Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I just enjoyed reading some of my wife’s recent blog posts, and realized that I could loosen up as well as just talk about life a bit more.  So, here’s some random happenings in the men’s world here:

·      Our son is turning into a motorcycle man.  I am borrowing (which probably means buying) a motorcycle from one of our staff, and my boy absolutely loves to ride it.  Actually starting the engine and leaving the yard is not required for him, he’ll sit on the top of the gas tank, working the throttle, making his own motorcycle sounds for a while.  We do go on some family rides, and he wedges between me and the sloped gas tank perfectly.  His mom and I are pretty sure, from the look on his face and wind in his hair, that he loves it.
·      On one of our family trips to the bazaar, little t and I stayed on the bike while his mom went to buy some fruit.  An old man approached pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with miscellaneous scrap materials, and a canary.  He stopped in front of us and started to praise God for such a beautiful child.  This was really incredible, he really went over the top in lavishing his affection on my kid.  Then he scrounged through his scraps, but not finding what he was looking for, he then dug in his coat pockets, and produced 4 old sunflower seeds in his filthy hand, and a smile.  He continued to praise both God and my son while he put the sunflower seeds in little t’s hand, then he went on his way.
·      Between the regular shopping and my little house projects, I have started relationships with a lot of shopkeepers.  For each project, I have a favorite shop I go to, so now I have a plumbing guy, a square lumber guy, a small wood guy, a nuts and bolts guy, a wrenches guy, a small wires guy, a fuses guy, a big wires guy, a light bulb guy, a fan guy, a nails and screws guy, not to mention the diaper wipes guy, and the baby Tylenol guy.  This has been fun, because by becoming their customer and doing business with them in their cultural ways, they seem to be happier to see me each time.  I didn’t even know that fan guy and I were close until he invited me to his brother’s wedding. 
·      I have had to do sort some conflicts at work lately.  A big part of my role is management support for our local leaders, and our project manager and administrator do not get along at all.  They took issue over a word that was translated wrong, and it became a yelling argument that neighbors heard down the street.  I stood between them so that they wouldn’t attack one another, and talked very straight with both of them about how they’re going to have to stop making these petty issues so personal and learn to cooperate, because neither can do their job without the other.  We are going to have to carefully reopen these issues with each guy in private, and make them take responsibility for their own responses rather than trying to manipulate and blame their co-worker.  I am thinking a lot these days about how hard my job will become if the other foreigners in the project move on.
·      My outdoor spring projects are done.  I built a wood and cloth awning in front of the 2 rooms of our house that are not shaded by a tree.  It has already helped cut the heat a bit.  I also built little t a massive swingset.  So far it only holds his swing, but the timbers I used for the legs will be strong enough to hold up a playhouse/fort for him when he gets bigger.  Now I’m trying to decide what project is next: a sandbox digger, or a 3-wheel kick scooter for the t-man, or…
·      Lately I am having lots of conversations with guys about the state of this nation, the killing of Bin Laden, and other big events.  I have asked a number of them if they see a massive civil war in the future of this nation.  I have an eerie suspicion that this type of war is inevitable, it’s only a matter of time.  Some don’t see that, but the older wise types seem to agree.  In this land where revenge just does not die, there are issues generations old that are still worth fighting for.  How are we handling this at the moment?  One day at a time.  We thought we might be shoved out of here just 6 weeks ago, and we are back, but something might happen and we’ll be shoved out next week.  We believe there’s enough reason to be here today, and we have enough common sense to have a sudden exit option for the tomorrows.  Til that is needed, it means something to us and to these people to work with them and improve and challenge their lives, because that may impact the way they live in the future, come what may.


  1. Well, I feel fortunate. I have been watching your blog and website for days waiting for you to emerge. :-) Today was a double blessing- 2 posts! Thanks for taking the time. We always always always appreciate anything and everything both of you post!
    I'm getting a kick out of little t on the momocycle. So you remember calling them that when you were little?
    I was so blessed when I read about the old man with the wheelbarrow. Almost brought tears to my eyes.
    I love the fact that people you relate with in the different stores are recognizing you and you are able to build relationships with them. It makes me think of when we were in the Ph and you introduced us to different folks you had gotten to know...especially the bakery folks. (Big smile)
    Sorry to hear of your conflict at work. We'll definitely be giving that some thought! Also the safety issues - glad to hear that you are holding all plans loosely. Wise.
    And lastly, I think I need to see pics of the things you have been making in the yard! Way to go!! Nice post. Thanks!

  2. No friendly neighborhood one stop shop, huh? I love that you have a "guy" for everything! This post made me smile.

  3. sounds to me like you have found lots of reasons to be there: the wire man, the lumber man and by all means the fan man and the wedding! Every one of those reasons ... ordained before creation for you today. And most importantly teaching t all about that motorcycle! i wonder where he gets that crazy passion? I like the serious posts as they teach me lots. I like this post cause I am Bumpa

  4. i think my first comment got lost into haiti internet cosmos -- loved this post! prayers for you guys.