This morning gave us a little bit of a change of pace! We headed out about 9:30 and stopped at the grocery before heading up to the orphanage. When we got there, W was still at school working on graduation preparation, so we decided to head down to the “metal arts district” in Croix des Bouquet to do a little cultural exploring with our “bodyguards” LOL the translator and driver. The metal artisans and shop owners were extremely excited to see us, and the pieces they had lining the walls and all of the the floors were incredible! We brought some favorites home with us 🙂 The tinny clanking of metal on metal could be heard before we even reached the first shops. It was like its own little world smack in the middle of rundown homes and rocky alleyways. About 10 or so guys sit or stand waiting for business outside the doorways of the first shops, ready to pounce and talk you into walking into their shops first. Its like used car sales except in a 3rd world country! The first man we talked to told us we were required to view his shops in a specific order, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. We could not look at the 2nd or third until we had seen everything in his first doorway! LOL I have to say we saw some pretty amazing pieces of art here! They use design templates cut out of thick cardboard, and use any kind of scrap metal they can find – tin and steel and then cut it by hand with a hammer and some kind of punch around the stencils. And its not just a rudimentary basic stencil shape. There are intricate designs and all kinds of themes from Noah’s ark (Noyé) to trees of life and all sorts of haitian sayings and stereotypical American sayings like “Dance your heart out” and “Live Laugh Love” 😉 We found a few favorites including one tree of life that had the letters of the alphabet all throughout the tree branches! I thought it would be a perfect piece of decor for W’s room.
In the outdoor walkways between the shops (each “shop” was about the size of a small walk-in closet, just cinderblock walls with a bare bulb overhead and stifling hot!) men and some older boys were sitting hammering sheets of metal, creating all kinds of pieces. They would sit on the concrete and hold the metal flat on the ground with their bare toes. Then, they use the stencils and hammer and cuttting tool to hammer the cuts and designs into the metal. It’s pretty amazing! One piece we purchased has two round drum openings (like the narrow top on a can/jar) from the cans they used, completely intact with threads and everything! Just another reminder of how resourceful the people are here – to create all of this from others’ junk and garbage is insanely creative! I wanted to ask if I could take a photo but we got sidetracked and I forgot!! 😦
We made it back to the creche just in time to meet W walking in the gate from school. He was all-smiles to see us, and we scooped him up, gave him hugs and kisses and whisked him off to the car to sit in the A/C and get some snacks and gatorade. He was walking much better today – thank you for your prayers! He said it was still hurting, but it seemed much better. He was limping again by the end of the afternoon, but not nearly as bad as yesterday!
Today W had a treat, because the “big boys” (his 11-15 year old friends) came down to play with us. He loves them so much and just wants to be a big kid. I think he likes it because they don’t swarm him when he has snacks or grab at everything he’s trying to play with – and plus, they are cool to him – and treat him respectfully! We have grown to love these big kids – as I said a couple days ago – they are all SO sweet and funny and very special kids. They are crazy and fun, make up silly games and have the biggest smiles! They played whiffle ball, (for the millionth time) and then soccer with the whiffle ball…LOL.
(Backtrack) When the little kids first get home from school, they immediately go to their respective rooms as a group to change out of their school uniforms into play clothes. There is no such thing as modesty with the younger ones – the 8 and youngers share rooms – there seems to be an ages 5-6 room and a 7-8 room. The younger ones have the room with cribs, W’s room, and the older ones have a room across the hall with small toddler size beds (or maybe very small twins, can’t really tell). They all strip down and carefully set their dirty uniform clothes on their beds and their school shoes under their beds in a careful line, and then wait for the nanny to get them a “clean” (there’s not really such thing but clean as in it got scrubbed and sun-dried at some point this week before 4 other kids wore it) outfit.
Anyway, today, after they got clean clothes, W’s nanny rifled through some school papers and handed him a sheet of paper and told him to read it to mommy and daddy. We figured out it was something for their graduation program that he is supposed to memorize. I think it was “homework” that he was supposed to practice it at home. It was very cute! He started reading it out loud to me, but then realized he already knew it so he did the typical learning-to-read child thing where they read out loud and follow their finger on the words but then you realize that their vocal “reading” is about 4 words behind where their fingers are…LOL so you realize they aren’t reading it anymore! haha – at any rate it was very cute! Something about “pass the torch” to the next kindergarten class – silly mumbo jumbo but makes for an adorable speech in a 6-year olds mouth! 🙂
We’ve learned a lot about the school that the creche kids attend – it is a fantastic spot for them to be and we are SO thankful that he is there! The principal is Haiti born, but moved to the states and grew up in the US. Then after the earthquake in 2010 he came down to help with a school here and then never left. The school he has helped grow and it has more than doubled in size. The kids learn some French, but mostly English as they get into 5th – 12th grade. The older kids know lots of English – some of them like to use what they know and speak English with us – we like to have them help translate 🙂 It’s good practice for them!
When the grabby hands and craziness got to be too much, we took a break and hopped in the car for some alone-time. Today we brought him a little single-serving individual bowl of Froot Loops cereal that Kris happened to see at the grocery store. LOL that was a major hit! Not only did his face light up and his eyebrows shoot to the roof, but the bowl of dry froot loops made for a great musical instrument! Go figure, God decided to make things even more perfect and match us with a little guy who loves to sing, dance, and turn anything into a drum! He is going to have a blast with his Grandpa Steve who is a percussion master! 🙂 He turned his froot loops into a shaker and started dancing in the car for us while he was shaking out his froot loops rhythm! LOL He also wanted me to video, so I’ve got it all on video, complete with his reaction to super-minty gum! HAHAHAHA Kris and I were laughing SO hard! He popped it into his mouth like any normal “chiclet” (gum) and took a couple chews and opened his mouth and breathed out hard like he just put a flaming hot piece of food in there! In seconds both hands were fanning at his mouth as he was trying to blow the burning mint out of his mouth – all three of us were laughing! I think he was just trying not to choke on his gum at that point with the laughing and fire-breathing and hand waving all at once! I told him it was “minty gum” and he repeated it and nodded grinning 🙂 Great first experiences! LOL Even better was about 30 minutes later when he shared the gum with his friends and he got to giggle at their freakout faces when the minty gum was burning in their mouths!
Another fantastically hysterical experience (again, in the car – which is weird to have all these “firsts” and awesomely perfect moments in the backseat of the car! LOL kinda oddly feels like highschool..)but W was digging around in the backpack and came across daddy’s deodorant. He pulled it out and looked at it, looked at daddy and then took the lid off and smelled it. He seemed to know what it was…but he took a whiff and gave it an appraising look – passed the smell test, I guess. Then daddy lifted up W’s arm and wiped his fingers across the deodorant and patted it into W’s armpits LOL. Then, daddy said he needed some so he put it on for real. But W decided he wanted to use it just like daddy did – so when Kris was done, he took it and stuffed it under his shirt to put on the REAL way! Again, fits of giggles all around. When he was done, I said, “does it smell good?” and he smelled his armpit and gave a big smile and said “YES!” hahaha! We have a boy who likes to smell good, clean up after himself, and use wipes for everything! I like him already 🙂 He also found some lotions that I was saving for the nannies, and wanted to open one and lube up! He thought it smelled amazing, (it was some tropical floral scent) and he asked later if he could have one for himself to use for graduation day! LOL I love this kid.
Four more days. Countdown is on. Bring on the miracles, God, I’m ready for this kid to come home and I haven’t even left yet! 🙂
BTW – if you ever read these posts right after I’ve posted, and there are no photos, please check back in a few minutes because all my photos are on my phone so I have to post the blog on my laptop then edit it with photos from my mobile! 🙂 I know its backwards and too many complex steps and there are easier ways to do it – but its habit now. So if you miss the photos, go back and view them later! There’s some cute ones. 🙂