There is something about Haitian sunrises that makes it so easy for me to wake up at 6am and begin my devotions. If only I had that motivation back in Canada. Before breafast I went to my usual place at 8am- the elementary school. Watching the kids come in through the gate carrying their lunch kits in their cute little uniforms immediately puts me in a joyful mood. This morning, however was a little different. Instead of the 100 crazy, energetic kids having 17 foreigners to chase, climb on and drag around, they only had one this morning - how bittersweet. The selfish side of me was quite thankful to have the kids to myself, my body on the other hand was begging for my team to be back. I can confidently say that I will sleep easy tonight. I spent most of the morning planning out my English Lessons, and taking occassional breaks to head back over to the school and let the kids climb on my shoulders so that they could reach the monkey bars. The preschoolers and kindergardeners got to wear whatever they wanted today, "color day". The different shirts and beautiful dresses that some of the kids were wearing blew my mind. Some of these were the same kids we would see later that afternoon running around the village with no pants and no shoes. So strange to think they are the same kids that enter into school every morning in their matching uniforms and colored socks.
After lunch we had visitors from the Heart to Heart orphanage come and visit us. It was actually Claire and her family, (the woman who sponsored Marc Honorat as a child). We took them on a walk out into the community. Well they drove, but any excuse for me to walk around the community and pick up kids I will take. One of the couples is actually sponsoring one of the boys that we have gotten to know very well, Frientzey. Because I know him so well, I offered to search through the village and see if I could find him. As I got closer to the top of the hill, I saw this huge smile running towards me flailing his arms. Undineo. My heart just swelled. I had been waiting a week to see this boy who had captured my heart last year, and stolen it again the moment I saw him during our VBS. The community was all gathered at the top of the hill in rememberence of a young girl who had recently passed away. Immediately I felt as though I was intruding, but they were quick to welcome me and offer me a seat at their many tables. I stayed for awhile, but soon there were 20 kids pulling me in all directions, and as I attempted to explain who I was looking for in my broken creole, they grabbed my arms and off we went. We began down the narrow path that leads towards Frientzey's house, and as I looked back to see who was behind me, all I could see was lines of children happily following wherever it was we were headed. Only in a country like this is it okay for parents to let their children follow around a random white female with a huge smile. The kids took charge in my mission, and began yelling Frientzeys name out to everyone who was around. News spreads fast in the village and soon every kid within the community was searching for him with us. When we got to his house, he wasn't there, and my typical north american response was to say, " Okay, he's not here, let's go", but they started yelling at me and laughing! Oh how silly I am. They brough me out this huge wooden chair, and placed it in the middle of all of them. I felt so awkward, like I was some queen. When I told them I didn't need the chair, they grabbed me and pushed me down, yelling "Chita! chita!". So I sat.
Eventually newspread to Frienztys Mom that I was searching for her son, and she came home, welcoming me with hugs and kisses and offering me whatever it was she had in her pot. I refused, but was reminded immediately of the woman who offered the little that she had to Jesus. The children walked me the rest of the way home, the whole time singing " I love you Jesus" in creole. The Lord is revealing himself everywhere. Oh it was so fun.
After supper we headed over to Marc and Lisa's to have a movie night. As I spent the rest of the evening in the warm porch, with my three favorite girls and four favorite boys cuddled up around me, I found myself quickly losing sight of where I was. I realized how easy it is to slip out of reality when we can be watching a movie through our laptops instead of tv's (due to lack of power) and still feel as though I am in North America. I was quickly reminded though when we stepped back outside onto the broken roads and headed back home.
Tomorrow I begin my first day of teaching. I am much more excited than a few days ago, but still pretty nervous for day one. Looking forward to having one day done and having an idea of what I have gotten myself into. Knowing what to expect is not very common in Haiti- something I`m learning.