Sunday, September 04, 2016

Labors and Rotten Shrimp and First Day of School


Labor Day weekend in Haiti has brought two labors and two babies already.  

Saturday morning we watched and supported as MarieWidline ushered her daughter into the world. This morning Celine showed up at 6:30 and meant business too. Her little boy joined us by 10:30 this morning.  

One weekend, two babies, both day-time births is a really nice gift for labor day weekend. 

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Last night Troy took me out on a date.  The kids won't let us live down the one time a year ago that we did not come home. (Because a nearby hotel room had A/C and it was just necessary for several reasons that particular night.)  Isaac opened the gate for us and as we pulled out he said, "OK, have fun, but don't do that thing where you stay out very late and make us worry and pace."

We had a very lovely meal and a great date night and got home at 9:30 and put everyone to bed and settled in to watch Stranger Things (only on episode three - don't tell us anything). I fell asleep 18 minutes in like I always do.  

Around 1am, I woke up thinking, "I am dying. For sure I am dying. Or I am dead and there is a literal hell and I am there."  It took me about two minutes to get a grip and realize that I was still alive and drenched in sweat and the sweat was toxic and made it feel like someone was jabbing every one of my pores with needles. The violent scene of heave ho -ing at the toilet for the next 15 minutes proved to me that food poisoning is a very real bummer and also it will leave you not so very fond of date night.  

I am sorry, I cannot recommend the $16 Shrimp Kabob at the restaurant near the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince.  The violent evacuation of the contents of my stomach is now finished. I still feel strange and oddly sweaty and weird tonight. I currently have an icepack in my waistband and that is enabling me to keep on.

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The Livesay kids start the 2016-2017 school year tomorrow.  Their teacher, Miss Page, emphatically states a readiness and willingness to start, and that, in my mind, makes her a champion among champions before she even begins.  

I cannot imagine being asked if I was ready to teach five kids in four grades and replying with anything other than despair and a refusal to live another moment. Teaching is hard. Teachers are a special kind of crazy bad-ass warrior. I stand in awe. 

We begin this, our SIXTH school year, in the cool little school-house building that was donated to us in 2011.  It seems a little bit weird to me that Paige was in this little school house not so very long ago, and that very same Paige is cooking up her second baby right now.  

Life is a freight train, and nobody can make the dang thing slow down.

The school house is located on the same property as Troy's office, which means the Principal can show up at any moment without notice and all students and faculty really hope that he does and that when he does he brings ice cold cokes for everyone.

We are SO VERY grateful for Page Butera and her willingness to serve our children and do this huge job of educating them. She is taking her first stab at juggling all five kids and their different curriculum - which is better than stabbing the kids  - that only happens when I am in charge. 

We are grateful to those of you that support us here.  Your love and generosity buys the Algebra and History books and pays the amazing teacher that will help these kids try to grow up and be contributing members of society.  Your love and generosity also allows me to be sitting at the Maternity Center on the front patio that peeks into a room with two healthy newborn babies resting in the arms of their mothers.