Monday, January 24, 2011

Driving Towards the Beauty

When the noise...exhaust...sadness...impossibilities...heat...and trash filled streets get old, we've learned it's time to call up friends, load up the car, and head to the beach.

It's absolutely remarkable what clean air, a breath-taking view, and lots of wide open space can do for the soul.

We buried Hayden.  He was why not?

Little brother sat and did what little brother does best...quietly stare at rocks and pick out exactly the right ones to take home.  "Look..this one has fish nibbles.  I'm going to take it."  

They bought some necklaces from one of the vendors that walks up and down the beach begging you to look at their giant platter of jewelry.  Of course the boys wanted the most gaudy necklaces available.  I held up the Mr. T style neck bling and asked how much they cost.  $5 American.  Yes.  The boys were willing to part with their Christmas money to look like Pirate of the Caribbean characters.  I had one other question for the guy selling his wares.  "Are these voo-doo?"  Hey...I watched that Brady Bunch Hawaii special about eight times growing know...the one where Cindy wears that voo-doo necklace and then gets lost in a cave.  I don't like caves.  The guy selling the necklaces thought I was hilarious.  "Voo-doo?"  (laughing).  "No."  "These no voo-doo." 

We sat and listened to the patient boat men ask us time and time again to let them take us over to the next beach so we could snorkel.  "We have to stay here and watch our kids."  What a responsible parent Aaron is.  To this, boat man replies..."They can all come.  Put your kids and your wife in the boat.  We can all go." thanks.  I barely survived the car ride here with four kids.  That boat?  My four looney, loud children?  Since they can all swim, the temptation to throw them overboard would be too great for me.  I know my we stayed put.  The sweet, old boat man just laughed and calmly waited for us to change our minds.

We tried something new this time.  You can buy a coconut for $1.  A coconut expert peels the coconut.  Then  he whacks off the top with his giant and probably not so clean machete.  We all tried the milk.  Two out of the six of us liked it.

After the milk is gone, your $1 includes the same coconut pro chopping open your coconut and digging out the inside.  Our kids actually ate it.  This is just a theory, but I'm wondering if I used a machete during dinner prep every night if our kids would eat just about anything I made them.  That's a magical weapon for a boy.  They watched this guy work with complete awe and fascination.  I'm pretty sure they want to be coconut sellers when they grow up.  Dang machetes.

There was lots of playing and laughing with friends.

There was also lots of being adorable.  Isn't he the cutest?

It's a good thing he's so cute.  See all that red nail polish all over his foot?
Long story that resulted in one foot plus one toilet lid painted red, Aaron being interrupted in the middle of a prayer service, and me using finger nail polish remover to mop the bathroom floor.  Like I's a really, really good thing Hudson is so cute.

Really, really good thing.

We were also totally suckered into buying a beast of a live crab and letting a guy cook it for us right on the beach.  This is the before picture.

This is the after. 
Sometimes being suckered into something is a great thing.  
Like when it comes to crab...on the beach.  This was delish.

Aaron caught a puffer fish (they are poisonous) and saw an octopus and an eel.  Then he went back in the water.  I choose to pretend there's nothing alive in the water where I'm swimming.  Denial.  Aaron likes to face the hard cold truth.  How weird of him.

We came back refreshed and red.  When we parked the car, Dominique and Soso were there to greet us and help haul in our sleepy boys.  Dominique took one look at me and said, "You find little bit sun there?  You change you color."  Then Aaron (who is a total overachiever in the skin cancer department) came into the light of the kitchen.  Aaron was bright red.  Dominique said..."Wow.  You REALLY change YOU color."  I never thought of it before, but we white people have a strange power to change the color of our skin.   

Praise God for weekends and beauty that exists in the darndest of places.


Melda said...

Great photos and glad you had a great time! Also glad you explained the red foot. I saw it and thought Hudson had cut his foot on rocks or something. He IS completely adorable!

Gwenn Mangine said...

Which beach did you hit?

Hendrick Family said...


We went to Kaliko. Which one do you like best on that side of the island?


Christy said...

I just adore your blog. What a beautiful beach...we never see that side of Haiti in pictures. Our church supports Evangelique Christian School of Gressier (specifically Pastor and Blonde Desarmes.

Leigh said...

Love the Brady Bunch tie-in. That was a completely relevant and appropriate question to ask the necklace vendor:)

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

1. Calvin begs me ALL the time to buy a real Live coconut. Does the machete guy make house calls?

2. Why are Hudson and Silas so wiley? I don't think anyone on this earth understands what we go through with Silo, but I'm starting to think that you just might.

3. Bobby Brady was my pretend friend.

Shannon- said...

I SOOO love the fresh coconut! I can smell it now...

nic said...

ah, what a delicious post in the middle of january. i loved every bit of your day...this haitian beach reminds me quite a bit (surprisingly) of my childhood.

ps in all fairness to the coconut milk, i promise it tastes best ice-cold. :)

LD said...

Ok so maybe instead of coming there to help the Hatians, I need to come there and do mole checks on all of you crazies. Sunscreen is your friend. Seriously.

PS I just envisioned myself trying to get through customs with moles to send to pathology. That would super fun to explain.

mandi said...

Wow!!! Beautiful! That sky, that water, all those rocks. Wow!

I totally remember that Brady Bunch special. I think you were wise to check on the voo-doo factor. And I say (in my best Mr. T to match the necklaces you bought) "I pity da foo' don't like coconut milk".

Gwenn said...

We like Indigo and Wahoo. Haven't been to Kaliko.

You need to come to Jacmel one of these days-- we'd love to host your crew. Not to brag, but Jacmel (the Sudest) has GREAT beaches and an awesome chill atmosphere. We call it the "southern california of haiti."

We can usually always make room... :)

Gwenn said...

Oh! I forgot to say two things. One, our org owns land with a private beach-- so if you want us to watch the kiddos while you and hubby have a... hem... "date" ... (keep in mind, you said it yourself, "Haiti can ruin a marriage if you let it.")

And two-- my son Jean Louis has earned the name "Chat Kokoye" (Coconut Cat) because he can climb up a coconut tree and get coconuts for us. He will also machete them open for you too... no dollar necessary. :)

(Can you tell I really like visitors?)

Nicole said...

so beautiful! it sounds like you all are very blessed!

...i just found your blog and really enjoy it, i'll be back again :)


Tasha Via said...

I am totally like you, I just try to pretend like there couldn't possibly be anything harmful in the water to get me. Coming from the same girl who is terrified of alligators at the little lake in VA where we go on vacation, ha!
If I keep telling myself that maybe I can will those creepy unseen creatures far, far away from me:)

Glad ya'll had a little time to just breathe.

Blake said...

Ahh. The Brady Bunch comment got me.

Beaches make me jealous. It keeps snowing here in north Mississippi.

Carol said...

I wish I could have spent MORE time at Heartline when we were there in October. I had the privilege of being with Beth when she visited with Lucille Pierre, she looks beautiful. I will be 52 in May an I am not sure I would be feeling the same way about another child that she is. I hope I see when her child is born. I think my next trip to Haiti better be Heartline focused, your ministry and focus on all of these women/children/families is key to making a difference in all of their lives.

mamamargie said...

Love it!