Sunday was my birthday, and since I’m sure you want to ask, I turned 35. That number makes me feel old for some reason… don’t know why. Anyway, it was my first birthday in Haiti and the weekend was a lot of fun!
On Saturday, I went shopping in Cayes with Amy Long, another RMI missionary here who is quickly becoming a good friend! We took our 4-wheelers up to the Cite Lumiere clinic and took motorcycles taxis into the downtown Cayes market area. The motorcycle taxi was a fun adventure! It’s exactly what it sounds like— paying a fare and getting on the back of a Haitian’s motorcycle. I’ve driven in a car for that ride many times, but there is something different about seeing Cayes that way.
We met Jenn Rogan, another missionary, at the market area to shop. The streets are lined with stores, but we didn’t really go in them. We checked out the vendors lining the streets. It’s kind of like a bid yard sale. Used clothes, shoes, new stuff too, anything you can imagine lines the streets. My only purchase there was a cute dress for $2 US for Tessa. Amy found fabric for some pillows and Jenn purchased a shirt.
Next, we went to lunch at a restaurant right near where we were shopping. I had Poisson-- fish in a butter sauce—with rice and plantain. Very yummy! And, yes, the fish is cooked whole—bones, head, eyes and all.
After lunch we walked over to the area of the market called the “shoe market.” Here, there are tables upon tables of used and new shoes. In the main area, they are piled on sheets or blankets right on the ground. There is not a variety of sizes here in one style! Much like going to a yard sale, you just look for shoes you like and see if they are your size. Amy found a pair of cute dressy sandals.
Then we took a motorcycle taxi to another part of town. Jenn and Amy know this Haitian guy who makes and sells jewelry so we went to check it out. The stuff he had was really nice—all made out of coconut or shells—and he had a nice variety. I got a necklace and two pairs of earrings for $5 US.
We said goodbye to Jenn and took another motorcycle taxi to visit one of Amy’s friends. After the earthquake, Amy made several friends at the Cite Lumiere hospital who had lost limbs on the earthquake. This particular friend, Regine, had her left leg amputated a few inches below her knee. We went and visited her at her house. Here is where I wished I knew more Creole! Through Amy, I learned her story. Her family lives in Cayes, but she was in Port to go to school. She felt the ground shaking until it knocked her over. A truck fell over on her leg and then a building came down on the truck. She said she would have been killed if the truck hadn’t come down on her first. She’s received a prosthetic leg. She had a beautiful smile. I told her I’d know more Creole the next time I saw her.
I started Saturday with a scratchy throat, and by Sunday, I had a full-out head cold. No fun. Rob let me sleep in and we were pretty lazy that morning. I got homemade cards from the kids. I was surprised that Rob managed to get me a gift and he put a good amount of thought into it! It’s not like we can just go to the mall and find a gift here. I got a sewing machine! I’ve been wanting one for a while—not for anything elaborate, but to do stuff like make curtains. I’m looking forward to trying it out. I found out Sat that you can get some great fabric at the market for very little $, so I am excited to look for fabric for the kids rooms for curtains.
My request for my birthday was to go to Rainbow Beach, my favorite. We went with Amy and Gary & Marilyn McLoughlin. We had a great time despite the fact that I was sick. The kids made a sand castle with Rob. I took Drew and Tessa on a walk and we found a ton of baby hermit crabs at the end of the beach. We collected as many as we could find. Drew begged and begged, so we took home 6 tiny hermit crabs, and let the rest go. We have started working on our “crabitat” and are hoping they make it until it’s all set up.
Overall, a great weekend of “girl time” and “family time.” I feel blessed. Now if only this head cold would go away…