Jess and I have decided to tag team this blog. We wrote down a bunch of topics and are going to write as we feel inspired and then we’ll put them together to make a blog. Karen has been in Canada for almost a week now, so that being said, we should probably start out with an update on Ti Luc for her sake. Of course he misses his mom, but he’s having a great time with his older bro and sis Seth and Jessie. We gave him his own room in our house and he’s put his clothes nicely with ours, and he’s found a spot for his toothbrush and towel in the bathroom. Now, he claims to have three bedrooms that are entirely his- at momma’s, at papa’s and now at our house.
|Ti Luc’s New bed|
|Hanging up his towel|
|Ti Luc drying his hair with Jess in the morning|
We’ve realized that he’s quite a good eater; we can’t get him to stop eating, but I guess that could be said of any child if all you give them are cinnamon rolls, candy and ice cream! (Haha, i’m just kidding. Karen, you don’t have to come home early to save your child from us!). We’ve had a great time having Ti Luc in our home! We’ve been dancing and singing and playing a lot of hide and seek. He’s also picked up a bit of a bad habit from me….
|Cinnamon Rolls for every meal!|
|He’s got his shirt all tucked in for church|
|Seth teaching Ti Luc bad habits|
Before Karen left for Canada, we were all running around in a frenzy trying to tie up loose knots. We ran by a couple of stores to buy needed supplies, Karen and Luckner worked hours on financial and administrative work. And well, Antoinette had a task of her own. She had to separate the chicken for the kids’ home for the next few weeks, but it was done in a way I had never seen before.
We also ran by Luckner’s house the day before Karen left to see the progress. Luckner’s place is beginning to look FANTASTIC. The building is pretty much done. Sometime this week they will be putting on the paint, hopefully, but we all know how Haiti is.
|Luckners trade school and radio station|
Last Saturday, Seth, JJ, Moise, Valdimy, and I decided to head over to the soccer field next door to see if we could round up a few boys to play a small game of soccer. When we showed up with a ball in our hands, boys of all ages came out of the woodwork to play with us. We formed teams: HATS, with a few extras, vs the community kids. The game went really well. I must preface all this by saying that Seth, the boys, and I have been going over to watch some games. We found it odd that they always wear gloves, whether or not they are goalies. Well, we quickly found out why. Let’s just say that the ground is full of small gravel, it’s easy to slip on, and very hard to clean out of your cut. Seth and I have both learned our lesson, Seth on his hand and me on my knee. Lesson one- Don’t try to stop fast or start too quickly. The game also taught me another vital lesson. Lesson two- I am not 16. I used to love being the only girl on the field and it was always a highlight to be able to keep up with them. To say the least, I was again the only girl on the field, but was struggling to keep up with the 8 year-olds. Sad realization for Jessie. Even though the kids came out of nowhere, they played as if they were a team who played together every day (pretty sure they do), despite this, HATS held their own. We won the game 10 to 8.
Last week, Jess wrote about the soccer games that we had been going to with the kids. Well, the games were a part of a tournament put on by the catholic church next door. The Thursday before Karen left was the final game, and everyone knows that a big tournament has to be ended with a weekend-long party; accompanied by late nights, loud music, screaming, gunshots, and alcohol. Those putting it on even came to HATS asking for donations for the party, because even the poor need to be able to party. Don’t worry, no money was given. The party went on from Thursday night to Saturday night (or Sunday morning) and usually didn’t quiet down until around 4am. The soccer field is probably about an arrows shot away. I guess I should define an “arrow’s shot” first. In the Lord of the Rings, arrows were shot but magical elves who could probably shoot their arrows miles or so. That’s not the case here. I’m no magical elf- I’m not even a human who has skill with a bow. My only experience with shooting arrows is at Royal Rangers camp(the Assemblies of God version of boy scouts), and I didn’t even get a ribbon! That being said, the party was very close! The bass from the music rattled our fan, that’s how loud it was. Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep last weekend.
Also, we spent most of last week without a generator. That means that we go into major energy conservation mode. The number one priority in that situation is having a fan at night- that’s above cold/hot food, light, computer (keeping in touch with our family and the world), and Xbox :). Actually, since we’re so concerned about having a fan at night, we abstain from all the rest! In that situation, you either go to bed as soon as it gets dark or you have to get really creative. We could read with a headlight, but it’s not worth it with all of the bugs! Since we didn’t have light or any other form of entertainment we did what any young, married couple would do- we took stats of course! We decided to give you guys a better idea of what it’s like to live in Haiti. We can tell you all that we want, but it doesn’t make sense without either coming here yourself, or cold, hard facts. And that’s what we’re giving you- cold hard facts! We sat in our gallery one evening and took stats of all of the noises that we hear in a set period of time and we did it multiple times to give you an idea of what noises are more prevalent at different times. From 7:13-7:41 we had stats on horns, dogs, whistles, vehicles, 4-wheelers, screams/cries (outside HATS), screams/cries(inside HATS), music/drums, singing, doors, pots/pans, birds, guinea hens, clapping. Screams/cries (inside HATS) destroyed the competition with over 400 noises because the kids hadn’t gone to bed yet. Pots/pans were second(159) and horns got third (66). From 8:13-8:41 we registered stats on horns, screams/cries (outside HATS), dogs, whistles, vehicles, fireworks/guns/backfires, music/drums, doors, guinea hens, clapping, laughs, squealing brakes, pigs, and tractors. Screams/Cries(inside HATS) depleted to zero because the kids went to bed, but dogs picked up the slack and registered 331 barks. Screams/cries (outside HATS) took second with 94, and horns got third again with 57 followed closely by guinea hens with 56. Some interesting stats during that time period were fireworks/gunshots/backfires, which registered 10 noises (we only added fireworks and backfires because we hoped that they weren’t all gunshots!). Also, we heard a tractor 75 percent of the time, but it was one very slow tractor. There were also a few horns that entered our hearing range honking and didn’t stop until they were out of our hearing range. I’ll finish with a few charts I drew up of our findings.
|Timeline of noises per hour|
|Pie chart of Vehicles that drive past HATS|
As for work this last week- the boss is gone, what do you think we’re doing?! Sleeping in, taking long lunch breaks, and quitting work early to go to Sonic for a coney dog and cherry limeade. Actually, we haven’t gotten as much work done as we thought we would, because now that Karen is gone, we’re needed for everything- and I mean everything (only Karen really knows what that means!). I’ve been working on dressers for the kid’s homes and that’s what I’ve been working on pretty much all week since I am building 6 or 7 of them. I took a break from that one day to replace one of the doors in the devotion room and fix the other one (neither of them closed and one of them was practically held together by its paint).
|Ismyis telling me how to fix the door|
Jess has been trying to paint the devotion room, and I want to emphasize the word ‘trying.’ Since it’s summer and the kid’s haven’t started tutoring yet (they start on Monday), in and around the devotion room is the kids prime play spot. And they love Jess so they are constantly around her ankles. Also, since Jess knows Creole better than I do (and all the employees have figured that out too!), they typically go to her first with their questions. They will come to me, but only to ask where Jess is. It kinda hurts my feelings, but I guess I understand because I would also get tired of asking for diapers and getting peanut butter. Also, work is coming along rather well at the school. The school library/office now has walls.
|Work at the school|
The generator wasn’t working on Wednesday, so it was a very different day, especially for Seth and I. Wednesday, Antoinette always goes to the market for food for the kids home. Also, Naomi needed to take Sandra to the doctor because she had a bump, sort of like a small cyst, on her stomach. They both returned later that day and Sandra is doing much better thanks to some medications. While they were gone, though, there was Seth, I, Laurette and 17 kids. Now see this would be a perfect situation for a video because it is a treat for the kids, Laurette could cook the food, and Seth and I could get a few hours of solid work. Wrong-o, remember the delco being broken. Seth and I tried to work and realized it was near impossible lest a kid gets doused in paint or someone tried to screw a hole in the wall. So, we tried to keep the kids occupied. I got out the chalk and we drew the things we were thankful for God giving us. Josie drew her “Maman” Karen (They miss you!), Ti Luckner was the chalk distributor, and, well, Jofky, Karena, and Anne found another way to use the chalk: Jofky and Karena on their bodies, and Anne in her mouth, like everything else. (The chalk is non-toxic, I promise.)
|Playing with Chalk|
|The generous distributor|
|In their eyes skin is better than cement|
|It’s not food|
After the chalk session, we headed to the swing set. The kids wanted Dickie’s game, I had a hard time figuring out what this was, until they showed me a washers set that Dickie had made for the kids. For most of the rest of the afternoon, they hung out by the swing set and took turns with Dickie’s game. (Dickie, that was a true savior today, so thanks!) Once the generator got working again later that day, Seth needed to make some cuts of wood, so the kids got their long-awaited video.
Friday, Papa stopped by to say his daily “Hello” to the kids. This time he loaded them all into the truck to take them down to his house to give them a little snack. As they were gone, a huge storm began to unfold. As they were returning to the compound, a huge downpour started. The kids got soaked seeing as they were in the back of the truck. The little ones, Anne, Karena, Jofky, Ti Luckner, and Judel quickly wanted warmed. We grabbed towels and just cuddled with the little ones as the older ones ran for almost an hour in the pouring rain. They had such a blast and it was a true joy just to sit and watch them roll in the puddles of water. Sadly, we have no good pictures, but thankfully we were able to just fully enjoy their happiness without trying to take pictures. The simple joys of life. God is so good!
In the next blog, I (Seth) will write a little about my family background. I’m a bit too busy right now. Thanks for all of your support of HATS- we wouldn’t be able to do it without all of you! God bless you! Enjoy these random pictures!
|Jofky helping with fabric|
|Tifi giving Judel some love|
|JJ the builder|
|Eske ou grangou?|
|Two thumbs up for being as dirty as he is|
|Ann and Judel|
|The girls at church|
|The boys at church|
|Moise and Ismyis hanging out with Sandra|
~Jessie & Seth