So Jess and I have been in Haiti for exactly a month now! It sure doesn’t seem like that long! I guess when you’re busy, time flies.
I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to write in the blog to make it informational but also entertaining. So this week, along with the past week’s details, I’ll also talk about animals and Jess and I’s new home. I really haven’t seen Karen a lot this past week, which in this case is a good thing because it means she’s getting a lot done in the office. Karen has started showing Jess around in the office and teaching her how to keep track of receipts and other paperwork. Jess is really enjoying it and I’m sure Karen is enjoying the thought of not having to do it all herself!
Recently, I’ve been retrieving a lot of krapo from the toilets. It’s getting kinda annoying how often the kids come to me saying “Seth krapo toilet! Vini” (Come). I guess it my job being the plumber to be sure the toilets are free of krapo. Actually, I don’t mind, I kinda enjoy it, because I love krapo! Did I begin by saying that “krapo” in Creole is “frog”? I love all animals, I always have. So I really enjoy being in a place where there are a plethora of frogs and lizards. I quickly realized that the kids here are deathly afraid of frogs which I couldn’t understand, especially the boys! I thought it would be funny to tell the kids that in the U.S. some people eat frogs, including myself. They couldn’t believe it! Now the phrase I hear screamed the most at me is, “Ou manje krapo!” (You eat frog). I love to say it back to them and see them run around screaming “No! No!”
Our friend James told us that there is a common misconception here that if a frog pees in your eye then you will go blind, which would make sense why they’re so afraid of them. I’m tempted to catch a frog and hold it over my eye in front of the kids to show them the truth, but I’m slightly afraid of going blind. The truth in this situation is just not worth it! I caught my first lizard this week. It took a while for the kids to warm up to it, but soon they had it on their shoulders. Eventually, I had to let the lizard go for its own safety. I caught my first goat this week too!
We had a pretty awesome experience this week with goats. A good way to bless the Haitian people is by giving them animals, that either provide help with work or with food. Some people from Canada had donated some money for the purpose of buying goats for some people in the community and we got to help hand them out. The people were very grateful. T-Luc really enjoyed being a shepherd for a few minutes!
The animal I’m most afraid of here is the tarantula. Thankfully I haven’t seen any big ones. I’ve just seen a ton of baby ones! I have a question- How fast do tarantulas grow? How long do I have until all these babies are full grown?! The worst thing is that I’ve seen them all on the outside of our house, and I saw my first one in our house today! Actually, they’re kinda growing on me, they’re kinda cute if you really think about it. They’re fuzzy and they walk really slow (I think of them as the beagle of the spider family). I told Jess the other day that I’m going to start catching them and raising them because I’d much rather have a bunch of tame tarantulas than a bunch of wild ones. How do you think she responded to that?
The animal I hate the most is the rooster. That’s a new development in the past month. As Karen said in the last blog, Jess and I are into our new home! Its exciting to have our own place but also good for Karen to get her own space back! It’s so nice to be able to get away and just read sometimes or even take a short nap. But unfortunately, the excitement of something new came with a few snags and the transition still isn’t fully complete- I’m figuring out that that’s the way of Haiti. We’ve still been down at Karen’s every evening because we can’t find a piece we need to complete our stove and because the internet isn’t working either. The guy came and installed it and it worked the first day, but it hasn’t worked since. He’s been back to try and fix it but with no success yet. The transition has been easier for Jess for one reason in particular- after getting married we quickly found out that our body temperatures were much different. In the winter in Illinois Jess would use three blankets at night to my one blanket! You see, our new place is above the kids home, so it holds heat more easily and we don’t have our inverter set up yet, so unless there is Haitian power (what are the chances of that!) then we don’t have a fan. Lack of a fan poses two problems- heat and sound. Like I already said, heat is more my problem. Here, Jess lays in bed with a sheet on. I can’t take off more than one sheet, so my only option is to lay there and sweat. The first two nights I explained my sleep as a series of power naps. The other problem is not having a fan to drown out sound. Night in Haiti is like an orchestra of varying alarm clocks. For some reason they don’t compete for time slots, they allow each other an equal amount of time to make their presence known! Here are all the different things that have their parts in this orchestra- dogs, goats, birds, machine gun generator, big trucks, music, singing, bull frogs, pigs, roosters, donkeys, and children. We’ve been woke up by each of these things separately! A couple of nights ago, Jess and I laid in our bed awake at 4:30am and all we could do was laugh because of all of the noise! On top of that, the previous day we read Psalm 127, which says, “The Lord gives sleep to those he loves.” Either God really doesn’t love us, or the timing of us reading that verse proves that God has a sense of humor! Actually, We were extremely surprised at the amount of energy we had each day to accomplish what we needed to, despite the lack of sleep we got. It proves that God did give us his supernatural rest. I only took one nap last week, and I slept on the concrete because it was too hot to lay on a bed (which proves that I’m officially Haitian!).
Other than the few snags with our house, it is looking great! We’ve got it in order and all of our curtains up, and this week we gave the kids the grand tour! They kept saying “li bel” which means “It’s beautiful.” We’d love to give you guys a tour too! How about a picture tour?! And we decided that since it is getting close to Easter and our house colors coincide perfectly with the holiday that we would name each room for you. Our house as a whole is called Easter Zone! Welcome!
Friday night all of the missionaries in the area got together for food and fellowship. We sat down and told each other what our ministries here were about and then got to know each other. Then…and a big THEN…we ate pizza! Oh my, Jess and I have been wishing for pizza for a long time (we typically eat pizza once a week back home!) And it was great!
Jess and I are happy to have found an American friend here in Haiti! (thanks to David N.) His name is James and he works for the hospital here. He also has a ministry where he shows evangelical films all over the area. Last Sunday we hiked up to Verrettes Falls and spent the day there. What a beautiful place to spend the Sabbath! Thursday night we got to help him set up a film called “Hope” and show it to some people in the community after a soccer game. Then Saturday he brought us to a nearby dam where we swam with the local children! While we were there a local church came and asked us if they could interrupt our swim with a baptism and we were happy to allow them. It was also cool that it happened that way because so many kids had shown up just to hang out with us and in the process they heard the Word of God!
I’m getting a lot of sun here, and maybe even more than some other people (like Jess). She’s already slightly jealous that I’m darker than her, and to make matters worse, on our way home from the dam Saturday, a little girl called me a name. Now typically, and quite often, as we’re driving children are yelling out “blan” at us, which means “white.” Well, this time the little girl pointed at me and said, “espanol.” I found it quite humorous and still do! hehe.
Sunday, Jess was in charge of church, and she decided to do things a little differently than usual. Since church consists mostly of our children and the children from the community, Jess wanted to experiment with a children’s church. We had a puppet skit, in which Jess and I spoke in Creole! The kids didn’t understand it all because of our poor pronunciation, but Karen explained it afterwards. The kids loved it anyway! Then Jess did a short message(Walk the way Jesus wants) and then ended with a craft that challenged the kids to do something good for someone else this week. Everyone loved it so much that Jess has been asked to do it again next week! Who knows, soon we may be calling her Reverend Jessie!
We finished Sunday with a walk and I got Ann to smile at me for the first time! Maybe it was because I bribed her with some juice.
For as much complaining as I do about different things here, I want all of you to know that any complaining is done purely for entertainment purposes! For any one thing that is tough here, there are five more that are a blessing! If Jess and I were given an option of a hundred different things to do this year, we would still choose this, and we know that Karen wouldn’t change what she’s done with her life for anything either! We thank God for this place and for putting each one of us here!
Here are a few more cute pics from this week including Jofky, Karena, and Ti Luc, if you want to see more pictures, I’m planning on putting a lot of my pictures up on Facebook in the next few days, so just add me: Seth Huber