Thinking about my first solo trip to Haiti and the many trips before that, we had very little communication with the outside world! We had very little of anything period!
I can remember setting up a schedule of who called home and when! It was so, so hot and we didn't even have fans! But Teleco across the street had air conditioning! The best part of our day was when someone was calling home and we ALL had to go with that person so we could have those few minutes of cool! Never mind the fact that It was a VERY small room and by the time you put 20 of us and at least 20 Haitians in room there was no AC to be found!
We also had no clue what was going on in the world! We would get bits and pieces of news every time someone called home. We didn't even have radios. We didn't even have steady phone lines to call within Haiti or right there in Gonaives. It was nice in a sense but we also felt totally cut off from the rest of the world.. At times it was a pain and we were uncomfortable, but what memories!
Eventually, unbeknownst to me, Elias, our trusty hotel owner, bought a TV and had CNN. He kept it hidden in his room! Elias was a short, pot bellied, Lebanese man. He had a thick Lebanese/Kreyol accent and never moved very quickly! I has in Haiti in 1992 with Clyde and Leona Brooker. My Dad and Aunt were also in Haiti but they were at another part of the island. At that time a coup or riots were happening every other day in Haiti. I pulled into our hotel courtyard and Elias came running towards me, throwing up his arms and screaming, "Russo has fallen! Russo has fallen!" Elias' actions scared me for one and I automatically thought we were in the middle of a coup! Of course I wondered if my Dad was safe and if we were going to be able to meet up! I started asking Elias if we needed to leave, if we were in danger, what we needed to do. He looked at me like I was crazy and kept repeating "Russo! Russo!" Finally out of frustration he led me to his room to show me his secret! Ha! Communism had fallen in Russia! I think he was sorry he showed me because we were addicted to the story! Especially when my dad arrived!
These days, tonight in fact, as I am writing this blog, I am talking to 3 of my Haitian friends, in Haiti. It amazes me the cell phones and the internet! Granted the internet is still sketchy and have to hit timing just right but we have it! I have my own cell phone in Haiti and can reach any number of people locally, country wide or word wide in the matter of seconds. In a few minutes Junior is going to skyoe me so I can see my kids and talk to them! I look forward to that because I miss them so much!
I miss the days past when there were no distractions from the modern world but I sure do love hearing from
Tonight is Joplin High School's prom. My facebook is starting to fill up with prom pictures and fun! I'm teary eyed! I think back to just a year ago! I find myself really missing the stress, the nervousness, the giddiness, the joy of getting Lacey ready! Her date would've already picked her up and we would've gathered at a neighbor's house where all the neighborhood kids gathered to have million pictures taken! I can see and hear the kids perfectly.
I'm also sad because it feels like I didn't cherish those moments enough! I tried! Dress shopping with Lacey left me begging to be shot! haha She is so picky and opinionated that it was torture. Although she learned to humor me and try on dresses I grabbed and although she would never admit it, I think almost every formal we bought and she LOVED was one I picked out! I win! Make up, hair, nails ... it was a rush of sorts and missed. How did my girl go from newborn to almost a college Sophomore in just a blink of an eye?
My Dad, Zane & Lacey are going to Haiti in September. (That will be a whole other blog entry.) Lacey decided it would be easier for her to leave directly from Springfield. Originally she was going to be flying all the way to Haiti by herself and arrive 5 minutes after Dad & Zane. Remember Lacey has traveled to Haiti since she was 18 months old and will be 20 in August! A million thoughts ran thru my mind...what if she missed a flight? Does she really know how to check in? Will she lose her passport? What if she gets to Haiti and Zane has been delayed in the states? Honestly, I knew she would be ok. She can maneuver thru airports better than I can. I have made her do those things for a reason.
As I was fretting, I remember my first parentless trip to Haiti was when I was 19 and I was taking a team of people with me! My parents have often told me they were stressed about me going alone. I'm sure they were thinking "where did the time go?"
I remember thinking about that trip... I knew it all, nothing was going to stop me, it was me against the world. You remember that invincible feeling! That has been quite a few years ago! I have lost a lot of that invincible feeling! Time has flown by since that time.
Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!