Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Just another manic Monday

Monday, I started my day at six a.m. in the canteen where the food is prepared. I needed to get four new cookstoves installed and operational before the day's cooking began. I didn't beat any of the cooks to work, they are always the first ones here. I'm no expert at copper gas lines and propane stoves, but a little wrenching and teflon tape and they were good to go.

I didn't even get the tools put away and there was a man here needing first aid. He apparently ran into a board, from what I could understand. I didn't get a lot of details, but whatever it was, he hit it hard with his face. I cleaned and covered his wound up as best I could, and again thought how nice it will be to have the medical clinic once it's finished.

After a few phone calls and getting everyone organized with their duties for the day, I headed off to Port Au Prince. I spent the day with the infamous Eddie, getting our permanent residence cards done, and trying to get Tara's driver's licence (that she will probably never use). The most interesting realization I had came, while standing at a desk, applying for a permit to legally live here as a permanent resident. I looked over and saw another line, stretching out doors - down halls - outside - and teeming with Haitians. This was the line for passports to get out of the country. I was standing at this desk, with no line, applying to stay in this country. Something is definitely wrong here.

I also picked up the inverter and batteries for the new building. The new building will have missionary housing, seminary classrooms, and a medical clinic, in case I haven't mentioned that. We have a team of electricians coming next week to work on the new building, so I'm trying to get all of the supplies here and in order, and hopefully find time to do some of the rough-in work.

I tried to get to a place to buy the water cistern/tank and water lines for the new building, but due to traffic and slow-moving staff at the other places I never made it. That is the biggest problem with going to Port- I always have too many things to do in the time I have, especially when you take into account the transportation nightmare and the slow pace of everything. There are always a few errands that get left behind. I did get the water tank and line ordered however, and I may be able to get it delivered here. We'll see.

On the way out of town, I picked up our new family member and some canine supplies, and made it home just after dark.

PS - In case you were wondering, Eddie and I are still having some communication problems. I tried for much of the day to speak with him in Creole, but he still found the need to try and say: "This is why you need to keep in touch with me."
Only... you can guess what he actually said:
"This is why you need to keep touching me."
Funny now, yes - but that's going to lose its comedic value in a hurry. Hopefully I won't have to keep mentioning this issue, but I'm not holding my breath, because the last time we spoke on the phone he also said "could you hold onto me for one second?". I'll let you figure out what he meant for yourself, because I'm not sure I even want to know anymore.