Well, if it’s possible to slow down time & jam a week into 3 days… I just did it!
We left on Saturday morning at 6:30am and made it to Bouva around 4:30pm. Bouva is a small mountain community 20 minutes (via truck) above Grande Savande (which is a small community by the ocean) & it’s where we stay as there aren’t facilities in Grande Savande. It is also a community full of friends & family of Pastor Luc.
About half way through the drive Pastor Luc gave our driver instructions to pull into a house where he knew some blancs lived. I asked why & he said it was time for me to have a pee break. As thoughtful as that may sound to those of you who haven’t been to Haiti… what’s wrong with the bush that everyone else uses? I didn’t want everyone in the truck to think that I needed a toilet when the rest didn’t. After a typical father/daughter argument I caved & we pulled off the road… amazingly, the “blanc lady” that lived in that house was Leslie, a girl I went to Prairie Bible College with for 2 years. It was crazy! Her & her husband moved to Haiti a year ago and run Clean Water for Haiti. I had no idea she was in Haiti!! It was great to have a quick visit and she laughed that I was being forced to use her bathroom. The rest of the weekend Luc kept reminding me how important it is to “always obey Pappa Luc” because even if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about God still tells him what to say… I have a feeling that reminder will continue to come LONG past this weekend
The drive through the mountains to Bouva is beautiful. You overlook the ocean and you pass mud huts tucked under huge cactus trees. The kids up there see very few blancs so they are excited when we pass and they run to the truck hoping for candy or presents… which we are always eager to give I was sitting in the cab for most of the ride (we had 10 of us jammed in the cab & the back) but Paul, a friend from PCC, was sitting in the back. He laughed as we rolled into Bouva and said, “Maybe the sun is getting to me but I’m not sure what I heard more of… “blanc, blanc” or “Rebecca, Rebecca”. Haha. My 5 minutes of fame
While in Bouva we sleep in the church & small guest house beside it. There is no electicity there so our teams bring a generator with us. As this was just a quick visit with no team we did it the Haitian way without a generator. We cooked over an open fire, had torches for the evening church service and played cards by candle lite.
Our neighbors & our dinner:
The BEST coffee:
After a quick meal we had a lively church service, which left me dripping in sweat from dancing. There is no water or plumbing for washing so I headed down the the creek with one of the Haitian ladies to wash up. My idea of “washing up” was much different then her idea of “bathing” but I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable so I followed her lead… I became a little more Haitian everyday
Samantha in her Sunday best… a dress the team gave her last year:
I woke on Sunday morning with crack of dawn… about 5:30am… to a little voice wispering my name in the window. When I stumbled to the window (I am very clumpsy when I’m tired) I saw a small herd of kids waiting. They had been at the creek getting water & news had spread that we were there. Just like gossiping at the water cooler I guess
We had another great church service and then headed down to Grande Savande to look at the progress on the new church, visit with Pastor Jean Francois, meet with the builders and of course play with the kids. The kids waited patiently for the meeting to be over and they swarmed me as soon as the men left. They were shocked that I was able to talk to them. The swarm was growing and a girl fought her way to the middle to see why everyone was gathering… when she poked her head through and saw me she started to hyperventilate!! The kids all laughed at her shock but it was actually a little scary. I had to sit her down & put her head between her legs & it took her awhile to calm down. She had been one of my favorites on previous trips & I had brought a picture I had taken of her last year. I was a little nervous to give it to her because she was still breathing so hard She was my tour guide for the rest of the afternoon. We drove back to Bouva as it got dark and spent the evening playing the famous Haitian card game “Casino”. Canada VS Haiti… you can guess who won.
The community of Grande Savande:
The new Church:
It was a great weekend with the gang from H2H and while I will be sad to leave GLA, I am excited to get back to Grande Goave. I will be transfering to Grande Goave next Thursday. My tenative plans at the moment is to return to Canada on June 1st (with the team from PCC) and spend a few weeks gathering supplies & raising money and then return to Grande Goave until next summer.
As my days here at GLA are counting down I am taking advantage of every moment! As my weekends have been filled with travelling I haven’t gotten much R&R so I am feeling a bit weary. Hopefully I’ll be able to recharge my batteries this weekend!