Thursday, January 3, 2008

Friday, Dec. 28th

On Friday afternoon, Nikki and I took the boys up to the seminary to play soccer. We finished one game and then a bunch of men from behind the wall came onto the field. We play against men from behind the wall frequently, because it's a good challenge for the boys, and because we have no power to tell them "No." So we let the men join our teams and a new game started. It was all fine until I heard yelling from the far left goal. I looked over and there was one of the men yelling and shoving Bernadin, of all people! Apparently, there had been a shot on the goal that both of them were defending. The man told Bernadin to let him cover it, so Bernadin backed off and let the man take it. But his tactic didn't work well and the ball went behind the goal for a corner kick. The man immediately began yelling at Bernadin, saying it was his fault. Bernadin was furious and as the man yelled and pushed him, Bernadin yelled and pushed back. The men, who are all full grown and literally towering over our little boys, were gathered around, telling Bernadin - not their friend - to cool down and to get off the field for a little while. Bernadin kept responding angrily and the man who had started it all kept yelling things to provoke him. I dropped everything and ran onto the field, my heart beating a mile a minute. It was such a strange situation; after all the times that Bernadin had protected me, here I was, running to protect him. I got into the middle of it, holding Bernadin back and whispering to him to take it easy, that I had it under control, just relax. And then I turned on the man, and bellowed at him that if he wanted to play soccer with us, he better be able to play without giving my little brothers a hard time. "Fine, fine," he grumbled, and ran onto the other side of the field. I grabbed Bernadin. He was pacing, couldn't stand still, his heart was thundering, and he was upset like I have never seen him. He looked like he might burst into tears or punch someone in the nose, it was hard to tell. I don't even know what I said to him, but he did calm down some and go back into the game.

All was normal for another 20 minutes or so, until I heard more yelling and saw the same man yelling abuse and insults at Miscardet. Miscardet yelled something back and then ran off the field. I was already on my feet and halfway to the provoker when I saw Miscardet coming over the short wall with 2 huge rocks in his hands. I was yelling at the men, but I instantly switched to yelling at Miscardet, "Miscardet!! Miscardet!! PUT THOSE DOWN! Do not throw those rocks!" My friend, Enoch, from the neighborhood grabbed him and he dropped the rocks and let Enoch lead him off the field. "We're leaving, now!" I yelled and got our boys off the field.

We were at the seminary gate when Stev suddenly realized he had forgotten his sandals back on the field. I told Nikki to take the boys back to the orphanage while I would go with Stev to get the sandals. We walked away, but seconds later, I heard footsteps and there was Bernadin, running to catch up with us. He didn't say a word, just walked beside us. We retrieved the sandals without incident and went back to the orphanage where we found Nikki and Argusto on their way up to make sure we were all right. Later, Nikki told me that when I had walked away with Stev, the boys had been adament that they go with me. When she said no, Bernadin just looked her in the eyes and said very calmly, "I am going with her." The rest of the boys wouldn't go down to the orphanage; Nikki had to tell them 10 times to get up and walk. Duck told Nikki that if those men bashed my head open with a rock, he would bash theirs open!

Back at the orphanage in the evening, I gave Bernadin a big package of cookies to hand out to the kids. They mobbed him! It is insane how much these kids live for sweets and treats.

Edeline and cookies
Jessica and cookies

The older girls were still at Thomasin with Dr Bernard, so when I went in to kiss the rest of the girls good night, they jokingly asked me if I wasn't going to kiss Stephanie Q good night too. I took them up on the offer and went around the room, kissing invisible girls, having conversations with them, even chasing down an elusive Nounoun who apparently didn't want to be kissed good night. The younger girls were going wild laughing at me. They absolutely love it when I go blaze like that.


Stephanie J

Nelcia and me



Angela said...

Oh Kez, Your killing me here! You don't let your parents read this blog do you? They would hog tie you and kidnap you to keep you from going back (because that's what it would take, right?). My heart aches for you and the kids and the terror you must have all experienced!!

Mandy... read no further! I think my heart would stop beating or start pounding hard to hear of someone treating my son this way! Bernadin is so loyal and brave!!!

Cracking up at your goodnight stories... so like you to make all the kids laugh and make a regular night a funny and unforgetable one!

Again... so glad I'm reading all this AFTER finding out it's over and safe!!!

ange said...

Kez are you going to go back to Haiti and stay there at some point? You have such a wonderful way with the kids and they love you so much. Thank you for the stories and the pictures, you know how much I love to see my girlies!
Thanks for sharing cookies with them, wanna come to TX and visit us when they get here?