Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Shopping Trip in (mostly) Pictures

Since so many people have questions about grocery shopping while we're in Haiti, I thought I'd give you all a little glimpse into a "normal" shopping trip!

Our morning started at 5:00 am. I drove the quad to the Wesleyan Station to meet up with the others who were making the trip. Streets were not busy at that hour, but there were some up and about!

At the Wesleyan Station, we loaded our coolers into a truck and headed to the boat dock.

This morning it was still a bit drizzly as it had been raining all night. Here, they're getting the boat ready to board.

Part of our 1.5 hour trip across to the mainland - one highlight (of many) is seeing the sunrise :)

Then we load up into another truck and drive the 1.5 hours into Port au Prince.

Don't forget the coolers!! (Very important for keeping our frozen and cold food from spoiling on the journey home!)

This is a supermarket called Giant. There are two main, bigger supermarkets. One is Giant and the other is Caribbean. You are able to buy almost everything that you would buy in the States. However, to give you an idea - most name brand cereal will cost you around 300 goudes which is about $7 for a small box.  Everything is a bit more expensive than in the states. There are also a lot of little grocery stores - DeliMart, BelMart, etc. that you can get most of what you need, but they are much smaller.

All of our purchases are then boxed up and marked with our names so we know whose house to deliver which box to. Then we loaded them onto a TapTap - Haitian Taxi. The TapTap then took our groceries to the boat dock and waited for us to arrive. (We just prayed that everything would make it!)

All of our "goods" loaded up and ready to go!! (Minus a couple coolers that we kept for our second stop)

This is the entrance to Caribbean Supermarket. Nice and air conditioned and they even have a fantastic French Deli where we had lunch. I had the most amazing turkey pesto sandwich!

Just a glimpse of our 1.5 hour drive back to the boat dock. :)

Back at the wharf, we load all the groceries back onto the boat and then get ready for our 1.5 hour ride back to the island - which usually includes a few minutes of sleep if you're lucky :)

The groceries all covered up for the trip to the island.

What I didn't document with pictures is what happens from here. When we arrive to the island, there is a truck (or two) waiting to help unload the boat. Then we drive to the Wesleyan Station, unload their groceries (sorting through all the boxes to find the right names) and then take the truck to our house and unload the boxes.

We made GREAT time! From start to finish, it only took us about 10 hours!!

Whew. Good thing that only happens once every month :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Well, we're moved in but we're definitely not settled.  This has been harder on me than I expected. Before coming I knew that it would take a while to get things organized and finished in the new house, but now that we're here, I just want everything to be done now.  The pace is so much slower in Haiti and if you get a couple things accomplished in a day, you feel like you had a good day. The heat really zaps a lot of energy out of you.  I feel guilty if I don't keep moving and doing since it feels like there's so much to do.

Today I washed my first load of laundry in my new washing machine. Our water was so slow that I had to haul buckets of water to fill up the machine. Then, we watched the batteries and ran the generator while it washed making sure that we wouldn't suck all our power with one load of laundry!  One of the things I love about our neighborhood is that there is music everywhere all throughout the day. Our neighbors across the street have been very friendly and have welcomed us into their home to get to know them and learn more Creole.  Morgan and Jaron quickly became friends with the children there and many times a day they'll come knocking on our gate to see if they can play. We've also been invited to church with them. I'm excited to see what it's like.

The kids are ready and asking to start school, but we're just not quite ready with everything to get up and going. I want to be able to just jump right in and get into our routine but this is a process and it takes time. God is teaching me a lot about patience right now.

We've been out to the orphanage to see the children and they had all heard that we were staying for two years. We won't really start all of our duties until November so that we'll have time to get settled. The current in country rep will be here through December.

Please pray that we'll continue to settle in and that we'll all have patience and grace for each other as we're trying to adjust to so many new ways of life. These first days have really stretched us emotionally, socially, financially and so many other ways. We have learned even more to trust God to provide for all of our needs. Also pray for Morgan and Jaron - the mosquitoes just seem to love them. They don't complain (and yes, they're taking their malaria medicine mom and dad :-) ) but I know it's not comfortable to be so itchy.  Plus they get heat rash that can be uncomfortable too.  I'm very thankful that the ex-pat (non-Haitian) ladies here on the island meet up on Sunday nights for a little women's time. I have been so blessed with such an awesome group of ladies back home who have supported me and prayed with me for the past two and a half years and I'm feeling that void.

Well, I need to start getting dinner ready and Craig is getting ready to play in his first neighborhood soccer game! Don't want to miss this!! :-D

Saturday, October 5, 2013

God is so so Good!

I'm sitting here...the night before we pack up and head to Haiti and I'm just overwhelmed with the love and provision of the Lord.  I wanted to give an update since so many of you have been praying and supporting us!  

About 6 weeks ago, we figured out that our start up costs would be somewhere around $12,000.  That would include our airfare, transportation in country, lodging while in Port au Prince, our furniture and appliances for our new (empty) home, generator, solar panels/batteries and our first 6 months rent of our new house in Haiti.  We were so overwhelmed and thought that there was NO way that we would ever be able to come up with that amount of money in that amount of time and we considered pushing our moving date back.  Well, to make a long story short, we were able to keep our moving date and we have our $12,000 AND we were able to put $1000 in our emergency fund!! GOD IS GOOD!  We needed to sell our Toyota 4Runner and we priced it fair, but since we needed to sell it quickly, we were willing to drop our price. Today, only two days before leaving, we sold it...for our ASKING PRICE.

As far as housing, we have signed a lease for a house in Haiti that has security and water and possibility of electricity once we hook up a generator or solar panel/battery system. That is a story in itself...but to make this a bit shorter and still give God credit - we were thinking that what we paid last summer for our two months at the Wesleyan station would be our cheapest  option at $600/month.  Well, we secured a house for $4500 for the year!! ($375/month!)  

We also, just this week, signed a lease for our house here in Indiana. We now have a young married couple who are working at Indiana Wesleyan University who will be renting our home for the next year (maybe two).  You can still pray about our one bedroom rental property that is still empty.

Also, just this past week, Craig was offered a second part time job that should completely cover (to the best of our "guesstimate" budget) our monthly costs!

We are so so thankful for all of the prayers that have been sent our way. We know that God is faithful and we can trust Him, even if it seems like He's waiting until the very last minute :)  Just like in Exodus when Moses was leading the Israelites through the desert and they had gone without water for three days...the longest you can humanly survive without water...before God provided water. He knows us best. And He loves us and we can trust Him. It has been so much fun being a part of what He is doing! What a blessing to trust God completely and see Him do things that ONLY He can!  

We continue to ask for your prayers. These next few weeks will be difficult as we are saying goodbye, adjusting to our new home and way of life. The kids are very excited but they still have their moments where they will break down and cry because they think about missing their friends and family.  I've also learned that God even cares about the small things that matter to us, so I'll ask that you pray for the kids as we fly. We'll be flying Monday morning 6:45 and arriving in Port au Prince at 3:00 that afternoon.  They both always have trouble with their ears really hurting when we're in the plane - and they even hurt for days after we fly. They are really not looking forward to the flight. I have some "home remedies" that I've researched that we'll try.

Thank you so much for your support of our family!! It is such a blessing to know that we have people back home lifting us up in prayer (and giving our parents a hug now and then :) ).

Craig, Renee, Morgan & Jaron