Monday night I went to Chez Wou for the first time- a Chinese restaurant in Petionville. Chinese food in Haiti! It was tasty. The contrasts were clear from the outside- the restaurant is across the street from the Place Boyer tent city, and the only other car in the Chez Wou parking lot had "UN" painted loud and proud across every surface. Is it Christlike to eat at a restaurant across the street from a slum? Would it be any more Christlike to eat at that restaurant somewhere else, when my faith teaches that everyone is my neighbor, regardless of proximity? I don't know. Still wrestling on a thousand questions. I wear them like a weight all the time here, because you cannot hide in Haiti from the biggest questions, like a parka you put on every morning when you get out of bed and wear around all day.
Today is the last day of school. For our closing ceremony, I dug out my heels. I haven't worn anything but two pairs of flip flops and one pair of sneakers since January 12. I've been awkward, like a little girl, tripping in mom's heels. I used to literally RUN in this exact pair of heels, down escalators and across platforms, sprinting toward a whistling DART train on my commute to downtown Dallas.
I'm about to confess a kind-of-dirty secret. Another "first". Ben and I are preparing to move out of our apartment on campus and into another school-owned apartment across the street, so we're going through all the suitcases again. I found my hairbrush about a week ago. I brushed my hair, for the first time since December 28, last week.
Today is the ending ceremony of this semester. Kindergarten graduation, 6th grade step-up, 8th grade promotion. In yet another shining example of how going to camp prepared me for my adult life (I have this theory that summer camp and Pi Phi, two notoriously discounted activities, trained me for success more than anything), I will be closing the semester with a rousing rendition of that timeless hymn "The Fruit of the Spirit's not a Cherry".
After the ceremony, we have several days of work, work, work on the school. The many-thousand volume library is being moved to another building. The library shelves have been serving as a pharmacy, but now all the meds have been distributed to local hospitals. The computer lap is in boxes. The elementary classrooms need to be completely put back together, having been hurriedly emptied to make room for the 1,700 doctors who slept underneath word walls and glittery snowflake cut-outs between January 13 and last Wednesday.
We're feeling apprehensive about our summer furlough in Dallas. In the mornings I just beg God- make it the summer you want. I don't know what I'm supposed to feel. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Just make it a summer that glorifies you.
But I won't pretend I'm not already having Texas food fantasies. Spicy chicken, please. And may the salsa flow like water.