Saturday, November 28, 2009

Never a Dull Moment in this Country

Monday Nov. 23: Ashley and I decided to take Luis Fernando (her fav) out to Caraballo, grab Marleini and Weeson, and have a picnic out on the field. Of course this seemed like the perfect idea, and it was going to go smoothly, taking fun pictures and laughing with our favorite children. We pick up Luis from public school at 5 and hop on a moto, and since there were four of us, Luis had to sit in front of the driver. This 5-10 minute moto ride was one of the more dangerous ones I have been on in this country. I was on the back, and when the driver went over a bump, I definitely got some air and almost fell off the side. I am only giving you this example to help you better understand why what happened next happened. We get to Caraballo, take Luis off the front, and pay the moto driver, and as we are walking away, the moto guy says something to us, and we just kind of ignore him. He keeps saying it over and over again so we look over and realize he was saying, "El hizo caca" (He made/did poop...but I think you all know what caca is in Spanish) because there is "caca" on the driver's shirt and on the back of Luis' pants and shirt...ew ew ew. At this point I could not maintain because I was laughing so hard so I turned and walked away and of course let Ashley handle it all. Apparently, the moto ride scared the .... out of Luis :). So much for the picnic! We had a mini one after Ashley's long adventure of taking Luis to the nearby public school where she had the lovely resources of a bucket of water and notebook paper to clean him off.
Wednesday Nov. 25: After Bible study, Ashley and I left the Makarios house around nine at night to walk to the main road to grab a public car to Montellano. These are not easy to come by at night, and sometimes it can be a bit confusing which public car is for where. We stood by the main road for awhile while full cars passed when finally one that sped past, stopped and reversed to get us. We gladly got in, and the driver started driving for awhile when all of a sudden he turned down a sugar cane road. Sometimes if you pay the driver a lil more money he will take you a bit down the road you need to go on so I thought maybe he was doing this for someone, but he just kept going. Finally Ashley spoke up and asked him where he was going, and he said to Munoz, which was down the sugar cane road we were driving on. We tell him we are going to Montellano so he stops the car and starts getting feisty with us about not paying attention to which cab it was. The old man next to me tells him to drive us back to the main road, but the driver says no we should have paid attention and kept getting mad at us. We get out of the car to walk back down the dark sugar cane road, and the driver gets out of the car and yells at us telling us we need to pay the full amount even though we did not go the whole way. We try and argue with him, but at this point, we are both scared and just want to get back; therefore, Ashley slams the money on his car, and we fast walk it to the main road. In any situation where you are scared, we naturally start praying, praying for a car, someone we can trust. After about ten minutes, a private taxi pulls up and asks us if we are going to Montellano. He says he knows us from church, and he will take us for free (of course we paid him). Gracias a Dios :).
Friday Nov. 27: My mom came in town the day before for Thanksgiving, and on Friday we wanted to take Weeson and Marleini to the beach. We go to pick them up in Caraballo with Robin and her mom, and when we get there, the lady taking care of them is getting high with another lady. The husband is sitting in his voodoo shack possibly drunk, throwing rum around the room, while others in the village are bringing stuff to him to get approved. Thank you Lord for Robin, her knowledge of Spanish, her patience, and well I could go on. The man is telling us no they cannot go because their mom said no (at this point I am thinking where is the mom? I thought she left them?), while another man who is claiming to be their dad says they can go...for the record the mom had told me their dad died so I assume he is newly married to their mom, but not really positive about that. In the end, they get to go even though they are scared of what Ramoncito may do. We decide to take our moms to Chichigua before going to the beach, and guess who is chillin in Chichigua...their mom! what the. Their mom was there with their sister Mileni. To make a long story short, their mom now lives in Pancho Mateo, which is about 5 minutes from me, is looking for a mattress, and once she gets it, they can live with she says.
Saturday Nov. 28: Wilson (my friend, not lil Weeson) asked me to play in a basketball game WestJet Airlines vs American Airlines. I said okay not really thinking much about it...we played in the professional arena in Puerto Plata, with a bunch of really bigggg boys, and I wore Wilson's jersey. All that to say, I felt a tad out of place, and, well, like a boy. It was a lot of fun though! Mary if you read this, I wanted you to be there so bad laughing at me because it was such a typical thing for me to will laugh especially after you see the picture(s) of me and what I was wearing. When I got home, I went into Ashley's room, and there was an infestation of ants...

Like I have said before, C'est la vie!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bailar con Weeson y Marleini

Michael Jackson. Apparently everyone and their dog in this country know who he is (who doesn't), love him, play his music, and want to be just like him. We have noticed this a lot particularly with our students. They will randomly start dancing like him at school, and it is hilarious, but kinda scary how good some of them are at it. Anyways, we had been wanting to see the new movie about him, but of course like every other movie, I knew I would probably have to wait till I got home...unless in true Dominican style, a restaurant down the street decided to get a bootleg version of it and let anyone for 50 pesos come see it. Ashley, yo, Cara, y Wilson went last Wednesday night, and it was pretty awesome...not the movie, the set up. The filming was awful, and the sound system was pathetic as well, but hey, it gave us something fun to do, and I will always remember sitting in a random place called La Factoria in the small town of Montellano watching the Michael Jackson movie. On Friday, I was helping Ashley with her class in the morning, and for morning meeting we decided what the heck, let's show them the MJ music videos Ashley downloaded on her computer and let them dance like him...awesome. It is probably a good thing I am not a teacher because I think I would have a play day everyday. "Alright kids today we are going to learn about numbers. Wait, did you say that is boring? I completely agree. Recess for four hours then dance party? Fine by me!"

On Saturday, all my roomies were in Santiago, and I decided to stay home. I woke up and decided I think I will play basketball today, I think I will visit Weeson and his sister Marleini, I think I will pick them up, take them to Pancho with me to play basketball and eat lunch with them...and that is exactly what I did. I picked them both up from Caraballo and let them play on the basketball court while I was playing Sili. Several times I watched Weeson because it was such a joy to see him running around smiling and laughing with me or with other kids instead of being stuck in that scary, dirty place he calls home. After basketball I decided to take them to my apartment to eat lunch. I pulled out Shrek 2 that you can also play in Spanish and let them watch while I made them quesadillas and sliced up avocado (Kati if you are reading this email, I know you are laughing at me for making quesadillas). I watched the movie with them, and at one point when Shrek toots from drinking a magic potion, I looked over at Weeson, and he dropped his head back and started laughing so hard. It was the cutest thing! So we finished the movie, and it was almost time for me to take them back home. They both asked me for some water, and as I got up, I thought to myself, they need to laugh and be kids a lil bit more before they go back to acting like grown ups..."You can have water if you dance." They both looked at me like I was crazy. I turned on Kirk Franklin of course :) and told them I was serious. As I was pouring them some water, I look back and see Weeson dancing like the little crazy kid I know he is in front of the mirror. Ha! Marleini was also laughing and dancing to. We had the most fun dance partay together, and then it was time to go. I rode with them to Pancho to meet their cousin, and as he drove off with them, Marleni turned around and blew me a kiss...I love those two so much. I felt like a mom all day, and it was not so bad, but maybe because it was worth it for them. Tomorrow Ashley and I are grabbing Luis and going out to Caraballo to have a picnic with him, Weeson, and Marleini...with our cameras of course!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update on Weeson :)

C'est la vie!
Last Thursday I went with Cara and Johan to find the casa de Weeson. Robin asked around and found out he lives with a man named Ramoncito in Caraballo. We pulled up to the Haitian side of Caraballo and walked up to this weird looking shack with creepy pictures of saints painted on the outside, and inside, Ramoncito was sitting with some other men chatting. He showed us which house was his, and there I found my lil love and his sister. Cara talked to the lady of the house, and this is what she said: they do not go to school, they do not have clothes, and their mom lives in the city of Santiago. Heartbroken. I go inside to sit with Weeson and notice that his face has sores on it that look awful. I want to cry for him, also noticing that he is famished and his ribs are extremely noticeable. Furthermore, I found out that the man he is living with is a voodoo witch doctor, which explains the weird paintings. We decide to leave, and all I want to do is bring him home with me to get him all straightened out but know I need to put my emotions aside. Of course that does not work so right when I get home, I talk to my roommates about everything and start crying. I felt beyond overwhelmed, but knew the Lord was telling me to be still and just pray. I prayed for guidance and realized that the Lord was going to help me with step by step instructions. The first step: medicine for Weeson's impetigo. I went Friday morning to school and once again felt overwhelmed. You have that desire for God just to fix everything all at once, meanwhile He tells you to be patient and have faith. I sat down with Robin and Ashley, and they prayed for me, encouraged me, and helped me put the medicine together. Ashley offered to go with me to Caraballo after school to give Weeson the medicine, and Johan said he would take us and talk to the lady of the house. (On a side note, there's nothing like good friends who love Jesus. Ones that will pray for you like prayer warrior Robin, one's that offer up there time, health, and ears to listen like Ashley and Johan, and Cara who offered up her time to help me find Weeson.) We went after school, put medicine on his face, gave him some clean water, and showed the lady what to do. Now Dominicans and Haitians in the villages here, because some of them are poor, will sometimes sell things that you give them, like shoes, clothes, medicine, etc. All I could do all weekend was pray and hope that she did not sell the medicine I gave her, and that she was actually giving Weeson the medicine. At the same time, I continually prayed for us that we would not get impetigo since it is a highly contagious bacterial infection. From the pictures, you can see that his face was against me while he was sitting on my lap. Honestly, I should have it, no doubt, yet the Lord has blessed me once again, and I am impetigo free, along with Ashley, who treated Weeson, and Johan.
Tuesday: Johan, Ashley, and I went out to Caraballo to give the second round of medicine. (I did not give the lady the full set just in case she would sell it.) Gracias a Dios, she had been putting the medicine on, and his face was clearing up! Relief set in, and we were beyond thankful for answered prayers.
Thursday (today): He has some scars that are trying to heal, but the infection looks like it is gone. He was laughing, hugging us, and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Precious boy, gosh I love him soooo much. When I updated my mom about him, she was worried about me holding him because I could get impetigo, and all I could say is there's a love that goes beyond anything, no matter what the circumstance. I would do anything for lil Weeson and his sweet heart. I gave him my apple today, and he just about devoured the whole thing after sharing a part with his sister and two other girls. That is when I decided he needs a hamburger :)! Saturday Ashley and I will be in Puerto Plata, and if we have time by the end of the day, we are going to grab Burger King and have a picnic with Weeson, his sister, and Ashley's precious boy Luis Fernando. I will let you know if that happens, and of course, we will take more pictures than we are suppose to :).

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Reunited and It Felt sooo Good"

I sit here with a smile on my face while I am writing this. I have prayed and prayed since I wrote that blog from my birthday. There are days when I tried to block Wilson (Weeson) out of my memories in the DR, and then there were days when all I could do was think about that lil boy, shed a few tears, and pray that he was okay and loved on wherever he was living in Haiti. So this is where I begin...
Friday night was one of those nights. I sat next to Ashley on the couch while we both did our usual computer stuff, and I started going through old pictures, which led to me looking at pictures of Weeson. I started to miss him of course so I stopped after awhile, but selfishly wished I could see him again. I have done that several times in the past I must admit. I prayed that for some reason his family would move back here so I could see him. Then I would remind myself what is important for Weeson is that he would know Jesus and love Him. Back to my story...Saturday I hiked to some waterfalls with my roomie Cara, our friend Johan, and a couple of his friends. Besides falling a few times :), it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. On Sunday, some of us took the older kids from Chichigua to the beach. They loved it! When we took the kids back to Chichigua, we noticed most of the village was in Villa Asencion for a soccer game. Robin got the bright idea to go watch, so once we got home, we quickly changed and grabbed a couple motos to the village. We got there at the end of the game but saw some of our preschoolers and some of the parents we know. I was standing there waiting to figure out how we were going to get home when I look at this boy walking towards me. I just stare thinking "what the, this is some sick joke", and then I realized I was seeing what I never thought I would see again...WEESON! I picked him up in my arms so quick. I felt like I was in a movie. I jumped up and down with him in my arms, tears streaming down my face, and Weeson and I both were laughing. I could not contain my excitement while all the Haitian men and women were staring at me like I was some crazy gringa. I feel like I cannot even do justice to this story. It was such a sweet moment with the Lord, and I was flooded with gratefulness I cannot even express in words. The Lord had planned that perfect moment for me, and I had no idea. I almost did not go to the game because I was tired from the beach. To think! Gracias a Dios :)
Weeson now lives in a village named Caraballo, which is about 10-15 minutes away from my apartment. His mom left him and his older sister Marleini with someone she knows and moved to Haiti with his two younger siblings. I hope to visit him soon, but it is just a matter of finding out the name of the man he lives with, and then, well, walking in Carabello asking people where this man's house is, haha yes I know, crazy white girl is what they are going to think. Hope you enjoyed this precious moment the Lord blessed me with, and no worries I will keep you updated!
Below is a pic of the moment right after I brushed the tears of joy from my face :)