Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday evening

Job got his hands on some black twine - I think it might have come from an article of clothing unraveling - and he starting roping kids in. He got it wrapped around several boys' legs and then he had the ultimate power to pull them around however he wanted. It was like watching a cowboy rope cattle.

Over at the girls' house, the carpenter had come and removed the old door and frame in the hallway leading from the courtyard to the kitchen. He was working on it all weekend, late into the night. It was nice because it meant we had electricity all the time (hard to make those power tools work without power) but it was annoying because we had to deal with the noises of the power saw and power drill all weekend too. When I left on Sunday afternoon, the doorway was still open like in this photo.
I came downstairs to find that Martine had almost finished distributing all the labouille. She held out the ladel, "Do you want some, Keziah?" I wasn't sure if I did, so I just stuck a finger in it to taste it. It was pretty good. The huge bowl was almost empty, so instead of dirty an individual bowl and spoon, I just lifted the ladel and took a slurp straight from it. The girls went nuts at my major impolite-ness. And then they decided to feed me the whole remainder with the ladel. Martine filled that big scoop and then poured it into my mouth. She didn't stop pouring when my mouth was full! I swallowed as fast as I could but she was faster. I ended up with labouille all over my face and with a room full of girls laughing hard enough to pee their pants. Then I went around trying to kiss them all with my labouille beard. They loved that!
The boys and I watched Spiderman 3 that evening. They are so brave! I get wimpy and scared during that movie and inevitably end up hiding behind whoever I'm sitting with. They just laugh at me and keep watching. What did shake them up was the gunshot that went off directly in front of our gate during the movie. The boys instantly dove for the floor and moved away from the windows. For a long minute, no one said anything. Then they all looked at me, "You are NOT crossing the street tonight, Keziah!"
Things quieted down on the street and I was able to go onto the roof to watch what was going on. Apparently there had been a quarrel among some of the men from our neighborhood and someone had fired a shot. Since there was no one lying bleeding on the street, I assume that the gun was fired into the air as a warning shot and that it was not intended to harm anyone. 20 minutes later, coach Manno deemed it safe enough to go out and he walked me across to the girls' house.

When I was living in Bolosse last year, I heard shootings regularly until April. That was when the United Nations sent 8500 troops into Haiti to take out gangs and bandits in the bad parts of the city. Things became tangibly safer after that and I stopped hearing gunshots. Since March 2007, no one has been shot in Fort Mercredi. And in the 12 year history of HFC, despite tumultuous political situations and rampant violence, not one of our staff or our children has been touched. The children get scared but they will also tell you with firm confidence, "God is protecting us. Nothing is going to happen."

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