And Then They All Went Home
Updated: Jan 11
My house is oh so quiet tonight. And CLEAN with no suitcases anywhere and all my beautiful new things from USA arranged in the most homelike manner you have ever seen. We got three little avacodo trees planted in the yard tonight and after I did the rounds of the yard, checking on all my mom's plants, I came inside, turned all the lights off and did yoga by the light of a Deridder Louisiana candle. And then took a shower with Louisiana homeade soap. Boy did I feel pampered as I sat wrapped up in my throw that was a Christmas gift from one of my students, reading and singing with my husband for probably an hour. Then we had leftover birthday cake from a cousin off china plates and the rest of our pumpkin soup... Haiti New Year's tradition... That mom in law sent us. I made New Year's cookies this morning to share with them but the soup was totally better. It's one of my favorite Haitian foods.
All of December, we had a whirlwind of activity it seemed like, lots of overnight company, but the grand finale was from December 23 to December 31, when we had 11 people in this house... All 3 beds full, plus one couch and 4 girls in hammocks on the porch. My mom, dad and sister came along with my mom's only living family, her brother Randy and his family. I'm just going to share a highlight reel of the trip...
*On Christmas day, my mom in law cooked chicken legs the Haitian way on the stove and then Zèzès brother Edson and my cousin Joel grilled them on our little charcoal grate. We set the table outside with a set of black placemats that Aunt Ris had crocheted and brought along, and of course used my china and fancy napkins and candles. It was probably a simple meal compared to what most of you had but I went into the kitchen and just shed some happy tears because I had both of my moms sitting at the same table.
*We went to the butcher shop to get meat and one of our friends was there. He gave us a tour of the place, and in the cooler was a ton of broccoli he brought back from the DR. He proceeded to give us maybe 4 heads and when I said I was gonna share it with Zèzès family, he stuck in another one lol. So we had broccoli salad with cheese and craisins that my family brought and I just got a warm fuzzy about how nice he was to my family. He even offered to let Dad kill a cow but they didn't get there in time, another man had already stabbed it. Which may or may not have been a good thing for the poor cow. If you're going to be stabbed in the neck, seems like you'd want someone with experience.
*Hearing everyone talking English so my family could understand them. I heard lots of people say things in English that I had no clue could speak a word of it. Again just made me happy to see them reaching out to my company. It's mentally straining to always have people in the same house that can't understand each other because you feel like someone is being left out, so it's so nice to have someone help out by trying to talk the other language.
*Another day mom in law came to bring some stuff and I was making Haitian food and didn't have all the stuff to do it, and she just encouraged me and said I was creating a food. Then we went on a walk to buy vegatables and I was just so happy to have her there, and I realized how special she is to me. When we got home she tasted my food and didn't add anything to it... a huge compliment because she probably doesn't even know how inferior I feel to her cooking!!
*One day Miriana and Imanuela, two little girls that live with folks in law came over and played with my cousins and sister. They tried to play Quirkle and that's such a good game cuz there's no words, just colors and shapes. Then Londa got out her watercolor stuff, and then the neighbor boy and Imanuela's brother BenBen joined in, and they were painting things in English and kind of communicating even. So cool for kids to learn to make friends with someone different from them.
*The basketball games with neighbor youth guys and all my cousins joining in. Zèzè said that was one of his favorite parts.
*One day our friend took Dad and Uncle Randy to buy some vehicle parts and then he brought his wife and 2 year old twins to visit one evening. I got out the Quirkle blocks and the little girl immediately starting sorting the shapes and making lines. T
hen her brother would come behind her and mess them up and throw them in the air, but she patiently went back to sorting. I was just amazed... Her mom said she didn't have any toys like that at home and they hadn't taught her the shapes and wow she's only two!
*Our trip to Jacmel to Bassin Bleu and the beach... Quality time in the car with Mom and Aunt Ris and the challenge of following my husband thru Port au Prince in the dark. We were stuck in a traffic jam for literally 3 solid hours and I was glad everyone kept their cool.
*On the very last day, probably my favorite day of all, Mom and I spent the whole day doing flowers in the yard. We went to Blue Ridge and walked around for an hour getting cuttings and admiring the landscaping, and then came back home and planted them all. It was quiet, and she helped me hang curtains and I don't remember what all, but it was so good to be with the person that probably knows and understands me the best of anyone in the world.
"And now we're supposed to go back to our normal lives. That's what people do. They have these amazing experiences with another person, and then they just go home and clean the bathroom or whatever."
Yup. Clean the bathroom. Teach school. Make spaghetti for breakfast. All that. This post took me several days to write... So it's a little old, but happy new year! In church several people said we should not have hope that this year will be easier or better, but focus on being closer to God each day. Pray for the church here... We have a real burden for especially the youth and so many of the staff are getting older. It's not an easy time for this country... Even tho we're not social distancing and wearing masks, Satan wants to divide the church in other ways.
Eliezer and I wish you good courage in this coming year!