Giving Blood and Shoveling Elephant Dung

My parents recently visited us here in Haiti. It was a very good visit and it was so good to see them.

My parents are concerned about me; I don’t think it’s any more concern than they have for my siblings, it’s just a different concern. Of course, I am the only one of their children living in a 3rd World country.

I know that when they left, they felt much better than before they arrived. Part of the reason is simply because they were able to see first-hand where we live, where we get our food, the school my children attend and the roads we drive on.

One of the reasons why my parents were so concerned before is because they know that for the first 3 months of our time in Haiti, life was very hard. In fact, it was very much all about survival. While in a different way than many Haitians, I believe that we were shown a very clear example of what it really is like for the average Haitian:

“I can’t think about tomorrow when I have to figure out how to survive today.”

The Newsboys sing a song called “Reality.” I have long planned on using this song to explain how we were doing. Here is a couple of verses with the chorus:

Mom and Dad,
I’m fine. How are you?
I have joined a small circus (that much is true).
I’m a little malnourished, but try to relax
Could you find a better photo for the milk carton backs?

Send money
Runaway
Where’s your head
Dreamers dreams
are grounded

(Chorus)
In reality
that comes from above
God is calling
There is no bigger love
It’s His reality that welcomes us back
Trust and Obey
There is no other way

Mom and Dad,
I’m fair. How’s life?
I lent the money you sent me to the clown with the knife.
My career as an acrobat hasn’t begun,
But I’m busy giving blood and shoveling elephant dung.

Send money
Runaway
Why so tense
Dreamers dreams
will make sense

You see, when we decided to move to Haiti, it seemed like a strange time. Actually, in the “reality” of modern-day America, I’m sure it appeared that we were running away. That the decision to move to Haiti was crazy…wrong…stupid. It didn’t seem to make sense.

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(Look, mom. No hands!)

I don’t completely understand the reality that comes from above, but I do know that in order to be an acrobat, one has to let go of the trapeze. Trust and obey; there is no other way.

In the meantime, I’m busy giving blood and shoveling elephant dung.

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(Yes, I’m shoveling goat dung, too.)

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