Sunday, December 19, 2010
Post # 2, Going to a National Church Sunday morning in Haiti.
When I pulled the tarp to roll it up, because it had been wet from yesterday covering our luggage on our ride from the airport, this tarantula, as big as my hand, crawled out from under it. Freaked us all out. Huge photo opp.. We rolled up the tarp and when we got home from church he was gone. This was right outside our front door.
This is looking back at the front gate of the OMS compound, where we lived for the week. The guard shack is behind the left gate post. The man at left in the pink crocs is the guard on duty or leaving duty. They are there 24/7. Because of the elections, someone wrote graffiti on both sides of the gate and Bud, one of the resident Missionaries, had it painted over until after the election when they would paint it right. The young man in red is Jr.. He is 16 and was visiting someone on the compound. He was on probation for entering and stealing out of one of the Missionary's homes.
(Below) This is Dr. Allison, on the steps, and Lyle as we entered the church building. Upstairs was the meeting room. It was packed. There were truss rafters and tin and you could feel the heat radiating on your head as we sat there. It must be sweltering in the Summer. The Haitians dressed better than we did by far. All men wore ties and suits if they preached or led worship etc.. The ladies wore dresses and many wore head coverings, a rare submission these days, see 1Cor.11. We couldn't take pictures without asking permission so that is why I have only 1 photo inside the service.
(Below) This is Mary Lou. She has been in Haiti 30 years and speaks Creole fluently. We had head sets on and she spoke quietly translating what was being said in the service. She went to the pulpit and shared how she had been robbed of her laptop computer at knife point at her home on the compound, just this week, and praised God that no greater harm was done. Our compound is 35 acres with 8' block walls all around topped with razor wire and 3 guards with flashlights roaming around all night, so we don't know how the robber got in. She took a leave for the States while we were there, for post traumatic stress counseling.
After the service, we collected up outside to go to Dinner. We left before communion because of the contamination of cholera. I don't know if they pass the cup or what? This boy just happened to run by as I snapped the photo.
On the way from Church to the Christophe Hotel for Dinner, we traveled through the streets of Cap Haitian. The streets were very busy all the time except when there was political unrest. Then, every half mile, the Haitians would drag trees, trash, old tires and old cars into the street and light them on fire. Roadblocks every half mile. They did it twice the week we were there. Quite a stink! On those days we were compound bound, except for our leader Neil, Coach Shaw, and Jonathan. There was a breech in communication and they went for a long walk-about into a residential area, with a Haitian of course. No harm was done. The pickup to the right is what they call a 'Tap-Tap'. We call them Taxi's. They drive up and down the street and you jump on and when you want off you tap-tap the side and get off and pay the driver. The back has benches built inside and they fill clear full and 4 ride on the bumper. I even saw them laying on the hood. Maybe he was the blinker although all you maneuver by is your horn. The faster you go, the sooner you start honking your horn.
I used to drive flatbed over the road. Not like these. These are Haitian flatbed 'trailers'. Just pulling the thing around empty would get you in shape let alone putting anything on it.
Next post will be at the Christophe Hotel for a huge dinner. This Hotel was most recently owned by the DuPont's for a vacation home. It was originally built by Napoleon Bonaparte for his sister in the 1700's. It's the nicest place I saw in Haiti. Remember, just west of Cap Haitian is where Christopher Columbus, from Spain, landed when he 'discovered' America in 1492. This place has amazing history. One of his ships sank out here in the harbor.
What do you get when you throw a bomb into a floor covering store? Linoleum blown-apart! Ha!