can’t find it anywhere now. That’s just my luck now that I want to share! Oh well. This was SO easy and I think it was just last year that I made them. A can of cinnamon rolls shaped like hearts. Awwww… The image I’m using is from this website and it looks like she makes her own dough. But if you open a can of premade rolls you can just untwist a roll and then fold it like a heart and it works just the same.

8. My sister got some of these for me for Christmas this year. You know I love me some Haiti. Proceeds benefit the HAND/EYE Fund to help Haitian artisans recover from life challenging loss of shelter, equipment, and income. Yay! You can purchase them here.

9 and 10. Ok, kids. Looks like I’m gonna have to owe you 2 extra. Pinterest must be overwhelmed with people trying to look for last minute Valentine gifts. Oh well. Hope you have all had a lovely day. Today, and always, enjoy those you love!

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