Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just another day in paradise

Welcome to Casa Loma,
essentially, House on the Hill.
And that, it is.
It's located right above a small town/village outside of the more touristy areas.
And even though, after walking only a few minutes down a VERY steep hill,
your senses are assaulted with motoconchos (motorcycle taxis),buses,cars,and the overall busyness of a people and a town and a life...
you'd never know it upon this quiet hill overlooking the bay.

Come on in.

Here is where we wash endless dishes and as all moms know, cook seemingly endless meals.
Although I must say,Noah is a fabulous cook and is always willing to share the cooking duties. And for some reason, he has been cooking even more often while we've been here,allowing him to perfect the fried plantain...Yes!! It's obviously small, and we don't bake many cakes in that oven. But we make coffee every morning,fry some eggs and plantains...have a refrigerator and freezer...I'm perfectly content. As you can see there is a coffee pot and toaster, but we actually put those away cause we never use them. We use the percolator for stove top coffee anyway and we don't really eat much toast. (Aslan just peeked at my computer and asked, "why do you have a picture of the dirty kitchen?) Just as a side note, all those dishes on the counter are CLEAN, just not put away...and this is probably the best it will

The "dining room":
Where you see the two chairs is where the kitchen table goes. But for a few days until we got a different desk, Noah drug it outside every morning for his desk, then brought it in for dinner. I'll show you his office in a bit. Anyway,as you can see, there is a futon mat of some sort that was already here, on the floor for the boys to sleep on. That stays there all the time. I don't even bother with cleaning it up. It's enough to bother with simply cleaning it (the sheets,the toys,the sand off the bed). There was a little shelving unit that has become a dresser for all the boys clothes. They each got o bring 10 outfits (all shorts and tees of the more worn in nature),one church outfit and 3 pairs of shoes (one dressy for church,one closed toe for hiking,etc, and one flip flop).And,of course,swim stuff.
It's working like a charm. A rather disorderly looking charm,but a charm nonetheless.

The living room:
This is the most beautiful,most breezy room in the house. It's my absolute favorite spot to sit and enjoy my coffee, quiet time, family time...shoot it's my favorite spot in the house anytime. It has my precious view. Currently Aslan crashes on the futon at night but when Kassie gets here in a week she will get the futon as her sleeping quarters and Aslan will be demoted to "the mat." For 8 glorious hours every night, Kassie will pretend she has her own space. Unfortunately she will be unconscious for most of those 8 hours. But in her dreams she will have privacy.

The office of Mr. Noah Joyner:
It's a corner office.
Please don't come in without knocking.
Very important work happens  in this gravel pit.
Time is spent in prayer,studying of the bible,studying of Creole,overall strategizing and planning...
thoughts and prayers are lifted up about how to best encourage the Haitian church towards Jesus, how discipleship is done in a way that last for eternity,past his little life...

With all that being said, his work day is not without interruptions. Some clients just always seem to stop by unannounced.
They are greeted graciously but encouraged to be as quiet as possible or to stay inside with their mom helping with chores,working on school or playing games. 
Other guests to the office are the neighborhood horses. I don't think anyone knows who they actually belong to  but my boys are absolutely in love...of course.
And then there is always the spontaneous lunch date at the office during work hours. But much is accomplished during this time,as well.
And last but not least, The Bedroom:
I say THE, because there is only one of them. Uno.
It's been great. The shutters to your left in the picture go into the living room so we get a good breeze at night. I never get terribly hot, and I'm almost 6 months pregnant so that says a lot.  At night, we don't sleep with any blankets of any kind, but about 3/4 through the night, I usually grab the sheet and pull it up to get comfy. The weather hovers between 80-90 most of the time but there is always a good breeze and if we're really desperate, the beach.
That pretty much covers our expansive 600 square feet. It has been the perfect location and the perfect provision from God. As you know, searching for a place to stay overseas while back home in the states and with a very limited budget isn't an easy task, but God provided abundantly and it feels like home.
After a few days of exploring and trying to understand our travel options (we have no car), grocery shopping options,scheduling details,routine planning,etc, we had the blessing of meeting back up with our friends from the airplane.
They were,unfortunately, only here for a week and had much to accomplish during that time.
But,fortunately, we made the most of it,packing those days with as much fun and relationship building as possible.
On this particular day, they happened to be heading to the beach and DO have a vehicle, so they came by and got our crew.
Now, before you respond to all of these children (9 to be exact) whose parents packed them into the back of a land rover then did the unthinkable...drove. 
An actual distance.
Let me just give a little perspective.
Our other options for travel have been as follows...
1)Motoconcho- we only take these up the hill to our house with the kids, cause,Lord have mercy, I'm adventurous,not a lunatic. I'll consider posting a picture of this at some point if I think our mimi can see it and NOT go into cardiac arrest. She's not unreasonable, Generally we get on 2 different motorcycles, at the base of our neighborhood. Noah gets on one,behind the driver, and a child (Aslan or Haddon) get on in front of the driver,kind of on top of the gas thingy,behind the handle bars. They think they are driving it and are now both convinced that they will move to the DR as adults to become motoconcho drivers. A win, as a parent? I think not.
Then I get on one behind the driver, with Shep either in front of me, squished between me and driver, or he is in the Ergo sling on my back. The remaining child is in front of the driver...and up we go. It's not far,at all. And if you think it's safer for a pregnant woman to walk up that hill...therefore sending her into preterm labor...if not death by haven't seen the hill.
Option 2) Take a Gwa Gwa- Don't officially know the spelling on that one, but it's a run down minivan  packed to the gills with travelers, mostly ,if not all, are nationals. You wait on the side of the road and wave them down,regardless of if there's room for you. You may think ,"no." They will prove, "yes."
Our first trip in a gwa-gwa, Shep and I sat next to a woman and Aslan,Noah and Haddon were behind us when Aslan pointed out audibly over my shoulder, "Hey mom! There's a chicken in that ladies purse!" Indeed the woman next to me sat stoically, tote bag in lap,hands hugging tote bag,staring ahead. While a live chicken stuck it's head out,pleading for anyone to rescue it before it's eventual demise.
My point? This landrover might as well have been a mercedes in my opinion. We stretched out,blasted the A/C, and enjoyed the ride to the beach with new friends.
If you wonder how Shepherd felt about being crammed like sardines into the back of the landrover...just ask him.

We were also joined by some local friends of theirs, and their boys. Hopefully we will get much more time with them over the next couple of months. Jesus and Maria were so wonderful and so welcoming. They are heavily involved in their local church here in the area and there is much we can learn from them, I am sure. We truly had the sweetest time with all of our new friends at the beach.

10 kids on the beach, 6 adults, and a LOT of fun. There was the few hours in there when we had 12 kids. "How," you ask? Well that's easy. When the beach vendor comes up to your husband and says, "hey,watch, my girls"(ages probably 5 and 7)
to which your husband responds with dumfounded silence and then the apprehensive, "uh,yeah,sure." 
Why? I cannot be sure. He's really not the manly babysitter type, but the Spirit must have taken over for a moment, leaving him in an awkward predicament.
Beach vendor man then disappears for hours,leaving you with just 2 more minors at the beach to keep from drowning.
At one point, one of our friends who spoke spanish asked the girls where their dad was, to which they replied, "Were with him!" pointing to Noah.
Huh. They say children are adaptable.
But don't worry, we did what any sane parent would do. As soon as their father came back on the scene, we asked in broken spanish about when we could drop our children off with him for a quick dinner date. 
He owes us one.

1 comment:

Kassie Joyner said...

I can't wait to get down there and see you guys! Miss and love you so much!