Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adventures of an MK: Braden

I couldn’t tell you about our trip to Astruc with The Orchard EFC and leave out Braden!  Often I am struck by the reality that all he’ll really ever know is growing up in Haiti.  He’s a TCK (Third Culture Kid) to the core.  I love thinking about his already fun life at the young age of two!  He won’t remember Mommy driving back and forth to preschool in her Honda Odyssey, he’ll only remember asking Mommy if he can come with me to pick up Drew and Tessa on the four-wheeler. 

He doesn’t yet distinguish between English and Creole. To him, it seems, it’s one big language. (We like to say the language Braden speaks is Crenglish.)  Just the other day Rob was leading him in a “repeat after me” prayer and it went like this:

Rob: Thank you for our food 

Braden: thank you pou manje 

Rob: Thank you for Mommy and Daddy 

Braden: thank you pou Mommy and Daddy

It was so fun to see him substitute the Creole words on his own. To him there is no difference.

Back to our time in Astruc with the Orchard.  Braden had so much fun playing and exploring.  He really is that “third child” who loves playing with his siblings and thinks he’s as big as they are.  He was almost always with either Drew or Tessa trying to do what they were doing.  What I think he enjoyed most was the big sand pile out in front of the church.  Any chance he got he was out there.  I think his highlight was the “slides” they created out of the sand.  Needless to say he was incredibly dirty by the end of each day!










Here he found some work gloves and had to wear them










It’s hard to capture random, casual pics of him because as soon as he sees the camera, he starts posing with a big smile.  That smile sure can melt this Momma’s heart!  He’s a little lady-killer!

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Having fun with some of the kids











And my very favorite picture of the whole trip.  Rob already posted it, but I wanted to comment a little on it.  Right before we left, all the people and our team formed a prayer circle.  Braden was standing right in front of me and when he saw everyone holding hands, he held this little boy’s hand:


Such a priceless picture that represents our ministry here and our hopes for our kids.  RMI is all about two different churches from 2 different cultures coming together to build up Christ’s church together.  What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.  I want this to be at the inner core of my kids hearts: love for Christ and love for others.  What a beautiful start.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We need your help.

As we approach the end of 2010, we are in need of your financial support.  We currently find ourselves with a $6,400 end of the year shortfall.

No long explanation.  No whining.  Just straight up.  We need your help.  

Would you please consider helping us meet this need with a special year-end financial gift?

Give Online Now  |  Pledge  |  Give via Check in the Mail

Thank you to those who give regularly.  Thank you to those who have given special gifts.  Thank you for being on our financial support team!
Your fellow servants…

Rob and Becky

p.s.  As a reminder, any gifts given (postmarked) on or before December 31, 2010 will be tax deductible for the year 2010.

Oh, how I’ve missed thee…

There are a number of things I seriously miss from the US. This list is not inclusive and mostly involves food:

  • ground beef with fat (and flavor)
  • good burgers and steaks
  • boneless chicken breast
  • pre-shredded cheese (that is super cheap)
  • sales
  • frozen veggies
  • whole wheat bread and pasta
  • feta
  • grapes, strawberries, peaches, pink lady apples
  • dishwasher
  • central air
  • swimming pool
  • low fat milk already pasteurized and homogenized
  • Thomas’ English muffins

I could keep going, but my intent in writing this is not to focus on what I no longer have access to, but to revel in the pure joy of having something in my belly (and freezer) that I haven’t had in over 9 months:


Oh, broccoli, how I’ve missed thee!

Look at the 6 pounds of fresh broccoli I was able to purchase tonight.  I was so giddy, I think Rob thought I was nuts.  Seriously, I am so excited to have broccoli.








In the US, our family ate broccoli at least 2 times per week.  We all love it and my freezer was always full.  Frozen broccoli was a convenience I took for granted.  There is one small window here where we can get fresh broccoli.  The only place I can get it is through SEED, a ministry that teaches agronomy.

I can’t eat this much broccoli before it goes bad, so I had to first wash it, then blanch it before I could freeze it.  I was so excited, I even saved and froze all the stalks to make broccoli soup.  In the past, I always threw them all away.

Tonight we had Kraft mac-n-cheese and broccoli for dinner.  Don’t you know the kids all ate their broccoli first.  And Braden didn’t finish his mac-n-cheese—but he did ask for more broccoli!


Friday, December 10, 2010

A light moment in the midst of gunfire!

Today at lunch, I put up my hand like a gun and asked the Haitian ladies how you say “gun”.  We have heard a lot of gun fire today, so I wanted to know how many Haitians have guns.  They said it was “dwèt”.  So, I asked “How many Haitian have a dwèt/gun?  They said everyone!  Can you believe that all Haitians have a dwet?  You should have seen Becky and I.  REALLY?  Every Haitian has a gun!  We were astonished.  We kept asking the ladies, and they just sort of nonchalantly said, sure, every Haitian has a dwèt/gun.

Then, we realized, dwèt is actually finger, not gun.  Duh…  yes, every Haitian has a finger.  We had a nice laugh over that one!

Gun is “zam”, and now we know that only some Haitian’s have a zam.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Adventures of an MK:Tessa

When Tessa was six months old, we knew she was going to be our social butterfly.  She was happiest when there were many people around and was full of smiles whenever we would drop her off at the church nursery.  She hasn’t changed!  Once she got past her first week of Haitian school (and the crying that came with it) she’s been content and happy to go. She looks forward to school everyday.  Watching her, I have been thinking that she just doesn’t mind all the kids around her and touching her.  Seeing her interact with the kids in Astruc this past week confirmed this.  She loved to be in the thick of things, hanging out with the kids.  Her spirit makes her Momma proud!

That first Sunday, Tessa just loved posing with all the girls:










She had a blast collecting feathers with Drew, holding the chicken, petting the goat and riding the donkey too.  Here you can see a little girl playing with her hair while she was holding the chicken.  She didn’t mind one bit.  She and Drew had a lot of fun together too.  Much of what they did, they did together.





















She played hopscotch for hours one morning while I was helping with the deworming clinic (more on that in another post).  There were times when 2 or three other girls would hopscotch with her at the same time and she seemed to just roll with it!























She was thrilled to “hold” this baby




She and Braden decided one morning that the big sand pile would make a good slide.  Needless to say, all 3 kids were filthy that week!









Tessa is a little “poser” when it comes to photos!









By our last morning there, after 12 hours days of constant activity and people, even Tessa got tired of everyone touching her.  She was ready to go.  But I am so proud of the girl she’s becoming.  Her heart is full of love and all the kids are her “friends.”


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This picture is worth more than a 1000 words…

At least, it speaks volumes to me!


braden and boy frame

Adventures of an MK: Drew

I think my kids are so blessed to be growing up here in Haiti.  Yes, there are some things they might miss out on over the years, like team sports and a large school, but there are so many other things they get to do and experience that most other American kids will never get to do.  Adventures are the norm for them—there is always something new to do or explore.  I love seeing how they respond so differently.  I love seeing their little personalities flourish here!

Drew is amazing us with his knowledge of the Creole language.  He tells us he doesn’t learn anything at school, but then I will hear him speak a complete and grammatically correct sentence to our house help, and I know he’s learning much more than he thinks.  Often they will say something to him and he’ll respond either in English or Creole and we can just see he understands what is being said.  It’s so cool!

Drew is more of a reserved, keep to himself kid.  He loves to find stuff to do outside and can entertain himself for hours.  He doesn’t like to play in large groups and is often happiest to play with one or two of his friends.  When you go out to a village there are many people (especially kids) who have never seen a “blan” (foreigner.)  People gathered all around us all the time in Astruc, touching us, our hair, etc…  Drew doesn’t really like that.   But he found plenty to keep him entertained even with the kids all gathered around.

The first morning, before church, he was chasing the chickens around the yard and collecting chicken feathers.  At the end of the week, he told Rob that he didn’t want to visit other churches, just this church.  When Rob asked why, Drew told him he only liked “chicken churches.”  Rob replied, “Drew, they are ALL chicken churches!”  He was thrilled to hold this chicken (who was tied up to become a meal later in the week.)  He also liked petting the goat (also for lunch that week) and checking out the big pigs.


Here he is collecting sticks and to make a “fire”, an activity he did much that week!





One of the teams big projects was increasing the capacity of the church’s water cistern and adding a chlorinator.  Drew was the supervisor for all aspects of the project.





Rob set it up one day to have someone bring their donkey so the kids could have a ride.  I think this was a highlight for Drew!  He loved it!











A huge pile of rocks and sand made for hours of fun.








And sometimes the only other form of entertainment you need is branches

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Overall, Drew had a great week!  It’s fun being an MK!