(forewarning: I love my life and living in Haiti--God is working on me)
Definition: Communication is the process of transferring signals/messages between a sender and a receiver through various methods (written words, nonverbal cues, spoken words). It is also the mechanism we use to establish and modify relationships.
Where do I start...maybe admitting that I know I stink at communication. I don’t plan ahead and most days I just live in the moment. That can be great on many levels but when it comes to trying to get others on the same page it’s not always helpful. Like trying to get my family and hopefully others to help move all my furniture out of my townhouse while I am here--communication would be helpful--so I've been told. ;) I'm learning that I apparently don’t do well at transferring signals and messages between others. :) (admitting it is the first step right?!)
Trying to communicate in a completely different country....failure. This is one of my biggest frustrations. Most of all I’m mad at myself for not taking the time to sit down and fully learn the language. Yes I can get by with the basics, but after living here over a year and not being able to have a full on conversation and at least try to communicate at length with someone else...frustrating!!
Or how about the fact that communicating in either English or Creole with another Haitian more than likely will end up in some sort of miscommunication along the way....frustrating!!
I’ve noticed that over the year I’ve been here I really haven’t communicated with my friends and family back home regularly....failure once again. I think I push it off, first of all because it can be super frustrating to try to get technology to work well but then when it does work what do we talk about...we are in two different worlds and I think I already feel distance and removed from everyone’s lives back home that it’s hard to really connect or it makes me miss being there with everyone. It also doesn't help that not many really know the in and outs of my day to day life here so its hard to really explain and connect. I know I’m at fault for not making the effort or taking the time to do this...hopefully I have a lot of friends and family with grace for me and a great God who can restore all broken things. ;)
I do find that overall I am able to communicate with the people of Healing Haiti on a more regular basis--obviously we have work to do and people to help! Overall I think it’s good (they may have a different feeling on that though;) )
It’s also frustrating to try to explain a situation to someone back in the states because until you’ve lived it and experienced Haiti for an extended period of time it doesn’t make sense. Many times I’m sure people have thought we were crazy! It’s true that their are times when you have to drive to several gas stations in Port au Prince to get gas because no one has any. Or it really does take practically all day to go to the bank and you can't just leave them at the back and come back later because everyone knows why your at the bank...you have money! So I just don’t communicate that stuff but yet that’s my life these days and in order to have a real relationship with someone you share your days ins and outs...I don’t.
How about trying to communicate over text messages....wow! And why is it this is the method I defer to most often? It’s quick and easy then I can go do my own thing, but yet wow does it lead to so many miscommunications or problems of misinterpretation!! I think I have to vow to never try to have a future relationship that consist of text messaging!! If that’s the case I will continue to be single the rest of my life!! That’s gonna be a new criteria for me when dating....”do you like to text message?” “Yes!” “Ok, well I’m sorry this relationship just isn’t going to work no matter how good-looking you are!” ;) Ok maybe an occasional text message here and there will be ok. But honestly there needs to be some sort of restriction on text messages and what can and can’t be talked about through text messages...ok lesson learned I have the power to change that!
What about trying to communicate over an announcement on the radio to try to find anyone with information on little mr. Lovinsky. That’s like a shot in the dark. (But I’m hopeful!!)
The whole adoption process and the government of Haiti in general....there is no communication there!! One person tells us one thing and someone else in the office tells us something different. (For once I’m not at fault for the bad communication! :) But boy does it affect me!!)
But the one good thing is that apparently I'm good at communicating things that I like to eat (well at least this time) because I was blessed with lots of colby jack cheese, apples, peanut M&M's and twix. ;)
Let me end by saying I love where God has me, I wouldn't change it for the world or anyone. I love all that He is teaching me (Jess you need to work on your communication). I love that I get to wake up everyday in Haiti even if it is hot! I love that I have family and friends who continue to support me and help me even though I stink at communicating with them. I love that I am still on this exciting journey and can’t wait to see where God is going to take me. I love my life even in all the ups and downs because I know that God is faithful!!