I haven’t had the urge to blog in the last few days. I guess it’s been almost a week. Kind of weird and I wish I could explain it, but I really can’t. I’ve got nothin’.
Instead of blogging I’ve been working. I know, unbelievable. We had grant reporting to get done last week, which actually meant I had grant reporting to get done. That was a new little bit of work that I hadn’t done before and I was more than happy to get it sent off. I’m mostly glad I don’t have to deal with it anymore because I’m not having fun dealing with the people behind the papers. I think that it’s important to understand that there is a lot of pride put in positions of responsibility here. Even if the responsibility is not that big in the eyes of anyone on the outside. This pride in responsibility is often seen coming into play with things like signing papers in a timely manner. We got the next grant paper work for our new truck and I’ve been letting myself get frustrated. There is a big part of me that wants to show people here what it looks like for business to work well. Things like me providing you with the papers you need to sign so we can take care of things on our end and a copy for your records is a reasonable request. Things like doing that and providing you with another four copies so that we have to use our ink and printer and paper and save you the few gourdes and the walk to the street corner photocopier so that you can give them out to random people of your choosing are not my responsibility or something my organization should be worrying about, just because I need you to sign a paper. But, in the end the papers must get signed and sometimes, okay all of the time here, it means jumping through hoops. Chris and I were talking about it yesterday and he told me that sometimes it’s not that a person is pushing their weight around, but more an issue of perspective. When we receive a grant for something, whether it’s for a project or equipment, people from the first world know that the direct beneficiary is the organization, but that it is needed to reach the project goal, which in our case would be giving people clean water. Here, the perspective is “Wow, Chris gets to drive around in a new truck” even though the truck is equipment purchased for doing our work and we only benefit because we work here and drive the vehicle. It’s a very different mindset.
Saturday we went to see friends. It was a nice relaxing afternoon of just hanging out. They just got their hands on baby #6. Well, the rest of their kids are all over the age of 2 (the oldest is heading off to college in the fall) and two are adopted. The new baby is the sister of one of their adopted children, which is very cool. Now they’re starting the process of adopting while living in country. They had a friend visiting that was actually another adopting parent when they got their two kids, so we talked a lot about adoption and everything around it, which was good for me. It’s something that Chris and I want to do. Not because we have to – we have no idea if we have to – but because we want to. There are so many kids here that don’t have homes. We won’t start that process for a while because we want to give ourselves a good amount of time for just being married before we bring kids into the picture. I also need to get my residency papers and stuff taken care of too before we start anything. Any paperwork here can take months to get done. Definitely Haitian time. We also need to work at raising our financial support too because right now we’re okay for two people that don’t have large living expenses, but don’t have enough coming in to be classified as responsible parents and do a lot of planning for the future. For everyone that has asked or is wondering when we’ll be expanding the Rolling clan, now you know, and if you want to see that happen faster you know how you can be involved :)
Yesterday we went to church up at Cannan, an orphanage down the road from us that we love. They had power yesterday so the worship was done with a full band. It was such a treat. My favorite thing was seeing the older people (read: really old people) singing and dancing right along with the kids. My heart was happy after the morning. We love going there and just visiting with Pastor Henri and Sister Gladys, the people that run the place. They speak English and are so encouraging. Unlike many orphanages in Haiti, the kids are very well cared for. The have over 80 kids and any number of other people living there. It’s a very loving environment and people are happy. They firmly believe in the love and grace of God and teach that to everyone there. It’s the kind of place that I’ve been wanting to be able to worship at for a long time. When they asked if there were any visitors there yesterday morning Chris stood up and said that we had been there before and were wanting to come more regularly. Pastor Henri thanked Chris for standing up, then told everyone that Chris and I weren’t considered visitors but rather part of their family. It was really sweet.
We’ve been watching the Office, thanks to Troy and Tara. Much enjoyment has been had in the past week or so. Now we’re addicted to that and Lost. Soon I’m sure we can add 24 to the list. We’re just waiting for season 1 before we watch the season 2 that my Dad lent us after Christmas. It’s amazing how much more you appreciate good entertainment when you don’t have direct access to it.
Speaking of entertainment…Chris and I had a chuckle when we looked at the Haitian calendar on our wall that has all of the holidays marked. Did you know that February 14th is a national holiday? Technically that means that we can tell our staff they don’t need to work that day, and we can take off and do something fun! Maybe. We’ll see. Chris asked me if I had high expectations for Valentines Day. I don’t. I just won’t be cooking dinner :) I decided that was his gift to me. I’ll let him decide if he’s going to cook or take me out.