I arrived in Haiti yesterday afternoon. It's funny how I can be gone for only 2 months and yet seem to have forgotten so many little things when I get back here. I forgot how dusty Haiti is, especially now. I forgot that the internet is a luxury and it rarely works. I forgot that miniature ants love water spills. I forgot that my neighborhood kids will rip my house apart in an attempt to clean for me. I forgot that absolutely everyone, even strangers, says "Bonjou" on the street.
Other things I did not forget. I did not forget that a shower at the end of the day is heaven. I did not forget that I have to take the new shortcut to the market because the old one is blocked by rubble. I did not forget that toilet paper goes in the trashcan instead of the toilet. Why is that habit so easy to return to when I get to Haiti and so incredibly difficult to break when I go the States?
I was greeted upon arrival by Bill, Walnes, and the St Joe's boys and staff. Within minutes, Frantz was at my door too, followed by a parade of neighborhood children, all asking what I'd brought them from America. "Nothing!" I scowled. Actually, I have silly bands for all of them :) Edjour, Sendhie, Bebeto, Alex, G, and Lucy have all come to welcome me home. This is how I like it - entirely surrounded by my Haitian neighbors. I have yet to see a white person. When I do, it will be a joyous reunion with people like Dorothy and Marc and Mary, but for the most part, I relish my non-English existence.
I thought that I might not sleep for my first night back. The heat or the recurring phantom tremors were sure to hit. On the contrary, I slept like a baby all night long. This morning, I woke up to the shoe-shiner's bell, the charcoal lady's call, and the buckets and shovels of St Joseph's. Welcome home, Keziah.