The kids project today is to prepare 100 small gifts for the children that attend church. We had about 50 children last week and mom told them there would be a gift this Sunday (Christmas day) so we may have a whole lot more than normal! Each child is getting 2 hotel sized body cream, a cahier (school notebook), a pencil with a cute Christmas mouse, mini toothpaste, toothbrush, a stuffy, an ornament and a small toy. For many of them this may be the only present they get this Christmas. It’s taken us 2 days of 10 minutes here and 5 minutes there to collect all the items and get them up onto the second floor deck. I helped this morning and in about 1.5hrs we are about ½ way done. I’m supposed to be finishing the bench painting today although unfortunately my kids are acting toward each other like they do at home so I need to be there to run interference!

Germaine asked mom (as she was going in 5 directions at once), how many people are you? She definitely needs more help here of a full time variety!

Market Day: The market in Verrettes is held Wed and Sat. It’s very strange being a white face in a sea of black, they stare at you, surround you and many try to touch you, simply because we’re so different. Many Haitians are also afraid of having their picture taken and taking one, even of a stall, without permission can cause major drama. They also don’t smile in photos (unless they’re used to Mom and have learned that it’s ok). All Haitians will be laughing and smiling one minute and then in the photo look like it’s a passport photo. At one stall I bought a hat and asked the hat vendor if I could have a photo of him and he said yes, with him. I showed him the picture on the camera after and he asked for a copy saying he was so excited to have a photo of him with a beautiful woman. When I get home I’ll print the photo and mail it down and Martha will find him at market and get it to him. Being larger is considered more attractive here (Jamaica, etc as well) and it’s a sign of wealth as well. If they can afford it ladies here even take injections to help them get more meat on their bones.

Me with hat vendor

People were constantly talking to us, calling out ‘Blanc’ and then a bunch of things I couldn’t understand. Mom said it’s often better not to know and didn’t translate any of it. LOL So one lady, as we’re leaving, grabs at my arm and says a bunch of stuff and all I caught was ‘blanc’ and ‘gros’. White and Big. My mom burst out laughing and translated: ‘that white lady took the injections she could get so big’. Ya, that’s the one she chose to translate. LOL If only the people here knew what lengths people in Canada go to, in order to not be big!

On the way out of the market I bought a small clay pot and it was only $10 Haitian so Mom didn’t dicker, which I love. I’d have been willing to pay more although that was considered a fair price! Mom got lucky and got a bunch of dresses for the girls and then we left Martha (mom’s cook) and Antoinette (the house mother) there to do the shopping for the week. They didn’t come back with us as it will be hours before they find everything they need. Antoinette had her favourite shopping tote, an Epicure Hostess Bag! She was so excited when we got to Market and my mom told her the bag came from my business. You know those totes are strong when she’s buying food for 21 people with it!

Antoinette with Epicure tote

Jared brought out his iPhone today to play a game and show the kids. They were enthralled! Right now he is sitting on the sofa swing teaching Judel ‘phone’ English and the names of fancy cars. Each icon on Jared’s phone Judel will point to it, Jared will say it in English and Judel will repeat it. When Jared isn’t with Judel he’s either playing soccer with Vladimy or he’s taking care of Ti Luc. Dressing him, helping him go see Papa at the school, etc. After seeing how he treats his sister I’m pleasantly surprised and quite glad to know it’s only a ‘sibling’ thing!

Jared with iPhone game

Today was haircut day for the boys. Every 6 weeks they get shaved. If anyone showed up to school with hair like Ronel’s they’d be sent home to get it shaved. That’s just the way it is in Haiti! Check out the razor that Jofky was getting shaved with!

Jofky Shave

~Dana