- Troy managed not to get meningitis during the 2009 get-away - making it a total success! Not being 9 months pregnant and not having a husband who is trying to die makes for a much more romantic trip. Look at him, a picture of health!
- As if the time away with air-conditioning and hot water were not enough, our friends upgraded us to a Junior Suite, put money on our tab to use for food and sent us a bottle of wine. One of us burst into tears at how sweet and kind and overwhelmingly nice they were to us. The other got a little teary. We also had access to the "Executive Club" where there were snacks and pop many hours of the day. The only thing better than a diet coke is a free diet coke. We were like children heading up there two and three times a day for our pop fix. We tried hard to act like executives but we fooled exactly no-one.
- We stayed within 3 miles of the hotel the entire time. It was totally low-key and wonderfully relaxing. We both thought it was more fun than our honeymoon. You can decide for yourself what that means. :)
- We took a bus over there. We found a lot of the things about the bus ride entertaining. The best being the whole process at the border, mainly how totally pointless and inefficient it was. Do this do that stand here now stand there nevermind that no one knows what you did and did not do but keep acting like mindless drones anyway - yes now back on the bus to ride one block and do it all over again. As we returned to Haiti we were asked to wash our hands before handing the Haitian agents our passports. ('Hi dirty people who went to the D.R.' said the cartoon bubble over my head.) There is just something funny about that. Once we washed our hands and proved we don't have swine flu they begrudgingly allowed us to come back to clean, disease-free Haiti.
- Paige and Jeronne rocked the house. Our kids all did fine. Beth got Paige out of here twice to give her a break from her insane siblings and she said that helped. Isaac asked "When are you leaving again - Paige is a great Mom" - if that is not a ringing endorsement I don't know what is. I thought about taking it personally but decided against it. He was sad to hear I have no plans of leaving until October.
- Paige sent me this email on the last night:
Subject: good luck....
To: "Tara Livesay"
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009, 5:24 PM
so lyd is eating dinner.. and im sitting there - she started standing up in her chair.. she stood all the way up. i had asked her to sit down twice.. she smiled at me and ignored. so i went over there and swatted her on the butt. she laughed, sat down, and kept on eating.
good luck with her when she is my age.
- I think it is funny when 14 year old kids wish their parents luck. (Also implying that she has always been and is OF COURSE *the* model child.) Little does Paige know, we will need a lot more than luck to survive the next 18 years of child-rearing.
- Marathon training report week two: Mon, Tues and Wednesday runs were great. I felt fairly elephantine on my 7 mile run Friday, but the eating out and 432% Santo Domingo humidity maybe played into that? The cross-training day was very fun with a full gym at my disposal.
- I now have a virtual running partner in Los Angeles and a virtual Physical Therapist in Iowa. I am waiting on the virtual dietitian to show up next.
- Troy decided to do five of seven with me on Friday. I was partly touched at the gesture and partly annoyed because I knew he would soon be hobbling around in pain ... And he *is* hobbling around in pain. He wore Keen Sandals. I cannot say anything nice about that shoe-wear decision.
- I secretly think that raising 26K (or 1,000 per mile) might not be out of the question. I not so secretly hope that it comes to pass. Between coffee shops in SD and other side efforts you just never know how this might all play out. Do you think that is unrealistic?
- Just to make it clear that we are no longer vacationing, we woke to Lydie covered in vomit and crying. Noah has a killer cough accompanied with sore throat and headache that I managed to pick up from the D.R. and now we are having coughing contests to see who can best annoy Troy and Isaac (our respective bunkmates). Hoping against hope that the issues can stay isolated to the three of us.
- Today a team of 30 arrive to work with Heartline for the week. They will be doing a few things but their #1 purpose is to put on the annual nanny training that Heartline offers to other orphanages. We're hoping for a good turnout. The training will cover all sorts of topics with the main goal of improving quality of care for these kids who now must reside in orphanages for a couple of years. (Rather than months.) It is assumed that most folks come into a job knowing how to properly care for a child. That could not be further from the truth. The objective of the training is to teach about loving and bonding with a child in a way that will allow them to then go love - and be loved by their new family. It is no small thing, please pray for the training taking place June 16-20.
- Paige has taken on a special project, we're praying for her and her project and hoping it is a blessing all around.
- On Friday one of my very closest friends in the entire world is showing up here. Amie and Tim arrive for a four day visit, Troy and I are looking forward to time with them ... we've got lots of history and lots to catch up on too. Tim is our guest speaker at PAP Fellowship this coming Sunday.
- Tina (my little sister) ran a marathon this weekend. I am now (right this very moment) informing her that she better be ready to slow it down when it comes to running with this heavy-legged sister of hers. [Good race Tina, you athletic jerk!]
- Thank you to our guest bloggers from last week - you were awesome.
- The rest of the borderline obnoxious (self) portraits from our trip are below ... (and more proof that Troy stayed healthy)
While this one is more along the lines of "I am drunk on your love". And this is Troy acting Mafia and acting Mafia in a bathrobe. I'm pretty sure he was ordering a hit right there. And this hotdog stand was always closed; possibly waiting on a bailout. (That photo was taken for you, lards - you know who you are!)
This concludes the trip report.
And now back to your regularly scheduled reality.