Saturday, November 9, 2013

One Month Already?!?

It's crazy to think that we've been here in Haiti for almost 5 weeks already!  The longest stretch of time our family has spent here is two months. Last summer, we felt like 8 weeks was a long time!  As we passed our 4th week, we couldn't believe how quickly the time had passed.  Each day we are settling in and adjusting a little more.  I haven't been quite as good at keeping this up to date, so I'll start with our first couple weeks here.

When we first arrived in Haiti, we spent our first week shopping for our furniture and appliances in Port au Prince. We stayed at a guesthouse called Heartline and met some WONDERFUL new friends who run the place. It's always a blessing to have contacts here in Haiti!

This store is called Valerio Canez. It is full of furniture, fans, generators, appliances, etc. We do not have anything like this on the island, so we shopped in Port au Prince for these things.

At the Valerio Canez loading many Haitians does it take to load our stuff? Apparently at least 7! ;-) 

We also spent a lot of time at MSC. This is like the "Home Depot" of Haiti. Here, we were able to buy our stove, refrigerator, washing machine, generator, solar panels, cable wire, etc. 

 BelMart quickly became our favorite place to get a sandwich for lunch. We went out for two days  just looking at different stores and pricing things and then made all of our purchases on day three. The kids were troopers! I'm sure it wasn't very fun for them.

 Our little monkeys :) This is the Canter that we used to load up all of our purchases and luggage that we brought from the states. I wasn't sure that it was all going to fit!!

You just never know what you're going to see going down the roads in Haiti! You can see three, but this truck had about 8 cows in it!

We made it to the guest house at the Wesleyan Wharf with just a little time before dinner was ready so the kids got to go for a quick swim. Their bathing suits were packed in space saver air sealed bags somewhere in the pile of craziness so they were excited to swim in their clothes. 

This is seriously one of the most beautiful places. I think that people forget that Haiti is FULL of God's beauty. Yes, there is sickness. Yes, we hear crazy things in the news about Haiti. But so many times we miss out on seeing and hearing the good things...not only about Haiti...but even in America. It is my goal to see beauty in ashes. It's there. God has created. His creation is beautiful. Land and people. We just have to be willing to see through His eyes.  

 Loading onto the boat to head to the island! On goes the refrigerator!!

Even though we had so much stuff, Craig and I were saying to each other - This is the smallest move we've ever made!  However, pulling into our house on the island with ALL of this was a bit awkward while the local people were watching. When we were loading, I felt like - this is it? Then as we got to the house and realized how much MORE we had then almost everyone around us, I felt a bit uncomfortable. 

Morgan and Jaron sat with Bena and Timet on the way to the island. They were singing and learning Creole on the way over.

 When we arrived, we were overwhelmed with the amount of help that we received! Everyone just dropped everything and came to help us set up house. They put furniture together, hooked up our inverter and batteries, helped with the generator, shared meals, gave fresh bread and offered loads of support.  It was truly a blessing!!

 The guys taking a break and getting out of our STIFLING house. We didn't have electricity hooked up yet, so there were no fans. It's an understatement to say it was hot. We were all dripping sweat. 

 That night, our family went up on our roof and just sat and talked. It was a bit surreal that we were finally here. In our new home. And look where God placed us...right across from a soccer field. Jaron was thrilled :-)

In some ways, we do feel like our world has been turned upside down. But in others, we feel like we're just doing life somewhere else. The hardest thing for us to get used to this past month (besides the heat) was simply the different pace of life. Before we left, Craig was coming out of a (crazy doesn't even start to explain it) time at work. The kids were in school and I was packing our home, selling our things, preparing to move out of the country...we were all just...busy.  Then we arrived in Haiti. Craig had taken a month off to get settled here. We decided to wait to start school up until we were settled. So we went from 100mph to 5mph in a week. It was tough. We are wired to be busy. I had guilt if I wasn't active. When people back home would ask what we were doing - I didn't really have anything to tell them. I wanted everything to be finished...right now. But things are different here. Things take more time. You find that you don't have the simple thing that you need to finish a what should be simple project. God has just been teaching us the importance of space. Space for HIM. Space for our family. Space for rest. During our Creole lessons, one of the first things we learned was the word "poze." (p-oh-zay)  This is a Creole word that people will use on the streets when someone asks how you're doing. It literally means, PEACE...chill...calm.  It's a good place to be. It's a good lesson to learn. I'm not so sure that God meant for us to be so busy. We were made to worship. Let's not forget to take time for poze. 

 "Li di: -Rete la! Sispann goumen! Konnen se mwen menm ki Bondye. Se mwen k'ap dominen sou tout nasyon yo. Se mwen k'ap dominen sou tout latè."

"He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” "

Psalm 46:10