The funeral for K was on Saturday. A gathering of the choir that had been singing for her took place Sunday. Funerals in Haiti are fairly intense and culturally the way grief is expressed looks different than what we're used to ...We've only been to three funerals in our time here.
A few things that we noted/experienced that are out of the ordinary for Americans ...
- After the funeral everyone walks together behind the hearse as it travels to the graveyard
- Some funerals will have a band playing (depends on if you can afford a band)
- Occasionally grieving people fall to the ground (cleanliness of ground doesn't seem to play into when or where that happens - no amount of grief could bring me to lie down in a Port au Prince street, but I digress)
- Grieving as loud as you wish or need
- The mom of the deceased (especially if the deceased is a young person) does not usually enter the graveyard. Moms should not have to bury their children, so the mother leaves the rest of the crowd before entering the cemetery
- Once to the place where K would be buried the casket was opened for one last viewing, that was mainly done for us (although we didn't ask for that) because we missed seeing the casket open at the funeral itself
- Before placing the casket into the cement encasement/tomb it is smashed with a rock (in order to damage it) and the handles are broken off to prevent anyone from coming to steal the casket and attempt to reuse it
- As we wove in and around the huge cemetery we saw many open tombs with bones visible
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This weekend brought big changes to our 2012 outlook ... a bunch of family and friends in MN were able to find great airfares to come see us. We now have family coming in March, May, and July and friends coming in June and December. We haven't had this many visitors since our first year here!
The three musketeers got matching baseball jersey shirts and decided to all wear them to school today, they posed for photos as they headed out this morning. It has been such a great few weeks of school with the kids coming home excited every day and eager to go each morning. We're very pumped for Jimmy and Becky's baby to come. We're all guessing it is a boy.
The dogs have to be all up in our mix anytime it is possible. This guarantees that we have a white spot of dog snot on our upper thigh most days. Delicious. Hazelnut won't be one year old until May but is looking like she'll be a bigger dog than Peanut once she's full grown. Peanut is the best Mastiff of all seven of the current Heartline Mastiffs (in our opinion) - She has totally perfected security detail and knows exactly when to bark and act tough and when to zip it. We've had Peanut since early 2006 and even as a non-dog person I am forced to admit I love that animal. Hazel needs to get a lot smarter and a lot less 'sou moun' before I'll ever claim to love her.