Bonjou (Creole not French) from Haiti. Ki jan ou é? We are 5 days into our mission trip and it has been an amazing experience so far. We have 9 days to go. The Haitian people are amazing on the island of Ile a Vache. We have spent time in 2 villages. Sou Lettre is the village where the church we are building is located. Building of the church is slow but steady. We are considering building a home for missionary families there if God is willing.
So far, knock on wood, no cholera or malaria lol. We are always right on the beach so the wind is constant and I think that helps keep the mosquitoes away. We confine our drinking to bottled liquids just to be really safe. There is one exception to that rule…coconut water and coconut milk. Both of which I am totally in love with.
They have the most amazing coffee here and it only gets better with a bit of coconut milk! The coffee is very dark and thick, I am sure it has some chickory in it. It is not bitter at all and in spite of the darkness it feels as if there is very little caffeine.
I am learning from the women how to cook their food. The women have a shed away from the home where the cooking takes place. Everything is cooked on open fire or charcoal. They make their own charcoal and it is the best I’ve ever used. It is still shaped like the tree limbs and it burns hot and slow. I’m sure you can imagine these ladies have this cooking down to an art.
My mind is racing every day with the little conveniences we could share that would make life just a little bit easier. I never knew how much I appreciated ziplock bags until now! I would love to get some mason jars here and show the women how to put up tomatoes and pickliet (an amazing vinegar based cold slaw with a hefty peprocini and jalapeño kick).
I have been able to share a yummy southern tradition. At the market on Monday we bought a bunch of raw peanuts and we are making some boiled peanuts, southern style! I am so excited to share this treat and to have a little bit of home at the same time.
There are two markets. One continual market on the mainland in a town called Auex Cayes or Les Cayes depending upon who you are talking to. There is a market here on the island every Monday. I have been to both. I prefer the market here on the island. It is less crowded and the people are more polite. On the mainland there are many more people and they tend to be less tolerant of each other and of foreigners. The best way I can describe the difference in temperament is the difference between country folk and large city dwellers in the States.
Les Cayes reminds me so much of New Orleans its strange. The architecture and layout of the streets are incredibly similar. The streets are not paved and the buildings are in need of repair, but other than that there is very little difference.
We are staying in a beautiful place on Ile a Vnache. Our friend Felix is building a resort hotel (not like a Waldorf, but very nice rooms located right on the beach). I would recommend it to anyone really wanting a wonderful place to get away from it all. We have a toilet, a shower (still under construction), and electricity a few hours every day from a gas powered generator. We even have internet we purchased on the mainland. We are blessed. The village of Sou Lettre has none of these conveniences. We are here to help change that.
Living with very limited electricity has been a challenge but we are getting used to it. The hardest part is sleeping without air conditioning. When the wind blows cool, you really notice it and thank God for it.
After just 5 days I am convinced America has too many comforts to really appreciate what God has given us. We look around the world at others who have nothing, like the villagers in Sou Lettre and can’t help but feel a bit superior. We should, in stead, be realizing just how blessed we are and we should be willing to suffer any consequence to keep it. Our comforts and conveniences have made us complacent and compliant. With that attitude it won’t be much longer before we have traded all things of real value for plastic trinkets and a spot of porridge.
I guess that’s all for now. I will save the rest for another day. Thank you for your prayers and support.
See more posts about Haiti here: http://krisannehall.com/islander-evangelistic-ministries/
As always, Béni soit l’Éternel.