Today was filled with friends, laughter, heat, and refreshing rain.
This morning, after I updated a few documents, Mike, Bryan, Oge, and I set out to go guitar shopping. Mike has a friend in Beinet that plays guitar and loves to play guitar but he does not own one. Either he's never owned one, or the one he had was destroyed... I'm not quite sure.
Mike was given some money by friends before coming here simply to "spend on the Haitians" and put money into Haitian economy. He thought some of those funds would be well spent at a guitar - especially since this friend of Mike's used to play guitar all the time for the Beinet community. We went to one store that was super expensive and then we found another store that had a great guitar, it came with extra stuff, and it was super cheap! It was a great deal. However, Mike is kind of in love with it. He's considering going out and buying another one for himself. Haha.
After that excursion, we went to the newer Epid'or in Petionville for lunch. It was delicious, as always, and I splurged a bit and bought some ice cream for dessert. It was a divine blessing. Seriously. I had never truly appreciated ice cream until I came to Haiti. Glorious.
We then went back to the Guest House and had some down time. Bryan and I played a few rounds of multi-player "Castle Wars" with him winning the majority of the time. We also listened to music and shared a few life stories. Good times.
In the midst of that, though, my tutors arrived again asking to borrow Bryan's soccer ball. Bryan gave it to them, but told them they needed to play with it outside our home. However, because they can't really understand English, they ran off to play with it. Wanting to be sure his soccer ball would not be harmed, he left to go find them saying he would be right back.
After 15 minutes passed, though, I realized he probably wasn't coming back. I journeyed out until I found Steven, McKinley, and Fedley behind the Guest House. I asked, "Kote Bryan?" (Where is Bryan?) They instantly grabbed onto my hands and led me through the campus until we came across a group of boys playing soccer (futbol) in the most open space they could find. Bryan was watching at that point, but would join in at times.
The kids first invited me to dance to songs on the radio and then invited me to sit and watch the game. It was a ton of fun. I was cheering for both sides, it was obvious everyone was having a blast, and there was good shade and a decent breeze where I sat. On a hot day such as this one, it was a great, relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Haiti. Also amazing was that there had just been a water drop to our tent city so a few of the kids had these huge bottles of clean water. However, just because one child was carrying it did not mean that they were not willing to share. Although it probably wasn't very sanitary, it was in that moment that it really hit me how much of a community that tent city had become. I couldn't tell who was related to whom because they all hung out together. They played together, shared precious drops of water, and supported each other.
I also went on another sandal excursion for a boy named Christopher. Both his left and right sandals were unusable so I found Mike and asked if we could help. He handed me 100 goudes and I set off to find Oge to come with me (as we're not supposed to go past the outside of the Guest House alone.) As we were walking down the road to the Guest House to get to the main road, Oge kept on saying "mesi" and "mesi bokou." I turned to him and said, "What do you keep on saying 'thank you' to?" He laughed and said, "They keep on telling me that I am walking with a nice (looking) lady. So I just said thank you." I laughed. It is very strange being in a place where men are sexual hunters and they're fairly aggressive about it. Also strange is being considered extremely attractive. Not that I have super low self esteem or anything, or that my friends and family don't tell me I'm pretty... but I have been told I look nice many times here.
Tonight a few folks from UMCOR arrived early before the big conference starts. (I'll explain about the big conference tomorrow, when I arrive.) We had good dinner and good conversation with Pastor Paul and Samuel also joining us for dinner. However, we did have a HUGE rainstorm this evening because I guess we're in a tropical depression. It's cleared up now but I'm guessing it will continue to be fairly rainy tonight and tomorrow.
Also, tonight I was mother Beth for "my boys." I was sitting in the Guest House lobby and I heard "Beth. Beth! Beth!" I came outside and saw the small group gathered at the gate between the Guest House and the Swiss House. I walked over to them and Robenson tried to tell me something about Fedley. I didn't understand it so he pantomimed throwing up. The whole group nodded. I went inside my room and grabbed some Pepto Bismol tablets for Fedley to calm his stomach. However, he was hungry... as were the rest of the boys. Luckily, I talked to Donette and Mike and they both agreed that the boys could have some rolls. I felt blessed to provide them with some nourishment tonight.
Lastly, Haitians love to sing. They absolutely love it. Tonight "my boys" asked me to sing to them. Donette had suggested earlier that they learn "Up Above My Head" because it's an easy repeat song. Let me tell you, their voices were beautiful, and it brought me so much joy to sing that song with them. They really liked it, too. Afterwards Robenson asked me to sing it in Kreyol, I told him I didn't know it in Kreyol but that I would try to learn so they could understand what they were singing. Even though they didn't understand the words they continued to hum or sing it even after we were done. Awesome.
Alright well that's all for tonight. I'm exhausted! Goodnight world!
Some Kreyol for ya:
Grangou - hungry
Mesi/Mesi bokou - thank you
padekwa - you're welcome
malad - sick
glo - bottled water
mezic - music
woch - rock
pyebwa - tree
manje - food