Saturday, August 28, 2010

I think I figured it out, although don't be surprised if this doesn't work! So I posted all the videos on youtube, but I couldn't figure out how to tell you all to view them. Well, I think this is the correct link! So go, enjoy all of the fun videos of our time in Haiti!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It took me long enough!


Be impressed. It only took me 16 days! I really did intend to have them up by the weekend after we got back, but I have never had so many difficulties with the internet and uploading. I swear I must have started to upload the photos like 5 times, and then it would cancel itself. Talk about frustrating. And by the end I had to go through and delete all those duplicates. Not fun, but I managed to get through it. So here are the links:

This is the shutterfly account that Katie created. She uploaded all of her photos, and I uploaded Adrienne and my photos. Ours are under just my name because I linked them from my shutterfly account. They are not edited or anything, so enjoy seeing us in all of our glory. There are even a few photos if you look really close where you can see the sweat dripping down us. It is gross, but true. So enjoy!

I also uploaded all of our videos to youtube. Most of them are of the children singing songs to us. There are a few videos of us as we were driving and then just a few random others thrown in there. We are especially fond of the ones where the children are singing the worship songs that we taught them. Their voices bring a smile to my face every time I hear them! I don't know how to get a link to my page, but it is under my e-mail address of I hope that works.

I hope that you all enjoy the photos as much as I do. And that you can get a little glimpse into the world that we were so blessed to be a part of for those 15 days!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I know we have been home for almost a week, but I finally have a little bit of time, so I wanted to share some photos with you all. And of course to tell a few more stories.

It is funny to look back in my journal now. It feels like it was yesterday and a year ago all at the same time. It feels to backwards to be home. Things like driving and taking warm showers felt wrong for the first couple of days. Eating was not very much fun when I first got back either. I was craving food, and it sounded so good for like 5 minutes, then I would think about eating it and get nauseated. It was so sad. We ate In and Out on our drive home from the airport, and it was so good that I ate it so fast, but I felt sooo sick after eating it. It was very upsetting. Also, I swore I would not eat rice, beans or chicken for a month, but my dad came to visit Thursday after we got back, and what did he bring for dinner? Rice, beans and chicken. I tried to eat it to be nice since it was so kind of him to bring it over, but eating rice just was not going to happen. So I sucked it up and forced the chicken and beans down, but the rice just wasn't happening. Luckily by Saturday I could eat again. I have been craving Chipotle since I was in Haiti, but I still can not bring myself to eat it. Anyways, moving on to some pictures.

This is Adrienne and I at the airport on our way to Haiti with our backpacks. We each had 2 checked bags of VBS supplies, so we put all of our personal items in our backpacks and took them through security. We luckily ended up gate checking the ones on our backs.

We seriously looked like a circus going into the airport though. And even leaving the Haiti airport. Between the 5 of us we ended up with 13 checked bags and 5 personal backpacks. Adrienne's parents helped us at LAX, but once we got to Port Au Prince we were on our own. Which was insane. After we got through customs we hit baggage claim which was the most chaotic thing I think I have ever experienced. I think I got more bruises from that experience than the rest of the trip combined. People would ran into you with their bags and the carts for their bags and then get mad at you for being in the way. And then trying to get 13 bags off of the carousel was not pretty. Especially with people pushing you and getting mad at you. And none of us spoke a lick of French or Creole which didn't help. I am pretty sure people were cussing us out (even though we weren't doing anything wrong) and we didn't understand a word of it.

This picture doesn't do justice to the amount of stuff we had.

These are some pictures of our supplies and donations once we got to our room. This is the first room we stayed in. It was two adjoining rooms. We ended up moving to just one room which was actually much better.

Backtracking a little to our last few days there...

So, the last time that I blogged from Haiti, I mentioned that just Adrienne and I had walked to the internet cafe with our translator Gustave. Well, after we finally finished (we sat there for an hour before we got to actually use a computer, and then between the two of us it took like an hour to use the internet) it was pouring rain. And I mean pouring. I saw a plastic bag on the floor and I asked Gustave if I could take it to put my journal and my money wallet in so that they didn't get soaked on our walk home. Well he didn't really answer me, so I just moved on. Well, as we were leaving he grabbed it, but not for me, he put it on his head (as if it was actually going to help). Adrienne kept my journal mostly dry, and I had my money wallet around my waste and under shirt, so it as well stayed mostly dry. But just picture Adrienne and I running through the streets, in flip flops, in the pouring rain, through trash water that was up to our ankles. Oh, and to add to it, as you walk down the sidewalk there are huge holes that are like 5 feet deep filled with sewage water as well. And don't forget the slimy mud that is slippery. So there we are, running down the street through ankle deep trash water trying to see these 5 feet holes and the slimy mud. We manages to avoid all of the holes, but we were not so lucky with the mud. Somehow we managed to stay on our feet though. It was quite the experience to add to our already crazy trip. I loved every minute of it.

The next day we had our last day of VBS in Leogane, and then we got to help with the food distribution again. They are so grateful for bags of rice and nuts, it is very humbling. After that we moved the school desks out of the tent of doom to the street so that they could be taken from the church to the secondary school. I have never been so impressed with a packing job in my life. I did not know that you could transport that many desks at a time, let alone stack them in that way. We move a hundred something desks out of the tent to the street. And when the driver of the truck had to leave we had like 30 something desks that had yet to be taken to the secondary school that we got to move back into the tent. Our shins paid the price for that one. Adrienne is a beast and was helping one of the guys carry 2 at a time. The rest of us decided more work was worth it and only carried one at a time.

This is the man that we saw sleeping on his motorcycle

These are photos of us on the side of the road when we got our flat tire.

This is when we went to the beach. The water was so warm.

This is the motorcycle ride that we finally convinced Pastor Millian to let us go on... he was a little reluctant. He kept saying our parents wouldn't let us go, so he wouldn't. But after moving all the desks I guess he felt bad for us and agreed!

This was from our last day working in Leogane. We got to haul concrete from the front of the church to the back in buckets. We were laying the foundation for the new brick wall that was going to be built around the church. It took a lot of convincing, but Pastor Millian finally realized that we wanted to get dirty and do some manual labor. And boy did he give us manual labor. We also met probably our least favorite person while we were doing this. It was some guy who kept telling us to work harder. It didn't help that he was wearing Celtics basketball shorts. He later proceeded to ask me for my e-mail address (this is equivalent to a guy asking a girl for her phone number here in the states). I proceeded to tell him that I didn't give my e-mail address to guys who wore Celtics shorts. Afterward I saw him hanging all over his girlfriend. Oh the Haitian men that we met.

This is Joseph. He kind of spoke English so he was considered our interpreter during Sunday School while Pastor Millian was preaching. He was super sweet.
This is Pastor Millian. Can you tell how excited he is to be with us when we are that dirty?

And this is Gustave, our translator. This was at the airport right before we left. The cleanest we were in 2 weeks!
I have tons more photos. Too many to post all of on here. There are some on shutterfly already, but I am adding more. And I am also adding our videos to shutterfly. I will post the link once I get that done. I hope you all enjoyed a little snapshot of our time in Haiti. It was amazing, and I know that I for one can not wait to go back! Thank you all so much for your prayers and support while we were there! God is going great things in that country! I was so blessed to see even just a small part of it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We are home!

We got in last night a little early around 8:30. We landed in Miami around 3, and let me tell you, we were pretty excited to be on US soil. We woke up 5 am, 3 am west coast time and headed to the Port Au Prince airport, where we proceeded to sit for the next 4 hours. We tried to buy something to drink, but as a business man referred to it, we didn't have any Haitian "funny money," and they weren't accepting debit cards or American money. We were in quite the predicament considering the extensive amount of time we were spending at that airport. But the kind business man felt bad for us, so he offered us his change. It was the beginning to a very long, highly entertaining day.
The flight to Miami was gorgeous. I tried really hard to sleep but it just wasn't happening, which ended up being a good thing because I got to look out the window and journal. Even after spending three months in Europe I wasn't this excited to be on US soil. All I could think about was eating something fast foodish. The most American thing we could find. Which let me tell you, this was quite difficult. Not that I wanted to eat McDonalds, but it is American, and I would have eaten it. Our options came down to a corn dog or Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut won. Although eating something soo greasy on an empty stomach did not sit well. But it was American and fast food, so I won't complain. But, all of that had to wait until we made it through customs. It wasn't that bad. Which was a little surprising. Minus the fact that we had to get our bags when we were in Miami and recheck them. I am not a huge fan of baggage claims in general, but I knew that once we finished we could get our fast food, so I was going to get through baggage claim if it took everything I had. And as you can tell by the previous story, I made it to the pizza.
The flight from Miami to LA was a little more brutal. Mainly because we wanted to get home. The In and Out we got as soon as we got back made it all worth it though. It was like heaven in my mouth. We all swore getting off the plane that we would not eat beans, rice or chicken. All we could think about was eating beef. Well that goal was dashed today when my dad brought over El Pollo Loco. Eating the rice was beyond my capability, but I did manage to get some beans and rice down. Today was a very relaxing day to help me recover from two weeks of non stop chaos. And because Renee told me that I looked pale, so I had to work on getting my tan back. As hot as it was, we spent as much time as possible in the shade, which apparently made my tan fade. Except for the sweet tan line I now have on my feet from my shoes.
There are still our last few days while we were in Haiti that I still have to write about, but I am getting a little sleepy, and I really don't want to walk down the hall to get my journal which is where all of the great stories are kept. But on the upside, all the photos are now uploaded to my computer awaiting me to go through them and post them. There are even some amazing videos that I can not wait to share! Be looking for those soon as well!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

As if that last blog wasn't enough...

This one by far tops it if you ask me. Although I am on a time crunch so the stories might not be as detailed!

First, let me start with a random topic. We had quenefe (no clue how to actually pronounce that) the other day for the first time. It looks like a little lime. It tastes pretty good, but the texture did me in. Right as I put it in my mouth Rachel Lermusik (with her ever helpful comments) stated that the texture felt like snot. Yup, that was the last one I had. Well, until we were in the jungle (which is a story that will come later in the post).

So, on Saturday we went to Port Au Prince with Pastor Millian. He really wanted to show us the palace that was destroyed in the earthquake. But, as always, nothing is as easy as just that. On our drive in, he told us that we needed to stop at a tire store to replace the tire that blew out last week. Made sense. The first place we stopped didn't have the right size or something, so we were on the road again. A little background of Port Au Prince: it is the dirtiest city I have ever been in. There literally was trash everywhere. And the people and drivers were so much pushier that Leogane or Careffour. SO there we are, driving through this dirty city when we pull up to the next tire store. This one at first glance looked much nicer than the other one. But we were in for a rude awakening. As we were sitting there, we noticed a guy holding a huge shot gun. And then another, and then another. Apparently they really don't want anyone stealing their tires. So there we are, sitting inside this tire store, that luckily had airconditioning with men walking around with shot guns. Talk about the beginning of a great adventure. So we decided to make "friends" with one of the workers. Well, we began to ask him what was taking so long. We had been there for atleast 45 minutes at this point. We told him that in America, they would give you a discount at this point. To which he replied "maybe it is taking so long because I like looking at you." So much for that one. Somehow all the guys tend to be creepy here. Well, about 30 minutes later they finally finished, and we all rushed to the car happy to be out of there.
On to adventure number 2 of the day. Pastor Millian took us to the palace. It was in the middle of the city, amongst all the other destroyed buildings. We were just driving, taking pictures out the window when all of a sudden, there it was on our left hand side. Out of no where. Right across from a tent city, just like the news showed. We asked if we could get out of the car, and he said yes. So we piled out, crossed the street and were trying to take pictures when all of a sudden all these kids were surrounding us. We are used to kids, but these ones were grabbing our hands and pulling on us and we didn't know them. I am pretty sure they were trying to hustle us, although the funny part about that is that we really didn't have anything with us. We were out there for less than 5 minutes before we all piled back into the car and were on our way to adventure number 3.
This is probably the least exciting one of the day, but none the less, I will include it. We had to go to some education something of the rather to get some paper signed or something. This is how detailed Pastor Millian's instructions to us are. But we are good little children and just follow. So there we are, sitting outside some building with yet again, creepy men staring at us. This time, there are about 8. Although they are completely harmless, we are still creeped out and holding on very tightly to our backpacks. Which really isn't a big deal, I am used to it from Europe. We have locks on them, and we hold them on the front etc., but add in the heat and the humidity, and it is not a fun combination.
Moving on to adventure number 4. The last post I mentioned meeting that group from San Diego, and that we wanted to meet up with them and help them at the orphange. Well, Pastor Millian called them to see what they were doing, and it is a good thing he did, they were on their way to the beach. We were all so bummed because we were so excited that we would get to go and do some physical labor. Well, we talked Pastor Millian into taking us out there just to see it anyways. Secretly I think we were all hoping to do some work while we were there. On the way he asked if we would like to stop for a soda along the way. Oh, back tracking to the morning, we had spaghetti for breakfast. Which is one of the best things they have yet to give us for breakfast, but none-the-less, not really something any of us wanted for breakfast. So we are all pretty hungry at this point, so we all quickly said yes. So we pull over to the side of the road to get these sodas and to get out of the boiling car. As we are sitting there on the side of the road, with cows surrounding us, but this tv built into some brick structure that if I do say so myself, was rather impressive. So anyways, we are sitting there drinking our pops, when we decided to hand out some of the bracelets we had brought along with us. Not only the kids love these, but the teenagers and adults as well. When, this group of Americans drove up and asked us what we were doing? They asked us if we would like to go with them to put roofs on a couple of houses. Pastor Millian knew them, so he agreed to let us go with them. So we climbed into the back of the truck and were on our way. None of us really knew what we were in for at this point. Had someone told me that we were headed into the "jungle" of Haiti, I probably would have asked to stay with Pastor Millian. But I guess the saying ignorance is bliss worked out well in this case. So we were off. Up hills, down back roads, literally into the middle of no where to put roofs on these prebuilt structures of houses. Samaritans Purse put this on. They send out a crew to build the structure. Then a crew goes and puts on the roof. And then a crew finishes by wrapping it with a tarp. It is a really amazing program if you ask me. And there is even more to it that I can't cover in this post. So anyways, after we put the roof on, we gathered the family inside and prayed with them. I didn't know that the group we went with was even Christians, so it was a blessing. We ended up getting to roof 4 houses. We were supposed to do 5, but the tin wasn't at the 5th one. Adrienne is a beast up there on the roof in case any of you were wondering! Oh, and while we were out there in the jungle they picked us some more of that fruit and kept offering it to us. I ate 1, trying not to gag, but the rest of the girls ate a lot of it.
Now for adventure number 5. The scariest of them all. So, we are driving home. And there is a lot of traffic. It is this 2ish lane road. Lots of pot holes and annoying speed bumps that are not normal speed bumps. So, we are sitting there, and all of these cars decide to speed around us into on coming traffic to try and go around us. This is frustrating to us because they obviously havce to get back over to our side of the road which means that somewhere up the road thy are cutting us off. But not only that, it is plain stupid. So there we are, sitting at a dead stop, watching cars speed around us. When all of a sudden, we see this jeepish car driuve by, Pastor Millian says "oh no," and they slam on their brakes. As they were slamming on their brakes attempting to not hit the girl who was crossing the street, a girl flies out of the back of the car. So not only does the driver hit a girl, one of his passengers flies out the back. I don't think he knew this because he tried to back up at first, and then he tried to drive away. Well, meanwhile a mob was starting to form around his car. I think people were mad that he obviously hit the girl, but because he was driving on the wrong side of the street. Oh, and this whole bad driving thing is not uncommon. So, the police luckily were right there, and what do they do, they write the driver a TICKET! That's it, a ticket! Talk about ridiculous.
Adventure number 6. We came home, after this long day of events and working, hardly having had breakfast, not having had lunch, having sat in a hot car for 2 hours of traffic rather than the 30 minutes it should have taken, to be told that Gustav never told the kitchen that we weren't going to be there for lunch, and to make us dinner instead. So, they made us lunch at 3, and kept telling us that. They graciously reopened the kitchen which was cleaned and everything was put away to feed us. Not that we weren't trying to be very thankful for everything they were doing, but they brought up licorice root flavored cream of wheat. YUCK! We tried to eat it. Most of us could not stomache it. Which is when Adrienne remembered that we had top ramen (which we had been eating raw). SO we came up wit ha plot of how to get warm water and not offend them. We told them that because we were sick we wanted to make tea. Well, the amount of water you need for tea vs. top ramen is quite different. But crunchy top ramen is by far better than licorice flavored cream of wheat. So we ate our half cooked top ramen.
So today, Sunday was a good day. But very hot. We went back to what we fondly refer to as the tent of doom. But we were smart this week and came up with crafts that didn't require much of us. So it was a much better day. Only to come home and be teased by 10 minutes of air conditioning again to have the power turned off. Oh, did I mention we don't eat breakfast on Sundays because we get picked up so early? So we are hungry and sweaty. To be told that lunch would be ready in 2 minutes. Some 20 + minutes later we feasted on rice and beans, chicken and mango. YUM! What a great end to a day. Now we are off to go and prep the VBS for tomorrow and to sort through all of our donations. It should be a really good night!

Love you all, and thanks once again for all your prayers. I can hardly wait to get home and share all of the photos and videos with you and to tell all these stories in so much more detail!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Prepare yourselves...

This is going to be a long post. Wednesday was our most exciting and interesting day thus far.

So, remember that worship service I talked about that went from 2:30-am-4:30 am? Well we have topped that! Tuesday night we fell asleep to the beginning of an ALL-NIGHT service. And I do mean ALL-NIGHT! Literally, we fell asleep to them, and when we woke up (I use that term loosely because we would have actually had to have been asleep) at 6:45am, they were still going. We were asked the next day if we would go home and do this. I thought about the children's all-nighter once a year at my church and laughed. Although that was truely the only one that went all night, they have been out there the past 4 nights. They never cease to impress me!
So after we rolled ouyt of bed and ate breakfast, it was time for us to leave. Pastor Millian was picking us up to head to Leogane. We went out with our 50+ lbs suitcase of supplies to meet him when we saw that there were people sitting in the hallways and all the way up the stairs. We now had the fun obstacle of getting that suitcase down the stairs that had 2-3 people sitting on each step. Somehow I got it down the stairs, and I didn't take anyone out or fall! I am still impressed with myself!
Wednesday in Leogane and Thursday in Carrfeour we made musical instruments with the kids. To say that we got mobbed would be saying it nicely. At one point in Leogane, Pastor Millian grabbed a stick and started to use that to get the kids to back away and sit down! Today in Carrfeour we did backpacks and put a model magic, 2 markers and stickers in each one. You would have thought we were giving them gold! They kept coming up to us telling us they didn't get one thing or the other. But check their backpack or pockets, and you were sure to find it. It made us laugh everytime. Even some of the adults and teenagers were coming up to us and asking for one thing or the other.
After VBS in Leogane on Wednesday we played what Adrienne calls "street ball" with the kids. Well, Adrienne played. The rest of us feared for our lives. The ball was hit off roofs, buildings, walls, trees, rocks and humans. Call me crazy, but I wasn't looking for any broken bones, so I sat on the sidelines but still had to duck every now and then!
After the deadly game of "street ball" ended, we got to help with a food distribution at the church. I helped put a costco size coffee can of rice into a plastic bag for each person. And then we helped hand out 3 bags of pre-packaged rice and soy protein mix. I asked Pastor Millian after how often they did this, he said it depends, sometimes once a month, sometimes every 2 weeks. It was very humbling.
As we were loading into the car Pastor Millian asked us how we had been eating. He was very concerned that we weren't getting enough to eat (he hasn't seen the amount of snack food that we brought). So, he took us out to lunch at what we now fondly refer to as a "feast for $3." All 6 of us ate for 282 Gourdes. In dollars, that is $11!! Talk about cheap! And it was good. We bought 2 soccer balls for 300 Gourdes. We all left stuffed and with leftovers, sadly we never got to eat them though.
We ran a couple of errands with Pastor Millian before we headed back to Carrfeour. It was cool because we got to see more of Leogane than just our regual route. At one of the stops they were making school desks. I have never seen so many desks in my life. There was also a man asleep on his motorcycle. I have pictures to prove it. I have never seen anyone sleep in such a talented position before.
As if that all isn't exciting enough for one day, as we were on our way home we got a flat tire. To which Pastor Millian replied in a confused voice "was that us?" Which made us all laugh because we could all feel it. Pastor Millian walked away to try to get someone to help us. Which left the 5 of us standing on the side of the road. To which we thought it would be a good idea to try and get someone to help us. No suck luck. We even had a group of Americans drive right by us. After Pastor Millian returned with help, he looked at us and asked if we wanted to stand in the shade. To which I sarcastically replied that we preferred the burning sun (for some reason it never dawned on any of us to go stand in the shade that was 10 feet away). He looked at me very puzzled and asked "really?!?" It didn't take long before we were all standing in the shade and having a dance party. We asked Pastor Millian if he wanted to dance with us. He looked at us like our father and just shook his head like we were his crazy children. Which we pretty much are. We did get lots of honks as we were having our dance party to Kirk Franklin's "Stomp." Pastor Millian really is a kid at heart. We are all very fond of him. He treats us all like we are his kids.
Once we finally got home we went into our room and got teased with about 10 minutes of air conditioning before they turned the power off on us. Which led to a lot of dillusional moments for the 5 of us. We were all just sitting/laying around when Katie got up to get some water and said "spider!" It had to have been the size of my fist. Although I am sure Adrienne will beg to differ that it wasn't that big. But it was huge, and there was a lot of screaming that followed in the next 5 minutes as we tried to kill it. First, we grabbed the bug repellent for our clothing. Mind you, this stuff is not supposed to touch our skin. We had to have used 1/2 the bottle trying to fumigate this monster. After that didn't work, we grabbed the Lysol. Another 1/2 bottle later, it STILL WAS NOT DEAD! But according to Rachel, it had to have been having some sort of breathing problems. Our next attempt was for Adrienne to stand on a chair. She was too short, so we tried to get Rachel to do it. That all failed as well. To which the next attempt was to put Adrienne on Rachel's shoulders. Well it didn't take long for Rachel to figure out that this spider could fall on her face if Adrienne actually did kill it. So logically, she started to yell my back is going to buckle and dropped Adrienne on the bed. Meanwhile I am laying on the bed filming this all. To which only a select lucky few will get to view. Anyways, back to the spider. The next attempt was Rachel standing on a chair throwing a shoe at it. She had to have hit it 3 times. When Katie joined in and wanted her chance to take out the spider. Still, we did not succeed in killing it. He fled to the corner which is where his demise comes in. He was directly above the table which gave Adrienne just enough height to reach him. Now, a little background on this table. It is strictly used for holding stuff because it is extremely shakey. We don't even bother to try and sit there. So, now Anna, Katie and Rachel are holding the table while Adrienne is standing on the table trying to get to the spider. In the midst of all of this chaos Adrienne starts to yell "I am peeing!! I am peeing" To which Katie replied "yes you are!" And to which the rest of us are all squealing of laughter and fear of this spider. Adrienne finally crushed the monster. Luckily it didn't fall into her mouth which was open from laughing. And now I hope that you all feel like you were in the room with the five of us and the monster. Oh, and don't forget, power was off which meant no air conditioning, and the 5 of us in as little clothing as possible. Which meant that while we were trying to fumigate the spider, the door was closed. Don't worry moms, we are all still alive, and no longer dillusional from the fumes.
Moving on to the less exciting events, the next morning, Adrienne, Anna and I woke up not feeling well. I had the chills the night before and hardly slept. I ended up sleeping through breakfast and the first part of VBS. We are all feeling much better now. Between the 5 of us, we covered most of the medicines that we needed.
Later in the afternoon we walked to go meet Gustav (our translator), this was the first time that we ventured outside of jail (as we fondly call it) without supervision. Today walking to the internet was the second time! But don't worry, Gustav was waiting both times for us. Gustav knew that we wanted to go to the ocean, so he offered to take us. We went to the sandbar ish thing that we can see from the roof of where we are staying. It is so pretty. But when we got there, we saw that it is covered in trash. There was trash along the shore and even floating in the water. But it was still so pretty. Once we got to the end Adrienne and I climbed out to a rock. The water was so warm, it felt so nice. The rocks on the bottom were a bit slippery which made it interesting trying to get out there. I eventually gave in trying to keep my shorts dry and went for getting to the rock without falling in completely. There was a man out on the rock next to us who was fishing with a string wrapped around an old spite bottle. Once he caught a fish he put it in another bottle that had the top cut off. Talk about impressive, and yes, he did actually catch fish!
After we came back from our walk, we met this group of 4 students at the school who are studying English. They asked us lots of questions, and it was fun to ask them questions. Adrienne and I even got the opportunity to read this one girl's journal of the day of the earthquake. It was very sad to read, but the faith they have here is amazing. Everytime it seems that we talk to anyone here about music they ask if we have Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," and Jordin Sparks and Chris Browns' "No Air." Then we play them a variety of other music and try to get them to dance with us. First they look at us like we are crazy, but usually they give in and amuse us.
As we were sitting down for dinner, a group of American showed up. They are mostly all from San Diego and they are here building an orphange. We talked to Pastor Millian about going to help them, and he said Saturday. So hopefully tomorrow we will be able to go and meet up with them!
Well, I think that about sums it all up. It has been a crazy few days here, but I know each and every one of us is loving every minute we are here. In 5 days we will be headed to the airport. We get asked a lot if we are coming back, to which I reply "I sure hope so!"
Thank you all for your prayers. We love and miss you all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Worshipping in an internet cafe...

We are back at the internet cafe. They play worship music in English here. We normally are singing along. They must think we are a tad crazy. We do enjoy coming here though.

We have been quite busy with all of the kids, but it is such a blessing and a joy to us. We love spending time with them. And they are all so grateful. Today at VBS, we gave them each a Starburst (as in singular), and they loved that so much. We need to go to the store today or tomorrow because we are running out of snacks for the kids.
We also got to play soccer for the first time today. It is sufficient to say that soccer is not my calling in life. I squealed more than I actually kicked the ball. But it was fun, and the kids love having a soccer ball to play with. Normally they play with an empty bottle of some sort. It is quite humbling.
On Sunday we went to our first church service here. Well, we actually went to 2! It made for a very long sweaty day. The first service was in the morning at Leogane. We did childrens' service in a tent. I have never sweat more in my life. It literally was a sauna in there. So imagine going to a sauna and trying to dance. But not only trying to dance, but having children hang on you the entire time. It is safe to say that any pictures of us girls there will be sweat rolling off of us. We have taken to cutting our t-shirts. Having anything tight around your neck or arms only amplifies how hot it is. Each night as we are laying out our clothes for the next day, we are cutting the necks and sleeves off as well.
Which brings me to showering. We have been so blessed to have our own bathroom, complete with a shower. But I swear we shower at night and 10 minutes later, we smell again. But it has been nice to be able to wash the dirt off of us before we crawl into bed.
Each of us has been trying to learn some Creole/French! It is quite difficult to understand and even pronounce. But they keep insisting that we are "muy intelligente. I have each of the kids write their names in my journal so that I can pronounce them better." I also try to have some phrases written out so that I can practice in our spare time.
Some things looking back that would have been smart to bring: a wash cloth for wiping the sweat off of your face (dark colored), febreeze (then maybe we wouldn't smell so bad all the time), ant repellent, and extra toilet paper. I am sure I will add to this list as the time goes on!
Speaking of which, we were sitting in a church service last night, and Adrienne had May (pronounced My) sitting on her lap. May must be 2 at the oldest. She is the cutest little girl. But anyways, so we are sitting there, an Adrienne is giving her something to drink, when all of a sudden Adrienne looks at me and goes "she is peeing!" I was in shock to say the least. Which quickly followed by laughing. It didn't help that Adrienne spilled the water she was trying to give to May. The horrified looks Adrienne got on her way out of the service were pretty entertaining. That is definitely a story that will live down in history.
Each morning we open VBS with some of the worships songs from Rockharbor's childrens ministry. Some of their favorites are Big God Story, I Am A Chosen Child of God, I'm Gunna Walk, and today we introduced them to Spin. Trying to dance in this heat is hard enough, try doing it with 5 children hanging on your arms. The videos are quite entertaining, and I can't wait to share them with you all once we get back. I believe I also mentioned in my last post that the kids LOVE the World Cup soundtrack! We could play Waka Waka and WaveYour Flag over and over, and the kids would never get tired of them!
Another fun memory we will all take with us was being woken up at 2:30 am to a worship service. Rachel Lermusik quickly pointed out "How many people could there possibly be at a 2:30 worship service? Was a microphone really necessary?" We all very much agreed. Rachel was the only one coherent enough at that hour to attempt to lessen the noise. She first tried shoving a towel in the window (that didn't even close to work because they are not really windows that close), and then she shut the bathroom door (which did actualyl help a lot!). But neither drown out the noise enough. We were serenaded until about 4:30 in the morning. We pray before going to bed each night that there will not be any more late night/early morning worship services.

I think that about sums up as much of it as I can at this point. We have all been blessed beyond belief. The kids are so wonderful and loving. And the adults have been so kind to us. They love to greet us with kisses on the cheeks. Sometimes if the kids haven't seen us for a while they will knock on our door, come in, kiss each of us, and leave. We are all loving our time here so much! It is hard to believe that we only have a week left!

We love you all, and thank you so much for all of your prayers. We definitly have an amazing God! Who has not ceased to amaze each and everyone of us the entire time we have been here!