Posted by Matt Bush

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Last week was a busy one at All Things New, and I want to share a little bit about what we have been doing lately.  Also, starting tomorrow, I want to tell 4 stories of things that have happened behind the scenes for ATN over the past couple of weeks.  I could tell 100 more, but I will focus on these 4 over the next couple of days.  I hope these stories encourage you, give you ideas of how you could help ATN or other organzations, and spotlight a few businesses and people that deserve to be spotlighted.  Today, however, I want to focus on last week.

As many of you probably saw on social media, this past Friday was Flag Day in Haiti.  Flag Day is a big deal here and is almost like Independence Day even though Haitian Independence Day is actually January 1.  The Haitian flag has a great deal of meaning and is a source of pride for Haitians and Flag Day here is definitely not like Flag Day in America (which will be June 14 if anyone is wondering).  Anyway, half of our kids were out of school both Thursday and Friday and the other half only had Friday off, so we decided to celebrate together for those 2 days.  On Friday, we let our leaders go to the parades in 2 of the local communities and then finish the day off at a big championship soccer match in Gressier.  They had a blast.  They actually showed up to one parade after it had already ended, but managed to get to another on time and see the championship soccer match.  

At the same time, we had our younger kids at our house most of the day.  They started the day by watching Elmo with Sophie.  This is really fun to watch for a couple of reasons.  The first is that everyone loves Elmo and the DVDs do a pretty good job of teaching the kids some english.  The second is that Sophie loves to put a pillow in Malayika’s lap and lay there for the entire hour that the DVD is playing.  It is one of the only times that she will just sit still and you can tell that Malayika loves it too (this is the picture at the top of the page if you are reading this on our website).  While they were watching Elmo, Jess was bringing small groups of them into the kitchen to make Haitian Flag cupcakes which were a big hit.  After Elmo was over they went back home for lunch and then came back a couple of hours later to watch another movie together and this time to paint their own Haitian Flag with Jess in the dining room.  While they were watching the movie, I kept falling asleep on the sofa and Jessica kept coming in and messing with me until I put Gladine on guard.  It was then her job to sit next to me and wake me up (without Jess knowing) every time Jess came into the room.  Basically we just had a fun day together celebrating Flag Day and being together.

To this point, you may be wondering why the title of the blog is about playing Xbox with the boys.  Well, since they did not have school on Friday, we put together a FIFA tournament that Thursday night for the boys.  They have become slightly obsessed with this game and always want to play, so I told them we would set this tournament up and they could stay at our house late (it ended at about 11 Thursday night).  So, here is my question for everyone:

Should I have let the boys beat me in the tournament?

This is an important question.  First of all, it is important to note that I very rarely play any video games.  In fact, in the past 10 years, my collective video game experience includes playing FIFA with the boys maybe a total of 6 times, so I am by no means a “gamer” and I have lost almost every time we played together.  I did, however, spend a little time on Google the day of the tournament learning as many tricks as I could and finding out who was the best club to choose in FIFA 2017, a fact I conveniently did not mention to anyone until after the tournament was over.  So, I guess the bottom line is this, I actually won the tournament.  Zalex is our best FIFA player currently, and I beat him 2 times in a row (we all had 2 teams in the tournament) with Manchester United against his Juventus and then Barcelona.  I also may or may not have then written in very large letters “Manchester United is the champion of the world” on our dry erase board.  Another thing that may or may not have happened is that I may have spent the following day asking everyone who was not a part of the tournament (the girls, the younger kids, and even the house moms) to ask our older boys who won just so they would all have to say “Matt did” while I was listening.

So, would you have let them win?  The reason I ask is that when I woke up the next morning (Jess had gone to bed before the tournament was over) I told Jess the news and her immediate reaction was, “I can’t believe you beat those boys in their tournament.”  To me, if I was playing Vageley or Mivinsley or Bibedson I would have let them  win, but it felt pretty good to beat these teenagers even if it was just a video game.  Also, now that they found out that I went online to learn how to play they are calling me the “Faux Champion” and they all want a rematch, so it looks like another tournament is in our future.  I will keep you updated on how it turns out.


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