Lots was accomplished today! We spent part of the morning cleaning the upstairs of the Mission House and getting things ready to have all of the kids come stay with us for a sleepover. I had the most precious talk with Dina and Otelson out on the balcony where I was cooking last night. They have figured out that if they get me on my own and speak slowly, we can talk about pretty much anything. I keep my Creole speaking a secret! Ha! Their plan was to ask if they could come stay the night with Mom and I with all of the kids. They were so excited! So I talked to Mom and Rob and we made it a plan. As wonderful as the Mission House is, 11 children is a lot to fit in so we had to move things around to make it work. The second part of the morning was spent talking and handling different affairs around the orphanage, with our school program, having some things translated to take home and various meetings with people. It all went really well and a lot of things were taken care of.
Christianne and Naromie are the ultimate hostesses and have provided us with Haitian food several of our days here! It is a treat for sure and allows us more time to spend with the kids. There was more playing with toys and games but everyone was so excited for this evening! The longer the day went on, the more people who decided they would join us tonight. In the end we have Christianne, Jocelyn, Drin, Berline, Kervins, Kimberline, Manius, Robinson, Naromie, 12 children, Mom and I! The kids started scurrying around to pack their things while Mom and I made some dinner for everyone. Shout out to West Side team who’s leftover macaroni and cheese helped make for a special night! When we were ready to go, 14 of us piled inside the Toyota to head out. I love the Haitians style of travel. 7 of us where only 3 were meant to be! At the house, Mom and I had prepared a treasure hunt for all of them by hiding 50 (yes, 50) beads around the upstairs. The kids had to find all of them, and present them to me to earn a written clue about where the treasure was hidden. The clue went something like ‘You will find your treasure someplace that is as cool as Michigan.’, which of course eventually led them to the refrigerator that is not used for refrigeration because of the lack of power. They were delighted with their new activity books and colored pencils. The game was followed up with a special experiment… snow in a can! They were ecstatic as they passed around handfuls of the white stuff that looks like snow. But the resemblance ends there! It was good enough for them though! We ended with a movie played out on the balcony. I have felt myself feeling a bit frustrated at times throughout the day where I am normally not frustrated. It took me until writing this blog to realize how much I am struggling with the idea of leaving. After the movie, we were setting up the kids beds and trying to encourage them to wind down. I was sitting on the only couch which is actually a love seat with 7 of the kids. They were asking me about when I was leaving, when I was coming back and who might be coming with me. Talking about what they might need or want in the fall time. No matter how many times I tried to explain, they can’t understand why I can’t wait to go home until Thursday. It’s not their job to understand though. They're just trying to figure out how to deal. One more loss in what must feel like a lifetime of losing. I’m not sure I’ve figured out how to deal with it either. I only know I can trust God with the in-between time and the end results for each of us, whatever that may look like. My heart is at an odd place of of aching joy. So full that it hurts. It is well after midnight and the house is quiet but the country is still alive with the sounds of what can only be Haiti. There are precious little ones spread over every inch of the floor, sleeping peacefully. I am not sure I will be afforded such rest tonight but I am off to give it a try! If you think about it, keep us in your prayers as we head full force into our final day here on the ground. Blessings from St. Marc!