Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Some Random Answers to Random Questions - in Random Order

Some friends have emailed with questions in the last few weeks. Since it is nap time and the grounds are very quiet due to election day it seems like a good time to answer them. In no particular order:
1-Weather in Haiti-
Just North of the equator means that we still have the same seasons as North America, they just vary much less. Winter is the most lovely time temperature-wise. It is about 80 or 85 each day and the evenings are perfect for sleeping. It is a tiny bit humid but not oppressive. The best months are November through February or March. The rest of the year it is much more humid, (read: oppressive) much hotter and not so easy to sleep. Take your very hottest, most humid Minnesota summer day and just string it out over a period of six months and you have Haiti weather. We are in the dry season right now so everything is very brown and extremely dusty. The rainy season starts in March (we are told ... we don't know!) and goes through September. It rains more days than not during this time, just short bursts of rain usually in the afternoons and evenings.

2-Mosquitos/bugs in Haiti-
There are mosquitos. Way more in the rainy season than the dry times. They are tiny compared to the ones in MN but the bites itch more and last longer before going away. We have learned taht the mosquitos that bite at night are the ones that might carry Malaria, the ones that bite during the day are the ones that could carry Dengue Fever ---- this is just one of those things. We know of people who lived here years and never had either of them and people who lived here a short time and got one or the other. We are prepared for Malaria and brought medicine to treat it ... we have asked God to give it to Troy or I instead of our kids --- that may sound silly ... either way we are prepared.

3-From our front porch you can see the Caribbean Sea ---- it is not very clear most days due to humidity but you can still see it. The little island that sits off of Haiti is visible on clearer days.

4-Sunsets here are one of the most lovely things you will ever see. Evidence of God all around us-even in the midst of poverty.

5-Electricity - Yes, the generator is our only source of electricity. It runs a few hours at a time to charge up batteries and then you switch to battery power. Once the batteries drain you go re-start the generator. This morning the fans went off at about 5:15 am so we knew that we were out of battery. We are teaching our kids to turn everything off as they leave rooms, etc --- but as you all know, kids don't easily change habits and we have allowed them to be wasteful so we have a lot of work to do to re-train them. There is no electricity in the entire village of La Digue.

6-Haiti is considered one of the three poorest countires in the world. One in two children will die of starvation or curable disease before they reach 15 years of age. The problems that cause hunger and poverty are many and are almost too complicated to succinctly explain or understand. Most of the children in this area will only eat one meal per day, the meal that is provided by the Lifeline mission and God's people who donate to make it happen. Hunger is something we cannot possibly understand as Americans ... at least I am sure I cannot. Being hungry for a few hours is not being hungry for your entire life. I sit here missing my fancy coffee creamer and cheese while everyone around me is thrilled to have a bowl of rice each day.

7-The election- Things are eerily quiet here. The kids had their meal first thing this morning because the cooks needed to walk quite a long way to vote. The only thing I hear as I sit writing is the roosters, the goats and the generator. Oh, and now Noah waking up.

Some Photos before I go get the nappers up: (captions under each photo)

Standing in our bedroom this morning. My Christmas gift from Troy hanging above our bed. :)
The kitchen is on the left, the patio is on the right. Behind Hope and Ike is the family room. Through the archway is the office (where I am sitting to post this) and to the right of the office archway are two bedrooms. One is ours and one is the four youngest kids bedroom. I am standing where Hope and Isaac were in the previous photo. So this is kichen to the right, patio to the left the whole mission team side of the house straight ahead- Britt has her room down there. (There are 8 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms on that end) Paige is pouring drinking water. We have done well remebering not to drink tap water.

We plan to go walk around the village a bit this afternoon and give Britt the full tour. We will try to take photos when we are out and about. Maybe we will do a little exit polling for you too so we can try and gauge the winner of the elections. Unlike major media outlets we will not disclose the winner until we are sure -- we want to be responsible journalists. No hanging chads either. (Oh, by the way, the ballots had photos of the candidates because so many Haitians cannot read.)

Serving a MIGHTY God-

Tara (for the Tribe)