1) We met our Haitian cook (Madam Yadley) who calls me Madam Mike. That is going to take awhile to get used to! She cooks lunch for us four times a week for extra money. It is expected here to provide jobs for the Haitians. Otherwise, you would be looked down upon from the start. We get along really well and had some good laughs already! She eats lunch with us. She knows a little English and we know so little Creole, so our conversations are not too long yet.
2) Star gazing on a hill surrounded by mountains and cows, singing hymns, and getting to know one another better. (We got such a kick out of a cow who started bellowing when we sang!)
3) Tarantula hunting – the kids found some big ones!! Mom screamed when they brought one back and it came towards her. : )
4) Going downtown to transfer our US dollars to Haitian Goudes and to the market for some groceries (not like Walmart!) Sure is a different world with all the crowds of people everywhere! It is very unfamiliar ground and out of our comfort zone, especially when you don’t know the language. The driving is always chaotic, dangerous, and the sights eye opening!
5) Four-wheeling is how you get around on short trips! We will all be driving those soon to get around (except for Grace I guess).
6) Taking time out to play basketball and volleyball with the missionaries.
7) Hiking up the mountains (Rock climbing is more like it). The kids enjoyed swimming in a natural spring and jumping in. The water was such a clear blue that you could see your toes when you looked down! It is so neat to see the world God created – especially one that is new to us.
8) MEBSH (Mission Evangelical Baptist South Haiti) church – First time for kids to experience church the Haitian way. It was so amazing for the kids to see them sing and praise Jesus with their whole hearts while they have nothing! They sang so loud into the microphone we almost had to cover our ears!
9) Beach at Port Salut (45 minutes west of Les Cayes) to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon and some seafood on the Caribbean Sea with the missionaries.
10) Christmas Eve Outreach – On Christmas Eve, we went with Tim and Joan Reinhard on their annual outreach with the street boys. Wow! What an eye opening event that day! We picked up the kids on the street that Joan had on the list. There was 38 boys. The names were picked by a street mom who supposedly takes care of these kids, since she had been a street kid herself. Each one of these kids had to have their finger spray painted so they wouldn’t have any tag-a-longs and would better be able to keep track of them. There were so many street kids that wanted to go along but only the ones on the list were able. It was a sight to see! Both Tim and Joan were surrounded by many, many kids while we all waited in the vehicles.
Having shoes in Haiti is like having a good set of tires on a car. Obviously Haitians mostly get around by walking and do make first impressions (measure each other) by what kind of shoes they have on. So these shoes were a gift that these boys appreciated!