Busy like bees

Wow, I’m amazed that you still put up with me after ten day breaks. I get annoyed when I don’t get any new material from the blogs I read. Yeesh. It’s already the 10th! Thanks for sticking with us, we are still here!

Chris’ parents left on the 6th. We had a great visit with them. On the 2nd we went out for dinner at Moulin Sur Mer (Mill On the Sea), one of the local resorts. We met our friend Elsie there, and picked up Dennis on the way. Usually we’re one of the only tables full in this place, but for the first time in the entire time that either of us has lived here the place was packed. We anticipated a crowd because of the holidays, but we’ve never seen it that busy. It gave the whole evening an entirely different feel. It was fun! The food was good, there was live music and people were dancing, and there were still fireworks going off on the beach as we ate dinner. It was one of those lovely moments in life.

Chris’ parents wanted to treat us to something fun before they left, so on Tuesday we dropped Olivia off at Canaan, (one of her favorite things because she gets doted on so much) and the four of us headed into Port for the night. We did a grocery shop up at Caribbean and I giggled to myself when Mum said, “Looks like you’re doing a BIG shop today!” I was only on the third aisle and the cart was half full. We only go up there once a month now and I try to plan meals ahead of time and only get what we need. I figured I did pretty well because I got everything I needed for the next month, and a bunch of basics for Peter and Sara’s house too.

After shopping we went up and checked into Karibe, a lovely hotel up in Petionville that we’d heard good things about, but hadn’t ever visited. From there we went down to pick up a friend for lunch. He has a pretty high profile job so he’s full of interesting stories. Chris asked him to pick the place for lunch and just surprise us. We ended up going to La Reserve up in Petionville. Mum and I rode “up the hill” (a.k.a. Route de Delmas) with our friend and Chris and Dad followed in our truck so we didn’t need to go all the way back down, then back up again to get back to the hotel. I was stifling laughter as we drove because Chris had told me stories about driving through town with our friend and it was all true. He has his own driver and will frequently reach over and honk the horn when he doesn’t think traffic is moving properly. My favorite though is when he would tell the tap tap drivers next to us in traffic that they were bad drivers. It was always true. It was just so funny that he was doing it. I wish I could have caught it on video because the look on the tap tap drivers faces was always the best. Sort of stunned then followed by a wave of annoyance. Very entertaining :)

We enjoyed the hotel. I attempted to swim in the pool, just because we were there and it felt like a waste not to. Let me tell you – cold snap in Haiti plus non-heated pools is not a good combo! But I did it. We had a nice dinner where Chris officially “won” when he ordered lobster and got a behemoth crustacean for dinner. If you’re going to Karibe for a nice dinner and want to splurge, the lobster is definitely your best bet for quality and quantity. Just sayin’.

We dropped Mum and Dad off the next morning and made a quick trip home to deal with some employee issues. Because three days back at work is lots of time to build up issues. It actually ended up not being a bad thing and was dealt with easily and everyone was happy. Done and done.

The rest of the week I got to work and spent two days down in the round house getting things ready for the arrival of the Craigs. We’re down to counting sleeps now! It was a ton of work, but the good thing about it was the fact that every last bit of junk has been purged. I don’t think that house has ever been that empty in the entire time that Clean Water for Haiti has had possession of it. When Tal and Adele first rented it back in 2002 it came furnished, and they were obliged to keep all of the stuff in it because we didn’t own it. When the mission bought the property in 2006 Chris and I went through and got rid of a ton of stuff left by the previous owners and other volunteers. I still remember the first time Chris’ parents came to visit after we got married. It was a couple months after that initial purge and one of the first things his Mum said when she walked in the door was, “Wow, it looks like a home now, not a place where you’re just living!” :) Over the years since then we’ve gotten rid of a lot more, and when we moved we got rid of more. But, when we moved we moved the important stuff and left other stuff down there “to deal with later”. Later was six months later and aside from two boxes of stuff the rest of our “later” stuff went. I “Haiti recycled” it – put it out on the back step and told our workers to take whatever they wanted. What was left, which was about a garbage bag of true garbage, got sent to the burn pile right afterwards. It felt SO good to be free of the last bits and pieces! I know now that there is nothing down there haunting us or that I have to deal with “later”. Anything that’s in there that Peter and Sara don’t want or won’t use will get boxed to be put back in the house after they move to the new site so whatever volunteers come along after them have basics to use, like dishes and the like.

Yesterday was a stay at home day after about 5 weeks of either having visitors or not being in the country. Wow, did I need that. I loved having family and our board pres and his wife here, and being able to go away. It was all fun! But, with fun comes that non-break thing and I seem to be one of those people that needs those little breaks to renew my energy. I was also sick in there which didn’t do much for the energy bank. I think the previous sickness led to what I’m thinking is an ear infection. Elsie is going to check me out on Tuesday when I go to do Manba and drug me up if needed. SO FUN!

In my “free time” yesterday I got two major things accomplished. The first was a crafty act of necessity – using the beginnings of a quilt that was supposed to be for our bed but got vetoed because I changed my mind to make a quilt for Liv’s bed. I was tired of getting roused in the middle of the night because she was cold because all her other crib blankets were too small and got kicked off in the night. It took about 4-5 hours start to finish because the top was mostly pieced. It’s four layers of fabric – the top, the bottom, a layer of flannel for the filling and another layer of the backing material to block out the print on the flannel so you couldn’t see it through the top.

I have to admit, out of the quilts I have done, this one unexpectedly is my favorite. It was all done with what I had on hand and I had to be flexible as I went, but I love how it turned out. I was about 2/3 way done the quilting when my thread color ran out. I had done about half, then started in an opposite corner so I had this wave section down the middle that needed to be done. So, I made lemonade and started using another color, the one I had actually wanted to use from the beginning but didn’t have enough of for the whole quilt, and I LOVE how it turned out. It’s subtle but I LOVE the uniqueness.

I did a machine stitched binding just because I was running out of steam and wanted to get it done, and I don’t mind it actually. I don’t think I would do it for a bigger project, but it works for this. Liv loves it when I quilt for some reason. She loves to get down on the floor with me and be right in there. Chris tried to get a few pictures of us but he didn’t get any where she was actually laying on me while I was half lying, half sitting on the middle of this thing while I pinned/basted it all together.

I also worked on another sewing project yesterday for a certain little miss’ birthday present, but it’s not quite done yet and I want to wait to get pictures of the whole ensemble before I show it off. Let me just tell you that even though I was ear infection, 5 weeks of craziness, just spent two days cleaning, and just made a quilt wiped out tired, I was giggling the whole time I was working on this. So much so that Chris thought I was starting to lose it. Just because it was way more fun to see it coming together than I thought it would be. And because I know how much fun Liv is going to have with it.

Well, it’s time to raise the napper and make some dinner! We’re only 3 sleeps away from welcoming the Craigs and we’re SO excited for them to arrive. I know they would love your prayers as they pack up their two little ones and their entire lives and head for Haiti on Tuesday to arrive Wednesday. They’ve been battling a variety of illnesses amongst their little tribe and are hoping and praying for better health come departure day. We’re all going to have a lot of adjustments over the coming weeks, but more than anything we’re excited to see what God is going to do through CWH

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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.

One thought on “Busy like bees

  1. Peter and Sara and their boys are good friends of our daughter and son-in-law. I have been reading your blog posts. WOW!! We saw the Craigs last Sunday, thought of them and their flight across the U.S. to Ft. Lauderdale. Then, the earthquake! I have been to Haiti, three times and my husband has been MANY times. He and a team were planning to go, in April 2010. At the moment, that is on hold.

    When teams go, from our church, they go to Les Cayes and Les Anglais. We have heard that people are going to Les Cayes for medical care. We are so thankful for technology that has become available, over the last 20 years!!!

    Reading your blog, I am impressed (not the best word for the situation) with all that you are doing. Lots of thoughts and memories go through our minds, but from what we have seen on the news, is unreal.

    God Bless you, your family and all the work you are doing.

    Sharon and Paul Smith
    Lake Oswego, Oregon

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