Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Could love be a mob scene?

So much for writing about processing! It is coming, though. My first slow day that happens I'll be sure to write about it.

I thought this morning that I might have the opportunity to write about processing this evening. Nothing happened this morning. No groups came, I didn't see any of the kids, and Mike and Doug went to the bank and ran other errands that I did not tag along for. I created a few signs in Word to send to the States to be laminated and then I worked on my Kreyol for a bit and then I ran out of things to do. I just kind of puttered around Facebook and did some research on human trafficking organizations in Haiti. Mike told me about the organization, Beyond Borders, (which is also mentioned in the book I mentioned yesterday)and today I contacted them about maybe setting up a chance to meet with them at some point. Hopefully they'll respond soon and I'll get to learn more about their plans to end the restavek system.

I'm guessing most of you do not know about the restavek system? I'll be sure to explain it later, but not today.

After eating lunch alone I went to my room for a quick nap as I didn't sleep very well the night before. When I awoke, Mike and Doug had returned. However, I still had very little to do. To keep myself busy, I asked Oge if he wanted to play some card games with me so I could work on my counting in Kreyol. Although I didn't say one word in Kreyol, it was an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

At first, Oge called Jammes over to teach me how to play a Haitian card game called Kasino. I was TERRIBLE. Like, beyond bad. They kicked my butt twice. We played a third round with Mike, Oge, and me (because Jammes had to go home) and I lost miserably again. Wanting to regain some dignity back because Oge kept on making fun of my Kasino skilz (yes, with a z) I first told him about the game Spoons. Although there was only two of us, I explained the whole game and we played a practice round. Hopefully we'll be able to round up a few willing participants soon so he'll get a real Spoons experience!

One thing Oge kept on saying when we were playing Spoons, though, was how fast it was! So, while thinking of other games I could teach him that the two of us could play, I remembered my middle school favorite - Speed. I explained Speed to Oge and then we played one slower round so he would get the gist. After that, it was full "speed" ahead! Let me tell you, it was exciting stuff. So exciting that I was dripping in sweat after just a few rounds. Oge was cracking me up the whole time, too. "Oh! Oh my goodness! She is too fast for me!" And "Oh, there she goes again! Boy, she is quick. I am a loser." Hahaha. He kept on wanting to play, though, like it was an addiction. By the end of our time he had won 4 rounds of Speed and I had won the rest. He said, "Have you ever come across anyone who can beat you!?!?" I said, "Yes! You did a few times!" And he said, "No, I meant beat you like all the time. You can't can you?" I laughed and then he said, "Well, I will beat you at this game before you leave. We'll have lots of time to practice and play. I will beat you." So. Much. Fun.

After that I went back up to the office and Oge headed home. However, it was not long before the heard of boys started yelling my name outside the office door. I peeked out and Mike translated for me that they were saying it was time for my Kreyol lesson.

My friend, Ben, recently returned from Haiti and posted a ton of pictures on his Facebook. The photo album was titled "Can love be a mob scene?" I laughed at first, thinking it was cute, but I did not truly understand it until the boys took me on a Kreyol scavenger hunt of sorts tonight. I had many boys teaching me - Steven, Robenson, Davidson, Miche, Michle, Peter, Son-Son, McKinley, and a few others that never told me their names. Both of my hands were promptly taken and some of the others held onto my arms as they led me through Freres campus. I learned words like pyebwa for tree and wash for rock. They LOVED teaching me and with so many teachers sometimes it was hard to understand who was trying to tell me what. It was a blast, though. I was out with them for a good 45 minutes. We went through their tent city, to the Methodist church on campus, around the schools, and even walked past a college class as it was in session. I was amazed at the amount of joy they had at just trying to teach me simple words in Kreyol. I, of course, tried to teach them some words in English as well but I think all that stuck was "tent" as it's very similar to the Kreyol word for tent.

Towards the end it was time for me to head back to the Guest House for dinner. They escorted me the entire way. Once we arrived and I realized it wasn't quite time for dinner yet, the kids found a bench and reminded me of sit down in Kreyol and tried to get me to sit down with them. They were sitting in the swing outside the Guest House, though, and did not know it. So... I pushed it. I can't really describe the look on their faces when it started moving but it was one of amazement and great, great joy. I realized they may have never been on a swing in their entire lives. However, with a full bench and no one pumping the swing began to slow down. Again, realizing they had probably never been on a swing, I attempted to teach them how to pump using gestures. Standing up I motioned and said "Leg in, leg out, leg in, leg out." Soon, I had all the boys laughing and chanting "leg in, leg out, leg in, leg out." And voila! They had learned how to pump! It was so much fun.

After I ate dinner, they came back for me again, ready to give me another lesson. I explained that I was tired (m fatigue) but that I'd color with them if they wanted to do that. The boys got very excited and soon I had a group of 7 boys outside my door coloring using the stencils, paper, and crayons my mom sent to me. It was, once again, a ton of fun. I tried to take some pictures but they weren't in the mood. Maybe next time. However, I am almost completely out of paper now. Oh well, I'm sure I can get some more and they had fun using the stencils and learning the English words for some of the things they drew.

Although I feel like, in general, I did very little today... it was a great day. I had a wonderful time with Oge (I swear, he'll probably be my Haitian bff by the time I leave here) and I felt "accepted into the group" with the young boys living in the tent city. I'm finally settling in. Haiti feels like home.

Anyway, that's all for now. Sleeping time is definitely necessary. Sending peace your way!


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