Sophna and Sophinia

Sophna and Sophinia
Our Girls

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stories from the December trip

Enjoy some of my favorite stories from the December bonding trip:

Pulling a Sophna
On Saturday, we were at a Christmas bazaar at Quisquaya school. When we were in the parking getting ready to leave, Sophna tells me “Mwe pee pee” (my girls drink non-stop so we spent an inordinate amount of time going to the toilette). Instead of taking the time to take her, I did the ‘Chinese child squat’ in the parking lot. So she had definitely gone pee pee before we left. We stopped at the grocery on the way home and let those wanting to shop go into the market. Sophna fell asleep on me and Sophinia fell asleep on Trish’s sister Laura. I’m glad this story is about Sophna and not Sophinia and Laura! With Sophna sleeping on my lap, my lap suddenly started to feel warm. I slid open the van door and all of the Haitians milling around the market parking lot got quite a laugh out of me holding this peeing child out and my now wet shorts. The always-prepared Etchepares had Dora underwear in their backpack for their daughter that was in the United States (now that is prepared!) so I changed Sophna. Now she was awake and began saying “Mwe pee pee”. Since she had just gone, I thought she was making it up.
But now, a second time I had to jump out and amuse the entire parking lot of spectators. The shoppers were done and we crammed back into the van.  Now that I have been peed on twice, I am sure I am home free.  But you guessed it. As we are driving, I hear those words I now fear “Mwe pee pee” and not only is my lap warm, there is now pee running down my leg into my shoes. So now when you have to go so badly that you can’t hold it, you can say you are “pulling a Sophna”.

Donna almost dies
OK, this is not a funny story, but one that I would tell you if we were sitting chatting, because we all love to tell our near-death experiences. On Saturday evening, I decided to wash my hair using water from my hotpot because the hotel never has hot water. On a whim, I turned on the shower and it was warm. I was so excited that I jumped in totally forgetting that this is not filtered water and keeping your mouth shut tightly is a must. The next morning, my stomach had that churning sensation that makes you think “Oh no, this is NOT going to be good”. I took pepto, I threw up pepto. I was determined I was going to church so I dressed myself and the girls and went down to the pool. Suddenly I had to go to the bathroom so badly I literally ran to the public bathroom. As I was sitting there emptying out every liquid in my body, I had no choice but to throw up all over the floor in front of me (I hope I tipped the cleaning staff enough on this trip). I felt like a ketchup packet that had been opened at both ends and someone was squeezing the middle and the life out of me. Luckily Mandy had given me the wonder drug Cipro (take this with you to Haiti!) and God Bless the Etchapares who saved me again by watching the girls while I went back to the room to die. The Etahapares had a tea party and took fabulous pictures of my girls! I do believe I lost 5 – 10 pounds that morning, but it is not a diet I recommend!

Don’t mess with the Varda twins
On the July trip, Jim went and I did not. Something happened that made Sophinia mad at the restaurant.  She picked up her glass plate and whipped it across the floor. Mandy sent me a picture of the broken-plate-aftermath. On this trip, Sophna had finished an entire adult breakfast of pancakes. Cathy had ordered eggs and bacon and ran back to her room for something. The waiter set the food down at Cathy’s place which unfortunately was next to Sophna. Sophna picked up the plate and put it in front of her, quite excited that she was getting a second breakfast. Mandy reached over and moved the plate back to Cathy’s spot.  Sophna gave her the death look and picked up a fork. Yep, the fork came whipping across the table at Mandy and hit (and cracked) the salt shaker on the way. Mandy and I were both trying to act mad and hide the fact that we were completely cracking up. Cathy has the picture of the fork and the broken salt shaker. So now can start a scrapbook of pictures started titled “dining items our girls have broken”.

Mandy the Stalker
My friend Mandy has the most amazing heart for Haiti which causes her to read just about every blog from every missionary in Haiti. Because she has some kind of photographic memory of all these blogs, Mandy will approach people she recognizes like she has known them for years, with many mixed reactions – usually with a look of fear that they are being stalked because she is so enthusiastic about meeting them. On this trip, on Monday night after we dropped the kids off at the orphanage, we decided to take a cab to go see the guesthouse where my church will be staying in March on a mission trip. The driver dropped us off at this guesthouse and we asked 3 times “Is this Worldwide Village?” to which the Haitian guards nodded vehemently “Yes, yes”. We walk up to the door and the young man answers and says “well unfortunately, this is Heartline”. So I have to admit, I recognized the Bull Mastiffs in the courtyard from the Livesay blog from Heartline so I am a little stalker-guilty too. He offered to walk us to the Worldwide Village guesthouse.  While we are walking, Mandy looks at this young man and suddenly exclaims “Oh my, did you carry a heavy object like a dishwasher out of the kitchen when there was a rat behind it?”. The kid got that scared, I think I’m being stalked look in his eye and said “Um, it was a stove. How did you know that?”. Don’t be scared young man, it happens to everyone Mandy meets!

The Quake Queen
I need to preface this next story by saying that I have felt 2 earthquakes in Peoria and both times, I told Jim in the night that we had an earthquake and both times, he laughed with that “sure my crazy wife, it was an earthquake”. When the morning news confirmed we had indeed had an earthquake, he called me a cat because I could feel tremors when he couldn’t. I also need to preface this story with the fact that there is a huge bell with a pull cord at the hotel in Haiti that we have all gotten in trouble for ringing with the explanation that it is an Earthquake Bell. If it rings, people will think there is an earthquake. So, on the last day in Haiti, we had to get up early to get to the airport.  I am lying in bed asleep and what do I hear?  A bell clanging in the distance. I was so sound asleep when it woke me up and I remember thinking, “why am I hearing a bell? Oh man, the earthquake bell”. Mandy is in the bathroom so I go to the door and say “Mandy, do you hear the earthquake bell?”. She just smiles because apparently she heard “Blah blah blah bell”. I could not wrap my mind around why the earth was moving enough to ring the bell, but I couldn’t feel the earth moving. Remember, I am a cat. So I stood with my feet sturdy on the floor so I could see if I was feeling it move. Mandy casually goes over and turns off her I-Pad, which has been ringing with a clanging bell as the alarm. I suddenly realize what has happened and tell her I thought it was the earthquake bell and we both start laughing so hard we are crying (I didn’t laugh so hard that I peed, but with this trip, that would have been appropriate).  It was hilarious. Now, when Mandy tells this story, there is a lot more running and jumping and theatrics. And my stance to see if I could feel the earth moving has not only become some kind of surfer move, it is now a dance move called “The Earthquake” where you dance and then jump into this surfer stance. She totally cracks me up every time she tells it (which is everyone she sees) so I won’t let the truth get in the way of a good story :).  It really was hilarious. And now Russell calls me the Quake Queen!

This was the most amazing trip of bonding with my twins. But, it was also a most amazing trip with the other families. I love my “adoptive family” family and don’t know what I would do without them!