Monday, January 28, 2013

Haiti day 4...

 Day 4 was Monday and we headed out in the morning for our first conference which was 3 hours away.  It was crazy to think about driving that far for a few hours and heading back, but that is what we did.  I am so glad we got to see so much more of Haiti with all of our driving, too bad most of the days we drove the exact same roads as before to get where we were going, lots of time spent riding and singing!  The guys we were with LOVED to sing and so we sang. I think that is why my voice was nearly gone by the time we got home.

 Lots of people everywhere.
 markets were set up on nearly every street.
 When we arrived at the church, there were already a lot of ladies there, so we had to quickly try to figure out how and where to set up all of our things.  We planned to divide the ladies into 4 groups and they would rotate through the 4 classes.  My friend Hannah and I taught a health class, there was a Bible class, a sewing class, and a medical clinic.  Well, the first 1 and 1/2 went okay, but once they got wind of the medical clinic going on, all they wanted to do was to sit in line and wait for the clinic.  We gave up on teaching our last 2 classes because it got pretty chaotic.  I was so frustrated, I wanted to pack up and go home!  I couldn't understand, at the time, why these ladies didn't get the fact that they didn't have to push and shove and crowd each other to get to the medical clinic.  I mean, I knew they were going to get their turn, why couldn't they just wait for it. It wasn't until later that God softened my heart and showed me how judgmental I was being.  I can just bring my self or my children to the dr. whenever I feel the need.  They do not have that luxury.  These dear ladies are struggling to survive and trying to keep their families safe and healthy.  If my child was sick, as several of these kids seemed to be, I would do everything in my power to get them the help they needed. I would want to be sure that they had their turn in the clinic before the rest of the town showed up and started cutting in line, which is what started happening.  Once I sat down and watched what was going on I realized the towns people started flowing in the doors.  While we would have loved to help everyone, we didn't have the time or the resources to do that so we shut some of the doors and they would walk right in through the back door and try to sneak into the clinic. There were so many people there, we had paid for someone to prepare beans and rice and chicken for the ladies at the conference, and now we had more than just the conference ladies, we had men and teens and lots of others we weren't planning on. 

This was the first group of ladies, they were a lot of fun.  We did a hand washing demonstration, and showed them proper hand washing techniques and explained that they should wash for as long as you sing the "Happy Birthday" song.  They really got into singing the song, they sang and clapped and had fun with it.

Of course I found some sweet babies to hold!
 Somehow, the men who were helping us settled the whole crowd and the people were fed, and we were able to head out at a decent hour, we knew we had a long drive ahead and they wanted to get us home before dark.  But, the pastor and his wife invited us to their house to eat, so we went.  There were beans and rice, sauce, chicken, fried plantains, cole slaw, and some vegetables and of course pop.  But, Pastor Jorel came in and told us we could only eat the beans and rice, plantains and chicken, no sauce or veggies! I was so thankful for his protective input.  So we had beans and rice dinner #1.

I think it was Isaac who climbed a tree in the pastors yard and got this fruit which is in the same family as the fruit that Luisa LOVED in Colombia.  In Colombia it was orange and sweet, in Haiti, it is yellow to green and citrisy, but same texture and nearly the same name. {Granadilla, I think.}

These are rice paddys.  Apparently, the Chinese came over and helped them develop and learn the techniques to grow rice in Haiti!

 This is one of the churches that the mission has built, Pastor Jorel showed it to us on our way back home.
 The sun was starting to set as we drove past the ocean, cool picture, but what it doesn't show is all of the garbage and junk in the water.  Haiti is the only place I have ever seen where the ocean front property has some of the poorest shacks, tents and makeshift homes.  It was very surprising to me.

Some of the men who were always there to help us.  They were our translators, body guards, teachers{they liked to try to teach us Creole}and friends.  They are great guys who really love the Lord and it showed on their faces.  They were always smiling and having a good time, many people we met did not have that same joy, it was neat to see how God gives that joy despite circumstances.  Some of these men have unimaginable stories they could share, but still they smile.  All the while having to tote all of us ladies here there and everywhere!

Inside of the fruit mentioned above. There were 2 Haitian ladies that helped us in the kitchen, both named Mylude {I am sure I spelled it wrong, but how funny they had the same name, got a tad confusing until we started calling them #1 & #2!} and a man named Abel who made the most amazing drink from this fruit.  It was so good!  We also enjoyed mangoes almost every morning which were amazing!
We didn't get home until pretty late that night, and Mylude #1 had made us beans and rice, chicken, sauce, cole slaw, fried plantains and veggies, which pastor Jorel said we could eat it, so we did. It was very good. Beans and rice dinner #2.