Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Blending In

Fairly often I wish for anonymity. By often - I mean like every day.

I would rather blend in because I hate being watched - or just that feeling of eyes on me. (Not a fan of public speaking for this very reason. I don't mind talking at all, I just don't like standing in front of all those beady, piercing, peepers.)

But here in Haiti, I look different. Unfortunately there is no easy way around it. I have to deal with the stares (OR never leave my house). I do my best to keep a low profile and go about my business discreetly. This reaps the exact same benefit as doing nothing differently at all. But that does not stop me from trying. Heck no.

Often on Tuesday and Thursday I need to walk about four blocks to the Women's Center House because Troy usually has the car and is out and about elsewhere.

The walk is kind of nasty because you walk along a drainage ditch (that never drains - a misnomer) full of stinky stagnant water and trash. (Malaria anyone?) The tap-taps don't necessarily care so much whether they hit you or not. It is not a leisure walk. When I go, I walk head down, quickly and with purpose. I try not to draw attention.

Today Noah begged to come with me. I tried to distract him with other fabulous options but he would not relent. I gave up and told him to get shoes on and meet me at the gate. When I walked outside I saw him ready and waiting ... in this get-up:

So much for being discreet.

As we walked many people saluted him. I guess they thought he was military.

The temps are in the low 90's by about 11am almost every day now. Wearing polyester is a questionable decision at best. He announced loudly as we walked that his aviator glasses were "making his eyeballs sweat". I am thinking it *might* have been the hat. Or possibly the jacket.

Women's Program went well. We talked about things to do to help with a baby's brain development. We sang songs and talked about the importance of tummy time and crawling. At one point Noah came in with a laser gun and pointed it at the room full of innocent mothers and babies.