Today is shaping up to be one of those days where my motivation and energy levels are not rocketing through the roof if you know what I mean. Chris has been wandering around here showing similar symptoms. Right now he’s tracking a passion fruit monger. We have this problem… we have 8 mango trees, four sitwon (lime) trees and more passion fruit vines than I can count. Strangely though, they can go from having tons of fruit on them that we get excited about and leave on to ripen, but then it mysteriously wanders away.
There’s a mentality here that says if you have and I don’t then you share. It doesn’t seem to enter people’s minds that maybe we might actually want to eat some of our own fruit!?! The fact that it’s on the mission’s trees, and the mission is inhabited by people that eat too doesn’t seem to enter the picture. Last week I yelled at a guy in the canal next to the yard who had a stick in hand and was whacking down some sitwon and skuttling it under the fence. He yelled at me and told me to go do something I can’t repeat here. When Chris went to talk to him and asked, “Eske ou pale move tout moun ou selman madam mwen?” (Do you talk bad to everyone or only my wife) the guy told him I called him a theif which I was confused about. I didn’t know “Eh!” translated into Creole that way! ;) Someone was calling him a thief, but it wasn’t me. I guess the good thing is that his conscience was doing something.
Chris is working upstairs again today. He got all the walls taken down and things cleaned up. Today he’s working at re-wiring the lights and sockets so they’re strategically placed. The nice thing about doing projects like this is that we can sort of start fresh and correct some poor choices in construction.
Looks like we will be moving upstairs. We’ve got a plan – in a couple weeks we have about 8 days of down time so we’ll (read: Chris and Leslie will be holding paintbrushes) start painting the beams that are directly over the loft, which is the bulk of the project and leave the rest until after we get back from our holiday. The floor will get a coat of paint too, probably cream or beige to blend with the rest of the house and lighten things up, which will be easy with a roller.
We showed Yonese what we’re doing when she came in to get the market list a while ago. She was impressed with the work. It was interesting to hear her thoughts and to realize that Haitians and North Americans think very differently. She liked that there was so much space and said that you could put a lot of beds up there. Haitians generally live very communally with many people all sleeping in one room, and, until we got married there were always several people living in this house. Chris told her that we were going to move our room up there and she thought that was a good idea. As they chatted more she mentioned that if it wasn’t so hot during the day it would make a good classroom for when we have classes. That though never entered our minds.
Haitians have a very different sense of privacy, actually, they don’t usually have much or understand why foreigners are so private. Where a Haitian would say, “I’ve got the space up there – people can do the classes up there.” we think about having a place for our family to live – with some privacy from the mission work etc – and having the house double as office space. Neither idea is bad or wrong, just different and an observation I made. That communal aspect of things is one thing that I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand or adjust to here. I just like my personal space and time too much.