Saying Good-bye, Our last full day
Trip Start Feb 02, 2009
10Trip End Feb 10, 2009
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We have our last devotional of the week. We are looking at forgiveness. I like the thought about "regardless of which side we are on, someone needs to initiate." Who knew that this would come back to me in just a few weeks. I talk a little bit about my divorce and how I forgave my ex-husband and how freeing that was. The most freeing aspect being when I realized that I could still serve and that I wasn't worthless. This is progress for me since last year I didn't really talk about it openly, only one night with Heather
After devotions we start to work. We get to the gate and Jerry realizes that he forgot the bucket and sends me back down to the bunkhouse for it. Fred and Dukeman are surprised to see me. Dukeman takes me across the street and we find Jerry at the manhole. Now that I see it, I'm even more relieved that I didn't need to go into it! We leave that area and start addressing the residencal areas on the hospital campus. We hit the one pedestal and start working. Jerry realizes we are still missing some stuff. He sends me back down to the other campus. I'm very concerned here, but he tells me to cross very quickly and determinately. I do it but don't feel relieved until I'm safely behind the compound gate. When I get there, I find every and any possible thing I think we might need to have on us. I'm not crossing again! Poor Dukeman is getting tired, he has to cross me back again!
Spurts of rain come and go. The sun is very hot when it isn't raining and it has gotten very muggy. I haven't felt sweat in my eyes since the first day we got here so I have forgotten how annoying it is. Jerry asks me some more about my divorce and I don't feel ashamed talking about it. I tell him some about the DivorceCare ministry at church and how I feel that I can now help others who are going through divorce. I tell him that I don't hate my ex-husband and actually I wish the best for him
We break for lunch and I wonder what we will be having for our last Haitian meal. I see chunks of something that could pass as small brownies, but it turns out it is meat. In particular it is goat. I'm a little nervous about eating it, but figure when else will I get to try it. Let me just say, goat is very yummy. But I still didn't eat much because I just kept having the image of that goat we saw at the cemetery the day before. Kind of like veal. I used to like veal but now I can't eat it because all I can think about it that poor little calf penned up.
After lunch we head back over to the hospital. Jerry and I are working on fixing the phones in the residence. We are able to get into the one house and see why there might be an issue. The interior line is run into the bedroom where the door shuts onto it pinching it. Also the bed is sitting on part of it. We go outside to get some things we need. This guy comes walking by and he makes me a little nervous. He walks by several times. Paul comes by and tells us that where we are now in the complex borders on a very bad area
I won't bore all of you with the details of the phone work we did the rest of the day. I'll just tell you about some of the things that occurred while we were working. At one time these local kids asked me my name. They began to call me "Boss Kerry" which took me aback. The work leaders of the men are referred to as "Boss" as a title. I was hoping we weren't creating too much chaos in the culture by having me work on the phones. Later they said "give me money" which wasn't so much of a demand as begging. Well I don't carry money in Haiti and even if I did, I wasn't going to set that precident. I offered them the Jolly Ranchers I had instead. As they sucked on them they watched Jerry and I work on Dr. Mozart's block.
One time while I was baby sitting the tools while Jerry was working on an inside line, one of the 'interns' stopped to chat with me. I don't know if intern is the correct term to use in Haiti, but it was a medical student who was spending a year working at the hospital. He had come off his shift and was coming home. He wanted to practice some English and also to learn more about America
Later in the day, I headed back over to Dr. Mozart's house to find Fred and Rich since Boss Dionouse said they were looking for me. They weren't there when I got there, just Dukeman who was also baby sitting tools. So we sat down on the steps to wait. It began to ran and we moved near the door and sat underneath the overhang. You would think hanging out with a deaf, mute might be full of silence but Dukeman and I conversed quite well with our makeshift sign language. I also liked listening to the rain in the trees and hitting the cement. That time spent will Dukeman will always be special in my heart.
When Rich and Fred arrived, we were able to get into Dr. Mozart's house to do the inside work. Dr. Mozart was coming off his shift and showed us his house. It is a fairly simple concrete structure, bigger than most of the other houses on the hospital, but not elaborate. He had a keyboard and guitar and Rich asked him about what type of music he enjoys. Seems he likes American Jazz. Overall the impression I got while there was just a feeling of welcome
When we finished up there, I went to look for Jerry to find out what we should tackle next but I couldn't find him. So I headed back over to the guys so we would all be in once place. It started to rain again, so we were all on the porch. Fred handed out licorice and we just all kind of hung out, not talking much but just enjoying the rest of the moment and each other's presence. Dr. Mozart came out and Rich and he talked quietly about music. I enjoyed just being able to listen and enjoy being with people I like.
We finish up as much as we can, and head to towards the gate. We run into Paul near the pharmacy and he says he has the keys so that Jerry can finish this one job. They tell us to just head over so Fred and I can make dinner. I asked Fred if the girls are over at the House of Hope and he says he doesn't know. The last we saw of them it was right after lunch when Sarah was cutting Lois's hair. I told him that I know they planned on coming over after that. So he went to check and yup they were there. They thanked me for remembering them.
When we arrive back at the house, we are greeted by Rollin and Keith. We are so glad to see them and happy they have made it back safe
I am very content to have us all back together. We have a very full dinner table since Dukeman, Boss La Roche and Boss Dionuse are joining us. It is a little crowded but I do not mind at all. I am very happy and feel like I'm part of a big family. I grew up in a big family and I remember when I was little just the house being full and having to use plywood and sawhorses as a table. Somewhere in life that has all changed, but it still feels natural and it reminds me of a time that used to be. One day I hope my life/house will again be full like that.
We head over to the House of Hope after dinner
After awhile, Rich comes in to see his girl Djoulie. Well this causes a great stir in the nursery and all the little kiddies get wound up. All the kids love Rich and I can see why. He's a kid himself, just in a big package. He gives them a bunch of hugs and we take some photos, but the kids won't settle down so we get chased out of the nursery. Ooops!
After leaving the nursery, I spend some time giving the older kids hugs. They realize we are leaving and some of them look so sad
Then my boy John Mark finds me. I pick him up and carry him around a little bit before we settle back into our favorite blue metal rocking chair, away from everyone else. Victor comes over and I ask him if he knows we are leaving tomorrow and he says yes. I ask him if John Mark realizes that and he says "yes, he knows." I just sit there rocking with John Mark, talking at times with Victor. I wonder where Dukeman has gone since I haven't seen him in awhile. Then I hear everyone start telling Jenny goodbye and I hear Fred ask where I am. So I yell from the rocking chair that I am over here. I take John Mark to his bed and after many long goodbyes with Jenny and Linda we head back to the houses.
We congregate in the bunk house and I ask Fred where Dukeman is. I thought he took off before I could say good-bye. He said he was coming down later, that it was just too emotional for him. So he does come down. I'm sitting in one of the chairs reading my book, and we are all just gathered together in the main area of the house
I go over to him and just pat his hand. I'm not sure what else to do, we are all just hanging out. So I figure I better take my last hot shower in Haiti. When I come out, we decide to take some group photos. Rene has also come up to say good-bye. We start giving some of our stuff to Dukeman and Rene. I really don't have much to give, so I give them both some of the candy I have left. I wish I had something more meaningful to give. We tell Dukeman that we want to pray together. We end up with a circle of us holding hands with Dukeman in the middle. He ends up praying for us. We all just hold hands and watch. He has sign language symbols for each of us, and we see him pray for each of us individually. Though he is praying only in sign language and wouldn't be able to hear us, we are all silent and reverent. I will hold that time in my heart forever.
Dukeman and Rene leave after we pray. We give Dukeman lots of hugs. My heart is breaking. I am so sad to leave him. The girls head over to the guest house to carryon bag packing and to get to sleep. I lay there for a long time just thinking about this trip. All I have learned, all I have experienced. I shed tears when I think of Dukeman and his sadness. I finally drift off for my last sleep in Haiti, where it has warmed up enough again that I can open the windows.