We began with church at Grace Village, it was a new experience we really enjoyed. The music was very upbeat, and used both Creole and English, the children were excellent leaders in singing. For a lot of us, we have all we need. But the Haitians have almost nothing, and they worship with full hearts and complete gratitude. There are plans for an even bigger church in the future, and it will be great to see how full it will be with the village orphans and the towns people from Titanyen.
Before we left, we filled the tap-tap with Feed My Starving Children boxes. We drove them to Gertrude's home for handicapped and orphaned children. They will use them for their meals in the coming weeks. Many from our group have packed FMSC bags and boxes, and it was really neat to see the circle completed.
Next, we headed up the mountain to be tourists. But first, we drove through downtown Port au Prince to see some of the remaining earthquake damage. The city has revitalized, in spite of some building being badly damaged. It was clear there is still work to do to help Haiti recover completely. One of our translators explained to us earlier the majority of the work is on educating the Haitians on how to prepare and react during an earthquake, and building safer structures.
Midway up the mountain, there was a roadside market place. Most of us had a great time seeing the local work, and trying our hands at bartering. We had another opportunity at the top of the mountain. but not until we took a group photo. We're including one of the more interesting experiences for your reading leisure this evening.
Kevin: First, I walked up to a seller and I saw a necklace I loved! :) And I told him I wanted it. And I asked, "How much?" He said, "20 dollars." I had a thought bubble: That is too much for a necklace made out of wood! Then I said, "I only have 10 dollars" But, the thing is, I only had four dollars. When I went to grab the ten, there was only four. Then, he got mad! And so, I walked away with my four dollars and he ran after me and he said, "Give me the money! NOW!" And I was debating because I didn't know if I wanted to spend all four dollars... ehweahehwah... and I said, "tree dollars!" then this other dude wanted to sell me a painting, but I'm not into that whole painting thing. But we had a nice conversation. Then, the necklace seller came over to the paintings and he said, 'OK, what's your new price?" And I said, "Dos Dollares!" And he said, "Fine" very angrily. And he took the money, shoved it in his pocket and walked away. And I had a beautiful necklace. Then, as I was about to get on the tappy-tappy, the painting guy, who I really liked, came over and tried to sell me a painting that was black and white. And I said, "I like colors" and he brought me a colored one, and I did not want a painting, which I figured out later. And as I have previously stated, I liked the painting man. So, I pulled out my wallet and I opened it, and I gave him 2 dollars. He was very happy. We shook hands, and we said our goodbyes. And I did this all while looking over a beautiful terrace.
We are excited to see our families tomorrow, but leaving Haiti after being dramatically moved by this experience will be difficult. We ask for your prayers that we arrive safely, and that we are able to share our experiences with you in a way that will change your life too.
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Kevin Lorton, Josh Cornes and Rachel Horn