Since nine different Methodist churches in Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville were having a large conference the weekend of April 6, we were unable to attend worship at St. Martin's, our sister church, in downtown Port-au-Prince. Instead, we attended the large celebration service at College Bird, the largest and wealthiest Methodist church in Haiti. A picture of College Bird:
Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your view of it,) we were unable to stay for the entire service. We arrived around 9:00 AM, church began around 9:15, and we left around 11:30, because we had a 12:30 appointment to keep. I think I would have enjoyed church a lot more if I understood Creole.
HOSPITAL AND ORPHANAGE
On Monday morning, we were unable to visit St. Martin's downtown, because the manifestations had started, so we met up with another friend of the partnership, Junie, who is an ordained minister as well as a practicing gynecologist. (She is married to a surgeon -- what a family!) She took us on a tour of a large construction project she is currently supervising, which includes a hospital/clinic, orphanage, and school for the orphans, a few boarders, and day students. We toured the boys' and girls' residences first, where many of the children were having class, since the school is currently under construction. Children having lessons:
Pictures of the hospital, which they hope to open this fall (if all funding comes through in time, and all construction goes according to plan):
I also took a picture of one of the doors in the school, because I found the "graffiti" chalked on the door sort of sweet:
A translation of "Dieu est ici" is "God is here."
Monday afternoon, we travelled with several of our friends from St. Martin's to Duplan, a more rural church community that has a school and library as well. Our plan is to model the library we are constructing at St. Martin's after the library at Duplan. Although it only took us about twenty minutes to arrive at Duplan, (over some extremely treacherous roads,) it felt as though we were in a different world from the bustling city! Duplan church:
Students from Duplan, on their way home after school (Hatian children attend school half-days, and go home after lunch and a recess period):
The library at Duplan (the library is housed in the basement, and the upper floors are still under construction -- I never learned what their plan is for the rest of the building):
Although our sister church is St. Martin's, which is located in downtown Port-au-Prince, we stay at the Methodist guesthouse, which is located on the grounds of Frere church, in Petion-Ville. Dan and I took a walk around the grounds on Thursday morning of our trip, and explored the church and school. Frere church:
And, lastly, Jessica, a student of Frere school, who lives on the grounds with her parents, Erick and Lise, who work at the guesthouse. Erick is mechanic and handyman extraordinaire, and Lise works in the kitchen, and also embroiders beautiful napkins. (I bought two napkins from her as my only souvenir, other than some peanut butter, coffee, and vanilla, which I purchased at the grocery store.)