Monday, October 23, 2006

Another Trip to Port Au Prince

By Troy-

I've always thought that one of my favorite parts about living in Haiti is the constant excitement. Seriously, I have never been bored.

Apparently, when I am the chauffer, my passengers cannot say the same.

Every time I drive to Port with any of our Haitian employees/friends, I invariably end up with this scene in the truck:

What gives? You'd think that the existing damage to the vehicle alone would be enough to keep them on their toes. But, passengers always fall asleep. I must be really boring.

Every time we go to Port (Mr. Haitian and I), it goes the same...

We speak about the events of the previous day at the mission, discuss the business at hand for the current day, and sooner or later my Creole runs out and we're just tired of struggling to communicate. Eventually, I start whistling, and then remember that whistling is very offensive to Haitian people. (If you whistle in their presence it apparently means that you don't respect them.) I try to avoid that. So then I try to sing. Here's the problem with this idea - I'm not really sure how to sing to oneself and not feel weird in the presence of others. Usually, when singing, I've always thought the idea was for others to hear you. So since I don't think my passengers signed up for a concert during the ride...I feel weird singing loud enough for them to hear. Plus, would they enjoy hearing "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel? And not even all of the lyrics since I can't remember them? OK fine, I admit it - I do remember them all.

(Sidenote - way too much of my brain is taken up by lyrics to songs that I no longer need to know. I wish I could find a delete program in my psyche to free up space in there.)

We usually end up listening to Haitian radio stations, which are about the worst thing ever. I always tell myself that subconsciously it will help my language skills. That doesn't help. I almost always end up staying with the news station - Haitian talk radio, I guess - and then understand about one fourth of what's being said. Meanwhile - my passengers are fast asleep.

Here are some sights along the way - (if you're still awake):

Haiti's Immigration Office. I'd like to know why the sign says "Immigration and Emigration." I think the words are similar enough in both languages to figure it out.

This is a neighborhood between downtown Port and the bourgeois area of Petionville.

While my friends snored away, I stopped in at Agape mail - our missionary mail service. I thought I'd show you all what it looks like, and ask if anyone else thinks it looks like a scene from a 1950's dectective movie? Pictured are Mr. Davis Zachary ("Zach" from the famed medical clinic in Cazale) and Mr. Bill Manassero, the worship leader from our church in Port. It was nice to see and visit with friends for a while, and also nice that they managed to stay awake in my presence.