We have had so much preparation for this trip. We have arrived prepared with knowledge, supplies, and everything we could need. But, the best preparation we received was to expect the unexpected, that very few things would go as planned.
We began the morning with the realization that all of the people who were in charge of the various aspects of the VBS were going to purchase paint for the mural, as their expertise was needed to choose the paint. Oops. In the US, this wouldn't be a very big deal - it might take about 15 minutes, but this is Haiti - so we had no idea how long it would take. Would the hardware stores be opened? Would they have the type of paint or any colors that we needed? Who knows! We would make do with what could be found!
So, we arrived at the orphanage 90 minutes later than anticipated because the driver arrived late, due to very heavy traffic. We had none of our day's leaders, so we thought we would regroup and come up with a plan in the small apartment at the orphanage where we store materials, etc.. Abby opened a cabinet and a feral cat ran out of the cabinet, and stood in the kitchen hissing and howling! We all ran outside and got help. One of the older boys came in and chased it out, and came to the rescue of 8 adults!
On the way home, our driver had chosen a route that would help him avoid the traffic, but the main road we were using was blocked by a very large pile of trash that was about to be burned. So, we had to back up on a dirt road full of pot holes, rocks and various debris - and lots of other cars and trucks trying to back up on this precarious "road".
But - you know what, in the end of the day we ended up singing and playing theatre games with the kids and had so much fun, we did have our VBS lesson, the first mural is almost finished. There were lots of smiles, giggles, piggyback rides, hugs and singing. So, it all worked out just fine. In fact, it was better than fine.
I'm learning that life in Haiti is all about making do. We are only here for a week, and so many things are prepared and done for us to make our time here pleasant and safe. We just have to make do a little bit, in small ways that all turn out fine. For us, these are interesting stories that we will bring home with us (or blog about) The people we see living in makeshift shacks and tents are making do in much larger, more significant ways, and have been doing so for years, and will continue to do so for years. There are very few resources to care for the children at the orphanage, making do is a daily way of life for them - for both the House Mothers and the children. It is overwhelming to think of the large and small ways that life is difficult for the people of Haiti, and for the children at the orphanage. At dinner two nights ago, our host Dr. Morquette said that Haitians are only thinking of survival from moment to moment and do not have the luxury of thinking of the future. They are making do, until when? That question is too difficult to even contemplate. For this week, we can't solve that question, but we can play with these children, love them, and remind them that God made them and God loves them and has not forgotten them. How grateful and humbled I am that God has let me be one of the people to deliver this message.