Kanaval (Carnival) is happening in Haiti right now. Kanaval is a countrywide dance party/parade/reason to celebrate. There are major Kanaval events that happen on specific days with one main event. However, all week they have "little" events with live music and dancing. Last Sunday night my friend Pierre (who is Haitian but lives in the U.S. and does lots of work for Extollo) was visiting and showed Katie and I some Kanaval festivities in Bon Repos. There was a giant flat bed semi truck that had a live band on it that drove down the street and everyone followed down the road dancing. It was very festive and I was so happy that I got to see it! It was also probably the craziest thing I've done in Haiti and something I probably should never do again. There were TONS of people dancing and singing and having a good time. I can't imagine what the Karnival in Port Au Prince or Jacmel is like since there are so many more people.
Yesterday, I went to Leogane to stay for one night. Frankie (Pierre's brother who lives here) came with me. We took taptaps (bus/taxi) because I didn't want to have to pay the $75 US it costs for him to drive me in his truck. Instead, I payed about $6 U.S. dollars on taptaps. I only went to Leogane for one night because I can't be away from Sues house for too long and I also had Frankie with me to help. The reason I went to Leogane was because I needed to pay (finally!) for Yveline's school. It was a long ride for such a short visit but was necessary.
Our trip to Yveline's school this morning didn't go as well as I had hoped. I wanted to give her school the complete amount for the year and not have to deal with them telling us they needed more and more money later on. From my experience, that's a constant problem when people find out Americans are involved in paying for anything. The director of the school ended up giving a price that was higher than what they had originally told Yveline. I'm sure it was because he saw me there and knew that I was helping here. I wish I had stayed outside and kept out of it. Oh well. We ended up only paying for her tuition so far and I'll save the rest of the money for the other stuff that she needs to pay for later like supplies and graduation. Keep it in your prayers that her school won't charge us more than the money that was donated.
Although it took a long time and was a short visit, it was so good to see the girls and I enjoyed the experience and the price of going by taptap. It gave me a chance to get out of the house and see the country I love. I miss doing that. As we drove through Port Au Prince I saw so many little kids dressed up in the traditional Kanaval dresses with a lot of glitter on their faces and in their hair. I saw groups of little kids who were all dressed up and on their way to the party. What an exciting time! All the kids in Bon Repos have a Kanaval party at school tomorrow and their outfits are all picked out. Katie is going to make face masks with the kids who stay at home for school. We probably won't do much school and just end up watching a movie or something. It should be fun.
Things here at the house have been going pretty good. I get bored sometimes once my teaching duty is over for the day. The boys are so good at playing on the floor by themselves now and aren't as demanding as they used to be. They're getting so big it's amazing. Some days it seems like they change over night! They just had their 5 month birthday on the 10th. I can't believe that the have been here for 4 months and I've been here for 5. Life is SO different for me here in Haiti than it was 6 months ago! Crazy.