Rivers, Rides, & Roosters: St. Gabriel Trip To Haiti 2018 One/Five

Chen gen kat pye, men li ka mache nan yon sèl chimen. / A dog has four legs, but it walks in only one path. – Haitian Proverb

After an 18 hour travel day, I returned home last Monday night at 10pm. Our day started 4am with a 4.5 hour truck ride to the airport in Port-au-Prince. Having been on the island for four days already, most of the ride was without surprise, until we reached Port-au-Prince around 9am, already teeming with humanity, traffic, tenuous dwellings, and piles of trash.

River of styrofoam trash in Port-au-Prince

The river of styrofoam took me by surprise even though lack of trash management had been frequently discussed, not only in the cities, but even in the countryside at our twin parish in Sucrerie Henry, where all trash is burned.

I have so much to share about my trip to Haiti from January 25 -29. Indeed, some of it reflects the lack of infrastructure in the country, yet most of it is joyful, reflecting the kindness of the Haitian people with whom we came in contact. There were four distinct legs to our trip; St. Anne Parish and Chapels, St. Anne School, St. Anne Clinic, and our journeys around Haiti. Accordingly, I plan to divide my reflection on Haiti into four postings plus this introductory post.

The delegation from St. Gabriel Parish: Father Larry, Verienne, Dany, Christine, and me

Our delegation traveled to Haiti on Thursday, January 25, leaving Logan Airport at 5am and arriving in Port-au-Prince at 12pm. Upon paying our $10 to enter Haiti as tourists, going through customs, and picking up our five large bags full of medical supplies, we were met by Father Didier Joseph who guided us through the corridors and crowds to his waiting truck.

Père Didier and the Toyota Hilux which St. Gabriel helped to fund

All of the bags filled the back and were covered with a tarp. Father Larry jumped in the front and we four women piled into the back. For four hours.

Four of us squeezed into the back of a Toyota Hilux for four hours and still smiling. Photo credit: Christine

We made a couple of stops along the way, one for lunch of traditional Haitian food, and the second to pick up some Dous Makos.

Haitian food: Griot, Plantains, and Pikliz
Douce Macoss Bakery

We arrived at St. Anne’s after sunset and settled in to the 90º heat in our rooms at the rectory, none the worse for wear.

Not a great photo of any of us, but still smiling after a seventeen hour travel day.

I had forgotten about the roosters and how they disrupt sleep in Haiti. Here is an example:


Did you ever notice that the word ROOSTER has the same number of letters as NEMESIS?

Post two/five will be about the K-12 school at St. Anne Parish. Stay tuned…

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