Everything seems to finally have aligned so that I can finally sit down and do some blogging. Phew. I know some of you are probably going through withdrawal.
I arrived back on Friday. The trip was good. Even smoother than the trip back to Canada (saying “home” when I talk about coming home just gets confusing). I didn’t get much sleep on the plane, but I just kind of kept going and managed to get here. I was the first one out of the airport in Haiti, which was kind of fun. The trip home was long because the roads were nasty, but I got here and was happy to settle in.
I wasn’t sure what Olivia would do when she saw me. Turns out she did nothing. Literally nothing but look at me. Maybe she’d given up and was already moving on? I don’t know. After some snuggle time she realized I was in fact back and that it was okay to crawl all over me and babble away happily. For the next 48 hours any time I walked out of the room she would freak out. Yesterday she and I got to spend an entire day together, alone, and that seems to have helped. The boys were happy to see me too. They both said so in their own ways. My favorite was when I was putting the chicken on for supper on Friday night and Matt said, with much enthusiasm, “You’re making CHICKEN for dinner?” like I was cooking a turkey dinner. They had eaten all of the tomato soup, almost all of the ramen noodles and had just been going up to Canaan to eat dinner with friends up there for the four nights before I got home. Poor boys…
I know a lot of people were concerned about how Chris would do with Olivia on his own. Let me just put your minds at ease. My husband rocked the single parent for a week and a half deal. Not only did he juggle baby and three major projects, he kept the house tidy and did all of the laundry before I got home! Uh huh, you read that right. ALL OF THE LAUNDRY. I was hoping that the house would be moderately tidy, and would have been very happy at that. But the laundry. Wow. About. Him. That was a very nice treat indeed.
My lack of blogginess has been mostly due to my new computer. I needed to spend a considerable amount of time transferring stuff over and getting everything set up. Normally you would buy a computer, pull it out of the box, fire it up and go. Not in this case. I love the lappy, let me start by saying that. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. BUT, it wasn’t set up to be super user friendly without some work. Thankfully I have Matt. Matt is my computer hero. We spent an entire day getting things figured out. I wish Chris had taken a picture of us on Monday because it was literally us, sitting at the table all day long in front of two lappys. I think Chris was getting loneyly because he kept asking if we were done. Now everything is transfered over and Matt has wiped the old lappy to start fresh with since his died in a not so dramatic way about a month ago. Me and the new lappy are making friends and getting along nicely.
Yesterday some friends arrived for a week. Erik and Chris went to university together, and Erik is marrying Susie next month. A few months ago as I looked at our calendar for the rest of the year it was enough to make me want to hyperventilate, but now it’s kind of like, “Heh, whatever.” Not sure why. Maybe I’m just uber-relaxed from my time away?!? That or there’s a part of me that stresses less with visitors now because we sort of have a system down. Matt even told us on Monday night that he thought we would have been more frantic with guests arriving the next day. I think that there are bigger hurdles to overcome right now, and getting frantic about people coming falls lower on the list, especially friends.
When I got back they had made some decent progress on the solar panel array. I haven’t mentioned much of the details around this one on the blog, but let me tell you… this is quite the project. We have one part of the yard that gets full sun all day long, thanks to all our big trees that we wouldn’t dream of cutting down. So, we have to put the panels up in the work yard, partly above our shop. And, they need to be high to account for how much the trees around them are going to grow in the coming years. About 30 feet high to be exact. So we’ve built four support posts, and now they’re working on the steel beams that will go across them. Then it’ll be the mount for the panels – all 64 of them… Sigh. It’ll be impressive when it’s all done. The panels haven’t arrived yet, which is actually a good thing because I have no idea where we would put the things.
They also finished the stairs to the second floor on the new building and started putting up walls while I was away. Yesterday we went and confirmed where the windows will go. This floor will go up faster than the first because we spent so much time doing foundation work. It’s exciting to see diagrams and drawings become rooms and to make decisions about things like where a sink will go and to slightly move a wall to account for a linen closet (that was my husband, if you can believe it, without any input from me!). We’re still several months away from finishing because the form work for the ceiling takes a very. long. time.
I think I mentioned that I got my new camera while I was home. It’s so. very. nice. I had a freak out when I got back to Haiti. I was trying to take pictures on the way home but kept getting an error message. The camera would take a picture, but I had to turn it off and then on again before I could take another. I took out the battery and card, let it sit over night, used the dust blower and put everything back in the next morning and it worked! I think it was just the humidity change. Haiti does crazy things to electronics.
Olivia is 8 months old now. When she’s not being a cranky fuss pot because of her teeth she’s a big cheese. She’s somehow managed to learn how to click her tongue in the last few days and now crawls around the house clicking all the time. She loves it if you have a little click conversation with her. She’s also super mobile now. Saturday morning she climbed halfway up the set of stairs to our bedroom, just because she wanted Mommy. She hasn’t figured out how to go down yet… While I was away she discovered avocados and loves them. Today it was cucumbers and those are a HUGE hit. She likes that she can suck he middle out and end up with a little ring that she can stick her fingers in.
This afternoon Liv and I went for a walk down the lane to see our friend’s baby. I can’t for the life of me remember her name because it’s something that I’ve never heard of before and very different. She’s a sweet little (very little) doll that was born the day I left. I had a good visit with Garnelle, baby’s mom, and realized as I was walking home that it felt really good to be able to have a conversation with another woman here about mothering things, and knew that I wouldn’t have been able to do that a year ago simply because of language. I also love that my daughter is responding to and interacting with our workers, friends and neighbors. I love to see how excited she gets when they start talking to her, and that she willingly goes to them for hugs and little visits. It’s really important to Chris and I that our kids feel a sense of connectedness in this way, and we know it may be difficult at times. Our black child will always be the adopted child of the white people. And any white children we have will always be the white kids in the neighborhood. All of our children will stand out in their own way. I want them to be strong and confident in that, and part of it is having ties to the people around them.
Well, I think it’s time to go hang out by the fire… a.k.a. – this is what you do with the immense amount of garbage that washes up on your beach because there is no such thing as a garbage dump.