The Wonderful Random

We’re in the middle of a training class so things are a bit busy around here, but I wanted to post because sometimes I know I just need to write things down or I’ll forget them. And some things are just too good to forget.

Today on the way to pick Olivia up from school I came across an accident. It reminded me why I don’t ever want to ride a “piblik” here – Haiti’s bus system. The bus system that is really any random guy who decides he’s going to be a bus driver. These are the scariest vehicles on the road. Most often they are barely able to be driving, and they are always packed to the hilt with people, even loading them on the roof with the cargo when needed. I’ve seen double door refrigerators hoisted on top of these things. They are always driving Mock Five down the road, often laying on the horn to get you to move out of the way. And you want to get out of the way because they probably don’t have very good brakes.

All those things aside though, it was just confirmed today why it won’t be a method of transport that I’ll choose here. When you see a gouge out of the pavement from where the wheel drum has drug along it for oh, about 30 feet because BOTH THE RIGHT BACK WHEELS FELL OFF, it makes you think that maybe that’s not the best form of transportation. I wish I was joking. And, I wish I’d had a camera because you probably won’t believe me. The dual wheels, gone. In the ditch. Just fell right off and rolled in the ditch.

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Whenever we do a class meal time is one of the most interesting parts of the week. Most Haitians only eat one big meal a day, if that. Sometimes they may only eat one meal a day, period. When we do a training class we eat three times a day, with two of those being “gwo manje” – big meals. I like that we can do this for students because I know that for some of them, that one week might be the best they eat in their entire lives.

This week has been funny because every time we have one of the bigger meals there are at least four guys with cell phones out taking pictures, of everything. Pictures of the table where the food is served. Pictures of the students taking their food. Pictures of people eating. This morning was Soup Joumou – Pumpkin Soup and as Chris and I sat there eating our bowls of pumpkiny goodness one of the students came and sat on the floor between us while his friend snapped pictures of us eating. Those are the moments where being able to stifle laughter is a good skill. What’s hard is trying to stifle laughter when you look at your spouse and that one look makes you want to lose it.

So, this week while you are all eating peacefully in your homes, we are eating with the paparazzi.

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I decided on the way to school yesterday that I’m going to start listening to the radio while I drive in the morning. The school drive is gospel hour so there’s lots of Haitian church music. I figured it’s a good way to work on my Creole, and listening to worship music, even in another language, is a nice way to start the day.

I’m not sure what Olivia thinks about all this, but I do know that when the song is upbeat I can see her in the rearview mirror “chair dancing” which is what we call it when she grooves away in her car seat. She doesn’t like it when she knows that I’m watching her so I try to be sneaky :)

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Alex paid his first visit to a Haitian clinic last Friday for an ear infection. The doc was great and we got him some meds and he seems to be doing well. I was wondering if my super baby was all of the sudden getting more fussy so it was good to know that there was a reason. He didn’t have a fever and wasn’t really grabbing his ear or anything.

What was interesting about the clinic visit was the conversation I had with a man in the waiting room while I waited for the meds. Many Haitians haven’t ever seen a white baby, so Alex created quite a stir. It was a funny conversation that was a little about how two white people make “pink” babies (because, as I was informed, white is not really a color and we’re not all white, we have color in our skin), and a little about how this man wanted me to find a friend that wanted to make lighter brown babies with him :) I was laughing most of the time and it was good entertainment for everyone sitting there.

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Tonight at supper we had a good chat with our guests about dogs and how Haitians feel about them, our dog in particular, and stuff like that. At one point one of the guys said that he preferred dogs over cats, which launched a conversation about cats. We mentioned that we’ve heard that Haitians like to eat cats and one of the guys said that he loved to eat cat.

So, of course I had to ask how he cooked it. (This might be where cat lovers want to check out)

His response? “You use a razor to take off the hair, season it and then grill it.”

The best part was when one of the other men said, “People who eat cats usually do it because they’ve been drinking too much klerin!” Klerin, is moonshine :) Needless to say, we all had a good laugh with that.

I should probably add that just last week we saw to guys walking down the lane, and one of them was carrying a dead cat by it’s back feet. Meow.

Or not.

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Yesterday marked my 6 year anniversary of the day that I arrived in Haiti. I arrived here single and carefree. Okay, not carefree. I was scared out of my mind. Overwhelmed. Missing home. But, willing to try. Now, six years later, I’m Mrs. Rolling, or Madame Chris, and we have two beautiful kidlets. Not what I had seen in the future. I thought “long term” might mean a few years for me. After Chris and I got married he said, frequently, “You do know that long term means 15 to 20, right?” :) And here we are.

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When I had Alex at the clinic last week they weighed him during check in. He’s a whopping 15.5 lbs. He is officially half the weight of his 3 1/2 year old sister. And half her height. I keep telling people that they cannot compare their children to Alex because he is a behemoth. He is the exception to the rule in about every way.

In the last week or so he’s gotten a lot more active. When he’s on the floor on his play mat he’s figured out how to get everything swinging and has also managed to yank the pull handle off the singing bug in the middle. Though, his sister may have helped that. He can spin himself in circles, which is good if he want’s a new perspective. Not so good when this happens…

Baby taco.

That’ll show him for being so active.

Little Mister has also gotten a lot more vocal in the last week. Sometimes he’s outright yelling just because he can. He likes to grunt a lot, like he’s working hard at whatever he’s doing. And he’s no longer content with just lying down all the time. Today I propped him up against pillows on our bed and he was grunting and trying to sit up. Stinker. Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to go slower?? He’s not supposed to grow up so fast!

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That’s it. That’s the weird and wonderful round up of random things from Haiti for today. Enjoy!

~Leslie

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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.

2 thoughts on “The Wonderful Random

  1. We have the same baby gym for my son, and he used to fold it over on himself too! I have several pictures just like yours:-)

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