First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am continuing the series of all the chapters of my new book, “Homey’s Adventures Too.” I am now 71 and I decided that I did not want to spend my time haggling with editors, literary agents, and publishers. The main thing I am interested in is to write for your pleasure and mine. So, without further delay, here is Chapter 7:
Chapter 7- The Virgin Missionary
Homey is not the only part of me that seeks adventure. I have often told you that Jim gets me into more trouble than Homey. Being a good Samaritan is a lot harder than just taking what you can get. To further your understanding, I am taking you back to February 2018.
At my church, they send missionaries all over the world. The longest running missionary trip was our annual trip to Haiti. When we went to Haiti, we paid for it ourselves including food and lodging at the mission compound. When we got there, we did construction work. We built classrooms for a church school. We refurbished existing mission structures. We built playgrounds. We worked on a solar project which will supply electricity to the mission compound.
Before my divorce, I wanted to go to Haiti for more than 5 years to help. My ex-wife did not agree.
She said: “Why doesn’t your church help here in St. Louis. We have plenty of poor people here.
My church does help our community, but good Samaritan work is wherever you find it. Jesus tells us that our neighbor is whoever crosses our path. For some reason, Haiti has crossed the path of my church. I did not go to teach or even spread the word of Christ. I went there to give and show the love of Christ. After my divorce, I decided to go and fulfill my passion for Christ. This was my first missionary trip. At age 68, I was a virgin missionary.
On my first trip, I did not know what to expect or even how I could help. I have always favored doing over talking about something. So, I did it. I also believed that Jesus would look after me.
I met my fellow travelers at their house. As I pulled up, I rolled down the window to talk to them. I parked my car and forgot to roll up the window. The plan was for a fellow church member to give us a ride to the airport.
When we got to the airport, one of my fellow missionaries said: “My neighbor just called and said that the window of your car is down, and it is going to rain.”
“I will call Ford and see if they can raise the window for me.”
So, I called, and Ford could not do that.
My fellow missionary, Dick offered: “I will ask them to tape plastic over the opening to protect it from the rain.” A note to my reader: I told you that Jesus will look after me. When things like this happen to me, they get fixed by whoever the holy spirit sends.
We got into Miami late, and the others went to get something to eat. I stayed in my hotel room because I cannot eat that late without getting serious indigestion. Dick texted to let me know that my window was covered.
We got up the next day and continued our trip and arrived in Port Au Prince, Haiti. I went to the airport bathroom to relieve myself. I noticed that none of the toilets had toilet seats. Before this, I had never been in an airport facility where the toilets did not have toilet seats. Welcome to Haiti, Jim.
The person that was supposed to meet us did not show up. So, Dick found someone else. The taxi was a small old Honda Civic with bucket seats in the front and no seat belts. Jane who is Dick’s wife took a seat on top of Dick in the front open bucket seat. The rest of us piled in the back. I looked over and saw that the woman next to me had her hands on the ceiling of the Civic.
Suddenly in my mind, I saw her launching into the front seat when we stopped abruptly. The woman was older and about my age and married. I did not want her to get hurt, so I offered her my arm to hang on to for safety. It is more personal than I wanted to get, but we were all in this together. It was better than her becoming a human projectile. I could hold on to the overhead pull-down handle on my side of the taxi.
We were off and racing down the streets of Haiti. In Haiti, the buses are what the Haitians call Tap Tap trucks. These 1-ton trucks are covered in canvas with roll bars in the back. People sit on long benches in the back facing each other unless the benches are full and then they just hang on to the outside of the truck.
We traveled along the road that edges the south coast of central and western Haiti. It was barely a two-lane road for most of the way. Whenever our driver got a chance, he moved into the oncoming lane to pass. As we passed the Tap Tap trucks, we barely missed people hanging off the side of the overcrowded Tap Tap trucks. We were all concerned that our driver would make an abrupt stop and we would all go flying. Look ma, no seat belts!
God blessed us and we got safely to our stop for the night. Dick had arranged for us to stop at another mission compound on the southern coast of Haiti until we could go to our mission the next morning by boat.
We were greeted by a resident missionary who was only at that mission for a couple of weeks. We told him about our terrifying taxi ride. Dick bragged about having his wife on his lap and that he liked it.
The missionary responded by telling us a joke: “Do you know how many people can fit in a Tap Tap truck?”
He paused for effect and answered: “Just one more.”
I liked this guy.
He then told us the rules of staying in the compound: “Water is scarce, so only flush the toilet when necessary.”
We were all thinking it, but one member of our group pondered aloud: “I need to think about what necessary really means for toilet flushing.”
Haiti has severe shortages of two basic things that we take for granite in the USA, water, and electricity.
Most electricity is generated by oil in Haiti. All oil is imported and paid for in US dollars. When the Haitian government deflated the national currency, the Gourde, they did not increase the price of electricity to compensate. The missionary told us that the government electrical company gives you only a couple of hours of electricity and then charges for a full month. The mission compound had it ‘s own generators and disconnected from the government electrical company. The government threatened to collect anyway, but the missionaries prevailed.
Our missionary pointed out to a large ship out in the harbor: “That oil tanker has been out there for a week waiting for payment. If you see it traveling out of the harbor, then that means the government hasn’t paid them and they will take their oil elsewhere.”
That evening before dinner we watched as the tanker crossed our horizon and sadly left Haitian waters.
We had a satisfying meal and I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning about Haiti. We all went to bed after that. There is no TV in Haiti. After a couple of hours in bed, I woke up to go downstairs to get some precious water to drink. I noticed that our building was locked for our safety. I looked out over the harbor and saw nothing but God’s beauty. I could see the harbor lighted by the subdued sunrise. I could see all of God’s beauty. What a wonderful sight!
My reader, I have more to tell you about Haiti, but first, let us get back to Homey’s adventures.
End of chapter 7
I hope you enjoyed chapter 7. I will give you “Chapter 8 The Courtship of Marie’s Mother” next week. My new book has 32 chapters. So, if you want to receive all 32 chapters as soon as the post is created, then become a follower of this blog.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.