Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mystery and Relief

Some of you may have heard rumors regarding my (Sara) health. So I thought an update was in order. On Wednesday, November 16th I noticed a raised, red splotch on my left breast. It was originally diagnosed as mastitis and I was given antibiotics. A few days later my left arm went completely numb. It was extremely heavy, fatigued even when at rest, and very painful. I was experiencing shooting pain from my left breast through my shoulder and down my arm to my fingers.

The next two weeks were a blur of antibiotics, pain killers, extreme pain, extreme fatigue, vertigo, confusion and nausea. I went through a myriad of tests. Blood draw after blood draw, a trip to the ER, spine X-ray, mammogram, ultrasound, breast tissue biopsy, and a brain and shoulder MRI. The MRI was actually a pleasant experience - I even fell asleep. I felt like an astronaut. Anyway, what did I learn from all this testing? That I am an extremely healthy woman free of any life threatening or long-term disease. I was glad to learn that I do in fact have a brain and it works correctly.

I also learned that my immediate and extended family love me very very well. My cousin, Krista, became my hero - driving me from appointment to appointment and checking in on me often. My hubby, as always, showed extreme calm through the storm and picked up the slack around the house with apparent ease (at least he wasn't complaining). My sister-in-law, Angie, became my on-call doctor, helping me know what tests to ask for next and reassuring me that I am not insane. My mother, Barb, saved the day - the week actually. She came up the week after Thanksgiving to take over all the many tasks of a mother. Eloise asked her, "so you are sort of like our maid?!" My mother-in-law and her whole family showed great concern and wanted updated frequently.

What I didn't learn is the exact cause for my mysterious illness. My fatigue, vertigo, confusion, and nausea have lifted. The shooting nerve pain has ceased. I have been able to resume work and some household tasks. My left hand remains very sore and unable to perform fine motor skills for any significant amount of time. Being left-handed this makes writing, eating, and brushing my teeth quite difficult. But I am surprising myself at how quickly I am becoming ambidextrous.

I am trying my best to reduce stress in my life, rest, and recuperate. This means that any of you can feel free to scold me if I try to take on another "project". I may follow up with a neurologist in a few weeks. But now that I know it is nothing extremely serious I need a break from all the tests.

Thanks for all your love, concern, and prayers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So our van is limping along and we pray it will last until we depart for Haiti this summer. For fun and randomness sake we are turning our van into a Haitian TapTap. Well trying at least. So far it just looks like a poorly done South Minneapolis Art Car. But I add more to it each day and it is improving bit by bit. I'll post pictures of ours when I get a little further in the process.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Got Networks?

We are marching along with support raising and doing pretty well. We are at about 43% of our monthly support which is a huge blessing. While we do need to be at 100% before we can move to Haiti, there are also benchmarks along the way that we must meet. Departing this summer means a string of trainings beforehand and we need to be at certain percentages to attend certain trainings. So here are our benchmarks: 50% by January, 75% by April, 80% by May, 95% by June, 100% by July.

We are fairly confident we can get to 50% in the next few weeks. However, to get to 75% by April we are going to need help. We are in need of people to help introduce us to others who may want to learn more about our vision for Haiti. This could be your small group, your church mission board, your neighbors, your friends, your colleagues, or your family. Would you consider hosting a gathering of your contacts and allow us to present? We are more than willing to travel!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fundraising Event

Please Invite Your Friends!

Five Two Six Gallery
526 Selby Avenue, St. Paul

Thursday, September 22nd at 7pm

A fundraiser to help send our family to Haiti

Silent Auction, Raffle, Free Appetizers and Beverages, Live Music, Fun!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Creole continuing education

In our continuing efforts to learn Creole, we have tried a variety of methods: Haiti nights with random vocabulary lessons, ipad apps, books, as well as scripture memory. As you can see below, the last one seems to have caught on, especially with the girls (who know this much better than either Luke or me).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

School and Birthday

Our Coming of Age Skater

(5th Grade)

Our Perfect Doll

Our Pink Princess

So very much to celebrate today. Luke entered the 5th grade. He sported all skateboarding brand clothing today - skinny jeans and all. Eloise entered the 2nd grade. She chose a cute matching outfit - and of course - a first day of school hat. Kate starts Pre Kindergarten on Monday. So to make her day special today we celebrated Stroller's 1st birthday. Chris won Stroller, Kate's monkey, at the MN State Fair last year, making him one year old today!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


We've had a lot of questions lately regarding our departure date. I suppose that makes sense since we had a giant moving sale and haven't really updated you all on our plans. Chris signed a contract to teach through the 2011-2012 school year which ends in June of 2012. So our family will be in Minnesota until then. After school gets out we plan to head to language training in Colorado for 2 weeks, come back for the fourth of July and officially move to Haiti shortly thereafter.

So why a moving sale 11 months before moving? We are going to try our best to move to Haiti without shipping anything via crate. It is expensive to ship things and containers often get stuck in customs for months and require expensive bribes to get released. So we are trying to move in suitcases. Imagine fitting all of your belongings for a 5 person family in 12 suitcases! So we are trying to pare down in steps.

Step 1 was the moving sale, which was a great success. Step 2 will be moving out of our house in January or February of 2012. We plan to rent our home at that point. Details of where we will live from February to July are still being formed. Step 3 is packing in suitcases.

So that's the plan for now. Subject to change of course and not solidified until we buy our plane tickets!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Missing Doorbell

I forgot to update everyone. We found a new home for Diesel. He is now with a family in Chisholm, MN. He's been there for about 2 weeks now and things are going well, both for the new family and ours. We met the new owner at a mall parking lot in Duluth. Luke and his friend were allowed to shop together without adult supervision for the first time! So, needless to say, Luke was completely distracted when we said goodbye to Diesel and he's had a good attitude about it since.

The main thing that I have noticed is that our doorbell is gone. We've never had a working doorbell in our house. Instead we relied on Diesel to bark, alerting us when anyone approached the house. So to all my friends - if we don't answer the door we aren't avoiding you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I attempted to make this:

But instead got something that tasted like this:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Simplify, Simplify

In an attempt to get the entire house to fit into 12 or 24 suitcases (depending on if you are talking to Sara or Chris, respectively) we are simplifying our current home. Sure we have 11 months before we depart. But in about 5 months we are planning on moving out of our home. Seeing as that will be the dead of winter we can't have a moving sale then. So a moving sale is scheduled for the end of the month. In addition to trying to get all non-essential items out of our home we are also selling items impractacle to bring to Haiti and replacing them with lighter, more compact items.





Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Home for Diesel

I don't know what it is. Probably the approaching fall. We've been on an academic calendar our whole lives so fall seems like a time of newness. And its approaching. I'm starting to realize how much stuff we have. No matter what room I go into in my home, all I see is the many, many things that need to be given away, sold, thrown away, stored, etc. Ahhh. Anyway, we are starting to slowly find homes for most of our belongings. Okay, so Diesel isn't a "belonging", he's a family member. But along with Diesel comes many belongings (dog dishes, food, kennel, blankets, toys). And it's time to find Diesel and his things a new home.
Can you please help us by thinking of who you know that might like to be Diesel's new family?
Diesel is a 7 year old purebred Boxer. He has been with our family since he was 18 months old. He is extremely friendly and submissive. He is great with kids. He allows them to climb all over him, pull his ears, etc, and just enjoys the attention. He is a great guard dog. He only barks when people approach our house or when he can sense that I am afraid. And his bark is intimidating! He is also great with cats. Seeing as he has not been neutered, he should be the only dog in a home. He likes Chris and Luke but he is really attached to me and tends to be fond of and protective of women. So he should be in a home with at least one lady.
We have thought through taking him with us to Haiti and it just will not work. The climate change would be far too difficult for him along with plenty of other hardships. Even though we aren't moving for about 11 or 12 more months we really feel like now is the time to find him a new home. Luke is very attached to Diesel and giving Luke time to grieve his absence before a huge transition to Haiti will be helpful. We are trying to space out our "good-byes".
Please let us know if you or someone you know would like to be Diesel's new owners. THANK YOU!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bit by Bit

Chris and I are truly blessed to watch as God reveals to us our support team! Having full confidence that the Lord will supply all our needs, support raising has become sort of an unveiling of a great gift from God. And bit by bit we are reaching our goal. As of today we are at 35% of our goal for monthly support. We are more than a third of the way there!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Further Encouragement

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “

Matthew 16:18

Last week, as part of our training, we spent 4 days at a church planting school with the EFCA. We learned a lot an enjoyed many aspects of the class, but for me the most encouraging for us was meeting and hearing the testimony of a Haitian seminary professor who will be partnering with our organization. Wadestrant Jean-Baptiste (or Wawa as he is also called) was born in a family steeped in voodoo as his father was a voodoo priest. Through a series of events he became a believer and ended up at seminary in the US, and now back in the evangelical seminary of Port-au-Prince. What was the most encouraging though is that despite immense hostility from his father regarding his conversion, he continued to share and live the Gospel with him and about three years ago his father gave his life to Christ, and more recently helped plant a church on the site where he used to practice witchcraft.

I am so excited to hear more about what God is already doing in Haiti and finding out how he can help use us in this process of proclaiming the Gospel and planting churches to be a light in the darkness. While we have seen this in the US, it is amazing to hear about specific people and places where the kingdom of darkness is in retreat. Praise God!

This is from last Friday's Twins game vs the Brewers. We took Wawa to see a bit of American culture and ended up waiting over two hours to start the game due to rain and to my surprise almost all the fans were still there for the first pitch. As we were leaving I asked Wawa if he learned anything about American culture after seeing the game and he said that we were patient.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


We have been neglecting our blog! So sorry. This week has been a tiring yet encouraging week as we are at a conference called, "Multiplying Churches Globally". We've had the opportunity to meet some team members and connect with others as well as learn. More on that later.

Our family is headed to Chicago July 6th - 11th. We are planning on visiting family and friends. If you are in the Milwaukee/Rockford/Chicago or surrounding areas we'd love to meet with you to share more about our vision for ministry in Haiti. Just let us know and we can find a time that works for us both.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Random Springtime Performances

We have learned in the past year we have some major performers in the family. Here are two of there more recent efforts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Heat Wave!

I'm not sure if any of you have ever ventured to the very bottom of this blog or not. But if you have you will have noticed a side by side thermometer of Port au Prince and Minneapolis. The idea, when I created the blog in January, was to show how crazy different the climates are and maybe my preference as well.

Today was quite the heat wave in Minneapolis as evidenced by the photo above. Craziness, especially considering it was snowing a week ago. On my way home from work the car temp guage read 91 degrees as I passed by an interested sight. There was an African American man lounging in a chair in front of a hip-hop clothing store wearing military fatigues. I did a double take and momentarily felt like I might just be in Port-au-Prince. Especially since doing the double take meant hitting yet another pot hole.

I sure do like my neighborhood. I've come to love it. And I certainly will miss it. Here's a few things I find entertaining about my neighborhood:

1) The slushy machine at the corner store has a sign attached that reads, "Not a WIC item"

2) Troy and Luke go to said corner store to buy hot cheetos, red soda, and friend chicken - no joke

3) Luke and some other neighborhood friends created a ghetto game that they play in the summer called "Foreclosure"

All true.

Here's some other things I love about our neighborhood.

1) There are at least 5 vibrant, gospel preaching, praying, African American churches within a couple blocks of our home.

2) There are at least 30 kids on our immediate block

3) Our immediate block is home to 2 white families (yes another moved in last year), a Hmong family, a Somali family, a group of European Muslims, a Native American family, several African American families, and several Hispanic families.

I'm going to miss this street. I'm going to miss these "summer" days. I am NOT going to miss winter.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today was an odd mother's day for me. I am overwhelmingly thankful for my mother as well as other mother figures in my life - my aunt Joanne, and my mother-in-law, Patty. I am thankful for a wonderful husband who makes mothering so easy. And I am thankful for my kiddos - who blessed me with clean bedrooms and plenty of artwork from school.

But today I was quite sad for the motherless. A couple of my girlfriends are mothering their babies without their own mothers here on earth with them. And all mothers know that you just have those days when you have to call your mom and vent, "Mom, is this normal?", "Mom, tell me this is a stage", "Mom, I'm sorry I was so annoying", etc. You just need your mom when you are a mother.

This morning I made the mistake of asking my son's best friend if he was going to see his mother today. He answered that his mom moved 2 years ago, changed her number, and he hasn't seen or talked to her since. Out of these random thoughts of sadness for those who are motherless and blessing for all I have been given - one thing stuck out...

The best mother's day gift I could ever receive. A text/facebook message from a neighborhood youth and #80205 of why leaving this neighorhood is going to break my heart:

@[519510835:Sara Murphy Thompson] aka mom#3 dont know where to start with you haha you are so so so funny even if you dont try to be! your also the mom that always always talking about how bright i a kid i am and i can do it even when i think i cant! - Markus

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reclaiming the Princess

My girls are sitting on the couch watching Tangled. I think they've probably seen in about 50 times. Both of them love princesses. There's been some news articles, books, and radio shows lately about the branding of princesses and how its changed since I was a kid. Sure it has. And I know that it is important to teach my girls about a healthy body image, beauty coming from within, and having an identity in Christ. But is desiring to be a princess such a bad thing?

Will a prince riding a white horse ever come to sweep them off their feet and make them live in a perfectly happily ever after world? Absolutely. Christ, the Prince of Peace, will come again, riding a white horse and will establish His Kingdom and make all things new. He already relentlessly pursues my daughters and myself.

And is desiring a grand romance on this earth such a bad thing? Chris didn't come on a white horse. He came in a beat up Volvo that smelled like brake fluid. Chris didn't litterally sweep me off my feet, but he sure did turn my world around. He hasn't made all things new and he hasn't created a perfectly happily ever after for me. He can't take away all my pain and sorrow. But he does dry my tears and ease my pain. He is my banner and protector. And each day he points me to my ultimate Prince. Each day Chris shows me glimmers of grace and perfection and helps to guide my to my Savior.

My hope for my girls is that the will continue to feel beautiful each day. That they will continue to dress up like princesses and bask in the compliments of Luke and Chris. That they will continue to believe in an Ultimate Prince. And my prayer for my girls is that God will provide them with earthly husbands that will reflect Christ.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kung Fu Tinker Bell

Here's a couple pictures of the girls' Easter dresses. Last August, Chris and I went to Las Vegas and saw the Cirque du Soleil show - Ka. The skirts worn by the acrobats inspired this year's creation. Chris and Luke said the girls looked like Kung Fu Tinker Bells. I hope that sewing will somehow be part of my ministry in Haiti. We shall see.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beliefs have consequences

When people hear about Haiti, voodoo is usually mentioned. Those who have seen our presentation on our goal of church planting have heard about this as well. For some, the mention of trying to purge voodoo, a cultural aspect of Haiti, is seen as invasive or judgmental. While there are many ways to respond to this, we would point to many examples of how this belief system has huge consequences on people with regards to their worldview and behavior, in addition to its spiritual consequences of being a false gospel. This article from the New York Daily news caught my attention as one which shows how beliefs have consequences, and the spiritual oppression of voodoo is no exception. As we continue to prepare for our mission in Haiti, we want to specifically ask God to open the hearts of Haitians and show them the destructive nature of voodoo and to cling to the living God who came to rescue us from oppression, fear and death through the work of His Son.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not My Own

Over the past 7 weeks Chris and I have had the opportunity to meet with over 80 people and share our vision for ministry in Haiti. This has been a busy but very rewarding and encouraging time. We've gotten a lot of different types of questions, but the one that nearly everyone asks is, "what do the kids think about this?". The next several posts will be the children giving their thoughts on moving to Haiti. But today it's my thoughts. I'm sure many people wonder, and a few people have asked how we handle the fact that we will be taking children into an unstable environment.

I guess in part it is because we know Haiti. We know that danger does not lurk around every corner. We know people who know people who know which roads are safe and which are not. We know the threats as well as the misperceptions propagated by the media. But we also know that there are true instabilities in Haiti. Of most concern is the lack of trauma emergency care, the risk of malaria and dengue fever, and the possibility of my children witnessing violence. In general I think, especially as mothers, people wonder why I am at such peace with our decision to move our family to Haiti. And it all really boils down to my belief that my children are not my own - they belong to the Lord. He has entrusted them to my care, given me the privilege of the joy they bring, and given me the responsibility to raise them wisely. But ultimately they are not mine.

Several years ago I was single parenting Luke. I was an anxious new mother of a toddler struggling to emotionally handle all the responsibilities of a child. I felt very alone in making decisions for Luke and that was quite overwhelming. During this time I watched an episode of Oprah. The topic was teenage cellphone use while driving. The guest on the show was a mother who had lost her 3 year old daughter in a car accident due to an inattentive teen driver. The mother stayed very composed during the interview. However when she started sharing about how she was an extremely safe and cautious mother she broke down. Through tears she explained how she had never even driven in the rain with her daughter in the car. At that moment it struck me. I am charged with caring for my children but they simply aren't mine. No matter how extremely careful and safety conscience I am, the Lord has given them to me and the Lord can take them from me.

And so I have chosen trust and rest. I have chosen to lay my anxieties at the feet of my Lord. As we pursue our move to Haiti, I trust that the Lord has called our whole family to serve Him there. I trust that He will keep each member of my family in His care.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

He's FREE!!!!

Praise the Lord!!! Danny was released from prison yesterday. The judge finally signed the release papers and Danny is now a free man. He was reunited with his orphans last night and is expected to arrive in Florida this afternoon to be reunited with his wife and daughter. Thank you so much for all your prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Continued Prayers for Danny Pye

One of our recent prayers in preparation has been for perseverance and strength through adversity. As we have mentioned here before, our good friend Danny Pye has been in a Haitian prison for over 4 months. Through dedicated prayer, journalistic work and phone calls people from all over the world have been petitioning for his release. While this has been encouraging to see how far this news has traveled, it is also disheartening to know he is as of today still in jail. One of the questions that we have discussed is what we would do in a similar situation. While there are no easy answers, we have been comforted by Jesus’ words in Luke 4:

[18] “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
[19] to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
(Luke 4:18-19 ESV)

Here Jesus announces the begining of his minstry and a reminder of the power of God that is good news to the poor, the blind, the oppresed and the captive. So as we pray for Danny let us pray fervently for his release not only because it is just, and to reunite him to his family in Haiti and Florida, but also as a reminder of God’s grace to us in setting us free from our sin.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Please Join In Prayer

Would you please join us in praying for our dear friend, Danny Pye? Danny is an American Missionary serving in Jacmel, Haiti. Danny was unjustly arrested and put in prison 126 days ago and he remains there today. Danny and his wife Leann, along with their daughter, run a children's home for 22 Haitian youth. He is a regarded as a father by so many children and is about to add to that number. Leann is due with their second child in a few short weeks. Danny is being held on erroneous charges and has not received a trial or sentence. In fact, less than 25% of all Haitian inmates have recieved a trial. Having to be apart from his family for so long is unjust, potentially having to miss the birth of his son is so devastating, and surviving in inhumane, cramped conditions is unbearable.

Please pray with us for the speady release of Danny from prison.

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Big Things

We moved into our neighborhood when Luke was not quite 4 years old. Troy and Luke have been best friends ever since. Their friendship is full of laughter, business schemes, and adventures. They've been known to pool their money for start-up funds for their yo-yo entertainment company or to buy a friend chicken snack from the local corner store.

Luke's empathy and Troy's generosity have made them quite the duo. He's become part of our family and leaving him will be one of the hardest things I can imagine.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Little Things

I know that our move to Haiti will bring about many transitions and will mean leaving many, many things behind. And I know the distance from close relationships will be the hardest. But for now I hafve a few thoughts on the little things that we will leave behind. The minor things.
The one thing I am certain I will not miss is the cold. I will not miss winter. I will not miss frozen van doors, frozen snot, frozen fingers and toes. I definitely will not miss the morning shuttle to school on dark, cold winter days.
One of the small things I am certain I will miss is Tide. Yup, Tide Detergent. Having a highly heightened sense of smell and odd emotional reactions to smells, I've found that Tide brings me joy. Silly, I know. But true. Last night as I walked up to our house in the freezing cold, anger in my soul at teh nasty wind, my heart melted at the scent of Tide coming from my house. It meant home, warmth, and a husband who serves me so well in the little things - like doing laundry.

Monday, January 17, 2011

'Baby-Doc' Returns

Just recently it was announced that Jean-Claude -"baby-doc" Duvalier, the former leader/dictator of Haiti, had returned to the country. The Duvaliers, both Jean-Claude and his father Francois ran Haiti as "president for life" from 1964 to 1986. While going into the nature of this time in Haiti's history is beyond this post, for most Haitians they view it as a time where although there was perhaps more stability, there was also much fear - particularly of the secret police force, or tonton macoutes. So while I can't predict what effect his presence will have, it is obvious that it adds to the already stressful political and social situation there. So on this day, we pray for Haiti, their leaders and legal system as they try and navigate this situation and that despite the continued uncertainty in their country, Haitians will continue to turn to and cling to God.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1 year later

As most of you probably know, it was one year ago a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. I remember being in the Mall of America when I heard the initial news and thought like many news reports on Haiti that this was being sensationalized. I quickly learned the truth and began praying for the country, my family there and the many missionaries and Haitians that I’ve met in the past 8 years.
In the ensuing days, Sara and I talked about how we could make and impact and eventually she was blessed with the opportunity to get there and help both her sister and the relief efforts already underway. When she returned 10 days later, she talked about meeting up with some folks from the EFCA and heard they were thinking about starting a long term team in Haiti. Missions had always been on her heart, and had been growing on mine in the past 8 years since my first trip there. I had always told myself that there would always be a better, more comfortable time than the present to think about missions. We had these conversations a few times and when she mentioned it again last February, I was surprised to find me saying yes, let’s start praying and seeking counsel on ministering in Haiti.
So now as we continue to prepare for this big change, we ask God to continue to be with and comfort the people of Haiti who have lost family, friends, pastors and leaders. We pray for those that are still living in tents, those without clean water or basic medical care. We pray for the missionaries and aid workers there working to help with these conditions. Finally, we pray that the good news of salvation will continue to stir our hearts to love and serve those in Haiti as all those whom we meet and interact with day to day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

French Toast and Creole UNO

Tonight was our first official weekly Family Haiti Night. One night each week we will be cooking from scratch and learning Creole vocabulary. Tonight I made French Toast (from homemade bread) with baked bananas and scrambled eggs. So we were a little short on veggies but all in all the meal turned out well. And how do I know? The meal scored 18 out of a possible 20. We've been using a meal rating system inour family for about a month now. Nerdy, I know. But it gives our extrememly opinionated child a constructive way to tell us how she feels about dinner (without gagging noises, nasty faces, and general rudeness). And it's a fun way to teach my kids about my profession too.

After dinner we played UNO. We used the Creole numbers, colors, and action words. It was so fun to see each family member get really into the learning. Everyone did really well and Kate amazed us all with her perfect pronunciation. I didn't even know that she had number recognition yet. But apparently she does and can grasp it in Creole too. After playing UNO Eloise laid back across the table in glee and said, "I'm so excited for Haiti. It will always be so hot!"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Cooking from Scratch – Nan Kollin Style

There will be many things about our new life in Haiti that will be quite different from our life in Minneapolis. For instance – how we eat. Currently we shop at Costco about once every 3 weeks to stock up on essentials. The rest of the month we make small trips to Super Target or send Luke to our local corner store, Venus, for a few last minute things we need. I cook from scratch some, but not really, really from scratch – not the way I will need to in Haiti. In Haiti we will most likely go to Port au Prince once every 3 weeks or so to stock up on overpriced, imported essentials. There won’t be any runs through the McDonalds’s drive-through, ordering of pizza, or occasional trips to Chili’s. And to keep our grocery bill manageable we’ll have to do a lot more cooking from scratch with items from our local market, Nan Kollin. This market won’t be anything like Venus – no fried chicken, diet coke, or other convenience foods. It is more like the equivalent of a daily farmers market.

For most of our dinners in Haiti we will probably use ingredients from both the Port au Prince grocery stores and Nan Kollin. I’m not the best meal planner and I love challenges. So I thought it would be great to have a few recipes on hand that are made completely of ingredients from Nan Kollin. You know, for those occasional evenings when I open the fridge to find nothing in it and I need to send Luke on a quick run to the market.

Chris and I have decided that we will dedicate one night a week to preparing a new recipe from scratch and learning a Haitian Creole vocabulary list as a family. I’ve asked friends in Haiti to give me a list of all the things sold in the Nan Kollin market. So now I need your help in coming up with a few recipes to try out from this limited list! If you are up to the challenge please post a comment with your recipe idea. Remember the meal does not need to contain meat and I hope to have basic spices on hand.

Ingredients: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, scallions, sweet potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, green peppers (tiny), hot peppers, acra root, militon, beets, green beans, banana peppers, avocados, garlic, papayas, grenadia, bananas, plantains, mangoes, frozen chicken leg quarters, hot dogs, sprite, coke, juice mix packets, chicken boullion cubes, corn flakes, powdered milk, flour, salt, sugar, corn meal, wheat, bread, condensed milk, eggs, pasta, ketchup, tomato paste, spaghetti, brown sugar, rice, many varieties of dried beans.

Thanks - Sara