Today is Victoria Day here in Canada – a long weekend! Mom, Dad, Liv and I went out camping Saturday morning and got back early afternoon today. It was nice to get out, away, and relax. There was a lot of napping done by all parties, especially since yesterday was a drippy day. Mom and Dad have a nice big 5th wheel trailer, so it’s not like we were suffering.
Me and my pregnant self got to sleep on a twin sized pull out couch. I’ve honestly never seen a twin sized before. It was NOT comfortable. What was less comfortable was having to share it at about 5:00 am this morning with the pint sized wonder in the family. My favorite part is when I woke up to her slapping me because she was dreaming. She sleeps with her door closed back at home, so Chris and I don’t hear the noises she makes in the night unless she gets up and comes to our room. Sharing a room with her a few times in our travels over the last week has made me realize she’s a noisy little sleeper. Lots of whimpering, almost humming, and apparently slapping. :) I actually find it kind of endearing and it made me feel like I got to know a new part of her little personality. Even if it means it’s 7:40pm and I’m ready to call it a day.
Some friends of my parents came up last night too, and we enjoyed visiting with them. Yesterday I also managed to beat my dad in two games of crib. Not bad considering I haven’t played in years :)
We got to talk to Daddy today after we got back. Sounds like things are going well. Chris has been taking time to meet with each of the workers to get their feedback on what things they think we can do to improve work etc around the mission. They’ve got some great thoughts and I’m excited that many of them are so simple to implement. When they give the idea, like someone saying that they need a big garbage can in the work yard, it gives them ownership rather than us saying “the work yard is a mess and needs to be cleaned up.” When there is ownership there is more of a team atmosphere. This week alone is going to be a great week for doing some of the things that they have in mind. One is a training session on Wednesday where Julie will go over filling out installation forms with everyone so that everyone is being thorough and accurate, saving all of us a lot of frustration down the road, whether it’s me entering info in the data base, or our follow up people while they’re out in the field trying to track down a filter. She will also teach everyone a refresher on how to use our education materials when they are doing installations and follow up.
On Friday 15 community organizers will be coming to the mission for an appreciation day. Two of our staff will be leading a prayer and worship time, at their own initiative, and Chris will do a little sharing time to encourage them and let them know how much we appreciate their role in what we do. Then everyone will share a meal together. These community organizers are representatives from different areas who have approached us because they want to get filters into their area. Our staff work with them as they do the promotion and sales on our behalf. When they have sold a load of filters (34) they call and we set up a delivery day. On delivery day they go around with the truck and our team and show them where to deliver. They are responsible for communicating with recipients ahead of time to let them know when we’re coming and what to have ready, and for collecting to small fee that recipients pay for their filters ahead of time. As a thank you and incentive we pay the community organizers $5 H (25 goudes) for each filter they sell. It’s a way for us to recognize their time commitment, and the fact that they are often using their own funds for public transport as they do promotion, and paying for phone time as they communicated with recipients. Being able to have an appreciation day is such a good thing. I wish I was able to be in two places at once!
Tomorrow will be a full day for us here too. Olivia and I are going to school tomorrow. She’s excited to go see her teacher, Miss Brandy, and all her friends from this winter. I feel really blessed that we’ve got this opportunity for her to be in a school setting again. She loves it! In the afternoon I have a doctors appointment, and then we need to hurry back for Liv’s first day of swimming lessons. She’s been very excited about them, until this afternoon when she told me she didn’t need to take them :) I know she’s going to have a ton of fun when she gets started, but it’s a bit overwhelming for her.
One thing that really struck me this weekend is how much I love this area. I know I’ve shared before that my parents still live in the same house they lived in when I was born, so I have very deep roots here. What I’m loving is that we have the gift of spending several months here during the summer. Everything is so fresh and green right now. As we drove to the campground, past lakes that I spent my summers enjoying as a kid, I was just struck again about how blessed I was to grow up in this area, and now I get to share that with my family. When Chris and I have been able to spend time in the summer here we’ve enjoyed several weeks of camping and enjoying BC. Now I get to share that with my kids.
I love that the air is so clean. My nose doesn’t have to contend with fuel fumes, burning garbage, the smell of waste and urine, the smell of the heat and humidity… It’s like my senses are getting a break. So much less to process.
There is a very laid back feeling here too. It’s unique to this area. I remember when I worked at the church before I moved to Haiti the new pastor at the time was appalled that all kids programs were shut down for the summer. It was because people didn’t want to commit. In this area, people want the freedom to decide to go out camping Friday morning, and leave that evening after work. They don’t want to be tied down. They want the freedom to enjoy what’s around them. The second summer that he worked at the church I guess they tried to run summer programs and he quickly realized that you can’t fight a culture. It is what it is and it’s better to accept and go with it than to try and change it. There is a different rhythm here and I love it.
Well, I’m going to turn in. I’m looking forward to not being slapped awake tonight! What I am having a hard time adjusting to is going to bed when it’s still light out. That and remembering that dark doesn’t signal bedtime for Olivia either. I have to pay attention to the clock so she’s not up until 10 pm, which I know she would love, especially since she told me the other night that she didn’t want to go to sleep until it was dark.
Have a great week!