The past couple of days have been very busy. We are preparing for Reg’s brother to come from Philadelphia. He is bringing his family and a missionary team with him. To get ready for his arrival, we have been cleaning the guest house and the main house, and also, painting. We have brought up tables to accommodate 10 extra people per meal and are still doing the other work as well.
When the team gets here, we will be preparing to run a medical clinic here in Carrefour, and then we will travel back to Cavaillon to host a medical clinic for the community there. Johanne And I prepared bags of school supplies for every student that attended the vacation Bible school classes. There are about 130 students there in all and each one will receive a stack of notebooks, a box of pens, pencils, and crayons, a sharpener, a ruler and an eraser. I believe that is to last them through the school year. Although it was a lot of work and several trips to the store to get enough supplies for every bag, it is well worth it. The church here should be very proud of the funds that they raised to support these children.
In Cavaillon, we will also host a graduation this weekend for the students and teachers that have worked so hard for the past month.
Mr. Celestin, Reg’s brother, has also shipped nine LARGE barrel containers of supplies that arrived last night. The containers hold food, supplies and clothes for the children, etc. The fun part will be going through and organizing everything that was sent.
I have been watching Total build chairs from scratch. He welded the iron so Chelo and Roderick could paint them a Russ color. Then he cut equal pieces of flat wood from long, wooden planks. He buffered each piece to round the corners and indent a small border, and now he is screwing the wooden boards into the iron structures. If that isn’t a lot of work alone, he told me today that all of these chairs are for the children up the mountains at Bouvier school, so about 20 people will carry and deliver them there. I may get to go back to Bouvier earlier than I expected. I’m nervous, but anxious and excited all at the same time. Bouvier changed my life last year.
It has been feeling much cooler. I think my body is adjusting to the heat. Even though I am still sweating a lot, I do not physically feel as hot. I’m just trying to drink several bottles of water a day. It is very hard to stay hydrated here. The mosquitoes are my big issues, so I’m constantly spraying bug repellent. It burns my skin, which I don’t think is a good thing, but it keeps me safe so I guess that’s a win.
Sad to day, but I’m getting tired of rice and beans already. I love it. The meals are all well prepared and they taste good, but they are so thick and heavy that I cannot eat much at one time, which is a good thing, except when I eventually do get hungry. There is no huge refrigerator here where we store leftovers. There is no microwave to warm up what we want, when we want it, and I have done very well at sticking to the meal schedule. At the super market, I did buy some sandwich meat and mayonnaise to make sandwiches for supper. That was a relief. Last night, we had pizza for dinner. It wasn’t very good, but it wasn’t rice. Don’t get me wrong, the rice is amazing. It’s made with coconut and everything is made fresh for every meal, but I have never had this much rice in my life. The sauce that goes with the rice every day is great too! I truly do love Haitian food, but I’m not used to it. Also, there is NO pizza like real New York pizza, so I’m completely biased. I think I’m just missing meat. Rice for me is usually a side item. It is not the main meal. Here, a small piece of meat or sauce with meat in it is used to adorn the rice. Meat is a side thought, or a little extra protein. More than anything, I want a nice piece of steak and a bowl of broccoli. Sometimes, we have salad, but most times, the onions and peppers in the sauce are the vegetables for the meal. I miss large helpings of my favorite vegetables. I just need some greenery in my life. It’s the things I didn’t expect to miss that I miss most about home. I’m not too surprised though, because I’ve always loved veggies and I’ve always tried to balance how much starch I had per meal. Everything in Haiti is starchy and full of fiber. I’m trying to get used to that. It’s going to take some time, but as long as I control other bad eating habits, maybe this can work in my favor.
UPDATE: The team got here safely and everybody speaks English and Creole. I like that! I’m just going to bed. This mission adventure may be the death of me lol. A dresser dropped on my foot as Betty and I were moving it, so of course, it’s bruised and swollen and it hurts to walk, but that didn’t stop me. We worked all night, preparing and re-preparing bags and gifts and giveaways. It seemed like nothing was getting accomplished, but at this point, we are almost finished. People trickled out all night to go to bed and as tired as I am, I wanted to, but I would not leave Johanne. She is such a hard working woman. I’m afraid she doesn’t know just when to quit. Anyways, I’m in physical pain. My body is aching and I just want to go to sleep, so what do I do after we finish? I go to hop in the shower, and what do I see? A LARGE ROACH! So I get bug spray and I’m trying to chase it out the window. Homie just looks at me and freezes as if he’s really not afraid of me. THEN, he calls his little homie out too. I almost lost it, but Betty came to the rescue. People are so unphased and unbothered by roaches that I almost feel like they’re supposed to be here and I’m the one that’s not welcomed in this home lol. Nonetheless, my desire to shower was over. Yikes! I’m going to get some rest and wake up with a renewed spirit, ready to change lives in a couple of hours.