I am sitting downstairs in the common area listening to a sermon in Creole that is coming from the security guard’s radio outside. I have no idea what the preacher is saying, but the singing is soothing. The sun is not quite up yet and everyone else in the house is still asleep. I have been getting out of our room by about 5AM on a daily basis to get a little focus time. It also doesn’t hurt that no one else is using the internet at this hour so I can actually accomplish some online work. Internet is spotty here, but it also becomes non-functional when everyone in the house is on it at the same time. I am in the process uploading photos from yesterday’s excursion which was a real jaw dropper.
We decided to go on a little road trip to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary and give the kids a break from the grind. All of our housemates also joined us for the day as we headed out of the city and out to the coast. The ride was dusty, bumpy, and full of heart attack moments from drivers (including ours) taking insane risks in passing each other. Honestly, it was no different than every ride in Haiti except that this one was over an hour. I grabbed some video footage of the ride which I hope fully captures the beauty and diversity on the route. We passed through numerous villages where traffic got congested as peddlers would reach into your window trying to sell you their goods. I guess we have finally settled into the culture because, on this day, none of it bothered me. The first week we were here my blood was pumping and my muscles were tensed, ready to defend myself and the Pfamily. In the United States, if someone runs up to your window and reaches in, then you are probably getting carjacked. These men and woman are just trying to earn some money to survive and have to seize the opportunity when cars are stopped.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there are carjackings in Haiti. There is crime, kidnapping, and violence here — BUT that is NOT all of Haiti. We also have all of those terrible things happening in the U.S. on a daily basis, but living there it is considered the “American Dream”.
Anyway – I am moving on before I get into a rant on the subject. God has already planned out this life and I TRUST HIM.
When we finally arrived at our destination I couldn’t believe that I was in the same country. I almost feel guilty posting these pictures as we came here to serve. I battled off and on all day with my mind questioning if it was right to be there. It was paradise. It felt wrong – in fact I tried to help a grounds keeper lift a wheel barrel when we first arrived. It was my natural instinct, but he pushed my hand away and called his co-worker over to help him. He laughed and even though I didn’t understand the words he said – I got the point. You (Gary) are a guest here and I am not allowed to accept your help….It is not your job. Please go and enjoy…
We all work very hard here, but in my mind – I was to break my back, drip in sweat, and bleed every day of this adventure. I tend to take things to the extreme, which I know is a personal problem. I am constantly hounded by our group and the heads of the Orphanage to rest. They are good about reminding me that if I don’t take a break that I will eventually burn out. After yesterday, I can look at all of them with confidence and say, “I have rested. I have relaxed.”
We spent the day enjoying the view and each other while cooling off in the ocean and the pool. I have to give Haiti a major plug here as a beautiful and affordable vacation destination. We payed $15 per adult and $5 per child for the entire day at this resort. If you and your family enjoy the water then I strongly suggest you look into Haiti as an option. You will love it and you can feel good knowing that you aided an economy that is major need of support.
Our American headlines of “Economic Resession” and all of the others hold no weight with me anymore. We have too much stuff and our “money problems” are self-inflicted due to excessive spending. I am not on a soapbox or pedestal here – I am guilty of it too. I have learned that about 50% of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. I spend more than that on my morning coffee and gum back home. It is our culture and my Pfamily is not exempt from the label. I do however, plan on leading us to a life that is not centered around money and things. I recently learned that if you earn more than $34k a year than you are in the richest one percent of the WORLD.
Who knew that I was one of the wealthiest men in the world for years? Things look different now, but I am happier and more fulfilled than ever. God provides what we need and I will trust in that…..