Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Monday, our last full day in Haiti, we went to Cha Cha mountain. We took two vehicles, a truck and a jeep-like thing with no AC. A few of us rode in the back of the truck with our bodyguard/translator Elijah. We had a lot of fun back there! We took punch and sandwiches to the school children on the top of the mountain. On the way up the poorly sealed punch cooler splashed its sticky contents on both bodies and bags. We had to stop the truck and move it before we could be a bit more comfortable.
As we made our way up Cha Cha Mountain, some of the group saw a dead body beside the road, covered in dust from possibly hours of being there. He was most likely hit by a car. It makes me think of the earthquake.
There is a book at the guesthouse about the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. When I looked at the Haitian people before I read the book, it looked to me like they were poor and had a hard life, but they still smiled. After I read the book, I could see more clearly how hard their lives really are. They are so poor, even poorer than they were before the quake, which was poor enough. They have experienced so much, seen so much. Think about it. The earth is shaking so hard that even the so-called strongest buildings are falling all around them. Falling right on people. People they know and love. Crushing them. Killing them. Blood running everywhere. Screams everywhere. Some did not even know what an earthquake was. Why is the ground shaking? Is it the rapture? Have I been left behind? You can never put those images out of your mind. It's more painful, though, when someone brings it up again. We drove to see the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-Au-Prince. It is a crumbled mess. Beggars everywhere. Tents along the road. A man sleeping in the heat of the day. Because they have nowhere else to go, nowhere else to sleep. Ginette says maybe fifteen will all sleep in one little tent. They see us just looking at the Cathedral and some are angry. "Why do you look? Why do you gawk? You do not know what that crumbled mass means to me. It is like you laugh at my pain when you look. You see a mess that should have been cleaned up 4 years ago. I see the remains of a disaster so terrible it will never leave my brain. I see death. Brutal death. I see loss of my home and my loved ones. I see the reason I am now on the streets, along with my friends. I see bodies piled high in the street, being burned there because nothing else can be done with them." I do not know what you have gone through, dear Haitian staring back at me. I have never felt it. Anything I think is hard in my life, is as a splinter to you. But I wish I could help. I wish I could give you hope. I try. I saw a picture of a man shot for looting after the quake. It haunts me. Lying on his back with limbs sprawled everywhere. Blood running down the pile he is on. His head is turned towards the camera. His eyes are open and he is smiling. Dead. But smiling. Where did he go? When I again take a look at the people of Haiti, I see that they know how to keep on smiling. It is the only thing that will keep them going. They have to put the past behind them. It is too hard to stay back there. They may want to stay, but then their stomach starts to growl, and their children call out for food. The rain comes and shelter has to be found. Life never stops its brutal push on man. So they smile in the pain. They chatter and wave to friends. Life is hard. So make the best of it. But we can't just make the best of things, because we are a fallen, sinful people. We can't make things better, at least not eternally, unless we share the news that Jesus came to earth as a perfect Man and died a sinner's death: just for us. To save us from a corrupt world, so that if we believe in Him, treasure Him, and put full trust in Him for everything, no matter how tough it gets, we will have a beautiful a perfect life with Him after we die.
|Apparently we got a lot of rain the night before....|
This is more of the damage form Hurricane Sandy. The road, which used to run on the top of the ledge, was torn down by the rushing water
|The leaky orange punch coolers.|
|This little ball of energy was hard to capture in a picture! He made us all laugh so hard.|
|Ethan and his dad.|
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Sunday we went to the Valley of Hope church. Elisabeth was sick that morning and was not able to go with us. She hated to miss it and of course we hated not having her with us. But she was able to get in the picture before we left!
On the way to church we witnessed our first collision in Haiti. A tap tap hit a truck fairly hard and people were piling out of the tap tap holding their shoulder or limping. But I think everybody was ok. They were still smiling. :)
We got to church a little late and they were already singing. Their worship is so joyful!
At one point during the service the pastor asked if anyone wanted to receive Jesus. About 30 children came up. It was beautiful to see!
My sweet companion for the the day fell asleep on my lap.
I wish I had gotten better pictures of some of the kids. This little girl's outfit was adorable!
After church we went to the nearby river.
When hurricane Sandy hit the US, it also hit Haiti. This river used to be about half its size now.
When there is water running through it at all, people come to it to wash clothes or themselves.
A voodoo cross
After we were fed by the sweet women in the church, we went into Port-Au-Prince to see the damage that the earthquake did. It is amazing how much the people still suffer from its affects even four years later.
|Each of those tents is a home.|
After that some of dropped in on the HUG girls and took their pictures.They are such a beautiful group of girls!