Friday, May 13, 2011

recreation haiti style

In the incredibly slow-moving year of 2010 ... The year we beat our heads against walls trying to secure straight and legitimate answers from the State Dept ... The year best described as the "Year of DACWIEE"  (Don't Assume Conspiracies When Incompetence Explains Everything)  ... All that aside we were able to enjoy all that the USA has to offer. We were discontent, home-sick, whiny, jerks about it at times but even so we managed to take advantage of the multiple opportunities for fantastical recreation.

We had a bajillion choices. We tried half of them, including playgrounds, parks, water parks, big swimming pools, little swimming pools, vortex pools, wave pools, lakes, lazy rivers, sprinkler parks, and more. There were church groups, play dates, school events, shopping, and summer camps. We never ever lacked entertainment options.

Quite frankly there were multiple times when we wished our kids had no idea about all the things there were to do do do do do outside of the house. We were less than fond of how quickly they caught on to the go-spend-do lifestyle.

In stark contrast - here in Haiti we are almost always home every late afternoon and every evening. We are frequently home on weekends. The choices for recreation are near nil. We are not being tricked into handing over cash in exchange for entertainment at every turn. It is a good thing because here all our cash is reserved for car repairs. neverendingcarrepairs.

We make our own recreation, and we have fun doing it.  We love our nights in and we enjoy time together. We make fun when fun cannot be found.

Here are a just few of the ways we entertain ourselves at home:   Sunbathing pool baptismal-side after swimming
    Acrobatics by Noah
    front yard sun time - Lydie, Isaac, Noah, Peanut
    Making up games such as, "Toss the Stuffed Animals into high dusty window"
      Stuffed Animal purgatory

      Shooting rats on the bird-neighbors roof at dusk - a family favorite!

        pellet gun + good eye = dead rat
        • BeachBodyInsanity workout where we laugh our butts off doing our own lard version of Shaun T's workout ... even with all that laughing, some of us still have a big butt.
          Morning workouts with the three youngest

          • WWF style wrestling matches that almost never end well
          WWF - weird white freaks
          • Internet Cafe on the Smack Talk Porch (this is the place where everyone brings an internet device and we chat talk smack while sipping on a beverage and surfing the web)
          The Smack Talk Porch
          •  Impromptu dance parties

          • Hoola Hoop contests, soccer, biking around perimeter of walled in property, treadmill time, and more general tom-foolery

          You can see we have no shortage of things to do, and we never even have to leave home.
          When we moved to Port au Prince almost three years ago we had a little serious marital spat. 
          Troy said we could not rent the house two blocks from Heartline because it was "too nice" and "too new". He made us look at horribly dank and depressing places miles and miles from Heartline, and all for less than a difference of $200 a month in rent. Truth be told, Troy's apprehension was less about the rent money and more about appearances. 

          Troy was concerned that the nice, 4 bedroom, clean house with a little swimming pool would seem extravagant to our supporters. He worried our donors wouldn't approve. I attempted to reason with Troy that our kids would be so much more entertained and happy with the swimming pool option and I would be so much more happy without mold growing on the walls and for $200 a month he might be buying my sanity and longevity in Haiti. When all reasoning failed, I cried. 

          In the end Beth had to step in and tell John to tell Troy to pull his head out - and stat! 

          John renamed the pool a baptismal and all Troy's problems were solved. Now Troy is just doing the Lord's work. He stands ready to baptize believers at the drop of a hat.  Such a holy giver that guy. Suuuuch.a.giver.

        We will live here at least one more year before we move to the new property. I really love our house, I even love the guy that rents it to us. I love his goofy little swimming pool baptismal he put in front. I love that it feels like a respite from the real world of Port au Prince. More than that, I love that Troy came to his ever livin senses  - because that swimming pool is the gift that keeps on giving and it saves our butts over and over again.

        Mostly, I love that this is where life happens. This is where family time takes place. I love this spot because this is where my kids are growing up, this is where they play, this is where they fight, and this is where memories are being made.