Friday Round Up

It’s about 9:15 pm and the house is oh so quiet right now. The kids have been in bed for hours and Chris was beat after two days of work out at the new land, so he hit the hay early, leaving me on my own to do as I please. La la la la la. I won’t lie, I’ve been hanging out on facebook, feedly and other internetting adventures. And apparently am feeling slightly silly…

Yesterday was one of those crazy, everyone going in different directions kind of days.

Earlier in the week I shared that D-Day, or Dig Day, was fast approaching. That meant that yesterday Chris and all the guys needed to be out at the land to be doing continuous hauls of dirt off the property to a dump site suggested by people from the community. That meant that no one would be able to make the trip into town with me to get our visitors from the airport.

Typically this wouldn’t bother me much, but protests (manifestations, as we call them here) have been on the rise for a variety of reasons, and just before I left I was checking out the Facebook group for expats living in Haiti that I’m part of, only to find out that there have been bad protests all this week right on a stretch of road I needed to go through. I was worried about a specific area too where the police road checks can be bad. It would have been typical that when I was by myself I would get harassed.

I honestly spent about half of my drive worrying, then realized that I would be better using my time by praying, so I did, and God gave me a lot of peace. When I went through the area where the manifestations (it’s just a way better word!) were the only sign of anything was the soot residue from the requisite burning tires from the days before. Other than that there was a lot of traffic and people going about life as usual. When I got to the police check, they were stopping all the oncoming traffic, and letting my side go. Well, amen and amen.

I got to town in record time, whipped through traffic to an area we don’t go to often – because of the traffic – did some shopping, and got back to the airport where I only had to wait about 10 minutes before our friends arrived. They didn’t have their luggage, but it came in on the next flight and we picked it up after taking care of a few other things in town. When the “seas” of traffic kept parting in front of me I couldn’t help but yell out in my head, “Jesus loves me!” Yeah, I know, terrible theology.

Today we went out to the land to see the dirt moving action.

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I have to say, this particular thing feels like something.

I think we’ve been in the talking and planning and baby steps phase for so long that actually moving earth feels like, well, moving. Getting the driveway done means it’ll be easier to do other things. The land was irrigated farm/garden land before we bought it, and the soil has been turned over a lot making it very soft. When it rains it can be a mud bog, so it would be impossible to get in and out with any of the vehicles.

By the time we got out there they were in the home stretch, and this was after a minor breakdown that involved one driver coming back to get the tool box, going back, one of the guys whipping the part off the Bobcat, coming back to the mission with it, welding it up (like a “boss” – according to Chris) and driving it back out, re-installing it, and continuing through the day. Moments like that make me love the phrase “degaje”, which means “make it work” – and our staff and the concept of community.

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This was exciting business for the community. I’m pretty sure it might have been one of the first times a machine was actively doing something in the area. As we were driving in and I was chatting with people along the road everyone kept telling me “li bel” – it’s beautiful. They were basically saying that it was great! So excited! I love that people are happy for us. Chris let some of the neighbor kids come in and hang out to watch the machine. Apparently there was a constant gathering by the gate. What can we say, it’s a quiet, rural area where the most exciting thing that happens by our land is the canal running each week.

Front row seats.

Front row seats.

While we watched the progress we visited with the kids. I was taking pictures of Alex and Olivia and decided to snap some selfies with the kids, which they thought was fun. Then I turned on the video and, wow! Minds blown. I wish I could have taken a video of Prislene, our neighbors daughter, watching herself on a video for the first time. It was so sweet. A mix of shock and excitement. It was good for some giggles.

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Germanie (behind me), Prislene, Ji Ji (Junior) and Tatu in front. Don’t know the name of the boy with the big cheese grin on the far right. Germanie is the sister of our neighbor, and Prislene, Ji Ji and Tatu are some of our neighbors kids.

By 3 pm today the crew arrived back at the mission and they were done.

This feels like something.

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Our ever so creative son managed to find the shadiest, coolest spot on the whole property to observe the action.

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And, just in case you think he’s all charm… Nope, there’s a good dose of sauce in there.

We’re enjoying our guests too, who are from Canada but who we met in Bellingham this past summer on our vacation.

This evening as I was cooking dinner we were reminded of how busy the last two days have been when the propane for the stove ran out. The big tank ran out yesterday and Chris switched it over to the back up that we keep up on the roof. When I told him that tank was out too he said, “I thought you got propane today!” at which point I told him I hadn’t, because I didn’t know I was supposed to, especially since the big tank that takes at least two guys to get down from the roof, was in fact, still on the roof. And, um, none of the guys were on the mission property today after staff prayer… At that point Chris realized that he had thought to have me fill the tanks today, but never actually vocalized it, or moved the tanks so that could happen. So, tomorrow I get to go fill the tanks. And yes, this time they’re off the roof… Needless to day, I was again reminded of how flexible Haiti has made me. And I was very grateful for my microwave and the new waffle maker that our friends brought in for me. I could hack through supper with the microwave, but wow, breakfast… Timing is everything here, people.

Before I forget! Update on the Santa Fe… Typically the dealership parts are super expensive, so we were looking at other alternatives, but Chris did call them and found out that not only do they have the oil pan in stock, it’s also only just over $200. After factoring the cost of a guy to go in for a day to find someone to weld it, and the likelyhood that the fix wouldn’t either work or work for long – leaving us with an ongoing problem – it just makes sense to get the new one and be done with it. So, problem solved! Chris can pick it up next week.

I’ve learned something through our friends that I didn’t know was possible and leaves me feeling a mix of flattered and self conscious… I found out that an iPhone will read to you. And that people actually have their iPhones read my blog to them.

Mind. Blown.

Yes, I’m fully aware that you probably already knew this, but, wow. No idea. Because I live here and am already about 5 years behind in everything technology related. Did you know they have this thing called the internet??? You don’t have to put a stamp on a letter any more?!?! Whaaaaatttt? (Okay, maybe it’s not that bad…)

So, if you’re listening to this rather than reading it, Hello! (Good morning Linda!)

You do realize that now every time I write a post I’m going to think about how it “reads”. Oh, the pressure! Now I understand how stand up comedians feel. Life will never be the same. 

Have a great weekend!

(We’re going swimming tomorrow, mostly so that Alex will stop saying. “Go Kaliko?!” every 5 minutes, to which we say, “No, tomorrow!” And, repeat. Someone please remind me that I cannot tell him anything more than a few minutes before it’s supposed to happen because if I do it results in way too much physical energy being expended in explaining why we are in fact not dropping everything right. this. second. to go and to the fun thing. One can only pretend they don’t “hear” for so long and then the littles figure it out by either yelling louder and more incessantly, or hanging off of you. Neither option is agreeable.) 

~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.

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