Friday, December 2, 2011

Medal Parade Ceremony for Parengcoy

Woke up this morning to have breakfast and devotions with the group.  It was really good.  Mike shared about surrendering ourselves to God's plan.  Then Erin Hoffman shared her testimony and it helped me fit together the random pieces I've heard of their decision to come to Haiti as a family.
After breakfast, Laurel and Cassandra went to teach English at CAD (the orphanage).  I walked back to Mary's trailer with her to help her sort receipts and do finances, but when we reached the door, Pastor Rod was driving by and waved me in to the truck to go for a ride.  We dropped off the team at a playground to set the foundation for a basketball court.
Pastor Rod and I drove back to the main road and ran into an old translator (Daniel) who we gave a ride to.  We drove to Pastor Rod's new place to drop off wood and four Haitians were working on the security wall.  I finally got to go inside and it is gorgeous.  It is a mansion with many rooms.  Pastor gave me the grand tour and has been joking about me being their administrator for the past few days.  He even announced it at dinner last night... "Hey everyone, I have an announcement to make. Emily has agreed to come back and coordinate things for us for 6 months.  Let's give her a hand." and everyone started clapping.  We had a good laugh about it.  Well today, during the tour he said "and this room with the view will be for our administrator." "This will be our administrator's carport."
The view from the balcony on the second floor is breathtaking.  Their new place is a little closer to the border, so they have a view (of the saltwater lake and mountains) that I've never seen in Haiti.   It is easily one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen.  I wish I had my camera, but I am also glad to have truly enjoyed the view.
We went up to the roof and sat for a few minutes.  The three of us joined hands and Daniel prayed for us.  It was a beautiful moment with a surreal backdrop.  Chris (Pastor Rod's son) came up to ask a business question and sat with us for a few minutes.
When we walked outside, one of the workers wasn't wearing any shoes.  He was hauling blocks in a wheelbarrow across sharp rocks and mixing concrete by!  What??  We measured his feet to try to find him some boots.
Kendra called, so we are heading back to the compound so I can pack.  I'm not ready to leave.
Packed, talked with Mary, helped Laurel sort dresses.  Said goodbye to everyone.  Since the Lunas stayed at the Paraguayan base last night, the Paraguayans said they are "responsible" for them this weekend and so Major Rodriquez and Captain Florentin escorted them to the village and then to pick me up at Victory Compassion (VC).
Two of the boys and Samuel rode with the Paraguayans while Kendra, Nathan, and I rode in Floyd (the van).  It was nice to catch up with Kendra and share stories before we get to the base.
Warm welcome at the base.  The family and I are staying in the "hospital" container...on very comfortable mini-hospital beds.  We arrived late afternoon, so we got ready for the 5pm ceremony.
Sat in the front row.  Very official.  People from each country were invited including high UN officials. About 200 people present.  The ceremony was to celebrate the work of the first group from Paraguay as their 1 year term ends December 23.  A new group of 130 will arrive that same day.

During the ceremony, Samuel represented NET and presented them with a plaque.  It was at the end and a little funny because everything else was done in such precision.  The Colonel was so excited that he stopped and asked the officials to stand and take a picture with us... in the middle of the ceremony! (We are hoping to get a copy soon!)
A short reception followed with food and the Visit Paraguay video.  They are very proud of their country.  After, they showed a video they made of their work and we were in it.  Lots of friends took lots of pictures.  The Commissioner (not really, that's just what we call him because I don't know his name) gave me his hat to put on and Kendra was given someone else's, then everyone wanted a picture with us.

Kendra and Samuel went to put the boys down and I stayed close to Major Rodriguez and Captain Florentin has received special security training, so no one messes with him.  Captain Rotella got out karaoke and after a few minutes Major Rodriquez decided it was time to escort me back.  I am grateful for his friendship and protection!
Captain F and Major spent time with us in our "hotel", talking about a variety of things in Spanish.  I deciphered a few things and Kendra helped me with the rest.  Bedtime by 11pm.

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