Great Haiti Adventure: Day 5
A later start, but a later finish today. It’s almost 9 p.m. and I’m only now sitting down to write. Typically I’m working on my blog at around 5. It’s been a full and good and productive day!
We had our breakfast of bouillon and an egg. And I may have snuck in a little bit of avocado! Then we headed out for a day of meetings. By day of meetings, I mean 2 meetings, but they took the entire day.
The Haiti Project has supported one parish for years. One parish = one priest to partner with. Recently, the parish was split into 2 parishes. That means 2 priests, both of whom are new to this particular assignment. Our meetings today were with each of the priests. These men are highly educated and obviously following a calling to serve. I really like both of them!
The first meeting was with Father Janin at the Sister’s house in Gros Morne. I wanted to listen in, but I needed wifi more than that. I wanted to do some nutrition research. And I needed to do some eBay business. And I wanted to post a blog. And I wanted to call Colin. I did all of the above and wrapped up around the time the meeting ended.
We had just enough time to drive to the egg sandwich restaurant. I plucked a twig of moringa from the Sister’s tree and added that to my sandwich (not bad). I also took advantage of the chance to try a few new drinks. Mango nectar and then a carbonated malt beverage. The mango nectar was just that, except it tasted less like mango and more like some fruit mix. The malt tasted like sweet beer without the alcohol. Not really my thing.
We then met with Father Dachemy and the new school superintendent. We sat on folded chairs under the shade of a big tree. I listened to the collaboration—Creole and English. I listened to the pigs as they scurried past and grunted when they thought the cooks were setting out scraps. I witnessed a group of people from very different backgrounds come together around shared dreams for Haiti. There were a few stumbles as they strove to understand each other, but thanks to Sofia...and to shared vision...it was a very productive meeting. Father even asked me what I thought about the school lunch program. I still want to spend time in the data, but in general, I’d like to make sure there’s a good source of protein each day and I’d love it if more fresh, seasonal produce could be incorporated. I recognize that this may take a while, but we were visioning after all!
When we finished our meeting, Father generously invited us indoors. During our meeting, he’d asked the cooks to prepare a meal for us. We gathered around the table in prayer and broke bread together. It was a lovely Haitian meal, including fried chicken. It’s the first time I’ve seen meat since I’ve been here. A delicacy for Dad. I normally wouldn’t eat such an early dinner but I recognized the significance of this generous hospitality and joined in the meal. I did however, pass on the meat. I have been vegetarian for 20+ years. No need to create a medical emergency!
We arrived back home at around 6. Dad and I were both exhausted, but we have a house guest, Alex, tonight. He is an agronomist who specializes in growing vanilla. There will be a community workshop tomorrow and he will be presenting. It was so much fun to have a conversation in Creole, Spanish and English. He described ideal conditions to grow vanilla. I asked lots of questions. Alex clearly appreciated my interest because he gifted me with 10 vanilla beans. This is an incredibly valuable and selfless gift. Yet again I am blown away by the generosity. These people have so little but want to give so much. I can learn from them.