Back at the house, I joined Bryn, Nikki, and the girls on the roof doing laundry. I still cannot do laundry to their satisfaction - something about the way I rub the clothes against each other isn't up to par. In fact, the only way that I can make the little squirting noise that every Haitian makes when washing clothes is by doing it with my mouth. I dunk a t-shirt in the soapy water and then start rubbing in against my knuckles while making a wet squirting sound with my mouth. The girls just about die laughing every time I do it.
By this point, I was really getting frustrated by the fact that the older girls were still up at Thomasin. I love the younger girls like crazy, but it was more with the older girls that I formed deep and meaningful relationships. I had been looking forward to spending quality time with them for months, and now that I was finally in Fort Mercredi, they were not. I had a few serious talks with the younger girls about adoptions that had fallen through and the fact that it is not at all because of them that they did not work out. On the roof this Saturday morning, they were asking me all about bodily functions such as passing gas and throwing up - how do they happen, why do they happen, do they happen to everyone? I hope at least a few of them go into medicine because they are intrigued by all things physiological.
DebbieMy laundering got cut short by the arrival of a team of 15 Americans from Chelmsford, Mass. I met them downstairs and spent the next few hours helping them get settled. The kids and the team unpacked their 30 suitcases of clothes, peanut butter, tuna fish and toiletries. You know, sometimes the kids drive me crazy because they will not help me out, but other times, they are as willing and cheerful little workers as I've ever seen. Saturday was one of those days, and they worked tirelessly, putting items on shelves and running deliveries to the library and to my room. When the team went off to visit the babies, the boys and younger girls helped me carry tables and chairs into the depot so that the Americans could have a comfortable spot to leave their belongings, eat lunch, and catch their breath.
In the afternoon, Nikki and I took the boys back up to the soccer field for another game. Honestly, they shouldn't call us interns, they should call us soccer moms. We were playing when the men who had caused the skirmish with Bernadin and Miscardet came strutting onto the field. I immediately cleared our boys off the field. But our ball had gone over the wall into the neighborhood, so I told Nikki to take the boys to the house while I waited with Duck and Daniel for the ball to be retrieved by our friend Oudy. Bernadin was standing with us and I didn't want him to stay since he had been involved in the original tiff, so I sent him with Nikki. He walked to her, said something in her ear, and then came right back to me. Disobedient, darling little boy. Oudy couldn't find the ball, so I took the boys and we left the field. As we were walking past the men, the culprit from Friday called out in Creole, "You've got a nice body, white girl." I turned around and gave him the dirtiest look I could muster. "Don't talk to me and don't ever bother my little brothers again, you freak." "What? All I'm saying it that you have a nice body," he kept it up. I wanted so badly to walk right up to him and punch him in the face, to prove to him that he couldn't roll all over my boys. I wanted to deal with it right then and there so that after I left, my boys would be safe and undisturbed. But there were seven of them and 1 of me, so I walked away. Duck and Bernadin were as tense as I've ever seen them and we didn't talk the whole way back to the orphanage.
We walked in the gate and I said under my breath, "Nice body! I would've killed you, freak." I started to walk away when Bernadin asked, "Keziah, what would you have done if he had touched you?" I didn't say anything, just looked at him for a minute and then punched the air. My bodyguard shook his head, pointed to himself, and punched the air too. "You can't just tell me to leave like that, Keziah. I won't walk away and leave you." "I know, Bernadin, but I know that you'd fight for me and I don't want you to get hurt." "Yes, well I don't want you to get hurt!" he answered earnestly. What do you say to that? There's nothing to say, so I hugged him.