I am writing from the veranda of Matthew 25, the Haiti twinning guest house in Port au Prince. We stayed here the past two nights, and took day trips to parts of Haiti Gene, Colleen and I had never seen before. On Friday, our amazing driver, Tidou, took us south from Papaye all the way to Baudin, which is high, high, high in the mountains west of Jacmel. It was so delightful seeing Sister Moline, the former director of L’Ecole Normale. We loved the beautiful countryside where she lives. It is a very rural place, where the terraced hillsides are planted with sweet potatoes and peppers, and the locals were happy to give us directions to Baudin whenever we approached a fork in the road. We all agreed Baudin would be a lovely place to live, if not for the less-than-super-highway roads. Sister Moline already has the students well in-hand, and they sang to us when we arrived. Always wonderful to hear young, welcoming Haitian voices!
Yesterday, we journeyed with Clermann, her brother Ken, and her sister Olguin to the town of their roots, St. Marc. We visited the family home they are building on the site of their childhood farm. Olguin designed the house, which has a very modern design, and it is quite beautiful. At the entrance to their property stands the mango tree their mother planted in the 1970s, and it is quite majestic. From there, we travelled north to Ennery, which is east of Gonaives. On the way, in the huge Artibonite Valley, we passed many rice fields, irrigated by canals diverted from nearby rivers. We had a delicious lunch at Le Village D’Ennery, a gorgeous resort property with an expansive view of the North Haitian mountains. Then, it was back to the awesome hospitality of Matthew 25 for our last night in Haiti.
Our afternoon flight today g
ave us the opportunity to attend Mass this morning at St. Francis deSalle de Delmas 33. The congregation just moved into their brand-new church building, and they were so welcoming to us. This group of parishioners founded this church after the earthquake because of the solidarity they formed together as a community. Their camaraderie can be felt in every part of their worship. And of course, their praise through music filled and uplifted us.
I will post a few more pictures once I am back in the States and can download them more easily. Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers during our journey!