February 17. One of the hard swallows about moving to Haiti a few years ago was that Nia had some good friends back in the states that we knew she'd really, really miss. Tonight as I watched her hanging out before church with her friend, Hannah-- also a missionary kid, I got a little teary at how perfectly God matched these two girls to live together here and be friends.
February 16. So. Does anyone think Nick Mangine maybe got a little too much sun wearing a V-neck today? (And btw- he is posing the belly thing for the camera. I'd never post a picture like this of someone who didn't know.)
February 15. Manita practicing her yoga after class today. How the heck are children so naturally stinkin' flexible?
February 14. We saw this confident rooster at the beach today. His comb was so bright red. He was very interested in our snacks. Often times our staff will call our boys "ti cok" if they are fighting with one another. Today as I watched this scrappy rooster prancing around as if he owned the beach, it made a lot of sense to call them "little roosters."
February 13. Mangoes out at the Joy in Hope land are almost ripe!
February 12. An early morning asthma attack where we couldn't find Nick's inhaler meant dragging out the nebulizer.
February 11. This is not a still shot of a hoarders episode, this was actually my room. The shame....
February 10. Jacmel Karnaval 2013.
February 9. It was good to see our good friend (Dokte) Kyle at the finish line of the Second Annual Haiti Ultra-Marathon. He and his team each ran over 60 miles from downtown Port Au Prince, through Kenscoff to Seguin, and then down to finish in the Cayes Jacmel area. This endurance event is an amazing feat and I feel proud to know these athletes.
February 8. The swings are so fun even Piman wants in. I know that the newness of this playground will wear off, but wow, we go almost every day at this point.
February 7. Manita was sporting the new t-shirt she was given from IBESR at Karnaval. I am not sure exactly what the literal translation is-- but the concept is that Jacmel and the department of Social Services are working together for the protection of children.
February 5. This is Jean Gardy. He's the foster-son of our good friend, Gayly, and he's one of our kids' best friends. I snapped this picture of him at the playground today and I loved it immediately because the background looks so fake. But it's not. That is the actual background. It's like a fantasy photo wanna-be. Thankful we get the privilege of actually living here.
February 4. I tagged along on a trip to Port Au Prince with Sarah and Dada. We all had dental work to do and there are no good options nearby, so it's worth the 4 hour trek. While in the city, we stopped at the Giant grocery store. Sarah was overwhelmed by all the choices and Dada was (clearly) amazed.
February 3. I love the energy and excitement in Jacmel during Karnaval. Some people think that Karnaval is nothing but debauchery... I have even heard it referred to (recently) as "the devil's playground." Honestly, there is a component of that. But there are also historical, cultural and artistic components that demonstrate the beauty of lovely, lovely Haiti... particularly Jacmel.
February 2. We have a new playground! "Giving it" to our kids (and the community kids) was one of the greatest moments of my life. It definitely ranks in the top 3 moments of my life in Haiti. The kids LOVE it. This is the first time some of them have ever been on swings. We used to go to the park downtown before the earthquake but then it turned into an IDP camp post-quake. Each piece of play equipment was draped with tarps/ and had people living in them. The smell of urine and feces was so strong that I decided that even if the camp was ever gone (which it now is) that I wouldn't let my kids play there. The kids playing today on the new playground was such a joyful moment for me.
February 1. National Karnaval is this weekend. Everyone is busy constructing viewing stations for the big parades. It's amazing to watch all Jacmel get a facelift in just a week or so. The viewing stations only stay up for about 2 weeks. Gotta be honest, don't feel so comfortable standing on those stands with crowds of people, but I LOVE parades so much that it's worth it. (Well, it will be worth it if it doesn't break.)