My head writes in my sleep and I wish I had more time to write and to share the daily stories we hear, capture the nasty of the bugs, or simply share of the blessings we receive each day but for today I will give you a glimpse into the day of the life of Jussi and Colleen in Haiti.
Our mornings start very early usually around 530am. Today for example before church we assembled a set of bunk beds. I looked at the directions and provided a few prompts, (tongue n cheek) honestly, the directions did not always lead us to the easiest way, but I put together the ladder and drank coffee and supervised. I know for some couples assembling items with tons of little parts and pages of directions can mean heated fellowship but we laughed and teased and voila we had great looking bunk beds. Tomorrow we are getting eight new visitors so we needed one extra bed, so Tuesday am we will have 16 for breakfast, who says life in Haiti is lonely.
Most days we sit on our balcony, do our devotions and plan our day, then we walk down to the main house. I am thinking maybe it is only a kilometre and a bit but it is time to feel the morning sun and see the morning hustle and bustle of those off to work and school. We enjoy especially the opportunity to chat with people along the way. The downside would be dodging vehicles as they come barreling up the hills, spraying loose rock as they go.
Not sure of the incline but Jussi thinks it is 750 feet elevation difference. Halfway down the hill the people line up on the corner to buy water from a shop, they come with buckets, jugs and numerous sized containers to purchase water. All the water is trucked in here, including all the water we use for showers and laundry. Hence the need for army style showers and the conservation of water when doing dishes etc.
Once at the main house we check our email and then muster up a crew to head to Fort Jacques. It is the new site of GLA and up higher in the mountains than we are here, about a thirty minute ride along bumpy windy roads. The area around the Baptist Mission is overflowing with vendors selling their daily wares and tap taps interchanging passengers and people moving and walking about. Many of the ladies are spilling out into the roadway making Tuesdays and Fridays for market days a small single lane that requires skill and patience to manoeuvre without clipping anyone with the mirrors. Not for the faint of heart. The roads then wind their way through the most beautiful countryside, with tiered gardens, large mansion style houses, small shanty areas and one of my favourites, the endless hedges of Hibiscus. Our days at Fort Jacques are filled with sorting and organizing and building relief bags. Yesterday Jussi built a guard shack for the fellows on security, while I planned and organized for the team to come up on Monday to build more distribution packs.
After work we go back to the main house and have dinner with everybody, then up the hill either walking or catching a ride. Walking uphill after work and eating is not always easy and the fact we had visitors name the hill, Thigh-master. I am thinking the long term effects will be good. An evening of visiting with Brandon, Nikki and the kids, and the visitors in the house and by 9pm we are off to bed. Some days we have time to watch a DVD on the computer and some days we wait here and there but for the most part we are always moving. Days seem to go by fast and as April snuck out on us we are thankful for the warmth, the sound of a gentle breeze blowing through the Royal Palms outside our house, the banter of the children playing outside and endless sound of church, morning, noon or night, somewhere, almost all the time someone is singing.
The food at GLA is fabulous and we blessed with water we can drink, a secure space to live in and many people to chat too. A friend mentioned the other day when she was frustrated and crying, that an older Haitian man came over on the street and said to her, "Don't cry, it will be okay, we are a resilient people, and we know that you are here to help us and we will take care of you, and we know that God saved all of us from the earthquake for a purpose, so don't be sad, because everyday is a day to be celebrated." She was so taken about God's purpose to put that person in her path and as she shared I realized the beauty of the Haitian people is not always in the physical but in the depth of their thoughts about God and the quickness they have to remember who we all have to thank for this beautiful day.
This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it!
His hands in Haiti and praying that He continues to teach us in ways that we will never imagine. C