Friday, October 7, 2011

Live and Learn

It was one of those days. I knew it the second I stepped into the kitchen and took in the flooded floor. Live and learn.

Not about to let a little water put a damper on my day, I rolled up my old pajamas and got to work, soaking up the water with a towel. A shop vacuum is really what I needed, but there was no shop vac and no city power so a towel would have to do.

I soaked and wrung out, soaked and wrung out, soaked and wrung out. By the time I was finished my hand were aching and red, but my spirits were high. It was a beautiful day, a brand new morning. Besides, the whole mess really was my own fault. I guess maybe the cockroaches were a little to blame too, but blaming never got anyone anywhere.

Last night after an evening snack of crackers and cheese I had put my plate of crumbs in the kitchen sink. Not having the energy to wash it right then, I had filled the sink with several inches of water, so it wouldn't attract roaches, and then turned off the tap. Apparently the tap wasn't completely shut and water dripped all night filling the sink, flooding the counter and then leaving an inch and a half of water all over the kitchen floor.

Oh well. Live and learn.

An hour later the floor was dry and two fans were blowing out whatever moisture was left. Since Jason and Jayden were both up now it was time to make some breakfast.

An hour later Jason's phone rang. He'd been working hard trying to get the grass on Pignon's airstrip cut in time to fly the team there tomorrow. All tractors and mowers in the village were broken down so 25 men were hired to cut grass with their machetes. To expedite the process and for safety reasons MAF had put a hold on all flights going into Pignon till the grass was cut.

Just as I was suggesting Jason call again to see if they were actually working, the phone rang. Yes, a whole group was working so it looked like the team flights could go through, but one of the workers badly cut himself with his machete. Yup, it was one of those days.

Jason left shortly after with Jayden to run errands before picking up the team. A half an hour later he called to say he argued for the last 20 minutes with a police officers who wanted him to pay a bribe because Jayden was sitting in the front seat.

"The front seat?"

"Yes, apparently kids can hang off of the back of tap taps, but if they see a white man with a child in the front seat dollar signs flash. He couldn't write me a ticket but wanted a bribe. It took some persuasive talking for me to get my license back!"

"You at least put him in the back now right?"


Live and learn.

One vehicle wasn't enough to pick up our team of 9 and all their bags, so a little while later I headed to the airport as well. On the way I stopped to get air for my tires and was surprised when I didn't have to pay. I guess compressed air is the only free thing in Haiti. Just when you think you have it figured out there's an unexpected surprise. Feeling bad for the sweating man who had spent ten minutes pumping up my tires I tipped him anyway.

At the international arrivals Jason talked the guard into letting me drive inside the gate. Inside I waited and another official told me I couldn't park there. It took some talking, but finally he agreed to let me stay.

Live and learn.

Just before noon, the team walked into the parking lot and we loaded everything into the two vehicles. The Caribbean sun burned down, but the excitement in the air was tangible and I knew it was going to be a good day.

We dropped off the bags, then drove off to sight see, eat lunch and souvenir shop.

Jayden found a new girlfriend.

Apparently girls can't resist those baby blues.

The team was amazed to learn that if the asking price was $15 the purchase price could be as low as a dollar. Live and learn.

That night as I cooked a giant pan of spaghetti and noodles, warmed up garlic bread, and cut up lemon cake, I worried what to do with all the leftovers, since everyone ate a late lunch. It was amazing to see the food vanish before my eyes. Life and learn.

That night city power turned off at 7:00 p.m. and with all the fans running the batteries died at 4:00 a.m. Instantly warm and wide awake, I gave my husband a quick hug before he stumbled out of bed to turn the generator on.

Yup, it was one of those days. Full of challenges, which we've learned to look at as possibilities. Possibilities to live and learn.


  1. so many things going on. looking forward to seeing you on furlough in january. take care. praying for u all :)

  2. Thanks Will for blogging. We were so happy to finally see Jayden's girlfriend! Have fun!

    Love Ang