Posted by Matt Bush

Jess and Sophie

If you missed part 1 of this post, click here and catch up!  

  1. Car Rides. This time 2 weeks ago, a car ride consisted of us buckling Sophie into her car seat with some toys, turning on the AC full blast, and pulling out onto safe, paved roads with order and actual stop lights. Not so much here. To get a really good feel for what driving here or even riding in a car here is like, google “Don’t Drive There Haiti” and have a look. The day we flew in, we did buckle Sophie into her car seat, gave her some toys, and attempted to turn on the AC, which really just blows out warm air. We don’t ride with the windows down because of the pollution and stench. Honestly, Sophie did great on this ride. She only cried once, when I saw a man stealing one of our bags from the back of the truck and Matt and our driver ran out to get it. This scared Sophie….no worries the bag was recovered! Around here when we are not on the main road, Sophie sits in the front seat in my lap and loves every minute of it.
  1. Laundry. Any mother knows that motherhood brings lots of laundry. Over the last 6 months, if Sophie spit up, peed on, or pooped on anything, I would immediately start the washer and get it taken care of. Not here. We are very blessed in that we have a washer but thus far, the clothes have come out dirtier than when we put them in. We think this all goes back to a water issue and a filter will help but in the meantime, there are piles of laundry to be done and many clothes have been ruined. Worse comes to worse, we will hand wash…but not here…because our water is dirty.
  1. Temperature. I am a Floridian and so I am used to hot weather. What I also grew up with, however, and have been used to for most of my life is the wonderful thing we call air conditioning. This time 2 weeks ago, if I was hot or I thought Sophie was hot, I would turn on the AC and we would very quickly cool down. Even if we did not have it in our apartment, we could jump in the car and cool down or go to any local retail store and be immediately blasted with AC. I was also always very aware of the temperature at night for Sophie because research tells us that babies overheating at night are at a higher risk for SIDS. Well that has changed! Most days here have been in the 90s with a heat index of over 100. It is humid and stuffy. Our only airflow is through our windows (unless we are burning trash) and fans (which we are very very thankful for). Sophie’s baby monitor has a temperature gauge and the worst part of most nights is after I put her to bed and check the temperature in her room. Last night it was 94. I will say, though, she slept straight through until 4:30am so I don’t think it’s bothering her!
  1. Sickness. Sophie has been a very healthy baby. Our biggest issues with her health have been when she is teething. She already has 4 teeth and 2 on the way! This time 2 weeks ago, had Sophie gotten sick I would have of course worried but not like I did this past Thursday when she woke up with a rash and a 102.3 temperature. In a place like Haiti, your mind immediately goes to the worst. You start thinking things like Malaria, Dengue Fever, Chickungunya, and Zika Virus. All things that would be horrible to see your baby go through. Thankfully we are one block away from a wonderful medical clinic here called Haiti Health Ministries and we took Sophie straight down and saw a doctor within an hour. Sophie cried the whole time and was definitely the center of attention. The red headed fair skinned crying baby drew a crowd from everybody in the clinic. It was diagnosed as a virus that is still running it’s course and so we are close to having survived Sophie’s first sickness in Haiti. The last few days have been hard and scary as I watched her battle this virus but feared it could be something worse.
  1. The Kids. This time 2 weeks ago I was not with the rest of my kids! As hard as all of these changes have been, my kids are here in Haiti and I went 7 VERY long months without seeing them. All of these things I have talked about are just part of living here and all 100% worth it when it means I get to live a street away from my wonderful amazing kids.

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