Thursday, January 8, 2009

Haiti Day 7

Jouer 7
Le 8 Janvier, 2009

I woke up earlier than the rest of my tent again this morning. It was a hot day right off the bat. We did our morning devotions then I joined Jim and Andy in the basement to hook up the waste pipes. (huge 3 inch pipes) It was a slow process and I often times found myself rather bored.
I wandered outside, at one point, and was attacked by Odeal and his friends. It was lots of fun and I rather enjoyed myself. They pretended to be knights with some type of metal tripod-like thing. It was fun playing along. At one point, one girl accidently hit my elbow pretty badly. She looked so afraid and sorry as her brother checked to make sure I was okay. I did everything I could to reassure them that I was fine and gave her a hug. They then switched their game a built a castle out of rocks. It was really cute and I couldn’t help but to take a picture of it.
At around 8:30 we had breakfast and I really did not feel like being awake. Mike had invited the Haitian workers who normally eat after us to eat with us which turned out to be a mistake because they ate EVERYTHING. (and I mean everything) As much as I love breakfast, I really didn’t mind that much, but a few of the guys were pretty annoyed so they scrapped that idea. We had issues with them drinking our Culligan water too because that is expensive and they’ve already had the bacteria in the tap water their whole lives. The tap water is just as cold and just as convenient, but oh well.
After breakfast, I continued to do virtually nothing for Andy and Jim except hand them bits and run to the far tool shed to get certain sixed bits. On one of my runs I ran into one of the women from the Texas group carrying around the smallest girl from the orphanage. Let me tell you, she is the most adorable thing ever!! She is no older than two years old, extremely small, and she has just the biggest brown eyes anyone will ever see. I commented on how adorable she was and the woman shot me a desperate look. “Yeah, and we’re taking her to the hospital because she drank bleach.” All I could think was ‘Dear God, please, not her, she’s too young and too adorable.’ She’s being adopted with her brother too! Yves, (head of the orphanage) and two of the Texan ladies rushed to the hospital and I had to return to work.
I continued to do nothing until lunch came at 12:30. We had buttered bread and salad again, and then we packed up and took six new kids to the Wozo. We walked them this time, four girls and two boys, and they were extremely cute. When we got there, I was in charge and had to play translator, so I led them to the bathrooms where they could change into their suits.
They were all excited to go swimming except for one girl. We got her in eventually and, by the end, she was jumping in by herself and having a blast. Judenci was the girl I played with in the water the most. She was sweet and adorable and extremely light. I jumped in with her on my back dunked her, and had her jump in and swimming to me. At one point, she asked me if I’d be her mama while I’m here. (I’m surprised I understood) I told her I would and she just gave me the biggest hug ever. The girls and I went for a walk through the garden. We gave all the kids their own soda, which they loved, but what they loved even more was shaking it and making their drink fizz all over. It was extremely adorable.
When it came time to return I was exhausted. I sent them to the bathroom to change and waited with the group by the pool. There was a well-dressed woman laying at the pool the whole time and she called to me asking me if I spoke French. It was extremely easy to talk with her because her accent was so simple in comparison to the typical Haitian accent. She’s French Canadian so French is her first language and the pronunciation was like I learned in school. (It’s difficult with the Haitians because French is a second language for them too) I learned she was here visiting her fiancĂ©’s family and I told her about the orphanage. It was a short conversation, but it increased my confidence in my French speaking skills
The walk back was long and hot and three of the four girls decided they liked me best and wanted to walk with me. I was worried because drivers in Haiti don’t care about pedestrians, but we all made it back in one piece, though we were extremely tired.
I joined the roofing team again for the evening and we started out just setting up the rafters at a different part of the roof. I didn’t participate in that because it was just set up stuff; instead, Jerry taught me how to juggle. The various Haitian workers, neighbors, and orphans alike all seemed amused and curious as they watched me learn. I can only imagine how it looks to anyone who doesn’t know what juggling is.
We got set up by dusk and I climbed the ladder to the thin board platform. We got one channel screwed in without me hyperventilating, but that wasn’t enough for Jerry. He was determined to get me to go higher. I was nervous, but, I don’t know, something just clicked and soon I was climbing up and down like it was nothing. The whole group got a kick out of that and they took a lot of fun pictures. I was excited because the roof is my favorite place to work. You can see everything and all the Haitians look at you in such a funny way it’s awesome.
I looked over the wall and had to do a double take. There were four Chickens way up in a tree!! Jerry said he saw them fly up; since when can chickens fly that high?
I couldn’t ponder it for long. We were on the roof for two hours before it started to sprinkle. We went to dinner early and just waited about 45 minutes before eating. We found out the little girl who drank bleach was going to be fine and ate our fill, then did our usual night talks, showers, and closed up shop; another day gone.