The work day is almost over, only about an hour to go. It feels like it’s gone by fast today. We started at 6 am with Luxon and Thony ripping of the first pieces of our house roof. 6 hours later it was all off and all of the old nails had been pulled. We only had to replace one piece of plywood on the whole roof so we’re really thankful for that. We’re praying that it’s going to be a dry week so David, who’s arriving Wednesday afternoon, will be able to get all the shingles up without problems. It’s a bit unnerving to look up and see light peeking through from the great outdoors. The guys will be going over the whole thing tomorrow and making sure all the plywood is nailed down well.
Our weekend was good. Saturday morning was nice and slow. We got the armoire moved inside and filled with clothes. There’s so much more room in our bedroom now. It kind of felt like we were in the process of moving because I saw walls I haven’t really seen in a while. I still need to clean a few things up and move some stuff around. The guy that built it for us, like I said, was not very experienced. I keep having to remind myself to not have expectations of what people know here. Sometimes this annoys Chris because I keep saying, “Are you sure he knows what he’s doing, are you sure…blah, blah, blah…” There are a lot of people that will tell you that they know how to do something, when they really don’t. Friday night it was the skill saw making really nasty sounds and this morning it was stopping a worker from cutting a whole tree limb (read: a branch that was about 8 inches thick) down because we needed to trim back some of the branches over the house so the guys could work under them. I went out on the deck on Saturday morning to find that there was varnish all over the floor, a sock of mine that had fallen out of a sneaker was now orange because it had been used as a rag, and the dogs bucket had been used to wash paint brushes. Second lesson – don’t assume that people will have the same respect for your possessions that you would have for theirs… Sigh. I really had to work hard at not being incredibly frustrated about all of that. I’m trying to remind myself that again, I can’t assume that people will think or act the way I have been brought up to, because they won’t.
On Friday afternoon one of our staff ladies was here roasting coffee and was getting ready to leave. She cleaned up everything but the pot that she had been using, which was covered in baked on coffee bean oil. It was black. The last time she did this I didn’t say anything and just tried to clean it myself with little luck. I asked Chris if it looked like she was planning on cleaning it so he asked her how to, thinking that it would be a big enough hint that she should be doing it. Nope. Her response was, “Leslie will need to use steel wool.” Leslie (sometimes I like to refer to myself in the third person) walked back outside with the pot and the steel wool and very nicely said, “Here, you need to clean this before you leave,” and went back in the house. I know we’re here to be servants and to minister to people, but I believe part of that is teaching people to be responsible for themselves and their actions. Expecting someone else to clean up after you when you’re getting paid to do a days work is not being responsible for yourself. I was just telling Chris this morning that sometimes I feel lost here and don’t have much to do which is hard for me. Looking back over some of the stuff that’s happened in the last few days I see that part of our ministry here is just having opportunities to teach people that there are other ways to do life. Being responsible, thinking for yourself, problem solving… they’re all things that are easy to assume people understand because we were raised being taught those things from the time we’re small. Having to remember that not everyone has that background can help get us through a whole lot of cross-cultural issues.
Saturday afternoon Denis, the guy that bought the boat from the mission, came out and took us for an afternoon sail. We met another young woman who is working for the US Embassy and her mom who was visiting. We spent the evening with them, had dinner at Moulin Sur Mer, then caught a tap tap home. It was just before 9 pm so it was a bit touch and go with being able to catch one. The first one that came by was just finishing his route down the road and told us he would drive us to Pierre Payen for $20 Haitian. We got off the tap tap and resumed our post on the side of the road. They seemed to think $20 to go 5 minutes down the road was totally reasonable. We thought they were totally crazy because it usually costs $2/person. We waited with another man that everyone calls Rasta becaus of his long dreads. We think he’s the same guy that is the Boss Couatchou (cow-at-chew), the guy that fixes tires, but it was hard to tell because he wasn’t wearing sunglasses, and the Rasta in our neighborhood always wears sunglasses. Oh yeah, anyone with dreads is called Rasta. Can you see the confusion? When we got off the tap tap Chris went to pay the driver and he shook Chris’ hand and said, “No, tonight it’s free.” What a contrast.
Yesterday we went to a missionary meeting in Montrouis. It was nice to see everyone and visit after the meeting was over. Richard and Bev like to do karaoke, so they turned their machine on and we had some fun laughing at each other being dorks. Karaoke is addicting! Ha ha!
Tomorrow we’ll be cleaning up and getting stuff ready for David’s arrival. I think the guys will be putting a coat of varnish/wood protector on the roof and I’ll be cleaning the house. I don’t think David wants to stay in a room where you can write messages in the dust on the floor :( Chris and I are planning to go into Port together on Wednesday to do some errands before we head to the airport. I need to go to the Embassy to see if my passport name change is done. I feel really uncomfortable leaving any form of identification anywhere in this country, even my own Embassy, and right now they have my passport, my drivers license and my marriage certificate. ACK! I’ll definitely be happy to get it all back in my hot little hands. We’re going to go check out the new MEGAMART (I feel like there should be an echo when you say it) too. It’s supposed to be like Costco and so far we’ve heard good reviews. I’ll be sure to give a full rundown.