martes, 15 de abril de 2014

Ak Blan Ou Ye?

Last week we had chiropractors visit with a group called Chiro Mission. On Friday and Saturday we led them to the schools and communities where they consulted and adjusted, and also some helped out with our shoe box solar oven activities. During lunch on Saturday, Amanda took them to where they eat, and I went with Ilayas, Yenilove, and Maraya to La Sirena to get hot dogs for the solar oven testing activity we were doing in Padre Granero in the afternoon. Afterwards, we walked from La Sirena to the road where we can catch the PB taxi that goes into Padre Granero. We waited forever and I felt constant stress standing on the side of the road with three squirrely little ones. 

As we waited, a Skim Ice vendor passed by. Skim Ice is like a freezie pop. They wear brightly colored jump suits with sometimes a penguin on them and push a big cyllinder that contains their treats they sell. My kids always want one when they see one and started begging. 

As he came near he noticed Yenilove's Haitian appearance mixed in with my mixed kids and white self and said to her, "Ak blan ou ye?" She just looked at him and didn't answer so I interjected. This Creole phrase he said means, "Are you with ´white`"? Blan is what Haitians refer to foreigners... even dark-skinned ones. 

"Is she with blan?" I asked. He stared at me surprised that I understood his Creole. I went on to tell him, "If you see a child and an adult, you have to talk to the adult, you can't just start talking to the child." He said okay. I then apologized for my sharpness and let him know that we had been waiting for 15 minutes or so for a carrito PB and none had passed yet. Then we of course bought Skim Ices, he said thank you, and went on his way. 

The other day we were buying peanut butter from someone in the batey in Muñoz... the batey where Junior, Yenilove, and Elisenia used to live before their family fell apart. Their sister Alexandra AKA Chi Chi still lives in the batey with her godmother and another brother Elideau lives up the road with a kind family. As we waited for the woman to fill the jars of peanut butter, Alexandra told Yenilove that a man was calling her in the corridor. I looked and saw a man standing a distance away looking over at us. I called over to him and told him that he should come here rather than calling her over there. So he came and asked her how she was doing and some questions she didn't answer but looked to me and I answered for her. Then he left. Sometimes people here do sketchy things and... they don't actually know that it's sketchy or why it's sketchy so you can't blame them but just let them know that... you don't feel comfortable with it. 

I find Yenilove to be extremely clingy. I am not complaining, just observing. I don't know if this is a coincidence or a reality but the girls in our family... I am constantly almost tripping over them as I try to go from one crowded space to another in the house because they like to be right there with me, whereas the boys like attention and to visit, but they sort of check in and then go and do their own thing. It makes me laugh. Yenilove especially feels concerned about knowing my every move and is always asking a day ahead if I will go anywhere the next day, where I will go, etc. In the busyness of life I get annoyed and impatient with her and the fact that she is making me feel "micromanaged", but she said something the other day that interrupted my busyness and reminded me why she does that. 

She came and hugged me and said, "I love you Mommy." I told her that I love her too. She then said, "I don't want you to die." I assured her that I wasn't going to die and she looked at me like she wasn't sure. I assured her again. Tears. The things some little ones go through. The Lord "gathers his lambs in his arms, comforts them, and carries them close to his heart". From a favorite song we used to sing at church growing up. 

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