I woke up to those blasted roosters at about 4:30 this morning, I have been restless ever since. The three little girls all got up at 6am to start their day of bickering and one-upmanship. Annie loves to get started telling at the other two "NO LYDIE" and "NO BEE BEE" - thereby making an attempt at establishing herself as the big boss early in the day. Lydie pretty much snubs her and ignores it. Phoebe yells back. That yelling meant that the other three were up by 6:20. Six kids awake at 6:20 on a Saturday sleep-in morning. So awesome.*
I had to make a mental switch in the marathon training. I was looking ahead too far at all the miles and started resenting it. My brain is now back to one run at a time, one day at a time. (It is something about being told I have to do a certain number of miles. I feel rebellious toward it after a while and just want to go as far as I feel like going.)
Yesterday we left around 6:30 for 12 miles on the road that runs past the U.S. Embassy and goes all the way to Route Freres. We leave together but we end up running at our own pace and not together for much of it. I was loving the run, being careful to make my water/Gatorade last all 12 miles because our water boy was not able to meet us. It was a good run up until mile 10. I have been getting bad cramps in the bottom of my feet on many of the long runs. I run with the cramps because walking does not really make them less severe at that point. It KILLS! When I got home I googled "runner with cramps in bottom of feet" and learned that I should increase my calcium and run on a better terrain. I'll write to the Ministry of Transportation and the Parks and Rec. Dept. and let them know what I need done.*
Lately there is a Rasta guy that I always see. Each time I run by him he says, "Hey can I run with you?" I say "sure". He then says "Okay, maybe next time." We've had this same exchange four times now. I am kind of hoping he never actually pulls up his dreadlocks to join me.
Last week we had an entertaining exchange with a guy near the Embassy. Running through that area is always a little bit intimidating. There are swarms of people waiting to get into the gate and lots of cars and trucks trying to park on the side of the road that we're running on. We almost need to run while swiveling our necks continuously back and forth to be sure someone is not trying to park on us. (No pedestrian right of way ... no friendliness toward runners.) As we came up on the Embassy a guy started running right next to me. It was obvious that he was not a threat, I was mellow ... Beth was right there with me. He started asking all sorts of questions about where we were running and how far we'd come. For some reason he thought we were headed downtown to the Palace. I said, "No, not running to the Palace." He asked where I lived, I gave the vaguest answer possible, "Port au Prince." He asked my name. I made the mistake of saying Tara, rather than Madame Troy. (Beth scolded me.) It was a pleasant enough exchange but then he asked if he could run with us frequently because he wants to be a cop and needs to get in shape and practice his English. I said, "Nah, we're not really looking for more running partners." His response ended our little time together, he said "Oh no, that's not good because you're sexy you know." I said "Oh NO, No, nooo - don't saaaay that!" I meant it like, come on man - don't go there. He heard it as me disagreeing with his "compliment" all together. He said, "No - really you are, you are!" Beth said if I had introduced myself as Madame Troy, he probably wouldn't have gone there. (Embassy traffic)
I doubt I'll ever get to a place where running in this city feels relaxing. But I am realizing that there is value to being out there on the street experiencing the real pulse of life. Riding around in a car with the windows rolled up lets you see the city, but you miss out on the grit and intensity of it. On my feet in the middle of the chaos I can experience much more. Smelling it, hearing it, and seeing it all at once is much different. Even now, after a year of being out there multiple times a week I'll frequently be caught off guard by my own tears as I pass by so much hurt and so much need.
We promise to post a batch of Medika Mamba graduates later today. We're interviewing a lady for a position at the guest house, painting, bringing the teens from our neighborhood to youth group, and breaking up baby fights this Saturday.
Have a good weekend.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." John 14: 1-4