To Haiti, or not to Haiti, that is the question!

This last weekend we had our mission AGM. It was successful and a great time to reconnect with our board face to face. It was a lot of work to pull things together, but we’re excited about the next year and feel like some good things were accomplished. The prep for the weekend has been one of the things occupying my brain for the last couple of months, on top of having a baby, so now that it’s done you would think that I have space to relax mentally and unwind a bit. But, no.

See, my brain doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t idle well. I’m working on that, but it just doesn’t idle well under normal circumstances.

One big thing occupying my mind space right now is our travel plans back into Haiti. I’m very happy to report that on Friday we received Alex’s birth certificate, so yesterday we were able to apply for his passport. It should be back in about a week and a half. I love the new system they have here!

Now that we know dates for receiving that we can plan our travel back into Haiti. The good news is that Bryan and Kelly, the family that is there with Barry taking care of the mission in our absence, changed their flights to give us lots of wiggle room for dates. They rock that way. Because of that we’ve been able to plan a trip down to the US on our way out that will allow us to connect with some people as a family that we haven’t been able to in about 4 years. I’m excited about that. The downside is that in an effort to save on luggage expenses when we fly into Seattle we’re sending some of our luggage down with Chris’ parents this week, which means packing and sorting. Which for me, means full head. Again.

As my brain is shifting back into “Haiti mode” and I’m doing things like looking at tickets and thinking about what can go now and what needs to stay etc I am feeling overwhelmed. Part of it is that the time in Canada for me personally, and our family as a whole, has been good. I’m referring to both trips in the last year. The extended time away has allowed us to rest, regroup and deal with a lot. It’s given us a lot of time with family that was much needed, and a chance to reconnect with people face to face. It’s been healing in it’s own way. And, for me, because I’ve been in that place where my roots run deep, it’s going to be hard to go away again.

All that said, this time when we leave we are not leaving without plans for our next visits. We are no longer at the mercy of some government agency that issues paper work before we can make travel plans. I can’t begin to tell you how freeing that is. To not be able to travel when we wanted to in the past 4 years has been difficult, but we’ve accepted it as part of the journey. It doesn’t define our journey any more. We will be able to say, “Let’s go!” and make plans. I remember flying back into Haiti last time and that freedom didn’t really hit me until I filled out Olivia’s immigration card and wrote down her citizenship as “Canadian”. To me it stood for more that the country that issued her passport. It meant that she had a passport that would allow us to travel whenever we wanted.

So, as I start making lists and booking flights and preparing things please pray that God would just be preparing my heart and the rest of the Rolling family. I know Olivia loves being in Canada and in Haiti, but she misses the fun in Canada when we go back, and all her grandparents etc. Chris is eager to get back and because of that sometimes has a hard time seeing that I need a grieving time of sorts. I’m always fine when I get back to Haiti, but it’s the process.

On  a family note, we’re all settling into a routine well. I’m seeing more and more where Alex’s rest and awake times are and he’s finally gaining well. We had a doctors appointment yesterday and she was so encouraging. When we talked about the decision to supplement I said, “It was hard, but I know I was trying.” She looked at me and said, “Leslie, you weren’t trying, you were doing. A lot of people say they were trying but you really were doing everything you could and your body just isn’t co-operating yet.” I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s true. So, I’m releasing some of the guilt and moving on! I want him to be healthy and fed, and now he’s getting that and he’s growing and still getting milk from me.

Okay, now I need to go and do some stuff. Yeesh, brain full!


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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 “To Haiti, or not to Haiti, that is the question!

  1. Hi Leslie! I just wanted to let you know that I posted about you today! We made the Steak Frites meal last night (3rd summer in a row)! Was thinking of you Rollings and your new baby Alex as we reminisced about “Synchronized Blogging”!!!
    Lots of love to you all– and hugs to the new baby and big sister–

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