Monday, January 10, 2011

Trip to PDP & Last 2 days in PC

The last 1/3rd of our trip… Well almost …. Haha.

I guess the whole being good at blogging thing is seasonal… and this is drought season for us…. Thanks for hanging with us though! Not only have we not had much time but I think it has been hard for us to process the last few days… most of the days have been full of traveling… which means our eyes have seen some new things… some disturbing things.

We left off on Tuesday afternoon. Most of the team went to the soccer field… which was a daily thing for Dustin and Jacob. They were so faithful with having soccer games with the kids each day. Haitians love to play soccer… and they LOVED Dustin and Jacob J Soccer is a big event in Haiti… it’s not just for those who play… watching is part of the fun! The younger girls ran out cheering at times… too cute. Jello was a HUGE hit for our team and others this past August… we tried some for desert this time and EPIC FAIL. NASTY. WEIRD CONSISTENCY. That’s all I will say about that.

Side note----- Mary Kate has been doing a FABULOUS job with writing these blogs from a team perspective over the last few days. I, Jessica, however… I am not so good at that J So I will story tell from my point of view. Hope that’s okay with you all!

Wednesday was the day that I was anticipating since arriving in Haiti the week before… It was the day I was going to go to Port-de-Paix (PDP) to bring Summer, a friend, and 2 special little girls to Passe Catabois. One of the special little girls being Sandra… most of you know her story. But I was so stoked to be able to spend time with Sandra, now Phoebe. I even had the whole group about as excited as I was J Anyways… Wednesday came and went quickly. I went into PDP with Chrisnet and Wilfet on Wilfet’s motorcycle to get the girls while Kate, Christin, Dustin, Rachel, & Jacob stayed in Passe Catabois to hold down the fort. It was hard for me to leave them there… it almost felt wrong. But they assured me they would be fine.

The plan was to leave at 9 am to arrive in PDP around 11, make hotel reservations and be back at the airport to pick the girls up at 12. But you know… we were in Haiti. I’m not sure what came over me to make me think that would actually happen. Wilfet showed up pretty close to 9 but I told him to come at 8 am because I knew he would be late… we waited until like 9 45 for Chrisnet… I must admit I was becoming impatient because I had things to do and people to see J All to find out that he was in our guesthouse the ENTIRE TIME… reading the Bible with Jacques. Haha… hard to be mad at that… right?? We planned to take a tap tap in but Wilfet changed his mind around 10 30 and decided that we would take his motorcycle. That was the best idea I had heard yet so we went with it!

I can’t quite describe the joy that that my spirit felt riding on a motorcycle in Haiti with 2 of my favorite boys…. Seeing more of the country and seeing things from their perspective was priceless. The sun beating down and the wind against my face was a beautiful combination J Wilfet took a different way to PDP than I have ever traveled before, he says the path is easier on his moto… on the way there were fields and fields of corn with workers scattered throughout. Some of the land was green and jungle like/mountainous and then 2 minutes later you would be in dessert like conditions. Haiti’s terrain is so diverse!

Summer actually ended up texting me on the way into the city that they were running behind… gave me a sigh of relief to know that we weren’t the only ones! We pulled up at Tortug’ Air and since Summer the rest of her gang had not arrived yet we ran some errands for Jacques (changed money & purchased milk) and set out to find a hotel for us to stay in Thursday night. Tortug directed us to Hotel Kaf. An employee for Tortug, Martin, put us in his truck and drove us over the hotel. I’m not sure if he was the owner of the hotel as well… but he seemed like he ran the joint. My first impression of Hotel Kaf was sketchy sketch. I have never seen a brothel… but walking into this hotel was what I have always imagined a brothel in a third world country would look like. As far as I could tell we had no other option so I went with it. Paid a deposit of $40 USD… literally just prayed that the Lord would work the rest out. When I asked for a receipt Martin asked me for pen and paper and he wrote down his information and what I had paid. Ha. Legit?? I dunno… but I was hoping so. After we got finished at Hotel Kaf, Chrisnet told me he would like it if one of our guy friends would come and stay with us in the hotel. Haha… talk about make you feel good about where you are staying. I told him I would work on it.

*** We picked up another straggler in PDP. Anne-Marie invited a guy to stay with our group for a day to learn English. His name is Shervans. He joined us at Tortug Air and came with us to the hotel and then to Passe Catabois.

When we finished with the errands and hotel reservation making Summer had arrived at the airport. It was so great to finally meet her and her friend Sam. Phoebe was asleep in her arms and Chellda was in Sam’s lap scared to death being out of her comfort zone of the orphanage walls. Summer let me hold Phoebe practically the moment I got there… I am so grateful that she allows me to love her! Wilfet sent us a taptap to the airport and he headed back to PC with Shervans on his moto. I sat in the front of the tap tap with Phoebe in my lap sleeping and Sam sat with Chellda. Summer and Chrisnet took a seat in the rear… Summer’s first tap tap ride J Pheobe slowly woke up and gave me the biggest smile when she saw me…. Made my heart melt J She has such a beautiful little spirit! Beautiful, feisty, spoiled, and a toddler…. Makes for a great combination! She cooed, spoke in her little toddler Kreyol phrases, sang, and explored my face the whole way there. I was in HEAVEN!--- This tap tap ride went a lot smoother than the last one I had been on… no break downs.. no flats… we made it to PC within an hour and a half. My toosh still hurt though. Ha.

The ride was uneventful but I should have known that was too good to be true. When I tried to pay the driver he told me I owed him more money because he had made a deal with Wilfet. Well since Wilfet didn’t relay that message I didn’t know whether or not to believe the man. He wanted to charge us almost double of what everyone else paid. I refused and explained to him that his price was unfair. He didn’t care. He was relentless. Most Haitians are. After 10 minutes of trying to bargain with him I just had to walk away. Anne Marie had walked up so I explained the situation to her. She went and delt with it in a very Haitian way…. He finally got over his anger and explained to her that he came to the airport for us and left without his tap tap being full. So he just expected us to pay for the rest because I’m a white foreigner. Dumb decision on his part to leave without his tap tap full and for assuming I would pick up the slack and dumb on my part for assuming that I would be treated like everyone else on the tap tap. We made a deal and called it a day for the tap taps.

Chrisnet, Summer, Sam, Phoebe, Chellda, and I walked up to find that Wilfet and Shervans had beat us to town and the rest of our group at the soccer field. Everyone stopped in the middle of the game to check out the new visitors and when they found out that Phoebe (Sandra to them) was back for a visit they had to see her! So cute to see their responses. Phoebe went right to Rachel… which was pretty impressive because if Summer is around Phoebe usually wants nothing to do with anyone else.

My buddies gave me an update on how their day was… they said they were able to do some crafts with the kiddos, did some coloring sheets, put puzzles together with the hospital patients, and just hang out.

Dance parties were usually always involved. Dustin and Rosmanette have been in MANY dance off’s this week....

We spent the evening chatting about our time in Haiti… struggles… triumphs…passions…desires…callings. It is indeed a beautiful thing to talk about with our partners in the ministry. Pizza was on the menu.,… I’m almost certain the Lord multiplied the pizza that we brought. We were able to feed our group of 6, Summer, Sam, Phoebe, Chellda, Shervans, Chrisnet, Jacques and Isabel! Phoebe was HUGE FAN of pizza sauce and pepperoni… I’m not sure why but it shocked me.

We actually had a bat fly in the kitchen during supper… haha. Christin and Kate came UNCORKED. Funny to watch! Jacques said in his VERY THICK FRENCH ACCENT, “Christin, no worry. Bat eat fruit, Not human.” Haha, She was not convinced. All it took was turning the lights off for 5 seconds and POOF… the bat was GONE! Jacques is a LIFE SAVER and an expert in the wilderness. You would want him on your team… TRUST ME!

It was really fun to see Jacques and Isabel react to seeing Phoebe …. You can see the love in their eyes for the children they have cared for in the past. They are the ones that cared for Phoebe and Chellda when they became orphaned and eventually went to LFM in PDP. They sing to the children they care for each night in a sweet French lullaby. We asked them to sing to the girls…. And they did. Words cannot describe the peace that fell over the room. I could tell the girls remembered them singing to them. I am confident that those songs at night were a HUGE part of Phoebe’s healing process. Thankfulness cannot begin to describe the way I feel about Phoebe having Jacques and Isabel raise her during a very difficult time in her life. They are a beautiful picture of God’s love.

Phoebe fell asleep in my arms after supper and Summer asked if I wanted her to sleep with me tonight…I didn’t hesitate a bit. I was in hog heaven. As soon as I laid down with her in the bed memories of nights with her as a newborn came flooding back. I got a little nervous and began praying that she would sleep all night… I laughed as I prayed thinking “that’s a shot in the dark”… and plus it would not make for any good stories. But to my surprise… she slept most of the night. I didn’t sleep good because I was worried I wouldn’t hear her if she woke up and didn’t want to disturb the rest of my roommates. She sat up in the bed around 4 am… no crying. Just up. I got up with her.. fed her a bottle and she was ready to go for a bit J Haha… Kate and Christin were up with us and we were playing in the room like it was 4 pm. Rachel rolled over and asked “what time is it and what in the world are ya’ll doing??” Phoebe and I went to the kitchen so that we wouldn’t disturb the others anymore. More memories came flooding back. Many nights in the kitchen with her… but this time it was different. She was a secure and happy little girl. I held her and rocked her in the kitchen until she fell back asleep around 6am. I carried her back to the bedroom and we both slept hard for 2 more hours.

We had discussed spending half of the day in PC before leaving to go to PDP but ended up deciding that to drag out good bye’s would be harder than necessary. Dustin and Jacob made a special trip to tell their sweet friend Duff “Na we” --- in english it means “see you later”. They have really come to love him… precious. When I asked them something they wanted to share about their time with Duff there were so many special things mentioned that I have to share with you :) Most of the time they spent with him was around the soccer field because it is so close to his house. Every time they got up off of the ground, Duff would dust their booties off :) Dustin and Jacob said they would dust his off too. Can you imagine a little 5 year old doing that?? Also, one day Dustin had a bandaid on his ankle because of a small cut. Duff wanted to see it so he took the bandaid off. It started bleeding a little bit again... Duff looked around... found some old styrofoam on the ground, wiped it off, and helped Dustin with his wound :) How precious is that?? --- here is a picture of the boys and their little buddy :)

I handed out some marbles and some small things to the faithful kiddos, we packed up, and said our goodbyes and headed to try to catch a tap tap. A large number of the kids live right by the tap tap stop…so we spent some time with them while trying to get a ride.

Ever since July 2010 Kate has had a heart for a little girl in PC named Lushka. Christin and Kate had a dress especially picked out for Lushka (it was hand-made by Christin’s Mawmaw Marion). Lushka is a little girl that is no longer being cared for by her parents… and is living with Madame Jal almost as a slave. In Kreyol the word is “restavek”. Madame Jal is good to her and loves on her but she still has more responsibility than any 5 year old should ever have. Lushka always had the dirtiest clothes… they never fit… you know I can remember being 5 and feeling like a princess when my mom dressed me. It’s heart breaking when children don’t know that love and that empowerment just from being told you are beautiful and feeling you are beautiful. We are all princesses… daughters of the King. We thought it was time she felt like one.

I wish you could have seen her face when she saw the dress…. It was the most precious thing I have ever seen. The dress is turquoise with a little bow at the top with lace at the bottom. She immediately went inside, changed her clothes and put on the new dress, came out immediately and showed it off. A part of me wondered if she had ever had anything that really belonged to her. She posed for a few second for a picture then sat down with us and let us love on her before taking off. It was so special to her that she went inside, took it off and put it away as though it were worth all the money in the world. My heart melted as I began to realize that we all have so much…. And to whom much is given much is required.

I will write more about our journey to PDP as a team, the night in our hotel and the days to follow SOON. Just wanted to give you this portion of the book before it got any longer :)

BTW… we are home now. Safe. Wishing we were with our family in Haiti. But we hope that our family in US will surround us with love and patience as we walk through adjusting to this world. We love you.. stay tuned for more!

1 comment:

DrummerGirl said...

BEAUTIFUL.Thank you so much for this.Nothing brings my heart greater joy than to see orphans being loved with the love of Christ.So many sweet and precious stories!Most certainly cried hearing about Lushka!Wishing I could have seen her smile =)So glad you got to spend time with Phoebe,Jess.I know that must have been a hge blessing to you.Enjoy the pictures and so thankful for each of your hearts and willingness to Go,serve,and deny one's self.Such a precious thing to see.Continuing to Pray.Both for each of you and the Beautiful people of Haiti.Especially those in PC.Our God surely provides and protects and promises to take care of His followers,PTL!Thankful for your journey and lifting up all that you've seen,heard,smelled,felt,and so much more that may be hard to share and express.Love you!Wo ai ni Péngyǒus.我爱你的朋友.
mwen renmen ou anpil!