Couches, Babies and Other Bits

I’m feeling beat today. I’ve spent the last two days working on the cover for the couch. Today, my hands and upper body are exhausted. I feel like I’ve been throwing, I don’t know, something heavy. I didn’t realize sewing was such a work out. Then again, lugging 10 meters of vinyl fabric through a sewing machine isn’t exactly easy.

The waaay BEFORE when I first moved here and the couch was covered in fabric. We eventually had a local guy recover it with seafoam (guys, that means green) vinyl with the hopes that he would seal it up so Chris would stop having allergy attacks. He didn’t and Chris didn’t. What can we say, it was bought on the side of the road in Williamson. It was already used, and who knows how long it sat there. I won’t even begin to tell you about what I found inside…it’s way to gross.


The midway shot. I stripped all the old vinyl and foam off and replaced it with new stuff. I also cut the arms down so we didn’t feel like we were being attacked by them.


The finished product. It’s not perfect, it has plenty of flaws and I could point them out, but I won’t. The main thing is that it is a couch and it is comfortable. You can also sit on it knowing it is cootie free.
I seem to have developed a do-it-yourself and gardening fan club :) Glad you appreciate the work. It’s fun. I was thinking about all the stuff that I’m changing and working on around here and wondered if it was because I wasn’t content. It’s not. It’s because I have this creative streak that runs through me and I don’t think painting and stuff like that is for me. I need to create and be practical at the same time. I get a lot of satisfaction from taking something that maybe isn’t as good as it could be and making it into or creating something better from it. It’s also fun when I can do it with very little cost and from using things I find around here. That’s not always the case, but it’s a fun challenge. I have to say, with the couch, I was really happy, not only with how it turned out, but also with the price tag. To buy 10 meters of this fabric in North America would have set us back over $100 easy. I got all of the fabric and foam etc for under $50. Can’t complain about that. As far as the gardening goes…it’s just so nice to see things grow in a place where people get caught in seeing things deteriorate. It’s also a good opportunity for me to learn a few things. I’m used to going to the local nursery, picking out my plants and plopping them in the ground. I’ve been learning about starting things from seed and cuttings. It’s always a bit of an adventure.

Sometimes I wonder if people read this thing and think, “Does this woman do any work, ever?!?!” I do, but a lot of times I don’t have much motivation to write about it. Mostly because I do the administration for the mission and, let’s face it, when is administration ever really that interesting to talk about. Can you imagine a blog post about entering receipts and typing emails, or writing visitor packages? Not too thrilling. With more visitors scheduled to come starting three weeks from now I’m also starting to go into hosting mode. We’ve been making some big changes with how we host visitors and my brain is thinking meal plans and starting mental checklists of everything that needs to be done before people arrive. When we have Vision Trips in I’ll take care of most of the cooking and hosting stuff. We’ve deliberately kept teams small so that they’re very manageable, hoping for a good experience for our visitors and staff. We want people to look forward to these things! Hosting a training class is a bit different because generally the class is all Haitians. In those cases I’ll gladly let Yonese take over the kitchen and prep the dorms etc (there are certain ways you do things here, after all) while I work at getting manuals and training materials ready. . Did you know that no matter how much food you prepare here, if there isn’t rice and beans people won’t actually say they’ve eaten a meal? It’s true. I learned that one a year and a half ago – at which time I hung up my apron.

I’ve been working on adoption stuff this morning. Mostly trying to start letters and contacting people about references etc. We’re feeling encouraged because most of the stuff that we need to do should be fairly straight forward and just requires a bit of planning. My brain has been in baby mode a lot over the last couple weeks. It’s really easy to spend hours “window shopping” online when you know that’s pretty much your only option at this point. I’m glad I had a distraction for the last couple days because it helped me step back. Seriously, I DO NOT need to find a diaper bag today! We’ve still got 6 months, two visits home and family coming in. These things will get taken care of…Sigh. What I am realizing through my “shopping” endeavors is that living here and having a family is going to be so nice because it will be so much simpler. Seriously, there’s a huge market for baby stuff. All these things that you’re told you need that are really extras. We’ll get what we need and degaje (make it work) the rest.

Chris and I are taking off this weekend. It’s our first anniversary (!) on Sunday and we decided that we should go away. Our original plan was to go to Jacmel in the south, but it’s on the beach, and we live on the beach. It’s hot on our beach, and it’ll be hot on that beach. Going from hot to hot doesn’t really make sense. We decided to take a trip to the mountains instead and are planning on going to Furcy. It’s a first for both of us and we’re looking forward to a relaxing, cool weekend. I’ll try to take plenty of pictures and post them next week.

This morning Chris needed to send one of our workers to Port to get some wires to finish rewiring our power lines so EDH could come and hook things back up. He asked for volunteers. No one volunteered. He chose someone to go and the worker kept telling him that he didn’t want to etc. We realized later that it probably had more to do with fear of the unknown than anything. Where we’re used to getting out and driving between cities, states, provinces and even countries at times, many people here never go outside of their local area. Going to Port au Prince, a trip that takes several hours each way on tap tap would seem big and scary to someone that has hardly traveled past Montrouis, 10 minutes away. We learned a lesson this morning about the culture we’re living in. Hopefully our worker will come back with a bit of a different perspective on things and realize that not on is it safer now to travel around, but also that he, himself, is able to do things he might be afraid of.

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This entry was posted in adoption, crafty, this is life by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

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.

6 thoughts on “Couches, Babies and Other Bits

  1. I know you don’t need people jumping on you when they never say anything nice, and I’m sorry- like writing a newspaper, nice things just don’t seem that important.So: DUUUUUDE!!! Please tell me that you checked to make sure there were no manifestations planned, and that nobody’s cousins went missing this week: Port au Prince has been dangerous and scary, and though it sounds like it’s been quieter lately, there are waves that don’t always make it to all the rumour mills at the same speed.

  2. I haven’t gotten on the tin cans yet to check in with my gang peeps. Sorry. No low downs on planned manifestations. I DO know that when we’ve gone in, every week for the last month I think (!) things have been quiet aside from a few days of tap tap strikes. We’re even driving on roads in parts of town that haven’t been accessible for two years. Actually, come to think of it, last trip in we were up and down into Petionville twice in the same day, then up to the Baptist mission, then back to our friends house. There’s WAY more police flagging traffic and being responsible.Oh! They also paved Ambush Alley! Can you believe it??? And there’s cars driving on it! Don’t worry, we won’t get ahead of ourselves and will stick to main routes.

  3. Wow. I am so impressed! I’ll have to read more about your gardening. For me the spirit is willing, the but dirt is weak and the weeds are aplenty!

  4. Thanks Erkia!LeShawn, all I can say is compost, compost, compost. Though, I think the fact that it breaks down in about a week here compared to months there makes a bit of a difference. It’s kind of a freaky scientific experiment. Chris asked me to ask if you’ve read the Diamond Age yet. I tried once and couldn’t get past the first chapter…

  5. Oh Duh! It just occurred to me that your projects and gardening are not demonstrating lack of contentment.Girl, you are NESTING!!!! Go Leslie!Have funBarb

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