Beginning of Endings
May 03, 2012
We began our day with fresh mango and a breakfast of oatmeal cooked by Ramone who worked her magic 3x a day behind the sheets which separated the cooking and eating areas. Then on to our morning devotionals, body cover of Deet, collection of the one wheelbarrow, 3 pick axes and 4 shovels and the walk down the shoulder of the road to Le Trembley church, standing majestically with walls reaching high and a roof open to the sky. Since it is Saturday we only work a half-day. Our goal today is to move dirt and rocks to fill in the newly poured concrete and rock entryway and to complete digging the septic hole and clearing it of rocks. True to the spirit of Haiti, we created a rhythm of our own as the sounds of our bucket brigade --- scrape, shovel, grunts, pass, dump, were repeated like a never ending chorus-and it worked beautifully! Since this was the last day at the church, we were especially aware of the surroundings trying to take it all in----the little stick and mud hut almost on the septic hole we had dug, the hand washed laundry rinsed in a series of pails, piles of clothes heaped on the newly sweep ground, and finally hung on ropes like torn spider webs connected to bushes and the house. Again watching the children drawing on the church floor or singing Old McDonald, being "caught" in our London Bridge falling down, or catching rides in the wheelbarrow--all were "lasts" from this trip.
After a lunch of peanut butter and jelly or "spam"wiches, we piled into a tap tap and headed to the Ryan Epps Home for children in Haiti, only a few miles from our site. The UMW of PUMC, one of the team churches, has been sewing dresses for this orphanage and recently had heard Helen Little of Clayton speak on this amazing mission project. We brought bags of dresses, games and musical instruments to share with the 22 children permanently living there. We toured the recently constructed dormitory with rows of bunk beds, the classrooms serving 160 children from the surrounding area, the space envisioned for a garden, and the plot which will serve as a church and community meeting space someday. But mostly we felt the love given these children, some orphaned by the earthquake, some left by parents unable to keep them, One of our translators even asked if he could " take off his shirt and join them". What fun to watch the children dancing and laughing with the musical instruments Sarah gave them or decorating the crosses shared by Tracy.
Then back to our site and our last bucket bath and a dinner of plantains, chicken, peas and rice and a fried root veggie that was delicious but unknown to all of us. And what a splurge- ice cold Cokes and juice to drink!
Our nightly devotional focused on bringing our trip to a close and moving toward spiritual and cultural readiness for our return home on Monday. We also made preparations for our role in tomorrow's church service where Ben will preach and we will share songs. Sleep brought bittersweet thoughts leaving and of returning to our very different world away from Haiti.