The rest of the UMCOR/EMH (Eglise Methodiste d'Haiti) meeting went really well. I feel like we really identified some critical issues in areas of agriculture, micro-credit/micro-finance, health, and literacy. I was in the literacy group and it was... fantastic. We had really amazing, passionate people and we all seemed to be on the same page. It was awesome. We got really far and ended the two day conference with a full plan, and timeline, on how to execute our plan for free literacy classes in communities all over Haiti. Also interesting was that I ended up being the spokesperson for our group and gave the presentation of our ideas each time we presented to the larger group. The last time I presented, the translator for the event said, "Are you an education professional?" I laughed and said, "No." His eyes got really big and he said, "Well, you sure do fake it well. You're very well spoken." Good public speaking skills for the win!
Today we had a few more meetings, we watched the USA/Algeria game, and had one more meeting. Around 10:30 we loaded up the van... or more like squished into the van... and drove back to the Guest House. However, we left before the USA/Algeria game concluded. We ended up driving by a small community that was gathered around a TV set and we heard them suddenly cheer very loudly. Someone asked Oge who scored, so he turned up the radio and announced, "US goal!" The whole van cheered and we honked our horn in celebration. It was a ton of fun.
We were almost at the Guest House when we hit a big traffic jam. We ended up being stopped at the back gate to Freres Campus - where our tent city is. I saw three recognizable faces - Michle, Son Son, and Robenson. I quickly opened up the window and waved. Their eyes became HUGE and they waved excitedly back and motioned back towards where the Swiss House (where I'm staying) would be. I nodded, and they started running. By the time we FINALLY parked the van, I had 6 faces peeking at me from the fence saying, "Beth!"
I got my stuff out of the van, moved everything back in and came out to say hello again. It was soon quickly discovered that I had my camera in my pocket suddenly all I could hear was "Foto! Foto! Foto!" Deciding to appease them, I started snapping away.
Let me tell you, they LOVED it. It was a flurry of excitement on my porch with each of them coming up with new poses and asking me to take their photo. It was fun for me, too, as it brought me much laughter. Johnny also came and joined us and helped to translate some of my requests. Thanks to him, I actually got them to pose and take one NICE photo. I love it. Seriously. It's probably going to become my computer background here pretty soon. Gotta love my boys.
After that I hung out with Oge some - helped him to navigate his Facebook more and pick out music for his next mix CD. I really missed him. I was really happy to see him again today. Tomorrow, we're hoping to hang out and play some speed in the afternoon. I'm stoked.
It felt good to be home. It felt good to be given such a hearty, excited welcome by my boys. Even Doug and Oge commented later on how excited they were to see me. Although I may not be fully aware of how my ministry here is impacting others - I know I'm making a significant, positive impact on my boys. Belorne commented to me tonight that the boys "don't have enough supervision and parenting - but they're really nice boys." I agreed. They don't have all the resources they deserve, but they're still really great boys with beautiful spirits. I am truly blessed.
Lastly, I would ask for prayers for my own personal discernment. I don't want to go into any more detail than that right now, but prayers that God would make a clear way for me by opening or shutting doors would be helpful. I have a lot of thinking and praying and discerning to do.
Sending love your way,
P.S. Also, big props to UMCOR for sending so many people my way! I hope my new readers (and people who have been reading from the beginning, for that matter) are being blessed by reading my entries. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to share this experience with you! Also, a few folks were asking for my e-mail. The best way to contact me is to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (it's an old e-mail, but still the one I check the most consistently.)