Hey, it’s Seth and it’s my turn to blog again. I’ll start out by saying we haven’t forgotten about you Karen J and that you won the Easter Kitchen name competition. Like I said, I will photoshop you into a photo the next time I write a blog. And however long ago that was, this is the next time! So, look for your pic in one of the following photos! And again, Congrats!
I was listening to music recently and I’ve come to the conclusion that Harry McClintock’s song “Big Rock Candy Mountain” is a perfect description of this place. Sleeping out every night, lemonade springs, no short handled shovels, bulldogs with rubber teeth, hens laying soft boiled eggs, sun all day, no rain or wind, never having to change your socks, sleeping all day, no work all play. Okay, so maybe that’s not true. We work a lot and things don’t always work as we plan them to, but we still love this place and what we’re doing in the name of Christ! And we would choose this place a hundred times before we chose Big Rock Candy Mountain.
You all know, HATS doesn’t slow down. There’s an endless list of things to do and although there may be jobs that are unfinished due to lack of supplies or decisions and planning, there’s always another job to jump to. If we weren’t intentional about getting alone time with God and relaxing, we’d run ourselves to death here. As for me, I’m in the middle of 3 jobs right now. 1. The inverter shelter: It’s close to being complete and it does a good job of protecting the inverter and batteries from the rain, but we’ve realized that it doesn’t get enough airflow, even though the bottom two feet is screened. The sun is very hot on the plastic roof, so we have to figure out a better way of getting airflow. 2. The inverter and electricity in our house: We’ve gotten the inverter and batteries installed and I started running the wire and placing the boxes, but now I’m waiting on supplies- Outlets and pull string light fixtures. Why are supplies so hard to come by here!? What I would do for a Home Depot or even just an R.P Lumber! 3. I’m also working on putting new formica on the counters in Karen’s kitchen. I’ve never laid formica before but I have a good idea of how it’s supposed to be done and how it’s not supposed to be done. I’m pretty sure I’m doing it the hard way. What can you expect, though, when we don’t have a router or good files, and I have to use a circular saw to cut it. It’s almost done (hopefully I’ll be done later today), and it’s actually looking pretty good despite my lack of tools! Thank God!
Jessie has been busy painting. She’s painted Karen’s gallery, a room upstairs, and multiple picnic tables and has a long list of things to paint. She’ll be busy for a while.
The concrete workers are staying busy on the outside of Karen’s house too, and are trying to get it finished before the group from Canada comes next Monday. Their plan is to paint the exterior of Karen’s house. The Haitian concrete workers are great at what they do. I’m so amazed at the quality of their work and attention to detail. Judel is also trying his hand at concrete, but his attention to detail isn’t quite as developed. Actually, he claimed to me that he wasn’t even working with concrete, but rather making food.
Karen is staying busy keeping the place running and I run into her every once in a while as she makes errands between the school and the compound. But who can’t find time for a bit of Jofky!?
As you know by now, we have a new addition here at HATS! It’s great to finally have Sandra here! To be able to take care of her here at the compound in knowledge that she is recovering well is such a relief and blessing. Also, The housemothers were starting to get kind of tired because of the increased work due to one of them always being at the hospital. Not only is Sandra finally here which means the housemothers are here too, but Karen has also hired another housemother to help lighten the load around here! She started today and we’re all excited to have her.
A few weeks ago we added another employee here too. Jess and I have been blessed with Margarete- our new cook and cleaning lady. She has already been such a blessing. Instead of having to spend hours a day cleaning and cooking, now we have more freedom to work, spend time with God, and just enjoy our evenings and time off! The first few days we felt like we were at Taco Bell, though, not because of the kind of food but because we added a fourth meal to our schedule. Mainly is was my fault because i’m not as good as Jess with Creole yet and when Margarete asked us if we wanted her to make us breakfast I would respond with “Nou manje sa,” which means “we eat this.” I was trying to say, “We ate this,” which would have been “Nou te manje sa.” So I sat down to do my devo’s and before I could do anything she had “that” nicely presented for Jess and I to eat! And in the name of not wanting to hurt her feelings, I forced down another meal.
Jess and I don’t really want to brag about it, but lately we’ve been having more guests than Karen has. I don’t know if we’re liked more or what. Last week, we had James over for dinner and games, we’ve had a frequent guest in Jean Claude, and Robert gave us a surprise visit yesterday morning.
You all know James from our previous blogs. He’s become a good friend to Jess and I. Jean Claude, was our friend at first, but recently started eating our recipes, so we’re not on good terms. He’s a mouse. On our first encounter, he evaded us by doing the splits under one of our doors (which caused him to receive his name). We eventually caught him with our hands and brought him outside where we told him that he was cute and all, but he wasn’t welcome in our home anymore. We’ve learned that mice don’t listen, or maybe he just doesn’t speak English (we are in Haiti!). Nonetheless, we’re brainstorming alternate options to de-friend Jean Claude.
Our least welcomed guest, though, was Robert. I repeal my previous comment about tarantulas being cute! Robert is(was) easily the biggest tarantula i’ve ever seen! He was probably the size of a grapefruit in leg span, and gave me the chills the instant I saw him. He didn’t like me either, but that was probably because I was pushing him down the stairs of our house with a broom. I’m just glad he didn’t give us that visit in the night in our bed!
The evening walks with the kids are always an enjoyable time and sometimes give us a beautiful sunset as well. On one of our recent walks, the kids decided to try to run across a small creek on stepping stones. Most of the older ones succeeded, but one slip up by JJ resulted in him sitting in the creek. I barely missed the pic because he was so quick in getting up, but he had a great attitude about it!
Although, it’s busy here, we have a few exciting things to look forward to in the next week. Today is Karma’s birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that; Wednesday is flag day, so tomorrow the school is going to have a party to celebrate that holiday; Friday, we’re taking some of the older school children to the beach; and then on Monday, the group from Canada comes!
Thank you so much for all of your prayer and support! We need it everyday to continue doing what God wants us to do.
As for the kids, they’re doing great and here are a few photos to prove that! Enjoy!