I Want To Go To There!

Stories from abroad

Month: March, 2011

A for Effort

One of my favorite of Liz’s students looks like Ron Artest.  And after reading the closing paragraph of his essay today, I wonder if he thinks like Ron Artest, too.  It’s hard to get mad at either of them, though.  They both try so darn hard.

PS – the prompt was “Compare the life of a child with the life of an adult.  What would you rather be?”

UPDATE 4/5:  According to my friend Peter per his comment to this post, Ron Artest was a math major in college.  Awesome.  That only makes this comparison more uncanny.


Stealing the Spotlight

My last post was supposed to be Brian’s time to shine, but apparently the darkness of my skin has absorbed all that light.  I’ve already received a lot of messages/emails/comments concerning my new color.  Hope this list helps address some of your concerns.

  • Yes, I realize I am very, very dark.  The scariest part?  I have no idea at what shade I’m going to plateau.
  • I am using sunblock, but it’s powerless against the Haitian sun.
  • I do have a farmer’s tan, but it’s not as bad as you might expect due to the aforementioned power of the Haitian sun to penetrate clothing and bend around cuffs and sleeves.
  • For whatever reason, the thumbnail on FB makes me look 5 shades darker.  Stupid FB.
  • And for my mother . . . black is a slimming color.  I might have lost some weight, but I think being darker makes me look thinner too.


Here you go, Brian Lee.  It was so good to spend the day with you yesterday.  You can’t imagine how much of an encouragement it was to see you down here.  So as promised, the bright lights of my 100ish blog readers are shining on you.  Enjoy your newfound celebrity!

And for you, general reader . . . if you come down to visit me in Haiti, I’ll make you (nominally) famous too.


We’re in the market to buy another car for our team, which is welcome news.  New car = independence + English church on Sundays + no falling wallets out of pickup truck beds + countless other good things.  We’ll probably end up buying a used one, but we visited a few new car dealerships just to get a base for comparison.  The surprise of the day?  A new Kia Sorento costs $44,000 USD (it’s $20K at home).  Oh, you wanted to finance that?  It’s 30% down, and 12-14% annual interest for 3 years.

For all the Kia owners that get kicked around and disrespected in the States, you should all move to Haiti.  You’re baller status here.


Going through a bit of withdrawal.  Two days ago was full of hugs and “goodbyes” as another great group headed back to the States.  Yesterday was a flood of emails, FB messages, and calls for my birthday.  Today is . . . quiet.  Just another reminder of how far away I am from home.  And a reminder that we weren’t meant to just live with fellowship, but to live within fellowship.

Anyhow, here’s a picture of one of the mass grave sites from the earthquake.  It’s just a huge plot of land in the middle of nowhere where there are apparently 100,000+ unidentified bodies buried.  I think it’s the one place I’ve been to in Haiti that has felt still.

Camera Shy

“Qualitè Japonais.  Prix Chinois.”

Saw this winner of a slogan on the side of a truck, but I forgot to bring my camera with me today.  You’ll have to use your imagination for which colors go best with insensitivity.

Lost and Found

We’ve only got one truck in a house of eight adults and one child, so when we all travel together I’m often stuck sitting in the back.  This happens a lot on Sundays, i.e. family church day.  Today was no different.

As I was balancing on the edge of the truck bed this afternoon (the actual bed is essentially a mobile trash can in Haiti), my wallet fell out of my back pocket and bounced/flipped it’s way down a busy road.  It took a second to register what the curious grey object tumbling along the road was, so by the time I asked Andrea to stop the car, my FFP badge, driver’s license, insurance card, and about $100 in various currencies were almost 150 feet behind us.

Luckily most of the things stayed in my wallet, but I had to do a little searching to locate the FFP badge and insurance card that slipped out.  I found my badge pretty quickly, but my insurance card wasn’t so easily spotted.  Random side note: I just saw a small mouse scurry back and forth like three times.  I think it’s having a hard time finding an exit.  OK, back to the main story.

With one eye on the ground and one eye on oncoming traffic, I found a 25 goude note (about $0.50 USD), but no insurance card.  Thinking I should just accept that as the consolation prize for the afternoon, I looked up and across the street to get ready to head back to the truck when I saw my insurance card on the other side of the road.  This whole ordeal took about 4 minutes, including the running to and from the truck.

Bottom line: I’ve got my wallet back with everything in it and came out 50 cents richer.  Today was a good day.


A week’s worth of laundry does this to clean, soapy water.  And it wasn’t even a construction week.  This grime is just from general day to day activities like riding in tap taps, sitting under mango trees, and walking on dirt roads.  No wonder I haven’t felt clean since I left home.

Here’s a preemptive “I’m sorry” to Danny and Jessica Chen, whose shower will be the first I use in America on my 23 hr Miami layover en route home in July.  I will be using up all your hot water and leaving a brown ring around the tub.  I hope the ear to ear smile on my face after will be sufficient payment for the inconvenience.



Americans are some of the most ignorant, self-aggrandizing, condescending people in the world.  I am an American.

End of rant.


I’ve been and will continue to be MIA from blogging for a bit.  This is the busiest 4-6 week stretch of hosting groups that I’ll have while I’m in Haiti, so I won’t have as much time to post.  Sorry!