I apologize for the delay in posts, but I will try and finish up the trip this week.
Day 5 in Haiti was probably my favorite day of all. Being on the mountain and away from all the dust and smoke of the city was such a relief. One thing did not change though, we still were woken up by roosters every morning. I’m an early bird though so waking up at the crack of down is normal for me, and this time in the early morning is possibly my favorite time of the day.
I helped cook breakfast again and then headed outside to play with the kids. Unlike American children during the summer, the children on the mountain were up and moving around by 7:00 AM at the latest. One little girl who lived in the hut right next to Sharon and Ernie’s home was up at 6 to feed the chickens and sweep her yard, yes sweep her yard, every single morning.
One little boy ran up to me immediately and handed me this little green pod about the size of a quarter and the texture and look of a very small lime. I had no idea what to do with it then I saw Jennifer who had one too and seemed very excited about it. In Haiti they call them kineps and she said that she had had them in Venezuela. You bite off the peel, and suck out the gummy covered large seed. The gummy coating tastes similar to a grape. The rest of the trip I was searching around trying to find kinep trees. I was addicted. I even bought some at Fiesta grocery store the other day!
Today for VBS we read a story and then decided to teach the kids how to play kickball. They know a little about baseball and a lot about soccer so we figured it wouldn’t be too hard to teach them. This process ended up being one of the funniest experiences we had the entire trip. We demonstrated, had our translator give rules in Creole, and demonstrated some more. A few of the older boys and girls caught on, but some of the little ones just did their own thing. They had so much fun though, and that’s all we really cared about. At first they didn’t realize that you could stop at a base and be safe, and once we pointed this out to them we would end up with 4 kids on one base all running at the same time. Then one little girl never stopped running. We were playing on a small plateau with a drop off just past 3rd base. Whenever she thought she was about to get tagged she would run straight through 3rd and all you could see was her little head disappear as she ran down the hill and into the cow pasture. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long long time.
Lubens works for the mission and cooks high nutrition food, a mix of rice, beans, soy protein, and vitamins, for the community 6 days a week. His wife helps out around the house. His wife also is an amputee. She lost her leg in the earthquake and before she got pregnant with their now one year old daughter Lulu, she played on the Haitian Paralympic soccer team. I really enjoyed talking to her about soccer, and we made plans to play the following day.
While we were playing kick ball, some other members of our group were building a retaining wall and then we brought out kites after lunch. The kids also taught us some of their own games. This one reminded me of “little Sally Walker”.
Around 2:00 we came to the realization that we had run out of water. The reservoir was 95% dry and we could not get water to pump up the mountain. Our hosts were getting worried, but honestly we didn’t care. As long as we had water to drink we would be good.
Later in the afternoon a group of us decided to hike up the mountain. As soon as we headed out, the kids began to follow and “help” us by grabbing our hands, pushing our backsides, and jumping all over us as we trekked up the steep incline. The hike wasn’t an easy one and left us covered in sweat and dirt, probably not the best idea after discovering we had no water, but it was rewarding. The views were breathtaking. The barefooted kids practically ran up the mountain then showed us where they lived begging us to go see their homes. When we said we couldn’t go down into the valley they were upset.
We got back in time for dinner and noticed that some clouds seemed to be looming outside. Before dinner we prayed for water. As we were all finishing up our meal we heard some sprinkles on the tin roof. Of course we ran outside and stood in it hoping to wash just a fraction of the dirt off our bodies. Then it began to pour!! I don’t think I have ever been so happy to be standing in the rain. We got shampoo and soap and stood where the water was running off the roof and all took showers in the rain. What an experience! A gift from God at the end of an amazing God filled day.
Oh did I mention we had glass bottle Cokes and one of the interns made sweet tea at dinner? Best day ever.