The amount of images I have from each day is overwhelming. It would be too immense to just place in one post per day-that and the fact that I forgot to adjust my timestamp in my camera is proving to make it all the more difficult in determining what day I took each picture. These following pictures are also from day 3. Then we can get to day 4!
After lunch we took a walk into the village. We passed multiple temples. There are over 330 million Gods. This idea is so complex and foreign to me. A religion seemingly based on superstition, perpetuated by more superstition and self fulfillment. I am sure there is much more to it than that, but that is my first impression and somewhat uneducated observation.
We walked to the river’s edge where the villagers bathe and a temple stands guard, accepting sacrifices. Glancing towards the river we were greeted with a most unexpected sight. I small group of water buffalo proceeding to the steps, where they exited the river, walked through town and into someone’s house.
We headed back to CEM and along the way we purchased some fresh coconut water. And then were promptly followed by some very curious kids!
After culling through my photos I find that I will be hard pressed to put day 3 into one post. I can begin with my morning rooftop views.
My morning began at 3:30 am.. They were not kidding about the adjustment to the time zone, or lack thereof. I looked at is as an opportunity and stole way to the rooftop and stared at the stars. All of them unfamiliar. A quarter moon shining just bright enough to see the silhouettes of palm trees and buildings in the distance. I sat there listening to the village come to life. First the birds, the roosters then a muslim call to prayer, followed by the bells o the hindu shrine. Each sound unique and distinct, some haunting and some comforting. And then the sweet sound of the children rising for the day.
Our daily agenda began with calisthenics that harkened to old movies I have seen where the staunch Brits do deep knee bends and plan their day around Tiger hunts a top elephants. Yet no Brits and no elephants, and thankfully, no tigers! Post exercise I was coerced into tasting the coffee-something I really dislike, however, this was not just any coffee. It was chai coffee with water buffalo milk and sugar. And it was delicious!!! I was quickly addicted and greedy for every last drop I could gulp down.
Sunday is market day-their equivalent of the farmers market. It was a plethora of scents and sights. Sometimes it might be better to not know what it looks like before it’s cooked.We headed to Sunday services where shortly into the service the children started dropping like flies. One by one they sunk down into their seats, slid down to the floor or flopped their bodies on top of my lap and fell asleep. It was fantastic! The Americans were then asked to come forward at the end of service to pray over anyone who might want it. It was a wonderful opportunity to pray directly for people and their needs.
Sleeping babes. (photo credit: Stephanie Crane)
Daily onion chopping.
On our way to market.
All you can eat shrimp?
My first full day ater market was filled with the children and all wanting a “photo”. I have what seems to be a mountain of images of the kids that I cannot fit into this post but will do so on my next entry.
After lunch we headed back to the village for a kids camp. It is basically like a one day VBS. There is a lot of singing and dancing, a short skit and a quick talk about the skit and its meaning. The kids then get a free meal and a craft. We were in this small school room, with resembles more like a lean to, with 100 kids. Here are some pictures of it all.
Peter and his posse.
Rrrrrro Rrrrrrro one of our Village Champions!
Katie getting her groove on.
Patty showing Ro Ro how it is done!
“And that kids is how you take a selfie!”
After the kids camp we went back to the compound and had some down time. We ventured over to Madame Cheap Cheap’s market stall. Madame Cheap Cheap is actually a whole family that sells wares and souvenirs and they are all related. However, they each have their own section and they try to out sell each other. It is quite comical. There is the matriarch, the original Madame Cheap Cheap, seen here:
Then there is her daughter, her son and all her grandchildren.
Michael was given the name “Big Booty Cheap Cheap” . Here he is getting his braids that they promised would make him look like Justin Bieber…..
The moon is creeping……
Kelly, our worship leader and jam-master K, also known as the “preacher!”
One of my favorite pictures, Port-Au-Prince at night.
Among the poverty there is so much beauty.
Michael with a couple of the kids.
This is Billy, Patty’s sponsored child (not really a child anymore!). We spent some time at Billy’s and this is where I met Woud Lyi. (pictured below) Woud Lyi, pronounced ‘Ooood Lee”, is a soft-spoken boy who was incredibly sweet. Sometimes you meet people and you just connect. I was not quite sure if it was just me that felt the connection and after that day, I felt pretty doubtful that I would see him again. When we returned to Mission of Hope, I asked the various Village Champions if they knew who he was, but no one did.
And this is Jerry, Billy’s brother and Woud Lyi’s friend.
After lunch we ventured back to the village to continue our SVT. Again, we encountered all different kinds of people, but ultimately there was a common denominator of struggles. One women who had the most vacant looking eyes, has been married for 30 years and has only ever wanted a child. She asked that we pray over her for God to grant her a child. I’ve heard this story from many American women as well. The irony of so many orphans wanting to be loved and a person who so desperately wants to love but cannot get beyond the giving life to a human being when they can give A life to a human being is not lost on me. I have looked at that right here in the states. I will not pretend to understand, because I cannot, the deep longing both have. I just wish one could see how much they could give each other. And on that somber note, find the goat.
One of our team members sponsors a Mission of Hope student and had some gifts to bring to him and his brothers, so after we had visited some of the homes in the afternoon, we stopped at his home to deliver the gifts. Of course the kids being done with school for the day, came out of the woodwork. And if a camera was seen, photos were demanded. Here are some of the kids and maybe a chicken.
There is more from this day, but you will just have to wait until tomorrow!
I have children. 4 of them. Ages 16, 11, 5 and 4. And I am an artist. Being an artist and having many young children makes creating restricted. I do not have my own studio, so I had to come up with ways to create without leaving a trace. Not just because of messes, but because I did not want my children to get into anything. When I received my camera 5 years ago I realized that I could create, have little mess, take it with me and even include them.
Some times the need to create comes upon you in strange places and odd times. Having my camera with me helped me to have that outlet whenever the need arrived. As a parent I find myself in the car. A lot. So I began placing my camera on my shoulder to capture what I saw and what the camera saw. Here are some the first images that came out of this experiment.