Monday, May 4, 2009

More on Grand Guave

We meandered through the dirt streets and falling down houses and just when I was convinced no one must have any money, we would stumble upon a very nice house, it was weird. It was out of place. We were told those were the houses of the missionaries.

There was a group of children on a porch of a house that appeared to be at the end of an alley. Diane took Fred, the stuffed pink flamingo Jan asked us to take to Haiti, up to the children. It was a good opener especially since they couldn’t understand us nor us them. Diane gently rubbed Fred across the face of one little boy, saying “Soft.” They seemed to catch on rather quickly and smiled. So I gave it a try and approached a little girl. Children love toys and it was easy to make a new friend. I asked them if I could take their photo and of course they wanted me too. They love seeing themselves.

Gretchen stopped several times and prayed with women whom she knew from church. A blind older woman called out to Gretchen. She was having health problems and Gretchen being a Registered Nurse and director of Lifeline, gave the woman advice. Then she prayed for her. Another time, a woman was making what looked like potato patties and was cooking them outside on a grill. She was preparing them to sell. Gretchen stopped and asked the woman why she had not been in church lately. The lady smiled a pretty smile as if she was happy that someone noticed she was missing. She promised to be there the following Sunday.
We passed the local bakery. Wow, is all I can think to say. Not wow in the sense of it was great, but wow in the sense it was difficult to believe people actually ate something that was made in this barn. Sweat from the bakers, fell into the dough and acting as if this was just normal, the men didn’t stop to wipe their brows. Gretchen said the bread was very good. I just couldn’t imagine eating it.

A young man stopped and greeted us in English. He had graduated from Lifeline school and was in college. He was studying to be an eye doctor. It was rather surprising to find this very well educated and well dressed young man in the village. I soon discovered there are several men that are being educated in order to help their community. This young man was also a translator for the women missionaries and had a craft booth where I purchased some souvenirs to remind me of Haiti.

The Catholic Church stood stately among the ruins and beckoned me to take pictures. I could feel the presence of the Almighty. A school was attached to the church where several thousand children were being served. The hospital was more of the size of a clinic. People were sitting patiently waiting to be helped. The banks were not banks but lotteries. The hair salon looked just like ours and there were several kindergartens brightly painted and welcoming the children in.

We came across two boys playing soccer. The little guy was born with a birth defect and his legs never grew but that didn’t seem to stop him though as he dribbled well passed the bigger and stronger player. Both stopped for a photo and gave us big smiles.

Even though times are tough in Haiti there was still construction taking place. We saw several men building a block house or business. It was hot and they had on long sleeved shirts. We passed a hair salon and a few small stores. The most colorful building was the kindergarten school.

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