Today we started our day with a light breakfast of cereal, eggs. toast, and great coffee. After a short time of group devotion, we spent our morning touring the Baptist Haiti Mission campus. Since we already looked around a little bit yesterday, we spent most of our time visiting the church and hospital. The hospital was spaced throughout different levels of a large building, because it was built on the side of a mountain. It had several areas of care including an emergency room, an operating room, a vaccination clinic, general care, an eye clinic, and a dentistry section. After we had lunch at a restaurant on the mission campus, (the ice cream was great!) we left to head to Montrouis (mow-wee).
The bus ride was humid, bumpy, and a great time of community building among the group. The roads are crazy and Haitian driving is much different than in America. We were always passing slower vehicles, despite how close the car in the opposing lane may be. Our driver was always honking as a warning sign of us coming around curves and he got our small bus through some pretty tight squeezes. The roads are bumpy and each road has several venders of random foods and products along both sides of the roads.
We made one stop along the way to observe the memorial in honor of the earthquake that happened in Haiti in 2010. When we first got out of the bus, there was a group of children right in front of the entrance. Some were affectionately hugging and some would play “hot hands” with us, while others used the only English they know to say, “Give me a dollar.” Some of the children gestured for the people wearing sunglasses to give them their sunglasses. It was difficult to say no to them. After a few moments, we entered the gate for the memorial site. This memorial is the burial site of approximately 70,000 people that died from the earthquake. They were piled together and covered with dirt to essentially create a new mountain. There was a sign in the center that said, “12 JANVIER 2010 NOU PAP JANM BLIYEW,” which means, “January 12, 2010- We will never forget.” Multiple crosses were strewn across the hill, and a woman there told us that there was actually a designated section for the burial of people that died from the cholera brought by a UN worker that came from Nepal to help with AIDS relief.After a couple hours on a bus, we arrived at the Byxbe’s house where we will be staying for the week.
We were able to walk down the road and see a house that Gary, a local fisherman who we spoke about in the first blog, is building in order to help house the elderly in the area. It was a cement block home with three rooms.The floor was cement and the walls were blocks. We walked back to the Byxbe’s house and the girls played some games while the men stood outside (where it was actually somewhat cooler) and chatted until dinner time. We sat outside and had a wonderful dinner of rice, beans, chicken, vegetables, and some mystery food that looks like cole-slaw but is actually a really spicy garnish. During and after dinner we discussed our plans for the week, while Jon buddied up with the pet dog. Tomorrow we’ll be working with a local school showing the kids some cool, simple science experiments.
Please continue to pray for us and for the Mowi Bead program, and for our friends here in Montrouis.
The Haiti Team