Good evening all! I am just sitting here in my apartment trying to avoid witnessing Hanna dissect a lizard, and I thought I'd give you a little update on my week and past weekend.
The kids all loved the story and most of all, partaking in the food last Sunday with the feeding of the 5000. We also had enough leftovers to feed the kids again on their way out when the service ended, so overall, it couldn't have gone any better! Bridgely ended up being my 'boy with the lunch' so we got our picture together as a memory!
The boys (Grayden and Bridgely) also were a part of a Church of Hope version of what we like to call in Wainfleet - Junior Worship Band! With Grayden on drums, Bridgely on bongos, and two of the boys from the Hope House - Jean Marc on guitar (who I have been practicing with) and Elison singing, the boys were an awesome accompaniment to the regular worship band players in 'Here I am to Worship' during the offertory. It was awesome!
I also got to attend my first wedding on Saturday. It was the marriage of one of the guys on the worship team that I honestly didn't know very well, but with the day off and a chance to experience another part of life in Haiti (a recommendation by Lamar Fretz), I seized the opportunity and went to the ceremony as a spectator. It was a little lengthy (about 2 hours), but very entertaining and exciting to witness!
Now for some craziness.....
I have a bit of a funny story to share about my market and tap tap experience on Saturday. When we had bought all of the bread, Sadrac, Wicky and I made our way over to the tap tap stop where an empty tap tap had just pulled up. Along with a large quantity of other shoppers we squeezed inside the back of the truck and waited for everyone else to pile in. That was when I heard the sounds and clicked in on what was happening on the side of our same tap tap. There were about 6 goats that we had passed on the way to get into the tap tap all tied down by a rope wrapped around their four legs... Someone was in for a feast that night.
I hadn't thought much about the goats as we passed, but now my attention returned as I watched them being dragged over and then one by one, hurled into the air landing on the top of our truck. As each one went for it's flying trip it let out a pitiful bleat and then landed with a loud thud on the tap tap's metal roof. It was quite painful to witness, since the pathetic sounds they were making slightly resembled a baby wailing. Once they were all piled on we began our trek back to the mission, but every sharp turn or pot hole we hit was followed by a chorus of piteous bleats from the goats above us... I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
However, I feel like I brought closure to this episode by a choice on Sunday... My 'choice' to accept this way of life and make the most of it. After church, I travelled with the team to good ol' Gwopapapou for some Haitian food. It just so happened that the restaurant was a little low on chicken that day, so they were looking for some people to choose goat for their meat option instead of chicken. Now, for as long I have been in Haiti, I admit that I still haven't ventured off and tried any other meat selections. I guess it's just the love I have for the fried chicken that has prevented me from ever trying anything else. But on Sunday, and particularly in honour of the goats that rode along with me on the tap tap the day before, I decided to order goat instead of chicken. I went for it! And I must say, it was quite good! :)
Upon reflection I feel that the second half of this story partially symbolizes my adjustment to the culture here in Haiti... It's taken me some time, but I feel like slowly I am beginning to embrace the culture - as wild as it may be - by taking chances and being spontaneous, even when it comes to the food I eat.
As I think about it, another big change I've experienced as a result of my move to Haiti has been my independence from the wristwatch. Before my move in September, my time was heavily dictated by trusty watch at hand. Shortly after arriving at the mission however, in the midst of renovating my apartment, I removed my watch to get serious with my cleaning and it took a tumble off the table breaking the metal band. As you can imagine, I felt a great loss and it took a while, but it was the start of my independence from the hour. I began to grow accustomed to a different kind of scheduling system in Haiti. We go by a thing called 'Haitian time', where things happen when everyone arrives, and that means that it's almost never on schedule, causing the need for a watch to be quite unnecessary.
This reality wasn't enough to stop me though... My wristwatch story doesn't end there. I took a second attempt. During my return home at Christmas, I was able to get the band piece repaired and grew accustomed to wearing it again when I returned to Haiti after the break. It wasn't long after I got back though that I glanced at the time one day to realize that I was several hours off as a result of a dead battery. Due to the brand of the watch, I can't just get a new battery since it has to be installed by a jeweler, so there I was again with no watch. I personally think that the Lord has a lot to do with this sequence of events! ;) Slowly but surely He is ridding me of my dependence of the time. And it's amazing how much you can appreciate when time isn't a factor. I've learned to appreciate the freedom of flexibility and living in the moment!
So there are two examples of some changes I've become aware of lately as a result of this Haitian lifestyle. I've still got a long ways to go, but it's nice to look back and see progress! :)
I look forward to more adventure stories and experiences this weekend.... Stay tuned for more soon!