Monday, October 26, 2009

has anyone seen my porch?

Pics from laundry day, incase anyone cares.  or even if they don’t.

DSC_0580And no, that’s not a table cloth.   Its a fitted sheet, drying, on a table.

DSC_0546By Saturday morning, the sun had returned and my clothes were dry.  You wouldn’t believe how much better my whole closet smells.  Mmmm…fresh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

and the award for the oddest day so far goes to:

*****Drum roll*****

Friday, October 23, 2009.

The day started at 4:30am when I went to the Guest House to check out two guests who turned out to be four guests who were staying for one night that turned out to be 3-4 nights.  After they left for the day, I washed the few glasses they left, refilled the water pitcher, dumped the water out of the ice cooler, cleaned up the bathroom, and replenished the toilet paper supply and it wasn’t it even 5am. 

I came back home and went back to bed.  I had Creole class at 9 so I figured I’d get in a couple more hours of sleep.  I must have slept hard.  I didn’t even know it rained; until Suzanne told me.  Marco, my Creole teacher, arrived shortly after 9 and within 10 minutes it started to rain again, and it got windy and cold.  And it didn’t stop raining,this time, until almost noon.   We usually have class outside at the picnic table under an almond tree, but today we had class on the porch and I wore a fleece because it was cold, in Haiti.

Suzanne and Beth were both leaving today to go to a Women’s retreat in Port au Prince and it was just going to be me all weekend.  I decided that I didn’t need the House Ladies to come today or tomorrow.  There were plenty of leftovers in the fridge to get me through the weekend and I could certainly receive the food from the market which Annette usually does on Saturday.  I figured after all, I SHOULD be able to put stuff in the fridge. Because they weren’t here, the house was quiet.  Except for the rain, which came and went all afternoon. 

I had decided this weekend that I was going to get caught up on laundry and do some extra laundry to boot.  Because of the open nature of our houses here and the high humidity that is Haiti, mold and mildew grows pretty easily here.  And so from time to time, you have to air out your closet and do some extra laundry and housekeeping.  My closet also has a pretty big leak and when it rains the ceiling is wet and sometimes drips into a bucket that has been placed beneath the leak.   And so, the closet was starting to smell.  And so were many of my clothes.  So I needed to wash them.  What better time than when Beth and Suzanne were gone; I could just get it all done without being in the way.  There was what I thought was a break in the rain, long enough to make me think it was done.  I started with my laundry.  And I proceeded to wash 4 loads, totaling 74 pieces ranging from undergarments to t-shirts to skirts, dresses, linens and lots of things in between.  I even hung extra line on the covered porch, adding to the lines that are already strung.  It was a great idea, except that its raining again.  It has been steady since about the time I finished the laundry.  That was around 5.  And the laundry is still wet. 

Since the ladies didn’t come today, we had accumulated lots of dirty dishes; dishes from dinner last night, breakfast this morning, my dishes from lunch, and any other dishes we happened to have used.  And so I did them while I was waiting for my last load of laundry to wash.  We don’t have hot water in the house so to do dishes we boil water in kettles on the stove and pour the water into wash pans. And so, I did that too.  I washed a lot of dishes and boiled a lot of water.  But, the point is, I did the dishes. 

And then, I hung the last load of laundry.  And then I ate dinner.  And then I went to the Guest House to refill the ice chest, and turn on lights ,and get the place prepared.  And then I waited so we could make arrangements for the next couple days.  But they didn’t come, so I came home.  And then, almost immediately they called me.  Heh. 

Its been a long day.  But I’ve gotten a lot done.  Its also been a very odd day.  But I’ve gotten a lot done. 

I’m tired.  But I can’t sleep.  My clothes are clean.  But they aren’t dry.  And its raining.  I’ve got an oscillating fan on the porch, blowing on my clothes.  Hopefully they’ll be dry in the morning.  Or maybe the sun will come out and finish the job I started today.  And Bubba’s in my room.  He usually sleeps on the front porch.  He also usually gets more attention from Suzanne.  Tonight when I put him on the front porch he seemed lonely.  And then he started whining.  And the porch is right off my room.  So I let him in.  And now he’s asleep. 

And its still raining.

Oh wait, I think that's the fan. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

what mattered yesterday…

doesn’t seem so important today.

I just posted my blog about the beach today, Sunday, Oct 18, but it actually happened yesterday.  We just had a storm move through and lost internet.

I did sleep well last night.  But I awoke to a day that I wish had only been a nightmare. 

One of the families that joined us at the beach yesterday came with their five beautiful children; the youngest at around 2 years of age and the oldest at 16 years of age.  Four girls and a boy, five years old.  As I understand the story about 10 years ago, they buried another son, who died in a drowning accident. 

This morning around 7:15, the father, his oldest daughter, and his son were headed to church on their motorcycle; a common means of transportation in these parts.  I am not sure exactly what course of events transpired because I heard several retellings of it today, each of them mostly the same with only some slight variation, but the fact remains that the the motorcycle was impacted by a motorcycle going who knows how fast and tragedy struck the family for the second time.  The father received head trauma, a busted up shoulder and a torn up leg, the daughter busted up her knee and received various other less extensive injuries, and the little boy received head trauma, a possible broken neck, and a punctured lung.  They were all rushed to the hospital here on the Mission Center and trauma doctors and nurses were called in to help.  The father had some emergency surgery to patch him up, the daughter got a temporary fix for her leg and they put the little boy on a breathing machine.  The little boy didn’t survive. 

The family is now headed to the US to receive more extensive medical treatment and they will also lay another son to rest.  And then when the rush of everything begins to slow down, I imagine they will begin to truly grieve. 

Things like this don’t make sense.  They don’t seem fair,  But life rarely does; it rarely is.  So hold your loved ones tight.  Tell them how much they mean to you.  Forgive them of much.  Appreciate what you have.  Give what you can.  Trust in God.  Hope in His grace.  Cling to Him with all that you are. 

And pray for the Reinhards.  Its going to be a long road of recovery for them in so many ways.  I know they would appreciate your prayers. 


People often want to know what I do in my down time. 

Today, I got a little sunburned; got  a little more sun than I meant to get.  No worries though, I’m just a little more than pink on my chest, shoulders and cheeks and by Tuesday, it’ll just be a tan.  The ironic thing is, I actually lost most of my tan when I was in Florida for two weeks.  Oh well.  I guess its really not THAT important. 

DSC_0689Today Gary, Marilyn, Carl (a mechanic in from the states for a couple weeks to assist us with some mechanical difficulties we were experiencing) and I went to Port Salut; the lovely beach about 45 minutes from the Mission Center.  There’s a great restaurant with a large straw roofed cabana right on the beach; lots of tables and chairs where you can spend the afternoon lounging after your meal.  And the food is delicious to boot.  DSC_0653Today Gary and Carl got lobster  and Marilyn and I had chicken.  And we all had banan peze (twice fried plantains) and diri kole (rice and beans).  Um, hello, yes, thank you and please.  I can’t say that I’m completely adjusted yet to the Haitian cuisine, but the stuff at this place is really good. 

The weather was beautiful.  Warm and sunny, perfect for floating in the ocean.  And the water was perfectly suited for relaxing;  it was cool and refreshing and calm.  I  spent a good bit of time just floating.  And there is very little sea life one has to be concerned about- so its great to go far away from the shore, and far away from all the little Haitian children who think you there to play with them.  They’re not always a bad thing, but they can be a little overwhelming when they want to climb and grab.   Today, Gary and Carl were going to try to head off the masses and swim out pretty deep.  I had a feeling it was going to be impossible to do.  Gary was wearing a bright yellow swimsuit and was carrying with him a bright yellow raft.  As I looked out to the water, all I saw was a flash of yellow swimming furiously away from a crowd of about 15 little boys swimming as fast as they could after him! 

I’m not sure the afternoon could have been much more perfect.  Sometime after we ate another couple we knew arrived and not long after that another large group from the Mission Center arrived.  I had some really great conversation with Mandi and Rico, a young couple who haven't been on the field too long.  Although I truly love all of the friends I have made here I am always excited to meet people who speak English, who are my own age since there aren’t too many of them here in our area. We even talked about getting together to play Skip Bo one night this week.  Hopefully that can happen. 

We arrived at the Beach around 11am and didn’t head home until after 4pm and I only got a little sunburned;  all in all a lovely day. 

But now, I’m exhausted.  How can a relaxing day at the beach be so exhausting?  Beats me. 

Its pouring down rain now; I expect I’ll sleep well tonight. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

made for walking

I was riding home the other day when I drove by Olga, one of the other missionaries on the Center.  She was walking to get her mail.  It was cargo plane day!  That meant there could be packages!  We were right near my house so she asked me if I wanted to walk with her.  It was a nice afternoon and I had seen my name on the plane manifest so I thought, sure why not?  Its about a 10 minute walk across a couple very short hills, albeit full of rock and dirt.  I told her I needed to park my wheels and put on better shoes. 

I was wearing these:


I went inside, put my stuff down, and changed into these:


When I came back out and said I was ready to go she laughed.  I don’t know why.  I personally think they’re much better for taking a stroll across the hillside.