Long day. We did construction. Specifically, we helped lay a foundation of a house that will house two or four families. I can't remember how many. It was good hard work involving mostly, for me, moving cement in buckets. cement is mixed much the same way we did in Mexico except that it was mixed on the ground and it was very sandy and rocky. It seemed like it would crumble very easily. We were told that since the earthquake they have been laying footers. They dig trenches and fill them with cement and large rocks in layers. They then go about e feet up making a short wall of rocks and "motor" (the same cement). The larger the rocks the better. But they are very neat and precise in how they do this. We left around noon just when they started the short wall and came back to help them finish. I say wall, but looking at other houses of similar construction it looks like they will fill it in so the foundation is actually 3 or more feet thick. They then start making walls out of brick.
So I learned something about the culture today. Hatians don't generally smile unless there is something funny whereas we smile quite often. at first I thought it was a bit of mistrust, but I was reaurred it wass not by Daulus. Also, when children she us they yell "blanco/blanca" when we walk by.
Most of the groups stayed at the mission to paint while Ken, Tom, Brandon and I went back to the work site. An interesting thing happened. Kati and Amanda were talking to several children during there time painting even getting a little "help" from them. I guess while they were talking to some a little boy pulled out a condom and turned around as if he might put it on. Kati and Amanda walked quickly away.
So far everyone has been very hospitable and somewhat eager to speak with us. Hatians are very loving people and there is a strong sense of community with the ones we are around. The ones we worked with at the site are all people who work here at the mission. Some of them, if not all, have been affected by the earthquake. I heard one person tonight say that they lost a relative. There is actually a tent city on the mission grounds housing 30 to 40 families. Edwins went into town and bot beans, cornmeal, rice and oil for us. We are going to distribute it tomorrow.
I really like the phiosophy here. They aren't just supporting people here. They are trying to teach them responsibility and help them get back on their feet. The gift we give them tomorrow will be called a gift from us and not the mission.
Another cultural thing I noticed stems back top the African culture. Hatians pay great respect and honor to the "chiefs" or leaders. Louie and I are treated very well. Pastor Prophete told us that the first and only complete translation of the Creole Bible translates pastor as chief. He says this gives the wrong conotation as chiefs are not servants but are men whoare served.
There is a young man who does not belong to the mission who is tagging along with us. He seems to be generally interested in our culture and getting practice speaking English. It sounds like he wants to become a pastor. He asked if I would send him books, particularly, a commentary. He gave me his address. Later as we were walking back from the worksite (a very rocky road. I twisted my ankles three times) he asked me, in a round about way, if I could scholarship him so that he could come to an American university. People need money! He was not shy in his asking.
I got to talk to Tami online tonight. It is nice to be in another country and still be able to easily communicate with the outside world. The mission as wi-fi. It is kind of funny. All this poverty and yet we are able to communicate through the intenet.
It seems like the people who work for the missionare treated very well. They have food, clothes, access to the internet and I even saw an Ipod tonight.
I think the teens are loving it here. I am concerned with Patty however. She is not handling the heat very well. It did not seem like Louie was doing that good either although tonight he seemed a lot better. On the other hand my cousin Lisa seems to be doing great. I think she has the missions bug already. She expressed her gratitude in that her first missions trip was with me.
Okay. It is 10 and I need sleep. Breakfast is at 6:30. I'm not sure what we will be doing tomorrow morning. Hopefully construction. Tomorrow night we will do a light version of the VBS for kids who attend the mission school.