We woke up on the roof around 6:30am (so much for sleeping until 7, but 6:30 is pretty good for me. Usually when I'm in Haiti, I'm awake by 5:30). The girls immediately began asking who had been scared during the night. My favorite answer was Guerdine's. She said, "I know this sounds silly, but I'm not afraid because I feel like I'm closer to God up here than when I am down in our room."
I spent most of the day downtown with Emmanuel, Bernadin and Jude, running errands and waiting for Dr. Bernard at the office.
I try to reward kids when I see them acting particularly well or being helpful. Jude Tilus worked like a horse all Christmas day, preparing for the party and then cleaning up after the party. And he did it all without being asked; in fact, he asked me if he could please come help. He is nearly 12 years old, 3rd in his class with an average of 8.26, and unlike the other boys his age, well-behaved to everyone, nannies, Dr Bernard and interns included. Some of the little boys like Stev and Richecarde and even Job will be rough and impatient with the 4 NLL boys (TiJude, Ernso, James and Monsanto) simply because they were the littlest themselves for years and that's how some of the oldest boys treated them, so they are responding in like. Not Jude, he is gentle and inclusive of the littlest boys, helping them with their homework and applauding their efforts on the soccer field. So when it came time to choose one of the boys to take along on my errands, Jude was an easy pick.
On the soccer field Thursday afternoon, Job and some of the other younger boys spent a long time running around in the grass behind the goal. I was wondering what they'd been doing when Job came over to me very excitedly and very proudly. "Look, Keziah! I have a dog!" He showed me a little zandolit (biting lizard) that he had caught and tied to a stick. He wanted to bring it home to be his pet, but by the time we were done playing soccer, he had let it go.
Ernso, TiJude and James don't get to play much when all the older boys are playing, so they would just hang out with me, picking fruit from the trees, playing in the sand, throwing rocks, and showing off their muscles by breaking sticks.
I get approached by men in Haiti quite frequently and they usually ask within 60 seconds whether I am married, whether I am engaged, and whether I have a boyfriend. The answer to all of those is "no" which to them seems to mean that I am looking for one and they should offer themselves. It gets very annoying. Of course, a group of men showed up at the field and sat down with me and started the usual barrage of questions. I decided that I couldn't handle another of those "No, I don't have a fiance, but I'm not interested in you and would you please leave me alone with my kids" conversations, so I foolishly went with Plan B: creating an imaginary fiance. I was hoping that I could say that I was engaged and they would stop pestering me about that and either talk about something else or just walk away. Just my luck, they wanted to know all about my non-existant fiance. For a little while, I made up ridiculous facts about my fictional man, and then I escaped to the Drisk and Job who were sword-fighting with huge branches. "Don't ever tell lies, boys! Even if you think it'll protect you. Just don't tell them because one lie leads to another lie!"
Back at the orphanage, I was met at the stairs by Jessica. She didn't say a word, just threw her arms around me. I have no idea what made her decide to be my friend again, but I wasn't about to complain. I hugged her back tighter than I'd hugged anyone since getting to Haiti.