Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A New Normal

Well, it's been three months since the earthquake, and we are still working towards finding a new kind of normal for our lives here in Haiti. We have been living and sleeping back in our house for two months now, and we hardly ever get tremors that send us jumping out of bed anymore. Both the medical and the eye clinics are working out of a school building that wasn't damaged in the quake, and it is going fairly well. The school kids are back in their uniforms, making blessed noise during the day, going to classes in big army tents set up in the soccer field. Nora is growing, cruising around on the furniture, and totally oblivious to the fact that there was a life-changing event a few months past. Her newest adventure is food. She has discovered that she loves it, and we love watching her eat it.
Our Haitian friends are also getting their lives back on track as best they can. Through generous Stateside donations we've been able to help several of them rebuild their homes, plant their fields and set up sturdier temporary housing. Marie Lourdes and Emmanuel came to visit us over Easter weekend, and we have been trying to get Marie Lourdes some medical help for her illness. It was fun to have them here and remember the old days in Seguin. They tried to fill us in on all the local news.
Even though we have found new places to shop, new places to work, and new places to relax, there are still many things about the pre-earthquake days that I miss. Some days I miss them more than others. Here is a list of some of the things that I wish we still had here with us:

-Daphne. Her smile, her shy ways, her voice singing along to english praise and worship tapes, her hatred of tarantulas and roaches, her eagerness to learn crochet, her friendliness, her help around the house. We can't replace you, Daphne, and we miss you.

-CSI guesthouse on Delmas 62. Greg and Cathie are still in the guesthouse business and have relocated, but I'll always miss the house on Delmas 62. It was the first place I lived when I moved to Haiti, and it always felt like home to me.

-Caribbean Supermarket. You just can't find another grocery store in Port au Prince with grated cheese, bags of chocolate bars, lightly salted peanuts and lime tortilla chips. It still brings a shiver down my spine every time I remember that Ryan and Nora and I were blissfully shopping there three hours before it fell to the ground, trapping hundreds inside.

-The front porch at the old clinic. Preaching devotions just isn't the same now that all our patients are spread out in the front yard of the school, with a loud generator in the background and screaming school children rushing to class. I never thought I'd say this, but we need a megaphone!

-The Eye Clinic. I miss seeing my husband go to work every day at his own clinic. My heart hurts for him as he and his employees sweat like they're in a sauna in his classroom with plastic sheets on the windows. The sheets are to block the sun for better exams, but they block any breeze that comes through, too. It is hard to see them not be able to make glasses yet, also. I know it's frustrating for them and their patients.

There, I vented and it feels good. But I don't want to end on a sad note. There are so many things to be grateful for. First and foremost that we are all safe and healthy. I'm thankful that David and Evelyn came back to stay with us for a few months. I'm thankful for our house. I'm thankful that diesel and propane and food never became scarce, like we thought they might. I'm thankful that each Sunday more and more people keep answering God's call to salvation and giving their lives over to Him. And I'm thankful that God put us in Haiti for such a time as this.