Monday, September 29, 2014

Hair Cut, Rolling Pins and Tap Taps!

That past 2 weeks we have entertained children from the other sites.   There is no better way to speed up the motivation in the classroom then to know friends will be around to play.   It also means sleep overs and late nights that lead to crashing when everyone has gone back home. 

 We have prayed for the kids to be more comfortable with the people of this culture.   With the help of our neighbor, we have taken Miss B. to the playground a few times to let her play along side the children who visit it.   I asked her to join me on Sunday to take some mail to drop off at the office.   As we walked past the playground, she asked if she could go play because she saw 2 little girls there.   She did not interact or play with them but played near the children.  God let me see that it was not my suggestion but her's....progress!

A team left last week, so I went clean up with my Creole book in hand to help with communication with the lady I would be working with.   I practiced the words  I knew that would be a part of our work together.   When I entered, it was the normal greetings.   Haitians ask "How are you?" much like Americans do.  It is more of a greeting then the actual concern of how you are doing.   She then asked me how I was.   I thought that was odd since she just did in the greeting.  She stated it about 5 different ways watching my brow draw up in confusion as the unfamiliar words were spoken and then said "Chikengunya."   That seemed like a long time ago but she knew I had been sick and was asking me how I felt.   I saw a joke posted on FB today about Haitians having the right to know everything so her knowing that I was sick made me smile.   I learned she too had been sick but a team was on campus while she was sick so she just kept working.    This of course was her choice.   It was a reminder to me how working is a choice.  I know that some Americans look down on Haitians.  Haitians may not be employed, but they all work! They farm and sell their produce at market.   They work to provide and care for their families at home.  They set up shop on the side of the road selling food, medical supplies, clothes, shoes, Haitian made artwork....they all work!


Speaking of chikengunya, this is how you open a bottle when joint pain flairs up.   Yeah for pliers!


We can not always find the items we want at the grocery nor are we always able to go to the store so making stuff has become necessary.   I found a rolling pin in a store but it was $80.  Needless to say, it is still there!   My Dear really wanted one as he was making cinnamon rolls and biscuits.   An email to Ms. Judy who loved on us in IN was an email away.   She had made a rolling pin for the youth auction and well, now we have one in Haiti.   It is no normal rolling pin cause this one was made by the hands of a woman that we love. 




Another HUGE blessing is that we finally got haircuts!   I had hacked at Miss B's hair and with Billy's help, hacked some of my own hair.   But REALLY needed a haircut for morale purposes as well.   A young lady in cosmetology school was here to visit her sister.   She came to the mission and to visit our neighbor and said she was willing to cut hair for us.   The kids and I all got a haircut!   My hair was so long that I could put the front in 2 little pigtails.  I am a little old for pig tails y'all!



The outdoors does make a lovely salon.   Anyone feeling the need to MOVE here to cut our hair?


I think the hair cut made this guy a few inches taller.   Glad to see his handsome face again!

We took a Tap Tap ride, which is a form of a taxi where as many people cram into a pick up truck with benches in it as possible.   We used a tap tap that was a van.   Billy, Dolly, and I joined some friends off of the mission for a ride to get pizza.   My Dear was under the weather and well, you will remember the first paragraph about Miss B.   Well, she cried not to go and asked me to give her a list of chores to do instead....I think she was desperate.   She did get some pizza though.   Our friends, the Wards, use tap taps often so they took good care of us and the pizza was good!!!!  


Side note, see that grey band on Dolly's wrist?   They are called Sea bands and are wonderful for travel sickness.   The road down the mountain is one curve after another mixed with windows down, pollution, and strange smells...it makes the drive down a bit harder on a person prone to get car sick.   These little bands have been well used!    My girlfriend used them for her newborn under doctor's orders for getting sick in the car.   They work for any kind of nausea well, at least they have for us.   My Dear picked these up for us at a Walgreen or CVS after we had 2 kiddos get sick last time we were in Haiti.   One in the car and one on the plane....we keep it exciting!

Click here to see more photos and read Jen's blog about our pizza outing.  
http://wardfamriskingtheocean.blogspot.com/2014/09/legit.html?spref=fb


My Dear has been working in a different position the past couple of weeks to learn that position as the couple that works in that area will soon be going on furlough.  It has been a great way to learn more about the mission.   It also allows him to work with the Haitian men.   Last Friday was pay day for the employees of the mission.   The security guard was heading to the check in location and Billy usually runs out to unlock the door for him.   My Dear had his paycheck and ran out cheering and waving it.   It was fun to watch this big guard's gruff appearance fade before his long night shift at the front gate.   My Dear thanked him in Creole for the work he was doing.   I was so impressed with how easily the Creole rolled off of his tongue and congratulated him when he came in.   He said, "Well seeing that that was the 51st time I said it today, it should be good."   Funny guy!

He is currently working on a writing a couple of grants for reforestation. This country once was rich and plush but the needs of the people  have destroyed much of it.  The mission has worked in reforestation in the past and hopes to continue that education in the future.   The area around the mission is plush, evidence of the years of service and education in those areas.

We have found a vehicle to purchase in the states and would appreciate your prayers as we work to get it to us.   So if you think about it about this week and next pray that My Dear gets the vehicle where it is supposed to be with the paperwork in the right places.   It will take awhile for us to get it through shipping and our wait is probably 2 months once we get it to Port here.  Pray that it is kept in safe keeping as theft is ALWAYS an option and happens state side as easily as it does here. 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pitchin' In

The primary responsibility of the kiddos and myself, for this season of our lives, is schooling.   But because the children do not have a schedule of activities in the evening , we can still help out as needed at the mission.   Dolly feeds the fish in the pond 2 times a day and also checks in on the zoo animals.   She "dog sat" for a family who went on furlough and whatever else comes up.   I know she has given impromptu tours of the zoo and have played with younger children on the playground who have invited her to play with them.   When the zoo keeper sees her coming, his hand flies up to wave.   He speaks to her in Creole and some days she comes home saying, "What does (this word) mean?"   There is a guard on campus that tries a different Creole phrase with her each time he sees her.   She asks him what it means and he tells her in English.   She said, "He always ask me that."   I let her know he was asking because she still did not know the phrase.   She does not shy away from his questioning as he is determined to teach her.  

Miss B. is still a bit fearful of folks she does not know.   BUT when Dolly came home from feeding the fish and shared that a little boy who spoke English, about Miss B's age wanted to play, I presented an offer I hoped Miss B. could not refuse.   She was washing dishes when Dolly asked her if she wanted to go play.   She said she couldn't because of the dishes.   I gave her the option to ditch the rest of the dishes if she would go to the playground.   DING!   She was out the door with her sister!

Billy has helped offer muscle when needed and recently helped to count out jewelry to fulfill an order for Mountain Maid.   Check out their goodies at www.mountainmaid.com   The sell of these items support the Haitians who make them.

The other job he LOVES is filling water bottles.   My Dear repaired a water filtration system when we moved here.  It is saving the mission and the staff a few coins.  We have water coolers in our homes and have a central location to get water and return our old bottles.   We have to use bottled water for drinking and some cooking.   It is near our residents so that is a blessing.   The water filtration system is up the hill at the gate of the mission.  To get the bottles from one location to the next requires just what a 13year old boy would LOVE to use!   AND oh Chester likes this job too cause he gets a free ride!





Last week, an unexpected opportunity came up to "help" that we could not resist!   Ice Cream taste testing!!!!   My Dear and work partner had some samples of ice cream to taste and needed opinions to know if they should sell it in the restaurant.  We had three very willing volunteers. 
 
 
 
Dolly giving it some real thought.   I think the chocolate chip was her favorite flavor.


Miss B. liked vanilla the best.  I guess it went with her bright yellow shirt.   If you trust a girl with one pigtail, you might like it too!


How did the ice cream rank?   Well,  no one LOVED any of them and the yellow vanilla was a little scary to even look at.   But it was fun to try!  It is not everyday a person gets to be an ice cream tester!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What Chikungunya Will Teach Ya (take it from me and try to skip the lesson on your own!)



Last week, I struggled through the virus Chikungunya.   It is carried by mosquitoes and it hit HARD!

This, I know about me, when one aspect of me is down, the rest of me suffers.   Physically, I felt horrible and even rest would not cease that feeling because insomnia is part of it.   I could easily write of all of my misery, but I will spare you those details and just put them in my tear stained journal.   Let's just say, the last time I felt that bad someone handed me a baby all bundled up and told me congratulations.............where is my congratulations gift???

During this time, I realized how much I missed the old.   I missed the hardwood under my feet, my dishwasher (okay, I miss that everyday!), the yard, neighbors, phone calls, our van, dance classes, church activities, and our ability to go places.   I missed familiar, I have the same bed but it is in the wrong room.  I can lay on the sofa but the antiques from the Boaz/ Blake families are not here for me to look at.   There would be no sending someone to Wal-Mart or no Blizzards from Dairy Queen for dinner (yes Blizzard for dinner for me, I am sick ya'll.)   I could not pick up the phone and call my mom and dad for advice or send My Dear to pick up pizza or wheel through Wendy's to feed the troops.  When I am down, I am down...for the count and feeling bad begins to feel worse.   In fact, 2 people I love asked to Skype with me (and they have seen me ugly before) but I refused both knowing that I did not feel well and to see their faces from the states would be just the signal to start the water works.  

One night, I was so tried and went to bed but could not fall asleep.   I finally just lost it.  Not only was I exhausted but I had taken a nice dose of Benadryl to help with the rash and to help me sleep.   So I was medically tired too.   I was ready to put myself on an airplane to a Florida hospital and pay them to just knock me out and let me sleep in a room undisturbed. 

After a good cry and the realization that there was nothing I could do to rid myself of the itch of the rash and that I could not make myself sleep, I had to make a choice.

My sweet friend Carolyn loaded me with music for this journey on her old cellphone.   I laid in bed in the early hours of the morning and allowed the Lord to minister to my heart with the lyrics of the songs.   I could feel myself relaxing and in the relaxing feel myself rest.   Five hours later, I finally feel asleep.  I had two nights like this but the tears did stop.   I can not control my situation or circumstances but I can control my response.

No, my bed is not located in the home that our kiddos will hold dear to their hearts nestled in the woods of the city.   It is located on a mountain with breath taking views.   My floors are concrete but have dolls, Barbie, cardboard boxes created to be doll beds and computers covering them.   My sofa, worn with years, holds the same bodies everyday at school time and sometimes in the evenings it holds those of new friends who are also striving to serve the Lord with their lives.   So, things are different....very different!   Sometimes it is hard and sometimes it isn't.   I still miss the familiar and the comfort that comes from familiar.  So as I am in transition, with life, our family, and my ministry, I will sit in the presence of The Lord and allow Him to heal me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and allow Him to prepare me for what happens next, cause He knows all about that too.