We all slept-in today until 7:30 am which amounted to a late start compared to our last two days.
Breakfast was served and we all ate some kasava, jelly and peanut butter made by a local order of brothers and sisters – it was delicious.
After eating, we sorted all the donated items that we brought with us by air from Roanoke. This was 8 suitcases of donated material including but not limited to the following:
- School supplies (notebooks, pens, markers, paper, etc)
- Tote bags
- Binder clips and staples
- Decorations (apparently Haitian people love to decorate)
- Flash drives
- 1 saxophone with music books (courtesy of Colleen)
Sister Moline was very grateful for our generosity with donating items she requested.
Then we were on the bumpy road again to make our way into Hinche! We made a stop at St. Martin’s primary school to checkout their kitchen and were greeted by a youthful sister with a broad smile who excitedly showed us around. Flocks of children gathered and waved at us with beautiful smiling faces and childlike wonder. We were lucky to meet some current students of the normale school and a graduate who were teaching there – I felt the impact of our twin here, it’s palpable.
After seeing the school, we made our way for a meeting with the Bishop of Hinche! We was a wonderfully well spoken man who spoke to us with honesty and sincerity about his challenges in the diocese. Since he’s only been in the position for 7 months, he mentioned some things that he is struggling to overcome:
- People don’t go to the Catholic church anymore since many are atheist or Protestant
- They have a lot of seminarians, which is a good thing but it’s also a drain on resources – the diocese has to support them with studies abroad, travel expenses… Etc
- He has 84 priests and only 44 parishes with diminishing congregations. He can’t just create a parish to give them jobs!
There’s more, but you get the idea – please keep him and the Diocese of Hinche in your prayers.
We then made our way to the DeSolt Haiti Ministry Mission that’s also in a Hinche. It’s run by an American priest from Louisiana by the name of Father Meaus. He has cultivated quite an autonomous establishment that services 10,000 people in 14 villages and provides school to 1200 of their kids K-to-6th grade. We admired their operation based aroujd the Catholic social justice teachings and took some notes!
Finally, we concluded the day with some testing of the water on-campus and meetings with the 1st and 2nd year student bodies. I’ll write more on those in a more specific post – they have so much to say and I want to do it justice.
That’s it for now, it’s close to 11:30 pm and I am beat. Thanks for reading and for the prayers, we feel God’s grace at work here.