I updated the last blog with more pictures. I will add more to this one later.
From my last blog, I can understand how one would think that I did not like white people or foreigners. This is not true. The man I voted for president mother was white. That man also might be a foreigner (has anyone seen his birth certificate), those two facts prove that I am open to outsiders and whites. Basically what I am trying to say they are winning me over. Living in a house with 10 people for 5 days will do that to you. We spent the first couple of days when I arrived here just chilling because of the Christmas holiday. On Monday it was work time. I helped construct a playground for children at an orphanage. It was hot and involved a lot of manual labor. I was so impressed by the interaction between the other volunteers and the children. They played and joked with the kids. Shared their water. They were amazingly comfortable in the environment. And they worked. And worked. Drenched in sweat but remained focused on getting the job done without complaints. Working with them over the past couple of days made me respect many of them -their character just shined through them. Of course, there is ONE person who is about 15 min away from bring the devil out of me. I question her motives for even being here. I guess it’s not her fault, white guilt and the need to “save” things are hard issues to conquer- I guess. I am in Haiti because I want to be. I am not here to save the poor Haitian people. They don’t need my help. They will be ok regardless. I think it’s rude to come into someone’s country or home and tell them how things should be run. Do not come to Haiti or some other “disaster” area to prove to yourself you are a good person. If you are not a good person at home I doubt spending whatever amount of time “saving” others will make you a good person.
On Sunday I turned the big 2-4! “I am really too young to be feeling this old”. Every year I get older I still feel so young compared to people in my life. I am trying to play catch up and it is not working. I went to a Haitian church on Sunday. Johnson had to walk me over because Evans overslept or whatever. Church starts at 6AM and I have no idea when they end because I left at 9:20. . It is quite an experience to attend a service conducted in another language. My neighbor kept sharing her hymn book and bible with me; I didn’t know how to tell her I did not speak Creole. Church is pretty simple- I understood Hallelujah and Merci Senor. I repeated those phrases, stood when everyone else stood and raised my hands in the air. I enjoyed the worshiping part, it was individual yet collective. Everyone appeared so connected with the worship experience. They did not even seem to mind my blue jeans, purple shirt and pink Converses.
After church I went to the GRU compound for dinner. While there I received a call from Evans who overslept and apologized for not taking me to church. He told me he was at the EVD compound waiting for me. I ate breakfast and came back to EVD about an hour later- to an awaiting Evans. He apologized again of course I pretended to be mad. He asked me could we still hang out that day- I had nothing better to do so I agreed. He told me he had to go to his house first then we could do whatever. We took a tap-tap to his neighborhood then walked about 15 min uphill to his house. While walking I begin wondering was it smart for me to go to a strange area, in a foreign country to the home of man I barely knew. I man I knew had a crush on me. I tried to pay attention to the route we were taking just in case he tried something. Once at his home I met his friends and sister. His sister was getting her weave sewn in. Evans told me he had a surprise for me and came back with a gift, strawberry champagne and cupcakes. He remembered my birthday! Maybe I am easy impressed but I thought it was the sweetest. I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to him, his sister and his neighbor. His sister told him I reminded her of an old friend of theirs. She was a lesbian- Blank Stare. His neighbors tried to impress me with their hip-hop knowledge while free-styling for me. They made lunch for me to try “real” Haitian food.
I learned a lot about Evans. He is such a sweet guy. He is in his final year of law school, speaks 7 languages and reads 8 languages. The kid is pretty smart. This explains why he is enamored with me. We took a motor bike back to EDV where they had brought a cake for my birthday. I haven’t had a birthday cake since I was 7. So there you go. My 24th birthday. Not a bad start to what will be a wonderful year. I am toying with Cuba or the Dominican Republic for next year.
Yesterday night I actually participated in the movie night! Mostly because they watched a romantic comedy AND I stayed up to talk to them instead of going to bed at 7:30! Are you proud of me? I still think they are dirty and they think I am obsessed with being clean. I am also doing really good picking up some basic Creole phrases.
My body is extremely sore from work and my really uncomfortable bed. I am about to get dress and go to work. I just said good-bye to two of the EDV volunteers who are now off to the Southern part of Haiti. After work Evans is taking me to the market. Yesterday, he gave me a cell phone since he told me he wanted to be in contact with me while I am here. I am really going to have to lay off of the flirting/ charm. I have this gift and curse of making people think they are the only one who matters in my world. I am not trying to make have this man fall in love with me.