Staffers are leaving left and right. We're down to just 6 of us in the Staff House this week. We have one more week of Participants arriving Monday. The Lease on the Staff House runs out next month so we are trying to get rid of stuff (we donated our Bunk Beds to an orphanage). We're probably taking our vehicles back to the Dominican Republic where they were bought.
It's a busy time.
Our Generator gave up the ghost last weekend. You may remember that we had an electrical problem that necessitated taking ourselves off the City Grid and relying totally on the generator. Then last weekend the generator threw a rod or something and punched a whole through the cast-iron block. It's toast.
The good news is that we had just fixed the electrical panel problem so we're back on the City Grid but it's sporadic at best.
Our Cook is finished after this week so we'll be preparing our own meals next week. No more Beans and Rice I'm pretty sure.
The Staff that's still here has made the best of the sporadic electricity. We've had several evenings without power and each time we've ended up sitting on the balcony talking about our time here in Haiti.
We've been recalling our favorite things: Watching Thunderstorms sweep over the Mountains and stretch across the Bay. Seeing people hold hands as they cross the streets- regardless of gender or age. Smiling at children and seeing them light-up in response. Hearing familiar old hymns from the neighborhood churches and Bible Studies at all hours of the day and night. Having orphans climb all over you when you visit. Making new friends from all over the States...and of course, new friends here in Haiti. The overwhelming sense of joy among some of the most beaten-down people on the planet.
And some things I won't miss: I'll be ok if I never hear a car horn again. Traffic without lanes and signals. A State Dept document says "Haitian Drivers adhere to no known international standards of driving" or something to that effect. I won't miss spending a day doing something that would take an hour at home. I won't miss working on a Diesel engine. I won't miss the pollution/trash. The overwhelming poverty.
Hate it or love it, I'll never forget what I've seen here. I've driven from point A to point B almost every day and every day I see people by the thousands that I know have NOTHING. I pass their "homes"- just tents and I can see inside. I see NOTHING. Not all of them mind you. Some have nice homes...even by American standards. But most do not. So many of them lost it all in a matter of minutes. Most of them are not spending their days cleaning up their lots and rebuilding... their decision every morning is this: "Do I clear the rubble that once was my home or do I find something for my family to eat today?". Clearly, clearing rubble is a low priority for many of them.
I don't know what's next for me. But I think I've done what I came here to do.