Today was our first day of work. Chris and Olivia are both sick with some sort of bug. For Chris that translated into not getting enough sleep last night, so when it was time to get up and head down for staff prayer he was a bit out of sorts. Not the best way to start the first day back, but it is what it is. Olivia basically woke up so she could walk to the couch and lay down and fall asleep again. And then proceeded to do that for at least half of the day. There was also some vomiting in there as well.
Yonese came in today because it’s market day, and it was the first time we saw her since getting back. There was a lot of hugging and gushing. She was over the moon to find out that another Rolling is on the way, and was sad that Olivia was feeling so crummy she didn’t even lift her head when she saw her, which is NOT a normal Olivia response to Yonese.
Today I ventured out and drove to St. Marc so I could get some groceries in the house and have things to make actual meals with. You can only eat peanut butter and jelly so often and then it gets old, though I will admit it has not gotten old as a bed time snack. The little monster in my belly has required a bedtime feeding for the last two nights.
So venturing out out… I decided taking it slow was the best method of attack. Not that I don’t know how to drive, but four months away from Haiti is a long time and things don’t slow down and wait for you to catch up. I know when we have visitors it’s sometimes hard for them to know just how much a person needs to pay attention to while driving here, so I usually have to at some point apologize if I sound distracted. At any given moment not only are you trying to keep the car on the road, but you are watching for dogs, goats, and people that may dart out into the road. You are dodging anything that might suddenly show up in your path, like the piles of rocks and materials for the road work they’re still doing. You have to guess what the vehicles in front of you are going to do, whether it be slow down, pull over or come to a complete stop, and all without the typical warning of signal lights. You have to be willing to hold your own when a bus is flying at you at mock whatever because hitting the shoulder might mean falling off the edge of the pavement so badly you wreck a tire or worse. Then, when you get into the city, it’s motorcycle taxis everywhere. I am not exaggerating about this in the least. Some days they are lighter than usually, but today they were literally swarming like bees. So you have to think about all of the above, and try to figure out where the taxis will be going and there are times where they are in front of and behind you and on both sides, and they are all moving at their own pace. There are still some bad spots in the road too, so it may mean thinking about all of that stuff while trying to dodge holes or speed bumps. It’s a lot to think about! But, I made it and didn’t hit anyone or anything and things actually came back pretty quickly.
I first went to Deli Mart and when I walked in the girls at the checkout immediately asked where Olivia was. It’s amazing that I hadn’t stepped foot in the place in over four months, but they remembered me and asked about my kid. This is one of the things I love about Haiti. Between two stores and the chicken place I got the shopping that couldn’t be done in the market taken care of really quickly. When I went to get a box of chicken the main guy asked me what I wanted and when I responded in Creole he told me I was Haitian :) He came back after getting my box and kept talking about how Haitian I was because I spoke Creole, which always makes me laugh inside. It’s actually a really big compliment. It’s the same as coming right out and saying that they respect you for making the effort. When I told Chris about it he asked me if the guy had his revolver sitting on the desk today. No, not today. :)
On the way out of town I stopped at a friends store to pick up a couple of things and enjoyed a visit with her. Then, on the way home I stopped to see some more friends. I had warned Chris that I would be stopping, so he shouldn’t expect me home early. Good thing! I spent four hours talking and catching up, and it was so good. This particular friend didn’t know I was coming so it was fun to surprise her and her excitement at seeing me was so sweet. The kids at the kids home that her and her husband run greeted me with big hugs and cuddles and asked about Chris and when Olivia could come play. Another friend that got back yesterday popped in, so it was more hugs and catching up. It was just so nice! We’ve missed our friends here, but I don’t think I realized just how much until I saw some of them today. And seeing how much they missed us was really sweet too. When I got home I found Yonese back from the market and a kitchen stocked with fresh fruit and veggies. Bananas just taste so much better here! One of our neighbors was also here visiting when I got back and it was nice to see her.
And now it’s time to finish putting things away. The kitchen is in several different stages of disarray and my carry on bag is still sitting on our bedroom floor with only one or two things taken out. Oh, and to top it off Little Missy tossed her cookies all over our bed. The bed that just got fresh sheets and the works yesterday. Nice! The good side is that Little Missy has been revived with a couple of feedings of raisin bran and felt strong enough to put on her Christmas dress and pink sandals. Because style is important. Even when you’re under the weather.