Top 5: A Christmas/New Year Version
The last 2 weeks for All Things New and for the Bush family has been wonderful. We have been a little out of communication with our website and blog, but we have been talking to our team in Haiti a lot even with the distance between us. We hope everyone reading this had a great Christmas worshipping their Savior and a wonderful New Year's Day getting ready for what we hope is everyone's best year yet!
I will give you guys a quick update on what has been going on followed by some things to look forward to in the future. A few of these things will have their own blog post in the near future, but these are just snapshots of what is happening.
1. The Kids
The kids in Haiti had a huge block party on Christmas Eve, a wonderful day of worship services on Christmas Day, and a special Christmas meal prepared by Marjorie. The kids I have spoken to since then had an absolute blast and they all stayed up to ring in the New Year. January 1 is actually Haitian Independence Day, and they celebrated that with some Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup) the traditional Haitian Independence meal.
2. Our Employees
During Christmas, we give all of our employees the option to either take Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, New Year's Day, and New Year's Eve off or we will pay them to work. We pay them on the spot, in addition to what their salary is, and more than they would normally make in one day. We have never had anyone not come to work. Our employees are doing well, and they are riding out the currency fluctuations just waiting for things to settle down.
3. Matt, Jess, Sophie, Elijah, and Zeke
We spent Christmas together in America and spent time with Jessica's parents on Christmas Day and my (Matt's) parents the week after Christmas in Georgia. For the past 2 weeks whenever Sophie or Elijah do something that Zeke does not like, he tells them that they are not going to get their Christmas presents even though of course they already did. We had a nice and relaxing time together and the kids loved every second of it.
4. A New and Different Video
At the beginning of December, I made a quick trip down to Haiti with a couple of other people and one of those people, Nate Edwards, is a videographer and video editor. While we were there, Nate took hours of video with professional cameras and equipment and is planning to put together both a short promotional type video and a longer documentary type video. For many people, this might be the first real look you have into the life of our children in Haiti, especially if you have never been down before. I am really excited about this, and Nate worked really hard for the entirety of the trip. I got tired just watching him.
Something else really cool he did was create a highlight video of the kids playing soccer. They like to watch videos of Christiano, Neymar, Mbappe, Messi, etc. and when they saw Nate's equipment they asked him to make one of them. Nate proceeded to run around the soccer field with the boys taking videos of everything they were doing and then put together a finished product that I cannot wait to show them. I wanted to show them in person for the first time, and as soon as I do, we will be posting it on social media for everyone to see!
5. A New Type of Fundraiser
I am not sure what our "new type of fundraiser" is yet, but we are currently meeting to figure that out. As you know, every other year we have an annual fundraiser in Jacksonville at Deerwood Country Club usually either the last weekend of February or first weekend of March. We also have an annual fundraiser in LaGrange sometime in October or November. We did not have our event in LaGrange this year, and we will be changing the way we do our event in Jacksonville due to Covid. These events are both vital to our ability to make our annual budget, so we are doing our best to figure out what to do next. As soon as we know what this year's event will look like, we will begin communicating that with you.