Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! We are so grateful for everything you have done for us in 2013 and are excited for the things we can accomplish in 2014!
The renovations to our apartment have been completed and we took the Christmas break to get all moved in and settled. The move upstairs (Literally right above our temporary apartment) was a bit of an adventure in itself. The plan was to spend last Friday morning packing up the things we had unpacked in our old apartment while some friends helped us by giving our new apartment a nice thorough cleaning and then to move up all of our stuff to a completely ready apartment in the afternoon. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans...
Haitian culture doesn't look at time the same way American culture does. I don't really know how to describe how it's different, but you definitely know it's different if you've ever lived in a similar culture. If you say the Christmas party starts at 7:00, then Americans tend to put emphasis on the time the party starts rather than on the event itself. (We apparently like our clocks) Maybe even going as far as to be grumpy about being 5-10 minutes late, which I am guilty of doing sometimes. Haitian culture, however, puts the emphasis on the party itself rather than the time. When people start showing up, that's when the party starts be it 6:45, 7:00, 7:45, or even 8:30. The host isn't angry if the guests are "early" and the guests aren't even embarrassed if they are "late." The party is important not the time.
Alright back from our sanctioned bunny trail.
8:30 rolls around with a group of the Haitian staff members knocking at our door, "Ok we have some furniture to bring into this apartment and we are ready to take your things upstairs. Lets start with the fridge." Oh snap! "Ummmmm.... Yea just give me a second to get everything out." And thus started our move upstairs. On the plus side, we were finished around 9:00ish. We spent the past week finding a place for everything and making sure that everything is in its place.
We try to make sure we are updating the website every Saturday, but as you can see it's Sunday. We had another bit of adventure yesterday. (Living in Haiti is full of adventures and maybe we need to do 2 or even 3 posts for some of our more adventurous weeks!)
A (Not-So) Tragic Farewell
He died tragically yesterday from a bleach overdose and his funeral was moments later. The funeral consisted of the decision to name him Stormy and the customary water slide down the drain given to most aquatic pets. We look forward to the possibility of having a pet (maybe a puppy next time) in the future and we hope it doesn't meet with the same fate as our beloved Stormy. We'll miss you Stormy!
We are working on a video tour of the campus that we are hoping we can upload to you by this time next week. Enjoy your last few days of the year!
Here in Haiti church is not very kid-friendly. The services are long and kids tend to be a bit wiggly. Occasionally a church will offer a service for kids during the main service, but from my understanding, this is not typical. Here at the base the lovely Shelly Nettles has come up with a solution that has been very successful, our own kids church! Last week Jay and I volunteered to help out because it was a very special week... the annual Christmas party!
The fun began a few days earlier when we helped decorate cookies and wrap some very special gifts. Shelly had been praying for years for the gifts we were wrapping that night, Creole (Not French!) children's bibles! Finally something to put into a child's hands that would allow him to explore God's word in a way they could understand, whether they could read or not!
Sunday finally came and we invited 200 children into the sanctuary here on base. They were so excited, they had been trying to figure out exactly which Sunday would be the Christmas party (Shelly always keeps it a secret), and many of them were sure they were walking into something exciting.
We sang some fun songs and read the christmas story out of the book they were about to receive. After we handed out cookies and chocolate milk, it was time for the big moment. They were so excited to receive a shiny package, and their eyes lit up when the paper was ripped away to reveal their very own bible!
Pictures cannot do this moment justice, so I will let our friend Kristian Snow use his talents to show you....
Isn't it great?
Even Isaac got his own bible! (We let him open it this morning)
We might have to teach him creole before he will understand it (We might need to learn a bit more too) but I know he will grow up loving it!
We still have 300 more bibles to give away, but we hope to give even more away. Sound like something you would like to help with? You can send any contributions to:
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501
Including shipping and customs casts, each bible should cost around $18-$20 and each donation will go to covering these costs.
Before we leave you this week, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Well here we are! Our first week in Haiti has just wrapped up!
Kate has been busy with the Little Boy and I have been placed within the Outreach Department here on campus. That means that I will be like white on rice (Which we have eaten a lot of since being here!) to any team that will be working with us in St. Marc. In between teams coming and going, I'll be working on different projects around the base and community.
December has shaped up to be an ideal time for us to move down here. The temperature has been cooler, though it currently sits in the 90 range (A world apart from the below zero we left a week ago!) The base is also considered quite slow in December which gives us a chance to get a bit acclimated before we get back into the full swing of things right after the new year. We will have 3 teams coming in the month of January as well as 2 training schools starting.
Before I go, I want to encourage you to take a look at Kate's new blog and to not be shy about sending us your questions about what its like living here in Haiti.
Thank you and we'll be sure to update next week about the big Kid's Church Christmas Party that is happening tomorrow!