New Friends, A Wedding Fiasco, and the Kids First Snorkeling Experience

One of our favorite places

One of our favorite things to do in Haiti is head to the beach as often as possible. We don’t get to do this very often because we don’t often have a vehicle to drive the 2 hrs it takes to get out there and it can often be very expensive for a family of six + (this particular day we had two +). We were invited to join our dear friends the Broersma family and got to meet other sweet missionaries the Hopp family beachside! The Hopp family lives and suffers for Jesus next to Kaliko beach. They were able to help us out with the expensive part of our beach trip since we were hanging with them on their stomping ground. Oh yeah. The Hopps have four kids, two girls and two boys like we do. And the kids all have E names like ours too! Their oldest son is also named Ethan. But our Ethan buddied up with their Elijah instantly. Our friend Emma was with us and the Hopp’s have a little Emma that buddied up with our Esmée. We had a really great time and so appreciate the hospitality and fellowship of our fellow missionary friends. A man with a boat came ashore where Ethan and Elijah were playing and suggested that he take them snorkeling. The boys thought that was a great idea. Since we didn’t have to pay for the beach and there was a wedding going on we were trying not to disturb, we decided to head out to sea and see something new. Esmée decided she would rather stay poolside with her new friend little Emma so she was not included in these pics. But unlike us she got first choice of hot food since we had just ordered lunch before deciding to jump on a boat. Esmée and the others that stayed ashore got to witness the wedding fiasco. Never a dull moment in Haiti! We also got stuck in the rain with a flat tire when we were trying to get back to a friend taken into police custody because we had his motorcyle papers in the truck we were driving! Like I said, never a dull moment around here! 
Wedding’s are a big deal in Haiti.
We had watched the guest arriving and waiting for hours.
The stage was set.
Musical tunes from familar disney movies delighted our children
 (American Tale’s “Somewhere Out There” seems to be a wedding favorite around here).
Wedding party arrived. Bride and Groom arrived.
The limo arrived.
We had never seen a limo in Haiti before.

I snapped this picture just as we were leaving for our snorkeling excursion. But we found out when we returned that this beautiful wedding was not to be. Apparently the groom was already married and the first wife found out about this rendezvous and showed up just in time with the police who disbanded all intentions of a marriage ceremony taking place. We felt extremely sorry for the bride though we wondered if she was an accomplice to the crime. Babysitting poolside on this day proved to be quite as interesting as diving for exotic sea snails.

And they are off!

I think I could hear Ethan squealing under the water in excitment at what he was seeing! 

Three peas in a sea.
They are more excited than they look. 

Elita Marguerite braved the snorkel as well. Emma was a great coach! Elita was excited to tell all about the things she saw underwater but she didn’t quite get the hang of the mouthpiece. She is always willing to try new things and we are so proud of her. We assured her that she will get the hang of it next time. 

I was very thankful for our friends that volunteered to watch our small Haitian + poolside so I could share my kids first snorkeling adventure with them. I think the last time I went snorkeling was on our Israel trip in 2005 when this guy turned one! My how time flies!
Our smallest Haitian +. He loves the pool and asked to go swimming every day. This was his last big hurrah before he was taken back to the orphanage. He was with another American foster family for 2 months after needing to be out of the orphanage for medical care and was with our family his last two weeks. We know the abrupt transition back to orphan life is very hard for him. Emma went to see him last week and he is certainly not the same little boy he was a few weeks ago. Please, please pray for his little heart to be guarded and healed and for his adoption to be completed soon.

This is our Emma who spent the summer and many adventures with us. We love and miss her always smiling face!

There is a reason those things are called masks. They might mask excitement and make us look silly, but they also help unmask God’s beautiful creation. 
Here is a piece of God’s beautiful creation that I brought up from a coral reef. It was a really cool sea snail! It ended up in the Hopp children’s salt water tank as a thank you for their hospitality! 

If only we had remembered to bring the disposable underwater camera we were saving for a moment like this so we could show you more than the sea snail!
Maybe next time!
Wonder who will join us next time?

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