Jacmel, Haiti hotel rooftop deck
Waiting for breakfast...
Good discussion this morning at devotions about God's purposes for each of us and doing our work here HEARTILY.
I am tired and feeling dehydrated this morning. I woke up around 3am feeling gassy and have been going to the bathroom hourly since then. The first time it crossed my mind that I might be sick and I actually had a panic attack. Middle of the night, sick in a shared bathroom with "will it work or won't it" plumbing, in a country with pretty much no doctors or hospitals. Visions of being air-vacuated to Miami... Patti woke up when I went to the bathroom and talked with me until I calmed down. It was pretty scary because my hands and arms got all hot and started tingling from adrenaline. I literally felt like I was crawling out of my skin. This experience was the one that first made me realize that it was God's perfect plan that led to Patti and my roommate-ship. She reminded me a lot of my mom (similar age, likes to talk, tells it like it is) and we have almost the exact same medical history in terms of stomach issues and anxiety/panic. When I have panic attacks, it really helps me to talk about how I am feeling and what is causing the panic, even if I'm only talking to myself. Patti was a willing and receptive listener, even at 3am, and really helped me put things into perspective and calm down. I didn't feel like I was burdening or bothering her, which also helped lessen my anxiety. Thank you, Patti!
I am really worried about getting sick, but I think I am not. I think I'm just having some changes in my normal bathroom schedule because of the change in diet, stress, etc. I haven't really had any fiber since we've been here. No fruit or vegetables. No whole grains. It's kind of gross because you never know if the toilets in the hotel will flus, so it's "risky" to be sick in the bathroom. One of the first things we were told when we got to the hotel was that we should really consider not flushing our toilet paper in the toilet because it would give us a better chance for it to actually flush. Nice! Anyway, no stomachache, no cramping, no fever. I'm going to hold off on the Imodium until it is really needed. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make myself eat or not.
In hindsight, I was correct about this stomach episode. Almost everyone on our team experienced something similar somewhere around the 3-5 day mark because of the change in diet.
Back at the hotel for our break
I ended up eating a banana at breakfast in hopes of getting some "bulk". I figured the chance of foodborne illness was minimal enough since the banana was in a peel. Hopefully the banana will help. I felt fine, tired, for most of the day at the church. I had a few times where I felt a little crampy, but didn't go to the "bathroom" (read: rock with a hole in it) at the church. In fact, despite drinking 100oz+ of water a day, I never went to the bathroom at the church during the entire week. One nice thing about the heat was it limited the interaction with disgusting bathroom experiences! Our team leader agrees with me that it's probably not actual sickness at this point. Done worrying about it.
|Patti and Julie peeling potatoes|
In the time between my fish, I just relaxed in the shade and enjoyed the green and peacefulness. I also got to watch the chickens running around. They just come right up to you! In a lot of ways, it would be nice to live this way - no electronics, no worries about time, no "stuff" to worry about or maintain - of course there are other, more immediate concerns instead. But, truthfully, I don't think the people here admire us or want to be us/American - they like the life they have and would like some changes, but here with these people we are with, they probably wouldn't want major changes like the ones that might be made to "Americanize" Haiti.
After the fish, I spent some time talking with people from the team for a short time before lunch. I didn't even look at the food today, I just had a protein par instead. Then I passed out 88 DumDum suckers to people at the church (before all the kids came for the meal program).
I let Clifford and Ricardo use my IPod. Clifford showed me some pictures from a previous team's visit. He was very proud of them. Then a couple of younger girls (7? 8 years old?) took out my braids so they could do my hair. It ended up looking hideous, but I left it they way they did it. Here are couple of pictures of Clifford...