There are a few things I’ve been meaning to write. A couple of them might actually be worth reading about but I am going to forego the completion of said entries, at least momentarily, to bring you a wonderful example of just how random things are these days.
Although RMI isn’t currently hosting our own Sister Church teams, the Guest House has still been a revolving door of guests with medical groups and humanitarian aid personnel coming and going for the last five weeks. I am responsible for making sure the Guest House runs, and that it runs well. Right after the quake I made a vast list of supplies we’d need to make sure we’d have them on hand (flour, rice, sugar, noodles, etc.) and now as things are available (and fresh items like fruit and veggies are needed) I work with the ladies who do the cooking and cleaning to make a list and I send the guys after whatever we need. When I made the first grocery list I also created a master menu to help the flow of things and the ladies have been working off that list and making adjustments as needed. Its been a pretty efficient system so far. The hard part has been the constant change in the state of teams that are coming and then they aren’t and groups who have no place to stay who need last minute reservations. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to tell Madame Ti Jean something like, “I think we have a group coming tomorrow, but I’m not sure. And if they come, I don’t know what time. So they might need lunch but I don’t know” only to follow it up an hour later with, “that groups not coming, but another group is coming at 4pm today so they’ll need dinner and then breakfast but they’re leaving in the morning” Now when I say, “I think so, but I don’t know. When I know, I’ll call you and let you know”, we just laugh.
Last week a request was made for two nurses to come and stay at the Guest House for three weeks- it was not made by the nurses themselves but someone helping them make arrangements. They would arrive on January 21. We knew nothing more than that (That’s just how its had to have been with so many relief flights coming and going.) We had no other information and could find out little else. Saturday morning I received an e-mail from one of the other missionaries who also helps run another Guest House on the Mission Center, saying she received a call from a Doctor and his wife flying in on Saturday and did we have room for them because their Guest House was full. She didn’t know details, she’d let me know when she knew more. We had room so we left it at “she’d get back to me”. I told the ladies to go ahead and prepare a meal and if we didn’t need it then, we’d use it Sunday for the two ladies coming. We hadn’t heard anything from the Dr and his wife yet and I was at the Guest House checking in with the staff ladies when about 4pm I stepped outside to take a phone call from Marilyn telling me that two other people had showed up (one had stayed at the Guest House before) and were hoping to stay there again. I walked back inside. “I still don’t know about the other two people. I doubt their coming at this point but we have two other people who will be staying here tonight.” The Dr and his wife didn’t come; the two who actually stayed there were only there for the night.
It was now Sunday, the day the nurses were scheduled to arrive. By that afternoon around 3:30pm we had assumed they weren’t coming. We made a couple calls and no one knew anything. Around 5, we heard from the group they were flying in with (one the agencies flying in relief supplies and personnel) that the ladies had arrived in Nassau too late to catch Sunday’s plane to Cayes but would now be flying in on Monday. No one knew what time.
About a week ago, a local man had come to look at the Guest House for a possible team of 9 people he was trying to organize to come from the US that would need a place to stay from the 20th to the 27th. He did not confirm reservations and I think I told him to call me to make reservations if he decided he wanted the group to stay there but there’s a good chance I thought I said it one way and in Creole it came out another! The 20th had come and gone and I had heard nothing . I had no reason to think anything else of it.
So here we were: the Dr and his wife never came, the two that came were gone, and the nurses who had been scheduled to come, weren’t coming until Monday. Sunday evening was officially “mine”.
It had been a long exhausting day and I was tired but I had things I needed to get done. I had tried taking a nice long nap but I couldn’t sleep. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon and I decided it would be a good time to reorganize my closet. While its a decent sized closet, its the only true storage I have, so its pretty full and it gets crowded and cluttered easily. I decided I’d reorganize. There is a section in the middle where the clothes are hung on on the shelves above that same section, I also keep additional clothes. There are floor to ceiling shelves on each side and this is where I keep all art supplies, electronic supplies (batteries, small fans, flashlights, etc.) extra toilet paper, light bulbs, a few other random things that I don’t know where else to put, snacks and my Diet Cokes since we don’t have a pantry. Its pretty packed. I decided I’d clear a section at a time.
I had just placed the contents of the entire left section of my closet onto my bed where I could sort and reorganize when my phone rang. It was a number I didn’t recognize and though I usually don’t answer those, something told me to get it. “Amy, Its Pastor…..We’re on the way, we’ll be there shortly”.
This is where you could insert one of those everything comes to a screeching halt, record needle skipping across a record, what?!?!?! kind of sound effects.
Fortunately. other than the two nurses, we didn’t have anyone scheduled at the Guest House and after I picked my jaw up off the floor and regrouped, I headed over to the Guest House to make it ready for 9 guests. The Ladies who work at the Guest House were in church and I couldn’t reach them to call then to come over, as were all the staff members I would have called to help me locate them. I finally left a message for one of them asking her to come up Monday morning to fix breakfast for the group. I’d take care of the other preparations for the evening. I had to clear towels from the previous nights guests, change a few beds, empty trash, and organize things to get the house ready for the group. I arrive around 7:30pm. They starting arriving around 10:15pm (They had gone to a church service in the area and had to be driven over in shifts since the vehicle wasn’t big enough for all of the stuff and the 9 of them.) They came in with boxes and bags and luggage, and all kinds of stuff so there was a furry of activity and then there was the stuff I had to go over with them as far as their schedule and meals, and…and…and….I got out of there at midnight.
And when I finally arrived home, I came home to this:
So I put stacked it on the floor in front of my bookshelf and decided I’d have to get to it another time. (Tuesday; 12am and its still there.)