Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who's the Clown?

“Did the bugs get you?” One asks.
“No.” I say.
“You have allergies?” Says another.
“Don’t think so.” 
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Don’t know?”
“Maybe the water?”
“Petet, maybe.”  (My entire forehead is covered in bumps.  Add the never-ending supply of sweat and you get stinging, itching, irritation.  The bumps multiply, apparently to the point that my Haitian neighbors are growing concerned.)
“Hmmm.” Says one girl as she shakes her head. “Pa bon.”
“Yes. I know it’s not good. You have a cure?  Can I rub some Coconut juice on it? C’mon, surely one of these beautiful, plump, green leaves on these bushes has some kind of healing, aloe-vera-ish power, right?” For a moment it crosses my mind to try, then my imagination flashes.
Headline: ‘Missionary found dead after deadly plant poison eats his head.’
Then the Haitian momma’s tell me, “Ou bezwen Krem. Krem!”  
“Yes. I need cream.  I don’t have any cream.  Do you have any cream?”
So I go to meet some missionaries, and I find myself surrounded by sages, veteran laborers of the field.  Mommas with more experience in their fingernail than I have in my whole body.
“Do you all have any cream?”
Out they come from the bathroom, smiling. 
Yep, the rookie gets to go home and put diaper rash cream on his forehead.   
I’m still thankful.  Anything would be a more comfort than nothing.
I don’t do many self-portraits, but if I can look like a clown in Haiti, why not? I mean, who wouldn’t stop and listen to what a clown has to say? ;)
Be glad I’ve decided to spare you a shot of me jumping in the ocean.  I’ve counted 5 different shades on me.  Brown, Red, White, Cream diaper rash white, and then those parts that have never seen the light of day that could cause permanent blindness.   
I feel sorry for the Haitians who see me heading for the water.  They must think I’m sickly, dying of some American disease. :)

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