I want to know what your future plans are for the clinic/rescue center? Will you move them up to the new land? Might there ever be an opportunity for Lori to sit on her couch in the future? Or is it best to keep her occupied so she doesn’t fire too many spit balls?
Licia- We do plan to move the current Rescue Center and ICU up to the new land. Zach is currently working on a building plan for this and hope to know the next phase of building in the next few months. Once we know the phases of each place (RC, ICU, clinic, etc), we will begin to plan for those projects.
Lori – Licia answered the first two, so I guess the second two are for me. I do sit on my couch occasionally. Allison, Licia, and I do a Bible study once a week at my house, so we all get to sit on it! 🙂 It is indeed best to keep me busy. I’m a crazy spitball kind of girl! 😉 There no telling what type of trouble I would get into if I actually had some idle time. kidding. Those who know me know that I try my best to stay on the straight and narrow. The spitball lesson was a total lapse of judgement on my part. I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize publicly to all future spitball victims of the Betor boys.
How often do each of you take time away from the clinic and RC just for yourselves to rest, relax and enjoy your family?
Lori – Unfortunately, not as often as I would like to. I really enjoy listening to music and try to do that much as I can – in the office and at home. I try to go back to the states once a year and do find some down time then.
Licia-I try to not work much on Sunday, but that depends on the amount of sick kids that we have. Every once in awhile we try to take a few hours off with the kids and go do something. We still speak at churches and pack container when we are back in the states but do have time to rest and do things with the kids.
Do you ever stop to think what would life be like if you were living in the states? When you guys retire will you move back to the state?
Lori – Yes, I do and then I thank my Lord that He placed me here. There are so many more problems and heartaches than we reveal on social media. It is a hard life with no assurances, but Jesus’ promise that He will take care of our needs. Amazingly and simply, He does just that and it is more than enough. I do have thoughts to return to “the safe life” it the states where I could make 3-4 times the amount of income, live in comfort, work normal hours, have friends, and plan a retirement……but, for me, that would be the most dangerous place for me since it is out of God’s will. I don’t think I will retire. I might slow down a bit when I get older, but I don’t think that I can just stop and leave. I want to live here until I die, but only God knows what the future will hold.
Licia – Not really. I think it would be hard to move back to the states and live now. I have been here for 18 years and this my home. I think if I had to live someplace different I would do my best to find ways to continue to help Haiti or others to my best ability. But I really cannot see myself doing anything different than I do now. I do not plan to move to the states at all. I am a lifer and plan to spend my life here. As my kids grow that might change. I have never thought that retirement would be an option for us but maybe it will 🙂 I just figured I would work until I go home with Jesus.
How many hours a day do you often work? Elicia & Lori.
Licia -Everyday is different. I wait until the kids are off to school 8am to go down and begin work. I work until noon and then have 1 hour off for lunch with the kids. This is the most important hour of the day. Unless there is a huge emergency, I never miss this hour with the kids. I then work until around 9 or 10 each night. I go up and get the kids baths and put them to bed. I go spend time with Ameyah and Enoch from 10 until midnight. Around midnight I go down and do a final check on the kids in the ICU. There is not a week that goes by that I do not have to get up at least once from midnight until 8am when I go down to begin work. The ICU kids are critical and can get bad really quickly so things change from hour to hour with them. I try to work with the community group on Saturdays when possible. I try on Sundays to not work. That also depends on what kids we have. Same meetings on Sunday as Lori. We have not been able to have scheduled days off yet. We did years ago when my mom was still alive but someone has to be there for those that are sick.
Lori – I usually get to the clinic around 6:45 on clinic days and 8 on other days. I go home around noon for an hour or so for lunch. I work until 9-10pm. I do this M-F. On Sat, I try to work with the community group from 7am-1pm. If I don’t work with them, I usually come into the clinic around 8 or 9 am. I work until about 9pm. Most Sundays, I don’t come into the clinic to work unless there is an emergency. I go to community group mtg from 2:30-5pm. We have a RHFH mtg with US staff and long-term volunteers every Sunday night. It starts around 5pm and is done sometime btwn 6 and 8pm. I stay and work until around 9-10pm.
How long did it takes for you guys to adjust with the Haitian culture?
Lori – still adjusting after 15 yrs.
Licia – still learning and adjusting after 18 years.
Since you both have been married with your husbands for so long any plans of renewing your vows soon?
Lori – This December will make 10 yrs that Charles and I have been married. It was hard enough to do one wedding, let alone another. He doesn’t really understand renewing vows either, so he’s not too interested in doing that.
Licia – June 16th makes 13 years of marriage. We have talked about it before but it is not something that is normal in the Haitian culture.
What do you wish every one knew about Haiti and the Haitian people?
Lori – They deserve your respect.
Licia – Just because it is a 3rd world country does not mean everyone is poor. They might not have everything that the world thinks they need to be wealthy. But they are a happy people and love life. They deserve our respect. We are a guest in their country. They did not ask us to come and tell them how to fix all their problems. We should count it an honor that they accept us. You can learn alot from them if you take the time to talk to them and care about them and their culture.
Charles, how is the vetiver coming along? Did you ever get that check to take Lori to the beach?
Charles – The vetiver that we planted is growing well. I do not have the financial resources to continue this project. It would depend on the mission director if the project would continue.
I am a retired Pediatric RN and would love to come help for a while. Do you need extra help during summer months? Also, how could my small youth group at church help here? Sewing, collecting, etc.?
Lori – We are really busy with college age volunteer during the summer months. One need that we have is someone to come and cover for me when I go to the US. I usually go in Aug or Sept. I’m not sure if we will be able to go this year though. The one problem with this is that there is not a translator here all the time. We have around 120 employees and they do a pretty good job keeping things going with patient care. I do encourage medical volunteers to come and do education for the staff. Youth groups do great at collect things to put on the container to send down. Some ideas are backpacks filled with school supplies, birthing kits, baby layettes, hospital care kits, infant formula, vitamins with iron. It is best to pick one item/project and focus on that. We are planning to do some videos/photos to show what to put in the kits and how to put them together and that might help you with some of those details. You can always email us to clarify needs and plan a project.
I know there are extremes, but what would “average” living conditions be like in your area? How far do “most” patients travel to get to the clinic?
Lori – Most people live in a rock and cement house with a tin roof. The most typically have 2-3 rooms. There are usually extended family living in the house also. Most people do not have an outhouse or running water, but water is within 15-20 min of most ppl in Cazale. The kitchens are outside and are much simpler structures. Most houses have lots of yard area around them and most people remain outside of the house most of the day (very hot inside the house). Most patients are traveling an average of 4 hours one way.
Is sending pressies to some of the children OK?
Lori – My turn to ask a question. What is a “pressie”? I looked it up and I think that it means present, right?? Cost of customs and time delays in shipping make it difficult to receive presents for specific people unless they are going to be staying with us for a long time (like over 6 months). If someone wants to send something for a specific child, it would be best to contact us and we will try to find someone that is coming in soon that would be willing to carry in the gift. Otherwise, we end up paying $3 or so per pound and it will take 3-4 wks to clear customs.
The USA has several travel warnings for people traveling to Haiti. Do you feel it is relatively safe for travel for volunteers?
Lori – Yes, it is safe in our area. The airport is the most sketchy place and it’s not all that bad anymore. Once you get out of town and in the country, it gets better. I think it is important to listen to your hosts about where and when to travel. Common sense stuff protects you from most of the dangers – don’t travel alone, don’t travel at night, don’t flash cash or expensive things, etc.
Licia – I only leave Cazale once in awhile. I fell totally safe in our village. At any hour of the day or night. In town or other areas you avoid the hot spots. If there are going to be protest you listen to the radio or call friends in town to see how things are. You use wisdom and do not travel when things are “hot” in town. I think it is safe for volunteers to come visit. If the country is unsafe we have canceled teams in the past but that has only happened a few times.
And, in light of tonight’s comment about diaper changes re: starting worm treatment, it has me wondering whether you use cloth or disposable diapers for all those babies? And if disposable, how do you dispose of them without filling up a whole landfill? Do you burn them? Or if cloth, who washes all of those? Just curious.
Lori – The CTC uses disposable diapers and underpads. We burn them.
Licia – We use cloth diapers most of the time. We would love to have disposable ones but do not have the funds for that now. We keep a small supply of disposable ones on hand for the kids in the ICU that need them. It takes a lot of diapers with around 80 kids 🙂 We have 8 ladies that wash 6 days a week by hand. They wash the diapers, clothing and sheets and blankets. The diapers that we do have are burned once a week with the other trash.
What bible verse best describes what you do and why you do it?
Lori – From the beginning of our work in Haiti in 1994, my parents decided on Isaiah 58:7 for our mission verse. I like The Message version:
This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Here is the New King James:
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Enoch and Charles, how much do you love your wives and the things that they do? How often do you take times away just for each other as husbands and wives?
Enoch – I love my wife a lot, from being with her for 18 years of my life I would not be able to love anyone else as I love her. I support her everyday in what she does and I 100% love what she does. I am grateful for the wife that I have, someone who dedicates her life to do the works of Jesus Christ in my country. As family, we hardly have anytime for ourselves which sometimes causes some problems in our relationship, but as both of us understand it is because of all the work there so we create short times going out to eat to restaurant in port-au-prince or out to the beach whenever we get a chance but we do not have a specific time during the week or the month.
Charles – I really love Lori because we are almost married for 10 years. There are many problems in our life, but God still blesses us. We have built our own house and this makes us very happy. The work keeps us very busy. Lori takes more time to work for RHFH and I think that she does good work for the mission. The people have many health problems in the community and the clinic has been the only one in the area that was here to help. Sometimes we plan to take time for ourselves, but some situations make it impossible. We try to take some small times to talk at our house like eating lunch together. We don’t get to leave and go to other places much because of finances.
Enoch, how active are you with the mission like what is your position?
Enoch – I have been with Real Hope For Haiti since it has started, I give all my support in every way possible. I fill whatever void there is whenever I am allowed but I work as benevolence and do not have a position in the mission. Not because I do not want it but that would have to be decided by the board of Real Hope For Haiti or the Haiti administration.
When is Lori and her husband will decide to have kids?
Lori – We decided to have kids the first year that we were married. God has not decided that for us yet.
Allison how did you, and your families came with the decisions of moving down to Haiti? Was it hard for you at first?
Allison – God had made it clear to us that He wanted us to make a big commitment and serve the people of Haiti. We just weren’t sure if that meant adoption or living in Haiti. After I visited RHFH in February of 2012, we knew this was where God was calling us to go. It was like a big puzzle that all the pieces fell into place, and peace beyond comprehension. Of course adjusting to living here has had many challenges, but we’ve loved it. Ok, maybe we haven’t loved the mosquitoes and summertime heat…but we consider this our second home. Cazale has welcomed us and we treasure all the dear friendships we have formed here in the past year.
For Allison – sounds like you are staying there for a longer time than originally planned. What do you see as the biggest challenge being there, and what was the hardest thing for Brianna?
Allison – Our only timeframe plan has been to stay for as long as God wants to use us here. So far, we don’t think He’s done with us yet here in Cazale! The biggest challenge being here? Probably, and I’m only speaking for myself, it is self-pity. Sometimes I think I’m having it rough having to take cold bucket showers or I crave comfort foods that aren’t available here. But especially challenging is missing being at home (“home-home” as Brianna calls it, since we now have two homes) with my family. I’ve missed our older daughter so much – she stayed in the U.S. to attend college on-campus this semester. More than anything I’ve missed being cuddled up on our couch with all four of us together. Brianna…well she misses television. Not too tragic, if you ask me. I think Haiti has been the best thing for this kid that we could have ever given her (though she will strongly disagree). 🙂 Thanks for asking!