Update #1

Update #1

Hello to all,

These past 11 days have been overwhelming and very busy, and I finally have the time and good wifi to update everyone, so here it goes…

I first want to say thank you to everyone who came to the airport bright and early to send Rosie and I off on our journey. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to all you wonderful people, but I’m so grateful to have your love and support.

update1-img3I was blessed to have my first four days in Haiti spent with my dad. I got to show him this crazy place I now call home. He got to see where I will be teaching, the church, the beach, the dental clinic, and he got to see Port au Prince. I have never seen two men (my dad and Rosie’s dad) in such shock as I did when we were driving from PAP to La Vallee de Jacmel, where we are living. Everything that now seems normal to me, they were experiencing for the first time and I know just that drive alone changed their lives. Both dads said that pictures aren’t enough, you actually have to be there. In the pictures you can’t truly see the suffering, you can’t smell the trash, you can’t see the pain that’s hidden behind all their happiness and love for God on the outside. Even though our dad’s didn’t get to meet all of our friends or experience Haiti for very long, they quickly realized that we are in the right place. Surrounded by God’s love and some of the happiest people on this earth.

Now this brings us to last Saturday, we said our goodbyes, our dads left, and now we are in the real world. Not only the real world, but the real world in a foreign country where very few people speak the same language as us. It hasn’t been easy but that doesn’t matter because people are counting on us. People whose lives have been far from easy are finally getting the chance to turn their lives around, they get to learn English, go to college, and they get better jobs because of this and it helps them get out of the poverty cycle. Coming down here I didn’t realize how much we mean to these people, we’ve had 2 masses dedicated to us, we met the bishop and he thanked us, the students are doing two weeks of orientation for our class just so they will be prepared to begin schoolSeptember 7th. We have received so much love, respect, and gratitude this last week, it means so much to be welcomed by all the people in the La Vallee area.

We had orientation Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of last week and we do the same this week. I love all of our classes, the students are so eager to learn and very interested in me and Rosie. Our terminal classes, the last two grades, are very fun because they are the ones that have had the most English and they are our ages so it’s fun to interact with them. The 10th grade will be our hardest class because they are crazy and it’s difficult to keep them focused – we have a lot of fun in class but sometimes they have a little too much fun. I was worried about the 7th and 8th graders because they haven’t had any English or they’ve just had 1 year of English, but they are adorable. They were very shy but after class they were walking around speaking the English we had just taught them – “This is a flower. That is the sun. I’m wearing orange pants.” I’m excited to begin school and get to know the students even more!!

Living in a new country comes with new sights every day. Can you imagine taking a bath butt naked on your front porch or in the muddy river everyone drives through? Well it’s normal here and is a sight we see every time we leave the house. It is also very normal to walk down the street with a motorcycle helmet on, but why would you need one when your actually driving a motorcycle? It’s also very normal to have 7 people on a 2 person motorcycle or to have a mom hold her new born baby while the dad goes about 100 mph down the road. On market days you see alive animals strapped onto the back of motorcycles and if it is a pig it usually screams the entire ride. Maybe one day it will be normal to see these things but for now it’s still pretty odd.

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Your prayers are greatly appreciated as we are still adapting to living in a 3rd (probably 4th) world country, even though we are living like Haitian royalty with Vanite, it has still been difficult being away from friends and family.  Each day my body gets a little more use to the food, freezing showers, bugs, and no air conditioning. My Haitian word for the week is “nola” it is used when someone ask how you are, it means “I’m alive.” Thanks be to God.

Thanks again for all of your love and support it means the world, love you all!

Kirsten

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