I have no idea how sleeping late ended up being 6:30 a.m.?
Since we moved to Haiti I have been waking up earlier and earlier. I now have a silent alarm clock that goes off at about 5:30 a.m. I obey it by getting up with out thinking twice about the fact that if I lived in the States and got up this early I would freak and already be planning when I could take my nap. Everything starts early here and that means I go to bed early. When we had babies at our house I got up early, but I also took a nap. I am not sure what happened to taking a nap? Naps seem like gold here. Nap + Ice = Gold! I hate to say it, but the other night as I was laying in bed I was thinking I don't really have time to go to bed. Now that is crazy! I love getting up this early. It keeps me grounded and gives me some time to sort things out in my head and pray. The thing that I am having a problem with is the fact that when we lived near The Villages in Florida, all the old people went to bed at 8:30 just like I do now. That isn't fitting well in my head - I am getting old! I just had my birthday and I don't feel old, but I must be acting old with my new sleep pattern. Maybe I can say it is the heat and the full days I have here. Maybe it is just what you do when you don't have all the other distractions. When I get out and walk by 6:00 a.m. the streets are full of people who are busy with the day. For what ever reason, my alarm is going off this early I have to admit - I love morning!
Living The Life That God Has For Us....
God's Plumbline Ministries is called to repair devastation in the lives of God's people allowing restoration both physically and spiritually. Providing creative solutions for employment, education and life skills allowing God to repair and restore hope. Empowering each community to establish a secure foundation both inside and out, while keeping in tact God given talents and uniqueness, not focusing on man's ways but God's ways. Developing working relationships within social and economic circles, working hand in hand with community leaders to bring the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.
Monday, June 23, 2008
That big thing hurdling toward you, in some wacked out game of chicken, is called a cameo. That little truck looking thing with eighty people on it is called a tap-tap. The boys in the road, the one that this picture is of, they are called restivecs. Whats that? A child slave. Oh me! I am called blanc or give me a dollar. I hear it so many times a day that I am considering changing my name to Blanc Givemea Dollar. All of the things mentioned have a name that suits them but, what do you call a country that has a eighty percent unemployment rate, a illiteracy rate that is just as high or higher and has so much trash that it flows in the street like water and it is one of the most beautiful place that you have ever seen...I guess that you would call it Haiti.
No I am not sure of all of Haiti's history but, I know that throughout its entire existence there have been revolts, dictators, coups, dictators, coups, dicta....you get the point. There have also been many promises made by by good men that have changed and the promises of others that say things will change and they will get better, they never did, as you can see. So the money that is promised by the government for this road here and that city there never made it to this road here and that city there. The people are really the ones that suffer when the politicians start to line their pants with money instead of fabric, because they can, and they put the money for this road here and that city there in those money lined pants. Why am I here?I guess it is because there is a new generation coming that can change all of this. Those restivec boys up there? Yes they are apart of it. I believe that if they are given a chance to start over and they are no longer forced to work in the streets of Delmas for money that they will only see twice, once when it is handed to them and twice when they take it out of their pocket to give it to the person that is forcing them to do this, no they don't do it just to bug you. Anyway, yes they are the ones that can change the corruption and the political system because they live it, someone bigger and more powerful taking the money that you earn. The children are the ones that will change Haiti. They are why I am here.
Friday, June 20, 2008
It has been a busy few days around here. For dinner we did the tourist thing and went with some of the team that are here for nanny training to Mac Epi - Haiti's version of McDonald's. Really, you're thinking. Umm,No! Not even close, but our kids enjoy it.
As everyone finished up with their ice cream and we started to leave Georgia said to me, "How long does it take for you to stop noticing that everyone is staring at you?" Wow! I had made some progress because I didn't realize that I didn't it notice anymore. I was a little taken back for a second and couldn't think of an answer.
When we first moved here I talked to Beth about it and she said that culturally it is acceptable and people don't think twice about it. I, however, felt like a bug under a microscope for a long time. In the beginning coming to a stop while driving could be almost painful while everyone in the tap-tap sat there with mouths open staring at us, frozen in that moment. Or if we had to stop on Delma you would have several children with their faces pressed on your window staring at you begging for money or food. I will never be good with the kids on the street, but now walking down the street, driving or being in the grocery store with everyone talking about you is just part of life here. Sometimes in the ackwardness of it all you often find yourself laughing wondering what they find so interesting. I guess it is no different from me taking three hundred pictures in one day.
So, how long? I guess six or seven months because I don't notice it anymore.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It's time for me to leave and I don't want to. I miss my family back home, but this place gets inside you. Leaving is very diffucult.
So, things I love about Haiti :
- Waking up with the sun (way before 6:00 a.m.) to barking dogs.
- The music of the water trucks playing the "Titanic" melody through the streets.
- The way children and women "light-up" when you smile at them.
(Like you threw on a switch and all the joy and life inside them is illuminated.)
- Holding beautiful, beautiful babies. So many sweet beautiful babies!!
- Sheila's house and the women's center here. It is a peaceful, happy place. Hope and life abound there.
- The wonderfully odd and ecclectic group of white people I have met here.
(I can't say missionaries - that just doesn't seem to fit. I am not sure what to call them, so I will just say "white people". Dan and Sheila have found this amazing group of friends that have a "true community" with one another. They are fun, funny and bless me constantly with their warmth and acceptance.)
- The smell of cooking and baking bread that fills the streets at times covering other smells.
- Riding in the back of Dan's pickup truck.
(The best way to see Haiti, so I was told and I was never disappointed. Terrified of Dan's driving, Yes! Completely grey with dust and dirt after two hours, Yes! But, was always amazed by all I saw and it was crazy with all the white people in that joined me back there. So, the joke here is - "How many Haitians can you fit in a "tap-tap"? Always one more". So, we obiously tried to make that happen in the back of Dan's truck. At one time we had thirteen people in the back and seven in the cab. What a hoot!
- Going to market with John
- Going to church here!
- Walking through a "gated community" neighborhood near Ted and Lisa's (like a shanty town). This was up close and personal. The grace and charm we received by everyone blessed me beyond words. Oh, and the children followed us everywhere.
- Having every expectation blow up in my face.
This place has been amazing and wonderful to visit. It is done things deep inside me I probably won't understand and process for a long time. Did I get answers? No, just more questions. But I can pray better now for this place and my friends and I can hope for Haiti now. I am already planning my next trip.
Important Note: Photo by Madisen Grace Lynch
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We got back to Haiti last week. It is good to be back home. I wasn't sure what I would think about leaving and coming back since I haven't left since November. But, again, I am really happy to be back. We are busy with a nanny training seminar and many visitors.
My friend Hillary is finally here in Haiti after her drama in Miami and me having to leave her there over night. She is now seeing Haiti the real way - in the back of the truck with all our other guests. (She is the one in the middle.) Many of our trips have to do with long wild rides in the back of our truck. When we finally stopped long enough for her to look in the mirror she said - you didn't tell me I was grey. She wasn't talking about the roots of her hair either, it was the ever present layer of dust.
I keep asking her if she would like to write a blog but maybe she isn't sure what she thinks. She has heard me talk about Haiti for eight years and now it is her own experience. It must be OK because she says she is coming back in October to do our "Walk For Haiti" in the mountains to Jacmel.
I will keep you posted with details about the walk.......it will be an adventure.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom has made me a Waldorf Astoria Cake for my birthday. This year would be no different. I have declared, "I will eat cake for the next three days". In the South, you would call this cake Red Velvet cake - don't be fooled, they are NOT the same. I don't like Haitian cake, it reminds me of cornbread with marshmellow frosting.
I have never made one of these cakes and I can say right now, I will never make one of these cakes. I am not the "cream and gradually mix until smooth" kind of baker. I like the one bowl, dump and bake kind of cakes, bars and cookies. This year Maddie got in on the baking action with my mom since she wants to be a chef and move to Paris when she gets bigger. As my mom was getting the batter into the pans she asked if I thought the kids would want to lick the beaters or would it be a problem since we have three kids and only two beaters. I considered not asking them and licking them myself but I had already had two spoonfuls of batter.
I am not clear on what happened next. I asked if they wanted the beaters and the next thing I know Maddie and Parker are attacking Alyssa on the air mattress in the middle of the living room. I hear Alyssa saying, Mom, why did you say that?
Here is what happened. I asked if they wanted the beaters and they heard me say... beat her! OK - I am pretty sure this was the plan since early this morning when I broke up the first hog pile of the day. They just needed an excuse to attack Alyssa again since I have been telling them to stop jumping on the air mattress all week because they will pop them. This has been a favorite past time since they have been little. Nothing has changed since Alyssa went away to school and we moved to Haiti. It has become normal that we have a hog pile in the middle of the living room several times a day every time they get together. It doesn't really matter that I have told them to stop, they are magnets and it is part of being together and watching t.v. together.
Life is Good!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Maybe Joe Cocker says it best in his song "With A Little Help From My Friends" - I am feeling alright! It has been good for all of us to be back and connect with some of our buddies! Some things just can't be done with out a little help from our friends - ain't it the truth!
Monday, June 2, 2008
Wow! Talk about culture shock! I haven't been back to the States since Thanksgiving! Being back in Atlanta is good and strange all at the same time. It is wonderful to be with my friends and family. I still think I drive a four wheel drive stick shift and can't seem to find the courage to stick my tooth brush under the tap to rinse it off. A hot shower - whoa! I couldn't seem to make choices in Wal-mart so I put half of what I went for back because I just couldn't seem to handle the fact I had the choice of five different Igloo's to choose from. I needed to think about if for awhile. They now have Cool Whip in a can and it tastes like regular Cool Whip - how very American. I am happy to report I have already had real Mexican food and it was awesome! I have adjusted very well to the fact that there are no barking dogs surrounding my parents house so sleeping is nice. My kids have four open boxes of their favorite cereals and are eating them at various times of the day just because they can. Strawberries are in season! Indiana Jones has been seen - we will work on the Panda, Prince and Iron Man.
Good news! We have sold seventeen purses and have two more speaking appointments - I hope we sell them all!
Good news! We have sold seventeen purses and have two more speaking appointments - I hope we sell them all!