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  • Jeff Rynning

Haiti Block #4 | Duck, Duck, TREE! (Also we caught a mouse...)

The Duck, Duck, Goose/Grey Duck debate has been going on for ages between Minnesotans and the rest of the world. I can sense the frustration in some of you after only having read that sentence!

"It's Goose!"

"Grey Duck!"

"That doesn't even make SENSE!"

Well we learned a whole new version of that "game" today as our main mode of transportation was the back of the WWV pickup truck. Standing on the back of the truck, holding tight to the cross bars, it was important to pay attention so you didn’t get smacked in the face with a tree branch. Thankfully, one of our translators, Reggie, would yell “DUCK DUCK!” every time a branch was incoming. We were only moving 10 mph so it was never dangerous, but who loves getting branches and leaves to the face?

The truck took us all over the place today. We started at the garden and quickly found out there was no official plan for the irrigation system we were going to be working on. Not to worry! We’ve driven by dozens of farms in our homeland of Iowa and consider ourselves agricultural experts. And yes, I did have to look up the word agriculture by googling, “fancy word for farming.”

We leaned heavily on the knowledge of the Haitian construction crew and helped them for a few minutes to level off a small section of the garden to hold the water tank, and to be honest...

BREAKING NEWS!!! This just in: So here I was, writing away on the best blog you’ve read today, when I hear a scream (more of a yelp) coming from James’ room. He walks out and says, “there’s a mouse in my bed inside the mosquito net.” Being the good friend that I am, I laughed hysterically because it was funny, and not my bed. Jenny and Courtney were nearby so they went in to check it out. I heard some laughs and screams and, “oh there it is!” I decided to be brave, so I armed myself with a large metal bowl from the kitchen and headed into battle ready to catch me a mouse. Turns out mice are icky, so I wasn’t exactly diving in head first. The mouse was hiding in the sheets so we were trying to find it to catch it. I made Courtney take a video with my phone while we were trying to catch it in case something crazy happened and boy am I glad I did that! I channeled my inner Steve Erwin and started talking to the camera like I was on Animal Planet, but I only got a few words in before the mouse leaped across the bed, out from under the net, and on to the floor. It was making a mad dash for freedom. Jenny let out a scream that would have put any horror movie actress to shame, while James leaped into the top bunk in a single motion. Somehow I held it together. Everything was going in slow motion for me. I felt like Angelina Jolie in the movie ‘Wanted.’ With the reflexes of a cat, I slammed the bowl to the ground and caught the heck out of that mouse. My heart was racing, hands shaking, and we all just kind of looked at each other like, “did that really just happen?” It did. It was so gross. But now James can sleep tight in his new sheets (that don’t have mouse poop in them) knowing that this mouse won’t be bothering him anymore…. And hoping it doesn’t have any friends. And for those of you who haven’t been to Haiti with us before, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a mouse in the guest house. They are not common. So don’t let this isolated incident influence your view of Haiti and you signing up for next year’s trip :) Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog…

As I was saying, we were helping the Haitian construction crew for a little bit, but it wasn’t too long before they had assigned us to a different and simpler task so they didn’t have to explain everything to us. So, we ended up putting up markers for where the trenches for the pipes will be dug while the crew earned their paycheck leveling off some land. It was a win-win!

After lunch we went to a few houses in the surrounding neighborhood to meet up with the families that some of our team members sponsor. It was so cool to meet and get to know the whole family rather than just the individual student. We also walked around the neighborhood on a prayer walk and met a few new families and were able to hear a little bit of their stories, hear about some of their specific needs, pray with them, and share the gospel with them. It wasn’t necessarily life-changing, but we’re hoping that a seed was planted and as more teams come and meet them that they will experience the love of Christ and are able to get plugged into a nearby church and take advantage of WWV’s many programs.

We started to make our way back to the house for dinner, but first headed up the hill behind the house for the sunset over the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful! The rest of the night was our normal routine: dinner, debrief, chatting on the porch, playing a game at the table, catching a bed mouse. You know, normal everyday stuff ;)

Tomorrow we’re spending some time at two other WWV schools. WWV has to meet with one of the principals about a few miscommunications so pray that the meeting goes well. Meanwhile, we’ll be balling it up with the kids at school on their new basketball hoop. Be praying that we’re able to connect with kids in a meaningful way, even after I most certainly dunk on them :) We’ll also do a longer prayer walk tomorrow and meet more families, so be praying that the Spirit is working in us and that we are able to share the Gospel clearly and effectively and that their hearts would be open to hearing and accepting this good news!

We’ll see you tomorrow!

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