Monday, April 21, 2008

Look how far we've come!

So, I've been back in Haiti for just over a month already! Hard to believe!! It seems that just yesterday I was arriving back in Edmonton, woeing about how many weeks I was going to be stuck in the snow!
It didn't take long to get back into a routine and find my niche, and it feels like I've been at it forever. The noticable difference is that I am fresh, and I know the Lord had this up his sleeve in all the nonsense of cutting my thumb. I love the fact that now I notice everyday how far the kids have come, the mountains we have climbed together(and don't get me wrong, we still have a lot of mountains!), and how some things that used to be such a chore are not even an issue everyday! For those of you who have heard about the things we've had to work through, or have been here to work through them with us, here are some things I've been amazed to realize have changed.
1. We hardly ever have to chase kids out of the kitchen! You have no idea what a huge feat this is! Thank you Steve for the door that has helped us a lot!
2. Very rarely do I have kids banging down my door in the morning, yelling "Low-wee!". Don't get me wrong, knuckles still fit very well into the groove worn into my door, but it is not an incessant knocking starting at 5:45 a.m! Sometimes I catch myself missing it, and then I slap myself and roll over in my bed!
3. We can now leave children in the bathroom unattended for a few minutes to brush their teeth, and still have a tube FULL of toothpaste!
4. Time-outs have become the correctional tool of choice, as the kids now respond to this and avoid it at all costs...except of course when they are pretending to be me or Minnie and are standing kids in the hallway with their noses to the wall, saying "You need to stand there until I come and tell you you can go!". Very humerous!
5. The kids now know what our expectations are for them, and are willing and able to obey them...for the most part of course...they are KIDS! This makes a huge difference in how they interact and respond to situations.
6. Because they know what is allowed and what is not, they have started policing themselves, which makes for much less intervening, though my job as(excuse me, reporter Johanna has just arrived to inform me that James and Chris don't have their noses touching the wall) the downstairs problem solver is by no means even close to being phased out! At this point in the game, there is a lot of "M' ap di Lori sa!" ("I'm telling Lori that!"), which sometimes drives me nuts, but shows me their growing understanding of right and wrong!
6. Right now we are learning to say "I'm sorry" in the right context! They have not yet totally wrapped their heads around the concept of not bopping someone on the head and just saying "I'm sorry!" However, they are learning how it works, as well as the whole "not hitting someone in the first place concept". I thought we would never make it to this point!
7. The attention spans of the kids have increased dramatically. One significant area that I've noticed in the last weeks is when we are coloring! In the fall a coloring activity consisted of 20 some children holding one crayon, rarely actually sitting down, more concerned about what everyone else was doing, and not all totally sure what to do! Now, we sit at the table, each child with a cup of crayons(and they will tell you if any colors are missing!), coloring beautiful pictures, "pa deyo"( not outside the lines...that was a steep learning curve for them), for an HOUR at a time!!

Reading this brings to mind that these things were so significant and frusterating not so long ago! It's funny because some of the issues seem to be so trivial, but when you multiply them by 20 something, they were very BIG! I am so thankful for the wisdom the Lord has given me in regards to working with these kids, because the many tears of frustration that fell quickly showed me I could not do any of this on my own!


Jelly Beans Gurl said...

Wow Lori, you amaze me. Maybe I haven't told you how much I respect and love you for the work you are doing. You are a witness to us all. Thanks for being you and for sharing that with us through your humourous words and stories. Love you

Bid said...

That's awesome Lori. Very exciting.