Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Coyle & Bower Family Trip Day 2 (Cite Soliel Water Truck Day)

Today was the water truck day. Just the bare heat was enough to make a person fall over. I woke up to the sound of the team waking up, the AC about to turn off. I thought today would be nice. Maybe some mild heat, cute kids, and maybe a little commotion. No way did that happen. It was a beautiful day, and I stared at the cloudless sky as I filled my new water bottle. I heard dogs barking, and the rumble of tap-taps as they fired up. Breakfast came hot and fresh. Toast, banana slices, mango, and various syrups and spreads were laid beautifully on the dining table. 

After some malaria pill frustration, I strolled out the door.  My new found friends, two eight week old puppies, greeted me as I walked down the gray steps. I referred to them as Rosie and Jax. Jax has big brown eyes, a boxy muzzle, honey-mustard fur, and some white on the tip of his tiny little snout. Rosie, however, was the opposite. Instead of more light brown, she looked like a baby Rottweiler. The only thing making her less like a mini guard dog was her floppy ears and big, hazel-brown eyes. 

My friend, Willow, and I waited at the back of the tap-tap. Jonas was yet to oped the squeaky rusted door. White paint, once fresh and spotless, was now chipped and revealed plenty of rusty chunks. A rainbow of colors proudly stated a Bible verses in Creole. Patterns and colors, I soon learned, were popular for cars, public tap-taps, even school buses. I kept my eyes open for two little girls who had danced and sang for us the night before. I can still remember their big brown eyes, white smiles, and pink dresses. My daydreams of the cute twosome disappeared as the loud creak of the tap-tap doors opened. I searched for a shady seat. The breeze felt nice on my skin, blowing my messy bun. 

As we rumbled out of the property, I stared at the many guard dogs. Proud parents, Gracie and Boaz, sat side by side. A dog that I didn't know, pale cream-and-white patched, slept under a truck. The fattest, white-faced Bacon lay on his post by the higher ledge. The dark-skinned men and women stared at our colorful ride, waving, smiling, or maybe leading a few goats back home. A chicken waddled past, his red comb waving in the dusty wind. 

Before I knew it, we were at our destination. We all crowded out the doorway. Practically slo-mo, I stared into the bottomless eyes of a little girl, wearing a white-and-yellow striped dress too big for her tiny body. I skipped down the small stairs, straight for the tiny little girl. She grinned so broadly I thought her fragile, sweet face would break. She said, "What is your name?" in crisp, but slightly accented, English. "Rachel," I replied to her. "What is your name?" she looked up at me. She was probably four, wearing cute sandals any grown woman would die for if it was in their size. "My name is Ashi." she said. I thought, What a pretty name! No average American would name their kid that. She asked me, "Potem, potem." Pick me up, pick me up. I swept my arms under her fragile body, lifting her up so we were eye level. "Go away!" she yelled in  her sweet-toned, high pitched voice to a little boy asking me to pick him up. Instead, I grabbed his chubby toddler fingers. 

After a blur of other kids, we had to go. I sat out of Stop 2 and 3. The hot, windless day had definitely put a number on me. As soon as we got to the guest house, I changed in to my flowered swimsuit. We swam for hours, ate dinner, had Pit Devotions, and then, after a bit of technical difficulties, I started writing this blog.


Coyle & Bower Family Trip Day 1 (Arrival Day)


Today, when we got to the guest house, we ran through instructions and what to use and what not to use. We got acquainted with the Bower family, the family accompanying us on our trip. We first saw the new, 2 month old puppies and the other dogs, then went upstairs to explore. I went to the balcony to look out. As I looked around, I noticed a medium sized gap between the railing and the yellow stucco walls. I went into it, and got a beautiful view of the neighborhood. I glanced around and saw people burning trash, Bathing in the open, and a few boys fighting on a roof. I invited the rest of the kids over to look at it. As we looked, our neighbors came over and said hi- or some sort of welcome in Creole. Then they did what I was not expecting. They started to sing. They sang and sang and danced along with their tune. They were dancing, and probably wanted us to join. So I started to clap to the rhythm. Then we wanted to know their names. We grabbed a Creole packet and practiced. It took us a while to find out who would do it. Then, we all said it. At first, they didn’t hear it well. So I took the guts and said it again. They heard it then, and laughed at my American accent. I was very embarrassed. I stayed longer, hearing them sing Jingle Bells in the middle of summer. We then had Devotions and talked about bearing a fruit that is eternal. We talked about how to act as a Christian in public, not just in Church. Then we talked, Rachel, Willow and I, on the porch. After a little bit, we went to sleep to make up for our wakeup time of 2:30.


Added by Mike: As I tucked Luke in he said: "Dad I was nervous about going into Cite Soleil tomorrow with all the kids, but after tonight, I'm not nervous anymore."