I arrived in PAP and walked out of the airport at 10:15am. There was some communication mix-up between Dr B and me, so no one was there to pick me up. I took a taxi up to the orphanage and got mobbed by the younger girls the minute I walked through the door. Stephanie Jeannis hugged me so forcefully that she knocked me over backwards! The rest of the hellos were a little more under control, but no less joyful. There are very few moments in my life that can match the happiness of those moments.
I popped into the baby room to see the NLL kids and then downstairs to see the NLL boys. I walked in and my favorite, TiRonald, saw me. He started yelling and whooping and dashing over to me! I didn't think he would recognize me since I've really only known him since December, but he clearly knew exactly who I was.
In the afternoon, I hung out with the girls, showing them photos from my friends who visited over Christmas and updating them about my life since I was last here. As the older girls looked at photos, Edeline and Milouse had a blast trying on my rain coat and my fleece jacket. Then they asked me to tell them stories, so we camped out on my bed and I told 2 weird stories about a cat and a girl who switched stomachs, and a little boy who went crazy because he'd never seen a clock before. I have no idea where those ideas came from.
I watched the boys play soccer in the late afternoon and hung out with them at their house. Daniel, Peterson, Renick and I had a long conversation about teasing people - when it is acceptable to tease, how much can you tease, who can you tease, what are culturally differences about teasing. It essentially came down to this: Haitians think that it's OK to tease anyone about anything and Americans do not agree. Before I went back to the girls' house, Bernadin and I had a little prayer time and talk time on the roof. It's so rewarding to go up on the roof with a kid who won't smile and to walk back down again with that same kid grinning and giggling.
When I kissed the girls good night, they had a new game for me. Now, they pretend to already be asleep in their beds when I do my rounds. Sometimes it's impossible to tell who really is asleep and who's just playing so I'll kiss a girl very gently on the cheek so I don't wake her and then a second later, she'll jump up laughing wildly. Martine is the queen of this game! Silly silly girlies.