Well, these last 10 days went by way too quickly. Up at the 4:39am, which is such an ungodly hour it should not be allowed to be called morning, to head out for my 10am flight. I'm packing significantly less luggage on my way home, just some woodwork and paintings to sell. This will be the last blog for this trip. I'll still post, but not quite as often, since I'm heading back full fledged into single parenting for the rest of the month until Marc returns to Canada too. 

To try to describe the array of emotions and experiences from this week would be seriously understated in just a short blog as this. I can't tell you how much joy and satisfaction I feel being in Haiti, with these incredibly loving people. Their humility and grace leaves me with so much to still learn and helps me align my perspective with the greater two-thirds of the world who do not live in such materialistic independence as our opulent North American culture does. Though my years of experience may make you think that I should be some sort of expert in cross-cultural experiences, we never actually arrive or come to a place of achieving complete comprehension of others and how to relate to them, especially in a foreign culture to our own. I am still gaining understanding of the diversity and creativity of God and His nature through these interchanges and relationships. I am still learning that there are many ways to resolve conflicts, not just the upfront, brash style we so value as North Americans. I am learning that the things we hold dear as comforts and conveniences are not necessities and I can live with much less. In fact, an observation I captured this week while we spent a lot of time in the community is this: Haitians (and probably ⅔ of the world that live on less than $2/day) are simply content with relationships as their means of entertainment. The children do not have a myriad of toys, bikes or electronics to occupy them. They have each other. Where we strive daily to stimulate our senses with new movies, new apps for our phones, news feeds on FB, new purchases for ourselves and variety of other forms of entertainment, we actually devalue relationships more and more as we have less time for others. 

Anyways, enough of my cultural observations rant. We had no internet since last Tuesday and I used up all of my available data on my phone- can't wait to get that bill. So I was not able to post the last few days. I promised to share this video with you of the survival stories of those we met in the south of Haiti. I still am gripped with emotion each time I watch and I can't get the images out of my mind of their heroine experiences. 

The encouraging prospect of this all though is that we can do something about it. Another team arrives today and they will be launching out towards the south to help rebuild some homes. The prototype shelter home we constructed in Grand-Goave we figure will cost less than $1,000 US and it can be built in 2 days. With four work crews plus our team of volunteers, we hope to bang out 15 homes in 3 days this week. And once a rhythm is reached, the crews will resupply and be able to head out again to do another group of 15 homes. We hope to keep this up steady over the next few months to make a small dent in the vast devastation. And you too can be involved and be sure that 100% of the dollars you give towards the Disaster Relief will go directly for home rebuilding, supplying food and water filters. SO PLEASE GIVE!! 

So, I am just ending this blog, now safely tucked in at home in Airdrie. My house is warm, I have running water and my choice of hot or cold, I have tons of blankets, pillows, clothes, and a fridge stocked with food. Most of all, I came home to a houseful of family that loves me- except for maybe Austin. He cried when he saw me and said, 'No, I don't want you to come home.' Think he had too much fun while mom was gone? Or maybe he's mad cause he found out I forgot all about him on the list of my children that I left with my scheduled group of babysitters. Can 3 year olds hold grudges? Nah, he's already given that up, decided to throw his arms around me and snuggle in. I'm grateful. They all asked where their gifts were already and I had to wrestle with the desire to lecture them on how so many children in the world have nothing, especially after the more I witnessed this week. Instead I just gave them lots of love and attention and a listening ear for a few hours, just enjoying them. They are my entertainment. I finally made it to bed around 1AM, which is about 3AM Haiti time, just one and half hour shy of a 24 hour day awake. 

One last brag moment. I am really proud of our adopted son, Kiki. He informed me that he passed his first set of exams this fall in school. He is in 6th grade, a class of 34 kids, only 11 passed and he was 3rd place! Now that deserves an applause. We took him out for supper our last Sunday evening. He's also growing finally, bulking up a bit and is getting taller. Please keep our adoption process in your prayers. My hope is he'll be official this year!

So, thank you all who've followed along with me on this great adventure. It for sure is not over. I've just crossed back over to this side for a while and am already eagerly anticipating our trip back to our other home, Haiti. One of our Haitian 'sons', Ronald, is getting married end of December and we don't want to miss that. So please keep following the blog, FB, website and our newsletters. I'll try my best to keep up blogging, though don't get all reliant on me. I can quickly let you down if I begin to feel that weight of expectation. As Marc is still in Haiti for the rest of the month, I am sure he'll be stealing my identity on FB to post news and photos. So keep watching and don't be confused at me being in two places at once. Marc and I take the whole marriage vow of two becoming one seriously when it comes to email, FB and Apple ID. 

Up and Out.