This post is coming dangerously close to being un-postable in that we’ve actually been back in Haiti for four, almost five full days. We’re settling back into life here and our routines, like oatmeal for breakfast, sermons on Sundays, running and reading are taking their proper places. The freshness of the new year is starting to wear off except that it isn’t. The words I wrote a few days ago are still quite appropriate. I guess there’s no wrong time to share what it feels like to come home.
We’re back in Haiti and it smells and looks and feels exactly like it did 12 months ago, which in my opinion, looks and smells and feels amazing. We left Haiti for the big Family, Friend, and Fundraise Visit of 2012 (seriously, it’s such an involved affair it deserves an official title) on December 3rd and we arrived home yesterday, Jan 3rd. I think if you leave for 2 weeks, or maybe 3, you can return without much of a jolt to your system. But once you hit the month marker inevitably when you return, your body notices. Last year around this time we returned after being away from Haiti for 3 whole months, 3 months! Coming home then was intoxicating. Returning this time felt just as strange and wonderful. Things I had stopped smelling I noticed yesterday. Like the smell of the Haiti Babi mommas when they jumped in the truck for a ride into town. When I saw them waving madly at us as we pulled home from the airport, everything felt right in the world. These women work out of an apartment we initially leased for the bead program and/or visiting guests. Now, it’s their knitting supplies that fill the place with warmth and tumble from every corner. I’m a sucker for the smell of Haitian women. It’s grown to be an incredibly friendly and familiar smell. Not so friendly was the smell of mildew in our apartment but familiar none-the-less. Just as an aside, we’re working on the mildew today. So please don’t add that to the tarantulas and blazing hot temperatures. You can and should still visit. I promise.
Today we spent half the day flying, 10 minutes unpacking, and half the day bringing our living space back to life.
First stop: Cap Haitien’s main outdoor market.
We filled our bags with plenty of fresh food and then moved on to the local cellular store to buy credit for our SIM powered USB internet device. What more do you need short of wi-fi and vegetables? Friends perhaps. And thankfully, we had a chance to see them too. Life is good and there’s plenty to smile about. Our absence did not go unnoticed and that has a way of making you feel just a little bit loved.
Some things have changed here in this corner of Haiti, while others haven’t. Avocados are no longer in season, but the bank tellers still adore Jenn, calling her either “Schenkkkk” or “Jennifaire” for a combination of the two. The security guard at the gas station was at our window before we could even come to a complete stop. He was eager to share news that his partner, the shops other security guard, had left for Port-au-Prince to attend the police training academy. He’s on to bigger and better things. Big news, indeed. There’s mangoes at the land. The tree in the center of the property, which we’d know only for it’s shade during block-making, has entered a fertile season. This also, is new to us. And exciting. Jenn says it’s popping with fruit and we might just need to rig up a net of some kind to capitalize on it’s bounty.
Earlier today, Jenn announced that we should make and sell pickles, that was after she learned that “a pickle” is actually a pickled cucumber. (Mind blown). Let’s just say she’s feeling inspired and innovative. And she should be! And so am I.
Our trip to the states was wildly productive in terms of fundraising. And now that we are back in Haiti more and more of our questions and concerns seem to either have answers or are working themselves out to some degree. For example we prayed earnestly that we might maintain positive and mutually engaged relationships with the local villages. A long-seated plan that the organization would tithe to local churches each month will begin, now! We’re feeling very confident that this is one way that we can be an extension of God’s love and mercy and bless the church from which they will bless the community.
Also, the land looks amazing! Have you seen the pictures on FB? How can you not get excited about the transformation that will happen within those rooms when you see them?
A year ago, exactly, we were stepping into something completely brand new and trusting God to guide our steps each hour of the day. Today I find myself with the same giddiness about being back. I find myself saying strangely similar things like...Jenn, we need to take a picture.. I think I could blog tonight. We were only gone a month this time, so the excitement stems more from a sense of God’s presence and power fueling this project.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.” (Eph 3. 20)
He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. The more I think about it, the more I think I might burst. In a good way.
Praising Him for blessing our travels, bringing us safely back, and for what’s to come.