Today was my favorite day so far.
We knew that we wouldn't be working the whole day because their were so many Hatian workers on the kitchen project we could just kinda clean up for them
Well most of us. Kevin has basically been accepted as a day laborer for the Hatian construction team.
Travis and Chad were pretty close too and by that I mean unlike myself they weren't physically stopped by a Hatian when they tried to help.
I seemed to not mesh well with them and I'm pretty sure they think I'm a lady.
So we worked for half the day. I picked up trash for the most part. I found a trashed alley, Christina and Kara helped start it but they were each called away for something or other and I ended up finishing it.
Which was fine with me. I got pretty filthy but it was completely shaded and that was well worth it.
Not to mention I actually felt like I carried my weight today.
After the alley was cleaned I found another little room and cleaned it.
When I was finished pretty much everyone was standing by Leslie's truck having a water.
So I grabbed the hackey sack I brought and proceeded to try and play with the kids.
Tony from Christian Life Center was first to join us.
Us being the 4 or five boys that had come around the worksite from the neighborhood.
They didn't seem to really like the game but then someone brought out the kick ball. Might have been Tony but I can't remember exactly who. My apologies.
Anyway the kids LOVED it.
They played this game which was for all intents and purposes "monkey in the middle."
Five or six people with one in the middle.
The ones on the outside of the circle kicked the ball past the one in the middle. If he intercepted it then whoever kicked it was in the middle.
Let me tell you, you do not want to be in the middle.
Hatian children are quick. Scary quick. They distract you with trickery and fancy footwork and then kick it away and laugh.
If you get in the middle it is only the grace of God that gets you out of that nightmare.
The taunts of half a dozen adorable Hatians will haunt my dreams.
Your best and really only hope was to pray an American got it. Then you hung back and awaited his inevitable lob that would free you from your tiny prison.
After the game we were called to move some bricks and we all made a line.
The ladies of ClC & Lifepoint really shined here.
They toted bricks with the best of em'.
That is until a really heavy one would come down the chain and Leslie would either say "no" or "heavy" to Elaina and pas the block to me.
I have no doubt she could have handled it but Leslie was adamant.
After we nicely stacked the bricks we rested. Played some more ball and finally met Pastor Boliere.
The 84 year old founder of the orphanage we support.
He was awesome and inspiring. It was an absolute pleasure to be around him.
However he didn't stick around too long because he had just arrived back in Port Au Prince and obviously wanted to check on the kids and rest.
After he left we moved more brick. Then removed the first bricks because we stacked them in the wrong place.
Next we packed up and headed to the market.
Eddie the Pastor of CLC was serious about us walking around in small groups and experiencing the market.
It was nuts. Packed beyond common sense and alive with smells, textures & color
Walking single file most places and keeping an eye behind us Elaina and I were on the search for mangos.
Mangos if you were unaware are delicious bits of sweet tangy heaven.
They have a slight sting of acidity mixed with their fruitiness that makes it feel almost like eating a carbonated fruit.
We found some and was looking at other fruits when we were passed by a wheel barrow of butchered goat.
It smells exactly like you are imagining by the way.
We stopped and bought some coke in glass bottles. It was really good. Coke always tastes better in glass.
Then we picked up a few other things. Elaina bought some cherries & mango.
Katrina bought a watermelon, I bought 2 melons of undetermined origin. As I write this only one has been devoured this far and it turned out to be a stunningly ripe cantaloupe. It was just so big we didn't know what it was. I offered the lady an American dollar bill and she asked for 2 and I bought it.
Of course I picked up some mango too. I really dug the mango.
Hatian currency is gourdes and there is roughly 42 gourdes to an American dollar.
We exchanged some money the first day, which at the time seemed cool. However, it got confusing when you ran low and were trying to pay in gourdes and in dollars.
After the market we went to the orphanage and played with the kids. They are so loving and so precious it's almost painful.
Chad and l lifted kids up to look over the fence. Gave piggy back rides and woolered kids.
Everyone of us had a little group around us.
They love to take your stuff. Hats phones sunglasses and cameras. Then they run around giggle and play.
I played a couple really fun games with them which were lower impact than soccer.
One was laying on my stomach and sticking my hands ünder the gate. Where waiting children would try to smack it.
This was fine until one tried to take my ring. In there defense they probably just wanted to see it.
Secondly one stomped my hand in play and that worried me so I quit.
The second game was the best. I laid down on my back and pretended to be asleep. Then they gathered around and tried to wake me.
I would spri g awake and tickle anyone remotely in reach.
This went on for quite a while til pasto Boulielle thought I might be hurt or about to get hurt and we stopped.
Two little girls tiny tight braided my beard.
This was painful but fun.
The subsequent 3 other times were only matched in their pain by the tiny fingers unbraiding it & combing it out so they could braid it again.
Several kids learned my name and would run up and tag me then yell "Ah-lahn" giggle and run off.
Closest thing to the joy I feel when my kids yell daddy when I come home from going somewhere.
Real close to that. Your heart sings when they say your name.
So while I was getting my beard assaulted. Kevin, Katrina, Elaina and Kevin again got their hair played with styled and messed with in general.
Then the kids had pizza and soda. They sang to us and pastor Boulielle talked a bit.
I cried and hid around the van.
Then after that we said our goodbyes.
Hugged cuddled and loved the tar out of them and loaded back on the bus.
Carlo our bus driver is a daredevil with a heart of gold. He maneuvers inexplicably around traffic. It was crazy.
Travis sat in the front and said we didn't know the half if it.
Kevin and I desperately want to take a "taxi bike" back to the mission but it is unlikely Kelly will let us.
This remains to be seen. As of this writing we've joked about it. Just planting the seed. Now to see if it falls on fertile or stony ground.
Back at the mission I had decided to skip the revival. I was tired and I wanted to emerita this and prepare my devotion.
That was my plan at least until after dinner.
Tonight dinner was salad, however the ingredients were separate. It was a ring of tomatoes, with sliced onion surrounding lettuce.
There was also fried chicken, pasta and rice.
I ate a lot of pasta. It was the best thing so far to me. The Hatians know how to fry things, as I told Lance but they don't know how to stop frying.
So the meat the last two nights were pretty crispy. I could only half eat the chicken.
After dinner I retired to my bunk to study when Elaina mentioned taking her tambourine to the revival.
I was trying to get her to join them and I have no doubt she would have been not only welcomed but encouraged.
Still I told her I'd go to if she'd play. I thought she would and even if she didn't volunteer I was going to volunteer her.
Elaina however is a clever devil and took a different entrance so I didn't get the chance.
The revival was fun. Great music and the kids started coming and sitting with us.
Chad was first. The kids loved him. Then one came and sat by Elaina.
Finally I got one and Christina was swarmed.
She put 2 to sleep on her lap by the end of church.
The revivalists asked if we'd like to come up and help pray for people so Elaina, Kevin and I did.
It was pretty intense.
Afterwords we played with some kids and I carried one on my shoulders up the hill to her house.
It was pretty late but when we got back to the mission we had cantaloupe, watermelon and MANGO.
Sorted the stuff for which consisted of shirts, hygiene products and toys for the kids.
We are visiting several orphanages weather permitting.
Think we will end the day at ours though.
After sorting I came up to write this. Talked guns with Travis and Tony. Talked random nonsense with everyone as they came up and eventually started to drop off one at a time.
Then we heard gunshots and a few of them woke up. Not everyone which was a little concerning. Lance was wearing earplugs so he missed it.
That sums up day 3