June 30
Today was a fun experience! We were at the beach for about 3 hours. We had our first fried chicken and fried plantains - yum! We bartered with the beach merchants who don?t let you go unless you buy something even if it?s only a few hundred pesos. I got my hair braided ? not a fan, oh well, had to try it!

Happy Canada Day!

So, how are we 3 days in? Ummm, pretty good! The house that we have is amazing to DR standards and with some TLC would be a beautiful N.American beach house! Consequently, our first day and night here we suppressed our heebee-geebees and upon waking up Chris promptly got the bleach out (can you believe I forgot Benefect?!!!) and dismantled the cupboards and picked off all the pinkish-white furry mold and wiped them down. I cleaned all the dishes. Phew, that felt better. Now we can cook and eat in confidence well, more anyway. On that note, the mangoes are incredible here!

The kids are doing great, maybe getting a bit bored. Caleb is chomping at the bit to do SOMETHING, Chris too! But it?s been good to have some down time to switch gears, observe, absorb. Grace and Caed love their little jungle they have in the backyard. We have bananas, limes, coconuts, passion fruit and pineapple growing back there! Fun! Thank God for the swing too, Caed and Grace love just swingin? away. They have named the neighborhood dogs (that bark a lot! Like 5 mins straight in the middle of the night!) and every gecko they find and the cat that appears to have come with the house. Grace has mentioned a few times that she wants to go home, ?why do we have to be here for 6 weeks??. She?s scared of the spiders and I?m sure just feels out of sorts. Josiah found a stash of machettes and was a fruit ninja for a day. Anna and Josiah have been doing a lot of reading and Caleb has been trying to find shade and a cool breeze. We are sweating but it?s not as hot as I thought it would be, there does tend to be a nice breeze most of the time.


July 2

A team of 25 arrived from Texas today and we?ll be joining them in their work (and fun!) here. Our 3 older kids went on a day trip with them to ride the ?27 waterfalls?, they loved it!!!

Yesterday afternoon was a turning point for the kids, especially Grace! We had a great time at Ville Esperenza (A Haitian Village)! We attended the dedication of three houses that a team from England helped complete which was very touching. Two houses were for young Moms with babies and another for a family of three (and now with the house they can bring their 2 other children over from Haiti!). As you can imagine the little kids flocked to us and held out their hands to be held which we gladly did. I had the cutest little 2 year want ?up?. So up she came! Caed, Grace, Anna and Jiah all had kids cling to them too! It was awesome! Jiah had little underwear-less boy cling to him and want up! And up he came! Impressive eh? It was cool trying to talk to the kids as they speak Creole. So they understood a lot of our french questions! Anna was loving actually having a reason to use her A+ french skills! On our way home Grace said that now that she met the kids she wants to stay! Yay!


July 6
We experienced our first Haitian church service on Sunday (3rd) - it was beautiful! I could really sense the Holy Spirit there and man, do they sing!! We had a 2 sisters sit with us, Anna Christina (8) and Anna Bella (3) and Anna Christina fell asleep on Chris and little Anna Bella sat like a little angel on Anna Joy?s lap chewin? her gum with her cute overbite for the whole service! Needless to say, they both have found a spot in our hearts and we look for them every time we visit! Don?t worry, we?re not bringing them home with us, they have a Mom, a Dad, a Grandma, a sturdy house with water and power and food everyday, they are happy with their world!

Monday and Tuesday (4th and 5th) were great! We spent both days in Villa Esperanza with the Hatian people. We?ve gotten to know a handful of the kids by name and really enjoy hanging out with them. I?ve had my hair braided by sweaty little hands a few times!

To give you an idea of the actual stuff we?ve been doing here?s a little summary:
Grace has played with lots of kids, washed mangos and put them out to dry and scooped dry soup into smaller bags. Caed has carried around tons of toddlers and helped with the mangos, Anna has dispensed meds at the pharmacy (!), played with kids and learned how to accept, ?tu es muy bonita? (you are very beautiful) from many a boy! Josiah helped paint a new school, helped package individual dry soup bags and paid his dues for all those years that HE was the little boy tackling the big boy - the little boys love him! Caleb was recruited to make cement and continue the walkway in the village and quickly made friends with the Samaritan Foundation pick up driver, Hermes, and did errands with him including getting him out of the ditch on the CRAZY stone road to the village!

Chris is a team leader at Villa Espernza (the Haitian village where we have been most of the time) making sure the new jewelry shop gets painted and set up ready to open! And I have been helping make 250 sandwiches for the kids snack program, helping with the dry soup packing, holding kids and helping hand out the kids snack. Kids 3-12 come to the village church for a songs and a story, a super quick craft and then on the way out they get a cup a juice and a bag with a sandwich, a mango, cookies, a hard boiled egg and a treat.

Sorry this took so long to get posted ? We?ve been processing and adjusting. Thanks for visiting our blog and showing your support in this way! We appreciate your prayers and love! We?ll try to keep these posts up!





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