A year ago, we were experiencing our first week in Haiti! We slept at RMI’s guesthouse this week and went to our house during the day to work on unpacking and setting up our home. I barely knew how to greet someone in Creole, so that week was full of smiles and gestures with the ladies who work at our house. Once a day Amy had to come down to translate for me for the day!
For the kids, everything was new and exciting. They had never been to Haiti before so it was a fun adventure. In fact, I remember Drew getting angry with me when we went back to the guesthouse to sleep. He just wanted to stay at his house! We had lots of visitors as many of the other missionaries stopped by to welcome our family. Lots of curious missionary kids checking out the newest family.
The week was full of lots of “firsts”.
They all had to have turns sitting on the motorcycles:
Drew had his first ride on the 4-wheeler:
They climbed anything they could figure out how to climb:
We bought shrimp for the first time from the “shrimp guy” (who is also the lobster and fish guy)
And enjoyed Rainbow Beach for the first time:
The first week and month was full of adventure and exploration! It was all new and not hard yet. We have lots of wonderful memories of that time!
Now, the kids ride motorcycles and 4-wheelers as a regular part of life--- it’s how we get around locally. We enjoy taking family moto rides on the weekends and exploring new areas right around where we live. The kids still climb lots of things, and Drew can easily scale a pole like his friends. Drew still loves to “help” the lobster guy when he cleans the lobster. And the beach is still a fun treat.
I can’t help but look back and realize how far we’ve all come in speaking and understanding Creole. We knew next to nothing a year ago. I still have a lot to learn, but I can converse and say what I need to say with ease now. It’s still harder to understand what people are saying, especially if I don’t have the context of what we are talking about. But I’m getting better every day. The kids amaze me! Just this past weekend, Drew was teaching his Haitian friend to play UNO in Creole. Braden comprehends both languages and when he talks he uses them interchangeably. And Tessa has overcome some of her shyness and can almost keep up with Drew’s ability to converse.
The home that we were setting up, feels like HOME. Haiti is our home now. And as hard as it can be to live here, it sure has been a fun adventure! We’ve learned and experienced so much. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.