Thursday, November 26, 2009

What matters more??

To most of you, this is probably old news. But, living in Haiti, I usually have no idea what's going on in America. Last year on Black Friday, a man was trampled to death at a Wal-mart in New York. Customers broke through the doors and stampeded in the store. A quote from an article I found, "Witnesses and the police said the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, of Queens, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him."

I don't know about you, but I was shocked when I heard this and read the story. It brought tears to my eyes. Not only because a man lost his life, but because this is who we are. This is what we've become. Does it bother you? We are a people that care more about getting that bargain TV than we care about someone's life. We are selfish and hard-hearted. I'm speaking of the American population in general. And even for those of us that follow Christ and claim that we are changed people, while those terms do not describe who we are, we've all been those things. It's still something we need to constantly check ourselves on. What matters more to us? Do we love like Christ loved? And it's not as simple as, how do we answer those questions-- but, how do we really live?

When I was thinking through all of this, I though of Derek Webb's song, "What Matters More?"

The song touches on legalism and doctrine- how we let those things get in the way of what really matters. Lost souls that are dying. He is NOT saying that certain things, like homosexuality, aren't sins... he is saying that our focus is messed up if we are simply fighting and condemning sinners. Jesus was friends with the prostitutes and tax collectors. He loved them. Okay, but even this is not the point of the song I want to get at. It's the last verse. When we let our debates and differences get in the way of loving people. We talk the Christian talk. But, the way we live- what does that say about what matters more to us??

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

i went outside.

Saturday night, some of the girls (young ladies, if you will) got together to hang out at the Women's Center. Jonna, one of the midwives, is staying there and invited us all over for pizza and good times. Things got a little more exciting than we had even planned on. Around 8 o'clock, in the middle of a game of "two truths and a lie", Jonna got a call that one of the women in the program was in labor. To read more about the birth, read here. It was a long night, but I rather enjoyed it. We watched a movie. Listened to music. Talked. Got to know each other more. And hanging out around a birthing center, of course we do things like make music videos, check each others hemoglobin, and practice taking blood pressure. My hemoglobin is great, by the way. My blood pressure on the other hand, a little higher than desired.

People told me that exercise is a good thing for high blood pressure (apparently, exercise is a good thing in general). I'm just not a person that is super concerned about my health. BUT I suppose it wouldn't kill me to try to exercise a little bit. So Paige and I partnered up to try running together. Then Vivien and Corrie decided they wanted to run as well. It looks like my high blood pressure has motived all the young ladies in Village Theodat to run. Paige and I planned to run yesterday. It was a good plan. But I forgot to set an alarm... and then she ended up having to go to school earlier than normal. So, it didn't work out. It was a darn good plan though. However, this morning Corrie showed up at the guest house. Vivien had stuff to work on, so it was just Corrie and I that gave this whole running thing a shot. We mostly walked. We ran a little bit. And we weren't out for long. But, I went outside. I think that's a good start. When I got back, Vivien asked "but aren't you motivated now? wasn't it exhilarating?". Hum. I thought about it for a minute. No, not really. Now don't me wrong, I'm glad I did it. And I think I plan to continue it. I just don't see how people actually enjoy running. I don't know though, maybe I'll enjoy it more once I can run and breath at the same time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

out of place

Ever feel totally out of place? For example, a few years ago, some friends and i went on a road trip to Chicago. We decided to walk to Navy Pier from our hotel. It didn't look very far. We were wrong. After walking for over 3 hours (and a 3 hrs that we had not planned on walking, mind you), we were tired and hungry. Someone told us there were places to eat in a building not too far from us. We found it, walked in, eager for food. We didn't see any signs for restaurants. We didn't see any people. So now, here we are, walking aimlessly through this building. We walk into a huge common area, filled with men dressed in suits. Then we saw the banner- welcoming everyone to the Neurosurgeon Convention. Needless to say, we felt slightly out of place.

Another time was when Lizzie Huijskens was in Haiti visiting. Three Angels' lawyer, Rolande, runs her own orphanage. They were celebrating their 40th anniversary. I thought it would be a casual get together. Finger foods. Kids running around. People mingling. Lizzie and I decided to stop by this party. The second we pulled up, we knew we were out of place. The only thing casual about it was Lizzie and I. Everyone else was dressed for a black tie event. We could see everyone seated in another room, listening to someone give a speech. Servers were busy getting the fancy tables ready for the dinner. We stood around awkwardly for a few seconds, then someone told us they would go get Rolande for us so we could say hi. We decided not to stick around to say hi to anyone, we quickly replied, "Um, I think we're just going to leave..." as we quickly ran back to the car.

Okay, and final story. The one that spurred this post. Tuesday, John asked me to attend an adoption workshop that the Embassy was hosting. Alright, sure, no problem. My first mistake, was again assuming something in Haiti would be casual. There is no such thing as a casual party or get together. They like fancy parties. This is a fact I know. I blame no one but myself for making such a stupid mistake. I thought it would be a casual get together of people that run orphanages and process adoptions. Casual was the first mistake. Second mistake was who I thought would be there. It was mostly French people with fancy names and fancy job descriptions. There was a Haitian judge that works in the Port au Prince court. The Consul General was there. I'm not even sure who he is or what he does, but it sounds important. The first speaker spoke only French. Finally, a few minutes after he spoke, someone went back and repeated everything he said in English. And from there on out, everything was translated from French to English and English to French. As soon as I realized I was under-dressed, I took a seat in the back corner. I spoke to no one. Until a large man came and sat next to me. He shook my hand and introduced himself as someone with the Embassy. Adding to the fact I was aware I was not dressed appropriate, I had a cold. Not a big deal, I know. But, when you can't breath out of your nose, probably have snot dripping down your face, and have to leave your mouth gapping open so you can breath, there is just something about it that makes you feel even more unattractive. It doesn't matter how nice you actually look, you will just still feel like you look like crap. Now, don't get me wrong. I really don't mind these types of events. If I'm dressed properly, I can pretend to be professional and act like I fit in. However, not dressed properly, I just feel like a kid that is somewhere I don't belong. A little out of place.