For those of you living in a freezing ice box this blog may be discouraging for some individuals. Since my arrival, I have been enjoying the wonderful sunny weather. Lovely during the nights for sleeping, lovely for walking in the mornings, and sunny and warm all day long.

First things first, it has been wonderful waking up to Ti luc in the morning saying (sup bro!) This kid is fun to be around.

Grammy and I have worked nonstop to get things ready for Christmas. It has been very fun! We finished up stockings (filled by Jocelyn and Hope, but missing sweets until the last minute due to ants) for the children; organized their Christmas gifts; made surprise bags for all who attended church on 24th; and managed do a dress rehearsal for the Christmas skit on 24th. On Sunday the Christmas skit was a big hit. JJ and I played Mary and Joseph and we had the Angels and the Wise men and the Shepherds played by the other children at HATS, along with three of Luckner’s boys. It was really a great time.  Also on Saturday JJ and Moise put up (using Dickie’s example from last Christmas) a stable where Mary would given birth to Jesus.

Stockings are filled

Preparing the stable for Jesus to be born

I had lots of fun passing the surprise bags at the end of the service and seeing the joy on the children’s face. Sunday afternoon our children opened their stockings and they loved pulling out different toys, little gifts, and especially sweets.

Preparing 90 surprise baggies for all who attend church on the 24th.

A gift for all the children.

The action will start soon

Now to find out what all is in our stockings

Beautiful happy Leica with her stocking

Monday, Christmas day, was so much fun. We let the children open their gift, donated by people in Canada, and they spent hours playing and enjoying their gifts.  Monday evening the children had such a big Christmas Haitian meal. Rice and beans, fried chicken, two different kinds of salad and pate(like a fried pastry). The meal was followed by everyone getting a large piece of birthday cake for Jesus.

Happy with their Christmas gift

Fun times ahead with their trucks

Christmas feast for our kids

Lick the platter clean

Birthday cake for Jesus must have been tasty

With everyone occupied with toys and playing, Grammy and I got some work done organizing supplies in the depot and putting the house back in order.

This week we also started pulling out costumes and planning what the kids would wear for another mummering experience. Grammy explained that this Sunday we are taking the kids out for awhile dressed like Mummers, not in regular costumes. We plan to visit a few houses as well as our good friend Bim.

Also this week we had a morning visit from some lovely folks from the US who are here to help at Project Help. We had music and singing, soccer, and play time.

Fun together with a US team visiting Borel

Markenson with Ross

Always a soccer match when we have visitors

I have done a lot of dancing with the kids at HATS as well as some from the school. Karena, Sandra and Anne are now thrilled that they are old enough to learn dancing routines and be with the older girls. They catch on quickly!

Today December 30th Grammy and I walked with the older children and it was beautiful. Had a great time with the children as well as Karena holding my hand and explaining what every plant and every animal’s purpose in Haiti was.  (Also slept in by accident this morning as I had a sleepover with the kids at the Girl’s Home last night!)

Returning from our walk

Well this +30 weather is getting me thirsty, so I better go and grab a glass of Germaine’s fresh squeezed lime juice. What a tough life I have this Christmas.

Mariah