In my mind I am still landing into a foreign place. In my heart, I never left.
Let me tell you what I've been up to thus far. Deep breath, and here we go.
My flight arrived in Port-au-Prince on Thursday afternoon. Laurens and Leeann picked me up from the airport, and I ventured back while making spontaneous, out-loud observations of what was out my window... and thus began:
- A sweaty evening of hugs and reunions
- Staff meeting at the office (I am so blessed to work with these people)
- Trek to see my mountain family (What a sweet reunion!)
- Late lunch at Gwopapapou
- Visit to the Hope House
- Meteorological update from Cheri (Earl's a-comin'!)
- Trip with the film crew to the city - consisting of Boutilie (highest lookout point in PAP), lunch complete with chocolate milkshake, entering the now open-air Catholic cathedral, the metal works shops in Croix-de-Bouquet, the tent city to visit our amputee friends, and a sunset drive home.
- Guacamole goodness
- Commencement of Friday Night Lights season 4 (Texas forever)
- Church worship (Fidel, se konsa w rele!)
- Kids church organized chaos
- Gwopapapou trip #2
- Moto ride in a dress
- Skype with newly engaged VICKI! Congrats Donald!
- Mountain trek #2
- Caught in a hurricane on the way back to SourceMatelas (Hello Earl! *okay it wasn't a full-fledged hurricane, but it might as well have been with the amount of water coming down).
- Guacamole party
- More season 4
- Goodbye to Sadrac and Wicky (they are the brothers I 'adopted' in Haiti and now are heading to school in the Dominican Republic)
- Jam time with Jean Marc on his BIRTHDAY!
- Reunions have continued with the Haitian population including: Volcy, Erta, Vena, Patrick, Jean Ronald, Patris, Nahomie, Jonny, Poppy Patris, Zo, Mamon, Mommy Lucienne, Mimose, Manna, Samuel and on and on.
Today I finally got around to unpacking my bags. Yes, with the de-cluttering and continual flow of visitors (including 4 of my 6 students... it's going to be a great year!) it was an all-day activity.
Tomorrow my goal is to make it to the classroom. Somewhere in the mix I also hope to eat a mango and go to the waterfall in Sodo.
I am so thankful for these beginning days. The memories of these cherished moments will last long into the days ahead. It's been the spark to start a year of possibility and I am excited and hopeful for all that awaits in the weeks and months to come. In the same way, I know that big challenges also lie ahead. Moments where I ask questions and begin to doubt why on earth I am living on this island. Times when weaknesses are revealed and refining hurts. A lot.
I want to keep believing that just as He was with me in the upstairs bunkroom of the guesthouse 2 years ago, so He is here with me on my red velvet couch filled with wonderful people. May He continue to work in me in the year to come through the valleys and the mountain peaks. Thank you for your continual support as I embark on yet another journey.
God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. ~ Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)