Elf (yes the Christmas movie) and Haiti

Just to let you know, there is not a lot of school news to fill you in on, so I wanted to post a blog about something that occurred to me as we showed the children the movie “Elf” this past Friday night.  First of all, as far as school news goes, we did get a call from the bookshop that “they think they might have most of the books for us ‘soon.'”  What does “soon” mean…I am not sure.  What does “most of the books” mean…I’m not sure.  And that is part of why I am writing this blog today instead of another school blog.  We just do not know much about what is happening in terms of getting ready for school.

Anyway, while we were watching the movie “Elf,” 3 things caught my attention and related so well to our lives here in Haiti that I just wanted to share them in a blog.  First of all, many of you know that we recently built a basketball court on the Hope Rising campus, and our kids love to play.  As we were watching the movie, this picture came on the screen and reminded me a lot of how it can feel playing basketball here…
Elf Basketball



It has been a lot of fun to teach the kids how to play, connect with them in this different way, and even play in the community pretty often.  At the same time, I definitely feel like the above picture.  Now, I can no longer dunk, but I seem to be a lot bigger and taller than almost everyone I play with.  It was funny seeing this in the movie and thinking about my time playing with the kids.

The next part of the movie that reminded me of our time in Haiti is this quote:  “Seems like everyone else has the same talents, except for me.”  If you are familiar with the movie this is right after Buddy calls himself a “cotton-headed ninny-muggins” because he had only produced 85 etch-a-sketches that day.  He was referring to the fact that all the other elves were good at the same thing – toy making.  While he was the only one who was good at other things (ie. changing the smoke detector batteries, singing bass rather than tenor, etc.).  I feel like that a lot of times here in Haiti when every other American here seems to be good at working with their hands.  Everyone can build things, work with electricity, and are generally pretty handy when it comes to fixing things and I am the exact opposite of that.  I have never really been good at those types of things.  This, I will tell you, can be very annoying at times because the way we live here as missionaries really lends itself to the need of being good with your hands.  Aside from that, most of you know what it is like when almost everyone is good at one thing and you are good at completely different things.

Finally, and maybe the funniest excerpt of the movie that reminds me of my time in Haiti is a quote I used to use all of the time when we would drive up to the old place our kids lived before we moved to Hope Rising.  If you have seen the movie, there is a part where Buddy (Will Ferrell) goes into the mail room of his Father’s company after his Dad told him how great and beautiful the mailroom was. Buddy was expecting it to be as beautiful as Santa’s workshop in the North Pole, but when he got there, he was unpleasantly surprised and said, “This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop…Except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”  There have been many occasions when I have felt this same way.  Specifically parking in Port Au Prince to meet our attorney one day, driving up to the old orphanage when Audancin had told people how bad we were, or when we are out running errands or choose not purchase things from people in the market.  Honestly, I have used this quote a lot while we have been here, almost always to try to be funny in an uncomfortable situation, and many times because it really did look like people wanted to hurt us or it really did smell like mushrooms.

I just thought I would share some thoughts that I had the other night while we were watching this movie with our kids.  They enjoyed the movie a lot even thought they did not really understand much of the context behind what was going on.  It is funny to me how things as silly as a comedy of this caliber can take your mind places even as you are enjoying a movie night with your children.  This is kind of how my mind works from time to time and it also shows that you have to have a sense of humor when you are doing work down here.  Our next blog will get back to the story about school starting, so stay tuned…

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