Friday, May 27, 2011

The Most Magical Place on Earth

For years Todd has talked about taking the kids to Disneyland. I however never wanted to be there with a baby or two year old.  Finally Todd put his foot down and said "we're going!". 

The kids did great on our 17 hour drive down.  We left at 7:30 pm and checked into our hotel at noon the next day. 
We spend the next 4 days at both Disneyland and California Adventure from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. only taking a little dinner break outside the park. I asked some workers if it was "busy".  They stated it was only at 1/3 capacity.  In other words "empty".  Still felt busy to me.  But if our longest line was only 30 min on Toy Story and barely needed fast passes on many others, I guess it we were lucky.  We went on a ton or rides multiple times.  On the 4th day we finally were able to talk Camdyn into going on Calf Screamin coaster which is fast with a upside down loop.  Boy was she scared.....then.....she went on it 4 more times in a row!

Around 1:00 Brody would ask to nap in the stroller or zonk on Todd's shoulder while we rode some scary rides!  Like the Haunted Mansion.  Then back in the hotel the kids would hot tub, watch TV and ZONK out!  I went 8 days in a row sleeping in and not waking up to run!  I haven't done that since I was preggy.

On the 5th day we were sad to leave and wished we'd stayed longer.  Left the hotel at noon and drove straight through to Portland.  18 hours on the way back.  That drive is LONG.  I'm not a fan of it. I kept jolting out of my sleep trying to grab the steering wheel thinking Todd was asleep and we were going off the road!  Thanks to me we almost did!  Todd was about to restrain me.

One of my cameras is better than the other, but I didn't want to take it in every day so we have a mixture of both lenses at work here......

On our drive down my sister text me "that had better darn well be the most magical place on Earth for all the hassle and expense of it all".....well it WAS!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Haitian Medical Relief

Just recently Todd returned from a 12 day medical aid to Haiti through MEDICAL TEAMS INTERNATIONAL along with his co-worker Dan from Tualitin Valley Fire and Rescue.
These are a few pictures of the Haitians they treated, where they stayed and what the villages, town and cities look like now a year after the earthquake. So much poverty.  So much sickness.  Such humble people.

Todd is asleep as I am posting if I am not accurate in my writing, forgive me Todd and Dan!

This was the street where their accomodations were.  It was gaurded by this man with an AK22 or whatever it is!  Yikes!  Not knowing what to expect, these rooms were nicer than he thought.  They had a cook, but he still managed to come home 2 belt holes smaller.  What is with being a guy!

Each day supplies from MIT along with the crew of one Physician, 3 nurses, Todd and Dan were driven out to this "tent city" site to see patients who would line up.  It was all open air and hotter than anything...and Todd is a sweaty guy.  He said it was a freak show when he started to sweat!
They treated diseases from Cholera, Malaria, ringworm, skin lesions, malnutrition and std's to name a few.
Some of the children they were treating along with Todd's favorite nurse.  (Just kidding!!!!)
Todd showed us this one toy this young boy had.  It was a plastic ring that he pulled on a string all around and just watched it bounce over rocks and skip along.  It was all he had and he took such pleasure out of it.  I hate what our kids do today!  Electronics and toys that they bore of in an hour or less!
This is an example of a "tent city" that is what all these white structures are, covering this valley floor.  This is what they live in :<
Here is one up close that happens to be made out of cinderblocks, most aren't even that insulated.  That has to be a 3 ft by 8 ft house.  Can we even imagine??

Earthquake damage to a nearby building

Driving through town Todd captured images through the car window. Not exactly a tourist snapshot with the locals type of destination. Behind this dumpster is a river but you can't see the water due to the GARBAGE! It's just a floating canal of garbage. Although is it even floating? Todd says they have no sanitation systems so to get rid of trash they'll just set these dumpsters on fire. Ahh, the smell!

Dan is standing in one of the other locations they were seeing patients.  This one had a larger "pharmacy" and more equipment to do more triage.  Am I spelling things right?  Dan and Todd were able to use all their skills and then some.

Another floating river of garbage
The team was given a day off and taken to a nearby coastline.  Todd was grateful to see this beauty or else he would have thought the whole of Haiti was a complete dump.
The doctor, nurse, a director of MIT and they guys.
Another pile of dirt just mounding up along the side of the road.
This mother brought her infant in and after doing an assesment, after getting med/fluids into her, she turned a corner.  Todd told me more I can't recall!

These are the interpreters that traveled with them every day.  Todd said this group was so awesome and so humble.
Some of the medical supplies at one of the sites
More garbage strewn in front of a local merchant market
Dan with one of the local children that came for treatment.