I looked at the blog today and realized it really has been a while since the last post. Sorry to you addicts, the withdrawal must be killing you.
Truth is I haven’t really felt like blogging all that much, and the longer I go, the more pressure I feel to do it and “catch up” so to speak. It’s a vicious cycle. When I have written recently it feels like I’m just giving you a run down of what’s happened, but not much beyond that.
Sometimes Haiti fills my head and heart with too much to talk about. Sometimes it’s just life that does that. Lately it’s been both. Between visitors and personal stuff and the mission work I just feel like I’m kind of reeling most of the time and not able to put into words what that really feels like. And, lets face it, because so many people read the blog I sometimes feel that I have to guard what I say. Not because I want to go insulting people, but sometimes people get offended when a person is just being honest, and not trying to offend at all. It’s a crazy combo of things.
We did have a good visit with Mum and Abby. There was work done in the midst of things, but there was also lots of game playing and visiting and touring around. It was a good time to have family around. I loved watching them fall in love with Liv. Chris and I are getting used to the fact that people come to visit Olivia now and not us. ;) The kid did go through some withdrawals after all the company left because she had gotten used to being the center of attention and Mommy and Daddy have many things they want to do in a day, besides hanging out with her. I guess we’re just not as much fun as everyone else.
The work around the mission has felt like a whirlwind over the last few months. As of yesterday we have 31 of the solar panels up, which means half-way. The solar array is Chris’ baby. He’s going to be SO happy when the last wires are connected and current starts pumping out of the thing. Probably so excited he won’t sleep for a week. I wish I had the words to tell you what a project this has been. It started with figuring out how to build 4 pillars 30 feet in the air, then trying to figure out the engineering to weld the supports between the pillars, all while being 30 feet in the air. Matt has been a HUGE help and our guys have been troopers as they’ve spent hours up hours hanging out up in the air.
The other beast has been the apartment. We’re reaching a milestone this week – roof pour day. The first floor roof was craziness we have no intention of repeating, so we’ve contracted it out this time to a guy that is very familiar with the process. We haven’t pushed or stressed about getting to this point, but just let it come in its time and I’m so glad. I keep having to remind myself that it’s happening. The guy doing it is bring in his own crew so basically we just need to make sure the supplies are here, which they are, stand back and watch, and pay him at the end of the day. Next week the supports and plywood will all be taken down and after Christmas we start on the finishing work. What’s happening this week is the LAST big part of construction and then we’re on the downward slide. I’m so excited about that. The building is looking so good. It feels good to know that we had a part in it from start to finish. Every decision was ours. The reason I’m so excited about it is that we’ve decided that our family will move up there when it’s done and that the main mission house will be the mission office and living quarters for other long term volunteers. Now that we have a family we’re really feeling the burn of working and living in the same space and we realize that if we’re going to be here long term we need to put some distance there for our own personal health. The apartment is about the same square footage wise, but it’s laid out much more functionally than the mission house, which was originally built as a weekend home so certain things weren’t considered. We’ve done a lot of work in the main house over the last two years to make it work a bit better for us.
Matt will be leaving us on Saturday. We’re sad and excited all at the same time. Sad because we love him so much and he just fits here with us in every way, but excited because he’s moving into some really amazing stuff. For the next year he’ll be going on a big adventure to see what God tells him about life and where he is meant to be. He may be back in Haiti, he may be back here with us, or he may be somewhere entirely different. We will miss him a TON, but we’re so very happy for him and hoping that our paths will cross again.
For his last week here Matt’s friend Nick came to visit. Nick has been fun and easy to have around and we’re having a good time getting to know him.
I just looked at the calendar and realized that next week (19th) Liv will be 11 months old. I was just going to tell you that she’s now 10 months old. Where the heck did the last month go? Good gravy. Liv is now a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, this kid does not stop moving, unless she’s sleeping. She’s very close to walking, probably by Christmas but who knows. Her personality is HUGE and she keeps us in stitches. She’s loved all the visitors and attention that she’s gotten. Poor kid. I wonder what she’ll do after Christmas when it’s just us and her and life gets back to being boring again.
Our workers asked if December 19th could be their last day of work until after New Years. We were very happy to oblige and will be having a small staff party next Friday before the holidays. Everyone will get their bonuses, which is Haitian law. We like to give them out before Christmas so they can have extra cash for the holidays. Christmas tends not to be a big celebration here from what we’ve heard, but New Years is another story.
I find myself thinking about next Friday and telling myself we just have to get there and then we can rest. This year has been a crazy one for us and we’re feeling the effects of it. With the big projects sort of reaching their climax at the same time as having several months of visitors it’s made things interesting. Normally we would take a family holiday in the summer for a month and two weeks at Christmas, but until Olivia’s adoption is done we’ve committed to staying here. This will be the first time we’ve had more than two days off, other than weekends, the entire time either of us has been here. I’m so looking forward to not having to juggle work and life for just a couple of weeks. To be able to be home and not think about how what we would like to do lines up with what needs to be done. We just need to have a break right now. We’ll be telling our workers they can come by to shower in the staff bathroom as usual, but other than that the mission is CLOSED until they come back to work.
The other reason that the two weeks off excites me is that my family is arriving on Dec. 22. Mom & Dad have been here before, but it’s my brothers first visit. I’m so excited that we’ll be able to do whatever we want, when we want, and not feel like we’re being pulled between visiting and work. It’s so hard to have the people we love the most here to visit and feel like we’re having a hard time enjoying it because we’re juggling several balls at the same time. Chris and I already have some ideas of stuff we would like to do with them, but the rest of the time will just be relaxing and enjoying and visiting. Mmmmm. So excited about that. The great thing is that Chris and I get a weekend before they arrive to rest up and unwind a bit, and the weekend after to mentally prepare ourselves to go back into work mode.