So many stories, so little time (or, “So much to type, so little electricity for the computer”)…want to give you some pieces of my week!
- A little boy fell and hit the back of his head on a rock – hard. It’s a small but deep wound. As it was cleaned and cared for, I talked to him about his bravery and I asked him if he could come back tomorrow. He told me that tomorrow was his birthday, he’d be eight! (Mind you, he’s the size of a 6 year old. And darling in a Chicken Little jammie shirt.) So last night Tiffany gives him a ball on a rope (the kind you attach to your wrist) & a candy bracelet…neither of which he’d ever seen before. And he was refreshingly just excited, big eyed as he found out that he could eat the bracelet, and shyly smiling as we sang Happy Birthday to him. He has a hint of a lisp and he’ll talk fast in his adorably high voice now that he’s comfortable with us.
- In market, I try to buy from the same women. So I have a “bon-bon lady”, she sells Casino cookies & I try to only buy them from her. She’s extremely sweet (no pun intended) as we refer to each other as friend, she always asks me to sit in the shade when I pass her, and she’s patient with my broken Creole. I actually told her I wasn’t buying Casinos for a month, because I’ve been snacking too much, and she acted no differently. She gets a huge smile when she sees me, kisses me on the cheek, we tell each other how happy we are to see the other. She wasn’t in market all week and yesterday as I passed, the women around saw me and yelled “Your friend is here!” (except, in Creole). I walk over, wonder why she’s selling clothes today, and quickly kiss her on the cheek to greet her – it wasn’t her! I gasp, step back, laugh at myself and apologize as everyone watches, talks about it, and laughs as well. I walk around this poor woman and go to my bon-bon lady…who is right beside her. In my defense, it was bright and I had no sunglasses! And market is crazy! But my friend was still just as happy to see me, we laughed together, she told me I had just kissed her sister. And then, from what I understood, she told me that she wants me to meet her son – who she would love to see me marry. So she wasn’t too offended, which is great. This is just one of hundreds of embarrassing things I’ve done, in public, here in Cabaret.
- Ephesians 5 in church last Sunday – “…life a life of love…”
- We have an adolescent friend who comes to Shernando on an almost daily basis, and we’re always telling her she needs to be in school (because we know that she’s enrolled). This morning she came in her uniform, school won’t let her stay because she can’t pay. This is why she hasn’t been going. She’s a girl who lives in a poor community where she’s one of the only kids who can read – so she reads for the other children when they want her to. She only sees her mother when she happens to pass her in market and she doesn’t live with her father either. What’s she supposed to do? We’re working on answers for her. There’s no way that we can stay still when we happened to be born in America, by no work of our own, where education isn’t a question.
- Our English class is going great, this past week I taught body parts on Tuesday & cooking vocabulary on Thursday. Kids care a lot more about vocabulary than learning how to use it, so I’m working on finding that balance with them. They’re learning respect and they’re used to having a white girl teach them – and I’m learning as I swallow some humility while I butcher Creole trying to teach a room full of Haitian students. Ever had a group of kids sigh and sit back, done trying to communicate with you after they ask you a question five times in a row? The sigh is the same kind I know foreigners get back home when they’re trying to communicate. It’s not fun.
- Two weekends ago, we went to Flag Day – A big deal! We took a tap-tap to Archaiae and experienced the equivalent of a festival back home, like a community street fair. Vendors, President Martelli, dancing and presentations in the sidewalk – this culture is so beautiful, and these people are so full of potential! Also, Mother’s Day was Sunday. In church, watched the pastor’s wife sing and then come into the congregation to kiss the cheek of every mother. Then the whole congregation got up and kissed the cheek of every mother. Sometimes it’s just fun to do holidays here, see the differences and similarities, and just take in the culture.
- And the same as every week, kids took my phone, saying they needed it for something. When I got it back, I had some great gifts that I’d like to share with you:
Next time I write, it’ll be from the Sant Mouvman!