I made it safely back to Haiti on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, after a long day in Miami (flight cancellations and layovers are killer). Today is currently day four and last night, I got the best sleep since I've been here. Let me tell you, sis is tired! The adjustment period comes with a lot of ups and downs. This is when I must lose my Americanisms to be satisfied in a country that doesn't seem like it has much to offer. I'm working on it and laughing at myself along the way. I know very well just how beautiful Haiti is and how much the country has done to positively change my life. I know that I am welcome here no matter how long I am away, but the adjustment period is a critical time for me.
I didn't take a few days to relax. In fact, I didn't even unpack my bags. Before I get could get to dinner Tuesday night, my pastor dad was asking for the packages that I brought him from the states, and afterwards, I left all my bags open, in the middle of my floor (crazy idea).
I spent the next day walking around, running errands and helping to start renovations at the new church that we will be using for all of our programming and businesses. It is such a blessing to see how far Light for Living and Frontier Projects comes every year and to be a proud member of these organizations, but the amount of unseen work that goes into every project is unimaginable. So here we go...
1. Bro, What in the Sun?
2. Really, What Power?
Electricity is hit or miss. I knew that. What I don't remember is ever spending nights with the power off. There was always some kind of fix to have power running through the night. I sweaty cried myself to sleep one night after I walked around in the hallway half dressed trying to consider my options. How was I going to cool myself off with no fan without pouring my bucket of water into my bed? That would only have worked for a little while anyways because the water would evaporate too quick!
3. So I have a pet mouse...
Usually, I worry about critters like roaches, ants, killer mosquitoes that eat me alive and apparently, grasshoppers, as I fought a winning battle with one the other night. I was determined last year to leave my belongings here so that I wouldn't have to bring so much when I returned. I locked my bags in my closet and brought the key to America. When I arrived, however, the closet door was open and there were scraps of bags and black things all over the place. I was confused at first, and then I noticed how one of my Victoria Secret bags had teeth marks all through it. There was clearly a mouse trying to get inside the bags (and go awfffff sis; the mouse could only chew through the first layer of bag and never reached the contents, so go ahead and spend your little $85 for that free bag)!
4. Water: Iiiiiii Neeeedd ItttttttTt
Being that it's hot, I'm sweating, and don't always have access to the things I want, I'm trying my hardest to stay hydrated. I would love cold water, but water is water when you're dehydrated. I've gone through a 12 pack of water in less than 24 hours and I haven't gotten any money yet or turned on my Haiti phone, so I'm really stuck in a way. I say stuck because it means I have to wait or rely on other people to get the things I need. In Haiti, people are always selling these bags of cold water for the low low. They're great, but as soon as they aren't perfectly cold anymore, you can taste the tough plastic taste. I mean, you're literally drinking water out of a plastic bag, and I don't think I'm supposed to, but it is what it is. I'm thirsty!
5. Yes, ME, I'm Fat
Finally, I can't get through the day without somebody telling me how big I am. I'm huge, fat, large, or my personal favorite, "so big," *with the puffer fish face* (in case I didn't understand the one phrase EVERYBODY can say in English). It's actually really annoying and if my self esteem was low, I would have killed myself because of bullying. I feel like I spend enough time judging my imperfections, but in my head, or to Titziana, in the comfort of our home. Here, I don't have a chance. Every Haitian wants me to know that I am a huge person. It takes everything in me not to be petty or disrespectful back. My comeback game is so strong and I'm just going to leave it at that. PERIODT!
So here I am, adjusting. Even though my complaints seem numerous, I'm blessed. Haiti is such an amazing place that tests my heart and strengthens my soul each and every time I am here. I become a little stronger and a little better each day. I wouldn't change the struggles on my journey because they have made me who I am, but every day isn't easy. Every day, however, is worth it.