So I should begin this entry by telling you that yes, I have showered and changed clothes. This will be important information as you read further. :)
Today was a busy day! However, lets back up a bit.
Mike visited Bainet, Haiti to drop off a team on Friday. The team was from his own Haiti Partnership organization and Bainet is the community of which Mike has volunteered in for the past 6 years. Therefore, he really wanted to travel with the team to make sure everything was good to go once they arrived. He brought Carlos, a 16 year old boy from the village, back to the Guest House to hang out with us for two days.
Carlos is a TON of fun. He doesn't speak any English (basically) and I don't speak enough Kreyol to communicate many full thoughts, but we still had a blast together mostly because he's so funny. He's just this funny, nerdy, goofy kid who does the most random stuff at the most random times. This is all to say that we got along great and I'd really love for him to come visit again.
Because Carlos was here we went to the beach again on Sunday. This time we went to Obama beach named (of course) after the President of the United States. Too funny. It was a nice, cozy beach, though and it was very cheap. Excellent time.
Also, we found out yesterday that approximately half of my boys were moving out of the tent city today. As a special "goodbye" Mike and I went to the Epid'or and bought a cake to share with them. It was so wonderful to give them each a big slice of cake and be showered with hugs and shouts of "mesi!" We even took some photos that I hope to upload soon, but my favorite shot is now my new Facebook profile picture. I'm very hopeful that even after the kids move they'll still come to visit fairly regularly, though.
Well, as Mike is usually on a Haiti Partnership team to Bainet at some point during the year, he really wanted to spend some time in Bainet if possible. Therefore, we delivered him today and he'll stay through Friday when the team comes back to the Guest House.
I tagged along for the ridiculous journey as Mike and I had work to do (so we did it on the road) and I wanted to see the Bainet I had heard Mike and Bryan talk about so much. This is my documentation of what happened today. Enjoy.
So we were supposed to leave at 6:30 (which is when I usually wake up) so I got up at 5:45. Just enough time to roll out of bed, get dressed, and eat a quick breakfast. Although that all happened, we didn't end up leaving until 7:30. This was mostly due to various things on our checklist that needed to be completed as well as questions to answer. Also, there were approximately 5 people who requested to have our one empty seat to Bainet. Mike had finally given it to Boss Weche, the site boss for Bainet (as well as the majority of our other work sites.) However, one person who had talked to Mike about it a week ago but never checked in to be sure that it would still work just showed up this morning, ready to go. That was also interesting to deal with and we had to find alternate transportation for them.
We finally got on the road (Oge, Mike, Carlos and I) at 7:30 and picked up Weche in Carrefour around 8:30. We had been working in the car up to that point, and continued working after Weche got in the vehicle. So much to do before Mike went to Bainet and became much less reachable!
By ten my bladder was "bursting with hurtness" so we attempted to make a pit stop at a gas station with a bathroom. We stopped at a place that Mike said, "Oh yeah, this is my favorite place to stop with a toilet." However, he had not visited the toilet since the earthquake. It used to have this big wall around it and a door. Now, the wall is falling partially apart and there is no door. Also, the bathroom is actually an outhouse with just a concrete circle jutting from the floor. Mike went first while I kept guard and then we switched.
It was, by far, the nastiest toilet I had ever seen. It was wet and goopy all around the edges and it smelled LOVELY. Also, Mike had warned me that there was no toilet paper so that made it even more pleasant. I attempted to squat over it without having to touch anything to it but then... I lost my balance and fell... sitting on the wet, goopy, concrete circle. It was disgusting. (See, aren't you glad to know that I've showered and changed clothes, now?) The worst part was that I didn't even have toilet paper to wipe off with so I just had to walk around like that and go sit in the car... still feeling the goopiness on my tush.
What I found out from Oge and Mike was that I needed to "Haitian squat." Haitian squatting is when you stand on both sides of the concrete slab and squat down to do your business. When I found out that people did that a few of my fears were put to rest... I'm guessing that the goopiness came from mud on people's shoes at the ground outside the outhouse was quite muddy. At least, that's what I'm going to keep on telling myself.
After that fun little escapade we found out that the Haiti Partnership team did not have access to clean water as their usual water supplier closed up shop for a while. Therefore, they had almost fully depleted their 10 jugs of water that we had sent out with them. This meant that we needed to stop in Jacmel to purchase water for the team as well as hire a tap-tap to deliver it to them as there was no space in our truck for 10 more water jugs.
That was another interesting excursion because we ended up searching all over Jacmel for water jugs. We found lots of places that had water, but none of them had any empty water jugs to sell us. It was crazy. Finally, after about 20-30 minutes of driving all over the city, we found some water jugs. After that, though, it still took us another 20 minutes - half hour to purchase the jugs and arrange everything for them to be transported to Bainet.
Finally, we started the final leg to Bainet (after grabbing some street food for lunch which, thank God, did not make me sick.) The road to Bainet from Jacmel is a long one and it's totally unpaved. It's very rocky and, therefore, very bouncy. Not for the faint of stomach.
After you drive on it for two hours you finally arrive in Bainet. It's a beautiful little town in the country and had the same sort of energy that a campsite does in the States. Low key, relaxed, outdoorsy. Very nice area. I can see why Mike likes it so much.
However, after we arrived we did discover that some items had been stolen from our truck bed including all of Mike's work shoes which in total cost over $100. Big bummer to the beginning of his stay in Haiti. Luckily, though, none of the money that was in the back was included in the bags stolen. That is a huge thing to be thankful for.
The trip home was uneventful and much faster. Oge was very concerned about us getting back before dark so he drove as fast as he possibly could while still being safe. We ended up arriving back at the Guest House around 6:30. Long day.
Now I am exhausted and more than ready for bed. I hope you're all well and I'm going to try to post some pictures to Facebook soon!