Entries in Life in Haiti (28)
Wow, the holidays flew by... Ted, Tynan & I all met up a week ago yesterday in south FL & then flew down the next morning to prepare for our first team of the year. Emma arrived Wednesday morning & Callie on Thursday, so everyone is back “home” and happy to be here. We each were refreshed by our visits with family & friends and returned very ready to get back to work!
Wheaton Academy is one of our favorite teams to host, because they are HUGE & full of energy, but most of all because they are some of the most amazing teens that we’ve ever met. The team of 43 arrived Weds afternoon with smiles on their faces & servant's hearts. I am always blown away at the way that this group is willing to embrace the huge change in culture so readily. I never hear complaints, just worship, prayer & praise out of the mouths of these students the entire week.
This year their stay seemed to fly by so fast! They had a packed week with two very big & busy medical clinics, a children’s program, art class, home visits, helping in a local orphanage, and painting the brand new classrooms that they raised the funds for & had built last summer.
It was a tearful goodbye for many this morning. The seniors will graduate at the end of this school year & not be coming back with the group. We are thankful for the the legacy that they hand down to the students that will follow, and for the sacrifices that they have made on behalf of the children in Pastor Thimote’s church OVC program.
In addition to coming back to our first team, we landed immediately in our new home – THANK YOU again to those of you who helped make that happen. (You know who you are!) It’s unanimous that we LOVE it!
Even though we pretty much camped out on the dining room floor this first week with pads & mattresses, had no electricity or running water, and spent all of our spare time scrubbing, scraping concrete, paint or who knows what off the tile floors & prepping walls for paint – we slept soundly and woke up smiling every morning.
We have felt welcomed by our neighbors, who seem to find it interesting, rather than “entertaining” (like our last neighborhood) to have a “blan” (white) family move in. As far as I know we are the only American Caucasian family in this general area. We have had people pitch in to help out in several ways, out of kindness, rather than a motive of compensation. It is a quiet, peaceful area, where everyone seems to be calm & friendly so far.
Ted had the first feeling of “pay off” for the tumultuous move, a couple of days ago, when he headed out early to make coffee and start breakfast at the guesthouse. As he left, he found that our vehicle had a flat tire. Normally this would have been a huge stressor – trying to figure out how to get there in time, having to try to change a tire in our tiny little parking alcove. Instead he walked the four blocks, which he had already planned on doing & dealt with it later when he had time,...in the breezy shade & spaciousness of our new drive way area!
Here is a look at our first day in the new house:
Watch for Renovation Realities – Haiti, first installments coming soon…
There is always something happening here in Haiti – every week seems to bring a new adventure. Not so good for trying to have any type of household order or schedule, so we’re working on that, still.
In fact we all agreed to a new goal at the “family” meeting this weekend, as we to try to be a little more intentional around the house. We are calling it our plan to withdraw from brink of mayhem - addressing a comment made by Ted, that it seems like we are constantly living just "ONE step away from CHAOS.”
Our goal? …to try to live at least TWO steps away from it, here at home.
The idea is not as easy as it may sound. It’s going to take some effort!
For example, Ted was marveling at the complexity of daily life here the other day when the absurdity of having to “move the car” out onto the street, so that he could take a shower…hit him. It’s true before he could take his morning shower he had to make sure that there was gas for the generator, check the water level in our cistern, move the car out, drag our (borrowed) generator over to hook up (bc there isn’t room for both the car & the generator in our little carport), fill up the gas tank, turn it on & start our water pump up, because the roof tank was empty.
And that was just for his shower! Anyhow, you get the idea, of what much of life here holds – there are usually many steps to something that might seem simple in a first world setting. There is a constant need for forethought, organization, consolidation, buffer or margin to help all run more smoothly. We are continually learning from the Haitians how to adapt to these differences.
Typically the best remedy around though is a change in attitude, rather than situation, which regularly requires taking a chisel to our pride. Ultimately, it's just one more way that God is using the "elements" here to sculpt us into his servants each day.