Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Moto, a Hot Box, a Bus, and 80 people

What a night! Went into Port-de-Paix last night and spent the night at a friends house. Snuggled up with Ryna in a twin bed and the room had to be the temperature of 90 degrees. It was brutal, woke up at one and actively had to focus on not being too hot. Woke up at 145 and made the walk to the bus to come back to Port-au-Prince. It is one adventure after the next. This time around we were traveling in the night. brutal, hahah. This time around we had nine people across the seat. This is a normal school bus. Usually you put three to a seat, maybe. Nope, not on the Haitian bus. 9 across, feel asleep on a kid and got woken up by another Haitian. Priceless, the blanc falling asleep on a kid. We had to have about 80 people on the bus. Brutal!

Woke up again to Back Street Boys playing at 4 in the morning. If the road didn't give us a headache, it was the Haitian music, with a little mix of Celion Dion cranking through the speakers that were directly above our heads. hahah. It is one of those stories that I will tell my grandchildren...."When your grandmother was 28..." We made it back safely and getting dolled up to go to a Haitian wedding. The man that we work with in Cite Soleil is getting married today. A day to rejoice. Leah is putting on a dress for the very first time in Haiti.

Tomorrow we head out to visit a home that is outside of Port-au-Prince. We hope to visit, hear their story, learn from them, meet their children, and see where God leads us. Then back into Cite Soleil next week to enjoy time with the community, vision, and spend some time with the children. Day by day...that is how we go here:) Love you all. Continue to pray for our safety, time in Cite Soleil, vision time with the leaders, and time that we will be praying about a hopeful one day home. Love you all and we could not do it without you all! More pictures when I get home, the internet is slow here.

Veronica and the North

Great to be up North and visit people and plan for the summer. Had a time to sit with some of our youth workers and it was great to hear about some of their ideas to strengthen the camp and make it more fruitful for the children and community. Most of all it was neat to see that leadership in them. Had some time with the Pastors and was able to think about hopeful steps for the camp and community. Encouraging and fruitful. The trip has been neat in that we have been able to vision more with the relationships that we have already formed. We are working at creating some youth workshops for the summer. We were talking with the workers about gifts we could teach the children. Gifts that are already in the community. We were able to pinpoint a couple of them and get some research on them in hopes to implement them this summer.

Funny moments of the time in the North:
Ryna saved a goat. It was laying in the middle of the road. We walked house to house trying to figure out who the goat belonged to. It was hilarious to hear each house call to the next house by saying, "The blancs are trying to bring you a goat." We finally found a home for it.

Neatest moments of the trip up North:
Veronica was this little girl in the hospital. I think she was 8. When we first arrived I couldn't believe her back. She had been diagnosed with TB. The doctor didn't know how long she had it before she came to the hospital. They think it had been for awhile since her spine was the way it was. I hate making this comparison, but she walked and ran like the cartoon character, Hunchback of Notre Dame. But I will tell you something, the JOY and HOPE that little girl radiated was so humbling. I have never seen such a happy child. So happy, she would see us and come running down the hall. One day she sang for me and I played it back to her and I could not believe the way her face beamed. Her joy was beautiful. It was humbling as I think about the things I worry about in my day to day living and her is a 8 year old girl smiling away and her back will never be the same, but she is a fighter, she will make it and make it with a smile. Wish you could hear her sing, my word....made my heart smile.

Another moment where I saw God. This morning we were waiting for the bus, at 2 a.m. (that is another story) but as we were waiting 6 boys came out from behind the buses. They looked about 8-11 and I had to assume they were boys living on the streets. How they interacted and just had this God feeling that he was bringing me face to face with the future vision of Making Roots. Just watched them, observed them, their sassy hearts, their smiles, their rough around the edges spirits. Had this moment of, "Lord this is where I want to be, in the streets with these kids. I want to learn from them, understand them, know their needs, share joy and Christ with them, love them, teach them." Neat moment at 2 a.m. under the Haitian sky. This week we are going to be digging deeper about the hopeful vision of a home for boys living on the streets. Neat to learn, vision, and watch what the Lord reveals.

First Adventure...."The White People Have Yet to Pee"

Where to start? We had about 5 days off from Cite Soleil so we decided to head North to see friends in Passe Cataboise and do some planning for the summer. We heard the bus was 250.00 and we decided to look into the choice of the bus. When I say bus, I mean a school bus. No Grey Hound...a flashy school bus with the words "God is Everything" across the front. We were packed onto the bus, 6 across. We were told not to drink anything because the bus does not stop. We are ready to go, but the bus wasn't. We sat there for two hours. First it was the horn of the bus and then we had a flat tire....what does everyone do when we have a flat tire? They got off the bus and got water. Not the blancs:) We stayed on the bus and refused to drink because we didn't have to pee an hour down the road. The first half the road was paved and swift, the second half was a rollercoaster. Once we hit the rocky, dirt road it was an adventure. There was one mountain we were climbing, felt like being on a rollercoaster. A slow, steady climb to the tip of a big drop. Our bus hit the top of the crest and then it was all down hill. Ahead we saw a bridge and the bus didn't look to aligned with the bridge. All you can think is, "Have a little faith." We made it. To top the trip off, the last hour the women in the back were wailing because they had to pee. The bus driver finally stopped. After everyone loaded back on we heard some guy talking about the "blancs." He was saying, "The Haitians keep peeing and the blancs haven't gone once." To this Ryna responded, "Because we didn't drink anything." OOO, we laughed. Love that they observe us so well...hahaha. We made it safe and sound up North. This picture doesn't do it justice, but this is a photo of the front of the bus.