Mission Statement

Stone By Stone- building a road following God's chosen path.  Together with our brothers and sisters of Haiti, we strive to serve the cooperative of HASWEP through Listening, Educating, Supporting, Praying, Working, Advancing.

LESPWA means HOPE in Creole. 
We are full of hope for Haiti.

 

.

 FANMI LASANTE

CLINIC

Desab, Haiti

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Wednesday
Jun282017

Why I Go To Haiti

I can honestly say the reasons why I go to Haiti are purely “selfish”.  I started going to Haiti in 2009 when my wife and I were in the process of adopting 3 sibling brothers.  For all of you that know us, you know how that turned out!!!

Haiti is a beautiful country once you get past the poverty, the distinct smells and the stares.  Yes, in Haiti, I am a minority.  This effects how I relate to the people.  As a minority, I try to do something unordinary.  I want to stand out as different than the other “white” people.  I strive to be different and memorable.  The Haitian people lead a simple life of survival, so different than my normal life in America.  Not that I do not have struggles, but it is different on so many levels.  Whenever I am in Haiti, I appreciate the opportunity to bring a small ray of sunshine, hope and love (and lots of laughter) to the community we serve.

The selfishness comes from my desire to help, serve and love unconditionally.  This is a “Me” thing because it makes me feel like I have contributed to something.  No matter how small, it still makes me feel good.  Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face when I pull up to the guest house; when asked to visit their home; invited to share a meal; or just sitting with someone I cannot communicate with.  There is love and compassion present and that makes me feel great!

So, when asked, “Why do I go to Haiti?”, my answer is because it makes me feel good.  I think this is true for many people, but some may not want to admit it.  For me, I’m Blessed!

Paul Rumo

~board member

Sunday
Mar122017

Update On Ivnalie

Getting information in Haiti is like playing a game of telephone, only as information is slowly changing and losing meaning, it is also being translated.  This may be the case in our update on Ivnalie, but I will share with everyone what I know from my end of the telephone. 

Ivnalie's health is "sometimes good, sometimes not so good".  She is having seizures sometimes and is now on an "asthma pump" (which I have figured out from gestures during past conversations means an inhaler).  That helps her, but I can't figure out why she needs it.  Maybe she has developed asthma as she is growing.  Airway disease is fairly common in Haiti.  She is going to the doctor frequently, however there is no plan for surgery.  What is communicated to me is that she cannot have surgery because "her head is too hard" and "there is a problem in her belly and head".  I am assuming this has to do with her shunt. 

The fact that Ivnalie has not had surgery yet is frustrating, but that is a reflection of the frustrating healthcare system in Haiti.  For months and months, private hospital staff went on strike, leaving only public hospitals to function.  Hospitals became overwhelmed and overrun.  Ivnalie's surgical options were a year-long wait list or going to Cuba.  Thankfully her mom still takes her to her doctor and is still moving forward with her healthcare. 

I was not able to see Dr Gabrielle on the January trip.  I will try to get in touch with her via Facebook for some clarification. 

Meanwhile, on December 3rd, Ivnalie's mom Geudeline was in a motorcycle accident.  The moto she was riding was hit by a car.  Geudeline suffered a femur fracture that required surgery.  She was in the hospital for 9 days.  I was told she was then brought home because they could not afford to keep her there, but it had seemed from other stories that she had been in the hospital for much longer.  The Haitian telephone game strikes again.  Either way, she was sent home on crutches.  Crutches.  For anyone who has traveled with us, wrap your head around that.  Or if you have seen pictures of the road from Cabaret to Desab, or just the terrain in general...crutches.  She has family who lives nearby that has been helping practically.  But her husband is the only source of income for the family.  They have been disappointed that the moto driver never came to check on Geudeline, as she chose him from among the other drivers because she knew him. 

Geudeline lives a very difficult and complicated life.  This adds a whole new dimension to that.  Please pray for this family.  We will continue to keep everyone updated as we can. 

Nicole Pitzer

president

(Sorry for the lower quality photos.  They were sent to me from a Haitian cell phone via Facebook.)

Sunday
Feb262017

Uncertainty

There has been a lot of uncertainty in the United States over the past several months, and one of the biggest uncertainties for many people is, “Will I have access to affordable healthcare?”  It’s scary to think that in 2017, affordable healthcare is still an issue for so many people.

In Haiti, however, there has been uncertainty about healthcare…forever.  Before the 2010 earthquake, 46% of Haitians did not have access to healthcare because they could not afford it or because there were no hospitals or clinics near them (World Health Organization), and this was before the earthquake toppled their nearly nonexistent healthcare system.

This is why clinics like Fanmi Lasante are so important.  Without this clinic, thousands upon thousands of Haitians wouldn’t have access to the healthcare they desperately need.  Many would have to walk hours to the next closest clinic.  Some still do to come to Fanmi Lasante, not because there are no other clinics closer to them, but because they feel they receive better care from Dr. Gabrielle and the clinic staff than they would receive elsewhere.  You make this possible with your support.

There may never be a permanent solution to the healthcare crisis in Haiti, but there are small steps we can take together, to make sure those living in and around Desab never feel uncertain about receiving quality healthcare again.  

Amanda Dehart

(board member)

Dr. Gabrielle in her exam room

A waiting room full of patients

Healthcare agent Finelia with a sick patient

Wednesday
Feb012017

Reflections

Impressions of Desab.

Coming to Desab is a little bit like being an exchange student.  Except that the village is your host family.  A gaggle of kids surrounded our car as we entered the village.  Doors opened and all backpacks, luggage, instruments, and food were carried by the kids up to our dormitory.  Being surrounded by warmth, excitement, and love is the common experience here.  A week is an intensive experience of bonding with dozens of people eager to meet, to learn, to engage.  Communication can be difficult without fluent creole, but efforts at speaking a little: "mwen kontan we ou" (I am happy to meet you) goes a long way.  In a very short time I am part of the family.

 

Leadership with Roots:

A distinct highlight of our trip to Desab was the kind and knowledgable welcome from Nicole (Pitzer, Stone By Stone president).  Nicole has tracked the geneology of members of the Desab community and has an extensive grasp of who is related to who.  This is no small feat.  Many people are interconnected by birth and marriage.  Nicole's eyes light up when she hears that a new baby has arrived.  She inquires with so many how their families are and is excited to get updates.  She helps us understand who is family with one another.  It also helps to feel her love of the community; her devotion and her joy to share it with all of us.  Thank you Nicole.

 

Non-native son:

My son Asher was a volunteer english teacher in Desab during the Fall of 2015.  This January, he invited me to join him as he returned to the village on a trip sponsored by Stone by Stone.  What a joy it was to feel the heartfelt love that exists in the village for him.  A fantastic trip for both of us.

 

Eric Small

Monday
Sep052016

My Time in Desab, Haiti...

Most people that know me, know that I am never at a loss for words. Truthfully, I’ve been struggling to write about my time in Desab, Haiti. Maybe it was because I felt slightly guilty, for not having a profound sadness or disbelief that many people experience traveling to Haiti for the first time.

For me, I chose to focus on how happy and welcoming the people of Desab were. I won’t lie, I was nervous to go, I am a creature of habit and knew I would be experiencing new things, and meeting new people. I kept asking myself, “what will it be like?” and “will everyone be welcoming?” I quickly found out, I had no reason to be nervous.

The first thing I noticed after we arrived (after literally driving up a mountainside) was everyone running to greet Nicole and myself. They were genuinely happy to see visitors. This put me immediately at ease.

Throughout the week, it became so clear to me how proud everyone was of their village. There is so much we take for granted every day, simple things like flipping a light switch, or turning on a faucet. We are a culture of always wanting more, and even with so little, the people of Desab were happy. Truly happy. It’s so easy to focus on what they don’t have, that we forget to focus on what they do. Health, happiness, family, pride in their village.

I was able to meet many people from Desab, and the surrounding communities. Everyone was happy to hear that I came with Stone By Stone. We talked about the clinic and how big of a role it plays in Desab. Some people travel seven hours by foot, just to be seen by the doctor. This amazed me, but also showed me how important the clinic and Stone By Stone is to the community.

Leaving Desab was hard. Sure, I was happy to have air conditioning, and a shower again, but life was so much slower. I told Nicole, “every day here is like a vacation.” No one was running around, trying to get a million little things done. People stopped to ask how my day was, to see if I needed anything. That’s something I could get used to.

Desab opened my eyes to a new way of life, and that’s something I will always be thankful for. I can’t wait to go back, and experience it all over again.

Amanda Dehart (board member)