I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, the house sold. Yay! We decided to worry about the house stuff upon our return, and we left for Haiti on April 27th. I’m so glad for the trip, but it was really hard for me emotionally. We traveled with about 20 people from The Grove, but split our time once there between group stuff, trying to find a house to rent, and navigating life in Haiti without the comfort of a team leader. It was as difficult as you can imagine it to be.
We did have a truly Haitian experience our first time out by ourselves. We hired a driver to take us about 12 miles from the guest house we stayed at in Tabarre, to Titayin, where we were to meet up with another missionary couple and look at a house for rent. As we were leaving the neighborhood, we turned the corner only to discover that some men were cleaning out the car catchers and the road was blocked with rubble and debris. We, plus the three cars behind us maneuvered some diligent 18-point turns to go back in the direction we came from and try a different route. We found another street, in which some entrepreneurial young men decided that this was the perfect opportunity to earn a little more that day, and charge cars a toll to pass. We waited in line for each of the ten cars in front of us to argue with the self-proclaimed toll collectors, when it was finally our driver’s turn. I have to say that Jean was nothing if not calm. I don’t speak Creole, but I was still impressed by his assertive, yet calm, "no way". A short 45 minutes later, and we were finally on National One headed out of Port-au-Prince towards our destination. The rest of our day went surprisingly smooth.
The rest of our week was split between the Good Neighbor Orphanage, and begging rides and meeting with a vast array of Haitians and Expats. It was a good, productive, and emotionally draining week. I really missed my kids.
On the way home, we had a layover in Atlanta. We were commiserating about the fact that we had roughly five days to sell the rest of our belongings, pack up a house, and move somewhere, yet we didn't have a place to rent yet. As it turns out, a family from our church (He was on the trip, She is in my Bible study), has a place for rent, and they would rent to us for only 10 weeks! Yay!
We got home around midnight on May 6th, got up a few hours later and went to church. We spent Monday and Tuesday getting rid of most of our stuff, packing on Wednesday and Thursday, then finally moving out on Friday. Sounds pretty smooth, no? It. Was. Not.
We've lived in our (former) home for over nine years, and I have never had to pack a house while entertaining a toddler. It was tortuous. I'm glad she's still alive, because there were a few dicey moments when I thought to myself, "I'll just let her play with those chemicals and choking hazards for a few minutes so she won't scream or pull things out of this box I'm trying to pack right here."
Also, the husband who never gets sick, got sick. Like for realz. Gary went in for a blood test to check for malaria on Thursday. We're still waiting for the results, because apparently a test and access to malaria meds is the one thing Haitian health care has up on the U.S. His doctor actually asked GARY how to test for malaria. I'm all... "Dude, you best be going in the hall to google that, let's instill a little confidence in your skills, shall we?"
Noah and I went to his Kindergarten alma mater, and the school I taught at for the last three years of my teaching career, to speak in chapel on Friday. Yes, the same Friday that was Moving Day. I was nervous. I cried. I hope God was heard.
Grammy and Pappy were on Crazies duty, all day, and we had some wonderful friends show up and help us move and clean on Friday. With their help, we got everything moved and into the new place with 15 minutes to spare until our deadline. In the last 15 minutes we were in our house, it finally hit me as I peeked in the kids' rooms one last time. So many wonderful memories... newlywed bliss, home projects gone awry, babies coming home, middle of the night feeding and cuddling, Christmas trees. I fought the ugly cry and lost. This has been a really great season of life. And while I'm equal parts scared and excited for the next one, it is sad to leave this part behind.
Yesterday included laying around like a lard on the crib mattress turned couch, eating more than my share of ice cream, and sifting through carelessly packed boxes. Sunday is always my favorite day of the week, so I took the kids to church by myself. Gary's feeling a little better today, so here's hoping he's on the mend and that it isn't actually malaria.
Here's to a brand new week, one that does not include moving!