Unconditional love.  That’s what being here is about.

The kids love you to pieces, running up to you every day for hugs and sometimes just hanging by your side chillin.  Thrilled to get off the compound to go for a walk, happy to help with the goats and chickens or even just to pull burrs off towels or clothes.  Start a puzzle with 2 and soon there are 6 helping and laughing and cheering and showing you when they find a piece to put in.

The staff is amazing and accommodating, especially mom’s house help.  They work long long extra hours when we’re here without a word of complaint, they make your favorite foods and are so happy to see you enjoying it.  Even when you hide your plates so they won’t wash them (so they can go home early) they find them and insist on doing that for you.

As we said goodbyes in Devotions this morning the tears were flowing.

I miss my bed.  I moved out of my outdoor mosquito tent into a bedroom when Liette arrived.  Too many people, too much noise, plus I didn’t want my foghorn snore to wake anyone who isn’t my kids who are used to it.  Granted they probably wouldn’t even notice it among the voodoo drums and chanting well into the wee hours, the roosters cockadoodledooing, the dogs barking, the horns honking A LOT by 4am.  The indoor bed is a twin as well.  When I turn over my knee & arm scrape along the concrete wall or if I turn the other way I’m suspended partly in midair before I realize and whip myself the other way back into the bed.

4am honking. Drivers here honk A LOT.  It’s incredibly noisy here.  Instead of driving slower in a place where they know there is congestion they drive ahead at full speed while holding down the horn.  Honking here is not ‘honk’.  It’s ‘hoooooooooonnnnnnnnkkkkkkkkk’.  At 4am it’s even longer and continual for the next hour or so.  The locals who are not working & want to work get up early.  By 4am they are standing out at the roadside by the bridge (1 property away from the compound) with their hoe’s, hoping to get a days work.  4am honking is also the Bus or Tap Taps heading to Port Au Prince.  That’s the alarm clock for anyone in the area to hop up and race down to the bridge.

I’ll miss the simplicity of the concrete shower.  The point of a shower is to get us clean.  It works.

I’ll miss the hard mineral rich water.  It loves my skin and my hair.  I’ll also miss Leica styling my hair, feels so relaxing!

I’ll miss the humidity – I’ve not needed to put on cream or lip stuff since I got here.  I also haven’t put on a lick of makeup.  I love that.  What helps is that there aren’t a lot of mirrors, lol.

I’ll miss the food.  I’ll miss Pikliz, Soup Joumou, fresh squeezed juice and Akra.  Mostly I’ll miss someone cooking it for me!  

Jared will miss Germaine and how much she helped his back when his ribs go out.

Jared “enjoying” Germaine

I LOVED taking care of the chickens.  Good thing since I’ll have 26 of my own next summer!   We had 21 chickens here, 20 went to homes.  The one remaining chicken got the royal treatment of a triple long string so it could hop to the top of the concrete blocks.  Then he was gone.  What?  Where?  I’m the chicken lady, nobody came to see me!!  I ask mom ‘hey, where’s my chicken?’ She explains that it went to Luckner’s so that we wouldn’t be interrupted during our Christmas dinner.  I explain that it had a triple rope on it…. OH shoot!  String is in short supply and we just lost enough string to hold 3 chickens!  There will be another 80ish chickens arriving here over the next month…  Those 3 pieces of string are important to us!

I’ll miss the teeny hugs and kisses of little Sandra.  She is such a sweetheart, until she’s not getting her own way.  Then lookout!

We’ll all miss the bright smile, laughter and sense of humor of my brother ‘Ti Luc’

Ti Luc (my brother) with his nephew (my son Ronel)

I’ll miss my mom & my sis and our laughter.  More of that to follow next year in Canada, hopefully.

I won’t miss 7am wakeup for 7:30 devotions.  Devotions would be much better at 10am.  I won’t miss the smell of burning garbage.

Morning devotions at HATS

I will miss the lush green everything, fresh coconuts & ti banana and children’s laughter/love.  By the time you’re reading this I’m already in the air winging my way back home.  🙁