Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Haiti Symphony

Before heading out for Haiti we got a heads up from the team that was already there about some sounds in the night.  Little did I know I would get the full experience night one, with a little extra thrown in.
I do not sleep well in different places and especially don't sleep great when there are other people in the room.  Add in being one of the leaders of the trip and kids involved and that leads to tougher sleeping conditions for me. So here's the scene... it's our first night there and when we arrive to start unloading our baggage a thunderstorm blows in, drenching everyone!  So we wait to get all unloaded and sorted.  And sorted includes making our beds and getting mosquito nets put up.  I get all situated in my lower bunk and clothes my eyes.  The first to chime in to the symphony is the fans!  We all brought fans to aid in the movement of air.  These are just fine with me as I sleep with one on every night. Next to chime in is the barking dog.  I have no clue what this dog is barking at, but it is loud and I am pretty sure sitting right outside our door barking. Next... the roosters.  Now these guys literally talk to each other all night long!  Then a noise I was not expecting... a blood curdling scream.
I lay there for a minute trying to decide if I needed to get up.  I ask Jeanie who is sleeping above me if she thought it was one of our girls.  She said yes, but that Carol was in the room so she could handle it.  I think to myself... "You are the trip leader, you have to get up and go check."  I repeated this to myself a few times in the few seconds I lay there, and decide to get up.  (Now before you think horribly of me, there was no noise after the first scream so I wasn't ignoring more screaming.) 
I get out of bed and walk in the other room and all is quiet in our room, but I notice the lights on in the room next to us and a low murmur of talking. (The room next to us is the other Watermark team of girls.)  I go back into my room and throw a blanket around me to go see if everyone is ok, Jeanie goes with me too.  When we get into the room there is mayhem.  Stephanie is in the fetal position on her bed retiring as their trip leader.  The other girls are talking about a rat that ran through the room and they are trying to figure out where it has gone.  The are explaining to me how long it was... body... 6 inches!  Yikes that sounds big.
So lots of checking behind bags and such when that sucker comes running towards the door, where I am standing, yes I screamed.  It gets freaked out, runs back into the bathroom into a hole in the wall.  The girls are getting into position to catch it when it runs back out, the go to put a trashcan over it and the things jumps out, onto one of their hands and back into the hole.  More screaming!
Now Ashley Marie is more determined than ever.  She has work gloves on her hands and is hiding in the bathroom to lure the sucker out.  I run to get my camera not wanting to miss anything.  I hear screaming and then... "Suzanne, hurry, it is wiggling in my hands!"
She waits for me to get my camera all ready and this is the pic...

 We had originally said we would kill it... but once we saw it's cute face, we couldn't.  So Ashley Marie just took it out and chucked it in the construction.
Of course that meant that it came back later in the week to terrorize all of us.  But hey, it was a great adventure for the night.  I literally laid in my bed chuckling to myself as I listened to the dog barking right outside our room and then it's bark would get father and farther away and then it would come back later and repeat.  I pictured the rat trying to come back up to the room and the dog was chasing it away.
The symphony also gained doves and goats as the week went on.
(And a side note... Jeanie told me that there were multiple ones that she would hear each night running around on my bags and climbing in the walls.  I did not believe her until one morning I woke up and there were little feet prints all over my dusty bags... EEEEWWW!)


  1. Oh my. So glad someone captured this night in such vivid words. Great blog post Suz that is bringing back some haunting memories from last week!

  2. THAT. THAT. Was AWESOME! Thanks for capturing that little tidbit!