Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Smorgasbord of Thoughts

I have not posted anything on the blog for a month. Maybe you didn't notice. Maybe you did notice and you were okay with that.

The truth is I have no idea how to write about my every day life. How do I write about the goings on of life here in Haiti in away that someone will read it and no immediately fall into a coma? And that is not in anyway a knock on what I am doing here. In fact as I am approaching the end of my 1st  year in Haiti I can honestly say the past 12 months have been some of the most rewarding of my life. But that does not mean anyone wants to read about it. There is so much minutia, it is no different from yours; mine just happens in a country that is very different.

We have been leading discipleship groups at QCS for the past week. Katie has had amazing success. She has really bonded with her girls. I have had different results. I love the guys I have, but I have been laboriously praying for one. This kid at every turn tests my patience. I mean this next statement with no exaggeration at all: I have no idea why he is still at this school. He has done something to offend, upset and break the trust of every single teacher at QCS except me. I think he is so close to having Jesus wreck shop on his life and I hope it happens soon. It seems like every week there is a new story about what a turd he is being to someone else. It is exasperating. It must be like what Ms. Stacy experienced with me when I was in high school. Except I must have been more charming. And less frustrating. Right?

Our friends here are amazing. Our weekends and Thanksgiving have been so fun because we get to spend so much of that time with people who are fun, laid back and generally just awesome to be around. Also, friendships are just a little bit sweeter when they have cool stuff and you get to benefit from it. For example the family that hosts our house church has a smoker. This backyard cooking device that is so common in the states is a rare luxury here, I don't know how he fuels it. There isn't a Bar-B-Q Galore that sells wood chips for thousands of miles. Despite this mystery they smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving. Smoked Turkey.... even typing about it now I have to pause and savor the memory. My sweet southern grandmother would have been proud of that bid, and she knows her way around a kitchen.

I continue to think that living in Haiti is the best weight loss plan ever. If I stay here many more years I will waste way to an emaciated skeleton. Since moving to Haiti I have lost 37 lbs. I swear one day I will write a best selling diet book called "The Earthquake Diet". It will be superficial, obnoxious and I will make a large, Scrooge McDuck-like pile of money. But for the time being I am also doing the dumbest thing I have ever done. The Insanity workout. Yeah, its a work out named after a mental illness, great marketing. If it's squeal is called Manic Depression I would like to think that I would object and not do it. However if the school slave driver, I mean sadomasochist, I mean work out consultant, Art buys the DVDs I know I am going to do it. If you are interested in watching a group of perfectly sculpted bodies working out on your TV while you struggle to keep up and possibly vomit from your own efforts then by all means fork over the cash for the DVDs.

School is canceled tomorrow.(err today) The 3rd or 4th day this quarter of canceled classes. Neat. The election results will be released tomorrow, and there is a concern that rioting or some sort of nonsense will occur. Can I be brutally honest and possibly controversial? I want something to happen. I do not want anyone to get hurt. I do not want anyone to die. I do not want to see this city burn or anarchy to break out but if I have to stay home one more uneventful day then I am going to go nutty. It is not that I do not want to be board. I have plenty to do. However, I think (as someone who is new to Haiti and possibly totally wrong) that there is an unhealthy culture of fear here. I think it is a learned behavior and wolf has been cried to many times in the last year.

We faced so much pressure to go home in January because well meaning missionaries painted a picture of lawless machete wielding hordes scaling the walls and raping and pillaging (I imagined zombies with knives or Haitian-Viking crossbreeds for some reason). No hordes came. People claimed Tomas would obliterate Port-au-Prince. There was no wind and just a few sprinkles. Now its election time and its doom and gloom again.

The media and missionaries can be the worst about this. Haiti is a beautiful country that has so much to offer, and needs so many things. It is not as terrible as it is made out to be. But disaster-porn increases ratings and donors eat up hearing about how you are continuing to do work in such an unstable place. I want something to happen because I fear becoming completely cynical to warnings, and if I spend all day tomorrow in my apartment typing exams and grading papers I may never trust the advice of my coworkers who have been here decades again.

Please hear me carefully. I do not want to be Pollyanna, but I also do not want to be a fear monger. I want to walk somewhere in between. I want to break what I see as the culture of fear amongst so many in this country. I want to be reasonable, not reckless. I want to be rational not reactionary.

So there we are, first post in nearly a month.  Over 8 healthy paragraphs about... nothing?



  1. Your post was worthwhile if for no other reason than the "Earthquake diet" comment.

    Actually, I enjoy reading all of the posts by you and Katie and am encouraged by your commitment in the face of challenge (not the bogus "chicken little" type of challenges you referenced but the real ones that you face every day.) I'm encouraged that a couple about the age of my own 2 sons would invest their lives as you and Katie are doing. I'm hopeful for the future because of people like the two of you as well as the others that you serve alongside. I'm confident that you are making a difference that will matter for all of eternity.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Well said, Ken! I read also, B ... faithfully. Your posts do matter, as does the work you and K are doing! I appreciate your honesty ...
    Kathy (long-time reader, first-time commenter) from Dallas

  3. I check on you guys every week-one to make sure you are both ok and because I am totally intrigued by your words and pictures. I still think you all should turn this blog into a book. It is inspiring, funny, poignant and enlightening.
    Really I mean it!
    Susie Schweikert



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