Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Village Boy's Visit To The Big City

Once upon a time, in a village far away..

where the trees grew tall and sugar cane brushed their fluffy plumes against a brilliant sky..

and giant tarantulas, hid under rocks..

there lived a boy named Djempsky.

Although life was always interesting, since he lived close to the river, and he enjoyed the animals...

and spending time with friends...

He always wondered what life was like in the big city.

His Dad lived in the big city, his Mom spent time there as well, and an MAF airplane, carrying a pilot he had become friends with, would come and go and tell him stories, but all that still couldn't compare to seeing it for himself.

So one day he called his Dad, said goodbye to his Mom, and with a backpack full of his worldly possessions, set out on an hour an half trek to the airport.

The airplane came, with his pilot friend, but he wasn't able to go on the flight, so dejectedly he walked home again.

The next day however, there was an empty seat, and an excited Djempsky thought he must be dreaming when his pilot friend invited him to take the spot.

As the plane lifted off, he sported the biggest grin you could ever see...

Looking down he watched in amazement as the village and everything familiar grew smaller and smaller...

I bet he was a little nervous about the big city, once everything he had ever known disappeared from view, but he tried his best not to let his nervousness show.

Well the big city was a thing to behold and his eyes got real big as the airplane slowly made its descent...

Lots of houses, pavement, cars, he wasn't sure what to look at first.

He was happy to see his Dad, who had come to the airport, especially considering he hadn't seen his Dad in three years! But since Djempsky's father's house had been damaged in the earthquake, and he lived in a tent city at the edge of Port au Prince, Djempsky's mother called to ask if he could spend a few nights with us.

We knew Djempsky well, from the time we lived in the village studying Creole and Jason had formed a friendship with him, so we had no problem with him staying with us.

However, it didn't take long for us to realize we had some explaining to do...
How the lights turned on and off, how the ceiling fan worked, how to turn on the tap, flush the toilet, use the shower... He absorbed all the information in speechless wide eyed wonder, until we showed him the water bed he could sleep on. "Wait till I tell my friends this!" He exclaimed, "Water in a bed? That's incredible!"

After showing him around he shyly approached Jason with all his savings. "I was hoping to buy a soccer ball with this," he said, "Do you know where I could buy one?" So we drove him to Eagle Market where they sold soccer balls. He had never seen a store before and was quite impressed. However when he found out the soccer balls cost 800 Goudes instead of the 250 Goudes he had so diligently saved he was disappointed.

Later while video skyping with Jason's family, also something quite mind boggling for him,

we mentioned his soccer ball dilemma. Oma Krul, after hearing his story, offered to pay the difference and Djempsky of course was thrilled.

"Take a picture with me holding the ball", he said, after we came back from the store a second time.

Well, his visit included a lot of firsts for him and here are some of the pictures..

First time learning English, in a preschool setting!

First time swimming in a pool, although he had had a lot of practice in the river and was an excellent swimmer!

and first time to ever eat in a restaurant!

I forgot the Creole word for smile, and I think he thought taking pictures was quite serious business, therefore the look on his face!

This morning, after an early breakfast of pancakes and tea, it was time to head to the airport and fly back home to the village..

I'm sure now that he is back home safe and sound, he has many a story to tell.


  1. You write beautifully. You should seriously think of publishing that as a children's book. I'm a teacher and would love to have it! A friend from Abbotsford.

  2. I'm so glad that you could buy him a soccer ball. I'm sure his mom was glad to se him home again. Was he abit sad to go and say by to his dad? I love the way you wrote the story. We were reading it to Oma and our way home from White Rock, we couldn't wait until we got home. Oma loved the pic of him with the soccer ball.

  3. Hey Will! I love this story! City-life is different, eh? He probably felt like he was living like a billionaire, living in a house like that, swimming in the pool, going to the store! I would have loved to observe the expressions on his face all day! :-)
    Love, Mary

  4. You have such a talent of communicating in writing. It is a beautiful story.
    Jeanette W.

  5. Such a lovely story, had a lump in my throat when he got his soccer ball.....