Thursday, May 10, 2012

Abrupt Goodbye

For the past two weeks, my emotions have been up and down. There was news coming from the adoption agency in the U.S. that I might be pulled out due to safety and financial issues. I was hoping it would be resolved like every other issue that has came up throughout this past year in Haiti. My heart felt like it was beating a million beats per second every time I had internet to open my email box. I waited and waited for the decision. The final decision came about a week ago and BOOM…..they have decided to pull me out of Haiti and the extern position will be closed for now. What does this mean? It means that I will have to leave earlier than expected, 2 months earlier to be exact, and no one will be coming to replace me as the orphanage extern.

Everything came at once and I had to excuse myself from the office. I ran to my room and closed the door. I grabbed my pillow on the bed and I screamed and screamed and screamed into the pillow. I sobbed so hard that my whole body shook. I wasn’t prepared for this news. I still had hope that it wasn’t true, but now….now it was final. I couldn’t even fathom the idea of leaving the orphanage. What are the children going to say ? How are they going to react ? How in the world am I going to explain this sudden decision to leave? I broke down completely in my room. No one can hear my cries because I am situated right next to the the generator. Between the crying babies and the loud motor of the generator, I sank to a very dark place.

Life is not fair. I know that very well, but it is still very hard to take this breaking news. I thought about the children and I felt so guilty that I had to leave. Even when it is not my own decision, but it still hurt so bad. The worst out of all of this was the fact that there was going to be no one to replace me when I leave. The position has been terminated for who knows how long. Yes the world is having a financial crisis, but I just felt so bad for the children. It is so unfair this situation. The children always suffers in the end. When I think about how I am going to tell everyone the horrific news, my whole body just goes limp. I had no energy at all. I was drained completely, emotionally. After about 30 minutes of weakness, I got myself back together and wiped off my tears. I took a deep breath and got back to the office. It was time to face the truth. This was a real lesson of letting go!

I spoke with the staff members at the orphanage at first. Most of them were super sad and some even walked away in disbelief. They all asked who was going to come after me, and was appalled to know that there was going to be no one. I was super sad, but I held it together for them. They all knew how much I loved the children and the Haitian population. They said that they were sad to see me go. I am going to miss everyone so very much. The hardest part came at night time, when I had to break the news to the children. I sat all the older children together outside and simply told them that due to reasons outside of my control, I had to leave next week. The adolescents were all so shocked and many grabbed onto me and started crying. I was heart broken inside. I comforted them and told them that I will always be with them in spirit and will never forget them. We all passed the night under the moon light singing our sorrows away. We sang and sang and sang until our eye lids were so heavy that we had to go to bed. I hugged and kissed each one of them good night and told them that I loved them so much.

I, at least, got to say goodbye to all the staff and children at Lamardelle, but for Kenscoff, I had to do it over the phone. I heard so many screams and cries in the background on the phone. People were in disbelief of this shocking news and refused to believe it. I asked them to kiss and hug all the children for me and that for sure this will not be a final goodbye. I will for sure come back to visit them again.

I had so much to do and finish up before my flight back to France. I wanted to really finish all of the May reports for the adoptive parents and also to do a finalized developmental chart for each child. I wanted there to at least be an organized and final document for the children here. It was the least that I can do for them and their adoptive parents. I was working like a mad woman, day and night. I don’t think I had more than one hour of sleep each night the last two weeks. I tried to spend as much time as possible with the children and to take a lot of pictures to keep for memory.

Yesterday, to my surprise, the staff and children threw me a huge surprise party. During the day, the staff member gave me a huge party with all traditional Haitian dishes. There was only one meat dish, because they said they were going to eat less meat and more veggies in honor of me. I was so touched by their gesture ! We sang and danced together. They gave me a beautiful painting of a Haitian child, and they all agreed that it was exactly like the Haitian inner child of me. I couldn’t agree more. There was an instant connection between the painting and me. At night time, all the children were dressed in their best clothes and had all their hair done. We all had sodas and chips together to celebrate my time with them this past year in Haiti. I was so touched and so grateful for their love and kindness. All of the the children made something special for me to take home. I received little letters, cute drawings, and special love cards from each child. It was so sweet of them to do that for me. The children sang me a goodbye song and told me that they will always love me. Forever and always.

* * * * *

I packed like a maniac last night. It wasn’t so much that I was packing for me, but more so for the children. I organized everything that I was leaving behind (medication, clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, etc.) for the children into boxes and bags. I labelled them all and gave them to the oldest adolescent to distribute after I leave Haiti. I also wrote cards for each of the adolescents and print out photos of them and I together over the months here in Lamardelle. When they saw all the things that I was giving them and also the pretty gifts, they were all super excited and squealed in joy. But shortly after all that excitement, many of them came and hugged me and said that they would trade anything to just have me here longer. We all hugged and cried together. I reminded them to keep studying hard in school and to never give up on their dreams. That they were intelligent and anything was possible. Do not under-estimate oneself, because we all have unlimited potential. I left their rooms for the very last time last night….the feeling was quite heavy on my heart.

I walked all over the orphanage to kiss each and everyone of the children goodbye. Looking at their sleeping faces, all the memories of these past 10 months flashed before my eyes. I could hear their giggles in the back ground. Their cries when they fell or wasn’t feeling well. I could hear them calling out « Lori, Lori, Lori. » I am going to miss them so much ! I am going to miss their hugs and kisses every morning. I am going to miss holding them every night after a stressful day of work. I am going to miss each and every one of their bright little faces looking back at me with unconditional love. I went back to my room, the empty white walls haunted me. The room that I called home now only consists of three luggage bags and a back pack. I sat on the bed and looked out toward the moon light. It was so beautiful. The moonlight shining on the tall coconut trees. I can’t believe that I am leaving Haiti and leaving the orphanage in less than 5 hours. I couldn’t fall asleep. All the memories and laughter of children kept on replaying in my mind….I closed my eyes…praying for courage and strength in dealing with my departure….

Haiti, thank you for showing me what being strong and resilient is all about. Thank you for giving me your unconditional love and care. The people of Haiti will always have a special place in my heart. The children, no matter where you are and what struggles you are going through, please think of me, think of all the good times we had together. I have done all that I could to the best of my knowledge these past 10 months at the orphanage. I am so grateful for this experience and so grateful to all the people that have supported me from the beginning to the end. Thank you to all the smiles, hugs, and kisses of each child that came my way. I have learned so much about myself and how to better myself through the innocent daily interactions between a child. Each child is unique in his own way and he brings with him a precious lesson for humanity. People always say that I offered so much of myself to the children of Haiti, but to me, it is actually the reverse. The children of Haiti has given me so much in return. More than I can ever dream of. Thank you for helping me find myself and thank you for helping me sustain my inner peace. I’ve learned that true happiness cannot be bought, it is actually shared in real time when you help others. Just like Master Cheng Yen has taught me, « The more you give, the more you receive in return. » This was absolutely true in Haiti. I’ve grown as a person over the 10 months at the orphanage and not just physically and mentally, but my wisdom has grown, as well. The love was overflown both ways and as a result, a difference was made.

This is not a final goodbye Haiti. You have become another home for me. I cannot physically be there all the time, but spiritually, I will always have a part there. A connection was made for life. The seeds of love have been planted all over and I can’t wait to see them blossom over the future. Everything happens for a reason. Every person you meet and every event that takes place is a true blessing.

I looked out the window from the airplane…tears rolled down my face…this emotional roller coaster must be the same feelings a child goes through when his adoption is finalized. Just one day, all of a sudden, you find yourself with your bags packed and heading toward a foreign country. The abrupt goodbyes and uncertainty. I love you Haiti. We shall meet again one day ! This I promise you !

Me and Brunette Charles (Social Services Manager) with the painting of the Haitian child. 

 The children made special cards for me to take home. The whole orphanage had a surprise going away party for me. All the children dressed their best and had their hair all made up. All the children didn’t want me to go. They kept on saying « Lori stay please. We will be good. Please stay with us. » We were all dancing and singing and taking photos at the same time.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fear of Men

Most of the adoptive families that we see at FEJ are White Americans/Europeans/Canadians. Today, there was a surprise in store for everyone. Little Sparkle’s adoptive parents came from Canada today. This is the first time they are visiting her. Little Sparkle’s adoptive parents aren’t like the normal parents that pass through here, they are actually Haitian-Canadian. The parents speaks three languages at home : English, French, and Haitian Creole. The mother was born in Haiti and later on immigrated to Canada with her mother. They have two biological children at home, two boys. Both of the parents are part of the police force in Montreal, so I know Little Sparkle will be well protected by the adoptive parents.

So you would think that if adoptive parents are both Haitian and can communicate with their adoptive child directly in Haitian Creole, there shouldn’t be any problems right ??? WRONG ! The meeting today between Little Sparkle and her adoptive parents was super complicated and filled with obstacles. In Haiti, many of the children have a fear of men, especially the little girls. This is due to the fact that men aren’t always present in their lives and often times when they are present, it isn’t presented in a positive light. In majority of the cases, multiple generations all live under one roof, but more often than not, it is made up of siblings, the mother, aunts, and the grandmother. Female figures are always the most stable figures children come in contact with, while male figures are often unstable, other than their siblings or other children from the community. So this creates a phenomenon where Haitian children react strongly to male adult figures. It is either one of two reactions : either they are super excited and super curious about male adult figures, or they keep their distance due to distrust and sometimes they are super petrified to the point of yelling, screaming, crying and literally running away in terror. The latter is usually a child who has experienced some kind of trauma (physical, verbal, psychological, sexual) due to a male adult figure. Little Sparkle’s reaction to her adoptive father was the latter.

Little Sparkle already had strong reactions to White male adult figures in the past, but today it was an Haitian male adult figure, so it definitely pushed an alarm button somewhere inside her. She was petrified of him. It was very hard to see her this way. Whenever the adoptive father started to enter the room, she would scream and run toward me or the nanny and start climbing upwards our bodies. She grabbed on so hard and was covered in sweat from head to toe. I have never seen her this way before, or any child this afraid of someone. It was really staring at fear in the face. We tried everything to calm her down, but in the end it was just not working. The adoptive father had to be out of sight for Little Sparkle to calm down and start to bond with the adoptive mother. She was super joyful and happy with all the female figures in the room. Her demeanor was really like day and night after the adoptive father left the room.

I went out and explained Little Sparkle’s reaction to the adoptive father and he was very understanding. I can’t even start to imagine just how hurt he must have felt due to her reaction. Being rejected in any way hurts, no matter how calm and strong you are. I really pray that, with time, Little Sparkle will be calmer and start to be able to bond with the adoptive father. Later on, when Little Sparkle was taking her nap, I had the adoptive father come in to give her a kiss and held her in his arms for a while. We took lots of pictures for them to take back with them. I’m really happy that the father at least got a good moment to hold his adoptive daughter before the day was over. It is going to take lots of patience, tolerance, and love on the part of the adoptive parents for Little Sparkle. It is going to be hard work, but it will be worth it in the end. I have no doubt that the adoptive parents will take great care of Little Sparkle and give her all the love and care in the world.

Little Sparkle. She is always smiling and happy. Very joyful child

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Humanitarian Parole - U.S. Heart Surgery

Today, one of the Lamardelle children left for the United States, but his adoption process has not been up yet. He is leaving on a special medical visa/humanitarian parole. This little guy has a hole in his heart, so that is why he has stopped growing overall. He is globally developmentally delayed and he is so tiny for his age. He is almost 3 year old, but has the body of an 18 month old baby. He cannot walk or pull himself up. His limbs are literally like rubber. He is just limber all over. So the reason that has not continued to grow is because all the nutrition that his body is absorbing is all going directly to his heart to keep him alive. His heart is not able to pump blood and fast enough to the rest of his body, because there is a hole there. I have been so worried about this little guy and after many months of exams and push, he is finally going to the U.S. for heart surgery. I am so happy for him. I wish him the best of luck! The next time that I see him, he will be all healthy and up and about. Many children in his case, after the heart surgery takes place, will grow like crazy and fill out very fast. I do hope that will the case for him, as well.

Please pray for his safety and successful surgery to be taken place very soon. 

You will be in my thoughts little guy! Be strong and hang on! The worse is almost over! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

BRABATT II 5th Rotation & Tea Time

I spent this weekend with Tzu Chi again! What a blessing that I get to spend my weekends at OECC and working with the Tzu Chi volunteers from the U.S. and Haiti. It is always a good break from the orphanage life to get out and see some new sights. I left on Friday with Donald and Lesley coming to pick me up. We jetted off toward OECC a little bit slower this time, because since last time we had a problem with the tap-tap's breaks. We were a lot cautious this time. We blasted the music in the tap-tap and had a three-way sing-a-long for two hours in the Haiti night traffic. I couldn't ask for anything better to de-stress at that moment! Awesome!

On Saturday, Kathy SG, Lesly, and I went to visit BRABATT II (Brazilian Battalion II) again. Every Saturday there is a giant flea market there for mainly all the peacekeepers in Haiti and also the UN people. I was hoping that Major Roland was still going to be there, since he told me that he was going to finish up his deployment here in Haiti sometime in April. We were lucky, he was still there. He is scheduled to leave back to Brazil next week. We were also super lucky, because his replacement was also there. He had only flown in for a couple of days to Haiti. What a huge surprise! So we all met each other. The new leader is called Ltn. Col. Ferras and he was so nice. They are all nice. This will be the 5th rotation that Tzu Chi has been through with the Brazilian Peacekeepers since the January 12th, 2010 earthquake. Oh, how time just passes by so quickly! It all started out with Ltn. Beraud (now the newly Captain Beraud, congrats!) back in February 2010. I feel so fortunate that I have been there all along, ever since the beginning, in establishing and keeping this relationship going! BRABATT II and Tzu Chi! What an amazing partnership!
Major Roland is super awesome! He promised to get me a Brazilian Flag and  he delivered!!!!! 
Kathy SG and I got him some going away presents, as well. We were trying to explain to him all the different meanings  on the card and Master's teachings!
I love this picture by the way! This is so us! 
Us with the new Ltn. Col. Ferras and Major Roland. 

There are so many perks when I stay at OECC. The people are so nice and friendly and more so, so many Taiwanese faces. One in particular is an engineer that came for the St. Anne School building project. He will be staying here for a year to oversee the building project. He is a total tea fanatic. He showed us how to prepare and drink tea the proper way. He had so many different types of teas. It was awesome. We all had regular "Tea Times" everyday at OECC. 
Look at all that preparation and pots!!! Professional. 
The tea was really good. It was refreshing to not have an Haitian come up to me and say  "Lori are you okay? Are you feeling sick?", because Haitians only drink tea for medicinal purposes.

He said that he was carrying an old-school iPhone! hahahahaha...I literally fell over laughing. It was sooooooooo huge! On a closer look, it was actually a small portable Dell computer! It was still funny though!
On Sunday, we went and visited the Tzu Chi Great Love Moringa Farm. Georges was there and it was so great to see him there working hard.

It's always a very refreshing site to see green all over! Isn't it a great sight?

It was a wonderful weekend with Tzu Chi
As always, thank you so much! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Little Snuggle Bug

Today was another emotional day. Two of the babies left Haiti today with their adoptive parents. One of the boy babies, whom I have become very close to over the months here, was having such a hard time with the transition. The adoptive parent is a single mom and was really overwhelmed by all of this experience. He is not an easy baby to deal with already and then add on the stress of this huge transition, so it was a very hard day, hard week for her. My heart went out to her, but I could't help too much, because I had to keep distance with the child, in order for him to start bonding with his new adoptive mother. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I had to stand far away and watch him reach out his arms to me and crying and I couldn't go and comfort him physically. I just wish the two of them best of luck. I am going to miss my little snuggle bug. I have gotten use to rocking him to sleep most nights, kissing his boo boos when he got hurt, helping him through hard physical therapy sessions with a child walker to now being able to walk all by himself, singing to him whenever he got fussy, playing with him whenever he didn't want to sleep through the night, and most of all seeing his smile and hearing him yell out "Orly" when I am in sight. Thank you so much for bringing me so much joy over the last couple of months at the orphanage my little snuggle bug. Thank you so much for letting me be in your life when you needed someone to hold your hands to help you start walking. Thank you for the kisses and hugs when I've had a hard day. Thank you for showing me the pure happiness that comes from life's simple deeds. Thank you for always being there for one-on-one time. You will always hold a special place in my heart.

I love you so very much! Have a great life with your new Mommy! Be kind to each other! 
I shall see you again one day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Haiti Road Trip

So this weekend was Easter weekend. Haiti, being a Catholic country, has a huge ordeal for Easter celebration. Tzu Chi decided to take a long road trip to visit the Hope Village that is sponsored by the Taiwanese Government this weekend. It was chosen for this weekend, mainly because the U.S. volunteers are only going to be here for a week and it was the best time to go, also traffic is a lot less, since everyone has church activities this weekend. So it was decided and everyone was super excited, especially me. I love road trips and road trips in Haiti means that we are going to see so many exciting things! I couldn't wait at all! Everyone wasn't so kean on the whole 5 hour road trip to St. Michel de L'Atalaye, but I was super stoked! The long road trip meant that we would be driving along the National Highway and seeing all different viewpoints. We were going to drive along the coastal lines of Haiti and also pass by many different major cities. The last time that I visited major cities in Haiti was mostly during 2010 when Tzu Chi was doing immediate earthquake relief work. We visited mostly the southern cities and this time we were going up north! 

We will be visiting the Artibonite area, which is the largest department in Haiti. This was also where the Cholera outbreak took place since late October 2010. It was believe that the source of the outbreak started from the rural Artibonite department of Haiti. The major cities within this department are: Cabaret (big fishing area and home to Dictators Francois Duvailer and Jean-Claude Duvalier), Arcahaie (creation of the Haitian National Flag took place), Saint-Marc (prefered port of entry for consumer goods, huge merchant port, tons of bananas are harvested here), Marchand Dessalines (Haiti's First Capital City), Gonaives (City of Independence where General Dessalines proclaimed victory in 1804), and finally St. Michel de L'Atalaye/Marmelade (home town to President Rene Preval and where the Taiwanese Hope Village will be located). 
Getting ready to take off for the road trip! I was sooooooo excited! Oh by the way, we had to squeeze four people in the back of the pick-up, so that is why you see we were trying to get into position. 
We saw so many different tap-taps along the road. They always try to pack on as many people and things as they can for each ride! This is a normal looking load! 
So many different mud houses along the way! The walls are all build with a mud and water mixture with small wooden stick support! 
Because of Easter, all along the roads people were celebrating. It is called "Ra Ra," which is a type of folk lore dancing with deep roots in voodooism. Haitians use these dances for all celebrations, especially during Carnival season. So everyone gets dressed up in bright colors and start dancing and singing on the road. It is like a parade almost, except if you want to pass them, you have to pay. They will literally stop your car with the big flags and dance all around until you pay up. They won't use violence, but if you don't pay, everyone will just have to sit there and endure the loud music and forceful smiles. 
Stopped to take a bathroom break along the river. We were about 3/4 of the way (in Annivert and Ennery areas)! It was a great place to stretch our legs. Look how beautiful it is???
Haitians are always carrying things on their heads. It is actually true, it is a lot lighter on your head . This is  the reason why they are always so straight and up-right in their postures. They have impeccable balance, but at the same time, they do always complain of neck and back pains. 
Two women dressed up in Ra Ra gear. They were so colorful and fierce! 
Saturday Market Place with Chicken Fighting on the agenda. 
We finally made it to Saint-Michel de l'Attalaye! Yay! 
These were the children that were from the Hope Village zone! We bonded instantly. They were as sweet as can be! 
We visited one of the Hope Village's resident. It was a family of 11, with 9 children total. They were all so sweet and cute. The smaller children didn't have clothes on and just ran around naked. They were so happy to see us. The mother was braiding all the girl's hair. It was a wonderful family. 
This was one of the Hope Village resident's kitchen area. They built this little house with palm tree leaves and wooden sticks. I love how it looks. Isn't it just so awesome? I find it absolutely beautiful. Couldn't help myself, had to take a photo with it. 
Patrick SB, Chia-Ying SG, Lesly, and I posing in front of a store front in downtown St. Michel.  It is Brazilian colors! Awesome! 
This was the ICDF (Technical Mission of Taiwan) office in St. Michel. It was a massive office with  hosting quarters and everything. 
Chatting up a storm with all the children in the field. I was practicing my Creole. Not bad. 
More children from the Hope Village. 
The progress on the 200 Hope Village houses was super fast. OECC is planning on it finishing before the end of June. It is blue and white now, but the final product will be brown and yellow.  All the little houses looked awesome. Even though this is just the base color, but I think it looks beautiful this way. I love blue and white! We got to walk around the work site and see all the houses from the inside. It is a two bedroom, one living room, one bath, and one kitchen area house. It is going to be an amazing village!
Great big thanks to Mr. Peng and Mr. Ju and his lovely family for showing us around. Thanks for housing us for the night. It was a great trip to get to see the Taiwanese Hope Village and see all the people's happy faces. It is also great to see other Taiwanese people in Haiti. It has been a while!
More people dressed up in Ra Ra gear! Look how festive they are????

On Sunday, on our way back to Port-au-Prince, we stopped by the Taiwanese ICDF office in St. Marc.  It was a great time eating fruit and chatting up with the people there. 
We even got to eat Liang Woo!!!! Oh my goodness, I literally had tears in my eyes. I only get Liang Woo in Taiwan. It has been too long. Apparently someone in ICDF planted the tree here and has nurtured its growth successfully. I am soooooo grateful. It was sooooo good! Yummy! 
We also stopped by Pierre Payen (where Tzu Chi started planting their first Moringa seedlings) on our way back to OECC. There was a travelling group from the zone doing Ra Ra celebrations. They were chanting and dancing all along the zone. 
Huge truck carrying Bananas! Would you look at that??? Talk about a great harvest!
When we got into Port-au-Prince, we also stopped at Route Neuve, where Tzu Chi's temporary shelters are located. The situation is getting worse, because the shelters are falling apart now. They are not meant to be permanent, so after raining and hurricane seasons, it has been hugely damaged. I don't think it can withstand another hurricane season. 
Taking photos with all the familiar faces. I have watched these children grow for the past two years, it really is a true blessing to witness this miracle in the making. Also, my favorite grandma was at home. She always has the biggest smile on her face when she sees me. She always updates me on everything that has happened and who has moved away and who had a baby. I love her so much!
One of the children at the Route Neuve Tent Camp who has been sick and can't go to school. I hope she gets better soon! 
When I look back at the photos from two years ago, these children were only up to my shoulder level and now look how much they have grown! I love how innocent and joyful these children are. I love their smiles! The pure happiness that comes from a hug and a greeting. My dear little ones, you have come a long way, continue to fight for life and what you believe in. I will be with you spiritually, every step of the way.

In total, we drove through over 25 different cities and towns on this road trip. Sunday night we made it safely back to OECC and everyone was exhausted from the trip. I was still so stoked and just glimmered with pure happiness. It was definitely an adventure and one that I will never forget! Thank you to everyone involved for making this trip happen. What a great weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tap-Tap Garage

So due to Easter, the FEJ staff is getting two days off this week. That would mean the office is technically closed today and tomorrow. I was very excited for this news, because Tzu Chi volunteers have returned back to Haiti earlier this week, and these days off means that I will actually get to leave the orphanage to go see them. I get to go hang out at OECC and go visit all the areas in Haiti that Tzu Chi is actively helping. It is always a nice change of scenery when I get to hang out with Tzu Chi, not to mention the hot showers, comfortable beds, good food, and good company. So this morning I still worked, because I needed to get all the March reports done to send out to the different adoption agencies we work with. At the moment, we are actively working with Canada, United States, and France. By around 5pm, I heard a tap-tap come into the orphanage compound, it was Lesley, our local Haitian Tzu Chi Volunteer Coordinator. I was so excited. I quickly grabbed my bags and said goodbye to the staff and children. I was also excited to be in a tap-tap again. This tap-tap was all white, like all the UN cars, so it was actually quite funny. So we all jumped in and took off for OECC.

The majority of the roads in Haiti are in pretty bad shape and the road to the Lamardelle creche is not any better. There are pot holes and uneven surfaces everywhere. It is a road that is even difficult for 4 x 4s to go on. So, like usual, we rocked and bumped out of the creche and then just before we got to the opening to the National Highway, the driver says "Oh no, the breaks are not working!" Hahahah, what?? the breaks aren't working? I literally just laughed my head off, because this is exactly what would happen at this precise moment. Luckily, we were going quite slow due to bad road conditions and the car slowly stopped by all the big rocks on the road. And even more unbelievable was that when we came to a complete stop, we were right in front of a make-shift Tap-tap repairing garage!!! What are the chances of that happening???? So the people were very friendly and helped us guide the tap-tap into the working area and so many people came to work on the car. We got out and started to watch magic unfold. They first used a metal pump to life the car up and then took off the front right tire. Then the guy popped the hood and then went and looked under for the break fluid tube. He found the tub and took it off. The problem was that half of the break fluid tube was rubber and the other half metal. The rubber part had holes in it and the break fluids were leaking from it and not getting to the tires. So magically, the people started to search in their garage for another break fluid tube. After about 15 minutes of looking and searching, someone came back with a fully metal tube. It was awesome. They started to install it and testing for it to work.

I learned today that you have to have someone at the wheel pushing and bumping the break petal, while someone is at the tube area to let out the break fluids when the break is held. This is to test if there are air bubbles or blockage in the tube. They have to make sure the tube is completely clear and the break fluids is getting to the tires successfully. They did this several times with both front tires. After about 30 minutes or so, we started to test the car's breaks. These people were perfectionist too, they wanted to make sure everything was functioning perfectly. They drove the tap-tap back and forth and went down and up the small hills outside. I felt like I was in a make-shift racing car, because the people were speeding up super fast and then stopping abruptedly to test the breaks. After about an hour or so, everything was great and we were ready to be on the road again. They people were so nice and they didn't charge us a huge fee, it was actually half the price of a normal car garage. They also filled up our break fluid tank for the road home. The people knew where I worked since they were of the same zone and had huge smiles on their faces. I am so grateful for awesome people like them, completing the full circle of giving and great love. We were all strangers, but we all worked together for the common good. We said goodbye to them and was on our way to OECC.

What an awesome adventure that was??? I learned so much about cars today! AWESOME!