Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Begin at the beginning...

It is impossible to comprehend that it was only five days ago that we flew into Port-au-Prince (PAP)
and made our way towards our final destination, a mountain village named Bayonnais.

We left Miami for PAP from the same gate I used on a recent trip to Spain. 
My long-term blog readers may remember the view from this table.
An auspicious way to start the trip.

Coming in for our landing in PAP.

Boarding a bus the church sent to Haiti a few years ago.

On the ground, on the move in a country of many colors.

Our first pitstop - a picnic lunch on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
(How can I ever thank you, Gibbs, for taking me with you?!?)

I'm pretty sure we were the only ones surprised by the goat walking across the gas station

First we rode along a beautiful coastline, 
and then lush rice fields -
But somehow millions are starving in Haiti

Crossing the first of two shallow rivers in the bus on the only road to Bayonnais.
How on earth do the buses make the trip during rainy season?
I do not know - but somehow they do - 
carrying teachers, students, and supplies.

Many rivers were crossed on this trip -
shallow rivers, deep rivers, internal rivers, external rivers,
emotional, spiritual, relational, cultural, culinary, and linguistic rivers too.

For example, I was given the opportunity to teach a few Spanish classes at the school there - with my explanations being translated into Creole when my Spanish was not understood. The Haitian Spanish teacher and I could communicate with each other only in Spanish. It's a good thing that hugs, hand-holding, digital photos, smiles, and laughter need no translation.

Please join me in praying for Bayonnais and surrounding towns - they have not had rain since September. Crops are failing and famine is setting in up in the mountains. I saw the people who cooked at and cleaned our guesthouse eating the food we had left on our places, the meat on the chicken bones and the flesh left on the mango pits. Do I even need to tell you that those were the moments when tears immediately filled my eyes? Why doesn't the rice in the valleys make it up there? Why is there so much food here in the US, food that we thoughtlessly throw away, when most of the people in Bayonnais have absolutely nothing eat?

More photos and stories to come. As the title indicates, this is only the beginning.

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