Mar 03: Our Finale

This is it. We can hardly fathom that three months has already passed, but this was our last full day. Of course we had over planned for the number of activities we could complete but some things just have to be left to the end.

It was also Ariana’s last day at school. She seemed a bit indifferent to the ordeal in the morning. I spend the morning finalizing some work I had been doing on a new website for the Haitian church here and providing a little bit more training on how to use it. I had purposely used pretty simple software but was still surprised at how much there is to teach. Nicole spent the morning cleaning up, and sorting out the giveaway items, but as usual there was no power for doing any laundry.

Ariana's Last Day of Class

Ariana's Last Day of Class

At noon, when it was time to pick Ariana up from school we went in a little early. We took a couple more photos of her in her class, we brought cookies for class (complete with real Canadian chocolate chips), and a few small gifts for her teacher. Her teacher had a tough time with her leaving and was choking back tears the entire time. Ariana and her, after a rough start, had developed a pretty strong relationship. Ariana’s teacher told us later that night that the beginning was very difficult for her but she wanted it to work. She struggled and felt like it really brought out the best in her. Of course this made Nicole cry as well. Ariana just seemed stunned. I’m not sure she really grasped what was happening as she expressed neither sadness or joy.

One Family

One Family

The afternoon we spent trying to visit each of the families we had met and spend a few last minutes with them. Sometimes there was ackward silence (we’re getting used to that now), but the time was very meaningful. For a few of the familes we had connected a little more with we invited to our going away party that night. With one family Nicole agreed to one last commitment – to teach one of the ladies how to bake a cake – in the morning tomorrow – before we leave for the airport!

Going Away Decorations

Going Away Decorations

Our going away party was really special. The dress code, unbeknown to us, was red and white and there was a large poster with the Canadian flag to wish us off. We order Pizza, enjoyed lots of treats, and played a game like hot potato. When the music played we would pass a ball around. Whoever was stuck with the ball when the music stopped had to say something to us, usually nice. We were really overwhelmed with how many people came, including everyone who we had invited only a few hours earlier. This is part of the joys of the culture here. Unfortunately our kids found the whole thing overwhelming (too many people in such a small place) and were happy to head home in a reasonable time. There was still lots of time for many hugs and photos.

Packing by Flashlights

Packing by Flashlights

For us getting home early was pretty important. Because of our new cake baking commitment we had to be completely packed before heading to bed. In addition, I had accepted one last laptop for a tuneup. Right on cue the inverter batteries ran out and we spent the first two hours packing by flashlights. Really, we don’t recommend this. Eventually the power did come and we were able to packup our four suitcases in pretty short order. Although we thought we would have less stuff going home, we seemed to have picked up enough extras while here that our suitcases are just as full as when we came. Of course this time we had no scale so were weren’t really sure how our weight would hold out. This was of some concern since many of the extra items were books, and we were already too heavy on the trip down.

It was a late night, but we went to bed with our bags packed and the laptop running smoothly.

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