1. Having others peel your dead skin off from a sun burn you received while in the vehicle. The special educator in me, wanted to correct the behavior and share that it was inappropriate. But then I thought, when will they ever get the chance to do this again. I know as they pulled and rubbed my skin that it was because they cared and wanted to help care for me. Thankful I only had the burn on one arm since I was hanging on to the side of the vehicle to get to Atrel.
2. Sleeping under a mosquito net not because it makes you feel like a princess either. Yep, like father, like son.
3. Riding a donkey. Little Anna (age 4) had dreamed of riding a donkey. She sees them every time she leaves her home so it is easy to see why she would want one. She is super happy about riding one and asked for one for her birthday.
4. Growing bananas (figs in Creole) with our "pipi" and "kaka." *Pipi is pronounced pee pee and kaka is just what my dad said it was when I was a kid (Once again Dad, you prove yourself a learned man!) The Baker family has built a "green" home out of necessity. They have planted banana trees to catch the pipi and kaka from the outhouse as fertilizer. Pretty smart. See it behind Billy...who usually preferred direct watering. We are roasting mayi (corn) like the Haitians do...corn, but not sweet corn that we are used to. It is in season so you saw and smelled lots of it. Even at our home on the mountain some mornings, I smell it. When we arrived at the yard, most days someone would ask if we were hungry so to prepare mayi for us.
5. A road trip that included coming off of paved roads, driving on salt flats, hugging the corner of a mountain side that over looks the ocean, riding through 100+ degree weather and having to roll up windows (with no A/C) to keep the dust out. We walked this mile walk just about every day for at least the first week to get to town. The Bakers have an accommodating ATV (Gator) but they want to be a part of the community so they choose to walk, just like their neighbors, even though they live further away than many of them.
6. Having our vehicle slowed because of the donkeys walking in the road and seeing a donkey parking lot at the market. This is one of the small parking lots in Atrel. A community with a larger market, had several, large donkey lots.
7. Children running to the side of the road to cheer for the "blan" as they drove or walked by. Blan means white but is associated with all foreigners, they call all of us "blan" By the end of the two weeks several (of those no longer yelled blan but would call "Mak." Haitians do not use the letter R so they drop it from names. Married women are referred to by their husband's name. So Mak and Madam Mak, that is us! Because I dig this guy, I LOVE that we are viewed as one by the Haitians, a Biblical view.
8. To have your hair braided all over and to have an extension put in your beard...no pictures on the beard, I didn't have my camera that day- darn it. Dolly was so patient with their interest and curiosity. Miss B....not so much!
9. Play soccer in rocks and dirt with the opposing team not wearing shoes and some without pants even. It is normal for young boys to be without pants and none of our children asked or questioned that...it is a God thing ya'll.
10. Purchase a machete at market and then use it to mow. Watch your dinner being prepared with your new machete.
12. Cooking lessons from a Haitian. After peeling plantains, we smashed them between two small shaped pieces of wood that are found in Haitian markets and then Ocelia fried them. Plantains look like bananas but will stain your clothing as you peel them. Ocelia tried to warn me, but now I have a "bannann" skirt. Ocelia agreed to come to the house and prepare us a Haitian meal along with letting us help and taste as we went. We had kabrit (goat) in a wouj (red) sauce which My Dear loves.
13. Pump water from a well. The women and children come to gather water all throughout the day. They carry it home and many of them put it on their heads to carry. I have no idea how much water we use a day. But I bet I would if it had to be hauled to our home. Each of us took a turn at the pumping while the others sat and visited under a shade tree.
14. Ground your own wheat and bake your own bread. Dolly helped with the baking but My Dear did the grounding. Since there are no grocery stores around, the family makes things for scratch....real scratch! One morning after pancakes, Billy asked how many packages it took to make all of those pancakes. Our precious host got a chuckle out of that.
15. Fall in love with face or 2 or 3 or.....
Oh my heart be still, these 2 cuties were so happy to be held and hugged by us and we were more than willing! Their families just smiled and giggled at our hug sessions.
Young Anderson heard me ask folks to speak slowly so many times that one time I must have had a look on my face because he stepped in to tell the speaker, "pale dousman." Made me laugh!
My FB friends have seen this face. "Saint Rose" does not attend church like many of the others who came to the yard to pump water. Her friends are there, but she is not. PRECIOUS little girl! I tried to communicate that I love her and that Jesus loves her. Praying for this little girl to know the GREAT big God that loves her so much.
Irresistible! He hardly ever had clothes on but when Sunday came....he was all decked out!
Loveka and Monnanika taught me the Rock Game along with "Saint Rose." They had stepped outside of the church when I stepped out due to the heat. They played a little game with Miss B. and asked me questions that I answered in broken Creole. Sweet girls. Monnanika was the one who gave the girls donkey rides and showed Dolly the animals.
Thankful for the bucket list we didn't know we had!
*guessed at spelling names