Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday the 20th

Day 15:
Well, the last full day started with the sun streaming through our windows. Mom and I talked a little bit about wanting to see the Citadel and since the sky was blue we decided to see what Jamie thought about us going for a bit. He said that would be fine, so at about 9:00 we headed out with Neil and Mary, with Rikkens as our driver. Jenna and Jackson stayed with Debbie, since she went to the citadel a couple of weeks ago. Since we would be going right through Milot, we arranged it to pick up Theo on our way back through. As you get closer to the citadel, you head up into the mountains and the drive is so nice. You really get into rural Haiti-very tropical and lush. It's fun to see the people going about their daily lives, hand washing their clothes and other such tasks. The road gets very steep, but finally you come to a parking lot and get mobbed by people wanting to sell you little trinkets. We avoided them and started the long walk up the mountain with a throng surrounding us. In Milot we stopped and purchased our tickets as well as picked up a guide, but the people just walked along with us telling us little bits of information in hopes for a tip. We tried to be friendly, but not encourage them. Several of them had horses, hoping we would pay for a ride up the hill, but Mary is allergic to horses, so having them follow us made the walking even more difficult for her. Eventually we made it up the hill and the view was so beautiful. The clouds had come in some and it got fairly hazy, but we could still see out to the ocean as well as the mountains and valley. Our tour guide gave us a very in-depth tour of the citadel. It was very large and had withstood an earthquake, with some damage. It was an amazing fortress speaking of much better times in Haiti. It had a bunch of cannons and balls throughout the building, but it never had to be used. We were starting to feel pressed for time since there was another part of the tour down in the palace area by Milot and we also needed to pick up Theo. We made fairly quick time walking down the hill. There was a group of men and children playing these bamboo pipe things as well as drumming and it was really beautiful. There was also a man playing a bamboo flute. He was pretty good at it. and made a very quick run through the palace, which is more ruins than the citadel-more just a skeleton with a building, some stables and one bust of the queen. We were a bit rushed, which was a bummer, but I think the four of us was all toured out anyway. We went to the hospital and just as before it took some time to actually leave with Theo. There was a huge switch over of doctors and nurses yesterday, so the people caring for Theo were new and didn't know the system at all. I think they felt a little nervous about us just walking out with him. They called a charge nurse, who also came that day or the day before. She wanted me to come with her to the area where the medical workers were staying and to make sure Dr. Suresh hadnt left any other instructions. Finally we had the go-ahead and we left. We had a good laugh later when we realized we forgot to pay for Theo's hospital stay. Later that night mom pulls a wad of Haitian Gouds out of her pocket and gets this horrified look on her face. It was great! They'll just have to pay when they pick up Nick. Theo had a terrible ride from the hospital. Rikkens drove so slowly, but those darn pot holes. It seemed to take forever and all our nerves were fried by the time we got home. He settled down pretty quickly, though. Right after getting home I went over to spend some time with Calile and Mac, the two older boys. We had a good time and Debbie and I ended up taking them on a walk with Jenna. We saw a huge tarantula crossing the road and Debbie said "Oh, thank you, Lord!" Apparently it was on her life list to see a tarantula out in the wild. Well, she squats down right next to it and lets it walk across her hand. I was impressed! We had the kids out there in a wagon and everyone that walked passed us was pretty excited to see us. I'm not exactly sure what was so funny, but they all had a good chuckle. We took some pictures of some kids, since they practically begged us. They loved getting to look at themselves on the camera. After we got back we went back into the baby house, Debbie asked if the nannies would sing a particular song. One led to another and they sang for us for quite some time-I'm sure over an hour. We pulled out one of their hymn books and took some requests. They sang Amazing Grace, What a Friend we have in Jesus and several others. It was beautiful. What a send off! I spent my last evening listening to hymns in Creole while making Rivaldo laugh until he eventually just sacked out, fast asleep. Finally when it was over, the nannies asked if they could keep the hymnal because one of the ladies who has worked there for years has very advanced cancer. It started out as breast cancer, but according to the doctors has metastasized almost everywhere. Emily and Neil went to pick her up that evening from the hospital to bring her home, since there was nothing more the doctors could do for her. The nannies wanted to go and sing for her in her home. After the group broke up, we quick did meds and then mom set up the meds for the next couple of days so Jenny wouldn't have to worry about it. Then we got all packed up. What a day and tomorrow we get back into the states and hopefully home!

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