Now that was a good banana, sweet, natural, and full of flavor. Thank you Haiti! I am eating breakfast at the Blanchard church with Haiti Outreach Ministries. There is a clatter of activity going on, people are talking Creole, children making noises, and in a city of 2 million people there is very little traffic noise. I hear an occasional rooster crowing but the normal sounds of school are distinctly overheard, crying children. As I look from the open aired dining area on top of the 3rd floor of this concrete building I see palm leaves jumping into the air, two large mountains standing like giant arches of haze. Not haze from pollution but haze from the morning burn off of the sun’s heat. Behind me is the six thousand foot mountain we drove over yesterday to hike near the town of Furcy on the terraced filled farm land that had an incredible multitude of shades of green. Our destination was a small little pool with a natural, slightly bumpy, water slide. It was divine. Divine is a nice way to describe why I am here. I came to see my youngest son Forrest who has lived in Port au Prince since last Thanksgiving. Linda (my wife of 33 years) is here, Michael (our oldest son), Tommy (Linda’s younger brother), and Ann and Austin (Tommy’s two children). We all came down to visit Forrest and to build a couple of roofs and paint on the new clinic being built at the Cite Sole church. Tommy’s family raised $1000 for a roof and my home church raised $1000 for a roof.
We arrived Saturday landing at 1:00 pm, got through immigration, picked up our luggage, and then was mobbed by 200 Haitians wanting to carry our bags. Fortunately after walking about the length of a football field we saw Forrest and his welcoming party waiting for us with two Tap Taps. A Tap Tap is a Haitian taxi that is a pick-up truck with a high cover over the trucks bed and has two parallel benches to sit on. The best seat is in the open air where the tailgate would be.
The children are all lined up dressed in pink and singing. What are they singing? I don’t know, but it is angelic harmonic melodies from young hearts beating as one, intent on their future.
It is now 4:04 pm and we are back at the open air dining area. There are 5 large white plastic round tables with a high 15 foot slanted tin roof. That keeps it fairly cool up here since there is a nice breeze. Today we painted the front exterior of the new clinic they are building at the Cite Sole church compound. It is also with Haiti Outreach Ministries. We went to church here at 7:30 am yesterday morning before we went on our Furcy hike. We painted white oil based on the walls and oil based gray on the metal doors and windows and an oil based Bermuda green on the square exterior support columns and trim. We had Eddie and John Goudy help us. They are both Haitians that work with Forrest. Before we started painting we first cleaned (wiped off) all surfaces with old T-shirts.
It was a hot day today, so hot that Ann fainted in the morning while painting. Linda heard her fall and cried out, “Ann are you OK?” Ann had gotten stuck between the aluminum ladder and the freshly painted metal window she was painting. As she came to, we picked her up off her fallen position. She recovered quickly and painted the rest of the day. We were thankful that she did not fall face first to the concrete slab and that the sticky paint acted as a glue to hold her up. After that I kept telling her to drink plenty of water and if she had not peed, drink until she needed to. I don’t think she has peed yet, ha!
The distant mountain is starting to cloud up almost obscuring the green ridge lines. There is a men’s choir singing now, loudly with a saintly harmony. At the same time in another room close by a girls’ choir is singing. The sounds are quite harmonic and healing to the soul. Our cooks have just delivered the food and are singing along with the men. If life were only this simple. Almost like a romantic lifestyle, certainly reminds me of singing choirs I have heard in movies. Now they are talking like they are all speaking in tongues. I don’t think they are but it is a rumble of unknown sounds. Now their leader has called out to them and silence. Dead silence, so silent you could hear a feather hit the ground. I think I will go take a cold shower (that is all we have). Everyone in our group has already taken one. Bonjour!