Thursday, October 20, 2011

Humbling Day

Picked up Pastor Abne' and our translator, Jose' all the way out in the country.  Left at 5:30am and picked them up about 6:30am, then headed back into town and up the mountain to the FAO office.

Pastor Abne' volunteers for an Argentina agricultural program in the area and arranged a meeting for us with FAO, an organization that sponsors their project.

Arrived at FAO and met with three people. All their money is already allocated, so no help for us.

Back down the mountain toward the US Embassy.  Dropped off Pastor Abne' on the way.  Priscka, Kendra's friend from the old camp, works there.  She helped us navigate the system.  I was looking forward to seeing inside this giant - too extravagant to be in Haiti -building, but alas we didn't actually go inside this time.

Pastor Abne'
The US Embassy.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It is HUGE and a lot of
the building is further back behind huge walls.
Took Jose' up the mountain to our "friends' house".  We don't really know him, but we wanted to check/send email and have lunch at the house.  Omar and Jose watched TV in Spanish while Kendra and I talked in our bedroom.

Omar made rice with beans and hot dogs for lunch. The four of us sat at the table and ate together. This is the first time we have actually had time to all sit together. In my head I wanted to ask about his family. Kendra asked him about his family and my question for them to translate would have been "What do your parents do?". Then I realized that was a bit inappropriate since most people here don't work.  We were eating so Kendra asked what his favorite food was, he said rice. Omar clarified - no, your favorite for special occassions. Jose' answered rice with chicken, because they don't have the possibility to eat "special things".

Wow.  I'm not sure we realized the extent of the life he lives.  He has never been to Petionville...ever.

Enjoyed the rest of lunch and headed out to the village.  Yonel's two kids have fevers so we bought the amoxicillin the doctor from the Cuban clinic recommended.  190 goudes or $4.75 for a whole bottle.

To the village.  Spoke with Miss Coutard.  She wants me to teach the kids English and for Alonda to come back and teach them about teeth since she used to be a dental hygienist.  Very cool!

Did a little paperwork in the mobile office.

The people were in great moods today, very tranquil. We started to do interviews with each family.  I wrote out the questions for Kendra, so she would ask Jose in Spanish who would ask the person in Creole - then back down the line to Kendra to me in English.  I wrote the notes, then asked a question, then back up the chain it went.  It was funny because a few times I would say, ask them this and she would start to ask in English and I would say "Spanish", so she would switch back.  It felt a little crazy with so many languages going.

We were interviewing the families again to find out more details about school for their children, commerce and to give them some one on one attention so they know we care and want to hear their ideas and concerns.

To hear even more about them now that they trust us is so interesting.  We started with 5 and Kendra and Omar will continue the rest with Jose.  The picture that was painted by these stories was an incredible one.  Each family so unique, yet completely bonded. One mother confessed that she lost her 4 month old baby in the earthquake.  Another told us her 16 year old son has only completed the third grade because they can't pay for school.

Nelldella is a new lady to the village, so we were looking forward to interviewing her to get to know her better.  After all of the questions, we ask the people if they have any questions, concerns, or if they want to tell us anything.  This lady blew us away.  She told Jose' in Creole, who told Kendra in Spanish, who told me in English that this lady is a new Christian.  We were very excited about this and she continued to tell us that the reason she became a Christian was because God met her needs through us and she saw how we were treating the people and how much we cared about the village.  I was so grateful she would share this with us. It felt like a word from God to confirm the God work we have done.

Emily, Nelldella, Kendra
After our conversation with the President last night, we were encouraged when Nelldella also told us that the people held a prayer service for us last night.  We always pray for them, but they prayed for us! Amazing.

It started to get a little dark and since it was my last night, I told Kendra I wanted to play with the kids for awhile. I brought a few basic kid books that we were going to donate to goodwill anyways and read to the little girls. They loved it! These are old, old books but the pictures are pretty. I read in English and every time I turned the page they said "bel, bel" about each page, which means beautiful.

After, I got out a few crayons and white paper. Instead of coloring something, they all wanted to write my name.  Omar made a beautiful picture of a shelter with a big tree next to it.  I think he is an artist and didn't tell us!  When we were leaving, all the kids were so good and returned the books and crayons.  In my best creole, I told them they could keep them for "tout moun" or for everyone to share.

Jose' (our translator) knew it was my last day, so he asked to get a picture with me.  Even though he isn't smiling in it, the picture was his idea.

Kendra, Jose', Emily, Omar
It's weird to be leaving.  I don't feel like I did everything I wanted to do.  Then again, it's impossible to plan when you are here.  Everything is so crazy!

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