Here’s recap of our annual Feast Day Trip June 20-25
We flew American Airlines straight from Charleston, with a change over in Miami, and into Port Au Prince on June 20th with a team of 8. We had four seasoned “Lagonavers” and four first timers.
Our luggage was at full capacity with a years supply of vitamins for children and adults, 600 toothbrushes, painting supplies (brushes, rollers and sleeves, telescopic extension for rollers, roller trays and 6 pails, all for painting the church and school at Plain Mapou. Money was sent ahead to purchase the paint. Musical instruments we took included 2 guitars, 1 key board, 1 trumpet, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 350 tennis balls (for passing out to the children on the trail up to Plain Mapou and as a gift for the children at Plain Mapou) 6 soccer balls, school supplies and clothes.
Our faithful driver met us at the airport in Port Au Prince with Pere Soner for the drive up to Wahoo Bay and an evening bay swim, Prestige and an overnight stay. We made the crossing to La Gonave on Thursday morning in the outboard “fly boat”. After we settled into the dorm we had a history orientation tour of the compound for first timers. Thursday was last day of school at St. Francis and there was a celebration time of skits, dancing, lots of music and laughter, held in the courtyard from 11:30 -4:00. It was a festive time for the teachers, parents, and students.
In the afternoon we were off to the beach for a swim then supper and music with Oril. On Friday we loaded up the painting supplies and vitamins for our trip up to Plain Mapou, passing out tennis balls along the way. With the help of our interpreter, Noell, we met with parents and our three Community Healthcare Workers to discuss our plans for future mobile medical clinics beginning next year. After we distributed the tooth brushes and vitamins we began the painting project. The church and 2 school buildings were painted inside and out in preparation for the coming feast day. Going back down the mountain that afternoon we made a stop at the Bill Rice Clinic for more first timer orientation.
Saturday we took a walk down to the salt flats and boat dock for photos and to pick up more ice. We had lots of children tag along and another good orientation for first timers. Saturday afternoon we attended a wedding at St. Francis d Assisi, another festive time with a 2 hour church ceremony. Suzanne had a surprise visit from the parents of the Haitian medical student we support in the Dominican Republic. They had a nice visit and the parents were most thankful for Suzanne and the financial support she has given their son Juska. (A success story by the grace and goodness of God through the partnership)
The Pwoje Fanm shop was open for us and the team purchased gifts to take home. Sunday we went back up the mountain (more tennis balls along the trail) to Plain Mapou for the Feast Day which encompassed a worship service, 10 Baptisms and 3 Weddings.
A good 3.5 hours of church with lots of singing ( including a children’s choir from St.Francis d Assisi). We had lunch after church and and we rode back down the mountain for supper (tipping the kitchen staff for delicious meals during our stay) .We caught the big ferry back early Monday morning. Gary took us into Port Au Prince for some shopping prior our airport delivery as we had afternoon departure. Another blessed time with our Haitian brothers and sisters. Oh I forgot to mention, our supplies included 200 hand fans which came in real handy for the parishioners especially the fully dressed brides and grooms. The Church was over flowing. Praise God.