- WEEK 1- I spent in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti at New Life Children’s Home helping to start a therapy program for the 28 children with special needs that live with them. My relationship with this organization started a year ago when I stayed at their guest house while helping leading a college team of therapist form Indiana. My time in the states was super busy…full of lots of traveling and many opportunities to share the ministry calling God has given me. As most of you know I have no problem talking about Haiti! To read all about it and see pictures go to my BLOG and look for the post entitled NEW LIFE CHILDREN'S HOME.
- WEEK 2- was spent in Niceville, Florida with my dear friend & faithful partner in ministry Edie. When I arrived in Florida I was absolutely exhausted after my previous week in PAP. I had a great week with lots of chances to share my story and the ministry/work that God has me doing in Haiti. I also had time to rest and prepare presentation and video for the rest of my time stateside. I made 4 new videos which I have put up on youtube that really explain the 4 major aspects of my ministry. Click on each of the names to watch the youtube videos.
|It was great to see Kevin Stateside and to meet his parents. Kevin has a passion|
for serving and advocating for children's with special needs in Haiti. His heart is really
at New Life Children's Home
|My favorite work spot/ relaxation spot at Edie's House :-)|
|My dear friend Edie|
|The amazing white sand beaches|
|So wonderful to meet up with most of our team that came to Haiti last October|
We were just missing my evil step sister ;-p
|1 night I got to hear Miss Clara speak|
- WEEK 3 was spent in Philadelphia at the National AOTA Convention. It was pretty amazing to be at a conference with 15,000 other Occupational Therapists celebrating 100 years of our profession. Some highlights from my time at the conference were
- Having an opportunity to catch up with many OT friends from Haiti, from college, friends I made since working, etc. Had many wonderful conversations.
- Having hundreds of opportunities to share about the work I do in Haiti with other occupational therapists I crossed paths with during the conference.
- I got to attend a variety of poster presentation involving international OT work. I loved spending time talking to each of these presenters and learning more about what they were doing or did.
- I got to attend a variety of classes/presentations to learn new information that I can take back to Haiti and apply. These classes also counted towards the CEU credits I need to keep my liscensure active. I got to take 2 different vision classes. 1 was an all day pre-conference class on low-vision and was at the eye institute of Philadephia. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. The second was on Cortical Visual Impairments which many of the children I work with have. I learned many new treatment techniques I want to try when I get back.
- I sat in on a class put on by some of my OT Associates who have worked hard to develop and open the new 4 year bachelors OT and PT program in Leogane. I went to the presentation to support them. It was so AWSOME at the end of the presentation 1 of the OTs in attendance stood up and shared how much the presentation impacted her. That she was Haitian American and had a heart to do something with her OT in Haiti but had no idea there was anything related to therapy happening in her home country. After she sat down we asked if their were any other Haitians in the room and 5 stood up! 5 new Haitian American OTs who now want to take part in getting nationals trained in their home country. I got to spend an hour after the presentation talking to them. It was definitely a God moment of making connections. All 5 of them want to join the national OT society now as well!.
- Seeing and catching up with my World Federation Of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) Family who were at the conference. I had good moments of reflecting back on how 2 years ago at this conference is when I first learned about WFOT and would never have dreamed I would be so involved with them or have opened a national OT society for Haiti. It is truly AMAZING and kinda CRAZY what God has done over the last 2 years to further OT in Haiti. I really enjoyed attending the international breakfast 1 morning which had attendees from around the world, many of which I recognized from when I was at the council meetings in Columbia last March.
- I spent 6 hours over a 2 day period walking the Expo hall that had hundreds of vendors. I stopped at every table that related to the work I did in Haiti. I shared my story and asked if they would consider donating therapy supplies to my work in Haiti. I collected around 60-80 business cards which I have been busy emailing and following up with. Many of them have generously agreed to make donations!
- TO SEE MORE PICTURES GO TO MY BLOG ENTITLED AOTA CONFERENCE!
- WEEK 4- I spent In Northwestern PA (Pulaski and Erie), and Ohio (youngstown, Akron, Canton areas). It was crammed pack with speaking engagements. I got to speak at 3 universities to the therapy departments (some were to students and some were to staff). The universities were Youngstown State, Walsch University and Gannon University. I also got to share at 2 churches and to an adult special needs Bible Study. A huge thank you to my dear friend Wendy who set up the majority of these speaking engagements. Wendy is a pediatric PT that comes in with the STAND group 2x a year. She has been a God send to my ministry!
|My partner in Crime... WENDY!|
|The very unpleasant gift I received while visiting Wendy on a day I|
needed to drive to Erie PA
|I had the unplanned but wonderful opportunity of speaking at a|
adult special needs youth group time and sharing about the work I
am doing in Haiti and the message I share so often about how
God made them each special and unique and how God see them.
|Visiting my old co-workers when I was a student at Gannon! Love these Gals!|
- WEEK 5- I spent speaking and traveling in Ohio (Cincinnati) and Kentucky (Louisville)
- I did get to spend 3 days at home. 2 days to prepare to go back to Haiti with packing and gathering up supplies and Easter Sunday with my family up at my aunts. It definitely did not seem long enough. By the end of all traveling above I just wanted a few days to rest and be at home. I will definitely plan better next time.
|Even though it was under hard circumstances so glad I got to see Allen Jones|
and to spend Time with the entire Jones family!
- I was blessed to have my family travel with me for my week in Cincinnati and KY. The first stop was in Cincinnati. The first night we met up with my dear friend Gail who comes to Haiti 3x a year and provides neurological services to our kids. We went to see the movie that was in theaters 1 night only by Samaritan's Purse about Eboli.
- The following day I spend the day in Cincinnati. I spent the morning and afternoon with my dear friend and spiritual mentor Ruth Weis. We hung out and talked. Feeling blessed that she would travel 8 hours by car just to spend a few hours investing in me. In the evening I met up with a couple groups of friends that come to Haiti. It was a great day of sharing and fellowship.
|My Dear Friend Ruth|
|The Porters Family...Sure do love this family!!!!|
|Had drinks with my dear friend Deb|
|Spending time with Gail. So glad I got to spend 2 separate evenings with her during my time in Cincinnati!|