After 5 months......I think we are settled!
We are no longer in survival mode with weekly tears of missing our church, our house, our neighborhood, our friends, our familiar.....well.... for the most part.
We pull a chair up to the sink for Miss B. to fulfill her dish-duty-day. The water and soap were ready but Miss B. was sitting in the chair with big tears. I talked with her about why she was crying. She said, "I want to go home." As I hugged her, I asked why and she said through her tears, "I want a dishwasher." I giggled through my hug and realized......We have come a long way!
We have missed "home" but God is certainly remaking home for us. I am thankful for the precious memories and the joy the kids have when they think of the brick home on the dead end street that we lived in...really, it was PERFECT for us just like it is perfect for the sweet family that is there now.
I knew the girls were a bit more settled when Miss B. wrote her BFF Eliza a note and said, "It is a lot, a lot, a lot better." (commas added.) AND Dolly was able to Facetime with Isa (who now lives in the "home" of the kiddos memories). She gave Dolly a tour of the house. Dolly was actually very interested and pleased to have a tour!! Before she had trouble thinking about someone else calling "her house," home.
Billy keeps contact with some of his friends with Skype and Facetime. He still has moments but for the most part...I think we are finally all here!
My Dear is filling in a new position for a couple that went on furlow. Amazingly, they went in for check-ups with their health care providers when they got to the states and learned that "Miser Wojer" needed open heart surgery! We are praising God for the way he took care of our friends. My Dear will serve in this position until Roger, "Miser Wojer" as it is spoken in Creole, is able to return to work. Which means he is BUSY! AND it is a good busy! He is enjoying what he is doing, getting to know many Haitian men and working on communicating in Creole with them. He is learning more about the mission and the culture of the Haitians.
Part of the adventures of My Dear's "filling in position" is the zoo. A crocodile arrived and My Dear asked for a man to go to market and get some chicken. He came back with 4 live chickens. My Dear giggled a bit as he slowly put words together to explain he wanted DEAD chickens. There was laughter and then the meeting of the minds as the employees and My Dear put a plan together to feed the croc....the croc that wouldn't eat a dead bird. Nor would he eat a live bird but enjoyed sharing his cage with him I guess. My Dear tied the bird to a pole and waved it in front of the croc but it only nibbled. Sadly. 2 dead birds and a dead croc who did not adapt to it's new home.
One Sunday afternoon, a visitor on the mission sent Dolly home to let My Dear know that the croc was not in the cage...for real! It had scooted out into a swampy area much more appropriate for a croc. A sweet Haitian man Johnny was on the scene and helped My Dear make sure it was secure in that area but a crowd certainly had gathered.
Speaking of culture! This happened this past week. Our B. lost her first tooth!
Our sweet Haitian friend was visiting with us so I shared with him what children in the United States do when they lose a tooth. He then began to giggle and said, "You are not going to believe what Haitian children do." The children take their tooth and through it over the roof and call for the rats (after living here, I understand why it is rats!) The rats are supposed to collect the teeth and bring the children back new ones. I asked Miss B. if she wanted to do that and well, you can imagine the crinkle in her nose when she said, "No." Her tooth is laying on my desk in a little bag cause like her brother and sister did, she wants to keep it.
With My Dear filling in, the girls and I have been helping sort through the produce when it comes in from market and deliver it to those who have ordered it. We are learning food words in Creole. We are a bit pampered, but here is how it works. The mission employees go to the market for us. Haitians can get a fairer price in negotiations. This allows us to stay on the mission to carry out our responsibilities here. Dolly enjoys fresh fruit so she is helpful in making our "wish list" for the market. Sometimes you get all of your stuff and sometimes you get some of it. It depends on what is available. Dolly had to look up a few words to make sure she was picking the produce that she wanted. Unfortunately, there are no apples, grapes or strawberries but there are pineapples! We can sometimes get bananas off the trees in the mission but they are different than the bananas we are used to. Mangoes and avocadoes are usually present as well. I must say I appreciate the fresh produce that is available to us long after the gardens in the states are finished producing. Tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and carrots are our favorite.
I met Linda at a Bible Study and she offered to give us a ride to a pool party last week. The kids had a nice time and had not been in a pool all summer, so they were excited. They met more children there and got to know some a bit better. It was good! Children who live in a culture that is not either of their parent's culture are called Third Culture Kids. This was a fun day with other TCK as our faith and our residence already have us connected. We joined Linda and her family again this weekend for a birthday celebration. We lost track of time in our visit and Miss B. said being at their house was like a vacation!
Last of the ramblings is that we Trick or Treated on the mission. We did not do it much in the states until one day I saw our elderly neighbor sitting and waiting at her door. There were no children coming. I told the kids to grab something from their dress up clothes and go to her house. They loved it! We never put much thought into costumes and just let the kids make something out of what we had at the house. The following year, we made baked goods and the kids delivered those to our neighbors to give them a treat as well. I saw how God can use ANYTHING for His glory.
It was Baby C's first Halloween so his mama dressed his as the Big Bad Wolf which inspired Miss B's costume! Baby C's grandmother made Miss B. a way cool cloak that she wore all day so that our Little Red could hang out with the Big Bad Wolf!!!! The precious folks here on the mission were ready and armed for trick-or-treaters. It was so sweet. I am not sure if the kids or the adults liked it best!
Billy was not quite sure how he fit into the festivities so he hung out with Mr. Colton who Dolly said was dressed up to look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Dolly was dressed as Chester the dog and Chester the dog was dressed as Dolly....just long enough and then he peed on his skirt....it happens!
Feeling more settled and more at home in the mountains as we continue to learn more of the culture, language, and how the Lord desires for us to serve Him. He is faithful!