A view from a roof in Port au Prince


Miss lists

My recent trips from Haiti to the USA and then to Costa Rica, have opened my eyes to the things I love about each place. Living in Haiti definitely means sacrificing some comforts from home, but I also find myself sacrificing when I am in the USA, because some things from Haiti I just can't find there.  I thought I'd illustrate this for everyone a little bit. I've always been a fan of lists, so here's a miss list for each of the two places I love.


I miss my friends. The ones I grew up with, the ones I went to grade school with, high school with, college with, and the ones I've worked with.  I miss coffee dates, happy hour munchies, sleepovers, walks and runs, dressing up and going somewhere fun.

This goes hand in hand with the above, but I miss GIRL TALK. I miss having girls around me, being able to sit and talk over the same situations over and over until we have dissected every detail. I miss talking about boys. I miss knowing the daily things my friends are going through and them knowing the same for me. I miss not knowing about their new boyfriends, husbands, and babies... jobs or anything else new and exciting that is happening in their life.

I miss driving. First of all, having a car to drive and the freedom to go anywhere in my car. I especially miss night drives. Enjoyable and the cool breeze with windows open on a summer night, playing music on a radio, no crazy bumps or potholes to swerve, no goats or cows in the road to slow me down, lights that make the road visible...

I miss a quiet place to sleep. I miss a bedroom that is really mine, filled with my things and my decorations. I miss silence when I'm trying to fall asleep, during my night, and when  I'm waking up in the morning. I miss the feeling of my room feeling truly clean. It always still feels a little too much like Haiti in my room.

I miss ice cream. Especially Edina Creamery and my favorite Caramel Cookie Praline ice cream. Any dibs on an ice cream date next time I'm in town?!

I miss my church, the church family, my pastor's sermons. I miss knowing people in church, understanding the sermon, chewing on the things I learned during the service, going to Wednesday night Bible study, feeling like I'm growing and understanding more about God each week. Yeah, I really miss that. And need it too.

Yet, when I'm in Minnesota or anywhere else but Haiti, there are also many things I miss...

I miss people greeting each other as they pass in the street. I miss meeting someone new every time I go for a walk outside.

I miss babies. I miss lots and lots of babies and being able to hold and cradle them whenever I want to. I miss people handing me their babies to hold during church services, mommas handing me their baby to hug and kiss when they see me eyeing them with the desire.

I miss hearing Haitian Kreyol, practicing it, understanding it.

I miss the heat. Yes, that hot and sometimes miserable heat... I miss it! I also miss the sun, which is shining almost every single day in Haiti. Along with this, I miss the beautiful, breathtaking sunsets.

I miss my Haitian friends and being able to talk to them on the phone without paying international rates, the chance to see them or visit them so often, to spend time with their families, to understand more about Haiti through them.

I miss time being more about people and about the needs of the moment rather than efficiency, money, or whatever else people in American seem to be racing towards with their time.  I miss people being around on weekends, not being busy, just being at home with their families and relaxing.

I miss island time! I'm never "late" in Haiti ;)

I miss feeling like I'm really where God wants me to be. Which is how I feel each day I wake up in Haiti. Such a peace, such a confirmation, that yes, I'm still in the right spot.

I miss not caring about money, not worrying about my savings, my retirement...

I miss loving each day even when the day is very similar to the day before and even when the day was challenging. I miss the concept of time meaning something entirely different. My agenda and plans cast to the wayside as each day is just that- a day. It's not tomorrow, it's just whatever day it is and that is how each moment is seen in Haiti.

I miss seeing a very clear vision for my purpose as a nurse and feeling like somehow I'm getting closer to fulfilling it.

That's what I've got for tonight :) I guess it's a good thing that the lists are about even. In fact, the Haiti list may be a little longer, so I guess I'll just stay in Haiti for awhile ;)

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