A weekend in the Mountains!!!
This weekend my friend Stephanie and I took to the mountains of Haiti for a camping trip with her two oldest children; Noa and T’ea. We drove about an hour and a half up through the patchwork mountains past Kenskoff towards Furcy, Haiti has the most breathtaking mountains I have ever seen. We arrived at the cabin and I felt a little guilt on my heart as it appeared to be the home of Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs; but the joy in my heart quickly over took the guilt…it was timeless. Stephanie’s Great Grandfather built the cabin in the 1920’s!
Last time Stephanie and I went camping with Noa we gave him ‘Badges’; good listening badge, the good helper badge, a badge for collecting fire wood or for helping put up the tent. We can’t exactly put him in the Boy scout program like my nephews are in back in the states, but we can do our best to replicate it and make sure him and T’ea have fun!
As soon as we got arrived everyone helped unpack the car (badge) and set up the tent (badge)! The cabin is a beautiful three bedroom home complete with bunk beds, fireplace and spectacular view. We had a few friends stop by over the weekend; Ryan, Evangel and Nick all made an appearance! We took the kids on a few nice hikes (badge) to the top of the mountain where we had a full panoramic view of Haiti; the mountains, the bay and Port au Prince, all the way to the lake on the boarder of the Dominican Republic. Noa frequently fell behind on walk’s yelling at everyone to “WAITTTT,” needless to say he did not get the keeping up badge nor will he be on the track team. We were able to give him the shot put badge for the rocks he HAD to pick up and toss over the mountain. T’ea received the mountain fashion badge for her spectacular sweatpants that were a bit small, perhaps Stephanie was still thinking Hurricane Emily was on its way bringing floods.
We started a fire in the fire place (badge) and heated up the pot of Chili Stephanie prepared, it was delicious and perfect in the cool mountain air paired with corn bread followed with marshmallows and SMORES-In which Noa and T’ea had never had! Noa asked us “What are these that you keep talking about, Smores?!” I was so excited to share in this glorious American tradition with the kids, every bit of it was delicious! We loaded on the blankets and tried our best to keep warm at night in the freezing but clean mountain air, what a difference from Port au Prince’s thick hot layer of smog. T’ea got a good sleeper badge, but Noa was up at 5 AM singing!
Saturday was greeted with Steak-and-Eggs, Haitian coffee, and the beautiful sounds of The Musician songbird (bird watching badge). We had a lazy day of good friendship, relaxing reading and hanging out with the kids. On a walk we spotted a Hawk soaring around the mountain ridges. On a second walk I ran into my cousin Paul and friend Stanley who were out for a Saturday ride on their motorbikes! The day wrapped up with hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire, and not necessarily in that order! The kids went to bed and we broke out Pictionary! Steph and I talked a lot of talk for team Hoodie (Hello Lady, Identical twin…what did you think the arrow pointing at you meant?!??), but sadly we were not able to pull through and team Portland took the win!
Sunday Stephanie made her first fire and heated up some great coffee and toast, we packed up and headed down the mountain just in time to make it to church (well a bit late, but this is Haiti)! Joel preached a great message, I was so happy to have so many people I love in the same room; family, GLA family, and MTI family!
I have to say I found myself thanking God repeatedly for the beautiful country I live in, for the many blessings I have in my life; for the happiness peace and joy in my heart. I am surrounded by so many amazing people (and their amazing children), there is no doubt in my mind there is anywhere else in the world that is home for me; Haiti will be home for a long time.
Thank you Stephanie for taking me with you to share your beautiful family home and for the great camping experience in the mountains! AWESOME Person Badge!