Jellyfish and Friendships
Since the team from Frazer United Methodist Church left, Kyle and I have been able to get to La Piste a few times a week. It has been great to have him here with me! I did not know how alone I felt until I had a second US staff here with me. The 410 Bridge has Haitian Staff that I work with, but there are day to day struggles, and cultural differences that an indigenous staff will not understand. Kyle has been here experiencing the same frustrations and the same joys with me over the last month; it has made a world of difference for me.
There have been many times over the last year when I experience things when I wish I could turn to someone and say, ‘Now do you see?’ ‘Now do you understand?’ finally I have Kyle. He is fresh and excited and it has rubbed off on me! There are times when I feel as though I am a bit jaded. I don’t look at the kids who beg for money when you stop at a street light down town, I know when we stop to tour the National Palace the same man will be there using his baby he has starved to try and make a dollar from the tourists. Although my heart goes out to those people, I have to stay strong in my beliefs that Haitians will be able to do for themselves; they will become self sustainable one day. If I play into the beggar society I will be doing more harm than good to this country. I hope I am in a job where I will work myself out of a job; I don’t want to be the person they depend on.
This country is a hard place to live. As Kyle and I drove to the camp the other day it took us 30 minutes, the next day it took an hour. I remember thinking to myself, I wish just once, for one week I could leave my house and know exactly when I will get to work. When I lived in Rochester, give or take a few minutes, if I left my apartment on time, I always arrived 20 minutes later to work. Last week I would have loved to have that kind of stability, that routine, but this is Haiti. I guess that is one of the many things I left behind when I left the US. Sometimes, every day feels like a struggle.
Last week my friend Hannah arrived in Haiti, I tried to spend as much time with her as possible. Since I met her she has been a real light and encouragement to me. She is staying at New Life for five weeks, Kyle is there also. They do not have internet right now so we have been spending some time at the Caribbean Lodge for lunch and using their internet. On Saturday we spend the day there at the pool, Stephanie and her beautiful kids joined us as well. In the afternoon Jule, held and Orphan Art Show at her Rebuild Globally shop ( http://www.rebuildglobally.org ) to help benefit and support a orphanage. There was music and food, everyone got a little something to support the kids!
On Sunday Stephanie and her parents invited us all to their beach house for the day. It was a beautiful day! We swam out to the reef and snorkeled around! I swam around collecting old Sea Urchins and Sand Dollars. I am from Upstate New York and can swim around in Lake Ontario or the bone chilling Finger Lakes any day, but there are no fish that will mess with you there. As I Kayaked out to the reef we passed ten or so Jelly Fish, on the reef one swam close to us and Stephanie promptly picked it up on its back and hurled it away from us. Needless to say everyone was impressed, even Kyle who hunted and killed wild boars in Samoa. The next time one swam by, I pushed my boundaries and did the same! However on the swim back to the shore we swam through a few and I got stung. I suppose that is my own fault for messing with nature. They are beautiful interesting creatures.
Tomorrow I leave for the California to spend a few days with my Aunt Laura, her family and my grandfather who lived with us in New York. I am excited for a break, but not sure what to expect when I visit my grandfather who has dementia. I plan to make the most of my time with family though; I realized yesterday this is Labor Day weekend in the states! From California I will be traveling to Australia for September to meet Dave’s family and have a much needed break!
Needless to say it has been a great past month since Kyle has arrived in Haiti. I will miss him while I am off on holiday, but I am happy to know there is someone here while I am gone making sure things with the project stay on task. I miss my friends back in the states every day, but next month, I will be in some place entirely new. I will miss both my friends in the states and those here in Haiti. There are some people in my life that make every day better! No matter what the future holds, I am truly blessed.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” -Colossians 3:15