Back in the Hen House

Chris arrived back in Haiti yesterday morning and spent the day in Port with Jean doing errands while they waited for the workshop to be done so they could pick up our workers and bring them back to Pierre Payen. I was happy to see his name show up on my caller ID yesterday morning. I have this weird little neurotic thing where for a flash of a moment I’ll think of the worst case scenario and then it freaks me out for a few minutes until my rational side talks it down. It might look like us buckling ourselves into the seats in the plane and then all of the sudden I get this sinking feeling and think, “This is it, we’re going to crash. The plane is going to crash and we’re all going to die. And who’s going to tell our families? They haven’t seen us in so long!!!” and then I’ll breathe and tell myself that I’m being dumb. Yesterday morning I was eating breakfast and looking at the clock and then thought, “He’s not going to make it. The plane is going to go down on the way to Haiti. And how will I know? Who’s name is down as an emergency contact??” Breathe. Sigh.

So, no, the plane didn’t crash and he’s fine and we’re all so happy to be back together again. I was curious to see what Olivia would do when she saw him, and let me tell you, it couldn’t have been more cute. She was sleeping when he got home and we decided to leave her down and let her wake up on her own. It gave Chris and I a few minutes to catch up and for him to get his bearings. He was in the shower when she did come to so I got her up and we went into the living room. When she saw the big, full bags sitting there her eyes got big and she looked at me with a “what’s all that about?” look.
Liv and I sat on the couch cuddling while Chris finished up and when he was done he came and just poked his head around the corner. I said, “Look! Who’s that?” and Liv turned and saw him and looked back at me. Her eyes got bigger and I could literally see the fact that Daddy was home sink in. Her face went from confusion to all out joy and she let out this joyful squeal and then covered her eyes with her hand she was so happy! When she got down she shyly went to Chris and then covered her eyes and squealed again, then gave him a big hug. It was SO sweet. When I went away last September she was still too young for these things to really register for her, so it was really fun for both Chris and I to see what she would do.
Then the unpacking began. Anyone that lives here will just be nodding and saying “Mmmhmm” because they know that unpacking is basically like opening up your bags and then just letting them barf all over the living room. When you come back into Haiti you have such a random assortment of things and you have to pack it all in a way that maximizes weight etc that the sorting is a job and a half. And, well, remember what all you brought back in the first place. I had only ordered a few small things for myself, and was excited to get those. Chris brought us treats in the form of cheese, chocolate, CHERRIES and CORN! It was fun to open the fridge and see that stuff there because usually we don’t have room for it. I come from the Okanagan Valley in BC and right now I’m missing the summer fruit. It’s fun to open the fridge and grab a cherry or two and to savor each one. Chris brought me some nice soaps and scrubs and a nice big bag of coffee (Thanks Meela! ;)). Olivia got new puzzles and finger puppets. And all the boxes and wrappings from the rest of the stuff. Chris got beer. A whole nice assortment of beer.
We are venturing into the world of potty training today. We got everything – the seat, the training pants, the pull ups and the really, really cute panties. I feel like we’ve accomplished something today just in the fact that we got Olivia to sit on the potty seat without screaming. We’ll see how it goes. She’s been losing her interest in diapers rapidly to the point where she has no problem taking them off and peeing everywhere.
Okay, off to start planting and preparing a bunch of my flower seeds that Chris brought back with him.
Have a great weekend!
~leslie
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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.

4 thoughts on “Back in the Hen House

  1. Glad the man of the house made it safely home to you.
    Good luck on the potty training. My mum did all the work for our older kids, but I had to wrangle with our little Haitian Peanut. Voluminous amounts of watered down Gatorade, followed by trips to the potty every 15 minutes. He was trained in a week (more or less ;-) ).

    P.S. My mother says Pull-Ups send a mixed message, so "bite the bullet and power through."
    P.S.S. The steak au poivre was a hit. Thank you.

  2. Welcome home Chris! It was good to see him while he was over here.

    I'm laughing because your plane conversation with yourself is the same exact one that I always go through. Then I think, "Well, at least I know how this is going to happen," and I try to breathe and forget about it.

    Noah's potty training was in two stages. First, we tried for a week and had no success. None. Then, a month later, he decided it was a good idea and everything was fine. So, keep hope and beware of that messy possibility.

  3. My boys all potty trained at differing rates.

    Katy however was a different experience. She too was tired of diapers and showed us just how tired one day. She pulled off her diaper, crawled up onto the toilet backwards, used the toilet and crawled down. She never wore a diaper again. We had this book, still unread,"Toilet Training your Baby in 24 hours or less" we think she read it.

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