So here I am in Ouanaminthe! My flight here was beautiful. Flying over the mountains and just about to land, I looked to my left and saw something that looked like it belonged in Scotland with William the Bruce- an old fortress sitting on top of a mountain! One of the sisters had told me a sad story about it. It is a Haitian symbol of pride but Haitians are not allowed to visit it. Americans had bought it a while ago and refurbished it, but they keep out the Haitians even though the Sr. Mary Angela said the cement was mixed with the blood and bones of Haitians (literally not figuratively). But, in Haiti, it is becoming more common that good land or good beaches are bought by foreigners and then they become private, pushing or forcing the Haitians away.
Good news, I like it here in Ouanaminthe so far and am very thankful to be able to use the internet! The sisters here have a generator for electricity, which gets its energy from solar panals. Usually, during the day, the electricity is turned off and then once it gets dark, they turn on the electricity for a couple of hours. The sisters also built a well on their property, which people from the neighborhood use also.
Two short stories from today:
Story number 1
We went to Mass this morning at the local church. It was pretty full, with a group of elderly women all wearing straw hats, and groups of different children strolling in, … and a dog! The dog just came lollygalling in and then sat right in front of the altar, scratching and biting himself. Maybe that’s a normal situation-who knows. There are a lot of loose dogs, goats, chickens, and cows so it was not too big of a surprise. A short side note, it’s a normal sight to see people carrying chickens around by their feet, alive and dead. Also, for men to carry whole butchered cows in a wheelbarrow!
Story number 2
I accompanied Sr. Mary Mercy today to run some errands in Dabjon, which is just across the border in the Domican Republic, less than five minutes away. As you leave Ouanaminthe, you pass through a broken-down, rusty gate on a dirt road then you go maybe a hundred yards and pass through a huge, painted archway on a paved road with nicely painted yellow lines. You leave behind slanted shacks and the smell of garbage. Even when you look at the mountains, you can see the difference between the two countries. The Domincan Republic has lush mountains, covered with trees and Haiti’s are bare to the bone. There are quite a number of Haitians that go the Dominican Republic to work and beg, especially children. You’ll see children as young as four or five working.
-School starts on Monday, which is uber-exciting because I finally get to be with the children! There will be 650 of them! The little desks for the five year olds are so cute and little!
-There are three sisters here, Sr. Danielle, Sr. Mary Mercy, and Sr. Geyveirs (I have to ask her how to spell her name.
-The sisters are very excited to learn English and learn a new word at every meal.
-Wake up time is 4:30 and bed time is about 8:30
-People like to hold hands here
-I can still here American music from my window