As I am sitting here in the Fort Lauderdale airport heading back to Jacksonville after a short trip to Haiti, I wanted to give you an update on my night last night. It is important to understand that, almost every time that I am returning to the states from Haiti, something happens. On one of my trips, I got an email informing me that my flight was cancelled (which it was not but I only found out after making a few international calls from Haiti and getting a little “frustrated” in front of the kids). On another trip I was having major car troubles and I was just hoping to be able to make it to the airport, which I did. A third trip, while it was after arriving at the airport, included our black truck being in an accident and our driver (it was definitely his last time driving for us) telling the other driver (whose fault he said it was) that it was ok if he went ahead and left leaving us with over $1000 of damages and our truck never quite being the same again. 2 trips ago, my flight from Port Au Prince was so delayed that I missed my next flight even with a planned 6 hour layover and I was lucky to get home by 11:00 that night.
Anyway, all of that sets up what happened last night. The kids came over for Danielle to begin taking updated pictures at around 5:3o, and my plan was to hang out until 8:00, do service together, and then tell the kids bye at around 8:30 so I could get everything situated prior to leaving. It was going very well until, at 8:30 when we got to the car, my tire was completely flat. Usually, that is not a big deal because we have a full-size spare and we would just change it. The problem being, our spare went flat the day before and I had not yet replaced it. So, it was 8:30, I had a flat, no spare, and I needed to leave at 5:15 the next morning.
I immediately called Lener to see if he had any ideas and he told me I should call Sauveir. Now, if you know Sauveir at all, then you know he is pretty much the ultimate problem solver for us. He found our car, our rental house, he helped me get my driver’s license, he takes care of the insurance on our car, and he most recently found the generator we installed at the kids’ house. So, I give Sauveir a call, and for the first time, after hearing my problem he says, “Wow.” Usually he just says ok and gets to work, but this time, since I needed a ride in about 8 hours, there was a chance Sauveir couldn’t come through. He says that he will make a couple of calls and then call me back. When he calls he says that he called the people he knows and they cannot do it. So, I am getting a little worried now, but I call Lener back and let him know where I am in the process. He tells me, don’t worry, his cousin has a truck and if I am willing to put gas in it, then he is sure that his cousin (his name is Wilky and he lives in Wisconsin) will not mind. I was very thankful, and I took him up on his offer after being really nervous for a little while that I may have to take a tap-tap to the airport the next day.
The drive in was pretty eventless other than way more traffic than I am used to at 5:30 because a couple of people had broken down in the middle of the road and left their cars there. But it made me think about how blessed we are with some of the relationships that GOD has given us in Haiti. We have some really good friends, some wonderful employees, and some people who would do anything to help us and we are really blessed in that way. I am so excited to get home and see Jess, Sophie, and Elijah, but I had a great time with the kids. They are doing really really well. The house moms are giving them some more freedom to be out in the community more, and I heard from more than 1 person that our kids are “different” than other kids there age. They are more respectful, they are nicer, and as of now they have earned a little bit of freedom. Herbison and Woodly are playing soccer on 2 competing adult teams and they are both doing really well. Our other older boys are playing on another community team and they are really like being out with friends and spending time being kids. They don’t go far away, and Lener is almost always with them, but I am really proud that our kids are becoming known as good, respectful kids. I told them that they will continue to have freedom and trust as long as they don’t do anything that would make us take it away, and I really think they understand that.