Unwelcome Guest

Turns out we did bring a little guy home from Haiti. But not the one we hoped. This little parasite’s name is Giuardiasis. We call him Gordy for short. He has been making his presence known for a few weeks, and the doctors confirmed it yesterday. In fact – a whole slew of doctors. Turns out our family has sparked many a consultation at our local medical group.

Prescriptions have been filled. Pills have been taken. We wait expectantly for our tummies to respond.

Gordy, buddy, it’s been real, but it’s time to go.

What Happens In Haiti Stays in Haiti

Things you do in Haiti that you don’t do at home:

  • let your child sit in the front seat of a truck
  • fill an SUV with 17 people, 13 of them under age 10
  • encourage your kids to drink unlimited soda just to make sure they stay hydrated
  • feed your kids “orphanage style”
  • let complete strangers hold your children
  • cover the pack and play in mosquito netting and pretend it’s a tent

New Friend

Jafta made a new friend today. The man was an employee at the airport and he was a “little person”, if you will. I think he was in his 20’s or 30’s, but he was Jafta’s height. Jafta was sure that they were the same age and the best of friends. Jafta followed him around for about an hour, talking about his new friend and wondering why he kept having to load suitcases. He kept saying, “where is my friend? why can’t he play with me?”

Wherever You Go, There You Are

We are loving life in the Haitian countryside. Things are considerably different here than they are in the capital city. We are able to walk around without worrying, so it’s been great to feel like we are drinking in the sights instead of “hiding out”. Today we spent the morning at the school Cara’s parents started 25 years ago. Mark and I were blown away. The school, the students, the classrooms, the academics, the teachers – I am not kidding, this school exceeded American standards on ALL FRONTS. They are doing something seriously right here. The school goes from Pre-K all the way to high school. I have never seen such compliant and eager-to-learn kindergartners, and reading the essay of the graduating seniors brought tears to my eyes. This school not only gives them an amazing education, but builds a solid faith, teaches them English, prepares them for college, and instills a pride in their own country. Every senior had a unique plan for how they would someday make Haiti a better place. Inspiring.

Jafta got to spend the morning as a “guest student” in Cara’s kindergarten class, and made some fast friends. It was seriously tempting to think about him growing up in this school. After lunch we took a little tour of the village. It was cracking me up seeing a very pregnant Cara drive her big truck around Haiti and barter in Creole at the market like a true local. Jafta once again made his way onto a fishing boat, and we took a ride across the river and got to see lots of families having their daily bath. Then we took a stroll through the market, and Mark got to drink Coke out of a glass bottle (this is always the highlight of any 3rd world trip for Mark).

This evening we had dinner with Cara and Tom, and talked about Haiti, and books, and movies, and what it would be like if Mark and I lived here. It was one of those nights that makes you evaluate your life and what is important, and challenges you to think about your comfort zone and what the bigger picture might be. The good news is, as Mark and I talked afterwards, we agreed that we are truly in a contented place in our lives. And that is a good place to be. Because wherever you go . . . there you are.