First of all, the kids are doing great. I arrived in Port Au Prince a little before 2 and then got to our house around 4:15 yesterday just in time to eat a little dinner and then pick up the kids to go play at Hope Rising. It was so good to see them and we had a great time hanging out on the swings, singing “Old McDonald” in English with the younger girls, and just catching up while the older boys all played soccer (my ankle is still not 100% so I just watched). After leaving Hope Rising, we came home, the kids showered, and then we had service at our house. It was a really good night and it was great to see the kids. They continually asked about Jess, about Sophie, and about Elli (I am not sure of the spelling, but it is what all of the kids call Elijah) and they are so ready for all of us to be together. It is so difficult to leave Jess and the kids in America, but it is also so fun to be able to see the kids and hear how things are going for them. I must have had at least 7 of them tell me what their grades were on their last report card even though I was the one who gave them out! Samara, of course, was very clingy the whole time I was with them and would hardly let me talk to anyone else. At home, when Jess and I are trying to hold a conversation together for too long, Sophie will oftentimes make a really loud noise to try and get our attention focused back on her…That is pretty much exactly what Samara did for the entire hour we were at Hope Rising. I could keep going on about how big the kids are now (Apolon especially), how well they are doing in school (we should have 100% passing), or how the House Moms have all said they are behaving well, but I won’t. I will, however, share something funny that happened after service last night and then go pick the kids up from school.
After service I made all of the kids tell me 1 good thing and 1 bad thing that has happened since I was here last. I gave them a minute to think and they were clearly struggling to know what to say. I told them that we would start with the good thing and it could be absolutely anything they wanted it to be. Apolon was up first, and he proceeded to tell me the best thing was when he swept the driveway yesterday. Everyone laughed, but that was actually his answer. So then Woodly was up, and he told me that the best thing was when he mopped the boys’ area. I quickly saw where this was going so I tried to explain to them and start again. Well, out of the 19 kids there, 18 of them described to me a chore they had recently done at the house. The 19th, Gladine, had by far the best answer of all. Gladine said the best thing for her was when she saw me walk into the house earlier that day because she missed me…Gladine won!
So, it was time to do the negative thing and I had no idea what we were in store for now. Zalex started, and the worst thing that had happened to him was that his stomach was currently not full. So we moved on, and of the remaining 18 kids, 17 of them said the worst thing was that they got angry when they were told to go to bed when they did not want to. Vageley was the different one this time because he actually told on himself. He said the worst thing was that he kept making Miliane (one of his house moms) angry with him because he would not listen to her. I obviously need to have a talk with Vageley prior to Miliane coming back this weekend, but it was really cute because it was almost like he needed to get his poor behavior off of his chest.
Clearly I did not get the answers I was looking for, but it was really funny just the same to hear what came to their minds first when asked those 2 questions. They are such kids, even the older ones. It was reminiscent of sitting around my dinner table when I was a child or teenager because I am sure those are the types of answers I gave my parents. Even now, when Jess asks me a question like “how are you feeling,” my normal answer is something like “fine” or “neutral.” It was basically their version of that. The best part of that time, however, was not their answers. It was the fact that we were all sitting around, enjoying each other’s company, and just talking. It will be so great to all be together down in Haiti again.