Monday, January 5, 2009

Haiti Day 4

Jouer 4
Le 5 Janvier, 2009

I slept like a rock last night, but woke up to the Haitian prayer service that started at 4 a.m. and their speakers are anything but quiet. We had our daily devotions at 6 a.m., which felt so early. I was excited because the devotions surrounded one of my favorite verses. The verse was the one where God asks, “Who will go?” and the reply is, “I will go, send me.” I absolutely love that verse and happily devote my life to what it stands for. After devotions, or rather as a part of them, we each stated a talent God had given us to help for this trip. Mine was that he’d been letting me learn French in school so I could communicate here.
We finished devotions around 6:30 a.m. and immediately set to work. I was on the roof with Annie, Jim, Bill, and Jerry. We started by unscrewing the old roof boards, which took a while. We were grateful for the clouds that shaded the sun. We took a break for breakfast at around 8 a.m. It was the usual bread and butter, heavenly pineapple, and oatmeal, but, in addition, we got the most delicious blueberry pancakes I have ever eaten. I was oh so every happy! (We had good syrup too)
After breakfast it was back on the roof, except there were no clouds to keep the intense sun off our backs this time. Even at 9 a.m. it was hot. By noon, or two, it was ridiculous. We would remove a row of the wooden shingles, then roll out this insulation foil stuff and tape some of it down. We would then put two long metal bars across them (t was actually several across) which we would then screw into the roof’s already existing metal frame. (the wood was just temporary from previous trips) The problem with the foil was, although great for keeping the inside cool, it just intensified the sun’s already ridiculous amount of heat.
After we finished a row, we’d take one of the wood boards and reattach it to the metal bars so we would have a bridge from the still attached boards to the other side of the roof where the ladder was. We then moved down and did the next row, tossing all but one board in each row off the edge so we could make a ‘bridge to Tarabithia.’ By the time the whole side of the roof was foiled and clamped it was hot. We took a lot of water breaks, but it was ridiculous no matter what we did.
Around 5 p.m. the clouds returned and we put down large steel sheets over the foil and screwed them in to finish. As they were doing so, Adam went to get some supplies and met an older man who had written a letter which he asked Adam to pass around. The letter explained in English that he was a teacher, has been sick for twelve years with Shingles and wants money to pay for medical help. I wasn’t going to give him money, (we were advised not to) but I told him about Kyle in Hinche and the man told me to ask my cousin what he could do for him and gave me his friend’s phone number and his own e-mail so he could be contacted by either me or Kyle. (I refused to give out any personal information for both me and Kyle other than that Kyle was in Hinche.)
I returned to the roof as they attached the last sheet and were about to start on the other side. We felt a raindrop, then another. We cleared everything off as quickly as we possibly could. Just as we finished, it started to down pour.
I was running my sunglasses to the tent when three small boys called me over. We had seen these three boys around a lot and one was notorious for always being hungry. I got into a French conversation with one, found out he was twelve was from town, etc. He was very polite. He asked if I could give him a cat. I thought that was rather funny as it was a different request from what most kids ask for. I told them they should go home or they would get sick, but they stood with me using me as their rain shield against the wall of the orphanage. I didn’t mind and promised them a chicklet (gum) tomorrow simply because they had been so nice and adorable. I felt bad when I had to leave them to hide from the rain in the orphanage.
We sat downstairs for a while and the group from Texas came back and told us about their day giving out love bags. It was warm in the basement and we stayed dry so that was good.
Dinner, as usual, was around 7:30 p.m. and our porch stayed dry, so we still ate there. It was the same rice and beans and fish as other days, but it was good. (I didn’t have the fish, of course, but I heard it was good) We were all tired and still wet after dinner, so I hopped in the shower, cleaned, shaved (had yet to shave all trip) and changed into clean clothes. It felt great. We all turned in early to a perfect temperature night, thanking God for granting the Haitian people the much needed gift of rain. Day four, and I am still absolutely in love with this place.