Sunday, January 4, 2009

Haiti Day 3

Jouer 3
Le 4 Janiver, 2009

We had an adventure last night; I went to the bathroom and saw something huge hop across the floor. I walked back to where the men were talking and asked, “would one of you mind getting rid of the giant toad in the bathroom?” They all got up to see it. Jerry’s comment was, “nothing should get that big in Haiti!” The thing was the size of a softball! They pushed the heavy lump out o the bathroom and left; crisis averted.
Today started out hot. We woke up at 8 a.m. and could just feel the humidity. We got dressed in our ‘Sunday best’ and wandered around for a bit. I took some cute pictures of the orphan kids getting ready for church. American contemporary Christian music could be heard blaring from the building construct. I couldn’t help but sing along.
While Annie and I were sitting and taking pictures, one little girl came up to me and grabbed my hand, pulling me inside the kitchen. She was so ridiculously beyond adorable. She just held on to me and showed me to all her friends. Soon I had about ten little Haitian girls climbing all over me.
We left when it was about time for breakfast and joined the group for an outdoor meal of oatmeal, the most amazing pineapple ever, and some bread with butter.
Church began after breakfast so we went back into the orphanage and took our seat. As more people joined it became more and more exhausting. I had one little girl sit on my lap and she just fell asleep leaning against me and Adam. It was a long service, but it was really cool to see the Haitians praising and worshipping God with all their hearts.
After church Jerry swung a bunch of kids around while I yelled at them to wait and stand back so they didn’t get kicked. We then changed our clothes, hopped on the bus, and prepared to go see a dam in a nearby town. Problem was, the bus needed gas. We got back off the bus and hung out in the orphanage.
Our best translator, Ronny, found out I speak French and it became one question after another. It felt like a test, but it kept getting easier and easier. Finally, we decided to just fill the bus up in Mirebalais and continued on, after doing so, to the dam.
The road was typical Haitian with all the bumps and potholes. It really hurt my neck trying to brace myself throughout the ride. We arrived at our destination (Adam drove the bus and did quite well too!) We were amazed. We’d expected something similar to a beaver dam, but this dam was huge and cement and put even American dams to shame! With the help of our interpreters, one of the locals explained how the government forced an entire village to move from the valley the mountains then flooded the valley using the dam. Now there is an entire village underwater. It’d be cool to visit such a place via scuba diving!
We drove back to the orphanage after exploring for an hour and I had Marcelo and Emmanuel playing language games with me the entire bus ride home. Marcelo needed to work on his English and I need to work on my French and Emmanuel was efficient at both. So first Marcelo would ask me something in French and, if I could not understand or could not hear because of the bus noise, Emmanuel would repeat it for me in English. I could then reply to the question in French. We then got the idea where Emmanuel said something in Kreole, (usually some sort of a question for me) Marcelo would translate in English, and I’d reply in French. Ronny just smiled as he watched it all. Eventually Emmanuel got tired and it became just me and Marcelo conversing in French. I got a headache and we stopped for the last eighth of the two hour trip
After returning, it did not take us long to decide to go back to the gated community and swim in the pool there. The water was cold, but it felt good on sore bodies (plus we all got free cokes!)
Dinner was good and we were joined by another group of eight people from Texas. They are here to pass out love bags then they are moving on to other places in Haiti to do the same thing.
After dinner, we all decided to just sit on our little bluff and have conversations that were way too complicated and thoughtful for my French and heat exhausted brain to handle. I think it’s time for bed!