We are halfway through our very short trip to Haiti with a group of great high school students and it is VERY hot here. It is the kind of hot that doesn't hit you at first but then you start to feel the pulse in your neck and then you realize that you have a sheen of sweat on your arms and back that tell you to drink more water. It is the kind of hot that leaves salt lines on your T-shirts from the sweat you produce.
So when it looked like a cloudy sunset we wondered if it might mean rain. Rain it did. It began with a cloudburst and some thunder. The students ran out of the cafeteria tent and just danced in the deluge of rain. I looked out at about 40 students jumping up and down in the soaking rain. It was thrilling to join them running laps around the tents getting soaked. Some of them brought out soap and shampoo and were taking showers (in their clothes of course) and trying to run up to anyone dry and give them hugs.
It disrupted our schedule and it was a fun diversion – the rain pelted us and lightning lit up the sky in large electric arcs. And then it kept raining – very hard – so we had a few issues with rain coming into our tents. So we worked hard to channel the water away from the dorm tents.
After all the buzz we settled down into some Bible study and a couple girls looked sad. Asking them why they were sad they revealed that they had learned that the people who we were helping – those that live in mud huts – were probably having their house covering destroyed as we speak. In the village of Chambrun, houses are made of a wicker type wood and covered with mud. It is still raining as we speak and that probably means a very disastrous night and a tiring day ahead.
So tomorrow may bring a different routine as perhaps we can help them rebuild their houses. How many times do they go through this? Why do they do it? A lot of questions for one night.
One thing is sure – what I thought was an absolute blessing relieving my overheated body was an absolute nightmare just down the road. And that is what makes understanding it all so difficult.