Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ti Update - Many Topics

Kids are hyper. School is out. Aforementioned kids need direction and parameters.

(Photo Tuesday - 8th grade "promotion" ceremony)

Family meeting tonight, 8pm - BE THERE.

Purpose of meeting: To address concerns and air grievances. Let it be known Isaac cannot stare at the PS2 all summer. Paige cannot sleep all summer. Noah cannot whine all summer. Hope cannot feign total innocence while being mostly complicit all summer. We must survive this, our first full summer in Port au Prince, and not drive one another to drink or violence. (And we must not be jealous and hateful as most missionaries begin to clear out for a luscious summer with A/C and DQ in the USA and Canada.)

Paige is all official and pumped about being a High School student. She says "Aaaaah yes, 8th grade - I remember the 8th grade like it was yesterday." Troy teased because he does not embrace this culture's appreciation of ceremony ... he agrees with Mr. Incredible and said in a grouchy tone- "We're celebrating mediocrity." "We did what we're supposed to do - yay us!" He makes me laugh.

Paige celebrated her first day of summer with her favorite riding lesson ever and a trip to the orthodontist. She said she has never moved that fast on a horse in her life. She loved it. We are very excited that Paige has riding clothes coming her way - the generosity of this community astounds us.

This week has been insane. We did so many out of the ordinary things and we have been going going going like crazy. (Unless we were sitting sitting sitting in traffic.) Friday looks much the same. Saturday looks pretty chill. On Sunday we are clearing out of our house for one week. We're doing a "house swap" with someone we love very much. We're going to get a taste of her life and hopefully give her a chance to take a little break at our place. It should be good for all. A week in the village will do us cement city dwellers some good and a week away from an intense ministry will do our friends some good.

Lydie loves to kiss and give "the rock" - about 30 times a day she throws out her bottom lip and comes toward us with great purpose. She follows most kisses up with a fist bump, and knows that we should say "Kenbe fem" (stay strong - hold firm) as we connect our fists. It is beyond cute. She is teaching Annie to be cool too.

The initial response to the Medika Mamba Marathon is so very encouraging to me. I skipped around here all night feeling giddy about the outpouring of interest. We'll keep from making this the singular topic of our lives - but we are wrapped up in planning our work and working our plan, so we hope we can toss in a paragraph or plug here and there without being "that guy" - you know, the annoying one who never shuts up.

Troy said, "I am going to speak to you as your trainer and not your husband." He paused, waiting to be sure it was safe and said, "You are older than the last time you did this and I think you need to do some strength training." He then proceeded to lay out the plans to help me strengthen my hamstrings and be less injury prone. He is working hard to help me make this training possible and maybe even enjoyable. He is my nutritionist and my personal trainer and my cheerleader ... Oprah can have that little fitness guru Bob Greene, I have Troy Livesay!

I know lots of people despise running talk. I will keep it to the bare minimum. Training starts officially on June 1st. For those who care, I am following an 18 week Hal Higdon plan. I have used similar plans in the past with success. The key is the long runs. You have to get them in. I think Troy hooked me up with a way to do my long runs at the Petionville Club around the perimeter of a golf course. Yes, a golf course in Haiti. Troy mocked my Dad in a YouTube video that was filmed on the course. The news of this development is hugely encouraging. It saves on harassment and dust and diesel fumes; it gets me off of hard cement surface for one day a week. It puts water nearby at all times. It pretty much removes every obstacle but heat and lack of will ... Troy is the bomb. Long runs will always be eaarrrrrly Friday mornings.

The Mangine family moved here a month ago. We had their family along with Megan from Three Angels Orphanage down for dinner last night. I say "down" because they are all up hill from here. When they flush their toilets, their poo runs this direction. We forgave them for all that and it was a good time. I met the most sarcastic person I have ever met in my life. Prior to that I had always been convinced that I travel in only the most sarcastic circles.
[National Sarcasm Society: Like we need your support].

This week the weight of worry and grief that many/most/all? adoptive parents feel hit home with us. We spent this morning in the car driving through the yuckiest area of Port stuck in traffic and thinking of and praying for adoptive families. I don't know how you're all doing this wait - it is horrible! We want to give you a huge cyber hug and tell you that you are brave and strong and that we're so sorry you have to wait two and three years to get your babies out of orphanages and into your loving arms. I hate it. The greatest injustices always seem to involve power and government and when it is at the expense of children it is maddening and wronger than wrong. (Not more awesomer.)

I read this on Glenn Packiam's blog - sound familiar?
"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."
The phrase is Lord Acton's, a 19th-century English historian. He goes on to say that it is simply heresy to assume that the "office sanctifies the holder of it". In other words, just because you have power doesn't mean you are worthy of it. Even when it's earned, there comes a point where the kind of power given to a human surpasses a human's capacity. This was something the ancient Greeks sought to teach through the Myth of Promethius. The power of the gods cannot be handle responsibly by mortals. The Hebrews talked about the human heart as "deceitful and desperately wicked", "prone to wander".

I cannot write smart things - but I sure can read them. (and steal them and pass them along.)

Four babies have been born to ladies in our Heartline program in the last two weeks. All of them are wonderfully plump and healthy. Jina (pictured below) won the all time biggest Heartline baby competition when her little guy born just last Sunday weighed in at 9lbs today.

I need to prepare my notes and agenda for the meeting taking place in 10 minutes. Thanks for reading and jumping topics so well.