After our time of worship we piled into the taptap and explored downtown Port au Prince. Our first stop was the president’s palace that had collapsed in the earthquake. This pristine white building had fallen in on itself. The lawn was still beautifully maintained, while there were tents directly across the street. All the city parks were also filled with tents. What was supposed to be temporary has now become their permanent residence.
Next we stopped at various markets as we wound our way to the top of the mountain, Boutilier.We enjoyed bartering with the locals while purchasing some Haitian crafts for our loved ones back home. The closer we traveled to the top, the larger and more beautiful the homes became. In fact, only those who are truly wealthy can afford the homes at the top. Land is expensive and homes are expansive. The view is breathtaking! Although this part of Haiti is easy on the eyes, it is uncomfortable to think about. This small population has physically removed itself from the Haitians we had come to know and live among this past week - those whom we've grown to love deeply.
We enjoyed our last night at a very nice hotel restaurant for dinner, seated outside in the "cool" evening air. Good food, rich laughter, and great conversation was had by all around the table! We've become such a close group. We were friends before the trip, but because we have now shared such a life-changing experience, the depth of our knowledge of each other has become even greater. What a great way to end our trip...........
Jean, another one of our fine Haitian friends, gave us a crash course in dance last night.
Tomorrow we go home. It is with a bittersweetness that we bid adieu to this country and to its people whom we've grown to know and love. Thank You, Lord, for choosing us to serve You and Your people this week. Thank You for using us.