Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rain…

We are on day four of constant rain here in Haiti and it looks like it’s going to be here for a few days yet.  It’s only let up for minutes here and there over the last few days.  Sometimes it’s a constant trickle, other times it’s massive downpour.

Rob and I had plans to go to a local beach hotel for the weekend with no kids, but we cancelled those plans.  We’d rather save the money and try again another weekend when we can enjoy the beach, pool, and outdoor restaurant.  I was super disappointed as we haven’t had any nights without the kids since before Braden was born and have had a total of one date this entire 2011.  We’ll try to plan for another time.

Rain here has a whole different meaning than in the US.  I’ve been thinking about it, so I thought I’d list some of what I’ve noticed for you.

  • Steady rain closes everything here, kind of like a snowstorm does in the US.  No school, not many businesses open, people lose work (and they don’t get paid).
  • On rainy days in the US, there are many things to go do: shop at the mall, see a movie, go out to eat, take the kids to an indoor playpark, go to the library, etc...  There is nothing to go and do here on a rainy day.
  • Everything in my house is damp—everything.  And so far, I don’t have any leaks in my roof that I know of.  The windows are never closed and the constant moisture in the air just seeps into the house and sticks to everything.  Yes, I could close the windows, but I wouldn’t want to smell my house if I did that!
  • Contrast my non-leaky roof, to most Haitian homes.  The tins roofs of most Haitian homes are full of holes and leaks.  I imagine most people are working hard to stay dry here these days.  I can’t imagine the the chill.
  • I feel like I’ve been yelling for days.  The rain on our tin roof sure can get loud!  When it gets raining really hard, I have to raise my voice just to be heard across the room.  If you were to see us reading books to the kids at bedtime, you would laugh, it’s so comical!
  • The kids have been watching a whole lot of videos, and you can imagine the volume on the TV is turned up full blast.  It’s been a struggle to help my kids find stuff to do, and they have toys and crayons.  Like most Haitian kids, they are used to playing outside all the time.  I’ve let them play in the rain a lot.  Haitians do NOT do that because they believe they will get sick.  I can’t imagine what the Haitian kids are doing to pass the time.
  • These are the days I am so thankful we have an electric clothes dryer.  We don’t use it that much because it is very expensive to run.  Most missionaries don’t have them.  Ours was in the house before we came and has been a big blessing on days like these.  Clothes take days to dry in this weather and end up smelling sour.  And since the kids are playing in the rain, they are going thru multiple outfits a day.  I have no idea how Haitians, with limited clothes to begin with, keep dry at all.
  • In most areas of the US, you don’t have to fear flooding and mudslides.  You have adequate roads and drainage.  Not so here.  Anyone near the river or in a low-lying area fears the waters rising.  You don’t even have to live near the river to experience flooding.  Because of massive deforestation, all of Haiti is prone to mudslides.
  • The increased rainfall, increases the risk of cholera.  Already in the last few weeks (rainy season) we are seeing reports of 300 new cases a day Port au Prince.  This is a significant increase compared to the past few dry months.

Pray for us as we battle cabin fever.  Even more, pray for the Haitian people as they struggle to stay dry, healthy, and feed their families.  In light of this list, I realize how blessed we really are.  What do I have to complain about?

Well, a heavy rain is starting to fall again.  I better sign off.  In a few minutes,  I won’t be able to hear myself think.

~Becky

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Visit to Picot

A few weeks ago, we had a team here from Louisiana visiting their sister church in Picot.  Picot is only about a 45 minute drive, so our family was able to join them for the church service and have lunch with them afterwards.  We went last year with this team, but Rob and I had only been taking Creole lessons for a few weeks and we couldn’t communicate at all.  It was so fun for all of us to be able to talk and communicate with the people this time!

Everyone loves talking to Braden, especially the ladies!

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Tessa makes friends everywhere she goes

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The kids found some broken playground equipment and had fun playing anyway

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Lots of smiles

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Picot is at the base of a pretty big mountain range.  In order to drive over the mountain you have to take “the ramp.”  In years past, this was a very treacherous road and the only way to get to the northern side of the peninsula.  It is a series of switchbacks and in the past was barely more than one lane, if that!   I have heard many scary and adventurous stories from many missionaries about the ramp.  They have been working on making this a real road for a while now.  There have been times in the past year when the ramp was closed because of the explosives they were using to widen it.  It has a long way to go until completion, but is now wider than 2 lanes.   Here is a small view of a section of it.

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Rob has been telling Drew abut the ramp for a long time and Drew’s always wanted to see it, so we drove a little further and experienced the ramp before we turned around and came home.  Beautiful view!  Drew was excited to get out at the peak for this picture.  It was a hazy day, but you can see a huge river bed to the right and in the horizon is the Caribbean.

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Fun times!

~Becky