I woke this morning with a slight case of FOMO. Yes, FOMO. For those who don’t know, FOMO is Fear Of Missing Out. Another girl on campus told me about this and I honestly hadn’t felt it in the last few weeks until today. FOMO is when something is happening and you are afraid of missing out. Maybe something happening back home that you don’t get to be a part of because you are here or even something as simple as having to stay home and work when others are having fun. The cause of my FOMO is the Watermark Young Adults Annual LAUNCH retreat happening this weekend. Launch retreat has a very near and dear place in my heart. When I moved to Dallas, I went on this retreat knowing about 3 people and walked away with the most amazing of friends. God used that one weekend in 2009 to really change some stuff in me and to put some amazingly wonderful friends in my life. Last year, I was a leader at Launch, meaning I had a group of people that I led discussions with and help them get connected at Launch and at Watermark after Labor Day weekend. I love Launch.
This morning as I was looking at everyone’s Facebook statuses about heading out to Sky Ranch for the retreat I got the FOMO. But, loving God that we serve, he cured my FOMO with a day full of Haitian fun!
First stop: Robbie & Irene’s apartment
Irene is a fabulous cook and both her and her husband Robbie are two of the most hospitable people I think I will ever have the pleasure of meeting. They made French Toast this morning and warmly welcomed their neighbors in.
Second stop: Child Hope Orphanage
Josiah, Robbie, Irene and I walked a couple of miles down to the Child Hope orphanage run by a family here in Haiti. They have students that go to our school and several staff have helped out down there at various times. I hadn’t been yet, so I was glad for the opportunity to visit. We stopped by the boys’ home, but no one was there. We then went to the girls’ home and spent about an hour holding and playing with some kiddos and talking with a couple of ladies who work there.
After that we headed home to re-hydrate and rest up a bit before heading out on another adventure.
Third Stop: Petionville
The plan was this: change some money at the grocery store, Eagle, then hop on a taptap and go up to a large market in Petionville (another area of Port-au-Prince). After changing money at Eagle we walked across the street to catch a taptap. I’ll stop here…a taptap is a small single cab truck (think Ford Ranger) with a cage over the bed with benches on it. Paint the cage in bright colors and then cram as many people as you can into it and you get a taptap. I was pumped for this. But, as we waited, each one that drove by was full, or at least too full to take 5 more people. So, we decided to walk with the hope of finding a taptap along the way that was less full. A few minutes into our walk we see a city bus. Irene asks the driver if he is going to Petionville, he says yes, so we hop on. It cost us each about $.25 for the ride, well worth it when it’s about a mile and a half uphill and its beginning to rain.
Now this bus is similar to busses in cities in America, but there were some distinct differences. Instead of putting your money in a little machine, you give it to a guy holding a bucket. You can sit on the floor. Instead of pulling a cord to stop, you just yell “mesi” (thank you) when you need to stop. There are chickens on the bus. Yes, chickens. A couple in a cage, one on a big plate thing. Chickens. Live chickens.
We hopped off the bus at the general area of where we thought the market was. We all had certain items we were hoping to find, and a couple people wanted a Creole bible and a Creole hymnal. Well, right as we stepped off the bus, there was a stand selling both! I decided to go ahead and get a Creole bible as well (New Testament & Psalms). People learn English using the bible, why can’t it help me with Creole?
We kept walking and at one point, a man and woman holding chickens (live chickens again) were trying to convince Robbie & Irene that they needed to buy them. Irene promised to come back when they had enough courage to tackle the task of taking a live chicken and turning it into dinner. I don’t think I will ever have enough courage for that.
We entered the market about 15 minutes after a gentle rain had started falling. The market runs down this hill and the street is paved with very slippery stones. Of course, right as we get deep into the market I fall. The only thing hurt was my pride as dozens of Haitian vendors and shoppers laugh and smile. It was all in good humor and I’m glad I was able to brighten their day a little.
The next hour or so was spent wandering down aisles and aisles of stands set up with any kind of produce you can want, clothes, shoes, rice, beans, meat, corn starch, pots, pans, bowls, utensils, more chickens, everything!
Everywhere we went people shouted out “blan, blan!” hoping we would stop by their stand. We meandered through the market getting our goods until it was time to go. We headed back to the street and caught the bus like pros back to our neighborhood.
|Flip-flops, Haitian Bible, and Plantain Smasher: my purchases of the day!|
Exploring the city and getting a little Haitian culture = the cure for FOMO.