Saturday, April 8, 2017

Crafting

    How do I even begin to describe today? A wonderful, beautiful, chaotic whirlwind is the best I can come up with off the top of my head… at almost midnight. I am struggling to find the words I want through blurry eyes and mind. Our morning started much earlier today and right before we left the mission house, Madam Robert stopped by to see us. We have known her since our first trip in almost 10 years ago and she is one of Mom’s dearest friends here in Haiti. I am sure many of you have heard stories of the connection she and Mom have made over singing. It is something special that God has used to entwine their hearts together, and for the rest of their lives I would say.
    We made a quick trip (quick in Haiti is not very quick!) to the Digicel store to try and fix our internet issues so I am not spending so much time in the evening trying to get blogs sent out. Thankfully, it was an easy fix, though we had to bite the bullet and put some cash out for a new router and wifi plan. Hopefully it will make it easier for Rob when we leave as well.
    The day really began when we arrived at the orphanage. I truly don’t know how to even begin to get the idea across to anyone at home. There were 13 kids and several young people there today as well as all of the adults. We have a small stash of toys and games we brought in the fall and kept in the ‘American storage room’ for safe keeping to be used when we came back. Because of that, we have many options available for varying age groups which makes for fun times for everyone. The problem in Haiti is that none of these kids have received training on how to handle toys or games. You get something out and every single one of them is instantly thrown into survival mode and grabs for whatever is within reach. You have to learn to be patient in absolutely everything, even the tasks you think would be simple. When we have a team here, the kids will spread out more as there is attention being given from lots of people at one time. With just two of us, it seems there would not be enough to go around if it wasn’t for God’s grace on Mom and I! There were so many fantastic memories made. I took as many pictures as I could through all of the craziness but I wish I could capture every moment. The kids got their first taste of putting together sets of legos which they are all crazy over. Teaching them to keep the pieces together is quite a process but they all did so great! The older kids have finally learned how to put together puzzles and they can’t get enough of them. After several hours of non stop playing, Mom and I decided to divide and conquer. She took the older children to play a couple of board games (which is always interesting trying to explain rules in a completely foreign language) while I took the kids ages 4-11 to give them their first lesson on how to use scissors… I know, I am completely out of my mind at moments! On my 3 month trip almost 5 years ago, I had taught who are now our oldest kids the same thing when I found out they had never used scissors. So, when Mom witnessed Iftha at 11 years old cutting off the end of her braid yesterday, proud as a peacock at her accomplishment, we decided our younger generation needed the same thing. Why you may ask would we choose this as an activity for orphan children? The answer to that is, we are Beth and Krystle and sometimes we have crazy ideas. And since we have promised to give our kids every opportunity that we can make possible, ‘cut and fold’ crafts became part of the agenda for the day! After having a small discussion about the dangers and responsibilities of using child proof scissors (LOL!), I passed them out to my 6 students and let them each pick a page from the craft books. Everything was going beautifully at first. Everyone was cutting away while I gave instructions as needed. Klarissa sat on my lap while I guided her through her project. And then it began. Iftha made a small error on the scalloped edges she was trying to make on her paper fan and burst into tears. I turned to help her fix it and tell her it was okay because she is just learning only to turn around and find Vlad has accidentally cut his small city and car scene in half… he looked at me all confused and said ‘I don’t understand what happened’. HA! Otelson’s bat (He has a recent obsession with Batman) came out with one perfect wing and the other one the same shape but half the size as the first. He was devastated so I helped him cut it out so we could tape it together. Bigodson cut off the tongue on his snake and Klarissa cut her crown in half… it was a regular three ring circus! Thankfully, Vanessa was successful in her first attempt making a bluebird. We were laughing so hard by the end of our escapades, all 7 of us sitting in a circle, the room looking like a crafting battlefield with tiny pieces of paper flying everywhere from the fan. I learn so much from these kids. To embrace the moments while they are here and just laugh even if it all goes wrong. They are all amazingly, perseverant, little human beings.   
    Meanwhile, Mom had her difficulties trying to teach 3 teenage boys how to play Racko… teenagers are already difficult and it took Samuel 20 minutes to decide on something that might be appealing to him. Remember the days of trying oh so hard to be cool? I think we all end up looking back and laughing at ourselves! After Robinson translated all about the importance of not cheating and good attitudes as well as the rules of the game, they left them to start. When she checked back they told her they couldn’t understand why the game was so easy and went so quickly only for her to discover all of them had rigged their cards. Oh my gosh. She had me laughing hysterically when she told me all about how she was trying to tell them that ‘it is not a good thing to cheat’ and how she has never been good at shuffling cards but how God must have touched her and she shuffled those cards perfectly! LOL! The boys were staring at her with big eyes, very impressed with her skills which she was just as surprised at but acted like she knew exactly what she was doing! She is an absolute hoot!
    We ended the evening with a showing of Pete’s Dragon out in the yard. Klarissa was sitting on one leg, Vanessa was using the other as a pillow and Iftha had her arms wrapped around my waist while Vlad held my hand. I got up covered in mosquito bites and both legs sound asleep. It is so worth it. I am unable to express my love for this country and these kids and this journey we find ourselves on together. Perhaps you will get to read something a bit more profound in a different blog or maybe not but the words are taken from my heart and typed out onto this screen and I thank you for taking the time to read them. Goodnight and blessings from St. Marc!

Krystle

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