Care to take a tour of my life?
You won't need an alarm clock... The chattering birds outside your window, or an occasional pounding sledgehammer will faithfully awaken you before 7am.
It's a place where water often falls from the ceiling instead of the tap.
A place where no matter how much time you spend scrubbing, buffing and painting your toes on girls night, they will instantly morph back into their dusty and calloused state as soon as you step outside.
A place where your fridge doesn't have enough space to hold the abundance of mangoes and avocados.
A place where the evening sunset out your front door is better than any postcard print.
Come to school at the guesthouse - A place where the kitchen staff often need more of a lesson in keeping quiet during schoolwork than the students. Make sure you place a paperweight on your workbook, or the wind will whip it off the side of the mountain in no time. It's a place where 12-year olds teach ESL, 6-year olds recite the books of the new testament, and youtube saves the day with Bill Nye reruns.
Transportation is like nothing you will experience. Seat belts are not in the Haitian vocabulary. You never know how you will get from point A to point B, but never fear, there is always a way. It may be side straddling a motorcycle, sharing the passenger seat with a friend while balancing a baby on your lap, cramming into the back cab of a tap tap with 20-plus others, clinging to the metal cargo frame on an ATV, or maybe, just maybe in a Toyota Hilux pickup with air conditioning. Pure luxury.
Church is 7 chairs around a patio table. A podcast sermon is sporadically drowned out by rain on a tinroof. The night air settles in as the mission staff come together to read the Word, share stories and pray together. You won't want to miss it.
Evenings may seem dull with a 6pm curfew, but don't despair. Just take a quick ten step journey next door. There's plenty of rice and bean leftovers. We'll watch dvd seasons of Grey's Anatomy, Friends, and the latest hook, Prison Break. Mourn the loss of Sarah with Rachel and I and then rejoice when she comes back (oops. my apologies if I just ruined something for you).
Haiti is a faraway place from Wainfleet. It's nothing like I ever expected, and sometimes I wish I could wake up from this schmozzled place and be back in my cool, quiet room of predictability. Where Starbucks is a heart-to-heart drive away, and family members and old friends line the pews on a Sunday morning. Where you never have to worry about a broken inverter or rats eating your popcorn. Yet as soon as I find myself wishing it all away, a small hand finds itself in mind. Surely, hope shows up in the most unexpected of places, and the still small voice whispering love, joy and courage into my heart is true.
Indeed, this lifestyle is nothing short of an outlier, but I wouldn't want it any other way.