Friday, January 1, 2010

Another Busy Day!

Monday, December 28

I roll out of bed and lift a corner of the cream, cotton curtain. Dust swirls around in the air and I sneeze. High time I wash these! Outside morning is dawning. Besides an occasional crow from a rooster and a bird chirping, the world for the moment, is silent. I take a moment to absorb the stillness before closing the curtain once again. No time for dawdling today. There is a lot of work to do. After having breakfast I get together everything I need to head to the market once again. License in my pocket, US dollars to exchange, and my pepper spray just in case. Dad takes his camera, and today Denise is coming with us as well to buy the large quantities of rice and beans we need to hand out in Ouanaminthe. The roads are quiet as we drive and after exchanging the US Dollars into Goudes at the grocery store we drive on to the market. Since I now know where Denise's friends table is, we agree to meet up there once Denise has purchased the rice, beans, bags and more bars of soap.

It's better if we're not seen together since Denise can get much better prices without us. While Denise barters, Dad and I tour the market and are relieved to notice that although it is still busy, it is definitely not as busy as it was on Saturday. It doesn't take long for Denise to purchase three, fifty pound sacks of rice, and she sends one of her vendor friends to buy a massive sack of beans. When her friend finally comes back with the beans and everything is purchased and paid for we make the long trek up hill carrying one sack of rice each. A Haitian man has offered to carry the giant sack of beans and he follows us at a distance. Denise carries the sack of rice on her head, while Dad carries his over his shoulder, but I can't seem to get a good hold on mine and keep shifting it in a different position. By the time we reach the top, my shoulders and neck are screaming and I wish I hadn't been so stubborn and just paid one of the other men standing around to carry it for me. But never wanting to be a wimp, I refuse to give up. Am I ever glad when we finally reach the car and I'm able to safely deposit the bag in the back of the pathfinder! Having a hard time carrying a 50lb sack of rice makes me feel ever sorrier for the man carrying the beans! His sack probably weighs close to triple that amount and by the time he reaches the vehicle, sweat is running down his body and he's breathing hard. We pay him well and thank him profusely! When we get back home, and I look through everything we bought I realize that some of the bags Denise had purchased are too small, so Denise and I drive back to the market again, to purchase bigger ones. Once we are home again, we get to work dividing the rice and beans into 50 sacks each.

Once each bag is tied shut we put 1 bag of rice and 1 bag of beans into a bigger black bag and add a toothbrush, soap, cookies, and candies. We don't add the T-shirts and toys at this time, since we decided it is better to let the children chose their own. When all the bags are finally done, we place them all carefully in suitcases and lock them up in our depot room. What a big job! With just enough time to quickly get changed we head out to the orphanage here in Port au Prince where I help out every Friday with the feeding program. Today is a special day there since they hope to hold a Christmas Feeding Program for 400 people and we've been invited to help serve the food. When we reach the orphanage gates there is already a large crowd waiting outside the gate. All the children are dressed in their best clothing and seem very excited about the Christmas program. After showing Mom and Dad the girls home and the guest home we spend some time watching the cooks prepare the large meal at the boys home.

Once the tour is over we head back outside the gate. As Dad tries to communicate with the kids, Mom is handed a sleepy little boy. He is one of the children that attends the feeding program regularly and he is always sleepy.

It doesn't take long for him to fall asleep in Mom's arms. At 3:30 Jason is dropped off at the orphanage as well since he's finished flying for the day. Kids always flock towards him and he has a lot of fun with them.

As the sun sinks lower in the horizon the children are checked to see if they have the correct tickets to enter and then make their way inside. Each one of the hundred children that regularly attend the feeding program was allowed to give out three tickets to family members or friends so the total amount of people invited was 400. The orphanage children and the feeding program children have spent the last weeks practicing for the Christmas program and as all the invited guests find a seat on the rows of chairs we watch from our spot on the stairs and listen to them sing.

Time after time another child gets deposited on our laps and we take turns holding them and cuddling them close.

From my spot on the cement stairs, as the waxing moon climbs higher in the sky and the voices of the children sing Glory to God, I can picture now, more than ever what that starry night of Bethlehem was like. What a gift God gave us on that night so many years ago! Between the songs the children take turns reciting scriptures and telling the Christmas story. It is truly beautiful! After the program we make our way up the stairs to an outside area where there are tables and tables of plates laden with delicious food.

Since Jayden is tired, I watch him while he sits on a swing as Mom, Dad and Jason help distribute the food. The children are thrilled when they see the delicious variety of food and they dig right in!

That night as we drive home we share all the highlights of the Christmas program with each other! What a great night!

No comments:

Post a Comment