Haiti Part III

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New friends-Emmanuel and Manes.

Our team had the pleasure of working with some of the MOH Haitian interns for the week. When Manes first sat down next to me on the bus I thought the language was really going to be a huge barrier in getting to know these guys. Two hours later, we were best buds.

Manes and I in the village of Berse.

It is funny how some things are just universal. For example, here is a conversation I had with Manes.

Me: Do you have a girlfriend?

Manes: Girlfriend? No. Don't want one.

Me: Why not?

Manes: (thinks for a moment, trying to decide how to explain in english) Uh, big headache. Girlfriend big headache. Money, money, money!

Haha. I told him my husband would probably agree:)

Walking to the river while Lickenson teaches me words in Creole.

The guys worked along side of us all week; working on service projects and loving on the village children. One thing that can be said about those Haitians is they are hard workers. And they don't go running for their water bottles every 5 minutes in the 100+ degree-65% humidity-heat. James, in particular, was in one of the fields cutting out all of the unwanted weeds and bushes with a machete. This was the hottest day I have ever encountered. I never saw him take a water break or even hop in the shade for a bit. Finally I went over to him and said "James, you're worrying me. You work too hard. Get some water."
He smiled that million dollar smile and said "Ok, Karlee. I do that."

Me and James.

Another thing I learned about the Haitian people after spending a week with these guys is they will literally give you the shirt off their back. These people have close to nothing but would gladly give you everything. Example: I was telling Lickenson how much I love mangos as we were passing a bunch of mango trees. He said "You like mango? Yes, mango's good."
The next day he handed me a bag of 3 mangos. He had stopped at the market that morning on his way to meet us at Mission of Hope. I tried to refuse but he would not take no for an answer, so I shared with others at lunchtime. And we had to be wise with our compliments because one girl complimented someone on their tie dye shirt and he started to take it off, "Here. I give to you."

Me and Lickenson

Working to clear a rice field in the village of Berse. Imagine jumping into an oven and that is exactly what that field felt like.

Even work days were enjoyable when spent with our Haitian friends. One day was spent preparing the second floor of the MOH guest house for a group of 60 that would be arriving the next morning. We cleaned, moved furniture, set up bunkbeds, installed ceiling fans and vanities, and did A LOT of painting. For some reason I was one of the ones chosen to paint the outside of the building about 20 feet up in the air. I skimmed the walls on the outside ledge very carefully and painted away with about 5 others. It wasn't until the next day we learned there is supposed to be a limit of 2 people up there at a time. And get this-- they're supposed to be harnessed in.

Despite the heat and humidity, we spent the day completely entertained, laughing, joking and singing worship songs in Creole and English. Yes, I learned a song in Creole!

Teaching the village children some dance moves!

Speaking of joking, those guys sure loved to tease us! Like Lickenson quizzing me on my creole. If I answered with the wrong phrase, he would laugh at me. It was good natured of course:) One afternoon Manes asked me if I cooked for my husband. He didn't look like he had much faith in me. I answered, "sometimes." Then Emmanuel chimed in, "Yeah her husband say, Karlee whats for dinner? And she say, Eggs or Bread? Ha ha ha!" They really got a kick out of that. Am I that easy to read that these guys who just met me already know my cooking leaves a lot to be desired???

Manes and Emmanuel playing with the village children.

Now that I'm home I find myself worrying about my new friends. Are they safe, have they eaten? Will they return to university in the fall? These sweet people who we worked with, joked with, ate meals with, prayed and worshipped with might as well be an entire world away. Their culture and way of life is so far removed from everything we know here in the U.S., but one comforting fact is, we serve the same God.  And that same God loves and cares for them just as much as He loves and cares for us. I can take comfort in that. I do hope I can visit my friends again someday.

No comments:


Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger