When I first moved to Haiti, there were a few things that I swore I would never do because they terrified me. I haven't done particularly well at holding to that list.
I will never drive a car in Haiti - done.
I will never walk alone after dark in Haiti - done.
I will never eat unidentifiable meat in Haiti - done.
I will never ride a motorcycle taxi in Haiti - done.
I will never drink water from an unknown source in Haiti - done.
I will never get in a fight with a drunk guy in Haiti - done.
I will never be the one fully responsible for a home in Haiti - as of 2 weeks ago, done.
While my friend and co-worker Bill is out of the country on dance tour, I have been left to oversee the repairs on a house that Bill maintains for an elderly woman in the US. Angel Missions is going to rent this house on Delmas 5 to use as a guesthouse for our teams, but it is not ready for inhabitants yet. There are earthquake cracks that need to be fixed, plumbing and electric that need to be installed, and of course, the entire place needs to be furnished. So in the midst of my other work, I am making frequent trips to Delmas 5 to check on the work and to negotiate with the laborers. It isn't my favorite thing to do because I know nothing about home repairs so I have no way to know if the work is being done properly or if I'm being grossly overcharged. But hey, it's got to be done so I do it.
The property actually has 2 houses, an older one that Bill has already finished working on, and a newer one where we will put foreigners. When all the work is done, it promises to be a very pleasant little place.
Along with the home renovations, I have also assumed responsibility for Bill's family in his absence. His older sister Sheila was separated from him when they were small children and he recently traveled across the country to find her. It took weeks, but when he did locate her, she was pregnant, living in the Dominican Republic with her boyfriend and 2 young children who were not very well nourished or in school. Bill brought them back to Haiti and arranged for a safer living situation for them in Cap Haitien. But after 2 years, he decided that he could better care for them in Port-au-Prince, so he moved them into the older house at Delmas 5.
I have been visiting them about twice a week, checking on Sheila, who is pregnant with her fourth child, and on the children, Rose Martha and Bladymi (the oldest, Emerson, has been sent to live with the St Joe's boys in Jacmel). I see that they are supplied with food and water, I make sure that everything is set for their schooling to start in October, and I take care of their medical needs.
They are a sweet little family and it's kind of fun being Auntie Kez for a few months.