It is just after three and my sleep is nagging me, but the rest of me is not quite wanting to give in. I’ve been waking up anywhere between 2 and 4 am for a long time now. Some days it’s just easier to get to sleep than others. Tonight my head is all stuffed up and I’m wondering if it’s leftover dust on the luggage in our room. I did wash everything, but it’s had a couple of years to build up. Took an allergy pill so we’ll see how that works.
The rest of the stuff running around in my head, is well, doing just that – running around…
Chris and I went to Port yesterday to get Liv’s passport with Canadian visa, and her original adoption docs from the Embassy. They called yesterday to say it was ready buy didn’t mention that the Embassy Immigration section was closed on Fridays. Thankfully we have a great contact in Consular Affairs and she was able to send someone down to reception will all our stuff. Walking out I could tell that Chris was finally happy. He was almost skipping. He felt free. Good moment.
Yesterday was the first time in I don’t remember how long that Chris and I have been able to have time on our own. And it was much needed. Liv is in a stage of repeating everything a billion times, and usually when we are in the middle of trying to have a conversation with each other. And she’s all elbows and knees right now, so of course this is also when she wants to always be climbing on us. We’ve both been feeling the frustration of not being able to talk to each other and not feeling like we have any personal space, all the while being conscious of the fact that kids are sensitive and over the last weeks Liv has been picking up on our roller coaster of emotions and the mix of tension and now excitement in the house. Of course it’s going to affect her. She’s excited too, and yet only knows that she should be because we are. She really has no frame of reference for Canada other than what we tell her. And how does a two year old know what camping is if she’s never gone? We’re trying to be mindful of all of it, but it’s been trying in the parenting department. I know a change of scenery is going to be great for all of us. And being around family that can help with Liv after not having that for two and a half years is going to be great for Chris and I.
I’m starting to get our stuff together and will be doing more packing today. For you parents with small children, I’m curious about what you do to keep them occupied while traveling. A friend gave Liv a kid sized back pack so I’m packing that for her to take on the plane. I’ve made her a little coloring book (normal sized one wouldn’t fit), put some crayons in a ziploc, and a book that has about 50 stories in it. Chris has some kid movies downloaded and ready to go as well. Our flights are long, two of them being 4.5 hours. We’ll be taking the Gravol too because she gets car sick and I’m not sure how she’ll do on the plane. Maybe the Gravol will knock her out for a while… Suggestions welcome, please!
We’re leaving for a long time – almost 4 months. Since I moved to Haiti in 2005 I haven’t ever left for more than about 2 months at any given time. For Chris it’s never been more than about 6 weeks. This is new for us. I’m excited that it’s new for us and something we’re doing together. I’m sure there will be times that are frustrating with being away so long, but right now we need to get the space and rest so badly that I think for the most part it’ll be good. Being home for that long will give us a chance to settle in and just live, rather than feeling like we’re cramming in all of this stuff. We’ve each made lists of things that we want to do while there. My list is a lot longer than his, but it was where I grew up so I have home team advantage. Everything from walking a few times a week as a family to ice fishing is on there. I’m excited.
Now that we know we are in fact leaving, and now that we’re down to a matter of days (oh. my. gosh.) I’ve noticed that I’m being incredibly aware of my surroundings. Almost like I know I’m going for a while, so I want to stamp things into my memory. I know I’ll miss Haiti. In all the craziness that is life here, I know I’ll miss it. We went to see friends in St. Marc earlier this week and as we drove home in the evening, just around dusk, I was aware again of how Haiti changes at night. People gather in the streets to visit and almost let down the guard that follows them all day long. They are less agitated and I can only imagine that the heat has something to do with that. I saw trash burning on the sides of the road, and a woman walking with a stack of egg flats on her head. It POURED rain on the way home, harder than it ever has while we’ve been driving here, or maybe it just seemed that way because it was dark. Yesterday I was noticing all the vendors, for the hundredth time of course, but still fascinated by what they sold and how they did it. And the mix of colors and life that go with all of this.
On the way to Port we saw a dead body on the road. It was a young man, probably late teens/early 20s. It was the first time in all the years that I’ve lived her that I have seen a body. There was nothing gruesome about it, he was just lying face down on the side of the road. I don’t know what the story was, it wasn’t obvious. Maybe he was hit by a car? Maybe not. I don’t know. Chris asked if I was okay. I think because my brain was so full of other things it didn’t hit deep right away, but I felt very sad. There was no one standing there obviously upset, just people going about their daily activity, but aware from a distance. There were cones on the road so the police had been made aware, but there was no one doing anything at that moment. The feeling I had was sadness. I think that for all the years I’ve lived here, and because of some of the circumstances that have been Haiti during that time, I anticipated at some point I would have a moment like this, but I didn’t expect it to feel so quiet. I know it’s not something I’ll forget, but I think with everything going on right now for us it’s harder for me to process it. I also know that this is where we live. It’s part of life here, and maybe I accepted that more than I thought I had.
The fatigue is setting in and the allergy pill is working, so it’s time to go back to sleep. Have a great weekend!