Saturday- One of our roommates, Stephanie, had been at Canaan for two weeks working in the medical clinic and flew home out of PAP (Port-au-Price airport) at 8something in the morning. This meant we had to get up at 4something to leave at 5. Typical Haiti happened and we left at 5:35. Johnny the driver said, "I tink Stephanie was a little eeempashunt dees merning?" And after Katie (another roommate) said, oh yes Stephanie was a little impatient, we got what he was saying and laughed. Mollye and I climbed into the back of the pickup to drive 2hours into Port. Let's just not talk about my hair after that ride. Molls brought a hat- smart girl. We got to take tons of pictures and talk about the state of the life we saw around us. We passed many tent villages and saw the extreme poverty that sits in the dust heaps. There wasn't an extreme amount of earthquake aftermath showing near the roads. Katie has been to Haiti several times so she's super helpful as a stand-in tour guide. She says they were very quick to come in a bull-doze the mountains of concrete and rebuild, at least near the roads. The slums were further back. I can't imagine what those were like since I was devastated by what I saw. We got to go see a beautiful mountaintop lookout, walk through a petting zoo at a Baptist mission, visit a wealthier side of town, see the bustling Port market, and passed through City Soleil on the way home- one of the most dangerous parts of Haiti. It felt very dark there and I saw many things I won't soon forget.
Sunday was a beautiful day. The housemates and I have been having "Sunday school" and we're reading through Colossians. We had a great time of discussion and prayer for this community. Church was much shorter than usual. The whole service can last about 4 hours on a given Sunday, and this one was about 1.5 hours. There was a funeral that afternoon they had to get ready for. We decided to go and show our condolences. When the family came in, they stood around the casket and took lots of pictures. Everyone dresses in black and white. You can't wear red because that means you had something to with the death. It was the home-going of an elderly lady who had been involved in Canaan's congregation. If someone started crying they immediately walked out. Haitians don't understand or like tears. A band was there with trumpets and trombones. We left early because two buses full of people came and they needed more room. Apparently Haitian funerals are as big of a deal as weddings and sometimes the whole town turns out. Afterwards we had some roommate time cutting bandanna necklaces for the kids to make and did pilates. :) After eating, Mollye and I got to have a Haitian dance lesson in the cafeteria and learned to Kompa. So exciting because we both love to dance and haven't done much of it this month!
Today we began our last week of school. :( We're working on painting canvases and helped the children finish up those. Mollye and I (and some other little helpers) fixed a mural of a parrot that had been patched over. We had a feast for 4th of July dinner. The Haitian Independence Day is on January 1 but maybe the cook knew because it was a lot of food :). Rice and peas in the mold of a pound cake, tomatoes, lettuce and corn, piklez which is a Haitian "vegetable salad" (I see it as basically a bowl of raw onion slices), and grilled tilapia. Tonight our roommate Katie got back from being in Port all day and brought us Hershey's dark chocolate nuggets with almonds and three candles- red, white, and blue. We sang "I'm Proud to be an American" and lit them. Just kidding about the singing. Hope you're celebrating well, America! Obviously it has been a very atypical 4th. There was also another dog burial- Look on my facebook for the video or get me to tell you about those sometime!
Just got back from devotions with the kids. They know we're leaving soon and it's getting so sad to think about it. God has blessed us with some pretty awesome relationships here. Please pray we'll be a blessing to all around us and use our time wisely these last few days. We also need a good place to leave the art supplies so they can continue to use them when we're gone! Thank you for your prayers and I have been praying for my friends at home. Lots of love from Haiti!