This Post Is For My Mum

I got an email from my mother-in-law this morning sharing her withdrawal issues with me. I guess it has been about a week since the last post. Sorry. Like I said, some days I don’t feel like I have much to say, and others I just don’t feel like spending any more time in front of my computer.

Let’s see…what’s been going on. Last Friday Chris went to Port and he and Jean came home happy, which is a rare thing. And they were home well before dinner time, also another rarity. They managed to do everything on their list except get my application for my Permis des Sejours because we need one more piece of paper. Typical, but not unmanageable. Yonese came for the day and we did a good spring cleaning. I feel like we’ve finally gotten rid of all of the extra junk. Mum, the hovel under the stairs is no longer a hovel. You can see floor tile.

Chris bought insulation on a roll while in Port. We weren’t sure if the new roof would make the upstairs cooler or warmer. Unfortunately it’s the latter so the plan is to find some way of cutting down all the nails that are sticking through and roll, tack and cut the 1/8″ thick insulation over top of them. Our roof is round and has a pretty good pitch to it so it should be fun. Yeah, right. Chris totally caught me off guard the other day when he told me that he needed to discuss something with me. I was ready for a technical discussion that resulted in running more wires or chords up our walls. I was shocked when he said, “When the insulation is up it’s going to need to be painted and I was wondering what you would think about painting it and all the roof beams white? I think it’ll make things look cleaner and the house would be less dark.” Um, hello! How many times have I looked up and wondered why of all the colors out there brown would be the choice in a white house? Way too many to count. I’ve learned one thing (actually more than one, but only one that is applicable to this conversation) about my husband and that’s that any ideas about home improvement need to come one at a time with some time to digest (read: anywhere between hours or days or even weeks) before he’s ready for the next one. Given all the work we’ve done on the roof and other parts of the house in the last few months I thought it best to not mention my thoughts on roof beam colors. He thanked me for letting him figure it out on his own. I thanked myself for letting him figure it out on his own because it saved a whole lot of words from me and we both end up happy. So, that said, at some point this year our roof inside will all get painted. This will also include the beams in other parts of the house and the doors and doorways. I have plans for the stairs and railings for the loft too because those are also brown. At some point we need to paint the walls inside too because they haven’t been done in a long time and unlike North American latex, Haitian “latex” is basically white wash and it washes right off when you try to clean it.

Friday evening Dr. Kieth came by. He’s a missionary that’s been in country for about 30 years. He’s a vet and has agricultural projects going on all over the place. He gave Jabez some medical love and caught her up on all her shots. We were happy, she wasn’t so much. Dr. Kieth came back the next day to pick up a few filters on his way back through to Port. He had a group of people with him and they took a break and went for a swim. It’s so easy for me to forget how lucky we are to have a beach. I love it when people get excited about it and enjoy using it. It was nice to meet some new people and have a good visit.

The rest of the weekend passed pretty uneventfully. We did have friends over for lunch on Sunday and hosted the missionary meeting. Monday was back to work as usual. I’ve been trying to revamp our training manual to meet the needs of where the mission is at now and what we know people here need to be learning. We have two manuals that we’ve worked from so I’m trying to combine the info in them to make one good one for us. This whole project is the result of photocopy and printing issues. The Creole manual that was used years ago is a great start, but needed some updating. The newer CAWST manual is great and we’ve used it for the last year or so, but also about 200+ pages when we can only get it photocopied on one side. The last time I had a batch done I spent about 7 hours sitting around in St. Marc waiting for 3 different copy shops to each finish their section, then came home and had to correlate all of it, then bind. Ugh. Once I’m done the revamp hopefully I’ll have about 50 pages that I can easily print off at our house, then bind here. Much better. I just need to finish the English version, then attempt to translate the new parts into Creole for the Creole version, and then do the Power Point slides to go with both. Oh yeah, I have a week to get this done. Ha ha! I’ve been making some good progress though, so I’m feeling hopeful.

Yesterday I went to Montrouis with Thony, one of our technicians, to do a filter information meeting at another mission. There were only a few people that showed up which was hard for Thony, but I still think of it as another few people that know about the filters that didn’t before. They were all interested in the filters, but didn’t have any money with them, so we told them to come and pay at that mission and once they had 10 people signed up we would bring a load of filters out. One of our technicians is going back today to do another meeting while they have a clinic happening. It’s a good way to talk to people who are already sick and know they need clean water. Haiti has a wonderful grapevine too so word spreads quickly.

So that’s the news and happenings from here. I need to get working on the manual so it’s time to wrap up.

~leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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