Haiti Fact #8:
Most meals at Haitian restaurants come with a side of chopped cabbage and carrots mixed with hot sauce. This dish is called pikliz (pronounced peek-lees) and should not be mistaken for cole slaw.
Haiti has thrown problems at us basically since the moment we arrived. Facing issues requiring immediate attention kept us on our toes and made it difficult to actually relax. While desperately trying to temporarily turn off the worries by watching a Netflix movie kind of succeeded, the issues were always waiting when the movie ended. But that mindset is just a memory now. I speak Creole well enough to not think about it in everyday situations. Driving still deserves my full attention and respect, but the days of dreading it ended a while ago. The everyday routine is starting to become a non-event, freeing us up to pursue other objectives. Right after arriving I saw a huge mountain looming over Cap-Haitien and decided that I needed to hike it. This past Saturday, we finally did. All of a sudden, life is no longer a constant struggle to keep my head above water. It feels like an opportunity to draft up some new objectives for the next eight months.
A new situation calls for new goals. Teaching is still my main job, so I want to continue to work on lesson planning and classroom management. That’s not all though. Due to its abundance and low prices, we end up eating tons of fresh food. While that is absolutely a blessing, it does eventually lead to one missing freezer food and preservatives. So rather than resent the extra time spent in the kitchen, I want to invest some time in learning how to cook healthy food well. In terms of free time, Haiti has an abundance of mountains that continually beckon, especially after finally doing a big hike. Even cooler are the emerging friendships with Haitians. Of all the things that depend on actually being in Haiti, developing those friendships what I want to do the most. That mentality of focusing on what we can only do in Haiti is the positive spin on complaining about what isn’t possible here. For now I use that test to decide whether or not I should make something a priority. Finally, it continues to get clearer that this opportunity is more than just a chance to experience new things. I am here to work on spiritual things too. That is the most nebulous area of my goal list; for now the best I can say is that I won’t neglect the calling and will keep on trying. So those are my updated priorities. But as always, one should expect surprises and changes to wreak havoc on all plans. After four months of this, I certainly expect some interruptions.
A special thank you to these donors: