Last night was the latest night that we had during our time here in Haiti, but I try to wake up as fast as I can. I don’t want to miss anything that happens before we leave.
I’d finished the other employee’s washcloth the night before, and this morning, I give it to her. She looks at it carefully without meeting my eyes and stuffs it into her pocket. “Thank you.” She walks away.
I hope that she likes it. I suppose that she does, but she is just too shy to say anything more.
Most of the girls aren’t up yet. Some of them, though, are wandering about, sleep still on their minds. Today is a school day for them, and they need to be prepared for when their tutors come. After all of our things are packed back up and the rooms we’ve been using are swept and back to normal, we linger in the entryway downstairs.
Since it’s still very early, it is considerably cooler than the daytime, and it is funny for us to see the employees outside with coats and toboggans on. To them, it is freezing. To us? Well, the phrase “perfect temperature” springs to mind.
While we wait for the tap-tap that will take us away from the Home, we amuse ourselves with Moyiz.
I will be sad when I won’t be able to see him anymore.
Then, then tap-tap arrives with Christopher, and we load all of our luggage into the back of it, trying to leave enough room for all of us to sit. The girls are all awake now, all dressed in their school uniforms, and some of them are still crying from the previous night.
They come up to each of us, and give us the morning kiss on the cheek — the last one we’ll be having for a while.
As we pull out of the courtyard, everything feels distant, like I’ve seen it all before but have forgotten about it until now.
The tap-tap is squished — there isn’t really any room to breathe. Reuben, Peter, Jane, Ellen, Ted, Joe, Dad, Juliet, Christopher, and I are all pressed together and trying to take as little room as possible.
After many detours and speeding and honking horns, we’re finally at the airport. All of our luggage is hurriedly unpacked and now, we have to say our final goodbyes.
I shake Christopher’s hand, and he smiles at me. “I hope to see you soon.”
I smile sadly. “I do too. Thank you for everything.”
Reuben smiles and embraces me. “You have a kind heart.”
Then, we go in the air-conditioned airport, and there we have to part ways with Joe.
His flight leaves a few hours before ours do, so after we get all situated for our flight, we’ll have a some time to spare.
This time, going through security, the assistant holds onto my backpack and motions for me to open it. I zip open the flap motioned to and he sifts through its contents.
It is strange to see strangers going through your things.
In the end, he pulls out a pair of scissors that my little sister had let me borrow especially for this trip, since they have blunt ends. And he tosses them in a trash can next to me.
My mouth must have been hanging open because he impatiently waves his hand, telling me to go away.
I pick up my remaining possessions and indignantly walk away.
We’re landing in New York. It looks so cold out there, a stark change from the tropics in which we’ve spent the last week. Peter and Ellen’s son have texted them a picture of the two giant snowmen that they made back in our home state, and just looking at them all bundled up makes me cold.
Although I’m looking forward to seeing my family, the cold is not as appealing to me for some reason.
About a half and hour later, we’re getting off the plane. Most of our luggage is with us, thankfully, so we don’t have to wait a terribly long time to get the remaining pieces.
We’ve got a six hour layover in the JFK, so I get some good knitting time in — I work on the second Petty Harbour sock, and got quite a bit done before we have to leave.
After we get all of our luggage in the Salt Lake airport, we can finally drive the three and a half hours back home. We are tired, freezing, and exhausted.
I sleep most of the drive.
They drop me and Dad and Juliet off at our house. The snow muffles our voices, and now I know that it’s pretty quite in our neighborhood around three in the morning.
Dad unlocks the door of our house, and I walk in, kick off my shoes, and crash on the couch. I’m instantly asleep.
The next day, we catch up with our family and show off the pictures. It is good to see everyone again, but I’m still really tired.
After lunch, I go to me room and wrap myself in my comforter, and I realise that the feeling of sleeping on a mattress is one that I’ve missed greatly.
When I wake, I find a package of yarn from Quince & Co. that I ordered a little while before we left waiting for me.
I’m sitting in my living room writing this final post in the series I started just after we got back. Even though I wasn’t planning on it taking so long, I think that I’m glad it has. I’ve been reminded of the things that happened, even if I didn’t write them here, and I’m also reminded of how much I miss the Haitian friends that I’ve made.
I saw Ted last week. I hadn’t met him before we were leaving, and I hadn’t seen him since we returned to America. He lives a few hours from us, so communication isn’t all that great.
I only got to talk to him for five minutes, but in that time, I remembered so much that I’d forgotten. I remembered the things that had happened in our party, not just what I’d been saving in my mind about our girls.
It was good to catch up briefly.
I think our mom and sister are sick of hearing Juliet and me reminisce about Haiti. We do it almost on a day to day basis, and each time, I remember more.
And I remember each day how much I miss those little girls.
I’m not sure when I can go back. I told them that I’d see them again (“Be careful what you promise crying women, Josiah” was what I was told by an older man), so it has to happen sometime — next year maybe?
Whenever it is, I really don’t think that it can be soon enough.