Sunday, April 28, 2013

Haiti: Our sister church

So...we took a long, bumpy, dusty ride over a mountain and ended up in the town of Jacmel, Haiti. I knew (and still know) very little of fact I can  probably only name two towns in the whole country. Being in Haiti, I definitely felt cutoff from the world. We were virtually without Internet (which didn't bother me) and not infrequently without electricity while at our sister church in rural Jacmel.

Laid back is the way I'd describe our week. Only Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, did anything start when they said it would. For someone who lives on a newspaper deadline, it was heaven. Also, the people were awesome - kind, welcoming, funny, warm. It was a blessing being around them.

The congregation overflowith. People were sitting on either side of the pulpit it was so packed.

Leaving church

Probably my favorite picture of the whole trip. The tie must have gone to Scott's (the white one) head.

The road in front of the church

Oh's the church. Probably could have put that first...

After church...

Dinner time. The parsonage, where we stayed, had a kitchen but most of the cooking was done outside. I suppose gas is too expensive.

Fried chicken!

Bob (right) and Pastor B worked on translating an worship song.

Other Bob worked on mosquito proofing the house. My hero!

I'd love to know more about names in Haiti. Many people, like Lolac, the kid on the left, had such fascinating monikers...

Let's just say...I was kind of popular.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Haiti: Port-au-Prince

Even though I volunteered for it, I was somewhat reticent about going to Haiti for a week with other members of my church. The unknown is always so unknown, I guess, and kind of expensive. But when I finally got down to it – new passport in hand, a freshly purchased 32GB memory card, and getting the heck out away from school committee meetings and government meetings – I was almost giddy to get on the plane.

I miss traveling. Living overseas was sort of like constantly traveling. My trip up Pacific Coast Highway was a fantastic adventure, and now I’m driving a car with somewhere around 300,000 miles and I hardly know if I’m going to be able to make it 10 miles up the road in one peace.
So Haiti, for more than one reason, was a good trip for me.

More on that as we go…this post is only the beginning.

First stop – Port-au-Prince
Meet Bob, one of the five of us on the trip. Since he was in the army, we stuck him on the back of the pickup at the airport.We were headed over the mountain, but couldn't go til the next morning...

Everything. everything. everything had some sort of Christian reference on was fascinating. Coming into Port-au-Prince on Good Friday, we had a much calmer drive through the crazy, dirty concrete rubbly jungle of the city.

You can't quite get a feel for the sheer amount of dust and disgusting air in PAP here. It was truly horrible. I'm glad we kept it to one night.
This isn't a spectacular photo or anything, but it so reminded me of China...not much in Haiti reminded me of China but this building was a dead ringer.
Walking through the concrete
No clue what this building was for, but it was near the empty lot where the president/dictator person used to live.


The other Bob. This Bob is originally from Haiti and his son is a leader at our church. This guy is awesome. So much fun, and bonus, he speaks Haitian Creole!
Our trusty steed. We rode in the back of this thing over a mountain. Hey, why not?

The only earthquaked building that I saw in PAP. There was plenty of rubble, but most of the buildings (at least where we drove) seemed to be cleared away. There were still some tent cities and lots of garbage and tires being burned in the street.  

  Now...out of PAP and over the mountain to our destination...