A week in the South of Haiti

February 12th, 2017 A week in the South of Haiti Our good friends Elwood and Anita got new jobs in the South of Haiti. They are in the process of moving to a new compound there. An apartment is being created in a school building. They needed help not only with moving some of their belongings but also in making the apartment livable. Bob and I agreed to come and spend a few days to help them. Saturday morning we got up very early and left Garcin to pick up our friend Pevwa to take him to the airport. Then proceeded to Elwood and Anita’s to load our truck with the things they had ready to move. The truck when loaded has a much smoother ride but around curves over 80 kilometers it gets a little swimmy, so we had to drive a little slower than them. They went ahead they need to get building materials from Port and were afraid the stores would close early. We called Anita when we got to Port and arranged to meet them after dropping Pevwa off at the airport. Bob helped Elwood decide how much plywood he wood need for the cabinets and they got other items they needed. We had thought we would go all the way to their house but it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon and we still had another 4 to 5 hours left to drive. Bob and I decided to stay the night in Port and go the rest of the way Sunday. The trip was uneventful; we listen to an audio book and enjoyed the scenery. The south of Haiti is much flatter; there are mountains off in the distance but not like where we live. The Caribbean is beautiful and in the south you are much closer to it. This was my first time in the South of Haiti. We arrived at lunch time and were greeted by our friends; they had Mary and Martha with them who are two young Amish girls that come to visit every year. They are truly a delight, they have very good Creole, are very helpful and wonderful cooks. I had offered to lay the tile in the apartment. This is something I enjoy doing and have quite a bit of experience with. But when looking at the apartment nothing was level, there were bumps in the floor and the shower walls were either concave or convex. The way I know how to lay tile you start with completely flat surfaces. It was decided they would hire a Haitian tile setter for the job. To fix the surfaces to be flat would take a lot of time and money. Bob agreed to help them get started on building the kitchen cabinets. Monday was a work day Bob got started on the cabinets; I chiseled some cement off the floors to prepare them for tile. On Tuesday four young Amish men and two young ladies arrived. This proved to be a very interesting week to live with the Amish. The girls took over the cooking and cleaning. It was like out of a story book coming into the kitchen seeing them cook with their long dresses and caps. The young men went right to work some helping Bob and some building tresses for a Church roof that had blown off in the Hurricane. I learned many things being with these wonderful young people. The Amish women never cut their hair their whole life, not even trim it. They don’t use zippers. They sing a lot, beautiful hymns. Because they have lived in community their whole life they have perfect harmony. This experience has made me think a lot about my own faith walk. The concept of not living in the world, the concepts of the clothing I choose to wear. Many, many things, I haven’t even processed all of them. I guess I feel like we are all called in different ways. In the Catholic Church we have monasteries were the monks have chosen seclusion, each of us has to find our path and follow it. I don’t think there is only one way to worship God, or only one path to his kingdom. It is a wonderful to experience the different parts of the body of Christ.

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