This last week was Paula’s spring break, her one time off from her grueling sabbatical Spring. The original plan was to take a vacation in our Pennsylvania home, time off to spend as a family and reconnect. The girls got the time off, though without much time from me.

As I’m now heading to Haiti for 16 days, which is the longest time I’ve been away from Isabel, and since Paula is pretty worried about the whole thing, yesterday was about family time, or at least as much as possible given a trip two days away. We visited our friend and her new 2-year old son (while I got a haircut and blogged about Haiti). Paula and I had lunch (while we talked about Haiti). We later went shopping (for my clothes for Haiti). We later hung out at home (while I packed for Haiti). Then another “Ken Burn’s National Parks” family slumber party.

So yeah, not the best family time, I suppose, but at least we were together. Without doubt, the most difficult part of all this is the time it’s taking me away from Paula and Isabel, both before and during the trip. The biggest sacrifice I’m making is my worrying about Paula worrying. Even two days ago, I considered canceling my part of the trip because of this, because I’m concerned she’ll suffer more than she’s letting on.

As for the trip itself, John tells me his customs ringer is confident we’ll get the laptops by noon today, when customs closes. They’re estimating it’ll cost $1000, as Jack predicted. I skyped with Chris about Lagonav details. She’s in good spirits. It was great to talk to her. Earlier I talked to Jack about unexpected costs, which I’ll now pick up myself somehow. With the translations and the expanded pilots, there’s a money hole being dug that leaves me personally exposed, which of course is adding to Paula’s anxiety, and rightly so. But here we are, and onward.

Bill and I talked about last minute needs and the current biggest snafu of the trip: we haven’t heard from Susie and Madam Chenet in Williamson. We were supposed to have a phone call early this week to discuss the five Williamson mentors that should be traveling to Matènwa on Monday. Bill tells me Madame Chenet is running the orphanage from bed, too sick to get up, which explains the delay. Unfortunately, she’s the one to pick the mentors, which means we likely won’t have Williamson mentors in Matènwa for the workshop.

So late last night, I told John to send another five mentors from Darbonne. We’ll worry about Williamson after Matènwa. One possibility is to spend the final two weeks there and give them a separate workshop.

Roll with it, make a new plan, high acceptance, low expectation. Shrug your shoulders and move on. This is the secret of keeping your sanity in an ever shifting situation. Things tend to unfold in much better ways than planned, so trust this and be thankful for what goes right.

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