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  • Quiara

Whither Thou Goest

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

{This post was written the first week of February. Yikes... guess it's outdated.}

Thursday afternoon I got two calls, one from Zeze's brother and one from Zeze himself, with the same message. "Do not go home by the usual road!" Apparently some bandits thought it was a great idea to hijack some vehicles and block the bridge with them, plus burn tires and do all manner of other kinds of wickedness. So, Mom-in-law and I departed Blue Ridge to return to our homes by another way. At around 4:00 we turned the corner at Carrefour Marassa into a traffic jam. Not being a man, I will not try to estimate the distance from the intersection to the Tabarre Bridge. But I think you could drive there in less than five minutes if the road was clear.

At 7:30 we had not yet reached the bridge.

In the meantime, we had watched people get off tap taps and hurry home on foot through the gathering dusk. We had discussed all family news. Dad-in-law had called to check progress maybe ten times. We had listened to the ladies Bible Study service from Whatsapp. We had debates on which lane was moving faster, and I would try to wiggle my way into the best one. Then we faced a bigger problem. We were running out of diesel.

I called Zeze and he said, "I'll bring some guys, and we'll come get you on moto."

We didn't really know where we were at that point, so I managed to get in the middle lane and roll down my window. We were beyond happy to see Zeze and the two friends he brought to help. We left the car and a gas can in their tender care, and both Mom and I hopped on the moto behind Zeze.

Usually in Port au Prince if you are on moto, you're basically exempt from traffic jams. Not so this time! We got off and walked behind him to save our knees being scraped on other cars, and once we made it over the bridge, we turned on a side road. This road too, was completely blocked with cars, and by now it was dark. Zeze had all he could do to get the moto over the rock piles, and Mom and I just slogged through the trash behind him... yup... whither thou goest.

We hopped on again when it was clear, and after that I just enjoyed the wind in my face and the quiet streets. I asked him if he knew where he was, and of course he did. Soon we were at the main road again, and everything was clear... At 8:15 we were doing a happy dance in our front yard. I made crepes, and miracle of all miracles, in spite of our predictions that they'd be home at 11:00, the guys showed up with the car at a little after 9:00. They knew a road that actually went THROUGH the river... I have no idea what our poor car thought of the road. I'm glad I was not along on that ride, but we were just glad they got home safe and amazed they accomplished it so fast.

I think I have had an advantage in my marriage because of being so clueless in this foreign country. I truly need my husband to take care of me - as much as a pioneer woman needed her husband to shoot bears and fight Indians. I truly could not get through a week without him in this country, and I think that's so good for our marriage. His priority is to take care of me, because it's obvious that I would wander happily into some terrible problem if left alone. And I have no choice but to say, "Where you go, I will go."

Most of the time.

Friday morning I wanted to go to work. Both mom-in-law and Zeze thought it was a bit unsafe, but Zeze finally accepted to take me with him. I was already feeling bad on the way to work, and I asked him if I had been too strong-willed, and he just said no, he realized I had never seen the danger and probably wouldn't believe it till I had. And I'm sure I rattled off some explanation about wanting the kids to get a consistent education and how I didn't want school to drag into July.

Most of the Blue Ridge employees were there, and I felt very good about myself when I climbed into the car when he came to pick me up at noon. I had gotten a whole day's work in and finished out the week in an organized manner.

He was quiet. I asked why, and he said, "I was scared all morning. Hardly anyone got to work, and we just missed a huge traffic pile up on the way. I don't know if we'll be able to get home ok or not."

So I did a gulp, and my big important day seemed a bit childish.

Sunday it felt even more childish when I saw how genuinely concerned everyone is for the country right now. They are trying to get the president to leave on February 7. His term is up, but there has not been an election. They are afraid if the election happens while he is still in power, he will rig it so that he or one of his party members gets elected. Evening church and Bible Study were called off, and we were encouraged to stay at home unless we had an emergency. in the evening, we visited two Mennonite couples in our neighborhood... the one lost her baby, and the other has a healthy baby, but had a bad scare during the delivery. The men talked about the state of affairs the whole time... The Dad who lost his first baby has so much right to be completely fed up with this country right now because of the medical care his wife did not receive.

This Monday and Tuesday, the opposition called for a strike. Everything was locked down... no cars on the streets. Everyone knows if you go out in a car, you run the risk of having a rock thrown through the windshield.

And I hope my attitude has been a little different this week. I have been totally relaxed... not stewing about school, and Zeze and I have enjoyed these forty-eight hours of togetherness with good food, deep conversations, and yesterday, a long walk through the neighborhood close by where his family lived when he was a little boy.

I'm writing this Tuesday night, and I think I'm going to work tomorrow. But... n'ap swiv... We'll watch. SO... Was this post about being submissive or about the political unrest in Haiti? Maybe both.

I've just been impressed with how it's not about following your husband when you think he's right. It's about relaxing into his decisions and letting him be in charge. I'm so glad I am in a situation that forces me to do that, because I get to learn how much better life goes when I'm doing that. Really we're all trying to do the right thing, and obviously I think my husband is an intelligent human otherwise I wouldn't have married him. So if I'm married to an intelligent man who is trying his best to take care of me, I need to just chill out and let him do it.

Please pray for the country and the church in Haiti. The staff were stuck in that same traffic jam that I was, but were on public transportation, so everyone, including our minister with heart problems, had to walk quite a good distance. We have a moto, and our own car. So many people are completely reliant on public transportation, and if that fails, their only choice is stay home or walk. Also, many are dependent on what they sell that day for food, so even a little strike like this can really hurt them. The other day while getting my license picture taken, I saw a lady sitting in the parking lot with a kettle of tea she was selling and a few plastic cups. That same day, another lady walked past with a watermelon on her head... she was selling chunks of it to anyone who would needed a snack. Who knows if these people were actually supporting themselves this way, but how many of you would be willing to even supplement your husband's income by sitting in the DMV parking lot with a kettle of tea, or walking around Walmart with a watermelon on your head. This country needs change, so continue to pray that these people can have ideas to make their situations better, and most of all that they can feel Jesus walking beside them every day.

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