Thursday, December 01, 2005

My first experience "blogging" (Troy)

Hi All. I don't know what the strangest part of all this is right now: the fact that I'm in Haiti, the fact that I'm on the internet in Haiti, or that I'm posting to a blog.

This trip has been amazing so far, just like every trip here seems to be. It is strange how much this place feels like home. God has certainly moved me to a totally different place (physically and spiritually and every which way-ally) than I ever could have imagined.

It is an assault on the senses to be in an entirely different world and culture. The smell of burning trash is all over the cities and villages, but fortunately not here in La Digue. The sights and view of God's magnificent creation are, well, magnificent. The beautiful mountains and Caribbean sea are always the backdrop to the suffering and poverty that grip this country. The most interesting sounds I've heard have been: the goat kids braying somewhere on the Lifeline property while I was eating goat for dinner, the accordion accompaniment and men's singing group practicing in the yard last night, and the sounds of worship and praise going on in church tonight.

We have been very busy so far this week. Monday we ran (drove) errands all around the capital city of Port-Au-Prince, and then made a mad dash (2 hours) home to Lifeline at nightfall. Tuesday we returned to Port to pick some other missionaries up at the airport, finish more legal paperwork in town, and get some groceries. It doesn't sound like much, but it takes an entire day for that sometimes. I suppose the 4-5 hours driving cuts into productive time a bit. Wednesday I visited a school that Lifeline supports (pays the teachers) and feeds their children there. It is heartwarming to see their joyful spirits in the midst of awful living conditions. Then we delivered "Love Bundles" (a program similar to Operation Christmas Child) to another Christian school that Lifeline hopes to be able to support in the future. The director of Lifeline (Donald) shared the gospel message with the children and teachers there. They listen so intently and hang on every word. It is humbling to see the hunger for God and education that they have. These two schools are just down the "road" (bumpy rocky treacherous path) from the Mission, about twenty minutes away.

Today we visited one more school,took inventory of all supplies at the mission, and then drove north to Montrois, a larger village 1.5 hours north of here (only about 15 miles) and picked up construction supplies for the new building. The biggest challenge was finding plumbing supplies. There is not a big need for indoor plumbing parts here, nor any Menards or Home Depots to purchase them in. It is always fascinating and educational and sometimes a little intimidating to accomplish anything here. It takes a lot of patience and willingness to try. Then I came back to the Mission and pretended to be a plumber all afternoon/evening. I did okay, lots of trial and error, and as far as the Haitians could tell I'm an absolute pro. (Maybe)

That's it for tonight, time for dinner and some reading and rest. It has been cool and comfortable here this week, about 80-85 degrees. It's weird to say that on December 1st, and to call it cool.

I am missing my family very much, but staying in contact often, and looking forward to having them here with me.