26 May 2011

The Zapper

I bought this off the street for 400 goud yesterday. He wanted 600, but I talked him down, and by the time we were done, I had him laughing and calling me "cheri"--kind of like "honey." I love that.

It's labeled a mosquito bat, but around here, we call it the zapper. It's a missionary essential, especially since rainy season is upon us and the mosquitoes are reproducing like crazy. Thus, they are making us crazy. I had another zapper, but it's battery-powered, and it doesn't work too great. This one's rechargeable and it has a flashlight. (My new friend thought this was a real selling point.)

It came with some important directions that I feel I should share with you. I feel I should share them because they are hilarious. I swear, I'm not embellishing at all.

BRAND MULTIPLE FUNCTION CAN LIGHTING ELECTRIC MOSQUITO ZAPPER is we company excogitate a new series products. It's use convenient and novelty shape. In order to easily for you to use it, please read following instruction carefully before using.

1. Before make use of it for the first time, please charging about 4-6 hours.
2. Kill mosquito method: push the electrical source switch to ON direction, press the middle button switch, the working direction light lighting, and the middle web have high voltage. (There's a reason they don't sell these in the States.) Flap and touch mosquito, mosquito will be shoot down. Loosen button switch, working indicator light go out, the web without electricity.
3. Use time: when the battery is fully charged, if it be simply used for kill mosquito about 10 days, while it be used for light can be lighted continuously about 20 hours.

a. Don't give childen playing as a toy. (Oh, really? Oh man, I just gave it to an infant. Darn.)
b. Don't press switch and touch electroform web that charging. (I've done this by accident. They're serious.)
c. Do not use it at areas where flammable gas or liquid is existed. Do not often use metal etc electric object strike fire in web. (Um, I don't know what this means, but I'll be keeping it away from any metal etc.)
d. Can't wash or scrub with wet washcloth. Dead mosquito on nets can be brushed off or shaken off. (In my experience, there's nothing left anyway. This thing vaporizes them. BWA-HA-HA.)

I'm sure it made more sense in Chinese.
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Why We're in Haiti


This is a well-done article about hunger in the rural parts of Haiti...I'm so thankful for the work God allows us to do in feeding these people. The area of northwest Haiti that they mention is one of our newer airstrips--the one David's supposed to be checked out on today! Hopefully, the weather will clear, and they'll be able to do the flight.

Thanks for your prayers!

19 May 2011

King and Country

I have an imagination. It gets me into trouble sometimes. Like today, I noticed some re-decoration as I crossed the ravine near our house. Someone had painted the rocks in the walls pink and white. Just a few of them on several walls (so as not to be gauche, I suppose) and halfway up the power poles. (Again, why paint the whole pole and overdo it?) Pink and white are Martelly's campaign colors; Martelly is our newly-elected president. I wasn't here for all the inauguration hubbub, because I was in Minnesota...and here, I am resisting the urge to remark snidely about how sad I was to miss it. Oops...I didn't resist hard enough.

But today, walking through the ravine, perusing the new decor, I came upon a series of letters: "GSMM." I pondered them with Will over lunch, but she didn't know what it could mean. My imagination began to churn...God Save Michel Martelly? Wrong language, but possibly, the right idea. After all, he's meant to be their savior, the end of all their problems. "It'll be like Carnival all the time," people say.

I remarked to David how unfair people were being to expect so much of Martelly, and he pointed out that Obama had the same problem. When we didn't have universal health care and no troops in Iraq on January 21st, people were irritated. They felt deceived. And the bad news is...they were. Not maliciously, mind you. But it's the same old story since I Samuel 8.

In my imagination, there's old Samuel, sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch, sipping lemonade, watching the world go by...and here comes Israel, come to pitch a fit about not having a king. Come to tell him that his sons were no good and that they wanted a king like everybody else, whatever the cost. I bet Samuel sighed. He did the right thing--he prayed about it. But it didn't help much when the guy they picked turned out to be a coward, hiding among the baggage. No king (or spouse or boss or president) can match God, and yet that's what we expect. He's what we want without knowing it.

But as I walked home, my imagination was corrected when I found it written out: "Gran Supporteur Michel Martelly." (It means he's a fan.) As usual, there's lots of speculation and rumor flying around. Someone cut the power at Martelly's inauguration, so obviously, not everybody's happy. But the pressure on this guy has to be enormous, and in light of that, I'd like to give Haiti's new president a strange benediction.

May your hopes be dashed, 
that you may turn your attention to the priorities of God. 
May you find out how weak you are, 
that you may know Christ's power in you. 
May your broken heart become a vessel of His love, 
and may the good you do have an impact eternally.

18 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This is my first cousin once removed. The way his finger is hovering, it's like he can feel the chocolate's power, beckoning him. (I felt it, too--I had two pieces.) I visited my family last week, and it was awesome. More to come, another day...
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11 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This is why you don't leave your resistance bands sitting on a metal bannister in the sun. Apparently, they melt!
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10 May 2011

The Stranger Inside

I don't know how You love me like You do;
It's so good to belong with You.
And in the places I'm a stranger to,
It's so good to belong with you. 
 -Remedy Drive

These are the lyrics that brought tears to my eyes as I ran on a treadmill, overlooking the ocean. It was the culmination of a lot of things, really. My natural tendency is to hold my emotions down, like a balloon in a swimming pool. I know they're down there, but I can't really see them, and it's much safer for them to stay down there. Running is dangerous, therefore, because it gives me a chance to think and talk with God. What's even more dangerous is when He talks back.

He'd started me thinking about my place in the world through a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson: "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." I've been feeling foreign lately...not that Haiti is foreign to me, but that I am foreign to her. Walking down a dusty back road last week, two teenage girls took my picture with a cell phone. Our yard guy thinks our house should resemble Fort Knox, complete with video cameras. Haitian directness still leaves me stammering sometimes...one of my students wanted to know what time of day my husband and I have sex. (I told him he could ask David that question.)

And on a treadmill, in my "home country," I was feeling more foreign than ever. I'd been warned several times over, but didn't want to believe it. "When you leave and come back," they said, "you'll find you don't fit anywhere anymore." And looking back, I can't see how I could have avoided it. After all, I spend most of my time thinking about things most people don't give a second thought. I haven't seen the TV shows you've seen. The music that's new to me is probably old to you. The number of places "I am a stranger to" is growing, not shrinking.

And yet on that treadmill, in a moment of hot, sweaty reflection, those song lyrics reminded me that God loves the stranger, and I too am called to love the stranger, even when I find myself one. I need to take care of the stranger inside and remind her that she belongs with God...and therefore belongs everywhere. I need to be patient with her when she hurts...because sometimes, it does hurt to realize that I'll never truly get used to being a stranger.

But is it possible that this is one of those paradoxes that God seems to love so much? That the last will be first? That those who lose their lives will find it? And that those who are strangers find out what it means to belong better than anyone?

I hope so.

Thanks for your prayers for a great vacation--it was.