Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lé vole (time flies)

I've been filling by days with kreyol lessons and conversations. Thank goodness it's coming so much easier than Spanish did!!! I finally got a hold of Jude, the translator extrodinare from my first trip here. His wife and kids are spending the summer with friends in St. Louis so he has some free time. He's been running with me each morning. We meet outside of Wings and run/walk up to the next town, Kenscroft, and back down together. It definally upped my milage and I really enjoy his company. He also took me dancing one night down at RAM in downtown PAP. WOW - The music was over the top and that man can dance! He's also started giving Sarah and I more formal Kreyol lesson after dinner. Alcindor, the cook here, has been kind enough to let me trade my skills peeling lay (garlic) for early morning conversations. So my days go something like this:
4:30 wake and do some yoga
5:00 meet Jude and run to Kenscroft
6:15 bucket shower
6:30 peel garlic and chat with Alcindor
7:30 my breakfast
8:00 play with kids (Mwen ede Josephine marche e vole ak Delmas and Dad.)
8:30 feed ti dejane to the kids
9:45 work in classrooms or help with paperwork
1:00 have my lunch
1:30 bay mange a ti moun yo (feed the kids)
2:30 teach Teddy and Lazar how to type using the IntelKey Board
4:30 read, study, rest
5:00 plis manje pou ti moun yo (more food for the kids)
6:00 hang out in the girls or boys rooms for pre-bed quiet time
6:30 my dinner
7:30 kreyol lesson with Jude
8:30 hang out with other volunteers, Alcindor, and/or the other guys who work here (I've learner how to be a really good loser at Mancala)
9:30 bed time!!!

Sorry my email and blogging have deminished. I'm definately feeling the sand in my little Haitian hourglass rushing away.

Tonight Sarah and I will go to a concert where Jude and his family group, The Union Brothers, will be singing. Tomorrow, the 4 other volunteers, me and Jude are going to start walking over the mountians to Jakmel at 5 am. The first day of the jouney to the little cabin/cottage that's about halfway there should take us about 7 hours. We'll stay Friday night there then finish the journey with another 7-8 hour hike on Saturday. The second leg is sposed to have stunning scenery. We'll have a guide for this section so that we'll get to see all of the waterfalls off of the beaten path. [Unfortunately, I was a dope again (I *knew* I should have brought a bag with a zipper closer rather than a flap) and my most valuable possesion here - my camera, now has a new owner. I hope they love it half as much as I did and really enjoy the photos that I'd taken.] We'll spend Satuday night at Trinity House, the third home in the St. Joe's family, wake for a sunrise service on Sunday and head back to Wings via tap-tap. Renee says very few people take the time to make this journey - I can't wait!

Monday, July 6, 2009

We spent a good part of the weekend at St. Joe's. About 3pm on Saturday the 6 of us volunteers hopped on a Tap-tap (picture 15 people jammed in the back of a late model Toyota pick-up bouncing down the road) with Sony and headed to 91 Delmas, Penchonville. Adventures never end here, and nether do my "traveling in a developing nation" experiences. This was an experience similar to riding the chicken buses in Guatemala but with much better ventilation! Unfortunately, as we unloaded from the tap-tap, I was groped rather roughly by a guy. I so busy feeling offended, that I didn't notice he'd grabbed the baggie - with my driver's licence, debit card and a bit of cash - that I'd buried in my front jeans pocket. No great loss, the card was canceled easily (and I learned a long time ago never to keep all of my cash in one place). I'll just be more aware of covering my pockets rather than my breasts next time I'm in that situation. Given all of the traveling I've done over the years, I feel pretty blessed that this is only the second time anything unpleasant has happened.
Once at St. Joe's, we hung out with with the guys before their performance. It's been good to reconnect with them, especially the drummer, Lele. We spent the evening dancing during the performance and after the performance, Esthepahnia, Melika, Sarah and I continued or adventures together dancing with some of the older guys from St. Joe's that work with us each day at Wings. Over and over again we find ourselves appreciating our shared spirit of living each moment to the fullest.
I've been spending my weekday afternoons working with Lazar and Teddy, two teenage boys with CP. A guest from Boston brought an adapted key board and laptop and they've been learning to type by writing letters to pen pals in the states. I've really enjoyed working with them one-on-one. I'm also apreciating the fact my PhD research included "computer supported cooperative work" and that's exactly what I'm doing here - but in a way I never would have imagined!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I've been very contemplative today. All the Cotting folks leave in the morning and Melika and Esthephania are headed out on Monday. I think watching their good bye process has me thinking about mine - even thought it's more than 3 weeks away. The fact that there are many, many things up in the air at Galloway, and I'm feeling more than a little disconnected, if not guilty, about leaving Peter & Co. in the midst of it all.

Seems like on days like this, everything becomes a message from the universe. One of the first songs that played on my ipod during my run this morning was one I would have sworn I'd never heard before - doubtful since *I* put everything on it. So it's 5:45m, the sun has been up over an hour, and I'm hitting the first hard part of my route. Thinking about how I want to continuing doing things like I'm doing here for the rest of my life. Wondering what that means. How will a life like this effect/reduce/eliminate other things I'd also like to have in my life? Also wishing I wasn't thinking about the future and able to just live fully in the now, as Melissa Ethridge belts out:

Don't be afraid
Close your eyes
Lay it all down
Don't you cry
Cant you see I'm going
Where I can see the sun rise
I've been talking to my angel
And he said that it's alright
I've always had to run
I don't know just why
Desire slowly smoking...
There's something waiting out there
That says I've got to try...
I can feel the thunder
Underneath my feet
I sold my soul for freedom
Its lonely but its sweet
Don't be afraid...

This song was followed directly by "Moondance" - my all time favorite song for its lyrics but mostly for all the many beautiful people and experiences I've associated with it.

More conversations with angels are definitely in order. Luckily, I am blessed to have a life overflowing with them!