Yes, it’s true. I’m currently sitting at my good ol’ desk with my happy fan remembering what mosquitoes are. Sigh. We landed just after 10 am in Haiti time, made two quick stops and were on our way home. The ride was filled with catching up with Jean and being excited about the fact that where there were pot holes a month ago just before you got to our house, there is now a graded road that has a few dips in it. There have been some noticeable thing happening in the “Repair Route 1” project and it looks like all those rumors that we’ve heard for the last year about them fixing the road might actually hold some truth now.
It was good to pull into the driveway and see everything so green. Plants that I planted just before we left are still alive and everything else is thriving. The grass even needs to be cut again. I LOVE the rainy season. Jabez was happy to see us too. There was much jumping and snorting.
I tried to post from LA, but the connection was patchy and time was limited. We landed there on Wednesday just around noon, and Chris’ brother Ben met us at the airport. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with him before the rest of the family arrived the next morning. Ben works in “the industry” as it’s called, running a company that does internet video streaming. That’s the short answer. Because of where he went to school and what he does he knows some interesting people. One of his friends found out about the mission a couple of years ago when she saw our promo video that Ben was putting together and since then has kept asking about us. Since we were in town they decided we should meet and we enjoyed dinner with her on Wednesday night to talk about what we do and how she might be able to help us with promotion and fundraising.
Thursday morning we met up with the other groomsman and his girlfriend and the five of us went and did some good LA sight seeing. First stop was the mall that is connected to the Kodak Theater where they host the Oscars. Right there is also Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame. They were filming a movie in the street so it was hard to walk around but I did see some good stars in the pavement, like Whoopi Goldberg, Elton John and Billy Crystal’s. We also saw Graumann’s Chinese Theater. I stood in Matt Damon’s shoe prints and mocked Shirley Temple’s deformed looking hand prints. I know, I know, she was only about 10 when she did them…
After that excitement we went to the La Brea Tar Pits, which was very cool! There is literally tar oozing out of the lawn. And, you can look over excavation pits and see bones of animals that got caught there who knows how long ago. It was fascinating! From there we headed into Beverly Hills and walked down Beverly Ave, one street over from Rodeo Drive, had lunch down there and then made our way back to Ben’s house through Coldwater Canyon where there are houses that are WAY TOO BIG for the number of people that live in them. By that afternoon Chris’ parents and sister Abby had arrived so we planned family dinner at Missy & Ben’s house so we could visit and make other airport pick-ups easier. It was nice to just sit and visit with each other. Peter, Chris & Ben’s uncle from England, and their cousin Phillip, arrived that evening. Peter and Ronnie (his wife) came for our wedding last summer which was very cool and didn’t think anyone would be able to make a trip over for another year or so, so it was great that Peter and Phillip were able to come.
Friday was spent doing family and wedding stuff. Chris and I were staying with Ben’s friends, Terri & Paul, who were amazing! Not only are they the kind of people that you feel like you’ve known forever, but they have a very warm and welcoming home and such great hospitality that we even got mints on our pillows each night :) We really enjoyed getting to know them and having a place where we could go and take a breath. They gave us use of one of their vehicles so we were able to get around quite easily. Would you believe I was driving in LA? Seriously, Seattle is crazier and Haiti would be off the charts.
The wedding was Saturday evening and it was beautiful. It was held at Missy’s parents house. The ceremony was in the backyard, then we moved to the front for appetizers and cocktails while the yard was changed over for dinner. There were twinkling lights, dancing, great food and though there weren’t a lot of us Rollings there, we represented well. Ronnie, (because Peter tells me you read faithfully) you’ll be happy to know that your son was showing off his dance moves and had us in stitches! It was a great party and we had a lot of fun. My feet are still recovering from being crammed into heels. What can I say, they really, really LOVE flip flops :)
Sunday after brunch at Missy’s parents house Chris and I gave Ben & Missy a hand with getting their place a bit more organized before they left for their honeymoon. We had dinner with the fam again and before we knew it were going through security at LAX.
Being back feels good. This is home. It’s nice to have our stuff around us and to sleep in our own bed. I seriously slept like a log last night. Most of our stuff is unpacked and the next couple days will be spent getting back into a routine. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to get back when we were waiting in the airport but once we got here I realized I was happy to be home. It’s nice to go away and see people and do things, but living out of a suitcase can be tiring. Camping is fun, but I don’t always feel like I get a good rest because I still have to cook and tidy and make beds etc and when I do get to sit and relax Chris is ready to go do something. We’ll work on the dynamics of that for next time I think…
I really realized this trip how much my outlook on traveling has changed too. I remember the first couple trips in and out of Haiti and how I would be making lists and getting excited weeks in advance. This time around we were so busy before we left that it was just kind of there, then we were packed and on a plane. The whole packing and unpacking thing gets old after a while too, especially when you do it repeatedly in one trip. We usually fly over fairly light, leaving space for supplies etc. When we got to Seattle we had to decide what we needed and didn’t need while camping and visiting my family. We got back to Seattle and had to pack essentially to come back, but knowing that we would be leaving some things with Chris’ family and had to pick some other stuff up that had been sent to Ben. Also, the friend of Ben’s that we had dinner with blessed me with what I like to call “the bling bag”, a tote full of girlie beauty products. Where does one put 20 lbs of shampoo and make up and fun things like that? In then end it all got in and they let us on the plane. The lesson learned is that I’m a super packer. And, that our life will always have a 50 lb limit.