Friday, July 6, 2012

Final day in Haiti

Wedley was still sleeping when we left for the Citadel, so Mateja came down and was going to watch him after he woke up, then later take him to pre-school. She later said that he did great - that he asked where I was and she told him that I was with Uncle Nick and he was fine with that. She also said he did something a bit funny today - there was a plastic lizard that Eventz probably took to the playground. The kids were afraid of it (it's pretty life like), but Wedley probably was familiar with it so he picked it up. He caught on that everybody else was scared of i and was chasing them around the playground with it.
Nick, Diva, Brenda, and I headed off for the Citadel. Weather was a very high slight overcast which would make the long distance views not as good, but nicer for the steep hike up. We drove through Milot so I got to see the hospital buildings where Sarah spent some time the first time she came with her mom (after the earthquake). Shortly after Milot we came to the fortress (constructed at about the same time as the Citadel) and purchased our tickets. Nick put the Toyota in 4-wheel drive for the next part of the Journey because it is pretty steep. The road was better than I expected - cobble stone - I guess built in the 70's. Lots of community action to see on the way up - lots of homes where people live. When we reached the end of the road, we got out. There were a few people selling things and Nick warned that we would likely be bombarded on the way down (harassed). We headed up and a couple "tour guides" walked with us along with several horses. Brenda in our group only had some sandals, so she did take them up on the negotiated $10 to ride the horse - the rest of us walked and we got tour updates along the way even though we hadn't asked for it. To be upfront with my "tour guide" part way up I told him that I would give him $5 only - he seemed to be ok with that. He was a nice guy, though I did struggle some to catch what he was saying through his Haitian accent.

The fortress was very cool - little bizarre that they built it to protect the country from the French returning (after they had vacated). Not sure how much it would help. Has cannons poking out the walls all around, but I think they were never fired (and not sure what they would do to protect from invasion. Just don't go there. It is built with a boat like shape (I thought more like a sub) and there were 3 architects (in succession) that were involved in it. All three were killed so that they couldn't go and have one built elsewhere - you'd think the third guy would have seen it coming. It was never finished, the "King" committed suicide after he was paralyzed in a fight (at least that was my take on the explanation).

The walls are straight up and very tall, though we couldn't get the height from our guides. They just wanted to give us elevation from sea level. You can walk on the outer walls right up to the edge - long way down. Supposedly 200000 "soldiers" (or slaves) built it - with 20,000 dying in the process. Overall - was well worth the visit, pretty impressive structure and a bit out of place in the country of Haiti.

After we had our fill we hiked down, and bee lined it to the truck, though pleasantly we were not harassed at all. On the bumpy ride down we managed to pop one of the tires and so had to find a flat spot and change the tire - thankfully the spare was good and we had a jack.

When we got back to COTP, Nick and I worked further on the debugging of the network project. I waited till it was lunch time to be seen by Wedley - he came running madly at me - "DADDY!". Nice to be wanted.... :-)

He ate lunch and then nap time - another good nap time - going down quickly and asleep in 10min or so - even though he seemed pretty hyper as he got onto the bed.

During nap time, Nick and I pretty much finished the network project and had lunch. When Wedley woke up, we played in the room for a few minutes and then went outside. He was in such a good mood, and then was asking to do something that I never understood. So he decided to break down a bit crying. I picked him up and held him, he stopped a few minutes later but stayed sad with his head rested on my shoulder and quiet. Ironically it was about time for Cake in his honor - going away party. As the kids started to gather Wedley slowly worked his way out of his stupor and realized there was cake. "Cake..! Cake.. Cake.." (pointing in the direction we needed to go). We went over as 2 short tables were being setup for all the kids. Wedley didn't let me put him on the bench, rather he sat on my lap. He got the first piece and scarfed it. It’s a zoo with all the kids getting cake.

Neat thing was after cake, the Nannies started bringing kids up and coming up themselves, hugging, kissing, or shaking Wadley’s hand saying "Bon Voyage". One smart Nanny sported another piece of cake so had an instant friend and positive memory. It was cool. Hard to say how much he comprehends what's going on, though he's seen it before with others leaving. Next we went to the baby house where a few other Nannies were taking care of some of the smaller and special needs kids and said goodbye to all of them. Next Wedley spied dinner bowls in the baby house so we grabbed one and took it to the volunteer house where he ate and I started getting some things packed up.

After dinner I wimped out and didn't make him put clothes on. The staff were getting ready to have Bible study - so I went out and sat near them while Wedley ran various trucks around the courtyard. He ventured all over the facility and was having a great time - I figured best for him to get as much of this in as possible since it would be his last. A bit of a sobering statement - such a turn in his life. much for the better, but also will be a source of significant loss for quite a while and such a different path based on the turn. After the study was over, Wedley came and was able to interact with most of the staff - enjoying a group play time where he was digging up some gravel with a tractor/shovel and giving everyone handfuls. Such sharing! :-) Eventually it was time to start to wrap up the evening so was able to talk him into going in to check out his backpack and airplane. He said goodbyes to all, though many said they were going to be up special at 5:50 to wish him good bye.

In the room he wasn't interested in a shower, so I went ahead and took one - then was able to coerce him. We skipped the toys in the backpack except for the airplane and then read all the books and did singing. Then he did his usual lay there for quite a while with the door open. He'll fall asleep at some point.

I'm not feeling well tonight, so I'm hoping that the ride home isn't miserable. Lord help. One step at a time I guess. Up at 5am or so for the 5:50 departure - most of my stuff is ready to put in it's appropriate place - I think I need some sleep...




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