It’s crazy how far from Haiti you can feel just a few hours over the border, inducing both a sense of relief, to be unknown and unsought, and also a sense of homesickness and frustration. Our Creole is no good here, nor our money, nor our cultural understanding…Spanish from high school is thick and hard, and the frustrations of being utterly incapable and un-at-home in a place is not something I miss from almost 9 years ago in Haiti.
The food is all the same, only spiced differently, but there IS watermelon, sweet watermelon, the number two food craving of all three of my pregnancies (after ice cream, of course).
Being outside of your call, even for a few days, comes with such mixed emotions. On one hand, there is some rest, because there are no expectations, no visitors, no real ability to address or help much or to build relationships with those around us. On the other, I can’t help but feel a great sense of gratefulness for home…a place where we are able to love and help and relationship and share ourselves and Him freely and deeply, a place where the chickens and chaos and poverty that you see look like a sigh of home.
Yet no one has asked me what’s for dinner, Lily and Sofie are passionate about lots of time with the other younger two kids with us, and there is no reason I should not sit by the pool watching them play, and that is good. I can always come up with a dozen reasons against sitting :)
Tuesday is already our last day, to start with some shopping for the precious extra little things our side of the island is void of that make a quick trip to the DR extra sweet…real dish soap and real hand soap, like, the kinds that actually makes bubbles… a bag of sweet crunchy apples… cat food… any kind of cereal aside from stale cornflakes… maybe even some sacred cheese to be hoarded and rationed out over the longest possible period of time (which also includes hiding it from Matt while also keeping it in the fridge).
Most, I’m thankful for the way a moment away makes us grateful for things too close to remember normally, makes us notice the places He is wanting to heal if only we would slow down and be deliberate about His hands, makes us remember those things He spoke long ago, makes us want to do better…love better, work better, even rest better.
We always find the time, find the money, find the energy, find the courage to do the things that are the most important to us. Sometimes we just need to step back and remember what those things are…