Friday, June 11, 2010


Today was fun!

The morning was kind of long, though. It was my job to sort through the various tools that we've had donated to us and split them into 3 separate tool bags. That took for-ev-er. However, I was in my room by myself so I was able to turn some tunes on and rock out a bit while I did it. In the end, it was nice to kind of get that time... doing my own project with my music on. Nice.

Also, the world cup began today. It was very entertaining to be sitting in my room sorting tools and suddenly hear cheers erupt from nearby. It certainly brought back memories of being in Copenhagen, Istanbul, and Amsterdam during the Euro Cup. Many cheers coming from the streets. Also, I noticed that when certain games are on... the entire city seems to stop and nothing else matters. Too funny.

Also, I totally forgot to tell you about a new friend yesterday. His name is Peterson. Many folks at COR told me about him before I came but I did not officially meet him until yesterday. Actually, he helped me to play Kasino better so I wouldn't suck so badly. Very cool teenager and speaks a fair amount of English.

Well today I saw Peterson on a quick trip next door to get more water in the midst of my tool sorting. I asked him who was winning the soccer game and who Haiti was rooting for. He told me everyone was cheering for South Africa in this particular match. In the midst of this conversation, though, we got on the subject of the earthquake.

He explained that he had been around the Guest House the day of the earthquake and went to the Hotel Montana the next day to find the missing UMVIM/UMCOR folks. He said that he had never seen a dead body in real life until that day. Looking at him as he talked about it his whole body started slumping over, his eyes looked at the ground, and his voice got a lot quieter. It was obvious that those memories still haunt him.

He also said something that I thought was very profound and I've been thinking about all day. He said, "On that day, life did not matter. That is - everyone was the same. Rich or poor it didn't matter. Everyone was affected. People of all walks of life died. Life... it was just gone."

Wow. Everyone was affected - rich or poor - everyone was the same on that day. In a country that seems to be so often divided by rich and poor it was heartbreaking and (at the same time) amazing to me that the earthquake seemed to be the great equalizer. Well, at least for that one day, anyway.

Also, it was great to have the COR group and the Haiti Partnership group back at the Guest House before they leave tomorrow. I got to hear many stories of their adventures. A story about a mother who was unable to nurse her small baby due to injury and had been making a mix of cornmeal, papaya, and water hoping that it would provide enough sustenance for the child. This particular team purchased formula for this woman and hopefully it will last for some time. I heard stories of men on work sites who were out pouring concrete in flip flops and about men who donated their sturdy work shoes. And I heard stories of bathing in gutter water... because that's the way the locals did it. Great, great stories.

I also asked Oge a few questions about music in Haiti. He's going to (hopefully) bring me some traditional Haitian music (called Compa (sp?) I believe) tomorrow. I showed him some of the music I had and I found out he's a big hip-hop fan. Who knew? I also found out that Mike's son, Bryan, likes Techno/European dance music. Glory. I think we're all going to be good friends.

After dinner my time was spent hanging out with the kids again. Bryan brought out his laptop and played some music for the kids to dance to. I taught several of the kids a simple "paddy cake" clapping pattern and tossed a ball around with Davidson and a new boy, Christopher. Also, the two teenage girls - Carly and Jennifer - came around tonight. They were somewhat shy when I first met them earlier this week but now it's obvious that they feel very comfortable around us. They especially find great joy in teaching Bryan and I new Kreyol words. They're fun to have around and they help to calm the boys down a bit which is a blessing.

So yes! That was today! I have been updating every day but I may not update tomorrow. We'll be traveling to Jacmel (which I hear is GORGEOUS) and hopefully staying the night there. If we stay there I will not have my computer with me to update. If we can't find a place to say, though, I may update late that night.

As usual, I hope you're well. Is America as crazy about the World Cup as Haiti is? I don't remember it being a big deal in the past but maybe I was just living under a rock or something. Haha. Anyway, I'm off to bed. Goodnight!


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