I can’t believe we have already been here a month. There is a weird dichotomy in that in the moment time seems to pass slowly, but looking back you wonder how it moved so quickly.
We are still trying to settle in to a routine, something that I don’t know if we will every truly achieve. Every day brings with it something new and unexpected. The need to be flexible is almost an understatement as you can’t really count on anything. This is not to say that people are unreliable, because they are. However, the needs and situations of the the day change so much as the day progresses, that whatever you planned does not often come to fruition. And so we roll with waves, take each day as it comes, and apply many more metaphors to daily life in Haiti.
We have experienced a lot in this first month. From a large team, to a small team, to a week with no teams here at all. We were involved in completing a large project, installing the solar system in our new elderly home, and small repair and painting projects. There are some days where we have spent hours at the orphanage, and other days where the prospect of being bombarded by 70 kids is simply too overwhelming.
Trying to accomplish anything online is nearly an exercise in futility. The slow connection speed is torturous enough in itself, but more often than not as soon as we get in to any kind of a work flow the power goes out taking the wifi with it. As a result, I have been working on updating Mission of Grace’s website for nearly 3 weeks and have not made much progress. However, I am determined to improve our ability to access the internet, and so hopefully before too long this will no longer be an ongoing frustration.
The girls have really turned a corner. Twice last week they chose to stay at the orphanage without us for a couple hours. This is huge for a couple of reasons. One they feel more secure and connected with the kids here, and two we had a couple of kid free hours! They still miss home, as we all do, but this is stating to feel like home too. Homeschooling is still a bit of a challenge. Both the girls are great students, but establishing the discipline of sitting down to do the work everyday has been hard. We have all wanted to give up on school more than once.
The other great challenge has been the language barrier. Sheena has picked up Creole very well, and so she has been able to communicate much better than the rest of us. This has been a factor for the girls as it’s hard to make friends when you can’t really talk to each other. Hopefully this is a wall that will quickly be broken down the more time we spend here.
Many of you may have heard or read of the unrest in Haiti over the past few weeks. This is all centered around the presidential runoff election, which has been postponed twice now. Ongoing protests have at times turned violent in other parts of the country. Where we are is very calm and quiet. In fact we would not even be aware of any issues if we did not read about them online. You can all be rest assured that we are safe and secure within our walled compound, guarded by armed security.
Thank you for continuing to follow us on this journey. If you are on instagram we invite you to follow @sheenasouza as well as @missionofgrace. That will help provide some visual insight into what our life is like on a daily basis. We are being stretched and grown in many ways, and we know that when we look back on this experience, despite the hardships, we will all be better people and have a greater understanding of who God is, and how He wants to work in our lives.