Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Everything is better with avocados

Everything is better with avocados. They are in season & it's pretty amazing to purchase a large, ripe avocado for about 40 cents. Our house goes through a lot of them. Superfood! I've been trying to get more adventurous in cooking, so a few nights ago, I made an attempt at Huevos Rancheros. Not bad for a first round. Becky, I thought you'd be proud. Also, we made a little post-birthday trip to the river. Fun for us, the dog, & everyone there watching us. Kez brought killer food which, of course, meant avocados. Delicious fun. Everything is better with avocados.
They are becoming more like each other everyday. 
Homemade banana bread
The Safehouse (check out this link!)
The process 
Delicious end result

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Early this morning I was jolted out of sleep to screaming outside of our apartment. Screaming. "Wake up! Wake up!" Trust me, when someone is screaming that, it happens. The yelling continued "The ocean is rising! The ocean is rising & more rain is coming!" Kez & I sat up, peaking out onto the street to see people scrambling. And then the rain came. So different from the rain from Hurricane Sandy. It was hard, blowing rain. It came into the windows and through the door of our porch, soaking anything that was close to the windows. So we scrambled to close them & move our valuables out of harms way. Plus get the poor dog off the porch- his bedroom. 

Gonaives has had serious flooding issues. In 2004 and 2008, days of rain and mudslides brought massive flooding. And you can see how affected the people here are after living through that. This week I watched as people took all that they could carry up the mountain after just one day of rain. You hear those tell stories of spending days on the roof of a three story building, waiting for the water to recede & help to arrive. A friend who stayed in a tree for 3 days, watching the destruction from his perch. There are legitimate reasons for this fear that exists.

When the rain was dying down, we watched as neighbors walked outside to make sure all of the drains were still working. That the water was rushing, not standing on the street. And this morning, even as I write this, people peek in to check on us. Solidarity. Neighbors.

"Lord, teach us the power of a generosity that interrupts the logic of scarcity with the extravagant of self-giving of divine love. Amen."
-Common Prayer-

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh Sandy

Hurricane Sandy has sent rain. And sent it in some impressive quantities. For the past three days, it's been rain, rain, & more rain. So when I got up & made the hike into Jubilee this morning, it was a whole new level of muddy. Picture my 6 foot self slipping & sliding in the mud, pouring rain, blue shorts, yellow rain boots, & my red rain coat. Entertainment for all.
Purple Katie, Striped April, Yellow Grace
TONS of standing & rushing water
So last night, we had power! So we watched The Dead Poets Society. With 10 minutes left, the power went out. Let me tell you, torture. But thankfully the power rallied & we got some closure before the night ended. Movie night at the Safehouse.

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eyes to serve, hands to learn

Having children die is sad. This may sound so basic. But I feel as though people assume, because it happens so frequently here, that is becomes less sad. That the pain is diminished. It isn't. In a lot of ways, it becomes harder. We know what it feels like to walk into a house and see a small, frail-looking body laying so still. To hear wailing from family members. To have fought so hard for life, yet to have lost. To watch as a small, sunken face gets washed with soap and water. To look up at a tiny house in Jubilee and see a tarp covering the entrance to the house, people crowded around. To feel how real the brokenness is in the world. And to feel as though there is no justifying another Mama walking around with the story of losing their little one. 

But I also refuse to accept that brokenness. I believe that part of seeing God's kingdom coming to earth involves every hill and mountain being brought low. And I also believe that it means the valleys are exulted, the rough places made straight. So we must insert ourselves into the low places. Pray, sweat, & strive to see the rough become straight. And the beautiful part is that I cannot do it. We cannot do it. But insert a God who is as concerned with parting the Red Sea as He is about weeping over the loss of a friend. He proclaims release to the captives, sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed. 

And the Glory of it all goes to Him. He's got it. Even when we can't see it, the Glory goes to Him. So I have started reminding myself of what I believe about Him. When I feel the brokenness after losing a fight for physical life for a little boy in Jubilee, I remind myself of who He is. And while my feelings may change, He does not.
The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed.

"Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn"
-Below My Feet-
Mumford & Sons

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I will break into a run without a pause

Returning to Haiti is a gift. There are things about life here that I treasure very much. This trip especially, returning was special. The thing about coming through the Port Au Prince Airport is that you just never know who is going to meet you on the end of that long walkway. Nobody? One person? A family? My dog? It's always a surprise. So how wonderful was it to be united with two of my friends and roommates. The same people who helped me leave so suddenly were the ones who greeted me as I re-entered the now familiar world of Haiti. Reunions are incredible. 

And I was also quite aware of the almost comical differences between Haiti and the world I had left in the US:

Seatbelts, airbags, & defensive driving vs. crammed trucks, open windows, & chaos. Sometimes I think driving in Haiti is more like one giant game of Chicken.

Paying for gas with a debit card without having to talk to a person vs. riding in a taptap when the driver cannot count out correct change.

Airconditioned restaurants and organic vegetables vs. street spaghetti that somehow makes avocados, an egg, a banana, mayonnaise, hot sauce, ketchup, oil, spices, & spaghetti noodles taste amazing.

The quiet of closed off houses with central air vs. open air, noise from a soccer game outside on the street, passing motos, & the breeze bringing in the 20's-sounding music from the lady downstairs.

The obsession of cleanliness and germs vs. kisses from kiddos wearing no pants who want to hold your hand, play with your hair, and share your water bottle.

And there are memories that make me smile. An older lady in Jubilee breaking into a run to come and say hello. Getting tackled by a teenage boy who is grinning from ear to ear. Being run over by my not-so-little rottweiler, who then proceeds to follow me around. A little boy who went straight for the lips, no kisses on the cheek. Being reunited with our staff in clinic, & to hear that their prayers had been directed at me. Listening to a Dad hold back tears as he tells me of how thankful he is that he still has his son after we helped him get to a hospital in Port Au Prince. 
Neighbors, friends, patients, pets, staff, roommates, community.

"Now if I'm walkin' through the rain
And I hear you call my name
I will break into a run without a pause."
-Salvation Song-
The Avett Brothers