My Brother Bob’s Visit
On December 1st we had a historic visitor…our first family member to visit us here in Haiti. While we have had many visitors (service teams, work teams, US dignitaries reviewing our AIDS program) having someone come just to visit us was a real treat!
We had told him that one of our staff members would be the one picking him up at the airport in PAP (75 miles or 2.5 hours to the east of us here in FDN). But as the time grew near we decided that we would go and pick him up personally. We took Matthew out of school and made the journey to PAP. He was very surprised to see us.
During his 10 days we tried to give him a varied experience. We visited the Nigerian Formed Police Unit (part of the UN group here) in PAP, had a brief visit with the TBA in the same day from Jamaica (my brother is the TFS in the Central) and then drove out to FDN. In our area we walked the rural paths in FDN, went to the open market (me in search of material to make new uniform skirts), enjoyed a half day at the beach, went to the harbor town of Miragoane to buy staff Christmas gifts (Bob helped keep tally of my purchases and was able to quickly calculate my savings when given a discount for volume purchases) and attended a typical Haitian wedding of one of our staff members. We put him to work as well: he preached in the FDN corps, played 1st cornet in our band, did devotions for the patients one morning, did devotions for the kids at Bethany Childrens’ Home, verified totals of charged prescriptions, helped me do the final check on moneys coming in from the cash register (kind of like counting kettles…this was challenging for him since we operate in “imaginary money”, dividing the actual currency “gourdes” by 5 to get “Haitian dollars”…hard to explain…) and the most fun…playing with Matthew.
He has returned to Chicago, very grateful to ride once again on well-paved roads and not have people honking all the time. Here is his new list of things he is thankful for that he shared with his staff on his return:
roosters don’t live in my back yard
God’s calling to those like Vi & Felix and many I met to sacrifice comforts to serve in Haiti and elsewhere
good public transportation
reliable postal service
rules of the road
washers and dryers
bread that doesn’t spoil in a day or 2
French classes in
Bob, thanks for coming! We really miss you!
If anyone else would like to come, the guest room is waiting!