Thanksgiving FDN 2010

Dear Xanga Family,
During this Thanksgiving period, I give thanks to God for each of you and what you mean to me.  It is amazing the gift of friendship that I have been given through this electronic medium of xanga….people I otherwise would never have known are now precious friends…Debra, Pamela, Ronalee, Mark, etc.  I have been blessed to meet some of you in person and wish that I had been able to spend the day with you celebrating this great gift.  Thanks so much for remembering us in prayer.  It is an encouragement.  
Last week we celebrated Felix’s birthday on Monday, inviting the corps officers, their three kids, one of our staff who shares the same BD with Felix, and our AIDS program coordinator over for dinner.  Matthew suggested a “kids” table so they enjoyed themselves a bit apart from the rest of us.  It was a simple celebration with smothered okra and beef over white rice, fresh fruit salad, a surprise cake from PAP, singing and a few gifts.
On Thursday, with the help of the two ladies who work in our kitchen, we had another feast for Thanksgiving with a turkey bought in the market, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rice, vegetables, fresh fruit salad and a pumpkin souffle (like Mom’s sweet potato dish plus coconut and raisins minus the marshmallows). 
Our guests were the three ladies who work in our house, Mayotte, Gernita and Juzelle, and their five kids (youngest being 19 yr).  They were very grateful and I wonder why this is the first time in nine years I’ve thought to do this.  After eating we went around the table and said one thing we were thankful for, which included: life, health, protection through the earthquake, hurricane and cholera outbreak, the opportunity to go to school, family (Felix), 15 years of service in the Caribbean (me),  his bedroom and house (Matthew), and my brother and his wife being stationed here in Haiti (me).
The work at the clinic is keeping us busy, especially with this new cholera outbreak. We have now had five cases here in our clinic, the first coming on Monday, Nov. 15th (my anniverary of arriving in the Caribbean).  We have set up an isolation ward in a room which can take up to six people at a time.  We have received support from the health department as well as a group called Medicines du Monde.  They have given guidance in care and treatment and the supplies needed including specialize cots for the patients.  If people seek treatment immediately, the disease is quickly remedied with replacement fluids and antibiotics.  The Salvation Army is putting together a response plan and we will be getting some additional assistance from them.  
And tomorrow is the national elections for president, senators, deputies, etc. which could bring a lot of turmoil throughout the country.  Since The Salvation Army school, where we have been worshiping since the earthquake, is one of the polling place, we had our Holiness meeting today instead.  So, today is “Sunday” and tomorrow with be “Saturday” I guess.  Or do we end up with two Sundays?  Matthew didn’t have school Friday and none on Monday again. 
On Tuesday Felix and I head to PAP, me for a SA planning meeting (which also includes Bob & Rae) and Felix for shopping for the clinic.  We’re in the middle of an external audit for our AIDS program which is being worked around the national election so we have to hurry back Tuesday night in order to receive them on Wednesday.  Never a dull moment.
May God’s blessings rest upon you!
Love, Violet

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