Sunday, May 10, 2009

To market, to market!

Let me first begin with a very big HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all you mom's out there... Even though I am not home to celebrate with my family today, I am so thankful for all of the memories that I've been able to share with my mom over the years, and for the many more 'mom's' that I've accumulated since this move to Haiti. :)
I know in my last post I wrote about how you should expect to read all about my weekend adventures getting bread from the market, and telling the story about Jesus feeding the 5000 in kids church. Unfortunately, I'm only able to tell half of the story this afternoon. It turns out that in church this morning there was a special choir presentation that took up most of the service, which caused kid's church to get cancelled! It's actually pretty humourous thinking about it now, compared to the confusion I had in the service this morning. It began to dawn on me about halfway through the service while the choir was singing that there would not be time for kid's church. My mind instantly went to the bags of bread that were sitting in Laurens and Cheryl's truck. I wondered what on earth I was going to do with the 250 little loaves that Teagan and I had cut up last night for the kids. After a little bit of thought, I was able to put my mind at ease thinking that I would simply give the bread to my friends who had helped me at the market yesterday, and they could pass it out to their friends and relatives in the village. As for the story, we'll just have to get more bread next weekend and hopefully there won't be any other guests in church! :)

Now let me tell you about my adventures yesterday! My trip to market was packed with excitement and to be honest, I'm already looking forward to going back for more bread next weekend! :) Sadrac and Wicky (who work as translators for the mission and are involved in the church) have become good friends of mine over the past couple of months. Because it's not safe for me to go off of the mission alone, they have become my 'escorts' and we've had some great times going out for Haitian food and teaching each other our respective languages (it's a good deal - they teach me Creole and I help them polish up their English!). So yesterday afternoon we headed out to the Cabaret market by tap-tap, which is the Haitian version of a taxi. It's a small pickup with bench seats that line either side of the truckbed and to get a ride, you climb into the back of it and jam yourself in like a sardine... the average adult capacity is 15, but I've been in one with over 20 people! If you didn't guess already, in Haiti the adventure begins before you even reach your destination!

So we took the tap tap to Cabaret and first got fueled up with some delicious Haitian food before embarking out into the BUSY market to find bread. It's kind of hard to explain market day, and I don't have pictures since it's not good to have a camera out in the crowds, but I'll do my best... Picture a huge open field (in Haiti there is no grass, just dirt), and hundreds and hundreds of people. There's no real organization or strategy that I am aware of to how vendor's choose their location. I think it's pretty much first come, first serve. Across the entire field and sides of the main street, hundreds of little tarps and bed sheets are held up by sticks in the dirt, and the bread, meat, clothes, kitchen pots, fruit, shoes, and whatever else you might like is sold underneath. Based on this slightly chaotic setup, when you go to the market, it's not just a good price you have to work for, it's literally FINDING what you are looking for. Fortunately, the guys are both quite familiar with the market and navigating through it, so we made out very well! We ended up purchasing about 12 large flatbread-type loaves (nothing that I can really compare with in Ontario, sorry), which Teagan and I divided into 250 pieces (about the size of your fist) all for about $7 American! So needless to say, it wasn't too much of a loss for us not to be able to give out the bread in kids church today. We'll just buy more next week, and as a result of the mix-up, hopefully some village families got their fill!  

This brings me to the finale of my Saturday adventure. Gathering our goods we once again navigated through the marketplace back to the tap tap pickup stop (at some points the guys had to hold me by the arms so I wouldn't get caught up in the crowds). Fortunately, we managed to find a tap tap pretty quickly considering the amount of people needing a ride, and as an added bonus, I even got to sit in the front of the truck instead of cram into the back. Now that's what I call Haitian luxury! :) Complete with gutted dashboard, broken windshield and blasting Haitian radio, I climbed in beside the driver and another Haitian shopper while Sadrac and Wicky hitched a ride on the back. As we chugged back to the mission, I smiled to myself. Sitting on a bench seat squished between two complete strangers with gigantic bags of food on my lap, I felt completely comfortable and content. Then, the best thing happened. I caught a glance behind the tap tap in the sideview mirror. Despite it's dusty glass, I was able to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen during my time in Haiti. The sun's rays were beaming out from behind a cloud and the colors were breathtaking. Immediately I began to scramble for my camera (which was quite a task with all of the stuff on my lap), but I managed to snap a picture so that I would never forget that moment. My camera doesn't even come close to giving the breathtaking sky justice, but it's a picture just the same, and hopefully it helps you envision my wonder. 

More than having a wonderful day with friends, more than the fresh bread on my lap, or a comfortable ride back home, the Lord blessed me with a glimpse of His glory at dusk. What's amazing to me is that we weren't even traveling in the direction of the sunset. Instead we were driving the opposite way, but the Lord plopped me right down into the perfect viewing spot where I could see Him paint a picture of His majesty. 

In that moment I was captured once again and reminded of all of the moments of beauty I have witnessed in this land. As soon as I feel my cup has reached it's limit, the Lord pours down His love and I can do nothing but overflow. There have been mountains and valleys on this journey, and there are sure to be many more, but I am thankful today for the whispers of His love and the assurance of His presence. It has been, it is, and it always will be more than enough.


Renee Kievit said...

Diana I love reading your posts. It is fun to read through your adventures and see what you've been up to. Your tap tap drive to town sounds interesting and I was surprised that you found driving in the front with 2 strangers to be more comfortable. Your perspective is wonderful and I am glad that you can see God working in all that happens. Praying for you.

Twila said...

love this one-

All I can say is our Faithful Father shines HIS love down at just the right times!!!!

Ryan said...

Diana! Your 'stories' are inspirational! This latest one reminded me of Donald Miller's "Through Painted Deserts: Finding God on the Open Road." You remind me that God is everywhere in our 'worlds', His mark and His glory even on sunsets!