Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Food & Community

In the mornings, we eat a little something before school. This week, it's been half a peanut butter sandwich. The first few days, we had granola bars. We have to be at school a few minutes after 7. In the mornings, we have staff meetings, staff devotions, or high school devotions most days.

For lunch, we eat at the Snack Shop (Quisqueya outdoor cafeteria). It's an entree, a little salad (same salad every day), fruit or vegetable, and juice. The entrees are about half Haitian, half American. The American ones have been lasagna, hamburger, spaghetti, etc. The Haitian ones are usually a meat/gravy stew over either rice, beans, or rice and beans. I've liked every single day's food - most of it is like beef stroganoff. The fruit is UNREAL - so amazing. They have two kinds of little oranges- sour and sweet. They're almost as tiny as tangerines. The pineapple is to die for. It's refreshing to see fruit the way it grows naturally - no genetically modified with dyes injected in. At first I was wary of the fruit- spotty colors, imperfect weird shapes - then I remembered, 'Hey, this is what fruit looks like naturally! What a concept' The juice choices are either red Koolaid or a yellow orange/grapefruit juice combo that's fresh squeezed and I love it. They also have a coleslaw-looking condiment called "pickles" (say it "pick-leez") that is super spicy. Haitians put it on everything, but I usually skip it.

For dinner we eat light. No dishwasher + no freezer + no microwave + no pots + must walk to the store = affects our dinner options. We've had a lot of PBJ sandwiches, some Campbell's soup. Last night we prepared (read: Ben prepared) to make spaghetti with some ground beef, but it was totally rancid - just two days after we bought it :( . So we had grilled cheese instead. Two nights ago we made macaroni and cheese in our tiny saucepot. I wash the dishes by hand and cover them with dishtowels while drying to keep off the dust.

Community in Action
I've been meaning to write about this for awhile - the community around us has been so supportive. Our first day in our house, John Ackerman took us shopping and saw how expensive the towels were. The next day, his wife Jodie shows up at school with a bag full of towels for us. Then, the next day she hears we don't have a pot, so she shows up with a little extra one she had to give us. The next day, our next door neighbor Bill brings us a bag of fresh wheat rolls he's made.

On Sunday, we went to church at the Heaths' home. Carol fills two shopping bags with stuff for us - pitchers, ice trays, a better shower curtain (goodbye Saran wrap shower curtain!), bath mat, shower curtain rings, and an extra pair of sheets. Everyone's offering to drive us where we need to go, and we're having to juggle lots of dinner dates as everybody invites us over to meet their families and welcome us. Not to mention the Herseys, who fed and drove us around for 5 days getting set up. Last night we had an issue with water again- called Bill, he's talking to the landlord for us.

It's awkward for us, because Americans structure their lives so we never need anybody for anything. We don't know how to receive. We don't know how to rely on each other. We don't want to be a burden. But B and I? We're practically newborns. We need. We don't know how to do anything, find anything, buy anything, say anything. It feels so awkward, but its a good lesson for us. How to need. How to accept.
I love our Quisqueya community!


PS Zero mosquito bites yesterday - thanks for the prayers, Team!


  1. Katie and Ben,
    I'm in tears thinking about how this post's description of your days and your needs is already obsolete. We are praying so very much for your new role of crisis managers - through the power of the Spirit only - as you realize what God has brought you there for. We are all with you. You are not alone in this. We are praying and interceding on your behalf every moment!
    Kim ... and so many others!

  2. Gary and I our pouring out thoughts and prayers to you. I wish I was there to help. God send you strength and everything else that you need. Much Love, Sarah Roberts

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with you right now! I know you must me going through a lot! love you friend!

  4. Wendy Leth-SteensenJanuary 13, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Ben, please let us know ASAP that you're ok re: earthquake!
    -Wendy LS-

  5. Just heard all the teachers are OK. So glad to hear it, yet so saddened by the tragedy at the same time. I suspect thing are going to be rough there going forward. Good luck and God Bless.

  6. Katie and Ben- I have been praying for you since I heard the news yesterday. Gladdened to know that you are both OK but my heart is breaking for what has happened. I am specifically praying for your safety at this time and that the Lord, who is mighty in all things, will show you specifically the task that He has for you now and give you the strength that is needed.

  7. Praying for ya'll.
    -jesse gable

  8. You are instrumental in what God is doing through this crisis. Be encouraged and strengthed by His power and know that you are being covered in prayers.
    Please inform us how we can best support you through this time!

  9. Along with so many others, my thoughts and prayers are with you both and with all the Haitian people. So thankful you guys are safe and I will continue to pray, pray and pray! Let us know how you're doing. Love you guys!

  10. Dearest Katie,
    I was so relieved to hear that you and Ben are ok. I know things are going to be pretty rough for awhile. Take care of each other. My prayers and loving thoughts are with you both.
    Susie Schweikert

  11. Hi Ben and Katie,
    I don't actually know you, but saw your blog through a friend. I just wanted to send my support, prayers, and encouragement to you both during this incredibly trying time. God put you there during this time for a purpose and I for one am encouraged by the work you both do. God bless you and watch over you and all you do.



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