It’s Wednesday. And the day is almost done. There’s been a lot happening in the last few days but I feel at a loss as to where to start.
Sunday we went to Port to stay with our friends. We had a great visit with them and enjoyed waking up rested and having time to ease into a day in Port rather than starting out from the house at 6am so we could get there, get everything done, and be home at a decent hour. On Monday morning we did some grocery shopping, bought some chairs, went to the hardware store and a few over priced places just to take a look. Walking around Valerio Canez was like being in another world. A North American one perhaps. It’s a home furnishing store. Everything had a price on it, in US dollars. There was an escalator. It wasn’t working, but it was there. After all that fun we headed to the airport to pick up our people. I know I’m feeling more settled by the fact that I didn’t feel intimidated while waiting. Anyone who has ever walked anywhere near the airport will understand what a big step that is. I even got brave enough to walk up to the exit doors rather than waiting in the hot sun. Diana & Derek arrived with all of their things and we only had to tell one porter that we didn’t need help and he listened. I think it helps that my Creole is much better. It’s sort of a respect thing. When a white can speak understandable Creole it means they’ve been here for a while.
When we arrived home I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and our friend Barb joined us for the night. It was soooo nice to be surrounded by great people. We ate a lot and had a good evening of visiting. If it wasn’t for the sweating and a few different faces I would have thought I was at home.
Tuesday morning we had breakfast and headed off to Ti Riviere where Diana and Derek will be doing a project evaluation for another organization for the next couple of weeks. They work for CAWST, the organization that our founders did their BioSand filter trianing through. Diana will be returning to do a week long class here at the beginning of November. So far we have 14 people signed up for the class. We can only host 18 people so it could be a full house. I’ve been trying to get things ready ahead of time. Last week I worked at cleaning up our dorms which ended up being a big job. They are clean though and the beds just need to have the sheets put on them. It’ll be a big help considering we won’t have much time after returning from Chicago.
The trip to Ti Riviere was really good. Diana and I sat in the back of the truck, which I love because I can see so much more. Ti Riviere is in the Artibonite valley where they grow rice. When you get off the main road it’s really beautiful. There are canals running off of the Artibonite River, and big trees growing everywhere. It made me wonder what Haiti would have been like 20 years ago when people say the island was still covered in trees. Ti Riviere is a place I would like to visit again. There was a different feeling there. I think the closer you get to the national highway, the more agressive people seem to get. The people seemed quite friendly and the town was interesting. There were still buildings made from wood, and the roads were cobble stone. My camera battery died just as we were pulling into town so I wasn’t able to get any pictures.
When Chris and I got home I checked my email and found out that my uncle had died suddenly yesterday morning from a massive heart attack. I still don’t know where I’m at with all of that. Being here and getting news like that reminds me how far away we are away from everyone. I can’t just hop in a car or get on a plane and be home in a few hours. It’s a day and a half of air travel, usually 4 different flights, to get home, and it’s expensive. I also don’t know how to grieve from a distance. I was thinking about that last night as I was talking to my mom on the phone. If I was with my family there would be a sense of closure, we could mourn and grieve together, we could remember together, we could move on together. The last time I saw my uncle was at my wedding. He came on his motorcylce in full leathers. That was him. When we go home at Christmas he just won’t be there at dinner like he always is. We won’t get the usual family gift of chocolates that were just tradition. I feel so sad for my grandparents right now. They’re in their 80’s. Three of their four daughters have lost their husbands. One of my cousins was killed in a car accident just over a month ago. My grandpa just got out of the hospital on Friday after a fall that left him in a wheelchair. They’re in the middle of trying to figure that out and now have to plan a funeral for their youngest son. He wasn’t married so now the responsibility falls on them and my dad and aunts. The bizarre thing yesterday is that I wasn’t the last to know, even with the distance. When I checked my email my dad still didn’t know because he was on the road and out of cell service. My mom and his boss had left several messages and no luck. His boss finally resorted to calling the RCMP so they could keep their eyes open for him, and pull him over to let him know there was a family emergency and needed to get home. I’m not sure how to put all of this into perspective and have found that it’s been easy to get busy over the last 24 hours and forget that all of this is going on. It’s the distance, not being right there in the middle of it.
As Chris and I got back into the swing of things here this morning it kind of felt like Monday because of everything else that’s been going on. And we only have two more days of work left for this week. We were pretty busy this morning. Chris’ excitement was doing some electrical work on our security lights and finding a strange wire connected to one of them. After disconnecting it and following it in classic ball of yarn fashion through two other properties and up a bit of a moutain he found the house it was connected to. A bit of a yank and people are no longer stealing our generator power. There is also a nice little police report filed in Montrouis.
I think it’s time to go make some dinner for my hungry husband. We have big plans to watch LOST tonight. Thank heavens for a good internet connection. We’re only a week behind, but we will catch up!